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Old August 15, 2008, 11:57 AM   #1
hamr56
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.308 vs .243

I need some input as I am torn between these two calibers. I am looking for a long range varmitt/yote gun and I do not care if I damage pelts, that kind of is the point for me. However I want a recoil friendly round that is cheap to buy, or reload for accuracy. From what I have read it looks like the .308 would be best in the wind, however the .243 gets there in a much bigger hurry. What are your opinions on each of these rounds?
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Old August 15, 2008, 12:35 PM   #2
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Out of the 243 and 308 I would be leaning towards the 243. The 243 with heiver bullets 90+gr will buck the wind rather well ofcourse not to the degree of the 308 but shoot 300 yards is a long shot on a yote. Plus you can get them 58gr V-max bullets that will stright up blow a stinking hole in a yote plus you can get them moving rather quick.

I would go for a savage in 243 with the 9 twist barrel and slap a 6-24x40mm bushnell elite 4200 on that sucker. Good to go.
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Old August 15, 2008, 12:40 PM   #3
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Why not a .223? That would fit your needs as an adaquite yarmint/coyote round and not have much recoil. You can get surplus ammo for it cheap. The .243 is a good choice but not really much cheap ammo available. The .308 will work well but has more recoil.
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Old August 15, 2008, 12:49 PM   #4
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My vote has to go with the .243 as well. I shoot mine in the TX Panhandle, where we're no strangers to wind, and have NO problems out to 440 yds on BPUT's, and yotes are even easier. My fav recepit is 58gr V-Max or 58gr Berger Varminators over 46gr Ramshot Big Game powder, Rem brass, and standard CCI lrg rifle primers. This combo gets me a 10 shot avg of 3776fps (chrono'd) out of a heavy Rem 700 24" bbl.

(BPUT's- Biodegradable Pop Up Targets... P-Dogs)
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Old August 15, 2008, 01:06 PM   #5
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LMAO. I was just tring to figure out what BDPUT was.
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Old August 15, 2008, 01:20 PM   #6
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The .308 is more versatile.
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Old August 15, 2008, 01:57 PM   #7
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True, but the .308's heavy pills made the land owers where I shoot more nervous. They kinda reason that the lighter .243 Varmint bullets will break up better and be less likely to ricochet off into who-knows-where. So, they ask that I stay at 75grs or lighter. Personally, I don't see the need for worry because a cow can be seen here on the Plains for a long friggin ways off and I refuse to shoot in the direction of livestock no matter how far off they are anyhow. And, whether we agree or not- the land owners are always right.
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Old August 15, 2008, 02:01 PM   #8
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Both are great rounds. I know this isn't on here but i have to suggest it. If you are torn between the two then get whats in the middle of them. The 260 remington. Shoots flatter than a .308, more penetration, and is faster. But is a bigger bullet than a .243 and has more knockdown power. I have all of them, with a .260 on the way. The 243 is a sweet shooting rifle, but lets say your shooting at a coyote in the woods with lots of brush. The .243 is likely to deflect off a limb where as the .308 is not, nor the .260. But the .243 is extremely flat shooting. 300 yards in a hornady light magnum it doesn't drop one bit. This is where is actually dislike the .308. The bullet is just so heavy past 200. There is only one problem with the .260, not much factory ammunition. Federal, remington, and nosler custom make ammunition. But if your for reloading then your set. 6.5mm bullets aren't hard to find and you will be able to get .308 brass if 260 actually does drop off the market, and neck the .308 brass down. I personally think people are realizing what a great bullet the 6.5mm is. 260 is becoming a great long range match bullet. Reaches ballistics of a 300WSM with hardley no recoil.
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Old August 15, 2008, 02:17 PM   #9
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Not at the muzzle...

At 300 yds the 75gr on the .243 is useless and goes with the wind in a manner of speaking.

The 100 gr is more of a working bullet at that range, but still iffy.

The .308 with 165gr at 300 yds is still in excellent working condition.

Having said that, both will give you huge pleasure and excellent results. Any 6.5 shall be very good too, as was suggested.

If you want no recoil at all, the .243 is your gun. Just remember that the higher velocity damages the flesh and skin more.

Your choice, and my advice is to buy the one that talks to your heart in the shop... I am being serious.
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Old August 15, 2008, 03:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
The .308 is more versatile.
Without question. +1 on the above.
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Old August 15, 2008, 04:57 PM   #11
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varmit

You said for varmits and yotes. The 243cal is best for those without question. However for an all purpose rifle the 308cal is best hands down.
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Old August 15, 2008, 06:10 PM   #12
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.243 or .260 with high-BC bullets will stomp .308 for wind drift, which is the hard part of long-range shooting. Both also have less recoil than 308.
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Old August 15, 2008, 06:23 PM   #13
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I've been wondering about the same question. The problem is twist rate in the .243. I've got some 105 and 110 grain bullets I've not had time to load up and I wonder if they'd remain stable in my rifle. With a fast enough twist you could have a really good bullet for 300 yard coyote sized critters.

In the .308 family there is also the 7mm-08 and the .260 Remington (basically a 6.5mm-08). I really like the .243 for deer. Despite having bought, shot, got frustrated with and sold several .308s I've never found one I liked. I'm thinking about re-barreling my one remaining .308 to .260 Remington.
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Old August 15, 2008, 07:04 PM   #14
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If it's just for varmets, get the .243.

Flatter trajectory for same barrel lengths. Plenty of power to.
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Old August 15, 2008, 07:30 PM   #15
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Unless you plan on hunting bigger game than whitetails or antelope, I'd go with the .243. Components are readily available, it uses 10 grains less powder, and if you really have to buck that much wind, any caliber is going to suffer. I use the 85 grain Sierras, the 87 grain Hornadys, and the POI change for 2 loads is 3 clicks right from where the scope is set when I change from the 87 grain to the 100 for deer. I use 37.0 of IMR 4895 for the lighter ones, and 44.0 of IMR 7828 for the 100s.
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Old August 15, 2008, 08:30 PM   #16
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.243 was my choice. Higher velocity and smaller exposed area to crosswinds will win out every time for accuraccy.
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Old August 15, 2008, 08:32 PM   #17
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The .308 hammers the .243. Anyone who thinks the .243 is close to the .308 for long range work is a fool. The .308 spits 168's as fast as the .243 spits 100's. If you want serious sub .30 horsepower, get into the .25's. They pound the .24's and offer the same class recoil. In this vote, count me for the .308, I've used both.
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Old August 15, 2008, 08:49 PM   #18
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My son shoots a .308 and doesn't come close to my groups but he can shoot my .243 as well as I can...........almost. Inside of 2" @ 200 yds., maybe a flyer once in a while.
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Old August 15, 2008, 08:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
smaller exposed area to crosswinds
BC is the most important parameter for wind drift, not "smaller exposed area".

Quote:
The .308 hammers the .243. Anyone who thinks the .243 is close to the .308 for long range work is a fool. The .308 spits 168's as fast as the .243 spits 100's. If you want serious sub .30 horsepower, get into the .25's. They pound the .24's and offer the same class recoil. In this vote, count me for the .308, I've used both.
Not even close.

Long-range shooters know that bullet selection is important because BC is key to overcoming the L-R shooter's nemesis: wind. The .25 caliber is certainly good for hunting at point-blank distances; however, it suffers from virtually no good long-range bullets. The best one is likely to find is the Berger 115gr VLD with a BC of 0.523. This is on-par with the 6.5mm 123gr Lapua Scenar (0.540) or the 95gr VLD in 6mm (0.514), but both of those calibers can shoot these moderate-low BC (for LR) bullets at 3000-3250 fps. This is kind of a moot point for the .308 case since the .25 Souper (".25-308") is extremely rare, and the only data I was able to find put 115-117gr bullets at about 2900 fps.

Here is a numeric comparison of .243, .25 Souper, .260 Rem, and .308 sort best to worst by wind drift out to 1000 yards:
Code:
_Bullet_           _BC_ _MV_         0     200     400     600     800    1000 | YARDS
243WIN 115 DTAC   0.585 3050 >    0.00    1.78    7.49   17.74   33.30   55.08 | wind (inches)
260 140 VLD       0.620 2830 >    0.00    1.87    7.84   18.53   34.71   57.29 | wind (inches)
260 123           0.540 3100 >    0.00    1.89    7.99   19.01   35.86   59.64 | wind (inches)
243WIN 95 VLD     0.514 3150 >    0.00    1.95    8.25   19.68   37.24   62.14 | wind (inches)
.25Spr 115 VLD    0.523 2900 >    0.00    2.16    9.13   21.81   41.30   68.96 | wind (inches)
308 155 LAP       0.508 2900 >    0.00    2.22    9.43   22.58   42.85   71.70 | wind (inches)
308 175 SMK       0.51* 2700 >    0.00    2.53   10.75   25.82   49.27   82.72 | wind (inches)
308 168 SMK       0.46* 2800 >    0.00    2.60   11.24   27.52   53.62   91.86 | wind (inches)

243WIN 115 DTAC   0.585 3050 >    0.00    0.30    1.40    2.90    4.60    6.60 | drop (Qt mil)
260 140 VLD       0.620 2830 >    0.00    0.40    1.70    3.40    5.30    7.60 | drop (Qt mil)
260 123           0.540 3100 >    0.00    0.30    1.40    2.80    4.50    6.60 | drop (Qt mil)
243WIN 95 VLD     0.514 3150 >    0.00    0.30    1.40    2.80    4.40    6.50 | drop (Qt mil)
.25Spr 115 VLD    0.523 2900 >    0.00    0.40    1.70    3.40    5.40    7.80 | drop (Qt mil)
308 155 LAP       0.508 2900 >    0.00    0.40    1.70    3.40    5.50    8.00 | drop (Qt mil)
308 175 SMK       0.51* 2700 >    0.00    0.50    2.00    4.10    6.50    9.60 | drop (Qt mil)
308 168 SMK       0.46* 2800 >    0.00    0.40    1.90    3.90    6.30    9.50 | drop (Qt mil)

243WIN 115 DTAC   0.585 3050 >    3050    2759    2485    2228    1988    1764 | velocity (fps)
260 140 VLD       0.620 2830 >    2830    2567    2319    2086    1868    1665 | velocity (fps)
260 123           0.540 3100 >    3100    2783    2485    2208    1950    1711 | velocity (fps)
243WIN 95 VLD     0.514 3150 >    3150    2814    2500    2208    1937    1687 | velocity (fps)
.25Spr 115 VLD    0.523 2900 >    2900    2585    2292    2020    1768    1540 | velocity (fps)
308 155 LAP       0.508 2900 >    2900    2576    2275    1996    1739    1509 | velocity (fps)
308 175 SMK       0.51* 2700 >    2700    2383    2089    1819    1569    1354 | velocity (fps)
308 168 SMK       0.46* 2800 >    2800    2449    2119    1804    1520    1279 | velocity (fps)
As anyone can see, it can be fairly said that for long-range work, .243 Win and .260 Rem stomp all over the best LR loads in .308. Your favorite load, a 168 SMK, handloaded to max velocity in a bolt gun of about 2900 fps, actually comes in dead last in this comparison with 67% more wind drift than the choice LR .243 load. Your favorite bore size of .25 caliber (in .25 Souper form) just eeks out a slight advantage over the best .308 LR loads, while it's easily beat by the .260 and .243 loads.

These numbers are borne out in the reality of practical long-range competition. Tactical/practical shooters have moved away from 308 when possible, to mainly .260 but some .243. (.260 enjoys a barrel life advantage over .243). And those who must stay with 308, or can't afford a new rifle or barrel just yet are shooting the non-conventional 155 Lapua Scenar for its BC/velocity advantage over the 175 SMK.

Here are some references:


article | 6.5mm Shootout: .260 Remington vs. 6.5x47 Lapua vs. 6.5 Creedmoor



article | The Case for .260 Remington: A Better Cartridge For Practical Long-Range Shooting


article | Colorado Multigun 2008 Steel Safari Practical Rifle Match

(the last has and equipment survey from a recent LR match)
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Old August 15, 2008, 09:09 PM   #20
Brad Clodfelter
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I think you might want to consider a 25-06 Rem.
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Old August 15, 2008, 09:19 PM   #21
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It's simple fluid dynamics and don't forget the air density. Here, where 80% humidity is common will have much more influence than Arizona with a 5%.
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Old August 15, 2008, 09:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
It's simple fluid dynamics and don't forget the air density. Here, where 80% humidity is common will have much more influence than Arizona with a 5%.
Increased humidity decreases air density because H2O has an atomic weight of 18 while N2 (which comprises 78% of air) has an atomic weight of 28.

Furthermore, changing the humidity from 0 to 100% only affects a typical 308 load by less than 2" at 1000 yards--- less than one 0.25 MOA click. You can totally ignore humidity with regard to its affect on external trajectory.

Code:
Trajectory Output
Input Data
Manufacturer: 	Sierra 	Description: 	.308 dia. 175 gr. HPBT MatchKing™
Muzzle Velocity: 	2700.0 ft/s 	Chronograph Distance: 	10.0 ft
Sight Height: 	1.50 in 	Sight Offset: 	0.00 in
Zero Height: 	0.00 in 	Zero Offset: 	0.00 in
Azimuth: 	0.00 MOA 	Elevation: 	0.00 MOA
LOS Angle: 	0.0 deg 	Cant Angle: 	0.0 deg
Wind Speed: 	10.0 mph 	Wind Angle: 	90.0 deg
Target Speed: 	10.0 mph 	Target Angle: 	90.0 deg
Temperature: 	59.0 °F 	Pressure: 	29.92 in Hg
Relative Humidity: 	0.0 % 	Altitude: 	0 ft
Vital Zone Radius: 	5.0 in 	Std. Atmosphere at Altitude: 	No
Corrected Pressure: 	Yes 	Target Relative Drops: 	Yes
Zero at Max. Point Blank Range: 	No 		
Calculated Parameters
Elevation:	3.81 MOA 	Azimuth:	0.00 MOA
Atmospheric Density:	0.07647 lbs/ft³ 	Speed of Sound:	1116.5 ft/s
Maximum PBR:	330 yds 	Maximum PBR Zero:	280 yds
Range at Max Height:	154 yds 	Energy at PBR:	1764.0 ft•lbs
Sectional Density:	0.264 lbs/in² 		
Calculated Table
Range 	Drop 	Drop 	Windage 	Windage 	Velocity 	Mach 	Energy 	Time 	Lead 	Lead
(yds) 	(in) 	(moa) 	(in) 	(moa) 	(ft/s) 	(none) 	(ft•lbs) 	(s) 	(in) 	(moa)
0 	-1.5 	*** 	0.0 	*** 	2706.2 	2.424 	2845.3 	0.000 	0.0 	***
250 	-8.3 	-3.2 	4.6 	1.7 	2263.3 	2.027 	1990.2 	0.303 	53.3 	20.4
500 	-58.0 	-11.1 	20.1 	3.8 	1864.5 	1.670 	1350.7 	0.668 	117.6 	22.5
750 	-171.3 	-21.8 	50.0 	6.4 	1511.0 	1.353 	887.0 	1.116 	196.3 	25.0
1000 	-381.1 	-36.4 	98.4 	9.4 	1230.4 	1.102 	588.2 	1.668 	293.5 	28.0
15 Aug 2008 19:27:25, JBM [http://www.eskimo.com/~jbm]
Code:
Trajectory Output
Input Data
Manufacturer: 	Sierra 	Description: 	.308 dia. 175 gr. HPBT MatchKing™
Muzzle Velocity: 	2700.0 ft/s 	Chronograph Distance: 	10.0 ft
Sight Height: 	1.50 in 	Sight Offset: 	0.00 in
Zero Height: 	0.00 in 	Zero Offset: 	0.00 in
Azimuth: 	0.00 MOA 	Elevation: 	0.00 MOA
LOS Angle: 	0.0 deg 	Cant Angle: 	0.0 deg
Wind Speed: 	10.0 mph 	Wind Angle: 	90.0 deg
Target Speed: 	10.0 mph 	Target Angle: 	90.0 deg
Temperature: 	59.0 °F 	Pressure: 	29.92 in Hg
Relative Humidity: 	100.0 % 	Altitude: 	0 ft
Vital Zone Radius: 	5.0 in 	Std. Atmosphere at Altitude: 	No
Corrected Pressure: 	Yes 	Target Relative Drops: 	Yes
Zero at Max. Point Blank Range: 	No 		
Calculated Parameters
Elevation:	3.81 MOA 	Azimuth:	0.00 MOA
Atmospheric Density:	0.07598 lbs/ft³ 	Speed of Sound:	1116.5 ft/s
Maximum PBR:	330 yds 	Maximum PBR Zero:	280 yds
Range at Max Height:	154 yds 	Energy at PBR:	1769.6 ft•lbs
Sectional Density:	0.264 lbs/in² 		
Calculated Table
Range 	Drop 	Drop 	Windage 	Windage 	Velocity 	Mach 	Energy 	Time 	Lead 	Lead
(yds) 	(in) 	(moa) 	(in) 	(moa) 	(ft/s) 	(none) 	(ft•lbs) 	(s) 	(in) 	(moa)
0 	-1.5 	*** 	0.0 	*** 	2706.2 	2.424 	2845.2 	0.000 	0.0 	***
250 	-8.2 	-3.2 	4.5 	1.7 	2266.0 	2.030 	1994.8 	0.303 	53.3 	20.4
500 	-57.9 	-11.1 	19.9 	3.8 	1869.3 	1.674 	1357.5 	0.667 	117.5 	22.4
750 	-170.7 	-21.7 	49.6 	6.3 	1517.2 	1.359 	894.3 	1.113 	195.9 	24.9
1000 	-379.3 	-36.2 	97.6 	9.3 	1236.4 	1.107 	593.9 	1.663 	292.7 	27.9
15 Aug 2008 19:28:17, JBM [http://www.eskimo.com/~jbm]
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Old August 15, 2008, 09:34 PM   #23
phil mcwilliam
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When I go hunting on my mates cattle ranch, I usually pick my 308 from the gun cabinet as my prefered general hunting rifle. I have had great success on deer, pigs, goats, foxes, wild dog, hares & rabbits out to distances of 300 yards. There is a 243 in the same cabinet & the owner of that rifle has also had great success on the above game. If, however ,I was specifically going for rabbits, hares, foxes or wild dog in the canyons at he back of my mates property, where cross gully shots of 400 yards are common ,then I usually pick my 22-250. If the wind is really blowing hard, I don't go varmit shooting at long range, but opt to go stalking in the bush. The problem with varmit shooting on windy days is the shots are usually taken some time apart, and the wind speed is always changing with gusts.
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Old August 15, 2008, 10:00 PM   #24
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I think the .260 is your pick. Let me put it this way you can go from a 90 grain bullet for varmints to a 160 for elk if need be. The 6.5mm is very versatile. I absolutely love the round. When you get past 300 yards it still retains it's speed and less bullet drop. And the penetration of the bullet is tremendous.
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Old August 15, 2008, 10:14 PM   #25
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Quote:
The .308 hammers the .243. Anyone who thinks the .243 is close to the .308 for long range work is a fool. The .308 spits 168's as fast as the .243 spits 100's. If you want serious sub .30 horsepower, get into the .25's. They pound the .24's and offer the same class recoil. In this vote, count me for the .308, I've used both.
I will make sure to tell the 16 year old girl that out shot 15 308 win with her 243 in an f-class match I watched last month.

She flat out smoked them 308 and a 300win mag as well.

Quote:
I need some input as I am torn between these two calibers. I am looking for a long range varmitt/yote gun and I do not care if I damage pelts
I think some of you are missing the point here. He is asking about TWO specific cartridges the 243 and 308. He is not asking about the 260 or a deer rifle. He is asking about a varmint rifle. For what he is asking between the two cartridges.

Just my thoughts on all this 260 talk and other stuff.
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