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Old June 8, 2010, 11:19 PM   #1
Blackops_2
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.243 Velocity question.

Bout to turn my youth .243 into a varmint/deer rifle. Currently with the 100gr bullets @ 2500 it's shooting i wouldn't want to use it past say 300 yards. Just because i like more velocity and energy down range. So i'm switching to an 85gr seirra gameking hollow point. Question is can i load a round that isn't too hot and achieve 3000fps with a 85gr bullet out of an 18inch barrel?
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Old June 9, 2010, 08:32 AM   #2
Irish80prf
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I just looked at Hodgdon's website and the sierra gameking isn't listed but the 85 grain barnes is. It looks like you might be able to get 3000 fps if you reload which I'm guessing you do. I read somewhere that you lose about 50 fps for every 2" you reduce your barrel length. I don't know if this goes for all calibers so it may not work with a .243. Their test barrel is a 24'' barrel so that is 6" longer then yours so you would be about 150 fps slower then their data. Almost every one of their loads at max is over 3150 fps. I know you didn't want to get to hot, but I don't know that you would be able to get that speed without getting up around max loads or close to it. I've had really good luck with H4895 out of my .243 but that is with a 65 grain V-max so I don't know about your application.

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Old June 9, 2010, 08:59 AM   #3
Art Eatman
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My Sako .243 carbine has a 19" barrel. I've been loading the 85-grain Sierra HPBT* for forty forevers, using 3031. Tack-driver. I limit my deer shooting to neck shots and cross-body heart/lung shots. Twenty-some bucks with it, pretty much DRT. That load does horrible things to coyotes and feral cats, as well.

I've never chronographed the load, but it's danged sure plenty fast...

* Federal now sells that load, and it groups just as tight as my handloads.
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Old June 9, 2010, 09:03 AM   #4
briandg
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My thoughts are that you should try the IMR 4350 with that round and that bullet. It will accomplish 3000 probably with great accuracy.
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Old June 9, 2010, 10:04 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replys guys. As far as loading a max load that doesn't bother me just going over the recommendations for a max load does. My friend shoots the federals with an 18 inch barrel and he also said it drops deer. Good to hear it will shred coyotes also. I usually use varget in my .243 but ill load a couple with all 3 of those powders and see what I get.

On second thought what do the federals run price wise? So dar that's two people that have said they shoot great. My reloading station so to speak isn't set up yet. I'm currently learning and reloading with friend of my dads, but there is a chance he could be busy due to farming.

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Old June 9, 2010, 11:02 AM   #6
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Old June 9, 2010, 04:15 PM   #7
James R. Burke
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For my wifes I am using RL-22 with a 100 grain Nosler Partition. The bigger bullets like the slower powder. I am get 2930 f.p.s. out of them. There real accurate. So far she shot at two deer, and got them both with one shot. The rifle is a Ruger No 1A light sporter.
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Old June 9, 2010, 09:08 PM   #8
Blackops_2
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We have some 100 gr partitions problem is i would push em farther, but my dad loves accuracy over speed, where as i like to balance it, and if the hottest load is under 1 MOA ill take it. For instance our current hornady SSTs are being shot at 2500 something fps. Ridiculously slow to me... for a .243 anyway.
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Old June 9, 2010, 10:37 PM   #9
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I'll agree with you 2500 fps is kind of slow for a .243 even with a 100 grain bullet coming out of the business end. Most of the starting loads on Hodgdon's website are 2600 fps or more and getting up in the 3000 fps range if you push them.
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Old June 10, 2010, 06:53 PM   #10
James R. Burke
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You no doubt need a slow burning powder with a bigger bullet in that .243, I tryed a bunch of them. I finally took Noslers advice and gave the RL-22 a try. It's at just over 2900 f.p.s. but very accurate. It drops deer just fine. I aggree 2500 is to slow for that caliber. With the same rifle using Varget and a Nosler 55 grain B.T. it's at just a little over 3800 f.p.s. Lot smaller bullet, and lot faster burning powder. I was surprized on how accurate it stayed. The twist for her rifle was made for the bigger bullets, thats why we got it for deer. Just thought I would try to make a varmint round for it. It's no target rifle but shoots the 100 grains great, and the 55 grains pretty good. Good enough for what we want it for anyways. But try some slow burning powder with those 100 grain bullets. You might want to check Noslers web site out or a few of the others. Good luck you will find a good one. Made a mistake using H 414 for the 55 grain bullets, not varget.

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Old June 11, 2010, 12:50 AM   #11
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With an 18" barrel and an 85gr bullet, you're going to want a faster powder than most people will recommend.

4198, 3031, or RL-7 would be my starting options. 4895 is the slowest powder I would use. (that means 4064 is an option; 4350 is not; Varget is really borderline - I wouldn't start with it.)


3031 would be my preferred starting point. It has been "THE .243 powder" for decades.
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Old June 11, 2010, 12:28 PM   #12
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http://accurateshooter.net/Downloads/sierra243win.pdf

Try that out. Go to page 4.

I personally use these numbers, and I verified them through quite a bit of resources.
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Old June 11, 2010, 01:42 PM   #13
James R. Burke
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Checked that page out. They do list the RL-22 for a 100 grain and a few others. I guess it comes down to what your firearm will like the best. But I am talking a 100 grain bullet. Might work good for that 85, but I would not use it for deer.
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Old June 11, 2010, 02:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Checked that page out. They do list the RL-22 for a 100 grain and a few others. I guess it comes down to what your firearm will like the best. But I am talking a 100 grain bullet. Might work good for that 85, but I would not use it for deer.
If you want to shoot 100gr (or heavier) bullets, use a 6mm Remington, or step up to 6.5mm or .25 caliber.

The .243 Winchester was designed around 87gr projectiles. It does best from 75-95 grains. Very few rifles on the market have the proper barrel to stabilize 100gr bullets. If you really think 13 grains of mass is the difference between a clean kill, and a brutal mulilation - you're using the wrong cartridge, selected the wrong bullet, and/or haven't tried 85/87gr projectiles.

The V-Max is not a deer bullet.
The Triple Shock is not a squirrel bullet.
The Power Point likes to blow up at close range (due to excess velocity).

Unless you have a rifle custom built, or know that you're buying the proper twist rate, there will almost always be stability issues with heavy-for-caliber bullets. 160-180s in a .270 Win? Bad Idea. 230-250s in a .30-06? Bad Idea.
In the case of the 180gr bullets in a .270 Win (30 grains over what most rifles can handle), or 117gr bullets in a .243 Win (22 grains over what most rifles can handle), with a standard rate - you're likely to hear the tumbling "buzz saw" sound, before you even see the bullet hit the target sideways.

You can't just look at a "heavy" bullet weight, and assume it will work. You need to understand the limitations of the rifle, cartridge, bullet, and game.
If it is too inaccurate to hit the target, to begin with, the bullet is useless.
If you hit the animal with too much, or too little velocity, the bullet cannot perform as designed. You'll be cussing the load (blaming the bullet), and tracking a wounded animal.

You have to consider all the variables and balance the equation. You can't just pick one variable, modify it, and assume the equation will yield the same outcome.
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Old June 11, 2010, 03:40 PM   #15
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that's my bullet

I have used that bullet the 85gr hpbt sierra for a long time. I use a near max load of IMR 4350 although my barrel is longer and it's awesome accurate and kills deer and hogs like lightning bolts from that place we don't want to go. I don't think you will have to down load it to cut recoil as the lighter bullet already recoils less than the standard type 100 gr loads do. Maybe just work up a load for accuracy and give it a try, a soft shot gun type recoil pad might be a good addition. I have also noticed that young shooters perceive noise as recoil double muff use foam plugs and good like 31 muffs together and give it a try.
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Old June 11, 2010, 03:47 PM   #16
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Really?

Quote:
The .243 Winchester was designed around 87gr projectiles.
The Speer #13 reloading manual says you got that backwards, with the 6mm Remmy beginning life as the ".244 Remington" as direct competion to the .243 WIN. They put 1 in 12" twist barrels on them, designed for 75 and 80 grain bullets. As usual, Remington took a perfectly good cartridge and screwed it's introduction up in order to sell a particular rifle (see .280 Remington).....

The .243 WIN was introduced in rifles with a standard 1 in 10" twist and does just fine with 100 gr bullets, something the 1 in 12" .244 did not do well. Remington reintroduced the .244 as the 6 mm Remington, with a 1in 9" twist rate on their new rifles. I don't know what twist rate the OP's rifle has, but if it has a 1 in 10", 100 grain bullets should not be an issue. I have loaded 95 gr Hornady SST's for a cousin of mine, and managed to push them to 3000 f/sec with IMR7828 (out of a 24 inch barrell) ..... I don't remember the group size, but he takes deer with them every year.

On the other hand, achieving published velocities from an 18 inch barrel is going to be a problem, especially with slow powders like the the RL-22 mentioned above..... your best velocities are going to be from quicker powders, I imagine. I'd go with somthing quicker, like FM suggested.
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Old June 11, 2010, 04:43 PM   #17
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My wifes does have the 1/9 twist so it does work great with a 100 grain bullet. You are correct if the twist rate is not close they wont work no matter what you do. It will shoot 1" groups at 100 yards all day long. I am sure better than I can. Your also correct in taking all the variables in. Somtimes things just wont work, or they will, and they should not on the black board. I have a 06, I believe with a 1/10 twist, and it will shot 1" or under groups all day with a Nosler 165 Partition. I tryed the 110 grain V-Max not expecting much but was really surpized. It shoots 1" or better at 100 yards, if I do my part. Using a Laupa case, Varget powder, and large CCI primer. Also I am reloading, and getting the correct c.o.l. With that 110 its just about a bullet diameter in the case, but it is a single shot. Never thought it would be that accurate but it is. Five shot average 3712 f.p.s. and still under max with no signs of presure. It is a light sporter by far not a target rifle. With that load for the .243 it does clean kills on deer, I dont know about brutal mutaltion never said that. She shot one buck double lung pass thru, and filled a doe tag with a neck shot. The neck shot you could not draw a conclusion on that because it was side ways in and out. Got the .243 because I do reload and a few other factors came into play. Like why down load a caliber buy a smaller one. Or why buy cheap 12 ga shells instead of buying a 20ga using the good ones with the same amount of shot and powder? And the list goes on. Like I said this is just me use what you want, and works the best for ya. I do know lots of folks who use the .243 for deer, and lots moving to it. They all seem to be doing good deer wise. I do believe lots of manufactures have taken there barrel twist into consideration, but not all of them. Just a guess on my part, but I do know many folks using the .243 for deer. It does have a 22" barrel so you may be correct with a faster powder.

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Old June 11, 2010, 08:43 PM   #18
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Each rifle is an individual...

And some shoot faster than others. One of my Hornady books lists a few loads that break 3200fps with an 87gr bullet, but only a few, more hit 3100fps at max pressure. And this was with a 20" barrel.

Your 18" should be able to hit 3,000fps at top end, but if it doesn't, it ought to be close. Actual speed is not as important as accuracy. Max loads usually are not the most accurate. Usually. But, again, every rifle is an individual, with its own quirks. 2900fps and a tight group is more useful to me than 3100 and an open group.

Your gun might not like 85gr Sierra as well as 87gr Hornady, or some other weight and brand. The differernce could be a little, or a lot. Only careful testing will tell you.

Also, remember that the lighter bullet will have different wind drift and drop than what you are shooting now.
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Old June 11, 2010, 10:07 PM   #19
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...just my $.02:

If you do manage to push a light bullet really fast (3000 f/sec), beware of the bullet "blowing up" on close shots- disintigrating before penetrating, creating a large, shallow wound .... I had that happen with a 130 grain (.270 WIN) Winchester "Silvertip" at really short range.

If I were going with a light bullet at those speeds, I'd go with a Partition, or one of the bonded bullets.....
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Old June 12, 2010, 09:00 AM   #20
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I'm packing a rem model 7 youth 243. shooting 85gr sierra HPBT. I'm getting 3050fps using H414 or W760, magnum primers in WW brass. With 100gr remington corlocs i get 2650fps with factory and reloads. The most accurate 100gr ammo is the remington factory 1 1/2". I have tried to better it, but after a lot of testing i just use the remington. With the 85gr sierra if i shoot 2 shot groups, It is very accurate. Under 1". The tiny 18.5" barrel heats up fast, I have removed the pressure point, bedded and free floated the barrel. The 85gr sierra is a great bullet and will work on anything you would shoot with this rifle.
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Old June 12, 2010, 10:10 AM   #21
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My wifes reloading with a 100 grain is going just over 2900 f.p.s. with a 22" inch barrel. Nice tight grougps, and like you said I would rather have it accurate than all over the place.
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