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Old November 15, 2010, 11:07 AM   #1
deermaster
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Stuck with a .243, where do I aim?

I have to hunt with a .243 this year. It is deadly accurate with cheap winchester powerpoint 100 grs. We have some huge deer on the farm, several 250 lb bucks, and many that are easily 200lb. Should I keep away from the shoulder, through the lungs and ribs, or should I try to hit the shoulder? Shots will be out to 300 yrds.
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Old November 15, 2010, 11:56 AM   #2
taylorce1
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Regardless of what you have heard what you are using is totally adequate for the job you are asking it to do. 100 grain bullets are a great choice in the .243 Win and will break the largest bones on a deer. As far as where you aim my advice is aim for where you want the bullet to exit, as long as the bullet path travels through the vitals your good.

I'd avoid straight on shots to the chest or butt, both will be fatal, the field dressing process will not be pleasant. If you make that shot do the gutless method of field dressing your game. Broadside and quartering shots will be your best bet in securing your game. I don't intentionally aim for shoulder shots; unless that is the only option I have to get my bullet to travel through the vital area.
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Old November 15, 2010, 12:02 PM   #3
kraigwy
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The 243 round you described would be adequate for any deer size animal to 300 yards. Aim for the heart/lung area and you'll be fine. Even if you are off a bit and hit the shoulder, it will still work.
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Old November 15, 2010, 12:17 PM   #4
davlandrum
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+1 heart/lung
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Old November 15, 2010, 12:21 PM   #5
Zen Archery
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heart lung fan also...
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Old November 15, 2010, 12:36 PM   #6
GeauxTide
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My old departed BIL shot a few pickup loads of deer with a 243 M88 and WW Powerpoints. 25 yards to 300. He always used the double lung.
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Old November 15, 2010, 12:42 PM   #7
doofus47
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behind and below the shoulder.
Or, using my TMI superpower:
5pm on the deer's left shoulder; 7 pm on the deer's right.

.243 will do the hard work.
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Old November 15, 2010, 12:58 PM   #8
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Google is king! My deer this year, though, I twitched and shot him right in a hindquarter... Got very lucky, didn't jelly it, so we lost very little. Second shot took him down right. I am an idiot.
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Old November 15, 2010, 01:16 PM   #9
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myshoulderissore: It's really easy to mess up a shot at a deer. Many many smart people have done it. The important thing is to bring it down and you did that. The idiots are the ones that let a wounded deer get away.
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Old November 15, 2010, 01:31 PM   #10
davlandrum
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Quote:
I am an idiot.
It happens, you did the right thing by following up.

I hit mine this year way higher than I would have liked - angle was a little odd and I did not account for the fact he was close and my 30-06 is 2" high at 100 yds. I hit spine and he collapsed, so everything worked out.

I am mad at myself for not making the shot I wanted, though.
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Old November 15, 2010, 03:50 PM   #11
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What do you mean, stuck?

Typically a .243 is pinpoint accurate, shoot it wherever you want.

If you hit the shoulder on your side it more often than not will blow out the back side shoulder ruining both sides, a .243 is not under powered by any means. That said others have already pointed out the heart lung placement behind the shoulder, it's a generously sized area and a .243 is devastatingly effective with any decent hit.

The rifle is about accuracy and the confidence of knowing the bullet will go exactly where it's aimed. I have dropped well over 20 deer and all dropped right where they were standing with nothing more than the few steps a dead deer standing may make.

I never felt like a huge Muley was too big for the cartridge, it is devastating in terms of damage and penetration. As Taylorforce1 said, figure the bullet will go through and avoid running it through the opposite shoulder or gut, that would be messy.

You shoot your first deer or two with that thing and you'll be hooked.
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Old November 15, 2010, 04:01 PM   #12
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Take the .243, relish it, enjoy it, harvest a deer with it. I've used the .243 Winchester as well as the 6mm Remington and the deer were DRT. Mainly, I've taken the shot as presented, give or take. I may have had to wait for a step or two, no big deal. One buck looked at me for what seemed like several minutes. He wasn't about to move. Him I shot between the eyes. Yeah, .243's are like that. Supremely accurate.
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Old November 15, 2010, 06:46 PM   #13
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.243

I read a good line somewhere that the only people that can't kill deer w/ a .243 are gunwriters.

The .243 was much maligned by my Dad and most of the hunters in our small community when it was becoming popular in the 60's and 70's. I was flabbergasted when my Dad bought one about 1995.

He began to hit and kill deer more consistently than ever before.

Dad's gone now and bamaboy and I have used his .243 to kill just a few. All with factory ammo that Dad had on hand, WW and Rem 100 gr SP.

Mine were close, velocity very high, and both shot through the near shoulder, quartering on. The heart lungs were a wreck. One passed through the other stopped on the hide on the off side. DRT and PDQ. Bamboy shot his double lung, top of heart, breaking the near shoulder, a complete pass through at 260 yds! That deer went about 50. This was on south land 125 lb deer.

If I had to consistently hunt 200+ lb deer w/ a .243 I'd invest in some premium ammo, say Nosler Partions, or one of the new bonded slugs so popular, and accept a bit less accuracy if I had too, in a trade for a stout bullet. But 100 std soft points will do fine if you avoid severe raking shots. You might not possibly always get an exit on big deer, but hit the vital cavity and he's done.
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Old November 15, 2010, 10:45 PM   #14
Art Eatman
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I've tagged twenty-some bucks with my .243. I use the Sierra 85-grain HPBT, so I'm picky on my shots. No angling shots through a bunch of meat to get to the heart/lungs. Neck shots or cross-body heart/lung shots. On the heart/lung hits, that bullet makes a double-handful of mush. But, probably 85% of my kills were neck shots. Neck or heart, though, I never had to track any of them. "Quit when hit."
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Old November 17, 2010, 09:58 AM   #15
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I agree with Art on the neck shots. 243 will put them down with that even at long range. I dont understand why alota people dont think it will. My wife and kids usually shoot behind the front shoulders and blow the heart apart every time. Absolutely the most perfect deer/antalope gun there is in my opinion.
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Old November 17, 2010, 10:19 AM   #16
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Everybody in my family up in Missouri got a deer on opening day using a .243 Win. shooting 100 grainers. IMO, .243 Win. is the ideal round for most whitetail hunting in the U.S.. The magnums everyone seems to think they need these days tears up too much meat when they go all the way through the deer from head to tail. Heart and lungs shots at the shoulder are ideal.
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Old November 17, 2010, 10:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Stuck with a .243,
Sounds like you lack confidence in the round. I can't think of a better one for shots under 300 yards. It's a flat shooting, mild recoiling, efficient cartridge with more than enough energy to kill whitetail or muleys DRT.

Heart/lung shots from the side, or if you want to take frontal shots, use a bullet not designed to penetrate deeply (lighter "tipped" bullets like Nosler's Ballistic Tip, Hornady's SST)..... otherwise, the bullet will pass through the chest and make field dressing a "crappy" job.....
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Old November 17, 2010, 10:54 AM   #18
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stuck with a 243? i know people that use the 243 from everything from coyotes to elk with great success. stuck with a 243? hardly
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Old November 17, 2010, 10:58 AM   #19
Brian Pfleuger
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In reference to the picture above, I would recommend against intentionally aiming for a heart shot on deer.

The lungs are a comparatively huge target and provide MUCH more room for error.

Assuming that the circles in that picture are one inch, the ideal aim point is approximately 2 inches up and left at maybe a 125dg angle from the crosshairs.

You will ruin less meat than a heart shot and if you hit low you won't blow the poor things leg off.

A lung shot will kill them just as fast as a heart shot.
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Old November 17, 2010, 11:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
In reference to the picture above, I would recommend against intentionally aiming for a heart shot on deer.

The lungs are a comparatively huge target and provide MUCH more room for error.

Assuming that the circles in that picture are one inch, the ideal aim point is approximately 2 inches up and left at maybe a 125dg angle from the crosshairs.

You will ruin less meat than a heart shot and if you hit low you won't blow the poor things leg off.

A lung shot will kill them just as fast as a heart shot.
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Old November 17, 2010, 11:33 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by myshoulderissore
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Not judgin', just sayin'
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Old November 17, 2010, 11:34 AM   #22
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The .243 is a very efficient killer. There is not much that could not be killed with a
.243 and a Nosler Partition.
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Old November 17, 2010, 02:29 PM   #23
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"Stuck with a .243, where do I aim?"

Yeah, its tough deer hunting without that trusty old 416 Rigby!!
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Old November 17, 2010, 03:28 PM   #24
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I aim for the armpit, that is, when he steps forward and that little spot that his elbow would cover is exposed, thats where I shoot them, they drop quickly, and little meat is lost.
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Old November 18, 2010, 12:15 AM   #25
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Since I started using the 300WM, the heart is no longer used for stew meat, and the there no fresh liver either. Oh well, at least there are the 4 quarters left along with the backstrap.
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