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Old October 7, 2011, 05:10 PM   #1
AllenJ
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243 Winchester or 7mm/08...

Going to invest in a new rifle for blacktail deer hunting and I have narrowed my cartridge chioce to either 243 or 7mm/08. Most shots would be less than 100 yards. Just looking for opinions on which cartridge you think would be best and why.
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Old October 7, 2011, 06:14 PM   #2
briandg
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My .243 is highly accurate. I have 4350 loads with 100 grain bullets that chronograph a hair under 3,000 fps. controlled expansion or solid bullets would give clean through and through shots. it's a beautiful, lovely package, bolt rifle, .243, 3-9 scope, and moderate range shots at moderately sized white tails. It would even be legal for elk. (not that I agree with something like that for elk).

7 mm will give you a slightly heavier bullet, slightly lower velocity, slightly worse trajectory, but if you can find a great gun in 7mm 08, I would prefer having the extra bullet weight on impact. It will give deeper penetration and a more damaging wound, and there would be very little ballistic difference.

Check the ballistics charts. If you may be shooting over 2-300 yards, I'd choose the best, flattest shooting round, otherwise, I'd go 7mm. Practically speaking, it will only hold a modest edge over the .243/6mm, but it is, however, superior.
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Old October 7, 2011, 10:54 PM   #3
JerryM
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Although the .243 is an excellent deer cartridge, the 7mm/08 is more versatile. If those were the choices for an only rifle I would select the 7MM/08. If you wanted to expand your hunting to elk the 7MM/08 would do the job even if not ideal.
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Old October 7, 2011, 11:00 PM   #4
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I've had both. I built a .243 around a new Mauser Supreme barreled action and had a Browning A-bolt Micro-Medalion in 7mm-08.

I liked the .243 better. Much better groups and it put deer down better then the 7mm-08. By that I mean when hit in the lungs the deer didn't go as far (or anywhere) with the .243. I really had to work to get a 7mm-08 load to group and I never had a problem with all the other rifles I handloaded for.

You can't go wrong with either for deer. Anything bigger the 7mm-08 with heavier bullets is better.
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Old October 7, 2011, 11:03 PM   #5
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You might also check out the 260 Remington.
It splits the difference pretty well.
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Old October 7, 2011, 11:31 PM   #6
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I'm partial to 7mm bullets, BC's are excellent for their weight, and there are a lot of weights to choose from. I have a .280 rem (deer & cougar) & (2)7x57 mausers (varmints), although the 243 owners that I know, swear by them. I just like a little bit heavier bullets. I have never shot a .243 or a .260, but the .257 Roberts that I shot put 3 holes touching and 2 more opened up to 1" @ 100 yards, I have never shot anything that good before.
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Old October 7, 2011, 11:32 PM   #7
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The .243 is a very efficient killer. There are few creatures that you cannot cleanly kill with a Nosler Partition in a .243. Low recoil is a bonus.
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Old October 7, 2011, 11:47 PM   #8
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I'd use either, but I'd be a tad more self-limiting with the .243 as to the sort of shot I'd take. IMO, the 7mm08 would likely be a bit better for penetration on an angling shot.
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Old October 8, 2011, 12:05 AM   #9
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Tough call. Given those choices, I would opt for the 7-08. While I love the 243, the 7-08 is basically a reintroduction of the 7X57, my favorite. And as others have said, it can handle slightly heavier bullets in case you get one of those X-Zone tags. But either way, you're good to go.
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Old October 8, 2011, 01:03 AM   #10
buckshotbob
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Less than 100 yards ???????????????????

why would you use either at such a short distance...less than 100 yards...why not 30-30 winchester or 35 remington

There has probably been more meat put on the table with a 30-30 than any other cartridge in existence.......If it ain't broke don't fix it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old October 8, 2011, 01:13 AM   #11
briandg
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Duhh. Because he doesn't want a 30-30 or a 35 remington. Question was pretty simple. so was the answer.
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Old October 8, 2011, 01:36 AM   #12
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7mm-08

.

7mm-08 is one of the most versatile and efficient
cartridges out there. You get a lot of punch in
a small case with low recoil. Many good 7mm
bullets of various weights to choose from.

Much more versatile than the 243 Winchester
which is weighted in design towards varminting.

good hunting, dxr

.
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Old October 8, 2011, 02:04 AM   #13
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I would have to go with the 7mm-08 due to it having a wider selection of bullets to load with.
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Old October 8, 2011, 03:41 AM   #14
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I had a 243 which I found to be extremely accurate and effective on everything from gophers to large Missouri white tail.

My Buddy had a 7mm08 built on an argentine Mauser by a gentleman named List. It was extremely accurate and effective on coyotes up to Elk and bear.

As much as I hate to say it, if you are limited to one rifle I would forgo my beloved 243 for the 7mm08
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Old October 8, 2011, 04:03 AM   #15
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I've used a 243 for many years to take a lot of animals and it has some advantages. A few years ago I tried the 7mm08 simply because I liked the little carbine and it was a 7mm08. You can tell you've stepped up to a real big game cartridge when you light off a 7mm08-not painfull but significantly more recoil than a 243. Over the years, we've experienced some unexpected game loss with the 243 likely due to poor bullet performance. With that in mind, I began using only premium grade bullets(Grand Slam) and had better results. On the other side, it's hard to find a 7mm bullet that won't do a good job on deer.
If I were mostly hunting varmints and occasionally deer, I'd go with a 243. If the other way around, I'd seriously look at the 7mm08. My little Wby Vanguard 7mm08 carbine filled 5 deer tags with 5 shots at ranges up to 300 yards it's first year in the field and there was no time wasted following a long blood trail either.
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Old October 8, 2011, 05:40 AM   #16
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Will there be any varmit shooting? If so the .243 gets the nod, if not and there will be a chance of elk, I'd lean on the 7mm 08 for that call for sure.....


Go ahead and get them both,,,
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Old October 8, 2011, 09:11 AM   #17
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What Hooligan said.

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Old October 8, 2011, 09:53 AM   #18
AllenJ
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Thanks all very much for your input. To tell the truth I was leaning toward the 243 when I asked this question but after reading all of your replies the 7mm/08 is going to get the nod. It'll serve as my primary deer sized game rifle and a good backup when elk hunting.

Thank you.

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Old October 8, 2011, 10:02 AM   #19
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Either they are both about the same.
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Old October 8, 2011, 11:16 AM   #20
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I would go with the 243 myself
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Old October 8, 2011, 12:06 PM   #21
DeerSlayer86
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Easy..go .243

The 243 is a fantastic deer caliber. Espesially if you are going to be shooting only up to 100 yards. With a good bullet and a good shot your in business. I like the barnes ttsx 100g or even the good old remington coreloct. Im not a 7mm-08 hater by any means, its a fantastic round. But for what you stated I woulg go .243. And with short shots like that a 1-4x, or 2-7x would be perfect if you havnt decided on glass yet. Thats my opinion but you really cant go wrong with either one, both are great calibers.
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Old October 8, 2011, 12:25 PM   #22
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Did you last 4 posters read Allen's last post?

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Old October 8, 2011, 01:20 PM   #23
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Shot my biggest whitetail with a 243, their not all that big around here. For a little bigger game i'd go with the 7mm.
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Old October 8, 2011, 03:04 PM   #24
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I'm glad for your decision. While I have a personal prejudice for the .243, it is an undeniable truth that in most deer or larger game, the 7mm-08 will have an edge.

Almost every cartridge commonly in use has certain niches that it fills. The .243 really should not be used on really big deer or elk, because it can't break bones well enough, or penetrate through a huge gut full of fodder. Without premium bullets, you chance failure. the expanded diameter of the 08 will be a bit larger, the mass larger, and penetration deeper. You will need that if you ever confront a larger deer.
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Old October 8, 2011, 06:25 PM   #25
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Whoa, there brian, a 100 grn partition will penetrate, bone and a "gut full of fodder". What you failed to mention that "in the hands of some that can't usually hit where they aim" might not be a good caliber, otherwise it's fine for us that know it's capability!!!
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