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Old November 12, 2012, 08:53 AM   #1
crowsing
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223 -22-250 or 243

i finally figured out what rifle to buy (tikka T3) now i need a little help on caliber.
223, 22-250 or 243. I have an 8Yr old who shot his first deer this year(neck shot 22-250) with a borrowed gun. Primary use will be for deer hogs and having fun. My wife and i will also shoot it for fun. I just dont want it to have too much kick but still be lethal for all. Most shots in the hill country are around 60 yrds but would like to reach out to 2-300 for coyotes and varmits
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Old November 12, 2012, 09:34 AM   #2
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Well you have mainly been searching for your son in your other posts and since this will be his first centerfire rifle I'd have to say one of the .22's. My daughter is nine and will be deer hunting in OK over Thanksgiving break and she'll be using a .223 shooting 55 grain TSX bullets. In the right situations and with the proper bullet I wouldn't discount a .223 as a deer and hog killer.

Since this is for your son/wife and while Tikka is a great rifle. I'd wait to buy that one in .243 Win for when your son is older. I'd pick up a Savage or Weatherby Vanguard youth model in .223 or .22-250 for your sons first rifle. Because of the way the Tikka's recoil lug is part of the stock it is harder to find affordable replacement stocks for when your son out grows the youth sized stock. The other one I really like for youth shooters is the Ruger Compact or Laminated Compact, at 6.25-6.5 lbs, 12.5 LOP, and 16.5" barrel it is youth sized and weight. However with the short barrel make sure the kids are wearning really good hearing protection as they will bark, and that can cause a flinch just as bad a recoil.
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Old November 12, 2012, 10:28 AM   #3
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I shoot a lot of .223 but do not have a bolt gun in that caliber.

Lots of options available for that caliber.

I have more experience with 22-250 have to say that is just about my favorite caliber.

There is just so much good about that round. I have been loading for that over 40 years and I never get tired of it.

Lots of long range shooters lean to the .223 and make no mistake, it is a good round.

I just like the 22-250 better.
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Old November 12, 2012, 10:54 AM   #4
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2 questions for you;
What is the budget and do you load your own ammo?
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Old November 12, 2012, 11:32 AM   #5
sc928porsche
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Normally I would suggest the 22-250, but since you said deer hunting the 243 is better suited for the job.
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Old November 12, 2012, 11:36 AM   #6
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The other rounds will work, but I'd go 243 also. Recoil is almost non-existant with any of them.
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Old November 12, 2012, 12:54 PM   #7
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Budget is at least the price of a Tikka I'd imagine. Plus I agree that if he reloads that a .243 would be a good option. However I've recently been on the same road the OP is traveling with my daughter who will be ten in Jan.

What we perceive as almost non-existent recoil is a lot different than what an EIGHT year old perceives. The worst thing you can do is put them into a rifle that they can't tolerate to shoot. My daughter couldn't handle a .223 until I loaded them down to cast bullet levels and put earplugs inside of her earmuffs. The report of the rifle was bothering her far more than the recoil. Now that she has no problems with a .223, I'm moving her up to a .250 Savage so when she is old enough in a couple of years she has a rifle she can hunt Colorado since they don't allow .224 caliber rifles for big game.

That said don't make the mistake of starting them on too big of a rifle and then have your boy not want to shoot it. If kids don't enjoy shooting a rifle they won't and you'll have hell keeping them interested in it. Another thing is don't be afraid the .223 or .22-250 isn't adequate for deer, more states than not allow the use of .224 caliber centerfire rifles than not, and with bullets like the TSX and Partition you can take advantage of these light recoiling cartridges.

Another thing is since the OP mentioned "hill country" it makes me think that he is in TX. If he is hunting in TX more than likely it is going to be over a feeder from a blind with his son. He can very likely control the distance as well as the types of shots he will allow his son to take. This probability negates any real advantage the .243 might have over the .224 calibers by simply having a larger heavier bullets.
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Old November 12, 2012, 01:23 PM   #8
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The .243 is nothing the boy shouldn't be able to handle.

It's also better suited for hogs, especially the larger variety.
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Old November 12, 2012, 02:39 PM   #9
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For the stated uses 243.
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Old November 12, 2012, 02:46 PM   #10
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In the right hands, a deer or a hog can be killed with a 223 or a 22-250, but I would not consider either one of these calibers to be ideal for either. Therefore the 243 would be the best choice in caliber. As far as the stock, I would consider selling the youth sized gun when your son comes of age, and getting an adult size rifle for him.
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Old November 12, 2012, 02:54 PM   #11
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Some state laws don't allow 223 for hunting purposes, so I'd check that first.
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Old November 12, 2012, 03:58 PM   #12
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For humane kills I would recommend the 243 for your intended purpose. Though my brother just killed a 9 point white tail using a 55 gr Monarch soft point, he was plain lucky. Deer was at 100 yds bullet took out both lungs. My brother is a great shot but in this case I still say he was lucky. The bullet never struck bone, it went between the rib cage. I believe had it struck bone the circumstance might have been different. I am a firm believer of behind the ear shots with such small calibers.
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Old November 12, 2012, 04:06 PM   #13
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Actually the only time I shot a deer with a 223 was through the eye. ms6852 is right about his friend being lucky. If you hit bone with a small bullet, it could result in a slow lingering death.
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Old November 12, 2012, 04:47 PM   #14
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If laws allow then 223 will do fine, under 100yards even with just a 55gr bullet 223 will have about as much energy as a 150gr 30-30 at 200yards which isnt uncommon.

With certain bullets 223 will have over 1000ft/lbs of energy out to 250yards.

And its cheap and no recoil.
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Old November 12, 2012, 05:03 PM   #15
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The .243 can have enough recoil to be too much for some smaller shooters, however, many can handle it just fine.

You know your son better than we do and what his pain tolerance and other nuances are that could affect his handling of a firearm.

My younger brother could not handle a .243 until he was about 13, but he is small for his age.

I would go with either the .223 or the .243. The benefits of the .243 are some more energy going downrange. The benefits of the .223 are that it is fairly inexpensive to practice with, and has less recoil. Of course, if you reload then price difference will be negligible.

The .22-250 just seems like it has the cost of .243 ammunition without the extra "oomph" and the recoil of the .223. An overpriced .223 if you will (for your purposes).
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Old November 12, 2012, 06:04 PM   #16
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Don't doubt the capabilities of a properly constructed .224 diameter bullet. Posted by my buddy on another forum:

Quote:
Originally posted by Snellstrom:
Last month I took my 8 year old son on his first hunt ( first hunt with him behind the trigger). We have been getting ready for this for a few years with lots of rifle handling and shooting. He's been shooting a 22 since he was 4 and been shooting this .223 single shot handi rifle for 10 months and some shooting with a 6.5 swede and reduced loads for a year.
Good friend of mine who posts here as Graybird was heading to Texas for an Addax hunt and mentioned they have Hogs Sheep and Goats too and that I may want to bring my son along so he can get his first hunt.
To make a long story short we had a great time even though daytime temps were 140 degrees ( okay a slight exaggeration they were 106 ) and the hogs were pretty tough to put in front of a youngster we were able to get it done.
The Black Hawaiian ram was taken at 66 yards with a base of the neck shot from his .223 and Barnes 45 grain TSX bullets, complete penetration and quick one shot kill.

The hog took several stalks and some pep talks but finally we were able to put an 8 year old boy and a hog in the same place at the same time and he made the shot. Again one shot this time low through the shoulders complete penetration at 16 yards. The hog ran 16 yards after the shot right to us and just about ran over the camera man (Graybird) then laid down next to him and died.
Please take a look at the pictures I've got a pretty happy kid there and he is hooked for life.
I will try to post the video link as well.



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Old November 13, 2012, 10:29 AM   #17
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I too love my .22-250 but I also love my .223 bolt action. The .223 shoots slightly more accurately but both are very accurate rifles, shooting their best 25 hand loads to averages under 0.4 inches at 100 yards for around 185 to 188 measured groups.

If you don't hand load, I would recommend that you seriously consider the .223 unless your state won't allow deer hunting with a .223 bullet.

I have never found low cost factory ammo for the .22-250 or the .243.
Most of the cheaper ammo averages for those calibers about 1.25 a round with very little variety available in the lower cost stores. Hornady 55 grain training rounds sell for far less than that and shoot very accurately in my .223. You can buy .223 ammo for about 40% of what you'll pay for either the .22-250 or .243, and that becomes important if you intend to go plinking. Even the best hunting rounds are cheaper for the .223 and there is far more variety of bullets, bullet weights and bullet types available.

If you reload the cost picture really changes because the .22-250 costs only marginally more to reload than a .223.
That is because they basically both use the same bullets (the most costly item in reloading). The .22-250 brass is more expensive and the .22-250 uses about 50% more powder per round and uses Large rifle primers instead of small rifle primers. The cost of the primers are essentially the same. The difference, when you consider you reuse the brass multiple times, comes to less than 10 cents a round.
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Old November 13, 2012, 01:16 PM   #18
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If you don't handload, I would go with a .223 + 55gr Barnes Vor-tx TSX bullets for game. Cheap Federal 100 round value packs of .223 for the range.
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Old November 13, 2012, 01:35 PM   #19
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Recently picked up a used Sako in .243 caliber and already got two deer with one shot apiece.....the rifle is a dream to shoot with minimal recoil and very accurate ! I'd like to add a .223 caliber rifle someday and wouldn't be afraid to try it on deer as well with the right load .
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Old November 13, 2012, 03:20 PM   #20
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.243 winchester, it's the cartridge I'd choose until the kids were ready to graduate to a larger caliber..
My daughter shot her Rossi Youth rifle wonderfully every time we went to the range, and she took deer with it.
And by the way it's one of THE funnest cartridges for ole dad to load and develope loads for,,,,,, hint hint.
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Old November 13, 2012, 03:34 PM   #21
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Most kids as young as 8 are not ready to hunt deer. In Maine it's not legal for kids to hunt until they're 10.

That said, Federal Premium makes factory ammo for the .223 Rem with a 60gr. Nosler Partition, which can be a fine deer bullet. My Tikka .223 with the standard 1:12 twist stabilizes the 60 grain Nosler Partition quite well, but my grandkids use my two .243s.

I've seen what less than great hits with a .22-250 Rem do on deer and it's often not good. I don't know if there are readily available factory rounds for that caliber that are good for deer hunting. I don't recommend using varmint bullet factory loads for deer.

I used the .22-250 to kill deer in the past, but the 1:14 twist couldn't stabilize 60 grain bullets, so I was handloading 55 grain solid-based bullets that were available back then. It's unclear whether the 1:14 twist would stabilize 55 grain Barnes TSX bullets or Nosler 60 grain Partitions. Mine wouldn't stabilize 60 grain bullets.
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Old November 13, 2012, 03:51 PM   #22
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I guess if some of you have luck killing deer with a 223, then power to you. Maybe with the right bullet it can be done with predictable success. Now the 223 may produce the energy needed to kill a deer, but I thought a heavy bullet like something with at least 90 grains would give the needed momentum to bust through bones, and that's where the 6 mm bullets come in. However, I am not always stuck in a old school time warp, I'm open to new ideas when they work.
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Old November 13, 2012, 04:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
Most kids as young as 8 are not ready to hunt deer.
Don't tell that to kids down here in the South (especially Texas).... I already had 3 deer by my 8th birthday.... and there were others with more...
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Old November 13, 2012, 04:21 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyota1
I guess if some of you have luck killing deer with a 223, then power to you. Maybe with the right bullet it can be done with predictable success. Now the 223 may produce the energy needed to kill a deer, but I thought a heavy bullet like something with at least 90 grains would give the needed momentum to bust through bones, and that's where the 6 mm bullets come in. However, I am not always stuck in a old school time warp, I'm open to new ideas when they work.
Momentum is what busts through bone. Momentum is not a factor of weight alone, it is weight times velocity. While the 243 might have "more" than a 223, "more" doesn't matter, if you have "enough". A properly built .224 caliber bullet will have plenty, under the right conditions.

Personally, I'd rather have a 22-250 or 243 for just about any purpose over a 223 but it's not because I couldn't do the job with a 223. I just measured the differences and decided what's more important to me.

I'd shoot a deer with my .204Ruger in the blink of an eye under the right circumstances.

I've seen what 55gr .243 bullets do to deer. Trust me, it's plenty. Pushing that same bullet weight a couple hundred feet per second slower won't make it ineffective. The margin is smaller, for sure, but it's still there.
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Old November 13, 2012, 07:15 PM   #25
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If the kid is a good shot, I suppose a 223 would work Ok. Not the best round for deer, particularly for a sloppy shooter. My cousin (great shooter) made up a short barrelled and short LOP 223 single shot for his son and he took the time to teach his son how to shoot. The kid killed a lot of deer with that little rifle and all with one shot. On the other hand, a couple of my nephews tried to take deer with Dad's 223 Handi-rifle, but the kids were not good shooters, and they weren't using bullets of the quality available today. A lot of wounded deer were lost. I think that the 243 would allow for more shooter error, if that's a concern.
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