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Old August 6, 2013, 02:53 PM   #1
cmdc
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.243 questions/advice needed

I have recently taken up a primary residence in FL, and want to hunt feral hogs here. I have quite a number of rifles that would suffice for hog hunting, but I don't currently own a .243 and want to get one. Is it big enough for any hogs I might encounter in Florida?

I was thinking about a Remington 7600 synthetic stock.

Thanks for any input.
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Old August 6, 2013, 03:06 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Yes
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Old August 6, 2013, 03:10 PM   #3
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the .243 Winchester is an excellent cartridge. I have taken animals as large as Rocky Mountain elk with it. I imagine it will work fine for Florida swine.
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Old August 6, 2013, 03:16 PM   #4
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ANY excuse to buy a new gun is a GOOD one...... You need a 243, without it all of your friends will point and laugh at you and make funny faces when your back is turned. Don't become the laughing stock of your group!!!

Go buy a 243 NOW!!!

Seriously, it will beat them little piggies down....
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Old August 6, 2013, 03:39 PM   #5
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I've been using a .243 with Federal Power Shok 80 grain cartridges for a few years now. Very effective...
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Old August 6, 2013, 04:20 PM   #6
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Based on my experience, I would say yes.

I have used Remington model 7 in 243 to take several FL hogs up to 219 lbs. plus couple deers. I use Winchester 100gr. Power Point ammo in mine since they are readily available at any Walmart store and cheap ($19,98 per box). The icing on the cake is that they will shoot 1" groups at 100 yards all day. The 100gr. Remington Core Lok is good too but they are not easily found around here.
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Old August 6, 2013, 05:51 PM   #7
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Remington's slide action rifle has been perfected since it's introduction in the late 1950's. They really build a very good fast handling hunting rifle. Elitist critics say the trigger is mushy but I've found the tiny bit of creep to my liking for precision shooting. In a so-called normal hunting situation the trigger is quite good indeed.

243 has been slaying beasts of all sizes for several decades. Its a keeper!

Black Hills Ammo offers super accurate factory ammunition if that is your focus. But Winchester, FEDERAL, Remington, and Hornady offer good hunting ammo, too.

Good hunting to you.

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Old August 6, 2013, 08:39 PM   #8
cmdc
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Thanks guys, the 7600 is on its way. Now if you would be so kind as to make a scope recommendation?
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Old August 6, 2013, 08:49 PM   #9
reynolds357
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Assuming you don't choose a bullet designed for exploding in a chipmunk.
At the moment, the Meopta MeoPro is a heck of a scope for what it costs.
You can do better, but I dont know of anything that even begins to rival it in the dollar for dollar category.
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Old August 6, 2013, 11:14 PM   #10
big al hunter
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Now if you would be so kind as to make a scope recommendation?
Sure, pick one of these http://www.vortexoptics.com/category/riflescopes I recommend at least the Diamondback series, Viper or higher if you can afford it. Best warranty around, though I doubt you will need it.
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Old August 7, 2013, 08:01 AM   #11
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I'm a big fan of the 7600,good choice I use 3x9x50 Leupold on mine fond on sale @LGS FOR 200 BUCKS. good luck
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Old August 7, 2013, 08:11 AM   #12
cmdc
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I appreciate the input from you guys.

The place where I ordered the .243 also has a 7600 synthetic in .270. I'm thinking about getting that one as well. Those two rifles would take care of just about anything in the lower 48, let alone Florida, I'm thinking.
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Old August 7, 2013, 09:00 AM   #13
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I think you'll be very happy choosing a 243 Winchester, it is one of my favorite cartridges. Light, light recoil, very accurate, and if you do your part and put the right bullet in the right spot it does an excellent job of killing.
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Old August 7, 2013, 09:53 AM   #14
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IMHO the best value for the money right now is the Bushnell 4200 Elite 3-9X40mm scope. This is an excellent scope for 95% of hunting people will do. The glass is very sharp and clear and mechanically they hold up to some heavy recoiling calibers. I feel they are just as good or maybe even better than Leupold VXIII or Nikon Monarch series scopes. I have one on my truck rifle for past 3 years and despite all the abuse it gets the scope has never failed me. The scope's POA/POI has not changed at all. I've liked them enough to buy 3 more. I found them on the internet for under $300 each.
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Old August 7, 2013, 08:20 PM   #15
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1Tfl, where are you finding the 4200? I love them but have not been able to find any since Bushnell obsoleted them.
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Old August 7, 2013, 08:47 PM   #16
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I got the first one from Natchez.
Other 3 were ordered from Overstock.com and Opticsplanet.com
Last one I got was only $199 with free shipping from Overstock.com
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Old August 8, 2013, 02:29 AM   #17
reynolds357
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Thanks, I will look at those places.
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Old August 8, 2013, 09:37 AM   #18
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Having grown up in Florida hunting deer and hogs, and having the opportunity to chase pigs in a couple other states thanks to the USAF, the .243 will serve you well. My oldest used one to take her first pig, a 250 lb sow, as well as her first deer, a 100 lb spike, and both were 1-shot deals using 100gr Winchester Silvertip ammo. Growing up, many of my friends used .243s and I first-hand witnessed their effectiveness.

As for scopes, you've been given many great recommendations. I'll also throw in Nikon. I use several with no problems.

I have also done business with Natchez and have been pleased.
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Old August 8, 2013, 11:39 AM   #19
cmdc
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Great suggestions, thanks to all of you. When hunting pigs, do any of you who are experienced in that endeavor find that an illuminated reticle is preferable?
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Old August 8, 2013, 02:15 PM   #20
1tfl
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Illuminated reticle can be a good feature but it can also be totally useless.

If you are hunting on public land (WMA) your shooting time is from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset and during those first and last 30 minutes you can turn down the magnification on the scope and collect enough light to see your target and reticle without any problem. It is not necessary to have illuminated reticle. I personally just keep my 3-9X scope at 3X for 95% of my shooting and I can see everything.

On private land you can hunt hogs at night (hogs are mostly active at night) with gun light and illuminated reticle can be as asset as it makes it easier to pickup your POA. Some people hunt them at night during full moon in the open land and if you keep your scope set a low power you can pickup the hogs and reticle without too much problem especially if you have light color back ground... like sugar sand. An illuminated scope would help in such hunting situations.

One problem with illuminated reticle is that cheap one are too bright to use during low light periods. Even at the minimum brightness setting they are too bright and you have problem seeing the target. Well made (read expensive) illuminated reticle scopes are useful as their low settings are usually very low and has just a slight red illumination that doesn't destroy rest of the view yet allow you to pickup the POA quickly and easily.
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Old August 9, 2013, 03:29 PM   #21
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.243 and scope

I've become a .243 fan in the past few years, primarily because I started killing deer w/ one, and so has bamaboy. They are easy rifles to shoot well, due to low recoil and their inherent accuracy. The few I have worked with have all been accurate with factory ammo or handloads w/o any special search or fuss. My older carbine does especially like 100 gr Noslers but still delivers about 1.5 MOA. The full size bolt rifle shoots about anything we feed it well.

My Dad was never a great shot due to cross dominance primarily, but also a flinch habit. In his later years, he shot better, primarily because hew switched to the .243 anbd it did not beat him up.

I think the great all arounder in sport scopes is still the 3-9x variable, and I am a big fan of Leupold. A Vari-II, or whatever they call their second level scopes these days, is fine investment and will not break the bank. And I know several guys who hunt the entry level VX-I scopes and are not unhappy. For portability, I'd not go larger than a 40mm bell.

If you want to really simplify, I would go on to suggest a fixed 6x Leupold. As long as you do not intend to hunt really small varmints at long range, and stick to deer and hogs, a fixed 6 offers fewer parts (less to go wrong?) and enough x power for reasonable long range and bench tests at 100, and not to much in the woods. The 6x helps you find holes in the brush and count points that a lower powered scope will not. I try not to shoot at running game, but a 6x at all but rock throwing distance does not seem to be a hindrance. Look at the 42mm version if you will hunt alot from shooting houses in low light, as it might help brighten things a bit. The 36mm version works just fine for me as an all arounder.

Good luck w/ youir new rig.
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Old August 9, 2013, 08:55 PM   #22
cmdc
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Thanks.

I have a question regarding twist rate. The 7600 has a 1:9.125 twist. That rate will stabilize 105 gr bullets OK? How does it do with lighter bullets. What weight would you recommend for pigs?
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Old August 10, 2013, 04:13 AM   #23
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Can I ask: Do you really need/want a scope?

This is not a sarcastic question but rather one based on much experience here in Florida and tempered by your noting that this is a rifle for hog hunting.

Part of the fun of hunting hogs is that you have a fair chance of walking them up, even of getting VERY close if you work at it. Fact is that when they are in a group, assuming you work in from down wind!!, they often make enough noise to where you can stalk to within a few yards, if not feet. Done so many times in the last 40+ years of hunting. Even shot a few with the bow while hunting this way.

Last one was on Christmas morning, all of 15 FEET.

Now I point this out simply because getting close is one of the things that makes hog hunting exciting. Sure, you can set up a feeder and blast away at a hundred yards, it works and the hogs shot this way will eat as good as any you slip up on. Might even be that for reasons of health or due to club rules this may be how you have to do it.

But......if you plan on stalking, or if you set up in tight woods, of which there are a whole lot here in Florida!!, it's a good bet that few if any of your shots will be at more than 75 yards or so. And the possibility of getting MUCH closer is very real.

This being so I would suggest you try a red dot sight of some sort......at least as a experiment. You can get very serviceable ones from Bushnell ( Lifetime warranty. ) for less than $100 new, even cheaper is you buy off eBay used.

Mount it and shoot it at the range, OFFHAND, and then see what it will do from a rest a 100 yards. The offhand shots will give you a real idea of what happens in the woods while stalking and the bench rest shots will convince you that it is easy to attain very serviceable accuracy should you decide to hunt over corn.

And do take a few shot with the red dot up VERY close, 10 yards or less. Take note of how fast you can get on target and how intuitive it is to use.

Then do the same with a scope. Sure, the scope will be more accurate from the bench but do consider that the 1-2 inch group attained at 100 yards from the bench is functionally no different than the 2-3 inch group you most likely shot with the red dot ( The wife's .243 will do 2 inches easy with the red dot. ).

And then consider the offhand.......especially the up close and the acquisition speed aspects. The red dot will win these hands down.

I know that in the standard is for everyone to want a "scope" and I'll admit that I have them on a couple of rifles. Fact is there is a need and a very large place for them when hunting all sorts of game, even times when one is almost indispensable.

Still, for HOG HUNTING it's worth considering the alternative.

And do note that if you buy one off eBay used and find not to your liking you can resell it and have spent $20-40 to try it.......AND.....you'll have had a excuse to play with your new rifle and to go to the range a extra time. Both of which are good enough excuse in and of themselves to try the red dot.

Last thing......the Aimpoint Micros are spectacular for this especially when mounted in a Scout position........kind of expensive though.
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Old August 10, 2013, 02:57 PM   #24
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The place where I ordered the .243 also has a 7600 synthetic in .270. I'm thinking about getting that one as well. Those two rifles would take care of just about anything in the lower 48, let alone Florida, I'm thinking.
I'm a fan of .270 Winchester. I have been shooting them my whole life, and I believe the cartridge is adequate for anything in the Americas.

However....
For some one that doesn't plan on having several dozen hunting rifles to choose from, and is likely to have only a .243 Win and something a little bigger for a while, I'd recommend picking up a .30-06 as the 'big brother'.

With .30-06 you have more ammunition choices and a better economy of scale (they sell much more of it, so it's often cheaper than .270 Win).


One last thing-
Before you fall too far down the rabbit hole, be sure you know where you'll be chasing hogs, and that the rifle will be legal. Some areas don't allow firearms at all, and some areas only allow firearms during deer/hog season. The rest of the year, your rifle just gathers dust.
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Old August 10, 2013, 04:12 PM   #25
cmdc
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To answer questions/comments: re: the scope issue, I am not opposed to a red dot for hog hunting, in fact I have a couple ARs set up that way.

Frankenmauser, I appreciate your comment re the 270/30-06. As it happens, I actually do have a bunch if rifles, probably between two and three dozen in a variety of calibers and actions BUT, none in 243 and no pump actions. I do like the extra versatility of the '06 for its potential with larger game, i.e. moose and big bears. I'm still on the fence regarding the 270/30-06. Up to now I've been primarily a collector/shooter, but want to start hunting in earnest, hence all of the questions.
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