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Old August 15, 2013, 09:44 AM   #1
BoogieMan
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.243 for whitetail

My son inherited a .243 bolt gun from my FIL. Planning on using it this year on MO whitetail. Mostly old growth woods and pasture that he hunts with shots up to about 200yds. We have always been 30-06 family so I dont know where to start with a good factory cartridge. Thinking 100gr ish soft point. Maybe the Hornady Whitetail series
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Last edited by BoogieMan; August 15, 2013 at 09:48 AM. Reason: Checked ammo
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Old August 15, 2013, 09:48 AM   #2
Doyle
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You aren't going to find a 150 grn bullet for a .243.
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Old August 15, 2013, 09:48 AM   #3
1tfl
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I'm not aware of any 15gr 0ish bullet for .243 Winchester.
I've used Winchester 100 gr Power Point and Remington 100gr Lok-Core with good success on hogs and I'm sure they'll work well on deer too.
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Old August 15, 2013, 12:01 PM   #4
jmr40
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A 243 with good 85-105 gr bullets will put deer down every bit as good as the 30-06's you've been using. Not rocket science here. Find a load that is accurate and go kill a deer.
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Old August 15, 2013, 01:47 PM   #5
Art Eatman
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Whatever 100-grain (+/- 5 grains) gives good groups will quite well in a .243.

I use handloads with the Sierra 85-grain HPBT, although that load is now available from Hornady. It's a rather "blow-up" bullet, so I've limited myself to neck shots or cross-body heart/lung shots. No angling shots.

I've tagged a couple of dozen bucks with that load. Found 'em where I shot 'em.
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Old August 15, 2013, 02:26 PM   #6
tango1niner
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The .243 will work very well on whitetail deer. My bullet of choice is the 100 gr. Nosler Partition. It has worked very well for me.
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Old August 15, 2013, 02:28 PM   #7
AllenJ
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I'm a big fan of Barnes bullets for hunting. If you are too their Vor-tx line offers an 80 grain TTSX for that cartridge. I used those bullets in my reloads for my 243 Winchester and they were extremely accurate.
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Old August 15, 2013, 04:16 PM   #8
WIN1886
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Easy on the shoulder , flat shooting , a variety of great ammo to choose from for varmints to medium game......what's not to like ?
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Old August 15, 2013, 10:36 PM   #9
Bezoar
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Well .243 is good for deer. 100 grain bullets are a rather good thing to use. Its what i use. I havent taken a long shot with them, but work on accuracy if you plan to allow that youngin to take full advantage of those long open plots of land youll get to hunt on.

at that range, you dont have the same amount of wiggle room you would with a .308 or even 30-30
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Old August 15, 2013, 10:48 PM   #10
Wyosmith
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I'd give a "second" on Tango1Niner's recommendation.
100 gr Nosler Partition is the best all around .243 bullet made.
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Old August 15, 2013, 11:46 PM   #11
tahunua001
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I found that my rem 700 likes 100gr federal power shoks the best. my older brother swears by 100gr remington corelokts.

if your family reloads you might try nosler partitions or speer deep curls.
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Old August 16, 2013, 07:08 AM   #12
BoogieMan
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I reload, just not for 243. I noticed limited availability of cartridges online. So it may be less about what I want and more about whats available. I will look for something using 100gr noslers and settle for whatever I can find.
Like I said we have always used a 30-06 with 165 Sierra GK BT and the son who has the .243 was using a 30-30 with 160 leverelution Hornady.
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Old August 16, 2013, 07:30 AM   #13
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Killed a passle of swamp donkey's and sookies with a 90grn Nosler BT handload. Just pick my shots.
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Old August 16, 2013, 07:56 AM   #14
silvrjeepr
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.243 for whitetail

My son's rifle loves federal premium 95gr ballistic tips. His first doe dropped in her tracks at 110 yards. Awesome little round.
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Old August 16, 2013, 08:28 AM   #15
dahermit
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If you are not a hand loader, just buy any 100 grain .243 commercial load and go hunting. None of them are bad, in that they all kill deer effectively. The superior and mystical capabilities of premium bullets exists only in the minds of the easily misled.
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Old August 16, 2013, 08:42 AM   #16
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Great Whitetail round. I agree with what the others have said. If you reload, it is a really flexible round.
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Old August 16, 2013, 09:43 AM   #17
jrothWA
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Couple of year ago, the Michigan United Conservation Clubs,

on their TV show, ran a Jr. deer hunt, 12 yr. old used a .243 on about a 150lb., buck at 125yed from a elevated stand, hit the deer and FLIPPED it backwards with one shot.
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Old August 16, 2013, 07:14 PM   #18
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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When I use to hunt with a 243. First time out with the rife I put 4 rounds thu a deer's neck using 100 gr Federals at that time. One finally thur it ribs as it was running away from me out of frustration. Told a friend what happen as He was instrumental in my buying the rifle. He also was reloading 243 & 6mm a few years before me also. My friend at that time told me. Don't bother reloading any weights or brands besides the Hornady 75 HP or the Speer 80 gr SP. From that early 80s deer season to the the day I bought my 270 Rem Mtn rifle that is all I've ever reloaded and used in my 243. Never lost a deer or had to go much more than 50 yards to recover any deer shot with either of those two bullets. Most didn't go 50 ft. even. Only once did a deer struggle to walk those 50 yards. After being field dressed that MN buck weighed 246 lbs. two hour later at a local grainery and seed store. One thing I regret doing at the time of my 243s purchase. I traded a super clean Savage 99E 250-3000 even up for that Ruger 77 with its /saftey mounted on the pistol grip. Live & learn.

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Old August 16, 2013, 08:43 PM   #19
globemaster3
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+1 to dahermit. Find a 90-100 grain soft point or polymer tip hunting bullet it likes and shoot it! Lots of good recommendations given, but I'd be leery of hollow points... Those are more for varmint duty, which the .243 also handles very well.
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Old August 17, 2013, 05:58 AM   #20
Jack O'Conner
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The largest muley that I ever downed was taken with .243 and Winchester Power Point ammo. One shot through the chest at approx 150 yards toppled this heavy bodied animal. .243 is a keeper!

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Old August 17, 2013, 08:16 AM   #21
big al hunter
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Quote:
I reload, just not for 243. I noticed limited availability of cartridges online. So it may be less about what I want and more about whats available.
The price of a box of factory ammo is very close to the price of a die set. Problem solved. Load what you want.
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Old August 17, 2013, 08:21 AM   #22
hooligan1
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Yes it's definitely super for whitetails, and I handload 100 grain Sierra Gamekings for my daughters rifles (she has two .243 winchesters) and they love that bullet.... She's taken a nice mature eight-pointer at 80 yds frontal chest shot, right through the heart with super penetration... Its a keeper for whitetails.
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Old August 17, 2013, 08:32 AM   #23
Lemmon
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I agree with dahermit....

I agree with dahermit.... I have found that the 100 grain PSP will easily take deer and crows. At least that is what I have found.

Lemmon from Rural South Carolina
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Old August 17, 2013, 12:59 PM   #24
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Many may not know. But Hornady prior to all these plastic tipped bullets hitting the market place. They labeled a few of their bullets as having a dual purpose. Hunting & Varmint abilities. Their 24-cal 75 gr HP was so labeled that way for many years. OP consider this:

75gr. HP traveling 3500-fps has about 1950 foot pounds of energy at 100 yrds.

100 gr. (whatever) at best 3100-fps"" 2134 foot pounds of energy at 100 yrds.

Both energy listing are more than adequate to knock a deer down. Where the difference is. Are their speeds. That 75 HP hardly ever exists the body cavity. So it dumps its entire energy factor inside the animal>where as the 100 gr. more than likely will exit the deer and most of its energy factor will be exiting with its bullet as well.

I can in all honestly say of all the deer I ever harvested with my 243 were only shot once. (maybe 15 or so animals) either in the center of its white patch seen on their necks just below their lower jaw. Or into their rib cage.
If you choose to use the heavier weight bullets. And find yourself having to shoot repetitive shots occasionally to stop the animal. Can't say I didn't tell you so. As my comment is nothing more than my experience concerning the 75/80 gr. bullets verses the 100 gr. PSP and its disappointing results. But in the end its your rifle, your hunt. You use what ever bullet weight you desire Sir.

S/S
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Old August 17, 2013, 01:39 PM   #25
Erno86
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I would probably go with the Barnes bullets for increased penetration. Not quite sure whether any 243 bullet is effective {besides a spinal or femoral hit} on a last chance tail end shot, on a large wounded, running whitetail buck. Soon as the kid is able...I would suggest graduating the youngster to a larger caliber bullet.
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