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Old September 16, 2013, 06:55 PM   #26
Geo_Erudite
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Originally Posted by Garycw
Then I assume the .243 is even less recoil but a lighter bullet?
I would prefer a 6mm Remington but I would take a .243. The only thing is no gun manufacturer makes a .243 with a 1-7 twist needed for the 115 grain Bergers.

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Old September 16, 2013, 08:23 PM   #27
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Looking at the original post, it appears that the rifle will be used mostly for informal target shooting with some hunting. The elk and bear are potential quarry but not certain.

Yes, the .243 will likely be the most fun to shoot - I have one, a .270, and a 30-06. The principal issue is the heavy end of the game spectrum. While a number of people have successfully pursued elk and bear with it, the .243 is inadequate for intentionally hunting these animals. Indeed, some folks have had trouble anchoring larger deer with it.

The 6.5 caliber is a better choice because the bullets are heavier, while still light enough that the recoil is reasonably mild. The .270 offers very little over the 6.5 caliber since the range of bullet weights is almost identical.

Moving to .30 caliber, the 30-06 can readily handle heavier bullets than the .308 and has higher velocity. Factory loads top out at 180 gr for the .308 while the '06 enjoys multiple options for 200 grain bullets and a couple or more 220 gr. One can also purchase or reload managed recoil ammunition for the 30-06 giving the rifle recoil comparable to that of the .243 Win.

So, the goals of the OP suggest that one can narrow the options to the 6.5/260 or the 30-06 Springfield. The choice will narrow down to where you want to center your shooting.
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Old September 16, 2013, 09:26 PM   #28
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Choosing best all around caliber?

Thanks JA , bear and elk will be unlikely since in SE-KY there's a lottery for elk I'm sure pretty sure I'd never win and if you ever shot one without they're supposably tagged with GPS and would be in big trouble. Bear would be a little more common, but would not shoot unless I had too for some reason. #1 use would be informal target shooting. #2 coyote and #3 deer.
Luckily I haven't seen any wild hogs, but would shoot on sight.
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Old September 17, 2013, 07:49 PM   #29
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Gary,

Sounds like you want to go with the fun-shooting caliber.

Have you thought about the 6.5 Grendel in either a bolt-action or AR?

It is competitive in F-Class out to 600 yards and more than capable for all the game you mentioned.

The .243 Winchester will probably be enough for the game you mention, especially if you use one of the all-copper expanding bullets. The .260 Remington would work fine if you are thinking of competitive shooting out to 1000 yards.

In the end, the rifle that you will like shooting is the one to go with. You'll get more trigger time and be a better shot.
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Old September 17, 2013, 08:52 PM   #30
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Choosing best all around caliber?

I'm not sure what a 6.5 Grendel is, but it sounds hard to find. I think I've ruled out the .223 and 30-06 which to me leaves the .243-.270 -.308.
I'm thinking the .270 is a good compromise and easy to find ammo. I would eventually like to get into reloading one rifle cal. and 45ACP to start with.
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Old September 18, 2013, 12:53 AM   #31
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I'm not sure I follow your thought process. To me, there are only a few reasons to pick a .308 over a .30-06.

#1. You want to avoid a .30-06 length action in favor of a short .308 action.
#2. Ammo availability, both match and general ammo is perceived to be better for the .308. Or maybe you already have one .308 and don't want to stock another caliber.
#3. There might be a particular gun you want in .308 but not .30-06.

I am assuming #3 is out, because you haven't picked a gun yet.

There is plenty of great .30-06 ammo, so #2 is inconsequential at best. This is especially true since you are considering other calibers like the .270, where match ammo is much harder to find than either the .308 or .30-06. This is doubly true when you start to consider the wide variety of .30 caliber bullets available to the reloaded relative to the .270.

Since you list .270 as a favored choice, you clearly don't care about #1.

Since none of the above reasons really matter to you, I would boil it down to .270 or .30-06, rather than .308. Ignoring the above three reasons for going with the .308, there is nothing the .308 can do that the .30-06 can't do just a bit better.

You sound like you have ruled out the .243. It is a short action with limited match ammo as well.

There is nothing wrong with the .270, but I think for a do-all rifle, the .30-06 is a bit better. It has better match ammo. It can accommodate a wider variety of bullet weights. It has a much wider selection of projectiles and factory ammo available for it.

The only downside I see is it may kick more, it I doubt you will notice the difference, especially with judicious load choice. That's my logic, which is worth what you paid for it. I will leave you with one final thought. I am not down on the .270. If the .270 just "speaks to you" than that's the one to get. It will do what you ask of it and you will always wish you had it instead of something else. If it doesn't speak to you in some way, I would choose the .30-06 over the .270 for the above cited reasons.
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Old September 18, 2013, 01:06 AM   #32
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My aunt & uncle were big game hunters U.S. & Canada in the 50's he used a Winchester 30-06 & she used a 270. She ended up getting a 2nd place Boone & Crockett Mountain Caribou as well as smaller game with her 270.
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Old September 18, 2013, 07:27 PM   #33
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The .243 WILL be adequate for the needs you describe, provided you don't get the itch to go elk hunting. The .270 is more than enough, but my experience with it indicates that the recoil takes some managing, especially from the bench unless reduced loads are used.

Here are a couple of links to help answer your question about the 6.5 Grendel. The first is an on-line article that discusses the cartridge and its utility for medium game:

http://shootersnotes.com/grendelmania/

The second is a forum dedicated to this cartridge. Yes, it is definitely not as common (yet) as the .243 or the .270:

http://www.65grendel.com/forum/
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Old September 18, 2013, 09:55 PM   #34
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What distance will you be shooting at?. I would go with the 308. It is just a all around cartridge. It will also shoot a 200 plus gn bullet with ease. Cheaper to load that the 06 or the 270. If you are going to be shooting past 300 or 400 yards ( for game only ) maybe then look else where. Target shooting or small game- 308 all the way. Don't let people tell you the 308 won,t handle a 220 gn bullet. The 308 starts to shine bright when you get to the heavier bullets. It will not match the 06 or the 270, but will have no issue dropping anything you shoot.
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Old September 19, 2013, 05:55 PM   #35
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Choosing best all around caliber?

I'm starting to think the 243 may be a good choice. I'm Not a big fan of heavy recoil. Mainly looking for flat long range round with minimal drop. I have a 30-30, 303 and 7.62x.54r.
Deer would likely be the biggest game it would be used for, but mainly for target shooting
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Old September 19, 2013, 07:07 PM   #36
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If you like the .243, you owe it to yourself to consider the 7mm-08
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Old September 19, 2013, 07:22 PM   #37
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Ammo cost and availability of cheap surplus crap is 100% irrelevant. Whether it be target or hunting you will be using ammo far and away better than the cheapo stuff you see. Dollar for dollar ammo is gonna be about the same across the board until you get to the magnum stuff.

Being said, I have a large disdain for the .30-06 and any cartridge it is based off of. Even more disdain for people who split hairs over the -06 vs. the .308.

There are 100's of cartridges that will do what you want. Anything from .243/6mm up to the .30's. Some may also toss in some 35's and 45's. Personally I go looking for a short action gun and let the gun talk to you more than the cartridge.
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Old September 20, 2013, 11:31 PM   #38
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I like it in the middle of the road 25-06 or 270 anything from ground hogs to elk even took a couple black bear with the 25-06. Not bad at the range either.
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Old September 23, 2013, 11:37 PM   #39
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stir the pot

In a world of bonded bullets and expanding copper bullets and other high performance bullets do you think if Jack O'Conner were alive today that the 243 might be his 270? In his time using the smaller 270 vs. 3006 was radical people thought it to small or to light for elk and large deer he proved them wrong. Today with premium bullets the 243 is a very effective round.
bb

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Old September 24, 2013, 07:48 PM   #40
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from Buzzard Bait:
Quote:
In a world of bonded bullets and expanding copper bullets and other high performance bullets do you think if Jack O'Conner were alive today that the 243 might be his 270? In his time using the smaller 270 vs. 3006 was radical people thought it to small or to light for elk and large deer he proved them wrong. Today with premium bullets the 243 is a very effective round.
I would reluctantly have to agree. If I recall correctly, Jack O'Conner spent most of his time going after deer of all types, with the odd elk and moose thrown in. There is a new paper describing 'ideal' bullet weights for various size game animals at http://shootersnotes.com/ideal-bullet-weight/. The chart in the note indicates that an 80 grain all-copper bullet is as about as effective as the 130 grain .270 bullet of his day. Nosler partition bullets were just coming into favor towards the end of his active hunting days, so he probably did not include their performance in his judgement.

You will also see that all-copper bullets will not make the .243 Winchester a credible elk caliber.

Provided the twist will stabilize the longer bullets, the premium bullets move the .25 caliber line of cartridges into being adequate for elk.

The 6.5 calibers, on the other hand, have long enjoyed a capability for both elk and moose by virtue of the 160 grain bullets useable in their fast twist barrels.
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Old September 24, 2013, 07:48 PM   #41
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Choosing best all around caliber?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzard Bait View Post
In a world of bonded bullets and expanding copper bullets and other high performance bullets do you think if Jack O'Conner were alive today that the 243 might be his 270? In his time using the smaller 270 vs. 3006 was radical people thought it to small or to light for elk and large deer he proved them wrong. Today with premium bullets the 243 is a very effective round.
bb
Is the .243 as flat a trajectory as the .270? I'm looking for long range accuracy with the least recoil. Mainly for target shooting. Hunting would be secondary.
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Old September 24, 2013, 07:54 PM   #42
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You really can't go wrong with any of them. I prefer the .308 but a sound argument can be made for any of the three.

The .308 does have a little less recoil than the 30.06 if you can shoot one, you can shoot all three. The .308 does have a shorter action as well.

As far as surplus 7.62x51, I've shot some and the accuracy isn't great. I haven't been inclined to purchase any more.
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Old September 24, 2013, 09:41 PM   #43
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from Garycw -
Quote:
Is the .243 as flat a trajectory as the .270? I'm looking for long range accuracy with the least recoil. Mainly for target shooting. Hunting would be secondary.
Close enough to not matter for the 80 - 90 gr .243 bullets compared to the 130 gr in .270 Win.

Recoil is light enough that you can shoot a lot more on the bench than the .270, the .308, or the '06.

The .260 Remington and 6.5 Creedmoor will give you better long range accuracy than the others plus are better hunting cartridges. Recoil will be intermediate.
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Old September 25, 2013, 07:24 AM   #44
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Here ya go.... These would be the latest high performance rounds for both calibers. That way you can decide for yourself. The 6.5 Creedmore in 129grain SST Superformance specs are between the 243 and the 270 Win.


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Old September 25, 2013, 11:39 AM   #45
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Thanks for that picture Mystro.
Even a 150gr in the .270 loaded up to 2900fps with a high BC bullet (Nosler accubond 'long range' claims a G1 BC of .625) has marginally less drop than the 95 grain .243 load you posted.
I used the same scope height, 1.5'' with a 200 yard zero. At sea level 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It has nearly identical drop to the .243
38.13'' of drop @ 500yrds and what's more important, only 13.65'' of wind drift in a 10mph 90 degree crosswind. Still traveling almost 2200fps and carrying 1611ft/lbs energy, in case you're hunting and not just shooting paper.
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Old September 25, 2013, 12:29 PM   #46
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If I were hunting big game like elk with the possibility of moose, you could even split the difference with a 140 grain Superformance. Its a toss up because now a good bonded 130 gain might be all you need. I carry 150 grain soft points for heavy brush hunting with my 270. It shoots right at POI as my 130's do and that is a wonderful thing about the 270.

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Old September 25, 2013, 12:49 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by JASmith
The chart in the note indicates that an 80 grain all-copper bullet is as about as effective as the 130 grain .270 bullet of his day. Nosler partition bullets were just coming into favor towards the end of his active hunting days, so he probably did not include their performance in his judgement.

You will also see that all-copper bullets will not make the .243 Winchester a credible elk caliber.

The 80gr copper bullets are as effective as a 130gr .270 and the 80gr does not make the .243 a "credible elk gun" so the logical conclusion being that a 130gr .270 of JOC's day was not a "credible elk gun".

Hogwash. Plenty of folks use .243Win on elk. Those charts are as valid as "You need 1000 ft/lbs for deer" or "You need 1500 ft/lbs for elk". Numbers picked from somebody's posterior because it puts their Chosen Cartridge in the "Go Zone" and everything lesser is out.
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Old September 25, 2013, 03:27 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Brian Pfleuger
Hogwash. Plenty of folks use .243Win on elk. Those charts are as valid as "You need 1000 ft/lbs for deer" or "You need 1500 ft/lbs for elk". Numbers picked from somebody's posterior because it puts their Chosen Cartridge in the "Go Zone" and everything lesser is out.
What's plenty of folks? I know exactly two hunters that have used the .243 Win on elk. One because that is the only rifle he managed to keep in a divorce, and another because that was the only rifle he had with him in the truck to put down a wounded cow. I've seen the video of the girl that killed an elk with the .243 as well and have even posted it a few times.

Of course a .243 Win will kill an elk, so will a .223, .22 Hornet, and .22 LR. Just because it is capable of killing something doesn't make it a "credible" elk cartridge. Anyone who has spent time in hunting elk will tell you just becasue it can kill it doesn't make it ideal for the job.

I don't have a hard and fast caliber/cartridge rule myself for elk hunting. Nor do I beleive there is a magical formula for how much energy is required to successfully kill big game. I do however feel that anything 6.5mm and up is a good place to start for elk. There are just better bullet options available starting in the 6.5 range and up when it comes to hunting elk.
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Old September 25, 2013, 03:28 PM   #49
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308 hands down.
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Old September 25, 2013, 04:14 PM   #50
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Quote:
308 hands down.
care to elaborate on that? 308 has cropped up very little on this particular thread, probably with good reason. I think I am sensing a pattern here.
lets take a look at your second most recent post:
Quote:
308 is the best IMO
no other posts regarding 308 and nothing with any detail whatsoever. if you see a thread and want to contribute that's fine and dandy but to contribute without actually contributing anything is pretty pointless. sorry if I'm being blunt but your post offers nothing but an opinion without any amplifying data to allow the discussion to carry on.
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