View Full Version : .243 Deer loads

December 15, 2004, 09:54 AM
I just got a .243 rifle. I hunt deer in the mornings in woods (shots under 125 yards) and over fields in the evening (Shots over 100 yards). After looking at different Ballistic charts. I 've settle on several possible deer loads. All are factory ammo since I don't hand load. My top five are: Horandy 100 gr. BTSP light magnum,
Federal 100 gr. Vital Shok Sierra Gamking BTSP,
Federal 85 gr. Vital Shok Sierra Gameking BTHP,
Winchester 95 gr. Ballistic Silvertip, and
Remington 95 gr. Premier Accutip.
Any REAL world experience with these rounds would be helpful. :)

December 15, 2004, 04:25 PM
I don't know if Federal loads their Nosler Partition load for the .243 or not. I used this load in 6mm Rem for quite a while with great success out to about 350 yds.

That said, any good softpoint will work, but I would probably stay away from the ballistic tip or accu-tip type bullets.

YMMV, and any and all advice is worth exactly what you paid for it :D

Long Path
December 15, 2004, 06:04 PM
For deer, I believe the 100 grain bullet is the way to go in .243. I'm also a big fan of the Game King bullet, both for accuracy and for reliable expansion and weight retention. Thus, I would have to favor the Federal load listed first. I'm a handloader, and that's probably the factory version of the very same load that I'm going to standardize on in my .243.

Ruger # 1
December 15, 2004, 07:08 PM
I've used several loads to take deer with in the .243. Any bullet over 90 grs. does fine. I've used the 100 gr. Gameking and the 85 gr. Gameking. Both have performed well on broadside lung shots. Most deer have dropped within 15 yards. The 85 gr. HPBT is pure lightening, but its a little soft for me. I'd use it on deer again (and probably will), but I will only take behind the shoulder shots. It's not tough enough to reliably penetrate the shoulder blade, in my opinion. My experience with the Hornady Interlocks has been very positive in larger calibers, but I've never used it in the .243. The Ballistic Tips ,aka Ballistic Silvertips, have performed extremely well on deer sized game, but I've not used it in the .243 either. I've worked up a vary accurate load using the 95 gr. Ballistic Tip (the same bullet Winchester loads in the .243) that I plan to use for deer in the future. I handload most of the time, but another very good factory load is Winchester's 100 gr. Power-Point. That is one of the best factory softpoints I've ever used. Hopefully this helps!

December 16, 2004, 07:12 AM
From what I've read a 100 gr. bullet is the way to go. I noticed on my list only 1 was a 100 gr. bullet. The next six that I looked at (I wrote down a possible 15 rounds) are: Remington 90 gr. Swift Scirocco bonded,
Horandy 100 gr. Boat tail spire point,
Federal 100 gr. Premium Vital Shok Nosler Partition,
Remington 100 gr. Premier Core-Lokt Ultra (pointed soft point),
Winchester 100 gr. Supreme Power-point Plus, and
Federal 100 gr. Premium Vital Shok Nosler Solid base Boat tail.
I picked these round by looking at their ballistic charts, specifically at foot pound of energy down range.
Real world experience/feedback is needed.

December 16, 2004, 10:46 AM
I find using my Remington 700 all weather 243Win, that RE19 works very well, using Hornadys 100gr interlock SP/BT or FB both work well, I also noticed the Fed GM210M GoldMatch primers worked very well, I also use CCI mag primers as well, Lee factory crimp,good to go. The 243 Win using these components I mentioned shoot clover leaf all day. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.

Art Eatman
December 19, 2004, 10:29 PM
I recommend one of the 100-grain bullets, although I've never used them. :) My pet handload has been the Sierra 85-grain HPBT, but I've always limited its use to smaller deer and almost all neck shots. (Smaller being field-dressed weight under 120 pounds.) But, I had some 30 years of rifle shooting behind me when I added a .243 to the "menagerie".



December 22, 2004, 06:53 PM
My Ruger M77 shoots 100 grain Remington CoreLokt more accurately than any other factory load I have tried. I have only taken two deer, one buck, one doe, with the .243, but both were good clean kills, both under 100 yards. My Son has the rifle now, and he uses it with good results in North Fla. on hogs, deer, and the occasional racoon or coyote.

December 23, 2004, 06:51 PM
Mannlicher, its funny, but my Savage .243 shoots Winchester, both 85 gr and 100 gr, better than Remington in the same sizes. The 85 gr has slightly smaller groups and for me the Super X does just as good as the premium. I like neck shots too, but I haven't shot at all as many deer as Art. Maybe we should ask JKump what brand of rifle he has?

December 24, 2004, 06:01 AM
I just picked up a NEF .243 Handi rifle Ultra light. I have been sighting in the scope with Winchester's 100 grain super x (cheapest round I could find $11.25 a box). I am using Horandy 100 grain light mags BTSP for hunting.

December 24, 2004, 10:00 AM
The 100 grain Remington Core-Lokt will shoot completely through a white tail, even if you destroy both shoulders. It will expand nicely in the process, and leave an exit wound about two inches in diameter, which provides a dandy blood trail, if needed.

Shot through the lungs or heart with this load, very few deer will make an honest 25 yards.

Generally about 12 dollars a box, you can't go wrong with this round.
Good hunting! :)

December 30, 2004, 12:25 AM
Years ago I shot 2 deer on a Wyoming hunt with a Remingto 600 using 105 grain Sierras. Mine was at thirty feet and I couldn't see anything but hair in the scope. Neck shot (lucky) and she dropped immediately. The other one my boss had wounded in a hind leg with a 270 and when it ran my way I shot it through the heart. It went head first into a boulder and I thought the rack would be destroyed. No damage to the rack. It was a stepped off 175 long strides. And of course my boss had to brag he got the biggest deer.

January 3, 2005, 07:48 PM
Federal loads 100 grain partitions in their premium line that i would highly recommend. I currently dont have a .243 but i did last hunting season and that rifle took 4 mule deer all big does (2 for me and 2 for my brother) the little partitions preformed admirably with no tracking required and all single shot kills we also noticed that every shot left an exit wound except for one that was off angle and over 150 yards and we still found it just under the hide

75 grain ballistic tip varmints really stomp on coyotes too .243 is a great gun you wont be disappointed