View Full Version : .243 NEF & 80 gr. Remington Core Lokt?

Zen Archery
April 11, 2005, 04:10 PM
Got the little woman a .243 NEF as her first firearm. We are having a blast shooting coyotes and other varmints. Even target pratice is a ball. We are currently using 80 gr. Remington Core Lokt bullets and they seem to perform wonderfully on `yotes. What about deer?

I know they make 100 gr. bullets for the .243 but what is the general philosophy about smaller grain bullets vs larger grain bullets on deer?

Any advice would be appreciated.

April 11, 2005, 06:37 PM
The problem with using larger weight bullets in that cal is the rifle twists, Most 6mm rem, will not stabalize the larger bullets and accuracy can really suck.
As far as the gun that your shoting, if its the same as 243 rem your probably alright, and personaly for deer the heaver the bullet the better. Some of the bullets I use to take earthen pigies (ground hogs) explode when they hit and probably would not be recomended for deer.
You need to check the twist of your barrel and compair it to others.
Sorry couldnt be more help

April 11, 2005, 07:33 PM
80's will work fine on deer, but a little more weight (25%increase) sure doesn't hurt it's performance on deer. Most of the guys that I know that use a .243 for deer do go for the heavier bullets. As Ozzieman mentioned the twist rate of your rifle might not be optimum for the heavier bullets, but it should handle them okay. I guess you will just have to buy a couple of boxes of heavier bulleted ammo (try a couple different brands if possible) and see if the rifle "likes" them. I used to use a .243 Rem. 788, used 100 grain bullets in for deer, but traded it off long ago, after I went to using a .270. Recently bought one of the new Charles Daly Mausers in .243, but haven't had much time to work up a load for it. I have a nephew who just started deer hunting last year with a borrowed rifle, and this one will be "his".
good luck


Long Path
April 12, 2005, 03:00 AM
Look, I KNOW that the 80g 243 bullets can, will, and do kill deer, and I know that a lot of good ethical hunters that I respect have used it for such. But I personally believe that the 100g bullets are much better, due to the superior sectional density to allow for better penetration. Also, *some* of the 80g bullets are lightly-constructed varmint bullets, and some are heavier-constructed bullets that might be used on deer. I don't know which that one is.

You might split the difference, and go with a 90g offering with a good bullet, like Remington's Premier 90g Swift™ Scirocco™ Bonded, which is loaded to 3120 fps, and has the highest ballistic coefficient in Remington's line of .243 loads. It's not loaded quite as fast as the 80g, but you still get a nice flat trajectory: http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=12556&stc=1

And should you hit a shoulder, or rib, or hit from too far back and need the penetration to reach the vitals, you've got a heavier bullet that will penetrate.

April 12, 2005, 03:35 AM
The old story about 100 gr. .243 bullets not stablizing is a thing of the past. It began with the .244 Remington in Remington rifles. They used a 1:14 twist which is great for lighter bullets but would not stablize anything over 95 grs. The Winchester .243 was different. Winchester specified a 1:12 twist for their round which will stablize most everything from 70 grs. to 100 grs. All manufacturers today use a 1:12 rifling twist for the .243 Win. and 6mm Rem. (.244 Rem.).

I agree wholeheartedly with Long Path. As a Hunter Education Instructor I am often asked my thoughts for a small caliber deer rifle. I will not deny that I do not consider the .243 to be a deer rifle - I start at .25 caliber - but it is not because it will not work, it's because too many people don't know how to use them. If you do use the .243 for deer - always use a 100 gr. bullet!

Tom Matiska
April 12, 2005, 04:33 AM
For deer I'd draw the bottom line at Nosler's 85gr Partition. Lighter varmint loads can produce devastating one shot kills, but the ratio of purple jelly to edible meat is bad.

We've had a 243 in the family since the 60's, and the only time we've ever recovered a spent 100gr was a head on chest shot where the bullet stopped in the steaks. 100's have penetration to spare and there is plenty of room to err on the lighter side and go for more expansion/less penetration.

April 12, 2005, 08:40 AM
I have a NEF Ultra lite .243 and I use 100 gr. Hornady light mags. This past seaon I took a five pointer and four Does, it got the job done. I like this rifle, ease of carry, fun to shoot. I put a Nikon 4x32 fixed scope on mine, this combo has worked for me. Have fun with it.

Johnny Guest
April 13, 2005, 10:56 AM
I was invited to a West Texas mule deer hunt in 1969 and had no 'scoped rifle to use. I asked a gunsmith pal about it and he just happened to have a Remington 700BDL in .243 which he sold me at a very good price. Seems to me that the .243 was still fairly new at the time, and the only commercial loads available were 80 and 100 gr. I did some reading and the word was that the 80 gr was offered as a heavy varmint load, with a pretty lightly constructed bullet. There was no question of using a factory load that was NOT a 100 gr.

On the final day of the hunt, I took a large muley doe with the 100 gr bullet at short (40 yds?) range and it worked as advertised.

I understand there are somewhat lighter, more heavily constructed bullets available today, but I still like the 100 and 105 gr best for deer. I never messed with the heavier bullets.


April 13, 2005, 07:27 PM
if you want to use an 80 grain bullet use a premium- partition, core-lokt ultra, SST, Interbond.

i used 100 grain Nosler Partitions with good results on mule deer. about 150 yards was my farthest shot and the deer flopped over after about ten feet with the heart ripped cleanly in two.

i know a conservation officer who uses 85 grain premiums and guys at gun shops have told me that 85-95 is a nice weight.

April 14, 2005, 10:28 PM
im thinking very seriously about trading my .270 savage in on a .243 savage and id like to try that 90 grain premium load that Long Path suggested id use that for deer and likely a 75 grain HP for yotes.

April 21, 2005, 04:34 AM
It began with the .244 Remington in Remington rifles. They used a 1:14 twist which is great for lighter bullets but would not stablize anything over 95 grs. The Winchester .243 was different. Winchester specified a 1:12 twist for their round which will stablize most everything from 70 grs. to 100 grs. All manufacturers today use a 1:12 rifling twist for the .243 Win. and 6mm Rem. (.244 Rem.).
And as an aside; this is apparently why the .243 largely left the .244/6mm Rem. behind. It worked fine with lighter bullets suitable for varmints and heavier ones for light big game, whereas Remington made the error of limiting their marketing to varmint hunters. By the time they made 6mm Rem. rifles with a faster twist it was too late to turn the tide.

April 21, 2005, 03:42 PM
Rate of twist for both the .243 Winchester and the 6mm Remington is listed as 1:9 1/8".

Ruger shows a twist rate of 1:9 for both the .243 Winchester and 6mm Remington.

May 24, 2005, 12:19 PM
178 LONG steps, 8 point buck, field dressed 152 lbs, one shot, head first into a boulder and never wiggled. Remington 600 using the middle loading in the Sierra manual. Great cartridge.

May 24, 2005, 02:00 PM
6mm guns can be great deer guns, but as has been stated, only in the hands of an experianced hunter/rifleman. As well, I have always been of the idea that in the smaller calibers (less than 270), the heavier bullets are the better bet. The lone exception I have to this is Barnes X bullets. I have seen light for caliber loadings with these bullets in a variety of smaller calibers (260 Rem, 257 Wby, 243 Win, 22-250 Rem and a few others) and they do work well on deer. Otherwise, be safe and stick with the heavier bullets. Your twist rate in that gun is fine up as high as factory ammo goes in bullet weight.