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Old October 12, 2017, 01:17 PM   #1
Who Dey William
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.243 vs 6.5 Creedmoor for Whitetail and General Hunting

Hello,

I'm looking for a smaller caliber for whitetail hunting. I normally shoot my trusty .308 Remington 700, but my smaller-framed girlfriend is having trouble being accurate with it. More recoil is psyching her out and she is anticipating recoil leading to flinching and missing. What's your caliber preference between the two if I'm looking to buy a sub $500 deer rifle she/ nieces and nephews can use?
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Old October 12, 2017, 01:32 PM   #2
Don Fischer
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No question in my mind, the 6.5. Reason being I simply think the better bullet's favor the 6.5. I've killed three deer with the 243, all three one shot and down. Still as a hunting rifle for deer size game. I just don't trust the 243. If I did have a bit more faith in it, I would carry it. Light weight, accurate and easy to carry. What I read the 6.5's are in the same boat with one advantage, better hunting weight bullet's. I have a theory about cartridge's, you can kill a big elk with a 22 RF, if, you are very picky about the shot! A 22 RF will do that but it doesn't mean it's a good elk cartridge.
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Old October 12, 2017, 01:47 PM   #3
rodwhaincamo
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I also lean towards a bit of caliber. Not to say a .243 isn't capable but a .264 is just a bit better.

Might also consider the 6.5 x 55 mm Swede. I'd think the 7 x 57 mm Mauser would do well also but then maybe the recoil isn't reduced quite enough compared to the .308 Win.
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Old October 12, 2017, 06:06 PM   #4
603Country
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I'd go with the 6.5 Creedmore. Buy or load ammo with 100 gr bullets and recoil is very light, and my wife will agree with that statement. Later, if you want, you can move to heavier bullets.
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Old October 12, 2017, 07:32 PM   #5
texbow
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I've had good accuracy with the reduced recoil loads in my 06 and they are available in 308 as well. 125gr at around 2700fps. But it's an excuse to get a new rifle I go with the 6.5
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Old October 12, 2017, 07:35 PM   #6
Art Eatman
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Having tagged some two-dozen bucks with my .243, I figure it's as good as most anything in providing Bambimeat.

6.5 is fine, but I wouldn't switch from the .243.
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Old October 12, 2017, 08:59 PM   #7
Troy800
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Either will do the job. Im bias to the 243. I used to be a bigger is better guy but have backed off that. I got my daughter a Tikka T3 in 243. Cut the stock down an 1" and added a limbsaver recoil pad. She shoots sub MOA with 90 gr Accubond bullets and has no problems dropping a deer in its tracks.

With any weapon if you shoot within the limits of the weapon and the shooter you will have no problems.

If she has a rifle she is comfortable shooting and and pick quality ammo the deer will fall. Just know your limits.
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Old October 12, 2017, 09:39 PM   #8
Pathfinder45
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To me, it would more depend on which caliber is available in the rifle I like. I wouldn't buy a rifle for a Significant-Other that I wouldn't want for myself. If I was trying to stay in that budget, I would be looking at used rifles. Since it would be a model 70 Winchester, then it would most likely be a 243, unless I lucked onto a Featherweight in 6.5x55 Swede at a compelling price.
Nothing wrong with buying second-hand. It's what I usually do. I've only bought 3 new rifles in my life.
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Old October 12, 2017, 09:58 PM   #9
jmr40
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If you get a 243 with a barrel twisted for heavy bullets it'll do the job on deer size game. But the 6.5 Creedmoor has recoil closer to 243 than 308 and will be more than adequate for much larger game than I'd hunt with 243. There is nothing I'd hunt with a 308 that I'd not hunt with a 6.5.

If you compare 140-147 gr 6.5 Creedmoor loads to 150 gr 308 loads the 308 starts out 150-200 fps faster. But by the time you get to 200 yards the 6.5's are faster with a bullet that will penetrate deeper than the 308 at any range.
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Old October 13, 2017, 01:05 AM   #10
bamaranger
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300 yds

For deer, inside 300 yds, I'd speculate that the .243/6mm is running neck and neck with the 6.5 CR in terms of killing power. Beyond that, the 6.5' CR's advantages of flatter trajectory at longer ranges is well known. For most of us, me certainly, I shoot my whitetails at far shorter ranges,mostly well under 100, and the advantage of heavier bullets and flatter long range just don't matter when Bambi is 62 yds away.

The trick with the .243 is proper bullets. I'm a fan of the 100 gr Partition. I'm not stuck on the 100 gr weight, as long as the selected slug is for big game and is "toughened" in some manner. I do not thing a premium slug is necessary for whitetails in bigger calibers, but the .243 projectile is comparatively small, and some strengthening helps. The bonded bullets like the Accutip would be another, as well as the tough mono-alloy types. Avoid the lighter varmint slugs.

The 6.5CR is getting a lot of press, and it's long range advantages are now well accepted. Guys are buying them left and right. But for most whitetail hunters, I see no real advantage over the other short action calibers in hunting use.
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Old October 13, 2017, 01:07 AM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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Either will kill with well placed bullets. Neither will make anything up over the other for poorly placed bullets. You could roll dice and not go wrong. If there’s one gun you like that comes in one and not the other, get that one.
Otherwise, consider things like ammo availability differences, if any, or specific bullet weights or construction that you prefer.

Really though, it’s for the girlfriend? Let her decide, it’ll be a lot more “her” gun if it’s “her” choice. Besides which, she’ll have an unconscious tendency to overlook any negatives and over emphasize any positives in order to avoid believing she made the wrong choice. We all do it. You won’t have that advantage if it’s “your” choice.
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Old October 13, 2017, 08:48 AM   #12
old roper
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I picked out rifle for my wife just after we got married and was 243 and since then she picked out what she likes.

Friend just got his wife 6.5 Creedmoor and she has 0 knowledge on rifle/shooting.

I've been married 52yrs this month and only rifle from those early years that we still have is that 243 I got her.

I'm not sure what happen if I let her pick it out but I do like how it turned out.
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Old October 13, 2017, 09:11 AM   #13
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I would go with the 243 just for the ease of finding ammo. You can find it just about anywhere and it is fairly cheap and will do the job just fine.
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Old October 13, 2017, 12:02 PM   #14
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If recoil is the reason for switching from 308 for her, Then I say go with 243 and 90-100 gr. bullets.
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Old October 13, 2017, 12:19 PM   #15
T. O'Heir
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It's not the chambering. It's the action. Think 'semi-auto' for recoil sensitive shooters. However, it's far more likely that your M700 is just too big. You could work up a load using a lighter bullet, say a 130, but the rifle will still be too big for her. Or you could have a muzzle break put on, same issue. Increases the muzzle blast and noise too.
The Creedmoor supposedly recoils about the same as a .260 Rem. A 140 at 2750 FPS out of an 8.25 pound rifle it's about 11.9 ft-lbs.
"...243 with a barrel twisted for heavy bullets..." That'd be every commercial hunting rifle, including the heavy barreled 'Varmint' models. They're all rifled for heavy bullets.
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Old October 13, 2017, 09:46 PM   #16
Ghost1958
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We wife son and I about 8 deer a season and have for many years to fill the freezer.

All with. 243..
I like 75 or 85 grain bullets in a soft tip, preferably 75gr. I've never had a white tail go more than 20 yards while most drop in there tracks.

Can't go wrong with. 243.
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Old October 13, 2017, 09:53 PM   #17
dvdcrr
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with that kind of experience I am obliged to ask: where do you aim?
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Old October 14, 2017, 09:22 PM   #18
GeauxTide
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I have a 260 and 308 and the recoil is the same, for me, with the exception of 100gr bullets.
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Old October 14, 2017, 11:17 PM   #19
Colorado Redneck
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Look at the available commercial ammo for 6.5 Creedmore. Nada for hunting under 120 gr. In the same wt. firearm the recoil will be less with .243 Win. 243 ammo is available in various loads that work fine for deer. If the lady likes to shoot the rifle she gets, she will be a lot better hunter. Its unlikely she will be shooting deer farther than a couple hundred yards, at first.

Just my opinion.
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Old October 15, 2017, 09:59 PM   #20
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Don’t forget the 7mm-08, light recoil and more energy than the creedmoor
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Old October 15, 2017, 10:24 PM   #21
rodwhaincamo
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A great cartridge but I doubt recoil would be reduced enough if a .308 Win was too much.
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Old October 16, 2017, 03:23 AM   #22
Kachok
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No way I would ever choose a 243 over a 6.5mm when we are talking deer hunting, The only real contest is the 6.5mm vs the equally fantastic 7mm-08, I have owned both for years (a 6.5x55 not a CM) and I still cannot decide which one is better. The kids can shoot both so I doubt your girlfriend would have an issue with the recoil.
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Old October 16, 2017, 06:17 AM   #23
rodwhaincamo
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The only advantage to a .243 Win over anything else discussed is ammo availability/choice. But that's not to say the .243 Win isn't adequate for deer. However I wouldn't be comfortable with anything larger, and I just prefer to have a bit of caliber than use what many feel is the minimum. But this rifle isn't for me either...
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Old October 16, 2017, 07:26 AM   #24
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The 6.5 was designed to send a ballistically efficient bullet a long way w/o generating unpleasant recoil.
The 243 was designed to be a compromise between a varmint and light/medium game hunting round.
The 6.5 has become the "whiz kid" on everyone's list but I see nothing really worthwhile in it's capabilities beyond what I already shoot.
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Old October 16, 2017, 11:46 AM   #25
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I have a .243 that I enjoy. While I have nothing negative to say about the 6.5 other than the bandwagon popularity it is getting right now if I had to have something more than the .243 but less than a .270 it would end up being a 2.57 Roberts

From everything I read on the 6.5 (and there is more out there right now than anyone could read) it seems to be a tremendous cartridge with a major following.
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