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Old August 30, 2006, 02:46 PM   #1
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.257 Roberts vs .243 Winchester

Hey there I am still trying to decide on a good varmint/deer load. I have decided on two after reading hundreds of forums so the two listed are my choices. Which one is better and why? Please also consider ammo supply too. Thanks.
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Old August 30, 2006, 03:52 PM   #2
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If you don't reload, I'd go with .243.
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Old August 30, 2006, 04:49 PM   #3
Art Eatman
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IMO, for varmints, the .243 is the better of the two. A handloader can use bullets in the 55- to 85-grain range. I use the 85-grain Sierra HPBT on smaller deer as well as coyotes; most folks prefer 100-grain bullets.

I dunno. To me, Any .25 will work on varmints, but they're overall a bit more than is really needed. For deer, the 120-grain bullets might make some folks feel more secure about deeper penetration.

If you go with a .243, I've found that the Federal loads with the Sierra 85-grain bullet give the same 3-shot 1/2-MOA groups that my handloads do.

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Old August 30, 2006, 06:19 PM   #4
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Big 257 Roberts fan,

On game, whitetail deer and on down the 257 Roberts is very tough to beat. If you handload and the rifle is of newer manufacture, last 30 years or so, you can push the Roberts into 25-06 territory. My favorite bullet for deer is the Speer 120 grain Grand Slam.

If you don't load then the 243 Win (no slouch by any means) is probably a better choice for availability and selection of factory loadings. Or you could use the 257 Roberts as a reason to start loading.

Take Care
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Old August 30, 2006, 06:22 PM   #5
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First of all, congratulations on narrowing it down that far.

Neither one is intrinsically better than the other because their performance is so close. 120 gr bullet out of a 25 or 105 gr out of a 243? Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

243 shoots lighter bullets if you want o do varminting. 257 shoots heavier bullets if you want to hunt deer and antelope. Myself, I prefer the 57mm case just because I do, no good reason. Is the 51mm case a good one? Sure. I have owned both, and have nothing bad to say either way. You just gotta make the call.

At this point, you need to look at them and say yes or no and live with the decision.
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Old August 30, 2006, 09:16 PM   #6
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My two cents on this would be get EITHER:

-a 6.5x55 swede (or a .25-06) for a dedicated deer gun, AND then also a .243 (or .223) for varmints,


-the .257 roberts to split the difference, if it MUST fill both roles.

Last edited by FirstFreedom; August 31, 2006 at 03:57 PM.
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Old August 30, 2006, 10:30 PM   #7
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I would prefer the .243, for the aforementioned ammo availability and its flatter trajectory. But us westerners often put a premium on that. In Florida, you would be well served with the 'Roberts, and it might just well do almost everything you need down there.
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Old August 31, 2006, 01:58 AM   #8
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Like the others have already said, I think it's more of a personal preference more than anything. Of course there is going to be a better selection of ammo for a 243, but I don't think your going to have a hard time finding ammo for the 257 either. Most sporting good stores and walmarts still carry it and probably will continue to carry it. I think your going to have a much better selection of different brands and bullet weights with a 243 than the 257 though. You will probably have a better selection of rifles that manufacture the 243 than the 257 as well. I don't think the deer are going to know the difference in the two if you hit them right. Anyway, if you want my choice of the two, I would go with the 243, unless I just found a rifle chambered in a 257 that I couldn't live without.
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Old August 31, 2006, 02:20 AM   #9
Anthony Terry
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How bout a 25-06? Sorry for getting off the topic, but it seems to be great in both areas. Did you think of it any?
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Old August 31, 2006, 07:45 AM   #10
Jack O'Conner
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They've proved their lethality on deer sized game wherever these animals are hunted. .243 continues to sell well throughout Europe, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. 257 Roberts has faded in popularity largely because of limited positive press over the years.

Wound channel size between 130 grain 270, 117 grain 25-06, 100 grain 257 Roberts or 95 grain .243 are indistinguishable to my eyes. All these cartridges hit hard and produce ghastly wounds that cause very quick death. You can't go wrong with any of them.

Some hunters always choose the heaviet bullet weight for a particular cartridge. I never followed this line of reasoning at all. Deer are not armor-plated. Choose a fast bullet with high accurasy and jacket thickness appropriate for deer to knock 'em down fast.

A simple phone call will reveal ammo availabilty at a local store for you.
Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.
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Old August 31, 2006, 03:50 PM   #11
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I suppose I'd pick the .243 for deer and varmints, for the ammo availability. .257 ammo can be hard to find in some stores. And the .243 will be a little easier on the shoulder after a long afternoon of shooting at varmints.

The .257 would be a little better for deer because it shoots a little heavier round. 95 or 100 grains through the .243 is the minimum weight for deer (IMO), and the heavier round of the .257 (even if only a little heavier by 20 grains or so) will help. But it may not make much of a difference depending on the size of deer in your area.
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Old August 31, 2006, 04:33 PM   #12
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.243 will do the job on deer ,I have seen people take elk with a .243 .
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