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Old February 21, 2013, 04:41 AM   #1
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85 gr .243 Partitions on deer?

We've killed a few deer this season and seasons past with .243 and 100 gr Nosler Partitions. Results have been absolutely positive. But as is my sometimes fault, I cannot let a good thing alone.

What prompted this was the appearance of a Mossberg .243/810M (I guess for Mannlicher) which I had never seen or heard of prior. So I bought it, scoped it with a fixed 6x, and made a dandy shot on a meat buck in the last of our season this year. The load, 100 gr Partitions, of course.

The issue, the Mossberg seems to have an affinity for lighter bullets.
Three 75 gr Fusions plunked into a space coverable by a dime! Three more not so tight, but convincingly clustered.

I am tempted to experiment with a box of 85 gr Partitions if I can find them but am hesitant about the ligher slug weight. I was raised in a heavy bullet clan, and still lean that way. Our deer are not that big, a monster will exceed 175, but 150 and less is more or less typical.

I would like to hear from those using 85 gr Partions on whitetails and similar big game. Not really interested in other slugs, thanks.
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Old February 21, 2013, 06:54 AM   #2
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I like the 100 grain bullets in .243, but around here some guys are having good luck with 65-67 grain bullets in .223 (I know, I know)

If a 65 grain bullet will work for deer in .223, there's no reason why an 85 grain won't work in .243. The most important part is putting the bullet deeply enough into the vitals. I've been toying with the idea of that 85 grain Barnes TSX for my .243, but haven't had the time to do anything about the idea. Maybe this summer.
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Old February 21, 2013, 07:09 AM   #3
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I like the 100 gr. Partition in the .243. Never tried the 85 gr.. Did you shoot any groups with the 100 gr. in the Moss? Shooting a dime sized group is good but shooting into a quarter at 100 isn't bad.
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Old February 21, 2013, 07:26 AM   #4
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Should work OK for those smaller southern deer. I used Hornady 87 grain spire points for many years on both coyote and deer with satisfactory results. That bullet was the older design with the "coke bottle" core that had a thickened jacket near the middle. It worked a lot like a Partition but didn't shed the front core as the partition often does. I would not expect full penetration nearly as often as with the 100 grain partition since there's not as much shank behind the partition on the 85.
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Old February 21, 2013, 07:50 AM   #5
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Hey Bamaranger, just give'em try and see what it does, mostly good bullets that perform with precision and accuracy cause us to be confident, and confidence in your bullet and your ability to hit the animal in the right spot are whats most important,, to me anyways.
Thanks for coming!
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Old February 21, 2013, 10:56 AM   #6
Art Eatman
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I've tagged a couple of dozen bucks with the Sierra 85-grain HPBT. Mostly neck shots, of course, but a couple of cross-body heart/lung shots.

That's definitely a blow-up bullet, so I would not take an angling shot on a deer. It does horrible things to feral cats and innocent coyotes, of course.

I get very good groups with a 1:10 twist. Three behind a dime; five-shot groups are 3/4 MOA at most.
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Old February 21, 2013, 11:49 AM   #7
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I was gonna echo what Art said. The 85gr. Sierra's are a very popular dual purpose bullet for predators and deer. I see no reason why the Partitions shouldn't fair as well or better.
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Old February 21, 2013, 09:51 PM   #8
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According to the 'physics' ...

shouldn't be a problem.

I downloaded a Reminton ballistics calculator and love to play with it. Granted, we're not talking your exact same bullets. But here are the results I got from the calculator.

100 grn corelokt fired at 100 yds would have 1642 ft lbs of energy
80 grn corelokt fired at 100 yds would have 1597 ft lbs of energy

I don't think Bambi would know the difference If that doesn't help, a friend of mine has used the 85 grn sierra's that Art mentioned and killed several deer last year. These were Missouri deer but approx the same size you mentioned.
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:05 AM   #9
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I've shot some groups with the 100's from the Moss. Mannlicher and they went about 1.5" at 100. And the Moss has a stubby 20" bbl, which will not be conducive to high velocity with the 100's, I'd think. Some shots over my new Christmas chronograph will likely be very revealing. (everything shot over the screens so far has been a surprise). The deer I killed in Jan had no idea he'd been hit with a sluggish, moderatley grouping 100 instead of a fast, tight shooting 85!

Just toyng with the idea. I have all summer, after turkey season, to experiment. And I've got a reasonable supply of 100's on hand, as the Savage 110 that the boy shoots really likes them. Maybe I could fool with powders and see some improvement on the 100's in the woody Mossberg.

But, the 75gr Federals that came with the rifle were real eye openers and got me to thinking. Dunno....we'll see. Thaks all.
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Old February 22, 2013, 09:04 AM   #10
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The 100 gr. Noslers are perfect deer fodder.
Why switch?
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Old February 22, 2013, 09:32 AM   #11
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I don't shoot Noslers nor do I have any dimes to shoot at, but I do use 87 gr Bergers in my wife's 243.

They work quite well on mule deer and antelope.
Kraig Stuart
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Old February 22, 2013, 09:56 AM   #12
Art Eatman
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"...nor do I have any dimes to shoot at..."

Find a friendly banker, okay?
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:09 AM   #13
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I really don't think that the 85 grain Partition is needed to kill deer, and I wouldn't hesitate to use it if your rifle likes them. I know you didn't want to hear about other bullets as well, but you might take a look at the 80 grain Speer Deep Curl bonded bullets. You mentioned that the rifle liked lighter bullets, and they'll run you about the same price per 100 as the Partition does for 50, and still give you a tough bullet.
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Old February 22, 2013, 05:48 PM   #14
Jack O'Conner
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I've killed many long shot antelope with Sierra 85 grain spitzer in my .243 rifle. BANG flop performance every time. The Nosler bullet should kill well, too.

Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.

Last edited by Jack O'Conner; February 22, 2013 at 05:57 PM.
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Old February 23, 2013, 10:27 PM   #15
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85 gr bthp 243 winchester

Sierra 85 gr bthp on top of imr 4350 Dime size groups kills deer with threw the shoulder heart lung shoots wild hogs die from it too. Shot a large deer straight on facing me two years ago at about 200 yards killed him too. Field dressing revealed I shot too high but instead of a heart shot the bullet went thew the arteries that branch out just inches above the heart he made about 25 yards before his blood pressure went too low to keep going. It's my go to bullet but I wonder about the solid copper barnes and the others in 80 to 85gr and how they would do but honestly can't expect better than what I got so far. It's a very low recoil round with the 85 gr bullet too. Some times I wish they would take that same 85gr bthp and add a polymer tip the mouth of the hollow point drags down the velocity some. But the deer don't have crono,s to check velocity with so they will never know.
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:54 AM   #16
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My wife uses nolser custom 85 gr partition in her .243 xs7y up here in western canada (British Columbia) were the deer tend to have bigger body size and she has never had a problem all her shots have been inside 200 yards and her shot placement is crucial she's has taken white tail deer ,mule deer ,and a black bear I think the bear is the real test bears are tough and her shot was at 120 yard bear ran 35 yards and went down so if your shot placement is good it can be done
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Old February 25, 2013, 10:59 AM   #17
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I think bullet construction and or design is the main issue here....Partitions are designed to penetrate deep and expand on medium to large game and not constructed like a lighter jacket or exploding varmint round ! Speaking of the Fusion ammo , I got my first two deer with my new .243 caliber rifle with it and they went down as fast as the deer I've taken with a .270 , 30-06 , 30-30, 44 magnum , or my favorite 45-70 lever gun !
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Old February 25, 2013, 11:22 AM   #18
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I shoot 90grn Nosler BT's in my .243 with great results. Only had one travel and it was about 25-30yds. Most good bullets today will kill very well provided shot placement is where it should be. I would imagine an 85grn Partition would be very effective.
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Old February 26, 2013, 02:13 PM   #19
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I used to use 85 Sierras for antelope with no issues. If your deer are about the same size, you should have no issue
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Old February 26, 2013, 04:30 PM   #20
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I would definitely use an 85 gr bullet in .243 as long as it is a controlled expansion like a partition. I would not use a frangible bullet that light for deer or goats. Choose your shot and keep the range under 250 and they will do fine for AL deer.
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