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Old September 1, 2013, 09:50 AM   #1
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243 Varmit rounds

For those of you who use a 243 for varmit hunting, How well does your rifle shoot the lighter bullets like the 58gr. Vmax bullets or anything simular.
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Old September 1, 2013, 08:44 PM   #2
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I don't shoot anything lighter than 75 grains. I got the .243 because the .22-250 couldn't shoot bullets heavier than 55 grains accurately.

My present favorite load uses 85 grain Sierra HPBT bullets, but have used 80 grain Nosler BT Varmints with good results.

The .243 is rumored to be hard on barrels, the faster the bullet, the harder it may be on the bore.
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Old September 1, 2013, 09:25 PM   #3
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I use Sierra 75 grain Blitz King bullets in my 243...they're as fast as a bullet needs to be, and still get through the wind OK.
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Old September 1, 2013, 09:41 PM   #4
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I shoot 60 gr Sierra hollow points @ about 3600 fps in my 6mm rem model 700 varmint special. They blow up great on impact and are very accurate, usually giving one-ragged-hole groups at 100 yards. I could push them faster, but pushing that light of a bullet to the max in a 1:9-and-an-eighth twist barrel could theoretically cause them to "skid" across the rifling. Not to mention faster throat erosion. One of these days I'd like to rebarrel that rifle to a 1:12 twist version like was originally offered as the .244 remington.

Unless its a slower twist rate than my 6mm I wouldn't go lighter than 60 gr, especially if you're going to load to the max.

I realize some .243's come with a 1:10 and that could be enough of a difference to help a little with the super light bullets.

Last edited by steveNChunter; September 1, 2013 at 09:49 PM.
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Old September 1, 2013, 09:45 PM   #5
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87 gn V-Max,36 gns 4064, Deadly,fast and accurate in mine. I also second Picher.
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Old September 1, 2013, 11:56 PM   #6
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My problem with lighter bullets was maintaining accuracy. Photon torpedo loads out of a 9" twist 243 was my introduction to the issue of copper removal. I believe 85 gr boat tails are the most perfect 243 bullet. ... most MV without excessive fouling, good energy retention and xwind resistance... I'm tempted to revisit the photon torpedo range with Noslers coated 55's, but haven't done it yet.
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Old September 2, 2013, 03:04 AM   #7
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My current 6mm wildcat has not seen anything lighter than 80 gr, so I'm not sure how that barrel would do with lighter bullets.

But... my previous .243 Win absolutely HATED light bullets (even with a 1:10" twist). It would print decent groups with most light bullets, but the point of impact would be dramatically different than any other bullet. And 58 gr V-Maxes... you're talking about a shotgun pattern, not a group.

So, it was eventually given a minimum bullet weight of 75 grains (Hornady HPs). They worked well, were quite accurate, and the point of impact was close enough to other loads, that the zero could remain the same (with just a bit of Kentucky windage).

Although the 75 gr HP did well in the .243, my current 6mm will probably never see a bullet outside of the 85-95 gr range, unless there's some kind of "emergency" that forces me to fire factory ammo. It saw some 80 gr bullets (Core-Lokts) during break-in, but was built to only shoot 85 gr to 95 gr bullets (Partitions, Ballistic Tips, SSTs, and Sciroccos ... maybe the 87 gr V-Max).
Sticking around 90 grains seems to be the sweet spot for .243 Winchester, and .243-based cartridges.
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Old September 2, 2013, 07:59 AM   #8
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I used to keep Blitz type in my farm rifle. They destruct on impact with anything making them safe from ricochet. Also accurate and deadly.
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Old September 2, 2013, 04:31 PM   #9
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My rem 700 in 243 win. stays under moa with both 100 gr and 58 gr federal factory ammo. The 58 gr were v-max at close to 4000 fps according to the box. I shot both at the same target. The 100 gr was zeroed on the bull. The 58 gr hit low 9 inches and right 2 inches. Both groups were about 3/4 inch ctc. 5 shot groups. Love that gun you may or may not have a similar experience. If your rifle doesn't like 58's try heavier, it should have similar performance on vermin.
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Old September 3, 2013, 10:35 AM   #10
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I had a Rem 700 in 243 that did not like anything lighter than 75gr. Groups would spread out to 4" at 100yd. Dime size groups were easy with the 100gr.

Conversely, I have seen benchresters make one hole groups with the lighter bullets approaching 4000 FPS.

Its all about your barrels twist. Most of you heard the story about why the 243 practically killed off the 6mm Rem.
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Old September 7, 2013, 02:59 AM   #11
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A little late to pitch in here, but I'll have a go at it anyhow. I have a Rem 700 Varmint model that I've never used anything but 55 and 58gr bullets in. I don't have my cheat sheet handy, but I use Win brass, Win Primers, Ramshot Big Game powder, and end up with a 10-shot average of 3777 (chrono'd), I haven't shot paper with it since I chrono'd it, but that load will/did keep 10 slow 100yd shots under 1/2" (I don't put much stock in those 3-5 shot groups).

My 6mm Rem build on a 1903A3 action which is still at the Smith's is getting a Lilja 3-groove 1:13 twist bbl. I really hope I can develop a load equaling the .243 load with 58gr bullets in the 3800-4000 fps range.

I also have a '78 Win 70 XSP(?) in .243 with a sporter bbl that serves quite well for a truck rifle that has never launched anything heavier than 58gr bullets. It's accuracy is only slightly less than the Remington... until I get carried away and let the bbl get warm.

I don't know how factory 58gr ammo performs- I dunno, I guess they still make it. But the point is- there should not be any reason you can't find a way light load to dust pasture poodles or yotes with. I guess my pint is- is that you won't know til ya give it a whirl.
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Old September 7, 2013, 12:25 PM   #12
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Handload 55gr Nosler over IMR 3031. 3,800 fps from a 24" barrel.
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Old September 8, 2013, 05:47 PM   #13
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Handload 55gr Nosler over 42 gr of IMR 4064 cover a five shot group with a nickel at 100yds.
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Old September 8, 2013, 09:01 PM   #14
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85 grain, boat-tail hollow points where great in my Winchester!
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Old September 10, 2013, 09:50 AM   #15
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Did you ever try those light rounds on a deer? I just brought a .243
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Old September 10, 2013, 10:02 AM   #16
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243 Varmit rounds

I load 75 gr Speer HPs over H4895 for my .243's varminting duties. I worked up a safe load that pushed 3,500 FPS and shot .75 MOA, but in the interest of not wearing out the barrel too quickly I backed off and it now is leaving the muzzle at about 3,100 FPS.

That bullet does some nasty things to any critter on the receiving end.

Once I use up this box of bullets I will probably switch to something in the 85 gr range to limit burning the barrel a little more.
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