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Thread: .243 for black bear & moose

  1. #1

    Default .243 for black bear & moose

    I think it's generally too light for moose but have heard of some youth using the lower recoil round. My feeling is to catch Kings on fly poles you need some skill, as with using light gear for heavy game so especially for youth where the shot placement may not be optimal it'd make sense to use a more voluminous load.I feel black bear shouldn't be a problem with the .243, anyone have strong opinions? I recently picked up the Mossberg ATR in .243 and got it mostly for coyotes, fox, wolves and island deer. Anyone have experience with the ATR?... I haven't got out with it yet.

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    While the 243 is small for some hunting, I have used one off an on since I started shooting. During all of those years I have taken deer, caribou, black bear and moose with a 243. It is VERY important that the conditions of the shot be right but it can be done. Is the 243 my 'preferred' cabiler 'no' but it will take game down as long as the shot is within it capabilities.
    The 243 is easy to load for and alot of fun to shoot. It is a good weapon to start young shooter off with.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Its a great cartridge for black bear,s caribou, deer and moose. Like everything else shot placement is key as well as quality bullets. I have been using the Federal rounds with the 100gr Nosler Partition they shoot very accuratly and have taken one black bear and one moose with a single shot each (my 12 year old daughter). My two youngest daughters use it and love the rifle. Heck its a lot of fun to shoot and I shoot it about as often as they do at the range.

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    A 243 shooting 100's isn't that much different than the .25's shooting 100's, unless it's a 257wby or 25-06ai..

    I love my 243 shooting the match grade 105gr bullets. Great accuracy, low recoil, and hell on deer. I'd not hesitate to use it on black bear. I'm sure I'll be carrying something else for moose, as I've got other options in the safe.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Yes it probably will work under ideal conditions.

    Now picture a 62" bull at 300 yards and all you have is a quartering away shot. Are you going to use the .243? Or would you prefer something more like a 30/06 with a 180 Nosler Partition?

    Point is; Why handicap yourself if you don't need too.

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    Nice! I aim to use my .338 on most big game but got the .243 for fox, coyote, lynx..hopefully didn't go too big. Plan on using the 55gr ammo for those and 105 for wolf or anything bigger. Saw 'Brian M' mentioned his .223 55gr put a big hole in the first lynx and fox from last weekend. Almost went with the .223 Savage on Black Friday but decided on the .243 since it'll also do well for island deer...though my .45-70 did a fine job last October.

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    I have filmed 2 kids take their first black bear with one using Noslers. I watched one shoot a moose too. I used to not like the caliber because of the size, but I was just being ignorant. ahahaha
    I am going to buy one for a kid to hunt deer in ND with once I return. Maybe a Tikka??

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    Yes it probably will work under ideal conditions.

    Now picture a 62" bull at 300 yards and all you have is a quartering away shot. Are you going to use the .243? Or would you prefer something more like a 30/06 with a 180 Nosler Partition?

    Point is; Why handicap yourself if you don't need too.

    Whatever rifle I had in my hands at that time would be putting that moose down.

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    I'm currently working on loads with my sons new Tikka .243,
    planning on looking for a Black Bear this spring while I cruise past Prince Of Wales Island on my way back home, So,...

    It's the only rifle I have with me, for border crossing hassle avoidance, and I'm confident it will be enough

    My question for those who have used one for Blk. Bear, do you think I can get away with using a 85 gr. Nosler Partition ??

    I'm pretty darn confident in the "Partition Effectiveness," I have the load developed well,
    and the Tikka is just Shining, with the usual Stunning Accuracy
    So, I'm actually thinking that would take a Black Bear cleanly, quickly

    I know most folks want to use the largest possible, but I am pretty big on Accuracy, with a Killer Bullet Design,
    think I may have it here,...

    what do ya think ??


    ( I am working on larger bullets, but I think this is the largest Partition they make)
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    My question for those who have used one for Blk. Bear, do you think I can get away with using a 85 gr. Nosler Partition ??

    ( I am working on larger bullets, but I think this is the largest Partition they make)
    They make a 100gr partition and that would be my choice. The 243 is a great round and proper placement is all it requires for effective kills.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Like HerdBull said they make a 100gr Partition and that is what my kids have been using. I think the 85gr you have worked up now will work just fine though. I know from reading your hunt reports you won't be taking any chances with poor shot placement so I seriously doubt you will notice the difference in 15gr's of bullet.

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    A .243w in a stedy hand with 100 gran bullets will kill every creature that roams the land in Alaska. Plenty good for flat shooting out to 350 yards. I used a Rem700 ADL with the stock made to fit me and all before it died, as it was a bullet placeing machine.

    Fox and Fur? Other than head shots, your only gonna waste the poor animals skin.maybe with FMJ's but maybe not.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    Member ninefoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post
    A .243w in a stedy hand with 100 gran bullets will kill every creature that roams the land in Alaska. Plenty good for flat shooting out to 350 yards. I used a Rem700 ADL with the stock made to fit me and all before it died, as it was a bullet placeing machine.

    Fox and Fur? Other than head shots, your only gonna waste the poor animals skin.maybe with FMJ's but maybe not.
    i agree with stranger...they're little killers for sure...i wouldnt reccomend it to anyone to kill a moose or a black bear with, but they'll readily kill both, no doubt, in the right hands. too much for fur with factory loads...but theyre awsome when loaded down...even for fox. rick kinmon hunts fur for a living...one of the few guys i can think of that can really say that, and while he reportedly uses a 6ppc (or some such benchrest round) his second favorite all round fur caliber is a 243. cant beat a 243 for wolves in my mind though. lately i've fallen in love with a little browning in the super short...

    blackies dont die hard when shot well...seen a few get tough when shot poorly though.

    moose dont die hard either...but they got bones that little bullet wont compete with...

    why not a 7x57mm mauser or a little 270 or something?

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    I shot a .243 only for a number of years, was loading up the Nosler 100 grain bullets, killed black bear and moose no problem.

    Al, I'm sure the 85 grain would work just fine too.

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    Well, you can kill those critters with a .22 if you pick your shots. A .243 is really reducing your margin for error and increasing chances for a wounded animal. Unless you have a LOT of discipline why handicap yourself with a little gun like that. Use something more reasonable, I'd be a lot more comfortable with something around a .308. Seems to me more of a stunt to use a .243 for big boned creatures.

  16. #16

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    All good info... I also think the .243 will be optimal for wolf, if I got the chance and thought I'd just better be optimally prepared rather than under gunned... Guess I'll need to go get that Savage .223 with the drop clip over at Freddies. Sittin' there lookin' perty at $279 or so. Can't have too many guns! I really don't want to mess up the fur critters. Hit a few coyotes with my .338 though and they tend to sew right up.

    Anyone have opinions on that Savage .223? I get fired up every time I see it but still need to get a scope for the .243 and get out...

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