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Thread: .243 Win...and countless possibilities!

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    Default .243 Win...and countless possibilities!

    I picked up my beautiful brand new Winchster Model 70 Featherlite chambered in .243 Win today. After taking it in to Sportsman's to get the scope mounted, I walked over to find dies...(ended up finding them at 3 Bears) but did check out the Nosler manual to grab some components. I was amazed to see speeds of close to 4000 FPS!!! Wow, this round is screaming fast!

    I originally bought this gun for deer on Kodiak, but am thinking this might also be the ticket for a good predator round. I have never loaded for preds, so was wondering what bullet weights you would typically want to use for things like Foxes, Coyotes or Wolves. Is there a "sweet spot" bullet for the .243? Kinda like the 168 gn for the .308. What bullet weights have people had good success for deer? Anybody got any powders they would reccommend?

    Basically, I just would like to hear any tips or good info people have found for this round.

    I loaded up some 80gn Nosler BT with 45gn of I4350 today, should be getting about 3450FPS out of them. I am going to try other powders when the become available again. Cant wait to shoot this beauty!!!

    Thanks,
    Tom
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    I've got a few 243's.
    Try RL-17.......shoots good in my mod 70 fwt. mine is stainless w/walnut stock.
    Lots of powders to choose from.
    I stay away from the lightweight bullets.
    I use 80 - 100 grain. I've got a mod 77 ruger that shoots 100gr corelocks the best.
    I like 90gr Nosler AB or 100 partitions.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    Check out the threads in the predator hunting section, there are two right now that concern .243. Basically if you want to keep fur, big and slow bullets are key, a fairly agreable number appears to be around or under 2800 fps.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've loaded for a couple of .243's. Powder wise 4350 seems to be the ticket with 85 gr and heavier bullets, RL15 for 75's and under. The 75gr v-max and RL15 is a good combo, same with the 85 tsx and 4350. If you want a do it all fur and deer/caribou load, the 85 tsx just might be it. I've used a variety of 100 and 105 gr cup/core bullets, speer, sierra, remington and they all shot well when loaded with 4350. A buddy had given me some partial boxes to my son, so we worked up some loads. The only bullet I wasn't satisfied with accuracy wise was the 85 gr partition. A few years back Barnes was blowing out their 68gr hp's, and they seem to shoot pretty good with RL15.
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    OK.....this has nothing to do with Predator hunting........I truly love the .243.....and had a load using 4350 power & Nosler 95 gr. partition bullets that would shoot through 5' of caribou (Throat to Butt-hole). I was super impressed with that.

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    Default .243 Win...and countless possibilities!

    Slayer, double check your SW mounted scope. Hopefully the valley guys know what they are doing. The ANC guys have messed up two that I know of.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice, sounds like I need to stay with 4350 when I am using heavier bullets, RL 15 and 17 for lighter stuff.

    AK Ray, I haven't had a problem yet with any of my scopes mounted by SW in the valley. I have 4 rifles done by them, and haven't had any problems yet, and the same guy mounted all of them. He does good work.
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    Welcome to the wonderful world of the .243. I'm surprised to see others in AK shooting this caliber. In regards to a "sweet spot", and since you compared the 168 gr HPBT for the 308, most folks who compete with a 243 (admittedly fewer and fewer) shoot a 107 gr Sierra Match King HPBT. However, the 107 gr bullet performs best in a longer twist barrel than most hunting guns come with. Still, it's a solid performer, accuracy wise.

    Try IMR 4895 with the lighter bullets; it always worked very well for me.

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    Member Wyatt's Avatar
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    Although it doesn't meter as well as some other powder, I load IMR 4064 almost exclusively in my .243 AI. I use a mix of Sierra and Nosler 55 -95 gr. Your .243 will do the trick on all 3 animals you listed, but good luck saving the fur on the fox and iffy on coyotes. Best bet is to shoot longer distances, slow them down and hope you don't hit much bone!

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    Quote Originally Posted by duckslayer56 View Post
    Thanks for the advice, sounds like I need to stay with 4350 when I am using heavier bullets, RL 15 and 17 for lighter stuff.

    AK Ray, I haven't had a problem yet with any of my scopes mounted by SW in the valley. I have 4 rifles done by them, and haven't had any problems yet, and the same guy mounted all of them. He does good work.
    Use RL-17 for the heavier bullets.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    Varget is the powder for 75's and under ......

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    Quote Originally Posted by duckslayer56 View Post
    Thanks for the advice, sounds like I need to stay with 4350 when I am using heavier bullets, RL 15 and 17 for lighter stuff.

    AK Ray, I haven't had a problem yet with any of my scopes mounted by SW in the valley. I have 4 rifles done by them, and haven't had any problems yet, and the same guy mounted all of them. He does good work.
    Who mounts them for you I need a scope mounted?

  13. #13

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    4350 medium load from Nosler and 100 gr nos Partitions, for lighter I had some 60 gr Sierras and Benchmark powder, not alot to use them on in coastal Georgia but the were accurate.

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    Just some more bullet advice for ya.

    Love my 243 as well..great gun.

    I know you will eventually head to the field for moose with it..

    As for the 243 for Moose, I wouldn't! But if you persists, I would definitely recommend one of the premium 85-100 gr bullets. You want to be very careful in the selection of a cartridge, there are a lot of 243 varmint loads out there that are definitely not appropiate!
    I recommed these:
    Federal Premium Vital Shok with 100 gr Nosler Partition
    Remington Premier with 90 gr Swift Scirocco
    Federal Premium with 85 gr Barnes Triple Shok X
    Federal Power Shok 100 gr (Hornady bullet)
    Remington Express 100 gr Core Lokt (old standby)

    The first three are expensive, but will hold together and "get-r-done". The last two are cheaper standard lead core bullets with the core bonded to the jacket and have been around for a long time and are proven performers on DEER sized game. But if he is going for Moose with a 243, I would spend the $35/box and get good ammo!
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    I got 100ct 85gr Barnes TSX bullets if you are interested and need some for reloading.

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    How much would you want for them?
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    Well, I finally got to test this rifle out and was very impressed with the accuracy and lack of recoil, it is a very enjoyble gun to shoot. 100 yards and all the bullet holes are touching eachother.

    Unfortunately I only had enough I4350 to load up 20 rounds, and am out. So until things calm back down with the ammo markets, I'm going to try out some varget with some lighter bullets.
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
    "Swans are a gift" -DucksandDogs
    I am a shoveler's worst nightmare!

  18. #18

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    I have been loading for the .243 for 35 years and have found IMR 4350 and 100gr. Hornady to be a very good load for deer. My son and several nieces and nephews have killed deer with this load. I have used it in 4 different riffles with the same results. I have tested all of them and they shot the best at near a maxium load. I have been very well pleased with the little .243.

  19. #19
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    In regards to predator hunting; perfect for coyotes size critters however anything smaller than that and I would use a .17 (if you want the hide). I have had great luck with .17 fireball in the open country of Kodiak as well as, the 17 HMR when i am in tight cover. Plus if you do not already have a .17 it is a great excuse to pick up a new gun. I love the .243 it is a great cartridge and have taken a few deer on POW with one. That said after a couple run ins with bears in Kodiak (only twice in many, many years but one time was enough) I do not have the guts to hunt exclusively with it in Kodiak. Enjoy that new rife they are blast to shoot, they have great ballistics and are also perfect for introducing youth, ladies or any newbie to hunting or shooting centerfire.

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