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Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by Cat_Catcher29, Oct 16, 2005.
Hey, got a quick question will a .243 Win be any good for deer and hog hunting?
Catcatcher, I know I'll probably get a lot of slack for this, but in my opinion, go with something a little more powerful, if you have a choice. I know tons of hunters out there use the .243, and with success, but I personally have a problem with it.
The .243 is a sweet shooter, and many, many deer have been taken with them. In the hands of a competent shooter, it will certainly get the job done, depending, of course, on range, bullet weight, etc. I bought one for my daughter once, and even used it myself to take several deer one season, but I found that in some cases the bullet didn't make an exit, therefore, little or no blood trail. I managed to find every deer I shot, but some of them were heart/lung shots that left no blood and in the thick places I was hunting, only my persistence found the dead animal. I killed every deer I shot, just had to trail some of them very hard. I've also helped trail deer that other hunters shot with the .243, sometimes for very long distances.
I have a friend that handloads for his rifle, and gets good performance from the Barnes X-bullets. My bad experience was with factory loads.
When it came time to get my grandson his first rifle, I chose a 7mm-08 Remington roughly the same recoil as a .243, but much better ballistics. (On his first hunt with the new gun, he took 2 deer between 180 and 210 yards and dropped them in their tracks with lung shots. He has taken a number since then, and I'm pretty sure we've only had to blood-trail one, which we found within 75 yards.) We gave him a Browning .308 last year, but he still likes the 7mm-08 best.
However , I will say this: The best rifle for you is one you have confidence in!
blackwaterkatz, thanks for the info and your right it dosent leave any blood trail.
My brother used a Rem. 700 BDL chambered in .243 WIN for years using 100 grain Remington Core-Lokt ammunition and they fell where they stood. Not trying to disagree with Blackwater's post, but the ones that did run never went far and had a big enough hole to bleed from. Those rounds always produced an exit wound for him. Good Luck!!
Thanks Eithne i look at them
Guess I posted under Kristine's screename. sorry guys.
I shoot a 30-06 and dont always have an exit wound or blood trail. Ive still killed every deer with it Ive shot. I know a few people who hunt with a 243 and its enough. If you were ever step up to elk then maybe you would need something more.
Bullet selection has alot to do with it.
The type of bullet and the bullet speed are important.
I think a bullet can travel too fast to be as effective in some cases.
I have always been partial to the 30 calibers and along with that the ballistic tip bullets.
But I know if I routinely shot at deer at less then 100 meters I wouldnt be using ballistic tips in the .308 or any 30 caliber.
Beyond 100 meters is where these bullets start getting real destructive, after they slow down a bit.
This can be evidenced by shooting at different materials at different distances with any bullet whether its a coffee can full of unpacked sand or a milk jug full of water.
Bullet choice is more important I think then the caliber in alot of cases.
Bullet weight for example can go both ways. If you are a long distance shooter you need to know the twist and the best weight for the twist .
My Remington .308 with a 26 inch tube is twisted for a 168 grain.
On the other hand, velocity plays an important role at different ranges which can be changed by changing the bullet weight.
Bottom line, in some calibers you can smoke a round right through a deer at close range with little visible damage.
I've seen it more in the .270 probally because so many people use them these days. I have witnessed a 140 grain soft point from a .270 go right through a deer at 15 yards and the deer never missed a step, just kept walking. Both of us thought it was a clear miss. After another round was chambered and a followup shot the deer picked up the pace a bit. While we sat staring at each other dumbstruck we heard the deer fall out of sight from us.
Upon close inspection, both bullets struck within an inch of each other right behind the shoulder. Both bullets exited with a hole not much bigger then the entry hole. That deer got smoked. Classic case of a bullet going too fast on a thin skinned animal. Had it been a shoulder shot with dense bone it might have gone differently and with less meat on the table.
It did kill the deer but, we could have had to trail that deer for awhile or just resigned to the fact that the first shot missed.
I tell these boys around here, shoot em in the head. I hate nothing more then to have to trail a deer till midnight and then dress him. Atleast with a headshot there is no question as to whether you got him good or not.
I started out deer hunting with a 30/06, and then went to a 7mm magnum, and then to a .280, and now to a 25/06. Out of all of the calibers I have used over the years, the 25/06 is my favorite. It's a flat shooter and has plenty enough knockdown for a whitetail if the bullet is placed properly. Bullet placement is critical when using the smaller bored rifles. Nothing will replace properly sighting in your scope and lots of practice during the off season.
Yea, I practice on 100 meter golf balls for those headshots.
I wonder if my brother ever realizes why he buys so many golf balls.
At least there are some things a golf ball is actually good for. I use them to train my labs to find things underwater with their feet and to stick their head underwater to grab them. I sight in with orange clay pigeon shotgun targets at 150 yd with my 25/06. I'm good out to 220 yards without having to adjust my elevation.
Mark, I agree with you on caliber and bullet selection, but not necessarily on the head shots. The reason is that many people are not good enough shooters, and even a good shooter can make a bad shot. I've had to help people on a few occassions 'try' to find a deer after they attempted a head shot - sometimes a little blood or hair is found and nothing more. That makes me wonder what condition the deer was in. Was the jaw mangled so it couldn't feed? I've seen that and I no longer take head shots except at close range and really good conditions. Not that I don't trust my shooting..I'm a good shot. I just prefer to make 'money in the bank' lung shots, unless it is really late in the evening, I have good conditions to take a head shot, and I don't want to risk having to trail a deer after dark.
I will say that with the '06 I prefer to hunt with, even a lung shot will usually put them on the ground. If one runs away, it usually isn't more than 20-50 yds, and there will be plenty of blood.
Oh, by the way, all. I have friends that brag on their 7mags, .300 mag, etc, but I have killed deer as far as 400+ yds with my '06 and they can't beat that, not where we hunt. Like I said earlier, the best gun is one you have confidence in, whether it is .243 or .300 mag. Know where your bullet is going. How many 1000 yd matches have been won by the .308?
Mind, now, these are only my opinions. There are about as many opinions as there are shooters...and each person thinks his are right.
In the late '60's, I guided doe hunts on a ranch here in central Texas, Llano county. At that time, Llano boasted of having more big game per acre than anywhere else in North America.
Mark and blackwater have some good advice.
I witnessed several hundred deer be shot in a few years by virtually every calibre around then. I shot a .270, and my Brother-in-law (his ranch) shot a .243. I later obtained a .243 and have killed numerous deer (over 30) with it and some hogs. I prefer the heaviest bullet you can load (100 gr and up) in it, for deer and hogs.
I absolutely hate how it does on a lung shot most of the time, with any of the bullets available. I've had them run from 25 to 250 yards with a clean lung shot. Blood trail is so-so at best. (the biggest hog, 250#, only ran 40yds, though)
Flip side is it's great if you hit bone, the neck or a head shot, and its gentle recoil makes this possible.
I love it if I can pick my shot, I hate it if I can't.
Thanks everyone for the info i appreciate it
for many years i was using my father 8mm mauser let me tell u that bad dog would layem out at 300 yrds and they never went very far the furest i had to track was 30 yds .but since then we moved and i had to hunt with a shot gun it was a hard thing to change dropping deer at 300 yds to having to wait
til they are less than 100 yds big change
well hoped my 2.5 cents helped
COURAGE =DOING THE RIGHT THING WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING
bluecatnut. LOL we dont dont allow shotguns on any of the farms for deer hunting. Rather have a high velocity 180 grain chunk of lead be shot then a 500 grain chunk of low velocity lead any day.
I Know if I had to deer hunt with a shotgun there would be one less set of tags sold every year.