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THINKING OF BUYING A SMALLER 243. FOR VARMITE, LIGHT TARGET, MAYBE DEER.HANDLED A MODEL SEVEN ,LIKED THE WEIGHT AND FEEL FOR A SMALL CAL. GUN.I AM FAMILIAR WITH THE 700 ,BUT NOT THE 7.WHAT DO YOU THINK?GOOD GUN? :roll:
 

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Do not own one myself, but I work with a VERRRY stingy fellow who bought one and loves the price and performance. Believe his is an '06, and he shoots numerous Bambis every year.
FWIW
///olde 8) pharte///
 

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Seems I recall seeing (magazine or internet???) that a westerner, elk safari guide, as I recall, said he got his elk every year with a .243. Took standing shots only at no more than 150 yards. Biggest thing I personally shot w/.243 was a groundhog or three, way back when there were not many good bullets available for the .243. Now the selection of bullets is great! I just got a new (to me) Savage .243 last week. Don't even have optics on it yet. Another $$$ :lol: $$$project!
///olde 8) pharte///
 

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Either gun is good, they are very comparable in quality. The Model 7 is more of a carbine version with an 18" or 20" barrel rather than the 22" or 24" barrel of the 700. I'm not a fan of the .243 for deer but that can vary by region. Where I mostly hunt deer, it is not unusual to shoot a buck that field dresses in the 230-250# range. Add to that the close ranges they are frequently shot and a lot of stress is placed on the bullet. At only 100 grs, I have seen these bullets fail to penetrate adequately enough for my tastes (meaning exiting from nearly any angle) even when premium bullets like the Nosler Partition, Speer Grand Slam, and X-Bullet are used. I personally feel at least a 25 caliber gun with 120 gr bullets is a better choice for my uses. If your deer are smaller on the average, then a .243 may be a good choice. It is also a popular choice for coyote hunting though I think it is a bit too expensive to shoot and has more recoil than wanted for a high volume prairie dog gun. Any of the 22 cal cartridges would be a better choice in my eyes. For the occasional woodchuck, fox, and smaller deer or antelope then the .243 would be a decent choice.
 

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I've tried to make a mental count of animals taken with a 243,a couple ferral hogs and countless coyote and about 20 deer.We could take 5 deer per year and at least 4 seasons worth should equal about 20 deer.That could be more as we could apply for more doe tags for selected areas for folks that could not hunt and I always helped folks that were in need.The farthest a deer ever ran after being hit was 20-30 yards,but that was shot well under 100 yards,most went down on the spot.I still use a 243 on antelope and have taken 5 and all but 1 went down on the spot,the other ran and could not make it up a hill 20 yards away and fell.Beyond whitetail deer and antelope I will agree with uglydog and take a larger caliber for muleys and elk,the 243 may take them but why?There are other calibers that will do the job more effectively.But for whitetails and antelopes the 243 reigns supreme in my book.Glad to see your interested.Drop-Shot
 

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I've shot a Model 7 in a 308. Short, compact,easily carried and kicks like a SOB. Accuarcy was pretty good as long as you shot twice,let it cool,then shoot again. This one had a 2x7 Leupold.


As for the 243, As you didn't say where you hunt,I'll have to backup Uglydog on this one. I have a 243 that I've had for almost 25 years. I wouldn't think twice about hunting with it around here,Virginia, because our deer aren't that big. I have read accounts where folks have killed mulies,elk and antelope with them.Not that it wouldn't work,I just think that there are better calibers out there to handle these.

HWd
 

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Can't really comment much on the 7, other than it's a nice rifle. I'm a CZ and Ruger man, myself. I know a lot of people with the 7, and they love it. If you pick it up and handle it and it feels good, chances are you'll like it.

For a deer/varmint/target rifle, .243 is one of the better choices out there. It's a great longer-range coyote cartridge. For smaller deer, it's a good choice as well, as long as you do your part. Doesn't have as much recoil as the .30 cal catridges. That means you'll be able to shoot it a lot longer at varmints and paper targets (or tin cans, if you prefer). You would probably want to reload for it to keep the costs down and so you can use good bullets for hunting, because using it for a deer rifle will necessitate using good bullets. Otherwise, you can spend the cash for good hunting ammo and just plink with cheap sh!t. There's a reason the .243 is one of the typical "general use" bullets (on the list with the .308/.30-06 and the .223, along with a few others). I'd say it'll do what you want it to. As a matter of fact, my next rifle is most likely going to be a CZ 550 in .243.

It also boils down to what other rifles you have. I can't remember if you've said anywhere what you've got. If this is your first hunting rifle, I'd probably recommend something a bit larger like a 7mm or .30 cal of some sort, especially if the deer are your main quarry. If you ever do go for anything larger, the 7mm and .30 bullets would be the smallest you'd want.
 

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If you've got a .30-06 and a .22LR, you're about due for something in the .243 range. It neatly fills the gap between the two, and does it a little better than the .223, since you're wanting to use this rifle for deer. If I ever get into deer hunting, I'll probably just use my .308, so either the .243 or the .223 would fit my bill just fine. For you, it looks like .243 (or something similar like the 6.5X55 SE) is your baby. Once you do that, you'll have a practical trio of rifles for any game in North America, unless you've got a twinkle in your eye for the largest bears.
 

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Take a look at the 700 Mountain rifle, same weight as the 7 with a 22" barrel for around the price. While it isn't available in .243 it is made in .260 Rem. which may be what your looking for.
I'm not certain but I seem to think the 7 is a scaled down 700 with a slightly smaller bolt diameter, maybe someone else could shed more light on that.
Either way I think you can't go wrong!
 
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