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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone-

Wanted some thoughts on the following...

I am adding to my battery of rifles. First what I already have.
1. Ruger 10/22 in .22 LR
2. Marlin 917 VSF in .17 HMR
3. Marlin 336 in .30-30

So I am thinking of adding a .243 Winchester to the line up next. Following the .243, I would eventully get a .270 Win for the next class up, and then possibly some form of .300 Mag down the road.

So here is my thinking on why I would like the .243.
I am looking to use this caliber for "eliminating" various varmint sized critters from my grandparents farm fields i.e. gophers, ground hogs (same thing?) and the like. Plus I need a cartridge that can reach out and put a hurtin on some 'yotes that have been causing some problems with some of their livestock. So there it is, various varmint types and predator class of game I am after.

Now, why not one of the center fire .22's you ask? I know from some limited experience with firing a buddy's .223 that the .22's are very effected by wind drift. Knowing that the .243 varmint bullets have a higher SD (sectional density) this should help overcome that to some degree.
Also I just LOVE the look of the Rem 700 CDL. Such a Classic rifle, and I see the .243 as a classic cartridge. It just seems like the perfect pair. Recoil isnt bad with the .243, ammo is plentiful, comparitivly inexpensive to other calibers, and I think it will be a good gun to really expand on good shooting mechnics of a high power cf rifle with. Top it off with a Leupold VX-III 4.5x14x40 Adj. Obj. and we should be all set with a dandy rig.

So what do you all think of my plans and mode of thought? The only reason I ask this is because I was reading a thread yesterday title "least favorite cartridge" or something similar and there were a few folks who had the .243 on that list. If I recall correctly, it was becuse the .243 in their opinion was a touch to heavy for true varminting and a little light for deer. I respect their opinions.

Now bear in mind that I am not wanting to set up a true varmint rig, but a cross over gun for the game listed above. Plus I am not trying to do it all with the .243. I use my .30-30 for deer (where legal of course) and it is very effective, and some day I will be stepping up to the .270.

Let me know what you all think, and thanks in advance!

-Drew
 

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Get a .223. With a 1:9 twist, you can use a 60 to 65 grain bullet, and it'll be a very stable long-range performer on coyote-sized critters. Yet, you can still load 45 to 50 grain pills and spit 'em out at about 3400 fps..... great for gophers, woodchucks, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, and so forth.

A 1:9 twist is becoming pretty much the norm on the new guns for just that reason.... avoid a gun with a 1:12 twist, because it's only good for 40 to 45 grain bullets.
 

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If your heart and mind are set on a 243, by all means get one. Also gophers and groundhogs are different by size and weight, at least in this neck of the woods. WWB makes several good points. The other factor to consider is how much trigger pullin' you'll be doing and ammo costs associated with that trigger pullin'. If you handload, ammo is not a big deal, if you don't handload, a 223 will allow you to generate buckets of empty brass at not too unreasonable cost. From what I have seen, 243 ammo is about on par with most other heavier cals. (about $10/box and up) while 223 goes from $3 and up. This is what lead me to get a heavy barrel 223.

However, if I was going to get a cross-over rig, I'd pull out my 25-06. It is overkill on varmints but it will really reach out and touch the critters with authority and there is little question on its deer harvesting qualities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies so far. So a .223 will have enough "oomph" to take a coyote down at lets say 200 yards?

Is the .223 going to be an inharently (sp) more accurate caliber than the .243?

Just trying to seperate the pros and cons from .223 to .243 ...

Thanks for the replies so far, keep em comming.


-Drew
 

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I like the 243, but if you plan on getting a 270, don't think it would be a wise choice. I would go with a 22-250 with 223 as a second choice, then the 270 would compliment your arsenel very nicely.

The 223 can kill a yote at 200 but I like the 22-250 so I can stretch those shots out a little farther.
 

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Well now... I think the 243 is definitely too much gun for golphers- one of the centerfire 22's is better for that (223 or 22-250). Heck, your .17 and 22LR will work on those critters at modest ranges (75 yds and under).

For coyotes, I think the 243 would be a great round - and who really cares about "over gunning" a coyote- it's not like you're worried about damaging edible meat after all. :? But a 223 will also work fine on them. There are 223 bullets made especially for varmit hunting.

I don't have any experience with the 243 on deer, but I know plenty of people use it for medium range shooting (under 275 yards) quite effectively. Of course, you've already got a great short range deer rifle with your 30-30, which- if you buy some of the new Hornady Lever Evolution ammo - will kill deer at the same range as a 243. So for a dual purpose varmit/deer gun you'd be duplicating the deer part of it. I'd just get the 270 or a 30-06 for longer ranges and skip the 243 as a deer round for you.

If I were you, I may just get a 223 (coyotes and golphers are killed plenty easy by that round out to 200 yards) in a cheaper model rifle like a NEF or H&R single shot, and then spend the larger chunk of $$ on the Rem 700 CDL in 270.
 

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Drew,

Ya just had to reopen this can o'worms didn't ya ?!?!!! JUST KIDDING!!! This battle is as bad as the 270 versus 3006 ones!
A 243 will do all that you've mentioned and more. From an economical stand point , yeah the 223 is cheaper to shoot. From the effective side, the 243 is better in my book. I,ve shot groundhogs at some extreme distances and dropped them with authority. Would the 223 have done as well? Maybe,but that's not what I was carrying at the time.
Now if ya want a real crossover gun, get the 25/06. This way you'll not need to buy a 270. Great accuracy , speed , distance , etc. all in the one package.

Heck, go check out the Stevens 200's and buy a couple of them. Get all three ,make your decision then sell the extras to your friends!

HWD
 

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Actually, I reconsidered and I think you should get a 375 H&H - blast those coyotes into hamburger and then leave the carcass there for his pals to see- they'll stay away from the farm after that! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks fellas.

Well the ol' .223 is looking more and more likely here as I read all of your great comments. I had a feeling that with .30-30 already and a .270 to come for sure the .243 wouldnt be the best choice. I guess the .223 would vive me a 'true' varmint round and the .270/.30-30 could cover the rest given the hunting conditions, dist, and game class up to a point.

Then next question is about Remington. I read on some forum like this one, if not this one, that Rem is having some QC problems with their rifles. Is this true? Every manuf. will le a lemon go here and there, but are we talking about a major problem with rem right now?

I was thinking about going with the 700 LV SF in .223. Any thoughts to that?

And what magnification range is suffieicent for the range of the .223?

Thanks again, and I look forward to your repies...

-Drew
 

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Drew,
Something along the lines of a 4x12 should be ok. You might want more magnification for the gophers,say up to 16x or 24x.

HWD

Keep this in mind... A quality scope will help a so-so rifle shoot well , but a junky scope will hurt the accuracy on the best rifle.
 

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I haven't heard about any manufacturing problems at Remington. I wouldn't pay for an ordered rifle sight unseen- buy one at a gun shop that you can handle and see the quality for yourself.

Scope on a 223 for 250 yard shots? a 4-12x40 wouldn't be out of place on a varmit rifle.
For a 270 all you need is a 3-9x40 or even a 2-7. Bigger targets (deer) don't require tons of magnification.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Right on with the scopes. I was going to go Loopy vx-III in a 4.5x14x40 for the .223 and I agree with the 3x9 for a .270. I only buy "quality" glass by my own standards. Hell, my .30-30 wears a Leupold too! (2x7 and that is prob a bit over kill for that round).

Glad to hear Remington isnt in the middle of a QC crisis as I want to get into this rig sooner than later....

-Drew
 

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My .223 isn't exactly intended for carrying around.... it's a Savage Model 12FV. It has a big, fat, long barrel that made it so muzzle-heavy I put about a pound and a half of lead shot in the stock to balance it. Topped off with a 6-18x50 scope, it's pushing 12 lb. But it'll make a half-inch five shot group every time if I do my part; and with that massive barrel, it doesn't heat up and start walking all over.

They're get-out-of-here ugly, but they sure do shoot.... take a look at the Savage bolt guns, either standard or varmint guns.
 

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Re: re: So.... Why not a .243 Win.???

wwb said:
My .223 isn't exactly intended for carrying around.... it's a Savage Model 12FV. It has a big, fat, long barrel that made it so muzzle-heavy I put about a pound and a half of lead shot in the stock to balance it. Topped off with a 6-18x50 scope, it's pushing 12 lb. .
Holy crow! Yeah- you need a 12 lb rifle and a rock solid rest for that- at 18x magnification I imagine even the slightest tremor looks like the sight picture is doing a jitterbug dance!
 

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The cool thing about the 243 is you can load 58 gr bullets to 3700-3800 FPS and kill any coyote alive at 400 yards if you can see that far and if you can hit anything at that distance,I can't,but at 200-250 yards it was a almost certain kill and then I could shoot 100 grs and deer hunt.We were allowed 5 deer per year and sometimes we would hear of extra tags free for over populated areas and we could take 6-7 deer in a year.I went 3 years in a row averaging 6 per year,it then went down to 4 per year.I went many many years killing deer at all kinds of ranges with a 243,more than I can count,so I know from personal knowledge that the 243 is a great deer cartridge.If you don't hunt deer I would do as the rest said and go with 223.Drop-Shot
 

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As this ends up being some what of an opinion with a personal bias i`m for the .243. If you hand load like some say you can cover more territory plus ammo can be bought just about anywhere. All you`ll need is a "good" quality scope to top it off.
Instead of the .270 (which is really a nice round) i`d think about one of the WSM`s or just a plain old 7MM/Mag. Now that puppy is a winner. IMO
Another good quality scope and your ready for what ever.
What ever you decide on get the :best: make/model you can afford. Do your home work like your doing here then plunk down your money and have at it. Good Luck.
 

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I own a .223, .22/250 and a .243. Buy the .223 if you want to shoot alot and do it inexpensively (the same reason I bought a 9mm pistol) It will be fine for everything you said you would shoot. I like to shoot it out to 250-300 yds. Those 55gr bullets seem to be affected alot by wind. If you reload, you could use the heavier bullets and still keep the costs down, but you don't get the nice flat trajectory the lighter bullets give you and that's important on small targets.
I like the versatility of the .243. I reload 60 to 105 gr bullets and use it for small game to deer. It has performed well with the 105gr bullets on the deer I have shot with it. And the .243 bullets do have a higher ballistic coefficient than the .22 bullets of the same shape (Ballistic coefficient is basically the ratio of the sectional density and the form factor-or shape of the bullet. The higher the BC, the more velocity the bullet will maintain when compared with another bullet with a lower BC when both bullets are fired at the same muzzle velocity).
I would recommend getting a high quality fixed power scope of 10 or 12x. With a steady rest and shots over 100 yds, there would be no need for a variable power scope since you would probably never use the lower powers on small targets. I have a 10x on my .22/250 and it works great for the longer ranges I shoot it at.
 

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My feelings regarding the 243 and 6mm Rem is that they are neither fish, nor fowl. That being said, I'll confess to loving my 16ga shotties...the ultimate "neither fish, nor fowl"...

If you ABSOLUTELY stick to using 100-105 grain bullets in the 24s, they are adaquate for deer. Any smaller bullet is irresponsible, in my strongest opinion. My first deer rifle, 46 years ago, was a Savage 99F in 243. I took five deer and an antelope with the rifle with no problems. I shot Rem 100gr Core-Lokt ammo, still a good choice. :D

If you reload, the 243 can be anything you want it to be, up to, and including a deer rifle round. :idea:
 

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luv2safari:
When i came to the part about the Sav 99 in .243 i smiled.
Nice to see another Sav 99 guy. Hope you still have that puppy.
Mines a 99f .250. As i don`t hand load...... Winchester shells are the order of the day. 100 gr.
One thing about a 99 you can carry that baby all day long and never know it. Perfect balance.
First deer i ever killed was with a "loaner" 99 in .250, those things you never forget.
Keep that Sav well fed and in a warm she`ll last you a life time. Come to think of it yours is getting long in tooth.
Great piece of American Rifle history.
 

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One of the guys that my son knows said last week that his deer, elk and moose rifle was a remington 700 in 243.I asked again if he was sure and he said yes, I killed my last 2 elk and 1 moose with a 243,I didn't give a reply right away and his wife spoke up and said yea the moose took 5 shots to kill,ran out of ammo,went to the truck and got more and the moose was dead when we got back.I unloaded,I asked if he had ever been in pain he said yes,that moose was in 10 times more pain you have ever experienced just so you could use a deer rifle on elk(elk took 3 shots at less than 50 yards to kill) and moose,get a serious elk and moose cartridge or quit hunting!243 is a fine deer and varmit round but it has its limitations,for the sake of the animals life,which is precious to him,use enough gun!If I could only have 1 gun for all animals I hunt it wouldn't be a 243,30/06 or 300 win mag or 300 weatherby mag or 300 WSM mabe.Don't let my admireation for the 243 make anyone think its more than a varmit and deer cartridge.Just my opinion.Drop-Shot
 
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