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Thread: A few Questions about the 243

  1. #1
    Member Max Headroom's Avatar
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    A few Questions about the 243

    I'm toying with the notion of what I will replace my hand in rifles with.

    I've decided to research the 243, with an eye to buying one later in the year.

    So I'm not in the market for one at the moment.

    The questions:

    * Given that they're a barrel burner, how many rounds can you shoot in a group before you're risking dumping too much heat into the throat?
    I'm asking from the point of view of sighting in/ changing zero, so 's I know how slow to take it.

    * As far as reloading for the 243, what's your preferred powder, and do slower powders help with barrel life in your experience?

    * Your favourite deer hunting projectile for 243?

    * Any other things to know/ watch for?
    RIP Garry S. 23/08/19

  2. #2
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    Flyblown@ maybe able to answer you!

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  3. #3
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    My Ruger Hawkeye 243 with an over-barrel MAE suppressor can shoot about 5 rounds of factory 100gr Federal Powershok consecutively before things become too hot to touch.

    Only powder I've been using is AR2209 and has been working well.

    Hornady 100gr BTSP or Speer Hotcor 80gr SP have been my main projectiles.

  4. #4
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    * Given that they're a barrel burner, how many rounds can you shoot in a group before you're risking dumping too much heat into the throat? I'm asking from the point of view of sighting in/ changing zero, so 's I know how slow to take it.

    Shoot it like you stole it. If there's a mob of five goats, shoot all five. Don't worry about throats, it will cramp your style! Seriously, I run cheap rifles for that very reason, I don't want to have to worry about barrels. If, in the unlikely event it loses accuracy due to wear, it'll be because it got bloody well used and did its job. Then you can choose to rebarrel, or buy a new rifle.

    The other aspect to consider is the use of lightweight, superfast bullets. The 75gr V-Max for example, great bullet, 3400fps, almost 20% more powder than I use for the 100gr ProHunter. So barrels with hotter varmint loads won't last as long as slower deer loads.

    I've never had to rebarrel a .243 Win. The original CZ ZKK I was given by my Grandpa is still going, shooting moderate loads, its 45 years old.


    * As far as reloading for the 243, what's your preferred powder, and do slower powders help with barrel life in your experience?

    The .243 Win really benefits from a full case of powder. In my experience, it does not like low fill ratios at all, which you will get with fast powders. To that end, ADI AR2009 will give you a fill ratio in the 90-95% range. I haven't paid any attention to barrel life.


    * Your favourite deer hunting projectile for 243?

    Sierra ProHunter 100gr soft point flat base
    Sierra GameKing 85gr hollow point boat tail

    I use the ProHunter these days in my 1:10" twist Howa. I have run it on and off for about 30 years. The smaller GameKing is also excellent, I used that on fallow and goats for 5 years in the Noughties in a Tikka.


    * Any other things to know/ watch for?

    Don't try and supercharge your loads, the bullet performance deteriorates with excessive velocity. This is especially true of the ProHunter. When I go to the UK, I shoot with a guy who runs a 6mm Dasher. At first his ProHunter load was well in excess of 3000fps - probably 3200fps, can't remember - he had real trouble with the speed and excessive fragmentation and meat damage. I run mine at 2800fps and it returns the perfect balance of fragmentation and a solid base pushing through. It's really important for good clean kills and a half decent carcass. So he downloaded his Dasher and it made all the difference. The ProHunter works well on red deer sized animals to a max of around 2850fps.

    If I was buying another 6mm rifle tomorrow, I would seriously consider a faster twist than the standard 1:10". I have researched this recently, and have a spreadsheet that details all the main manufacturers and their twist rates, can email it to you it you want.

    Reason I say this is that sometimes I like to experiment, and I've kind of reached the end of the road with the .243 Win. I don't think the new Sierra 90gr GameChanger is a good design for .243, and accuracy reports are very poor in 1:10" barrels. The Hornady 90gr ELD-X will be here next month, and that should be better in the 1:10" as it is a tad shorter than the GameChanger. But other than that, there's nothing new that I can play with.

    Getting a 1:9125" or 1:925" Remington or Savage would open things up a bit, but I really want to be able to use my .243 Win like my cuzzies in the US do, with 1:8" twist barrels. They shoot the 105gr A-Max and 108gr ELD-Ms very successfully.

    So, its not necessary by any stretch, a 1:10" .243 is a great rifle for accurate, precision shooting of our game in NZ, but a faster twist rifle can take advantage of where bullets are going design wise.

    A 6mm Creedmoor would be my most likely purchase, in 6mm, or I would build a .243 Win with a TruFlite 1:8" barrel.
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  5. #5
    Village Idjit Barefoot's Avatar
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    Don't think I would really call the 243 a barrel burner.
    When I still had one I was using Win760 and RL17 powders. they have similar volumes to AR2209. Preferred bullets - sierra 85gr gameking and 95gr Targex.
    Kept velocity around 3000fps and the bullets did their job.
    As Flyblown said a faster twist barrel would be a better choice if starting from scratch.
    Sold it the other year simply because the rifle had become the backup so wasn't getting enough use. Using a 6xc now,1:8 barrel. It opens up the opportunity to try some heavier bullets, but really its just a flash .243
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  6. #6
    Member Ground Control's Avatar
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    I shot my first Deer many years ago now with a .243 and I lost count of how many Goats .
    I was a Parkerhale with a fixed 4 power Leupold scope with weaver rings , I can still remember it well and at the time I thought I was as flash as Micheal Jackson .
    My mates father reloaded my ammo for me ( I gave him my empty shells and money , he gave me loaded ammo ) , all I remember was that they had Hornady 87gn bullets and everything I shot fell over . My ability , my knowledge , area I hunted and attitude of the day meant that 200yrds was a long shot and normal was 50 - 150 .
    A lot has been written about the shortcomings of the .243 and in this modern world of the average guy being able to buy on Friday and consistently hit targets out to 500yrds after a box of ammo on Saturday morning it does lack the down range thump of the larger calibers .
    If I was looking for a 250 yrd Goat and smaller meat Deer rifle then I would be silly not to consider the PooFourThree
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  7. #7
    Member Walker's Avatar
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    Nosler 100gn partitions or sierra game kings on top of N160 has been my go to for awhile averageing 2900fps good for anything out to 350/400m been playing with my newish savage and 105's will shoot bug holes with 2217 and match primers. Have used the 87's and 75 vmax(for 500m bunnies) but mostly 100grn pills that will work up close and at a distance.

  8. #8
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    I wouldn't call the .243 a barrel burner. I suppose a dedicated target shooter might worry about barrel burners. If it's a hunting rifle, I wouldn't even worry about it.
    I used to use 2209 and the 85 grain Sierra hollow point, and more recently the 95 grain Ballistic Tip.

  9. #9
    Member Max Headroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walker View Post
    Nosler 100gn partitions or sierra game kings on top of N160 has been my go to for awhile averageing 2900fps good for anything out to 350/400m been playing with my newish savage and 105's will shoot bug holes with 2217 and match primers. Have used the 87's and 75 vmax(for 500m bunnies) but mostly 100grn pills that will work up close and at a distance.
    Is there a good case for using match primers in the 243 generally, or does it not really matter?
    RIP Garry S. 23/08/19

  10. #10
    Member Walker's Avatar
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    Normally wouldn't matter but match primers are usually abit 'hotter' and spark up the slower powders better.

  11. #11
    Lovin Facebook for hunters kiwijames's Avatar
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    A few Questions about the 243

    Iím running 2217 near 100% full cases under 100g pills. This is supposedly a good way to manage throat erosion. Iím not seeing any problems so far and not speed and accuracy is great. CCI BR2 primers.
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    Always liked the 85 gr Noslar Partition, and the 87 gr Hornady HP was a good killer. Nowadays I am trying the 90 -95 gr bullets. Don't use it enough to get a good picture always reach for something bigger not that the 243 isn't capable as it is. Have shot a lot of animals with the various rifles I have own.
    2209 is a good powder and if you want a bit more speed Superformance will up the anti in the speed department. I would call it a barrel burner but they do get hot after 5 or so shots much the same as most rifles. I remember my son using my BAR in 243 goat shooting up east cape, he must have shot about 20- 25 rounds from one spot and man that barrel was hot, bloody hot. We ended up with a heap of goats though. They are a very good mid range caliber.

  13. #13
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    EBRG/TWOFORFREE one cartridge you either love or loath.....if I was being 100% honest about it.....90% of the animals Ive shot over the years would have gone down just fine had I been using one...not ideal for shooting large stags up the jacksee or riled up wild boars but place your shot (and these things NORMALLY are tack drivers) and you wont go hungry. couple of members on here use it for most of their hunting with good results....for a chammy/fallow rifle it would be just about perfect.

  14. #14
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walker View Post
    Nosler 100gn partitions or sierra game kings on top of N160 has been my go to for awhile averageing 2900fps good for anything out to 350/400m been playing with my newish savage and 105's will shoot bug holes with 2217 and match primers. Have used the 87's and 75 vmax(for 500m bunnies) but mostly 100grn pills that will work up close and at a distance.
    Where did you get your Savage from @Walker? They don't seem to have ever been that popular here, and I haven't come across a dealer with a good selection of the various models. In my experience of them the finish can be a bit rough but man can they shoot. My cuzzies pretty much only use Savage rifles and do a lot of semi-custom jobs with them, building rifles for very specific applications in their sheds and kitchens! That barrel nut makes a bit difference.
    @Max Headroom the Savage .243 factory barrel is a 1:9.25" twist and shoots the boat tail 100gr bullets extremely well. Never discount a Savage, there's a lot of shit written about them but they are one of the best selling brands in the US for good reason.
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  15. #15
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    I'd be wary of thinking the "modern" heavy 243 projectiles will always perform well in a 243 on game, I gave up on the pointy 105's in mine after poor results on Tahr

 

 

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