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Location: Wyoming
Joined: 08/04/2006
Posts: 38
.243 or 25-06

"Factory ammo for the .243 doesn't have enough punch for deer"?

My experience with the "puny" .243 has been quite the opposite. And, not only myself, but my mother and my brother both consider my little .243 the best "one-shot-killer" in the gunsafe when it comes to deer and pronghorn. All of my shots on Whitetails and Muleys have been through the shoulders, with a couple of oblique shots smashing a shoulder, penetrating the entire body cavity, and lodging in the opposite hindquarter. Sure, it takes a toll on the bullet (or what's left of it), but I've NEVER needed a follow up shot to dispatch a deer or pronghorn hit with a .243.

Here's where I find people having trouble with the .243 on deer-sized game:

1. Using OTHER THAN 100 gr bullets (I've never had a 100 gr factory .243 fail - Core-Lokts, PowerPoints, and Hi-Shoks)

2. Poor marksmanship

The .243 has done fine by me on deer-sized game. I wouldn't disagree that, depending on where you live and what you hunt, a 7mm-08 isn't a good choice, or for that matter a .308 (if you hunt elk and deer REGULARLY and can afford or want only one rifle).

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Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
Posts: 706
.243 or 25-06

Agree on that totally...But I have just seen several deer that I had to drop from them not doing the Job..Like I said I like the .243 and I know it can do the job with good marksmanship like you just said...But Again ill say this...Why go to a caliber that has less of a punch when you can use a caliber with the same recoil and more of one...Thats what I was getting at....You have more horsepower for the buck in the 7mm.08 so thats why I said that...Just simple economics there....Get more bang for the buck LITERALY Thumbs up

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Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264
.243 or 25-06
cam69conv wrote:
Agree on that totally...But I have just seen several deer that I had to drop from them not doing the Job..Like I said I like the .243 and I know it can do the job with good marksmanship like you just said...But Again ill say this...Why go to a caliber that has less of a punch when you can use a caliber with the same recoil and more of one...Thats what I was getting at....You have more horsepower for the buck in the 7mm.08 so thats why I said that...Just simple economics there....Get more bang for the buck LITERALY Thumbs up

I would agree with the "more bang for your buck" theory here. Although I'm also quite confident that the .243 is plenty gun enough for deer. If at all possible, let her try all three and pick the one she likes best. Both the .25-06 and .243 would be classed as lightweights in the recoil department, so actual (or more specifically "perceived") recoil will likely be more a factor of the individual rifle than the calibre. If she handles the .25-06 with ease, then definitely check out the 7mm-08, or even a .270 in semi-auto (which by their nature will have less recoil than other actions).

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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3173
.243 or 25-06

Jeff,

Sounds like it's getting a bot confusing here. All the choices you have are good.
But some of us here, myself included, do not favor the 243 for game hunting. For me that stems from a lack of what I call good weights for hunting bullet's and an abundence of bullet's in varmit weight's. But the track record of the round on deer size game cannot be benighed. That some people may make bad shots aor choose the wrong bullet's, happens in lot's of larger cartridges too.

I really like the 25-06 but it works best from a 24" barrel and it does make a fuss when it goes off. The recoil itself is not that bad, it's the percieved recoil that might bother her. She I assume, is also new to this. So much as I like the 25-06, I'd find one to let her shoot first and she whatshe thinks. The 7mm-08 I've never shot but have used a couple 7x57's which are about the same. Recoil from what I here with the 7mm-08 is even less than the 7x57. I'm not sure why that is, maybe it's being compared to heavy handloads rather than 7x57 factory ammo which is very mild. The 7mm-08 should be comfortable for her.

Living in the bay area, I'd think you have access to plenty of factory ammo, I'm not sure. In that case, I would take a good look at the 6.5x55 if you can find one.
It's quite similar to the 260 Rem. The 260 Rem would be fine but it seem's it's going away on us and getting ammo could be a problem for a non handloader.
The 6.5x55 has been around for over 100yrs and while ammo isn't found just anywhere, it is readily avaliable. Being she is small bear in mind that she'll probally be happier with a lighter weight rifle, lighter rifle's aslo recoil more. I have heard of different recoil pads that help tame the problem.

The best idea of course is to find someone that has rifles in the cartridges your looking for and see if they'll let her shoot them. I would suggest against deciding for her what she should have, your lacking in the experience to do it and could very well get her something she don't like. Good rule of thumb, 308 case family; 243, 260, 7mm-08 and the 308. Bigger cases use more powder, with equal bullet weight, which equals more recoil no matter how you slice it.

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
.243 or 25-06

I used to shoot the 6mm Remington for deer. It is ballistically very close(identical) to the 243. I have shoot a few nice deer with the caliber so it does work but I have to agree with Don about the 6.5x55. It is just about the ideal deer caliber IMHO. I do have a bit of problems finding factory loads up here but reloading solves that. It is a very accurate load.

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Location: texas
Joined: 04/23/2006
Posts: 483
.243 or 25-06

I will throw my vote to the 7mm-08. What a great rifle and it has plenty of knock down power. You still need good shot placement. The 140 grain bullet is excellent. I had a 25-06 and it kicked as hard as the .30-06.