6 replies [Last post]
Joined: 10/01/2006
Posts: 5
.243 WSSM for Mule Deer

I was wondering if anyone has used the .243 WSSM for muley bucks? I'm a fan of larger stuff, but want to use it because the gun is so light in weight, and accurate too. However, I'm worried about terminal performance. I have a friend who neck shoots most of his deer with the .243 WSSM, but I have witnessed at least 3 instances with that caliber where shoulder shot deer left little or no blood trail. I'd like to hear some opinions from small caliber fans?
I don't have time to work up any handloads, so I'm going to stick with either the 100 grain powerpoint or 95 gr ballistic tips.
Shoulder shot or behind the shoulder for the little guns?

Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1572
.243 WSSM for Mule Deer

I was always a 243 fan but havn't use one in a long time. It definately calls for a lung/heart shot. A 100 grainer just doesn't have the weight behind it for the shoulder shot. saying that, I have no experience whatsoever with mule deer but I wouldn't hesitate for the whitetails

Location: South-central Montana
Joined: 08/10/2006
Posts: 82
.243 WSSM for Mule Deer

I used a regular 243 for mulies for years and never had a problem, so I would think your wssm would be plenty adequate with good shot placement.


Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206
.243 WSSM for Mule Deer

I'm not a 243 fan for deer but have shot a couple with it. One with a 75gr V-Max (don't do that!), and one with a 100gr Hornady. For my ex-wifes 6mm Rem I used to load 100gr Hornadys and she killed 5 or 6 deer very cleanly with lung shots.

In the 243 or 243wssm, either one, I'd go with the 100gr bullet and stick to lung shots. If you take a neck shot and make a good hit, the deer will die like lightning hit it. If you hit the spine, same thing. My experience with 24's and 25's on deer says that instent kills with smaller calibers are iffy at best. But the deer seem to wobble around a bit and fall down.

I can't imagine that the difference in weight in a 95gr and a 100gr bullet will be significant but there might be a lot of difference in construction of the bullet. I've read a lot of good about the balistic tips lately but they had a bad name for quite a while, to explosive. I read little about power points but it seems that everyone that shoots core locks loves them. I would be inclined to find a box of core locks and use a proven winner. That said, I haven't shot factory ammo in years. But we're talking about a realatively easy animal to kill with a well placed shot. The thing to keep in mind is that the most important part is not the cartridge, but the bullet. In the end, the bullet will only preform as well as you place it.

Location: Wyoming
Joined: 08/04/2006
Posts: 38
.243 WSSM for Mule Deer

I cut my teeth on a .243 and used it with 100 grain factory loads to bag years' worth of deer-sized game. It's the cleanest one-shot-killer I've used on whitetail, mule deer, and pronghorns. Haven't used it in awhile, but I wouldn't feel undergunned taking it out for any of those.

I'd imagine the WSSM to be just as good.

bitmasher's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2974
.243 WSSM for Mule Deer

Ditto to what others have said. Used 243win for a long time and 6mm, but not the wssm. With 100gr bullets (partition, accubond, etc) it should be fine.

Location: Misouri
Joined: 11/30/2005
Posts: 361
.243 WSSM for Mule Deer

Just use a a barnes triple shock and never look back. Wife Killed a big 6x6 bull elk with her 243 and XXX. 200 yards thru both shoulders. DRT.

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