I am thinking about getting into reloading. I have been looking online at bullets. I am not sure what type of bullet to get. I will be using it all for hunting deer and elk. I have a 243. I need some help.
Well, if you're seriously going to stick with the .243 on elk, and I wouldn't, I'd go with the heaviest and toughest bullets on the market. The best penetrator is the Barnes TSX, but they only make an 85 gr, which will do the trick, and checking my regs, it is barely legal (24 cal, 85 gr minimum for elk). However, you can also shoot Nosler Partitions which should work pretty well for you.
But this also brings up another issue, most guys want to try lots of bullets to see which one their gun shoots best. Me, I try 3 -5 bullets but I have a really bad habit of trying nearly powder in a given burn rate range to get top velocity and accuracy. I've got 23 pounds of powder for just two rifles.
My friend, on the other hand, has just one powder for each gun and tries 1 or two bullets. He just wants the gun to go bang and isn't that interested in exploring what his gun is capable of.
Personally I would forget about the .243 for an elk, it just doesn't have the knock down power that you need even with the Barnes or Nosler Partitions. Don't get me wrong there have been elk killed with one but more have been wounded than have been killed in my opinion. You need at least a 25 caliber on the bottom end and most of them do not qualify as a elk round.
I can see where this is going. nmalouff is the .243 the only big game hunting rifle you own or is it just your weapon of choice? If it is then work up a good load for your rifle and use it. Know your limitations and practice, practice, practice. Good luck and good hunting !
For literally decades the only gun I hunted deer/antelope with was my 243, in sandhills country; mixed open/small brush, brush patches, with nearly all shots say between 40 and 150yds.
I mostly used 87gr spitzers, the last couple yrs went to the 85gr nosler partition. I did try the 100 gr leads, but personally felt it was too heavy for the caliber.
I would suggest hornady interlocks for practice, as they are affordable, and also make a very good hunting bullet, and maybe some noslers for hunting if it's in the budget. If not, no biggie. The hornady's hang together well and are accurate.
Afraid I have to agree with what's been posted about elk, simply for the reason that a 243 will not pass through a good sized bone. However, like the previous poster said, a very well placed shot will still do the trick, and if you get into reloading it's a heck of a lot cheaper to shoot; we've generally found handloading costs about 1/3 as much as factory loads, after your reloading equipment is paid for.
Hope this helps.
Have fun, and Best of Luck.
I tried these in my Model 70 243 and was getting 1 1/2 groups at a hundred. If I did have to use my 243 in a Mule Deer/Elk situation I'd feel comfortable with these same as the Noslers or Barnes. My limits would be 200 maybe 250 with ideal conditions, solid rest, no wind, and broadside into the boiler room.
If you intend to use the .243 I think I would give the 100gr aPartion bullet from Nosler a try. Definetly want to make sure you make sure you can put the bullet in the perfect spot....and not to hit any big bones.
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Here is what I did on a new place for this year - this 3. 3 acre plot started as a 10 year old abandoned field that I cleaned up - it had volunteer pines, blackberry bushes, some elm saplings, etc in it...
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