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.243 for whitetail (only)?

Discussion in 'Guns & Hunting' started by pro2amendment, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. Sep 15, 2020 at 9:53 PM
    #31
    RLHOK

    RLHOK Keeper of the smoke.

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    I love a 243, great round. I took a nice 6 point in 2006 with a 243, just over 200 yards, DRT.

    Another great but over looked round is the 25-06, fast flat shooter.
     
  2. Sep 15, 2020 at 10:11 PM
    #32
    Shaff777

    Shaff777 Rocking the Tundra since 2010

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    The 270 is one the best rounds out there for deer. I have killed many mulleys throughout the years with a 270.
     
  3. Sep 16, 2020 at 6:01 AM
    #33
    sotex

    sotex Sic 'em Bears!

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    My shots are neck/shoulder/heart and some may go a few steps/yards. I don’t consider 25 yards “running”. If I have to track their blood trail, that’s “running” to me.
     
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  4. Sep 16, 2020 at 6:05 AM
    #34
    Fiesta346

    Fiesta346 New Member

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    where you hunting in PA?
     
  5. Sep 16, 2020 at 7:05 AM
    #35
    dynamite08

    dynamite08 New Member

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    I was an outfitter and guide in Texas for around 15 years. I always caution people to go bigger. While a 243 is a great round and plenty capable of killing whitetail with a good shot, your margin for error is less than with a bigger cartridge. This helps in situation with 'buck fever'. If you're going to go out and shoot does or meat hunt, than the 243 is perfect. If you are planning on getting an opportunity at a great buck, opt for the larger round. We can all hit bullseyes at a target range, but I've guided army snipers that practice and hit regularly out to 1,000 yards miss broadside shots at bucks at 70yds. A marginal shot with a larger caliber will fair better than a 243.
     
  6. Sep 16, 2020 at 9:32 AM
    #36
    pro2amendment

    pro2amendment [OP] Member

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    All, I appreciate everyone's perspective. I realized there would be lots of point of views but that's what I wanted, so thanks!

    Where I go from here not yet sure.

    270 was my back up partially because i can borrow for free. it was my wife's grandmother's who was a wonder outdoors person from northern Ontario and for nostalgia sake, it would be cool and honor to use.. If any more thoughts, keep em coming
     
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  7. Sep 16, 2020 at 10:10 AM
    #37
    JLS in WA

    JLS in WA New Member

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    Don’t overthink the chambering.
     
  8. Sep 16, 2020 at 10:13 AM
    #38
    Hoff

    Hoff New Member

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    243win. 6mm Rem. 2506 Rem. Those would be my choices.
     
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  9. Sep 16, 2020 at 1:35 PM
    #39
    Shaff777

    Shaff777 Rocking the Tundra since 2010

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    Just use the 270, and put a quality optic on top. A Leupold VX-3 has decent light transmition and can be had for around 4-500 bucks.
     
  10. Sep 16, 2020 at 1:50 PM
    #40
    Rgross2112

    Rgross2112 New Member

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    sometimes the area near Gettysburg to Chambersburg other times in Sullivan’s county near Hillsgrove
     
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  11. Sep 16, 2020 at 1:54 PM
    #41
    Rgross2112

    Rgross2112 New Member

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    Dammit! You got me looking at .243’s now. Always need a new gun, just like mods for the truck!
     
  12. Sep 16, 2020 at 4:55 PM
    #42
    careyrob

    careyrob In the field

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    I have a friend who is a gunsmith that swears by his 6.5 Swedish for deer. He has a really nice .308 he built from scratch and other rifles as well, but the old 6.5 Swedish gets the nod for deer every time.
     
  13. Sep 16, 2020 at 5:00 PM
    #43
    careyrob

    careyrob In the field

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    My nephew hunted Texas whitetail and hogs with .25-06 when he was younger. The recoil was more manageable for a smaller shooter.
     
  14. Sep 16, 2020 at 5:03 PM
    #44
    careyrob

    careyrob In the field

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    .270 is great for whitetail.

    .243 is a good round for whitetail and coyotes as well if you need to do some varmint control.

    Both rounds are solid choices for what you're doing.
     
  15. Sep 16, 2020 at 6:11 PM
    #45
    Bucks04

    Bucks04 New Member

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    Cant' agree with you ,dynamite 8, if buck fever is a problem , then even more so go with lower caliper for 1 less area to worry about , jerking or anticipating that jolt is not good , but you being a guide I would expect that so your blood trailing is easier . But in woods by yourself , can be hard. Everyone has had a form of buck fever , just take a breath ,pick a spot , and squeeze. If you have to hurry a shot and are nervous on top of that , don't take it. It's not worth the injured animal, and the upset stomachs that come with it. You'll get another shot at the right time. One of the best lessons learned was, DON'T KILL A DEER JUST FOR THE SAKE OF KILLING IT. HUNT HARD , AND BE PATIENT .
     
  16. Sep 21, 2020 at 6:55 AM
    #46
    Wrongside

    Wrongside Living in Justin’s utopia...

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    Absolutely right.
     
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  17. Sep 21, 2020 at 7:10 AM
    #47
    Sephon

    Sephon Don't be an American't

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    I've been hunting PA Whitetails for 25 years. I started using a .243 and about 15 years ago I switched to a .270. In all honesty, I've noticed almost no difference. Each deer is going to react differently when it's hit.

    I agree with @Shaff777 , shoot the .270 and spend "new gun money" on a good optic. Doesn't sound like you need tons of magnification, so buy one in your budget that lets the most light in. Early morning and near dusk shots are, to me, the most common.

    Regardless, practice and have fun.
     
  18. Sep 21, 2020 at 3:22 PM
    #48
    pro2amendment

    pro2amendment [OP] Member

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    Thx!

    I have a Nikon prostaff on my TC muzzleloader and I'm impressed how bright the view is in low light. Seems brighter than naked eye to me..
     
  19. Sep 21, 2020 at 4:04 PM
    #49
    Wintersun

    Wintersun New Member

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    With a rifle if I cannot get a clean headshot with 100% certainty then I do not take the shot. And even in California it is not difficult to get close enough for head shot with deer as they are forced to go where there is still water available in the fall months. With a bow it is quite different as there is a great deal more immediate blood loss with a broadhead arrow piercing the chest cavity.
     
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  20. Sep 21, 2020 at 4:19 PM
    #50
    Tinnitus

    Tinnitus New Member

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    .243 is a fine choice for deer.
     
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  21. Sep 21, 2020 at 4:40 PM
    #51
    Nighthawk

    Nighthawk New Member

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    I agree 270 is a great caliber I’ve taken a lot of white tails with it,I too think spend money on a good scope. I love Vortex maybe a 4x12 ,they have a lifetime warranty.
     
  22. Sep 21, 2020 at 5:13 PM
    #52
    school teacher

    school teacher New Member

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    I have deer hunted since about 1978 in Kentucky where the typical shot is under 100 yards. Shot placement is critical with any caliber. For larger animals, especially on a quartering shot (a shot at an angle and not a classic broadside), lighter weight, high velocity bullets will mushroom upon entry and not necessarily get to a vital area. I have hunted with a party of about 20 hunters on a 600 acre lease for over 20 years with most hunters tagging out. The most common calibers in our group are the 7mm Rem Mag, 30-06, 270 and .35 Remington. One hunter uses a .243 and he usually tags out but has to track his deer for long distances.

    I use the 30-06 with the 180 grain pointed soft point and the .35 Remington with the 200 grain soft point. I also use a .50 caliber muzzle loader with the Hornady 240 grain .44 caliber bullet in a sabot

    My experience with the .35 Remington is that they drop like a rock. The 30-06 is God's caliber and drops a deer efficiently even on quartering shots.

    I usually dress out the deer for some other hunters. The 7 mm Rem Mag and .270 can destroy a lot of meat especially if the deer is hit in the shoulder or pelvis.

    A .243 is a good caliber for someone wanting lighter recoil or who has the opportunity for longer range shots.

    I took a nice 8 pointer at about 125 yards with the .35 Remington. It was a broadside shot on a walking deer and the deer took one step and dropped.

    All of that being said, the best investment I ever made in deer hunting was a Leupold Vari-X II 3x9 adjustable objective scope. It is super clear and has good eye relief. I mounted it on a Marlin 336 in .35 Remington, a Remington 700 BDL in 30-06 and a Thompson Center .50 Hawken. I hunted on the 3 X power with about a 35' field of vision.

    Most deer rifle scopes are set to minimize paralex at 125 yards. With an adjustable objective scope, you and adjust the paralex down to to under 50 yards. To me, this makes the image in the scope crystal clear in low light at close range.

    Most modern calibers will efficiently harvest deer if the deer is properly hit. Spent time on the range and properly sight in your rifle.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  23. Sep 21, 2020 at 5:20 PM
    #53
    P-Factor

    P-Factor Enigma

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    Some things never change, it ends well with good placement, enhanced with a well dialed scope.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  24. Sep 22, 2020 at 5:46 AM
    #54
    sourdough44

    sourdough44 New Member

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    I’ve only used the 243 a handful of times, but it’s been fine. Like with any gun, start with careful shot placement. I’m a bit picky about bullets, used a 95 grain partition in the 243. A quality 85-100 grain ‘big game’ bullet is key. There are a fair amount of ‘varmint’ loads on the shelf. Those lighter bullets have a higher likelihood of poor performance on deer.
     
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  25. Sep 22, 2020 at 5:52 AM
    #55
    sotex

    sotex Sic 'em Bears!

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    Just bought a box of Barnes Vor-TX 80 grain. It’s all they had left. I’ve never used them.
     
  26. Sep 22, 2020 at 6:01 AM
    #56
    Ericsopa

    Ericsopa Old man and the sea

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    Understated, for sure, John. At 120yds, .223 in the neck, 65gr boattail spitzer, drops a 10 pointer where it stands. Our deer are pretty small. Even a heart/lung shot will usually drop them within 20-30 yards. Even does the job on the occasional Axis.
     
  27. Sep 22, 2020 at 8:16 AM
    #57
    JohnLakeman

    JohnLakeman Burning Internet Daylight

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    Believe or don't...My first deer, taken as guest hunter on a lease near Leakey, was an Axis. Rarely, lease holders had seen escapees from an adjacent exotic hunting ranch on this lease. I made the shot near dusk after following his progress through the brush. I was waiting for him when he stepped out into the clearing behind my stand.

    My host had invited me as a potential lease member. He and I had to get the deer back to camp to confirm positive ID. We both knew it was a deer, but we were sure I had f'ed up because we thought it was a Fallow deer. It was only slightly heavier than a hill country whitetail (must have been young), and had an symmetrical 4X4 rack, which was a clue. I later learned that Axis are from the elk family, and only have 4X4 racks. Obviously, neither of us had any idea of what a Fallow looked like.

    The leaseholders weren't too happy that a guest took an exotic on their lease, but in fairness, I was only told not to take a Fallow. Even if they given me pictures of what a Fallow looked like, I'm guessing it would have turned out the same.

    I wasn't invited to join the lease club, and I wasn't invited back...the silver lining is my friend managed to stay. Maybe it was the Axis, but my son's bad behavior probably didn't help. Ah, well...everything happens for a reason. :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  28. Sep 22, 2020 at 10:58 AM
    #58
    hagrid

    hagrid 6Al/4V

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    Good Lord, I hope not. Need to save money for fuel.
    Would 300 Weatherby be ok?
     
  29. Sep 22, 2020 at 10:59 AM
    #59
    Hbjeff

    Hbjeff New Member

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    they make a 338 right?
     
  30. Sep 22, 2020 at 11:03 AM
    #60
    HulkSmurf14

    HulkSmurf14 Pulling Hard...

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    .243 is one of my most favorite rounds...I have shot caribou over 660yds in AK and elk in MT even when my .300 was out of service...we home-load our own rounds but the muzzle velocities are over 4k ft/sec...even the standard loads are moving fast and have plenty of takedown power! Do it, and start building your tool chest after this one...like starting mods on trucks, once you start, you'll never end! If you want a rifle that can do everything and beyond, go with a .300 chamber...that's the only rifle you would really need for anything, anywhere! Either way, you can't go wrong...
     

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