.243 hunting vs. plinking ammo - Shooters Forum
» Advanced

Go Back   Shooters Forum > Rifle and Rifle Cartridges > Rifles and Rifle Cartridges
Register FAQ Members List Donate Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By langenc
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-01-2012, 09:00 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 7
.243 hunting vs. plinking ammo

Registered Users do not see the above ad.

just picked up a howa .243 the other day on a deal that i couldn't pass up. basicall i'm asking this... i want an ammo that i can sight the gun in with and OCCASIONALLY coyote hunt with (not worried about pelt damage) but also looking for an ammo that i can plink with at the range and not break the bank. i was looking at federal vital shok 85 grain with the sierra gameking BTHP bullet.. it got good reviews. my question is, my local gun shop sell 80 grain (federal, winchester, remington) pointed soft point for about 16 bucks a box vs. the 30 for the federal vital shok... would this 5 grain difference really matter out to no more than 300 yards? i know i wont be shooting a penny at that distance, but just want a backup ammo for at the range. i also considered sighting the gun in with winchester ballistic silvertip ammo in 55 grain... but is there a cheap 55 grain ammo out there for a day at the range? in general i want something to rely on to shoot the coyotes, but a backup for something cheap at the range.. also, whats the accuracy and bullet drop differences between the silvertip 55gr. and the gameking 85gr? all shots 300 yds or less... thanks for the input in advance!
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2012, 09:32 PM
Darkker's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Mesa, Washington
Posts: 3,503
the 55 grain stuff IS coyote loads. My experience is that they don't fly the best for real range work, YMMV.
55 grain is the lightest you can find for a 243, great rock chuck bullet. 85 is on the light side, but is a deer bullet(or at least right close). I use 65 grain bullets in my 243, they shred coyotes nicely.
For the "drop difference" you need to know the starting velocity and B.C. for the bullets. The practical answer is not very stinkin much. buy the cheaper ammo and start shooting.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2012, 09:39 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,293
Welcome to the forum sh40674 ! You'll see the 243 in my screen name there and that's because it's one of my favorite's hands down. There's really not a low end cost box of ammo with the 55gr or Hornady 58gr V-Max. There is however a huge selection of ammo on the shelf and ready to go with this cartridge. Do you load your own ? The difference in drop from an 80gr with a 200 yard zero and the smaller 55gr or 58gr bullets with a 200 yard zero really is only about 1.5-2 inches lower at 300 yards with the 80gr pills. There's several 80gr loads to choose from and some you've mentioned, the others are more expensive though. If your wanting minimal pelt damage i would not use the 85gr gameking myself, JMO. Federal has a new 85gr solid copper tipped for the 243 and they also load the Barnes 85gr TSX. The Hornady Superformance, Remington Copper Tip, and Barnes Vortex are all 80gr solid monolithic bullets that should do minimal pelt damage while giving good ballistics as well. They are all more expensive than the 80gr loads you spoke of though. The 243 is a blast to shoot at the range and the cheaper boxes is exactly what i do, then use a better more premium load to actually hunt with. Places like Midway USA, AmmoEngine.com, Natchez Shooters Supply are a few places to look for good deals and also show you an extensive list of ammo available for the 243. Congrats on the new gun and let us know how it shoots. What kind of scope will it be wearing ? Again welcome and you will enjoy this site very much, a great bunch of guys here with an unbelievable amount of knowledge to share with you.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2012, 05:48 AM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 1,537
If you shoot a lot, the best way to cheapen the cost of each round is to re-load.

One issue you may face is that no two different loads will likely shoot to the same point of impact. If you sight in for one load, and change to a new one, you will need to sight in again, especially if you want to hunt anything with the new load. If you find something that you like, buy a lot of it to avoid that issue.

The round is very popular, and there are many different manufacturers making many different loads. What your rifle shoots well will be different than what mine likes. Experiment is the only solution.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2012, 06:01 AM
MikeG's Avatar
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 32,773
The cheapest thing you can find will work for coyotes. The cheapest 100gr. stuff is usually the Remington which also works fine on deer, assuming that's the same bullet that they load in the 6mm Rem factory stuff. My wife actually shoots a 6mm not a .243 but I can't imagine for the life of me that Rem would go to the trouble of making a different bullet? Anyway, the 100gr. Core-Lokts will give about 16" of penetration on pigs, which is the only animal we've stopped them in. They go through our southern deer with no problem.

I'd probably rather sight it in for one load and call it good, but you might get lucky and find an 80gr. load or something cheap(er) that doesn't require being sighted in again for deer hunting.

Anyway, the point of all that is, if you are going to deer hunt, then get decent bullets. I don't have experience with current production Federal stuff but I had some really old ones in red boxes that fragmented on deer.

Last, I wouldn't "plink" with a .243. Coyote call, sure. Even 20 coyotes a year and the barrel will last a long time. Deer, yes. Burn up the barrel at the range? Your call, but the .243 isn't known for outstanding barrel life.

Get a .22 for plinking. Or maybe a .223.

Originally Posted by faucettb
Welcome to the forum. Rules are simple, be nice and join in.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2012, 07:13 AM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 10,064
I've never been one for having several different loads for the same rifle. I just pick one that is accurate, with a bullet that will do the job that rifle is suited for. Granted I've shot prairie dogs with about every hunting rifle I've owned but I'd never shoot a bunch of them or just plink with those rifles except on a rare occaision.
Still Learnin' as I go!

NRA Endowment Member
Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2012, 10:30 AM
Jim H's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 1,001
Ammo 243 Winchester 100 Grain Soft Point Box of 20

if it shoots as good as the 7-08 ammo of theirs shoots you'll be more than happy. it's the cheapest stuff i have found with an expandable type bullet.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2012, 03:56 PM
smokey262's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 107
If you don't reload I would look at Walmart or your local store and see who has the cheapest 80gr and 100gr rounds then buy an assortment to see which if any brand your rifle likes best. Then I would start building a modest personal reserve (stash) of maybe 30 or 40 boxes of them
Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2012, 09:47 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 475
The fact the OP was asking about $30 a box verses $16 a box ammo and saying he wanted inexpensive advice raises all kinds of flags for me. Either it is a sham or the guy is not too bright. My recommendation is, based on what you asked and how you asked it----follow the yellow brick road of your own first post. $16 is cheaper than $30.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2012, 06:16 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 141
The Federal Power Shok blue box ammo with the 80 gr SP bullet has proven to be very accurate for me in both a Stevens 200 and Sako A-7. You can usually find it for around $16 to $20 a box. Federal even indicates that it is adequate for deer, though I would probably opt for the 100 gr version if I didn't shoot handloaded 95 gr Nosler Ballistic Tips for deer and antelope. Of course, if you handload you can tailor your loads for whatever you choose and use whichever bullet proves most accurate and effective for your hunting needs. But if you have to use factory ammo, I can vouch for the cheap Federal stuff. It shoots very well for the price.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2012, 02:48 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 532
You can buy the red box Federal in 100gr. SP for $14.99 per box. That will work for everything and is a pretty good price. Shoots good in my rifle also.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 04:18 AM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,096
I've had good accurasy with PMP ammo which is made in South Africa. It features a 100 gr soft tip.

Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2012, 10:22 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 31
My .243 loves the Remington Corelokt 100 grain. A little heavy for coyotes, but it would work. I use mine for whitetail.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2012, 03:39 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Montmorency Co, MI
Posts: 2,441
Originally Posted by Jrp1416 View Post
My .243 loves the Remington Corelokt 100 grain. A little heavy for coyotes, but it would work. I use mine for whitetail.

Neither the coyote or deer will care if you use 80 or 100 grain.

Some have stated 'dont use two bullet weights' and I understand that. If you do/must, sight in with the most often used and then shoot the other and put a reminder 'sticker' on the gun with the adjustments ie [80 grain -1.5" at 100 yards] or whatever.
doublebogey likes this.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2012, 07:49 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 36
I use the 85 gr for deer. Works great if you can place your shot. I never took a shot with it that I couldn't place where I wanted it. I had exactly one deer take exactly one step after the shot. The rest went down right there. I never even saw intact lungs until I stepped up to using a .270. And they would run 50-100 yds dead on their feet. Killed coyotes with it many years ago. Used to be worth real money. Shoot them facing you right in the center of the chest. Not angled, not sideways, straight on. That 85 will go in 3.5-4" and blow apart. no pelt damage if you do it this way. Sideways they will generally go deep enough to blow out the back side and mess up the hide. The 75gr hp's were a little better on coyotes but I wanted one bullet for everything. My family only shot reloads so I never even tried factory stuff in it. I just got it out of the safe this weekend and made some loads for it. Heading to the range later this week and give the old girl a workout.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
High Fence Hunting by Ted Nugent Maine Stag Hunting Stories 87 05-26-2017 11:15 AM
Arctic Seal Hunting Alaska_Man Hunting Stories 6 08-10-2010 06:55 PM
Hunting in South Africa HennieV African Hunting 9 05-28-2009 07:23 PM
Back Up gun while handgun hunting? Zapzoo Handguns 37 05-03-2009 09:03 PM
Hunting Accidents jwp475 General Discussion 18 11-26-2008 03:10 PM

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:06 PM.

< Contact Us - Shooters Forum - Archive - Privacy Statement >


All Content & Design Copyright © 1999-2002 Beartooth Bullets, All Rights Reserved
Privacy Statement | Contact Webmaster
Website Design & Development By Exbabylon Internet Solutions
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1