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Beartooth Regular
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Tillman,
      My wife has the 20" barrelled Model 7 and we can get 2800 fps out of it with 100-105gr bullets using both H4831 and Reloder 22. Bullet selection is tough, though. We've had several examples of marginal bullet performance in my opinion; I prefer a sizable exit hole and this generally just isn't going to happen with the .243- again just my experience. It will certainly kill deer, as we have never lost an animal hit with it. But good tracking blood is often hard to come by.
      For bullets, my top pick is the 100 gr partition. Next are Hornady 100 gr and Speer 105. Between my wife and I we have killed 4 deer and 2 pronghorns with the .243 over the years. Not enough to be an expert, but enough to have some opinions!  Good luck,  ID
 

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Beartooth Regular
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2,212 Posts
MikeG has touched on an interesting point. If you hit the shoulder the deer often will drop sooner. But if you are going to do this with a .243 PLEASE use a partition or X-bullet! My wife hit an antelope on the shoulder with a 95gr Ballistic tip once, and not so much as a FRAGMENT made it into the chest cavity. I had to chase that bugger (admittedly it was not moving that quickly) for several hundred yards until I got close enough for a neck shot. It had run up and over a ridge out of sight. The shoulder was absolutely obliterated, but as I said, the inside of the ribcage showed not so much as a pinhole. I also shot a mule deer once with a 100 gr Federal factory Hi-Shok bullet which came apart on a rib and only tore up one lung. When the deer got up and ran again I killed it with a shot to the base of the spine.
        Bullet selection is everything with this small a caliber. Sorry to rant so long, but I hate to see wounded or suffering game.    IDShooter
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Hi guys,
      I think the important thing to remember here is getting the performance Tillman wanted from the cartridge! Obviously the .243 will kill deer adequately under certain circumstances. My step father-in-law uses a 22-250 for deer + antelope, my father-in-law has killed elk with a .243. An acquaintence of my father's (who was unemployed) routinely poached deer to feed his family with a .22 and a flashlight! All these things work! But Tillman, like myself, prefers a good blood trail whenever possible, and that is far less likely to happen with a .243 than a larger caliber in my experience and a lot of other peoples'. It's not really a question of "does it work", it's a question of "will it work like I want it to". You can argue til the cows come home about calibers but ultimately the one you use has to please only you and the game department!
                   Have fun and shoot straight!     ID  
 
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