I am undecided as to the effectiveness/recoil level of the two. Does the .260 kick much harder? Any of you have experience with the .260? I figured handloaded 125 partitions should do the trick. The rifle is for wife/son.
You ask for a view on two calibres ,for women/young shooter you do not how ever give us insight into the use the calibre is expected to perfom ? Which in all reality is the most important criteria !
I shall assume you are talking deer ?
Recoil should not be a problem with either calibre, although a light .243 can kick hardered than a meduim weight .260 rifle so rifle weight may be a factor in your choice.
Example# I let i new shooter fire my light weight .308 after firing a .308 Varmint rifle...... He believed my rifle to be more powerful and a larger calibre ! Yet both rifle were firing the same 150gn load, perhaps some thing to think about ??
I assume you hand load ?? If not local aviabilty of ammo may be a factor ? Either way a .260 should not be "to much" rifle for women or boy ,remember boy grows and the .260 loaded with heavy bullets will do very nicely indeed.
Thats my own veiw perhaps some one else will give theres. Hope that helps some?
I concure Englander. If the wife and boy are new shooters, get out that .22 first and let them shoot. Work in the rifle calibers at reduced loads, since you reload. When they go to hunt make sure you use a full load. Bullet performance is always questionable at lower velocities.
I made this error last year, and sighted in for a reduced load for my son and daughter. They did not hunt and I had a couple experiences that were possibly bullet performance issues. I wish I had not used the reduced loads for hunting and I will not again unless recoil becomes an issue in my later years and I have some good sound bullet performance data to back me up.
I'm a bowhunter so I know the importance of shot placement but as a rookie rifle and pistol hunter I have seen the importance and marginal performance of an inadequate round.
I too would lean toward the .260 myself. I have a fair amount of experience with its ballistic twin, the 6.5x55mm Swede. I like it a lot. Its a very flexible and effective combination for even rather large game with the right bullets. On the other hand the .243 in my opinion is best used on game like pronghorn antelope and smallish deer. I know a whole big bunch of hunters like it, but I've always wondered if they wouldn't do even better with just a bit more cartridge. On middling to larger deer penetration may be a problem unless the perfect broadside or head-on shot presents itself. If you do choose the .243, may I suggest sticking to lighter big game and seriously considering the use of wonder bullets like the Barnes X?
My wife and I have used the .243 to kill four pronghorn and three mule deer if my memory is correct. While we never lost an animal, minimal penetration and marginal wound channels have been the rule. We generally used standard bullets like Hornady and Speer, as well as the 95gr Nosler ballistic tip one year. If I had to use the .243 again, I would use nothing but the Partition or X-bullet.
I suppose if I had to do it over again I would try the 260 (wasn't available back then!). The .243 seemed to be marginal even on good shots, I'd hate to think what would happen on a bad shot.
Just my experiences! IDShooter
What conditions will the hunting be under? Will there be good opportunities for careful shot placement, or will it be at spooked game running away at short ranges, etc., etc?
The .243 is popular in Texas for deer/hogs, although most of our hunting is from fixed blinds where you have a steady rest and time to take your shot. .243 is pretty light for big hogs but a lot of people shoot them in the head so it works well in that respect.
I shoot a .257 Roberts with 100gr. bullets loaded to 2800-2900 fps. This is actually a little under full .243 ballistics, but it works well. The lower velocities might help keep the bullets from blowing up.
I also have a 6.5x55 Swede but haven't taken any game with it. When I do it'll be a 125gr. Partition because that's what prints to the sights at 100 yards (milsurp mauser).
The new hunter should start out with a heck of a bunch of .22 rimfire, then move up to the centerfires. Recoil tolerance is largely mental, with gun fit being very important also. $10 for a brick of 500 rounds will be the best money you ever spent. For a cheap .22 I'd recommend one of the Romanian military training rifles. The two I have had are fabulously accurate, and for less than a hundred bucks you don't feel bad cutting down the stock if it doesn't fit.
I'd sure go with the .260, and have "enuf gun" when the shooter gets further down the road. After air rifle and .22, I started my oldest daughter out with a 6.5x57, SR4759 to send a 120-gr bullet off around 2000 f/s, a mix of dry fire and/or these loads for a few sessions, then on to 140-gr partitions and never look back. Flinch never became a problem (low-power scope too.) The next daughter didn't like the looks of that rifle and started the same way, but with a .243 , light bullets, same powder and approach. Each got a good start, but I felt the larger caliber was a jump ahead.
One Dad's opinion ----
Regards from NW Montana, Denurban
Thanks for all the info guys. I'm a very experienced hunter but I've spent all my time with cartridges like the 7mm Rem Mag and 300 win mag. My "pet" for the past few years is a Ruger M77 MKII in .270 win., custom stock, trigger work, etc. I handload extensively but mainly for larger calibers. I have worked up loads for a friend with a 7mm/08 Browning Micro that shot wonderfully but I think recoil was to great for small women and children. My wife has killed a deer with a muzleloader but didn't like the recoil. (200 gr. XTP and 100 gr pyrodex pellets) The rifles I'm considoring are the Ruger compact or lightweight or the Remington 7 or 700 youth or browning micro. With a Leupold compact 2-7x33. I am familiar with reduced loads but don't want to go that route. I guess I was a little vague in the earlier post. The rifle is for whitetail and the occasional bobcat, yote, etc. I live in eastern arkansas and the range can vary from 10 yards to infinity, but mainly inside of 100. Average weight also varies drastically, depending on the area hunted, ranging from 80 pounds upward to 250. I hear all the time about the .243 being all the gun you need but I have doubts.
The noise/muzzleblast is perceived to be part of the recoil by many shooters, especially beginners. Short barrels, in my opinion, should be avoided for that reason. The new Ruger compact rifles sure look neat but a .243 in one would be LOUD with full-power ammo in a 16.5 in barrel. Heck of a fireball at dusk, too, I would bet.
By contrast my .257, in a 22 inch barrel and not loaded all that hot (say 45,000-46,000CUP) isn't bad in the noise department. While hearing protection should always be worn when possible, you can't cancel all of the noise. Some of it you can actually feel, like the concussion from a magnum revolver.
If you go the .243 route, I'd go with premium 90 or 100 grain bullets, and not loaded to max pressures. Even the typical starting loads should be good for a 200 yard shot. A new hunter doesn't need to be taking 300 yard shots anyway.
Thanks for the input. You mentioned a .257...I assume a .257 roberts? I've hunted with an old mauser custom in that chambering...a friendof mine inherited it. Sweet little cartridge. Ruger offers that chambering in the lightweight with a 20" or 22" barrel. I considored it but am concerned about brass availability, I know it's a necked down 7x57mm but its also becoming extinct. I was concerned about the muzzleblast also but it seemedto be the lesserof the ills.
It's a hard choice to make...rifle weight vs. recoil. I appreciate the roberts b/c later when more performance is wanted there is the improved version. gets it pretty close to the 25/06 in the lighterbullet weights.
Mike makes a good point re-muzzle blast and perceived recoil. My 22" light weight .308 can give a pretty good nudge when spitting out powerful 180 gn loads and the muzzle will jump a good bit.
Yet i tried a heavy barreled Ruger .25-06 at the range a 117 gn bullet ! Now this rifle was much much heavier than my .308 and had a 24" or 26" barrel yet personally i disliked this rifle, i felt it kicked harder than my .308, which i doubt. I believe the greater noise generated by this rifle was the reason for the perceived recoil on my part.
So to get to the point im trying to make, dividuals perceive recoil differently due to varying factors. Therefore i would highly recommend if possible letting the new shooter "try" not only different calibres but also different weights/stlyes.
I used to own a extremely light weight .243 mannlicher carbine 20" and Yes Mike the muzzle flash at dusk would totally blind me losing all sight of my target ! And muzzle flip even with light bullets was surprising !
Is your roberts short or long action? I read all the time about the arguement of long action vs. short action for such rounds. IS the extra rifle weight worth the few extra grains of powder you gain from seating your bullets out? As to your opinion of .243 bullets, I was thinking of speer hot-cor or hornady interlocks for general purpose and 85or 95 gr partitions for hunting.
Texas huh...A few friends and I have been thinking of a trip to Texas, one of the ranches. Prices are outrageous. we're notlooking to kill a new world record just kill few critters, have fun and....oh yea, have a good reason to get out of the house. Any ideas?
Mine is an older one (tang safety) and the magazine box is 3.4" or whatever a full-length action is supposed to be. I'm not even sure that they had a short action back when the rifle was made, my father in law bought it many years ago.
As it turns out, the throat won't let bullets be seated out any great amount, so it might as well be a short action and save some weight.
My loads are right out of the book, and correcting for the shorter 22" barrel, I get velocities that are right what you'd expect, 2800-2900fps with 100gr.
Personally I'd not put any great stock in gaining powder space by seating long. The gain in volume is not going to be great with only a .25 bore, and a few tenths of an inch extra length at most. It's not like you are looking for magnum performance in this application. The improved version has it's fans but I've got bigger stuff if I need more power.
The long mag box does give me the ability to seat bullets to the rifling which sometimes helps with accuracy. I will have to measure the OAL of my reloads but I think they are all around 2.9" or less.
The only real advantage I have with the long action is if the barrel needed replaced and I could go to a .25-06 or other full-length cartridge. But after my experiences (deer, hogs, prairie dogs, etc.) and the purpose of the gun (new shooters, varmiting, fun plinking, etc.) I think if I needed another barrel for some reason I'd just get another Roberts.
If you can't find the Roberts in a short action, then one of the .308-based cartridges would probably be the way to go, sticking with less than max loads for new shooters. I did see a very nice used Win 70 Featherweight once in 7x57 and regretted not being able to afford it at the time.
If you do get a light rifle then by all means spend the few extra dollars and get a good recoil pad for your new shooter. A friend has a Featherweight .270 and it beats the living crap out of you with the factory pad, which are apparently made out of concrete. I put a Decellerator pad on the gun and the difference is night and day.
No experience with any brand of .243 bullets, but I did kill my first two deer with a Speer 145gr boattail in a .280 Rem. Never shot any Hornady rifle bullets, except at targets. Most of the critters I have killed with the Roberts have been with either 100gr. Cor-Lokt component bullets that I loaded, or 75gr. Sierra hollowpoints for varmits.
Hunting in TX - that's an entirely different thread, but if you want to have fun on the cheap, go hog hunting. Forget about deer, it's so expensive that it's stupid. Lots of big ranches advertise very reasonable rates to shoot pigs and they are usually organized with hunting camps & guides. Generally they are glad to have you kill all you can, and there are other varmits and less-desireable game like coyotes, javelina, etc., that can always stand to be thinned out. Get a copy of the Dallas or Houston paper and start looking at ads. Right after deer season is a good time to go, before it gets too hot.
The 260 Rem is about as perfect mid-range whitetail round as they come. My BDL is a real pleasure to shoot out of a climber tree-stand. I handload the 125gr Nosler Partition. Eleven one-shot kills on whitetails with this rifle since 1998.
Dixie huh? I'm from arkansas myself. Anyway, I've decided on the .260 with the same 125 gr partition load. I had already decided to buy myself one but with a twist, I'm going to make it the improved version, I figure I'll gain 125 fps or so, gets it within a hair of my beloved .270 win but about 12 grains less powder. I would appreciate your load info. You mentioned you had a rem 700 bdl, I'm a leftie so that's not an option. Browning has a short action coming out in a few months.
I agree with Mike regarding the .257 Roberts in long vs. short actions. Much ado about nothing. Either is just fine. As for brass, Midway has it all the time for mail order delivery. You shouldn't have any problem if you'd want one.
Maybe i'm missing the point but, .264 dia. to .284 dia. is not a large stretch of the imagination, with you being a 7mm fan and all. A short, lightweight in either 7x57 or 7x.308 would be awsome in the long run, with only handloading down to solve the practice and recoil tolerance problems. Whoever brought up the fact of 22lr. practice was wise beyond there years. My 7year old daughter and I try to practice at least three times a week when the weather allows. She owns her own Henry single shot 22lr., we practice offhand and prone, at paper and also swingers. I am a 6.5mm fan, and she wants to shoot my rifles (6.5x.284, & 6.5x06) now, but the answer is "NOT NOW"! Practice with a 22lr., "very light load" for a 7x308 (100 to 120 grain bullets) for up to 100yds. practice, and then load up as skill progresses.I hope I didn't go to far out into left field for you, just some rambling thoughts, the 7mm BR wouldn't be bad either. I enjoy teaching/ introducing youngsters and newbes to the mightiest of all, the22lr.!
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