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243 or 308?

4351 Views 25 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  clemmer
I am going to buy a Mossberg 100atr from bass pro, but I can't decide if I want a 243 or 308 for decently long range shooting, probably max of 600-800 yards. I don't hand load and don't like to spend a lot on high end ammo, but I just want to know which round is best for shooting at least 2" groups beyond 100yards for a budget shooter.
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Clemmer, I see a lot of posts now days from new shooters who are of the belief that they can simply buy a gun and scope and start shooting very accurately at long ranges. It's simply not that easy. First off, you need to learn how to shoot and that takes a lot of lead going down range. Second, if you don't reload you're not going to get there either....too cost prohibitive. You need to walk before you run. Start with realisitic expectations. See what you can do at closer ranges and work your way out. It's just not as easy as you think.
Forget the very long range stuff for now. If you're asking which caliber would be best for you for shooting deer and coyotes I'd suggest the .243 as my personal choice. Either one can be very accurate and both are capable of making clean, humane kills on the game animals you mention. My reason for suggesting the 243 is simply that it has less recoil which may help a newer rifle shooter and it is very flat shooting at all reasonable distances (but so is the 308 actually). I've been deer hunting for fifty-three years and I have yet to ever even get a shot beyond two hundred yards at a deer...and I've shot a LOT of deer. Yes, you can get shots longer but it doesn't happen very often. At least not in the North East US. Not to bash Mossberg even a little bit but if I were actually looking for a rifle to shoot at very long ranges with, that wouldn't be my first choice of gun to get. In fact, it wouldn't even be on the list of guns to get. It's a very adequate gun for deer hunting but for six hundred yards and beyond it's just not made for the task. Again, concentrate on closer distances. Up to even three hundred yards both calibers will be more than flat enough shooting and each will kill deer. At longer distances the 308 with heavier bullets will have more retained energy and might be a better choice.
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