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I'm currently in the market for a new, light, small caliber rifle for all around use, from small game, to varmints, to medium sized game, I currently have two .22's one I am getting rid of and I'm wanting something with a little more reach than a .22. I'm thinking about two different calibers here, a .223 of some type, or a .243. I know that both are good out to about 600 yards, both are low recoil, and both are relatively inexpensive to shoot, I guess I'm just hoping someone would make up my mind for me, since I obviously can't...God Bless
 

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Do you want an AR type of gun or a Bolt gun? I think that deer are medium size game, what do you consider to be a medium size animal and what do you consider to be a Varmint. I use a 223 out to about 300 yards for ground hogs, but coyotes can be a little harder to take down humanly at that range. What part of the country are you, I live in the hills so flat land beyond 200 yards is hard for me to find.

I had a Rem 700 BDL in 243 that did a lot of what you desire, I took a deer at 175 yeards with it and finished off many ground hogs and other little critters at various distances. Currently I find a 308 Win to be effect for want you are asking, and for me it is cheap to shoot. In my 3 bolt action 308 Win rifles the prices range from $100 for a surplus Spanish FR8 to $2,600 for my Remington 40X.

Savage has some nice rifles that are really pretty good for their price range, I have owned a few over the years. They all have served me well.

If you want an AR type of rifle the prices are all over the country depending on brand, calibers and add ons. I prefer a AR 15 HBAR NM, but they are pricey, I know there are lesser prices ones and one that cost much more. Mine shoots very tight groups on the range and really is good for ground hogs Plus I know I can get a clean kill on a coyote at under 100 yards in my area with the 223.

This really depends on what type of rifle action you want and how much you have to spend. Just like there are so many types of rifles out, there are so many different opinions on what will work for your circumstances.

Hope this helps,

Jerry
 

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I don't know what state you are in or how heavy the "medium" game is, but the .243 calibers are probably a good start. Southern states whitetails may not be large and .22 cal centerfires are popular, but the next size bore is a world of improvement. Some states won't let you hunt deer with a .22 centerfire, something to consider.

Personally like the .25s myself for a starter caliber.... owning 3 different chamberings, am a little biased.
 

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Mike,

Thanks for point out the 25 calibers, that is a very useful set of calibers for hunting, but you right, some states have standards for minimum. Here in Ohio it is Shotgun only, on my property in W.V. I can use rifles, but the range is limited by the terrain.

Except for the long distances mentioned, a Marlin 336 in 30-30 or 35 Remy would be a great rifle.

Lots of rifles and so little time.

Jerry
 

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Okay I.ll help ! 243Win . Bucks wind much better than .223 . That being said , if you don't shoot bullets lighter than 75 Gr. you can actually take advantage of that fact . If you shoot 55Gr. bullets from the .243 you nullify that advantage and actually loose ground because the .223 will have a better BC than the .243 .I think the .243Win is a better tool all around !
 

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Get a .243, I've owned several over the years, all were accurate and fun to shoot. I also used them for groundhogs, prairie dogs, deer and antelope. With a decent 100gr bullet, the .243 is a fair medium game rifle, with a 70-75gr bullet, it's a real good groundhog gun, and works for prairie dogs if you don't mind taking your time to keep the barrel from overheating.

The .223, which I also like a lot, is not a deer/antelope round.
 

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243 would be good but the .257 calibers (.25-06)would give you more flexibility still.
 

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i ll second what was said about the 243.. i don t own one now but for your wants ,,that sound like what you need.. an yes if you work at it you can probably go 600 yrds ,,but that wouldnt be my choice for that distance.
for that im gonna need an 06 an at least 165 grn.. jmo. slim
ps. wally has fed 180 06 at 16 bucks now..don t know how long it ll last though..thats old time prices ,but ive tested it for accuracy at 300 an its good..
 

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I still say the .257 Roy will give the most flexibility.
Well, the OP said something about being relatively inexpensive to shoot...something no "Roy" gun will ever be able to claim. A .243 Win, 25-'06 or maybe even a 6.8 SPC AR would do the trick, with the latter having shorter range and greater up-front costs.
 

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I have worked my way through most of the 25 calibers and all have worked well. Currently use a 25-06 and very pleased with it's performance. If you reload it fits the cheap factor, if you don't you can find ammo everywhere.. Definately not the rifle to use in a hot prairie dog town since the barrel will warm up quickly. I can agree with the .243 and 6mm's being a good allround gun.
 

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Well, the OP said something about being relatively inexpensive to shoot...something no "Roy" gun will ever be able to claim. A .243 Win, 25-'06 or maybe even a 6.8 SPC AR would do the trick, with the latter having shorter range and greater up-front costs.

You got me there Jim
 

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I would suggest a 25-06.

More power than a .243, heavier bullets, modest recoil and the shells will cost you about the same at Wal-Mart.
 
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