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As the title says, I'd like to hear your .243 hunting stories. Include as much detail as you can about bullet selection and performance, blood trails, etc. I want to to hear it all, good and bad.

For the record, I have a .243 now, and I've shot a few deer and pronghorn with it. I'm considering just using it for my main rifle at this point. I have had to thin the stable, and I don't have much to work with any more.

So please, let fly! Thanks guys.

My favorite Jack O'Conner story is about the Wyoming Guide, Les Bowman, keeping a couple of .243 standard weight Winchester M-70s in camp. They were offered to people who were afraid of, or unable to shoot, their new "magnum." Bowman said that those two .243s shot more Elk than all the other rifles in camp. And were used by a couple of "big name" gun writers testing new Rem-chest-rby magnums rifles for magazine articles..

Bet they could tell some tails. Killed a lot of BIG elk.
 

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I don't currently own a .243, but I have an old Remington 788 in 6mm Remington. It's my favorite antelope rifle. As the magazine only holds 3 rounds, I carry a spare in my pocket in the event I need it. Most of the time I don't but the assurance is there. One of the longest shots I've taken with it was 387 yards resting over a fence post and holding a bit high (back before modern rangefinders). The animal went right down.
 

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Discussion Starter #63
I don't currently own a .243, but I have an old Remington 788 in 6mm Remington. It's my favorite antelope rifle. As the magazine only holds 3 rounds, I carry a spare in my pocket in the event I need it. Most of the time I don't but the assurance is there. One of the longest shots I've taken with it was 387 yards resting over a fence post and holding a bit high (back before modern rangefinders). The animal went right down.
That's a great shot. Do you recall what load you were using?
 

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Once I figured out the right bullets to use in my girls rifles I find myself even reaching for one here and there especially on for days and such. I've had excellent results with the run of the mill Remington mushrooms.
 

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The best all-round deer and antelope 6mm bullet I've found is the Sierra 85gr HPBT. They've always been magic....about a hundred times. I've shoot them in 244-6mm (1-12) and factory 1-9 and a good hunting friend used them in two .243s with great results. With that bullet, 4895 is indicated but 3031, 4064, BLC2, H-380 all work well.
I freely admit, I quit looking for deer bullets in 1972 after four or five perfect results with the 85HPBT. I'm sure there are others.
 

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I agree with jbelk on the 85gr game king hpbt. In the last 7 or so years I’ve shot probably 500+ pigs with them, 50+ coyotes, and around 50 deer with the same bullet and load. (We have our own dmap unit and I helped the state harvest does to check for cwd one year). I have yet to have a failure from this bullet on shots from 10-500+ yds. Another good point to make is I’ve yet to find a gun that won’t shoot this bullet well with a medium load of imr4831. I’ve tried it in Remington, ruger, Sako, and custom guns.
 

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Discussion Starter #67
The best all-round deer and antelope 6mm bullet I've found is the Sierra 85gr HPBT. They've always been magic....about a hundred times. I've shoot them in 244-6mm (1-12) and factory 1-9 and a good hunting friend used them in two .243s with great results. With that bullet, 4895 is indicated but 3031, 4064, BLC2, H-380 all work well.
I freely admit, I quit looking for deer bullets in 1972 after four or five perfect results with the 85HPBT. I'm sure there are others.
I agree with jbelk on the 85gr game king hpbt. In the last 7 or so years I’ve shot probably 500+ pigs with them, 50+ coyotes, and around 50 deer with the same bullet and load. (We have our own dmap unit and I helped the state harvest does to check for cwd one year). I have yet to have a failure from this bullet on shots from 10-500+ yds. Another good point to make is I’ve yet to find a gun that won’t shoot this bullet well with a medium load of imr4831. I’ve tried it in Remington, ruger, Sako, and custom guns.
Interesting. I have read that the 85gr HP from Sierra is intended for game, not varmints, but I was always dubious. It's good to hear some field experience that supports it. Thanks guys.
 

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We have a couple of them in the house I handload 100 grain partitions and on whitetail we have had pass throughs on every deer and the blood trail such as it was, seemed pretty good. The longest trail so far about 50 yards. 11 deer all shot by my kids. The rifles are stainless ruger M77 MKIIs had twin girls had to have twin rifles. So far all single shots on all of them. I have taken a couple does with one of those rifles too. Kids would kill me for posting these but since they aren't like to look here, I've attached some shots of the first deer the kids took with those rifles. Four kids four shots four deer, proud papa.

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That's what it's all about. I moved my older son up to a .270 too soon and he developed a twitch. Long gone now though.
 

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Discussion Starter #70
We have a couple of them in the house I handload 100 grain partitions and on whitetail we have had pass throughs on every deer and the blood trail such as it was, seemed pretty good. The longest trail so far about 50 yards. 11 deer all shot by my kids. The rifles are stainless ruger M77 MKIIs had twin girls had to have twin rifles. So far all single shots on all of them. I have taken a couple does with one of those rifles too. Kids would kill me for posting these but since they aren't like to look here, I've attached some shots of the first deer the kids took with those rifles. Four kids four shots four deer, proud papa.

View attachment 99409 View attachment 99410 View attachment 99411 View attachment 99412
Those are great! And a testament to that bullet in the .243, too.
 

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I have used a 243 off and on for near on 50 years . So my 243 story would be like about 500 pages .
In the hands of a good shot the 243 is good for a lot of smaller to medium game and even some bigger stuff with well placed shots but I lost a few big pigs from rear end shots with a 243 so I re-barreled to 308 W and that works better in the thick bush and running away shots . I still like the 243 a lot for longer range varmints like , foxes and wild dogs , side on pigs and smaller deer if they turn up . This is my latest 243 experiment and also has a 30-06 barrel but not used it yet .
My longest shot so far is few foxes out to 200 meters over baits and a wild dog at 360 meters and a few pigs I can't remember the ranges , probably over the baits . I don't get a lot of opportunity to hunt long range . So I am still not sure why I built the gun . Apologize for the purple color in the photo the temp was 47 degees Celcius that day .

Action .
Mauser 98 Columbian made by FN.
New Wolfe firing pin spring. New Timney safety . New Timney sportman trigger.
Barrels.
New 26 .5 inch MAB Select . Chrome Moly 1 in 10 twist 243 winchester factory chamber . No 4 taper. Not blued . Fired 100 testing rounds . Has produced good accuracy in the alloy chassis around .5 groups with my projectiles in full power loads , very little load tuning has been done so there is more potential .
New 26.5 inch MAB 1 in 10 twist Select .30 - 06 cal . No 4 taper.
Chassis weight around 14 kilo. depending on what accessory is connected .

New Wilson 30-06 sporter barrel factory chamber , is blued . Fired about 20 shots at the range . Produced 1.25 to 1.5 inch groups in the Ramline stock . Very limited load tuning has been done .

Rear monopod specs.
Sighting angles from horizontal .
Max. up angle of 5.5 degrees with bipod fully extended monopod fully in . 330 MOA.
Max down angle of 4.5 degrees with bipod fully down and monopod fully out both threads . 270 MOA. Full range ( 600 MOA )
Bipod.
New Harris BRM S 6 to 9 inch with American Defense Picatinny QD lever mount.
Increases bipod height to 6 5/8 to 9 5/8 .
Stocks .
Stock 1 .
Custom made 7075 alloy solid chassis . Adjustable height cheek rest. Adjustable length with cheek piece movement or by extending recoil pad .
Adjustable butt pad for drop at heel and cant . Adjustable position / removable Carry handle / harmonic balancer / forward grip .
Detachable rail mount front bag rider , detachable dovetail mount rear bag rider .
Can be shot from multiple rest and support configurations. See photos .
Elevation adjustable rear cantilever monopod . Tune in the finer elevation as you look through the scope .
New Decelerator recoil pad.
Scopes.

Scope 1 New Vortex PST 6 to 24 x 50 MRAD reticule and turrets .
QD ARMS 20 MOA mount ( 20 moa is in the mount not the base rail )
SDC12030.JPG

Custom made picatinny parallel base rail . This allows the NV scope to mount parallel for shorter range work. Height 3.2 inch
Latest version 47 degrees C .jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #72
That's a pretty astonishing rig there, to an old guy like me who still has a soft spot for leverguns and wood stocks on bolt guns. Now I know what people mean by "chassis."

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Country.
 

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Your most welcome . I also have a soft spot for standard wood stocks but they don't hold long term accuracy like other materials do , not withstanding laminated wood . The timber on the pistol grip and cheek rest is wood because it's too darn cold if it's metal or fiberglass , oh and the wood stain color is American Redwood you should like that . I built the gun in anticipation of a 1000 meter range opening up but it never happened . So it's only taken some small game so far . With the carry handle it can be carried a fair way to a lay up postion and that's about as far as I want to carry it .
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