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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
1. it's an old-school caliber and purely American in form, no millimeters designation
2. it's easy in the kick department while taking down most common American big game
3. it's flat and accurate enough for long-range small varmints as chucks
4. it's widely available ammunition
5. many new bolt-action rifles are chambered in it including that dandy but not too expensive Weatherby Vanguard
 

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If you are attempting to emphasize “American” you should really skip your last point. Weatherby Vanguard actions and barrels are made by Howa, a Japanese company. Nothing wrong with Howa, but they are not American. Also, some might say the .243 is a little below minimum performance for some North American big game; sure, it will work, but it is a bit underpowered.

Nothing wrong with .243 though...
 

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While a nice deer cartridge, I'd opt for the American 7-08 instead. Same case, bigger bullet, better for mulies, elk, etc.
 
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still prefer the 257 roberts.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
If you are attempting to emphasize “American” you should really skip your last point. Weatherby Vanguard actions and barrels are made by Howa, a Japanese company. Nothing wrong with Howa, but they are not American. Also, some might say the .243 is a little below minimum performance for some North American big game; sure, it will work, but it is a bit underpowered.

Nothing wrong with .243 though...
The .243 is a good rifleman's cartridge then. It demands that hunters be good marksmen. It will demand a well-placed shot, a careful selection of load type and the discipline to pass up certain shots on larger critters as deer. I fired a .257 Roberts once, and it was all over the place at the bench. Bigger "traditional" deer cartridges are hard on shoulders in bolt-action rifles. The Roberts even is somewhat stout in a bolt gun offhand at the bench.

The .243 has been known to take a bull moose down even probably with a precise neck shot. I would think the .243 should be able to take down any American species a bow and arrow can take down. I have the smaller deer species in mind anyway: blacktail, coastal and whitetail and particularly does since I'd hunt for meat.

Any CF cartridge approaching small-to-mid bore and approaching 3,000 fps at the muzzle ought to have at least as much punch as any low-velocity hunting arrow from any bow. This is especially so with a superior bullet as Nosler partition.
 

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The .243 is a good rifleman's cartridge then. It demands that hunters be good marksmen. It will demand a well-placed shot, a careful selection of load type and the discipline to pass up certain shots on larger critters as deer. I fired a .257 Roberts once, and it was all over the place at the bench. Bigger "traditional" deer cartridges are hard on shoulders in bolt-action rifles. The Roberts even is somewhat stout in a bolt gun offhand at the bench.

The .243 has been known to take a bull moose down even probably with a precise neck shot. I would think the .243 should be able to take down any American species a bow and arrow can take down. I have the smaller deer species in mind anyway: blacktail, coastal and whitetail and particularly does since I'd hunt for meat.

Any CF cartridge approaching small-to-mid bore and approaching 3,000 fps at the muzzle ought to have at least as much punch as any low-velocity hunting arrow from any bow. This is especially so with a superior bullet as Nosler partition.
All rifles demand hunters be good marksmen! I did not say you could not take down North American game with it, only that some perceive it lacks minimum performance. I do think their are better cartridges for Moose and Elk, but I am voicing my opinion just as you are voicing yours. Personally I view .243 as a good varmint gun, acceptable deer rifle and inadequate for Moose and Elk. .308 is much better suited for all North American hunting; yes it kicks a bit more, but not much. In my opinion, 6.5 Creedmore is also a better all around cartridge than .243. Yeah, we have our opinions, no?
 

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I just did a mental inventory... I do not at this time own any rifle chambered in 243 Win. Probably never will own one. There is nothing about the round that I like or can't match with other choices.

There's folks that love them. My loss is their gain, ... I guess...

Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
All rifles demand hunters be good marksmen! I did not say you could not take down North American game with it, only that some perceive it lacks minimum performance. I do think their are better cartridges for Moose and Elk, but I am voicing my opinion just as you are voicing yours. Personally I view .243 as a good varmint gun, acceptable deer rifle and inadequate for Moose and Elk. .308 is much better suited for all North American hunting; yes it kicks a bit more, but not much. In my opinion, 6.5 Creedmore is also a better all around cartridge than .243. Yeah, we have our opinions, no?
Fair enough, Mr. Warrior. My OP was about the "versatility" of the .243 anyway. I never claimed it was the BEST or PERFECT caliber for all kinds of hunting. No, it's not the best at taking down everything. It just has the ability to sufficiently take down most animals that American hunters pursue on American soil. Most American sportsmen pursue the smaller deer family members and critters even smaller with a center-fire rifle. .243 is sufficient for most American sport hunters, fur/predator shooters and varmint shooters. Hunting buffalo, moose, wild sheep, mountain goats and elk is much less common than deer, **** and varmints anyway. .243 should take treed black bear, treed cougars, bobcats and coyotes like a piece of cake and without destroying the value of the pelts. How is it on pronghorn? I don't know. That's a rare breed that's hunted.

I fired my grandfather's Husqvarna in .308 with a hard butt plate and that was like a hammer slugging me in the shoulder. My Browning A-Bolt II was in .25-06 Rem. and was practically recoiless due to its exclusive BOSS attachment on the muzzle. I took a buck with it years back. It was very noisy, however, with that muzzle device and gave me "artillery ears" from shooting ground squirrels all afternoon. The .243 should be quiet enough, soft enough, fun enough, accurate enough and adequate enough for mammals up to whitetail size.

.243 is the most well-rounded round but not perfect for everything.
 

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Hmmm. I can easily purchase .30-06 loaded ammunition with projectile weights ranging from 55 gr. through 220 gr. with recoil corresponding to projectile weight. That's versatility!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
How bad will a .30-06 kick with the lightest bullets as compared with the heaviest bullets offered in .243?

If you have something like a Browning BAR or Safari in aught-six, the gas action is supposed to soften it up a bit. I consider a bolt-action a true rifleman's rifle, however.

.243 in factory loads ranges from 55 to 115 gr.

How flat and accurate is .30-06 for 200-500 yard chucks?

I would also think that rifles in bigger bores are heavier to carry all day long to boot.

Here are big fallow deer in New Zealand dropping like flies with these speedy little .243 and .22-250 cartridges in the necks, this is excellent rifleman-ship afield:
 

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How bad will a .30-06 kick with the lightest bullets as compared with the heaviest bullets offered in .243?
Physics will answer that question as many variables are involved. Given similar variables, recoil will be similar.

How flat and accurate is .30-06 for 200-500 yard chucks?
Although most casual shooters cannot even envision a 500 yard shot, let alone accomplish one, 'flatness and accuracy will be similar, given identical variables.

I would also think that rifles in bigger bores are heavier to carry all day long to boot.
The weight of any individual rifle has nothing to do with its caliber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here is .243 Weatherby Vanguard doing a number on a number of long-range chucks:
 

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Fair enough, Mr. Warrior. My OP was about the "versatility" of the .243 anyway. I never claimed it was the BEST or PERFECT caliber for all kinds of hunting. No, it's not the best at taking down everything. It just has the ability to sufficiently take down most animals that American hunters pursue on American soil. Most American sportsmen pursue the smaller deer family members and critters even smaller with a center-fire rifle. .243 is sufficient for most American sport hunters, fur/predator shooters and varmint shooters. Hunting buffalo, moose, wild sheep, mountain goats and elk is much less common than deer, **** and varmints anyway. .243 should take treed black bear, treed cougars, bobcats and coyotes like a piece of cake and without destroying the value of the pelts. How is it on pronghorn? I don't know. That's a rare breed that's hunted.

I fired my grandfather's Husqvarna in .308 with a hard butt plate and that was like a hammer slugging me in the shoulder. My Browning A-Bolt II was in .25-06 Rem. and was practically recoiless due to its exclusive BOSS attachment on the muzzle. I took a buck with it years back. It was very noisy, however, with that muzzle device and gave me "artillery ears" from shooting ground squirrels all afternoon. The .243 should be quiet enough, soft enough, fun enough, accurate enough and adequate enough for mammals up to whitetail size.

.243 is the most well-rounded round but not perfect for everything.
Well, since you seem to want to press this further, I would summarize my position in regard to the .243 as being quite like that of Alan, I cannot think of a reason for one that I do not already possess a sufficient or superior caliber already. I am confident the .308 can do everything the .243 can do, but much better when the need arises for a bigger bullet. That said, I have to admit that Popeye is dead on with regards to the 30-06 being even more well rounded as it will do even better with bigger bullets but still has excellent varmint capability. I personally do not think the .308 is very rough recoil (of course I am a huge man that can absorb recoil better; I am 5’9” and weigh 155) and I have used it for grass rats and jack rabbits and other small critters; lots of fun. My old Ruger 77 has a thin butt pad and that is it. I am sure your grandfather’s .308 might have been tough, but men have been shooting such guns for years. If the mild recoil is a must for you, then be limited by the .243. When it comes to being an “old school caliber” the .243 is the offspring of the .308, and the .308 came long after the 30-06. Oh yeah, .243 is 6mm. Availability of ammo for .243 is no where near as flexible as that of .308 or 30-06. Both these 30 caliber cartridges have a far greater bullet selection in off the shelf ammo and for reloading. And as far as the Vanguard...just go direct and buy a Howa. In my first post I said there is nothing wrong with .243, and I stand by that, within its limitations it is a great cartridge. But it has a lot more limitations than a .308 or 30-06. I won’t even start on 6.5 caliber rifles...

Cheers!
 

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I guess I'll chime in on this. I have both in my safe, actually two 06's. One us a retired Rem 742 150th anniversary edition.
The other a Ruger American. The 243 is a Savage 110. I like the Savage for deer cause I shoot them in the neck usually at 160 yards. I use a 100 gn BTHP pushed with 33gn of 4350. My son uses the Ruger loaded with Barnes 150 gn TSX. He prides himself with perfect heart shots. The Barnes ensures a good blood trail cause some we have to look for. I guess the point of this is both cartridges are good but the user is responsible for the outcome.

I just loaded some 223 with Barnes 62gn TTX and I may shoot a doe with that, maybe a Buck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I guess I'll chime in on this. I have both in my safe, actually two 06's. One us a retired Rem 742 150th anniversary edition.
The other a Ruger American. The 243 is a Savage 110. I like the Savage for deer cause I shoot them in the neck usually at 160 yards. I use a 100 gn BTHP pushed with 33gn of 4350. My son uses the Ruger loaded with Barnes 150 gn TSX. He prides himself with perfect heart shots. The Barnes ensures a good blood trail cause some we have to look for. I guess the point of this is both cartridges are good but the user is responsible for the outcome.

I just loaded some 223 with Barnes 62gn TTX and I may shoot a doe with that, maybe a Buck.

I went deer hunting with my Leupold-Vari-X-II-scoped Browning A-Bolt II .25-06 w/ B.O.S.S. Ballistic Optimizing Shooting System* in October of 1996. I took a yearling blacktail buck at 100 yards in the prone behind the shoulders. The man was guiding me on his private ranch in Trinity County, California near the town of Hayfork and just outside of Weaverville. I had a CA B-2 zone tag. His two younger adult sons both had Remington bolt actions in .223. They enjoyed using the speedy-but-puny .223 for deer hunting. They said they were accomplished riflemen who decisively put deer down with well-placed neck shots. The father who guided me that morning in his woods for my deer wanted me not to fire a neck shot because of my inexperience. I shot ten ground squirrels on this man's ranch that afternoon after the morning deer hunt with my Browning A-bolt II. I bet those .223 rifles of the two brothers would have also made excellent varmint guns on their family ranch with all those pesky ground squirrels. The cattle would step in their burrows and break their legs, the rancher/guide father said.

Factory Federal premium fodder for my Browning .25-06 Rem. bolt gun was 117 gr. BTSP. Cartridges had nice red plastic shell holders with slots that attached to my belt.

To be honest with everybody here, I have not yet fired any .243. I'm just so impressed with what I've read about it on websites and seen on hunting videos from YouTube. I don't want a Howa brand rifle. I like the name Weatherby Vanguard better. They have a Weatherguard model in .243 I like. I will probably pick one up as soon as my money improves a bit.

* a kind of factory muzzle brake
 

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....I have not yet fired any .243. I'm just so impressed with what I've read about it on websites and seen on hunting videos from YouTube. ....
I kinda picked up on that early on.

Alan
 

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.243 is a great cartridge. My dad killed more deer with that caliber than any other rifle he owned and it was great for woodchucks too. With that said popeye is 100% right on the 30-06. With the bullet range, speed selection and distance nothing is more versatile. Then there is cost as it's one of the cheapest large rifle ammo to buy.
 

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I went deer hunting with my Leupold-Vari-X-II-scoped Browning A-Bolt II .25-06 w/ B.O.S.S. Ballistic Optimizing Shooting System* in October of 1996. I took a yearling blacktail buck at 100 yards in the prone behind the shoulders. The man was guiding me on his private ranch in Trinity County, California near the town of Hayfork and just outside of Weaverville. I had a CA B-2 zone tag. His two younger adult sons both had Remington bolt actions in .223. They enjoyed using the speedy-but-puny .223 for deer hunting. They said they were accomplished riflemen who decisively put deer down with well-placed neck shots. The father who guided me that morning in his woods for my deer wanted me not to fire a neck shot because of my inexperience. I shot ten ground squirrels on this man's ranch that afternoon after the morning deer hunt with my Browning A-bolt II. I bet those .223 rifles of the two brothers would have also made excellent varmint guns on their family ranch with all those pesky ground squirrels. The cattle would step in their burrows and break their legs, the rancher/guide father said.

Factory Federal premium fodder for my Browning .25-06 Rem. bolt gun was 117 gr. BTSP. Cartridges had nice red plastic shell holders with slots that attached to my belt.

To be honest with everybody here, I have not yet fired any .243. I'm just so impressed with what I've read about it on websites and seen on hunting videos from YouTube. I don't want a Howa brand rifle. I like the name Weatherby Vanguard better. They have a Weatherguard model in .243 I like. I will probably pick one up as soon as my money improves a bit.

* a kind of factory muzzle brake
I hope you enjoy the rifle when you do get it. You will find out for yourself if the cartridge lives up to the hype. Enjoy the Weatherby Vanguard, and please do share when you have it and a range report. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
.243 is a great cartridge. My dad killed more deer with that caliber than any other rifle he owned and it was great for woodchucks too. With that said popeye is 100% right on the 30-06. With the bullet range, speed selection and distance nothing is more versatile. Then there is cost as it's one of the cheapest large rifle ammo to buy.
I don't think the aught-six is as flat or accurate as .243 from what I've studied thus far. I fear it could still kick like a mule. The smaller calibers tend to be more fun to shoot and offer a more sporting challenge. If it kills your shoulders and ears, it's hardly fun to shoot all day long.

Larger bores are overkill for squirrels, coyotes and chucks. .243 is probably the only true American deer/varmint cartridge there is. Yes, you need to master well-placed shots with it for deer.

Think of fishing a river for trout with a light spinning outfit and 4-lb test line floating salmon eggs on. You would not use a boat rod and 30-pound test line here. It's about aesthetics.
 
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