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Q:
Looking for help with 243 ammo. All I hear about is long range performance with the new ammo these days. I hunt the woods of PA and all my shots are under 100 yards( most are under 50). What would be a good bullet choice for whitetails? Is fragemtation an issue with close range shots with these new bullets? Bullets I am looking at- winchester power max bonded, remington core-lokt ultra bonded, nosler partion, winchester xp3. Any suggestions?

Question by mbarnes122578. Uploaded on January 15, 2012

Answers (15)

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

For all of my buddies that I load .243 ammo for deer hunting I load the Sierra 100 grain ProHunter. It does a good job of killing deer and is accurate too. If you have to shoot through the shoulder go ahead the bullet is up to the task.

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from PigHunter wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

We use the Federal Premium with 85 grain Barnes Triple-Shock X Bullet.
http://www.federalpremium.com/products/details/rifle.aspx?id=589

The Triple-Shock will not fragment.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chaslee wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I use the remington core lokts 100 grain. The cheap ones and have never had a problem. Thats the shell my gun likes. I have never had one get away and most shots have been around 100-150 yards. I hunt PA also. I use the gun for ground hogs during the summer so when deer season comes around I know where I'm hitting.

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

i don't think .243 and long range really go together. what exactly is long range in this case?

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from Treestand wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I hunted for 24+Yr with a 243 in the same type woods
I used Remington 80Gr Core-Lokt and never lost a deer
JMO~ Keep doing what your useing, I taken Ground hogs
with that 80Gr ammo out 390Yd from a Browning BLR and
A Win M/70. Don't Fix what ant broke!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Use Barnes bullets and fragmentation won't be an issue. PigHunter is right.

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Any of the bonded bullets you mention will be fine for deer as well as the nosler partition or barnses. Deer aren't particularly thick skinned, big boned or hard to kill. The .243 performs well from what i've seen.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chuckles wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Ditto Pighunter and country road.

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from BigBboy25 wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I'm assuming that you're not reloading from your question. Honestly for deer I want a fragmenting bullet. You don't need a TSX for whitetails in my opinion. There are cheaper options available that will do well. But the TSX will definitely work though they are great bullets. I like Ballistic Tips for deer. From your loads listed I can't see where fragmentation would inhibit penetration. All the bullets are bonded or designed to hold together. Try a few boxes of your top choices and see what your rifle likes. All the loads will kill a deer, and the deer won't care what bullet hits it.

As for the .243 going along with long range, it's a very popular long range round. A lot of competition choose the 6mm for their rifles. They have great VLD bullets available for it, Sierra, Berger and JLK make very good bullets for this caliber. It's been used for deer out to 500 yards without problems and set records on paper at 1,000. Also, the 6mm XC is David Tubb's caliber of choice, it is nearly identical to the .243 in velocity, it's supposed to be more accurate though.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

243 (243 a necked down 308) is a nice cartridge, but I prefer the 25-06 over it hands down.

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from Sourdough Dave wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

100 grain cor-lok would be a good choice.

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from GarrisonRandy wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I just returned from a late season antlerless hunt in southern Iowa and have used my Savage .243 every year. This weekend I took two does at 60 and 15 yards. I use the Winchester 100gr Power Points CXP2. The longest I have had to trail a doe in the years I have used this set up is 40 yards. Like you, all shots are under 100 yards.

More than anything, shoot several bullets to see what your gun shoots best. I think the minimum grain bullet I would recommend for deer is 85gr.

BTW, I also use my .243 for coyotes and shoot the Winchester Supreme CXP1 55gr Ballistic Silvertips. They sizzle out of the barrel and work great!

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from Drew McClure wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

243 Hornady superformance GMX will cleanly kill any beast facing you as long as you aim through the boiler room. They do require a few extra passes to clean your bore, but my flat shooting youth gun will penetrate and kill. Nuff said, Cheers. Do your job and these bullets will perform.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Any 100 grain bullet will be fine for deer at that range. I've shot more deer with Hornady Interbonds than any other but they all work fine. Deer aren't that tough and at 50 yards all .243 bullets are smokin'.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nicemachines wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

I have had, and still use, my Savage .243 since 1973. I too live in an area very similar to yours (Catskill Forest Preserve, just over the boarder from PA) 80 grain is good. Just remember, the grain is the weight of the bullet. I aim for the neck, brings them down every time! Not a good brush gun, bullet will deflect if it hits even a blade of grass! Great All purpose gun. .243 can be used for small and big game! Good Luck Man!

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from BigBboy25 wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I'm assuming that you're not reloading from your question. Honestly for deer I want a fragmenting bullet. You don't need a TSX for whitetails in my opinion. There are cheaper options available that will do well. But the TSX will definitely work though they are great bullets. I like Ballistic Tips for deer. From your loads listed I can't see where fragmentation would inhibit penetration. All the bullets are bonded or designed to hold together. Try a few boxes of your top choices and see what your rifle likes. All the loads will kill a deer, and the deer won't care what bullet hits it.

As for the .243 going along with long range, it's a very popular long range round. A lot of competition choose the 6mm for their rifles. They have great VLD bullets available for it, Sierra, Berger and JLK make very good bullets for this caliber. It's been used for deer out to 500 yards without problems and set records on paper at 1,000. Also, the 6mm XC is David Tubb's caliber of choice, it is nearly identical to the .243 in velocity, it's supposed to be more accurate though.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

For all of my buddies that I load .243 ammo for deer hunting I load the Sierra 100 grain ProHunter. It does a good job of killing deer and is accurate too. If you have to shoot through the shoulder go ahead the bullet is up to the task.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PigHunter wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

We use the Federal Premium with 85 grain Barnes Triple-Shock X Bullet.
http://www.federalpremium.com/products/details/rifle.aspx?id=589

The Triple-Shock will not fragment.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chaslee wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I use the remington core lokts 100 grain. The cheap ones and have never had a problem. Thats the shell my gun likes. I have never had one get away and most shots have been around 100-150 yards. I hunt PA also. I use the gun for ground hogs during the summer so when deer season comes around I know where I'm hitting.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Treestand wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I hunted for 24+Yr with a 243 in the same type woods
I used Remington 80Gr Core-Lokt and never lost a deer
JMO~ Keep doing what your useing, I taken Ground hogs
with that 80Gr ammo out 390Yd from a Browning BLR and
A Win M/70. Don't Fix what ant broke!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Use Barnes bullets and fragmentation won't be an issue. PigHunter is right.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Any of the bonded bullets you mention will be fine for deer as well as the nosler partition or barnses. Deer aren't particularly thick skinned, big boned or hard to kill. The .243 performs well from what i've seen.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chuckles wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Ditto Pighunter and country road.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

i don't think .243 and long range really go together. what exactly is long range in this case?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

243 (243 a necked down 308) is a nice cartridge, but I prefer the 25-06 over it hands down.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sourdough Dave wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

100 grain cor-lok would be a good choice.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from GarrisonRandy wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I just returned from a late season antlerless hunt in southern Iowa and have used my Savage .243 every year. This weekend I took two does at 60 and 15 yards. I use the Winchester 100gr Power Points CXP2. The longest I have had to trail a doe in the years I have used this set up is 40 yards. Like you, all shots are under 100 yards.

More than anything, shoot several bullets to see what your gun shoots best. I think the minimum grain bullet I would recommend for deer is 85gr.

BTW, I also use my .243 for coyotes and shoot the Winchester Supreme CXP1 55gr Ballistic Silvertips. They sizzle out of the barrel and work great!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

243 Hornady superformance GMX will cleanly kill any beast facing you as long as you aim through the boiler room. They do require a few extra passes to clean your bore, but my flat shooting youth gun will penetrate and kill. Nuff said, Cheers. Do your job and these bullets will perform.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Any 100 grain bullet will be fine for deer at that range. I've shot more deer with Hornady Interbonds than any other but they all work fine. Deer aren't that tough and at 50 yards all .243 bullets are smokin'.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nicemachines wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

I have had, and still use, my Savage .243 since 1973. I too live in an area very similar to yours (Catskill Forest Preserve, just over the boarder from PA) 80 grain is good. Just remember, the grain is the weight of the bullet. I aim for the neck, brings them down every time! Not a good brush gun, bullet will deflect if it hits even a blade of grass! Great All purpose gun. .243 can be used for small and big game! Good Luck Man!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post an Answer

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