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An old friend & hunting partner is getting close to passing. He is more than few years older than I am & I'm pushing 80. He has a couple rifles & a shotgun or 2 that we have discussed what will happen with them when he's gone....as he has had no children that he claims & his only brother has already passed.

I had put him on to the 1st Tikka closeout at Academy years ago when I was still repping for Stoeger and had sold the Tikka's to Academy to start with, and he found what he calls the prettiest 30'06 rifle he's ever owned, knowing the quality of the Tikka line, as he had repped for Ithaca for 12-15 years earlier, and has a 243 that was left over from the last previous marriage with no particular history except with the last previous wife. I think the too pretty to sell Tikka 30'06 will go to someone else in his family but he sez the 243 is open to be bought. So I'm wondering how useful a 243 is in these days of CM's, 7-08's and WSM's and so on.

So, What say ya'll about the every day usefullness of today's 243's can provide in today's new bullet designs & expanded caliber market? My hesitancy is the only WT's I've ever lost in 50+ years were ? capable bullet performance in a couple calibers ( 257 Rbt's for example ) & ? placement's with that 1st SAKO 243 & and later learning the max limitations of a 270 & 30'06, then moved on to the belted magnum calibers.These days I've begun to find other every day calibers more interesting, like the CM's etc.

My first real deer rifle was a SAKO 243 that my grandfather had acquired when the owner had borrowed $500 against the SAKO from my Grandfather, and couldn't pay even the 1st $250 became past due initial balance he left owing couple months past the mandatory 90 day loan terms or ? I picked up the unpaid $250 initial balance, and grandfather kicked the final $250 balance owed to me as a wedding present. All that occurred over 55 years ago....and I'm still married to wife #1 for 55 years....so far!

I got to hunt with grand pop a time or two more, but his already bad health caught up with him before we could make a habit of the annual trips to his deer lease in the Texas Hill Country. His trips to Alaska for guided Carabou hunts IMO kept him alive several years longer than anyone expected. These Days, with my own health issues I'm beginning to understand that drive to go hunting at least one last time as I am close to 80, and looking for something to take "with me" when my time comes.
Ron

Last edited by sakoron; 11/23/22. Reason: Clarity
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The .243 will kill deer as dead now as it did back in 1955. Lost count of how many I’ve killed with mine.
There’s not a hog or deer alive that I would be afraid to shoot with a .243. I still think 6.5’s, 7-08, .308 etc. are better big game cartridges than the .243. If he is going to give it to you or sell it to you now is probably a better time to do so than trying to get it from his estate.

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The .243 is a sure killer on hogs and deer.I too have lost track of how many deer I've killed with a .243 and just recently some hogs died in front of the .243 shooting 75 gr Vmax...

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My campmate, one of his sons, and I have done well on deer and hogs with factory Federal 95 grain Fusion and 85 grain TSX, and handloads using 95 grain Partitions and Ballistic Tips, the 95 grain SST, 90 grain Accubonds and 85 grain Speers.


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Ingwe,

How were you placing your shots with the VMax?

My 243 loves the 87 VMax and if I'm strictly "hogging" I'll take some into the field.

m


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Back before the AGFC got protective of them I shot lots of hogs with a Tikka .243 loaded with cheap ol' Core-Loks. I don't recall ever having one get away from me. I never shoulda' sold that rifle. frown

I know a lot of folks here that hunt with .243 rifles and fill the freezer every year.

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The last few deer I've killed were with .243s and .264s. Saw zero difference in a well placed shot on whitetail. Can't speak to results with hogs.

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sakoron, i've killed more than a few Deer and Pigs with a .243 and still carry one in my jeep daily, and I'm 83, don't let age or lack of a .243 stop you from hunting. Rio7

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My .243 has killed Dall sheep, moose, black bear, and caribou. They all died as easily as with .260, 7X57, 270, 30-06, and .338WM, on various like game.


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Our POS, Savage youth m111 .243, now wearing a "styling" slip on recoil pad, to extend the LOP, has killed more whitetails, than the rest of our rifles combined !

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I shoot a .243 loaded with Barnes ttsx 80 grain. I call it Thor’s hammer. Deer I have shot tend to drop where they stand like they’ve been struck by lightening. Good enough for me! We don’t have hogs where I live so can’t help you there.

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I have a mid 70s Remington bdl in 243 that 7 of my grandkids have used to kill a lot of whitetails. I have 8 more grandkids coming up, and there all going to kill their first or second deer with that same rifle. Factory 100gr corelokts or federal blue box have always worked.

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Originally Posted by las
My .243 has killed Dall sheep, moose, black bear, and caribou. They all died as easily as with .260, 7X57, 270, 30-06, and .338WM, on various like game.

This thread can be closed now. What bullets do you mostly use in your .243?

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Originally Posted by mathman
Ingwe,

How were you placing your shots with the VMax?

My 243 loves the 87 VMax and if I'm strictly "hogging" I'll take some into the field.

m


Shots were all head shots/behind the ear. I find with the little guns ( i.e. the .17 Remington) the shot HAS to be directly into the brain. The .243 gives you more leeway...land anywhere on the CNS close to the skull and you are done. The 87 grain will be a sure killer. I never take body shots on hogs with anything....if they can make it 10 yards into the mesquite/thick stuff its a real PITA.


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The .243 with 80 gr TTSX is my Go To for whitetail and hogs under 300 yards. The long actions stay in the safe.

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Originally Posted by ingwe
Originally Posted by mathman
Ingwe,

How were you placing your shots with the VMax?

My 243 loves the 87 VMax and if I'm strictly "hogging" I'll take some into the field.

m


Shots were all head shots/behind the ear. I find with the little guns ( i.e. the .17 Remington) the shot HAS to be directly into the brain. The .243 gives you more leeway...land anywhere on the CNS close to the skull and you are done. The 87 grain will be a sure killer. I never take body shots on hogs with anything....if they can make it 10 yards into the mesquite/thick stuff its a real PITA.

Good point!

Nobody wants to have to recover an animal that has run off and died in a cluster of chollas, at least not more than once.

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sakoron - are you asking if the .243 will "work" on hogs/whitetails; or, are you asking if it is a good choice for hogs/whitetails? Two totally different questions, IMHO.

And, any cartridge will work for almost any game, with proper shot placement and used within its limitations.

And, the only justification needed to buy a gun is that you like it.

All JMHO.

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Originally Posted by sakoron
An old friend & hunting partner is getting close to passing. He is more than few years older than I am & I'm pushing 80. He has a couple rifles & a shotgun or 2 that we have discussed what will happen with them when he's gone....as he has had no children that he claims & his only brother has already passed.

I had put him on to the 1st Tikka closeout at Academy years ago when I was still repping for Stoeger and had sold the Tikka's to Academy to start with, and he found what he calls the prettiest 30'06 rifle he's ever owned, knowing the quality of the Tikka line, as he had repped for Ithaca for 12-15 years earlier, and has a 243 that was left over from the last previous marriage with no particular history except with the last previous wife. I think the too pretty to sell Tikka 30'06 will go to someone else in his family but he sez the 243 is open to be bought. So I'm wondering how useful a 243 is in these days of CM's, 7-08's and WSM's and so on.

So, What say ya'll about the every day usefullness of today's 243's can provide in today's new bullet designs & expanded caliber market? My hesitancy is the only WT's I've ever lost in 50+ years were ? capable bullet performance in a couple calibers ( 257 Rbt's for example ) & ? placement's with that 1st SAKO 243 & and later learning the max limitations of a 270 & 30'06, then moved on to the belted magnum calibers.These days I've begun to find other every day calibers more interesting, like the CM's etc.

My first real deer rifle was a SAKO 243 that my grandfather had acquired when the owner had borrowed $500 against the SAKO from my Grandfather, and couldn't pay even the 1st $250 became past due initial balance he left owing couple months past the mandatory 90 day loan terms or ? I picked up the unpaid $250 initial balance, and grandfather kicked the final $250 balance owed to me as a wedding present. All that occurred over 55 years ago....and I'm still married to wife #1 for 55 years....so far!

I got to hunt with grand pop a time or two more, but his already bad health caught up with him before we could make a habit of the annual trips to his deer lease in the Texas Hill Country. His trips to Alaska for guided Carabou hunts IMO kept him alive several years longer than anyone expected. These Days, with my own health issues I'm beginning to understand that drive to go hunting at least one last time as I am close to 80, and looking for something to take "with me" when my time comes.
Ron
So what's the question?


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As I have posted before, I could kill everything thing that needs killing in KY with a .243 launching 95gr Partitions...


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Originally Posted by ridgerunner_ky
Originally Posted by las
My .243 has killed Dall sheep, moose, black bear, and caribou. They all died as easily as with .260, 7X57, 270, 30-06, and .338WM, on various like game.

This thread can be closed now. What bullets do you mostly use in your .243?

100 gr., most any brand, mostly Corelokts. It doesn't seem to like any other weight as well. The 95's were more of a pattern, which surprised the heck out of me when I tried some. One would think they would be very close to the 100's accuracy. but noooooo!

These are all factory loads - tho I have a few hundred brass I could re-load. Have the dies....came with the rifle which came with the remote cabin 45 years ago - never used them. Also have all the other components, but I've never really warmed to the caliber.

Heck- it took me 35 years just to get around to fixing the 2 MOA on that thing, by getting just the right fore-end tip pressure. Nothing else worked - it didn't like the factory pressure, nor free-floating, nor full length bedding - now MOA. T.he old 2 MOA seemed to work well enough, but C'mon, man....

I should take it out and kill something with it again, now that it's finally "fixed". smile

Last edited by las; 11/24/22.

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Will a 243 kill deer, absolutely.

That said, I won’t use one again if I can help it. I’ve killed deer with everything from 22 magnum to 300 win mag and my least favorite is the 243. I just have not had good luck with it. Deer still die, but dang they don’t leave a blood trail. Hunting in pine plantations, blood trails are a must.

If I did decide to run one again, it would be with TTSX or Accubonds. Something I wouldn’t worry about a shoulder shot with.

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Originally Posted by ingwe
The .243 is a sure killer on hogs and deer.I too have lost track of how many deer I've killed with a .243 and just recently some hogs died in front of the .243 shooting 75 gr Vmax...

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Yep. Been killing deer and hogs with a 243 since I was in HS. Started out killing them with the old Factory 80 and 100 gr Factory Remington CoreLokt ammo.
Mainly use handloads with 95 gr Nosler Ballistic Tips or Partitions nowadays.
Even killed an Antelope with a 55 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip handload when a nice goat trotted across a big prairie dog down we stopped to shoot at while antelope hunting in the TX Panhandle region.
Anyone that says a 243 isn’t good for deer had shot many with one.


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BrowingGuy88, It's good you know your limitations. Rio7

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I have a 243 that actually came from ingwe. It is my favorite rifle, and with cheap ole Hornady Whitetail 100gr it lays the smack down

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Originally Posted by Travis13
I have a 243 that actually came from ingwe. It is my favorite rifle, and with cheap ole Hornady Whitetail 100gr it lays the smack down

Yep. The Factory 100 gr Remington CoreLoct is a sure killer also.


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Factory 100gr winchester power points kill schiet deader than dead.

For Tejas, the 243win or 6 creed is ideal.

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Originally Posted by chlinstructor
Originally Posted by Travis13
I have a 243 that actually came from ingwe. It is my favorite rifle, and with cheap ole Hornady Whitetail 100gr it lays the smack down

Yep. The Factory 100 gr Remington CoreLoct is a sure killer also.

When I got the rifle, I went to get some Core-Lokts. Store didn’t have any, so I just got some American Whitetails. I just wanted to shoot the thing before some reloading components came in. I haven’t reloaded for it yet

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Originally Posted by Travis13
I have a 243 that actually came from ingwe. It is my favorite rifle, and with cheap ole Hornady Whitetail 100gr it lays the smack down


That must be the TC Icon...thats a helluva rifle! Glad you are putting it to use!


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Originally Posted by Travis13
Originally Posted by chlinstructor
Originally Posted by Travis13
I have a 243 that actually came from ingwe. It is my favorite rifle, and with cheap ole Hornady Whitetail 100gr it lays the smack down

Yep. The Factory 100 gr Remington CoreLoct is a sure killer also.

When I got the rifle, I went to get some Core-Lokts. Store didn’t have any, so I just got some American Whitetails. I just wanted to shoot the thing before some reloading components came in. I haven’t reloaded for it yet

243 Factory Ammo is almost impossible to find here. Good thing I reload nowadays.


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Originally Posted by ingwe
Originally Posted by Travis13
I have a 243 that actually came from ingwe. It is my favorite rifle, and with cheap ole Hornady Whitetail 100gr it lays the smack down


That must be the TC Icon...thats a helluva rifle! Glad you are putting it to use!

Sure is. Really has turned into my favorite rifle

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No pigs around here, unless you count the majority of people at the Cheboygan Wal-Mart, so I've never used the .243 on a hog, but I used to use the .243 on deer and I had a great experience with it on deer. In fact, I had more bang-flops with the .243 than any other cartridge I've tried.


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I’ve been using a Montana in 243 for the last few years on whitetails. I couldn’t ask for anything to do a better job. I used a 7mm-08 for years and haven’t been able to tell the difference in “dead”. No hogs here to try it on.


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Used one as a kid,
again for a few years as an adult, daughter still uses that one.

Not a fan.


Killed a number of deer. They died.
Few quickly, all eventually.



Daughter bought her own, maybe when she gets it set up I might
try some BTs in that M-7. Many swear by them, maybe a change of bullets
will change my impression.


Decent price on a Tikka 243 owned by a close friend?
It would be mine.


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Grandkids kill hell out of pigs and deer with them. I have two 99’s in 243.

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I'll keep ya'll posted if when I get into the 243 my old friend has said he'll sell me cheap. I also wanted the Tikka 30'06 he'd picked up on a closeout I put him onto, but he's asking way too much money for it IMO. He sez the Tikka is the pretty'ist rifle he's ever seen....I'd just like to have a 30'06 to go with the rest of my "harem".
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My son used a 243 to start out with. First with hornady reduced recoil loads then to “full power” handloads with 100gr Sierra Pro-Hunter. He killed several mature Whitetail bucks, Mule Deer, Antelope, hogs not to mention several does. No shots over 200 yards, but at least within that range performance was excellent. Honestly, changed my opinion on how effective the 243 is. Penetration was very good in all cases including smashing ahoulder on big panhandle whitetail quartering on at about 100 yards.

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Women and kids can kill Deer And pigs with a .243 Big Guy's Need more GUN. Rio7

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Originally Posted by RIO7
Women and kids can kill Deer And pigs with a .243 Big Guy's Need more GUN. Rio7

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I debated on a 243 for my daughter's first gun. Thinking was like many, light recoil and fully capable. As I researched, I decided I wanted a a 7-08. I know; that's a far cry from the 243, but here is why I landed on it:

Energy at barrel for 95 gr vs 140 gr is only 10% variance

Hole is 50% bigger and energy at 200 yards (which is far longer than she was gonna shoot) is 20% larger.

She is a killer with the gun and I would not hesitate to take it myself.

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Originally Posted by KYFRED
I debated on a 243 for my daughter's first gun. Thinking was like many, light recoil and fully capable. As I researched, I decided I wanted a a 7-08. I know; that's a far cry from the 243, but here is why I landed on it:

Energy at barrel for 95 gr vs 140 gr is only 10% variance

Hole is 50% bigger and energy at 200 yards (which is far longer than she was gonna shoot) is 20% larger.

She is a killer with the gun and I would not hesitate to take it myself.
17%
50%

Who is counting? Not me.
I do prefer a 7/08 although a 243 will work.






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I have used the 243 on blacktail and whitetail Hunts without any horror stories. Even as a handloader, I haven’t found a load that shoots much better than the 95gr Fusion stuff. So, I bought a couple hundred rounds before the craziness emptied the shelves. If I hunt deer with it again, I’ll zero with that. But my 257 Roberts or 6.5 CM will most likely get the nod ahead of the 243.

As for coyotes and other stuff of that size, I’ve been using a 70gr NBT and it’s accurate and real effective. I have some 87gr Bergers I wanna try.

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I’d agree with what others on here have said. A 243 flat kills deer. But as others have also said, in my experience it doesn’t leave gushing blood trails. But a properly hit deer won’t run far anyway. Good luck with the rifle. Hopefully you both will have many years afield together.

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The best blood trail I can recall seeing was left by a .243AI and 105AM. I watched through the bino as the shooter pulled the trigger, and it looked like a can of tomato soup exploded from the deer's hide. The blood trail looked like somebody poured blood from a gallon paint can all the way to the deer. The bullet entered between ribs on a broadside shot and came apart in the heart/lungs. Fragments peppered the offside ribcage, but nothing made it through.

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I hunted with a Ruger No 1 .243 Win for a lot of years and it killed deer just like my .30-06 did except with a lot less recoil. There is a well known PH in Africa (whose name I can’t remember right now😳) who champions the .243 for Leopard. One of my early Centerfire rifles was a Remington 722 in .244 Remington and shot a boatload of deer and pigs with 90gr bullets. There is not a lock of difference in the two


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I only killed 2 deer with it. They went 40 yds? and fell over. My son shot one big doe, and went 50'. I dont think there was a drop of blood though and I dont like that. I like the .243 Win. 40 gr of powder, 100 gr. bullet is quite cheap . Two weeks ago I shot a small whitetail and used a Remington Core loc. It blew out the front shoulder and went out the ribs and almost cut the heart in half. I saw it fall . The Rem. Core Loc did good. My other deer was a Hornady 100 Gr. My sons was a Speer 100 gr. boattail. All worked well , but none left a blood trail.


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Joined: Jul 2008
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Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 8,508
My vintage hb Varminter loved 90gr Speer hot cor's over imr4350.
Many a critter has been slayed with that combo.
Now I'm using 70gr Ballistic tips over Varget, and just shoot coyotes.

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 9,147
L
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L
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 9,147
Good thread for me. I have been deciding on what rifle/caliber to put together a dedicated thermal varmint rig. I read through this a couple of times and bought a Tikka .243 and a Pulsar Thermion 2 XP50 Pro. Most of my hunting will mostly be coyotes and hogs with the slim chance that I will catch a mountain lion. The .243 should be enough for any my uses.

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