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.243 Winchester bullet advice

Posted By: kalbrecht

.243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Shot a fork horn mulie for the freezer behind my house this morning. Used a reload with a 95 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet. The bullet entered high in the ribs behind the shoulder and broke ribs on the far side but did not exit. Without a exit hole there was no blood trail and because the buck went down out of my view I had a heck of a time finding it.
I would appreciate anyone's advice on a different bullet that would give a reliable exit on a mule deer. I'm hoping there is something better without going to the expense of a monolithic or a partition. Thanks
Posted By: 270jrk

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

If you're after two holes everytime, I think you'd better go to a monolithic. But maybe look into the nosler etips from shooters pro shop, will be cheaper than barnes.
Posted By: elkchsr

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

I have killed a few deer and a couple antelope with the 85gr TSX out of a 243 AI and always had an exit. Once I shoot through the stash of bullets I have I'll probably look at switching to the tipped version. I have never had any bullets that failed to expand with the TSX, but I can't see the plastic tip being a bad thing in any way.
Posted By: AnsonRogers

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

I am looking for the same thing from a 243, two holes. I will try the 100 grain Partition this year.

How far was the shot and how far did the deer go after the hit? Thanks.
Posted By: JPro

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Originally Posted by kalbrecht
Shot a fork horn mulie for the freezer behind my house this morning. Used a reload with a 95 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet. The bullet entered high in the ribs behind the shoulder and broke ribs on the far side but did not exit. Without a exit hole there was no blood trail and because the buck went down out of my view I had a heck of a time finding it.
I would appreciate anyone's advice on a different bullet that would give a reliable exit on a mule deer. I'm hoping there is something better without going to the expense of a monolithic or a partition. Thanks


The 95/100gr Partition is my default for a 6mm game bullet, although I am going to use the E-Tip some this year. Buy them as factory seconds from Nosler and they aren't too expensive. Never caught a 6mm Partition in a deer, while I have stopped some of the better cup/cores like the 95gr NBT and the 100gr Interlock. I like both of those bullet designs for deer, just in larger calibers.
Posted By: Bearcat74

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19


I’ve had good results with the 80 GMX and 80 TTSX
Posted By: kalbrecht

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Thanks for all the replies so far. Shot was about two hundred yards off my Harris bipod. Deer traveled about 75 yards before piling up.
Posted By: 5spd

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

My go to bullet out here in my 6x6.8 and 243 has been the nosler 95g hbt running at 3000fps. It's always dropped goat/deer with 100% pass throughs even at 525 yards, all behind the shoulder hits. This year I changed to Sierra's. 6mm 90g TGK (higher BC and slimmer). I'll be using them from now on. Both my goats this last week dropped on the spot, both pass throughs at 313 and 135 yards.
Posted By: memtb

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Simple answer..... 80 grain, Barnes TTSX. You will get an exit....”almost” guaranteed! memtb
Posted By: Mule Deer

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Just checked my hunting notes, and we have never recovered either a 6mm 100-grain Nosler Partition or 90 E-Tip, or Barnes TSX from any deer or similar-sized game. That includes the biggest-bodied whitetail buck Eileen ever took, shot through both shoulders and spine with a 100-grain Partition.
Posted By: kalbrecht

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Thanks everybody. Looks like I may have to go monolithic or partition. Of course my wife had the cheapest solution, she said just use your .308 Winchester for deer and save the .243 for antelope because in antelope country you can pretty much watch them fall.
Posted By: Mule Deer

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Good luck with that. Have recovered cup-and-core bullets from deer when using the .308 Winchester. In fact once recovered a 225-grain .338 Hornady Interlock Spire Point from a whitetail buck that weighed around 150 pounds field-dressed. It was a quartering-away shot at around 200 yards with a .338 Winchester Magnum. Found the bullet under the hide of the far shoulder.
Posted By: country_20boy

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Originally Posted by memtb
Simple answer..... 80 grain, Barnes TTSX. You will get an exit....”almost” guaranteed! memtb

Agreed 100%. My experience with these has been relayed on here multiple times.

$0.64/bullet for the TTSX vs $0.38/bullet for the NBT. I don't think I would let the cost be my decision point......

2 holes is always better than 1 in my opinion......especially with smaller cartridges.
Posted By: kalbrecht

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Thanks, John. Guess I will have to look at monos or partitions.
Posted By: vapodog

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Originally Posted by Mule Deer
Good luck with that. Have recovered cup-and-core bullets from deer when using the .308 Winchester. In fact once recovered a 225-grain .338 Hornady Interlock Spire Point from a whitetail buck that weighed around 150 pounds field-dressed. It was a quartering-away shot at around 200 yards with a .338 Winchester Magnum. Found the bullet under the hide of the far shoulder.


totally believable as I doubt that no one can guarantee exits with any "run of the mill" hunting guns and bullets.

Last year I shot three elk with .308 diameter TTSX …..two of the elk were cows and both shot with a .300 H&H at 175 yards and 165 grain TTSX, and the third animal a rag bull taken at 200 yards with a .30-06 and 180 grain TTSX....only one exited as I found both the 180 grain and one of the 165 grain bullets quite well mushroomed in the elk. All three shots were in the central rib cage area and at least in theory, all should have exited......and yes elk are bigger than deer but the point is still made.

I would venture that exits are more a matter of shot placement than bullet construction. I believe the best bullet for exits are the Swift A-Frames...spendy, yes, but I've never recovered any of them and that includes from Kudu, Elk, Gemsbok, and deer.

I'd still be using them but there's more to hunting than exits.....Monolithic will some day be the required bullet and I'm committed to learn the ropes with them now.....they are darn fine bullets.
Posted By: ruraldoc

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

It's never not wrong to know that boolits is more important than head stamps. Partitions and Monolithics lack requiste BC fer the properly twisted 6mm.

Kiss Lands,You girls are never not funny. Laffin.

Of course I shoot it all and then some so get off the couch and....

grin

Sorry,it had to be done. grin
Posted By: MarkG

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

90gr Nosler AB might be a good choice, they shoot to same POI as the 95gr BT in my rifle. 80gr TTSX as others have said. But the real question here is; at what point in the Deer's demise did the bullet fail?? I know you would like an exit, but that is not always a guarantee (with any caliber)

I have double punched a buck with a .270win (140gr interlock) and never found a single drop of blood, until I saw the buck!

There's never a definitive answer, but as a Rule of thumb, if you want to see blood, use a bigger caliber, with light for caliber bullets, that expand rapidly. Exit or not you will see blood; and have faster kills on deer size game... ie 30-06 150gr BT
Posted By: super T

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

I know you'd like an exit, but with small diameter bullets even if you get one to exit there is no guarantee you'll get an easy to follow blood trail. Having said that, I'll take my chances with the NP. It's, in my not so humble opinion, a great choice. I know this because I've never seen the NP fail to work as designed and I've used a bunch in a variety of calibers for the past 40 years.
Posted By: 45_100

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

I have always shot 100 grain bullets in my 243. Don't remember if they are Sierra or Speer. A few years ago I shot a pretty large bobcat. He was facing me and the bullet entered where his neck joined his chest. There was no exit wound. He flipped over backwards and never moved.
Posted By: MikeL2

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Originally Posted by kalbrecht
Thanks everybody. Looks like I may have to go monolithic or partition. Of course my wife had the cheapest solution, she said just use your .308 Winchester for deer and save the .243 for antelope because in antelope country you can pretty much watch them fall.

Smart woman, best advice here.
Posted By: pointer

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Originally Posted by Mule Deer
Good luck with that. Have recovered cup-and-core bullets from deer when using the .308 Winchester. In fact once recovered a 225-grain .338 Hornady Interlock Spire Point from a whitetail buck that weighed around 150 pounds field-dressed. It was a quartering-away shot at around 200 yards with a .338 Winchester Magnum. Found the bullet under the hide of the far shoulder.
I've caught a 210gr Partition from a 338 Win in a buck pronghorn, but have never recovered a 139gr Scenar from a 260 Rem. Crazy how that works at times...
Posted By: WYcoyote

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Too bad you had this experience, I have had good luck with the 95 gr Ballistic Tips on deer. And they are accurate out of my old Ruger.
Posted By: Mule Deer

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Yeah, a buddy of mine recovered a 210 Partition from a whitetail buck that was smaller than the one I killed with the 225 Hornady! Same sort of deal, an angling-away shot.
Posted By: kevinJ

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

95nbt been my go to for years now with wonderful results. Have caught a few over the years on offside shoulder but normally gives me pass throughs. Can’t see myself changing anytime soon

Last fall shot a big boar and the bullet went through around 22” of tissue including front shoulder and the plate with a nice exit

Also shot a doe last fall at 175 in the ribs. No exit wound but she went straight down and never moved. Insides were soup

I don’t worry much about exit wounds with the 243. Most go down in sight anyways

I also tried the 105 and 95 Berger vld with great results. 6br and 243. Sample size of 6 deer but all complete pass through with big exit holes

I wouldn’t switch bullets due to one deer if it shoots well out of your rifle
Posted By: kalbrecht

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Folks, don't get me wrong, the 95 grain ballistic tip is plenty accurate in my .243 Winchester and It killed the deer (lungs had a big hole through them) just fine.
My only complaint is that there was absolutely no blood trail. In fact this morning there was 2 inches of fresh snow and because of all the deer tracks in the area I walked right past the deer's path without seeing any blood. It took me 10 or 20 minutes to find the buck.
Posted By: Tejano

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

I was a slow convert back to the Ballistic tips after experience with the early ones. With the 95gr. 6mm BT I think I have run 18 one shot kills on deer ranging 120 - 180 lbs. field dressed and have yet to recover one, bullet that is. I never needed it but I don't recall any time there was not a blood trail. As some one said it depends on where you hit them. A lower shot is more likely to bleed sooner than a high one. Occasionally when the heart or aorta is hit it looks like all the blood collects in the chest and there is no pressure for it to go back out the entry or exit until the deer is down.

The shooters Pro shop has the 85 grain partition for sale but still about twice what the BT is, I don't worry about the cost on the actual hunting bullet and buy something else for load work up. I shot the 85s back when they were a semi spitzer, why a semi spitzer I'm not sure maybe they were concerned about the 244 Rem. twist which they needn't be? But the new ones work well and shoot flatter.
Posted By: ckat

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Agree with most here... if you want your best chance at an exit, use a mono... but I wouldn't expect bang flops with behind the shoulder lung shots.

With that said, I love the 85gr Sierra GK HPBT. It kills way above its pay grade. I also love the 95gr NBT, so...

As stated before, the 90gr NAB is worth a look, too.

I'm a shoulder shooter - I'll give up some shoulder meat in exchange for knocking out their running gear. With that, a 75 yard death run after a top-of-the-lungs shot doesn't seem too bad to me. I've seen lung shot deer run a lot further than that - blood and no blood.
Posted By: mathman

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

My father had a perfect broadside shot deer run over 100 yards. This was with a hit that put a big hole all the way through. They can do amazing things even when well hit.
Posted By: alpinecrick

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

Originally Posted by AnsonRogers
I am looking for the same thing from a 243, two holes. I will try the 100 grain Partition this year.



That's the ticket........

I have two 243's that have killed 14 elk between them. And a few deer and pronghorns. So far any broadside shot on elk have been a pass-thru. Quartering shots will usually stop the bullet before it exits. Most have traveled less than ~30 yds, one did go about 100 yds.
Posted By: gunner500

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/10/19

I'm a shoulder shooter, and have hit a few deer and pigs there, my little pre-64 FTW 243 firing hand loaded 100gr partitions has never let me down, or failed to exit said animals, those that ran left plenty of blood to follow.
Posted By: Bearcat74

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

Originally Posted by kalbrecht
Folks, don't get me wrong, the 95 grain ballistic tip is plenty accurate in my .243 Winchester and It killed the deer (lungs had a big hole through them) just fine.
My only complaint is that there was absolutely no blood trail. In fact this morning there was 2 inches of fresh snow and because of all the deer tracks in the area I walked right past the deer's path without seeing any blood. It took me 10 or 20 minutes to find the buck.



Stick that 95 nbt into the high shoulder and I doubt you’ll be tracking any.



I’m a shoulder shooter so the monos have done well for me.


I caught a .458” Speer bonded HP on an angled shot a couple years ago on a whitetail doe. I broke her near shoulder so tracking was about 30 feet.


I’ve never had another one stay in a deer.
Posted By: Blackheart

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

Originally Posted by mathman
My father had a perfect broadside shot deer run over 100 yards. This was with a hit that put a big hole all the way through. They can do amazing things even when well hit.
I once punched a 12 gauge Foster slug through both lungs of a broadside doe at 30 yards and watched in amazement as she ran 250 yards across a field before she fell, draped over the barbed wire fence on the opposite side. I had seen the impact of the slug, hair fly and a gaping hole spraying blood as she departed the scene so knew she was dead on her feet. Just couldn't believe it took her so long to give it up.
Posted By: ingwe

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

Originally Posted by kalbrecht

I would appreciate anyone's advice on a different bullet that would give a reliable exit on a mule deer. I'm hoping there is something better without going to the expense of a monolithic or a partition. Thanks



Sorry..but if thats what you want, as others have said, you'll be going to the expense...

That said, the bullet( even the ones you use up in practice..) are the cheapest part of any given hunt.
Posted By: Proud_Dad

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

We use the 90 gr. AB and have had great results with it. We have also used the 6mm Partitions and those normally exit, too. As others have mentioned, buying seconds through the pro shop saves $ and I have never been able to see any difference in them.
Posted By: kevinJ

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

Did you take any pics of the ballistic tip you found in that deer? How far did it run. Just out of curiosity?

I do from time to time try new bullets, but the 95nbt is not one I would be looking to switch

I have used the 95 and 105 vld with great success also, and so has SLG888. He went back to the 95nbt though

I believe my best friend user the Sierra game king although it could be a partition in his 243. He is happy with it but didn’t get a pass through last fall on a doe that weighed 75lbs dressed. Shot in the ribs too. Deer was DRT so job well done
Posted By: bsa1917hunter

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

Originally Posted by kalbrecht
Shot a fork horn mulie for the freezer behind my house this morning. Used a reload with a 95 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet. The bullet entered high in the ribs behind the shoulder and broke ribs on the far side but did not exit. Without a exit hole there was no blood trail and because the buck went down out of my view I had a heck of a time finding it.
I would appreciate anyone's advice on a different bullet that would give a reliable exit on a mule deer. I'm hoping there is something better without going to the expense of a monolithic or a partition. Thanks


If you are handloading your own, you should already know about SPS. The partitions are not really that expensive when you think about it. That's the route I'd go. Either a 95 or 100 gr partition and you'll get excellent results from your 243... If you are cheaping out and looking for good results, you can also look at the 100gr. Hornady interlock sp flat based bullet. Those penetrate and hold together pretty good in the 243...
Posted By: SLM

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

You’re such a fickle bitch.

Not long ago anybody that used a .243 was a pu ssy and idiot, now you try giving advice like you have experience killing with the .243.


Originally Posted by bsa1917hunter
If you are handloading your own, you should already know about SPS. The partitions are not really that expensive when you think about it. That's the route I'd go. Either a 95 or 100 gr partition and you'll get excellent results from your 243... If you are cheaping out and looking for good results, you can also look at the 100gr. Hornady interlock sp flat based bullet. Those penetrate and hold together pretty good in the 243...
Posted By: memtb

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

Originally Posted by SLM
You’re such a fickle bitch.

Not long ago anybody that used a .243 was a pu ssy and idiot, now you try giving advice like you have experience killing with the .243.


Originally Posted by bsa1917hunter
If you are handloading your own, you should already know about SPS. The partitions are not really that expensive when you think about it. That's the route I'd go. Either a 95 or 100 gr partition and you'll get excellent results from your 243... If you are cheaping out and looking for good results, you can also look at the 100gr. Hornady interlock sp flat based bullet. Those penetrate and hold together pretty good in the 243...




I believe that he was 5 or 6 at the time! grin memtb
Posted By: hanco

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

I load the 80 TTSX for grandkids, never recovered one. They have been lucky, never lost a deer yet.
Posted By: Pappy348

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

I voiced the same compaint after almost giving up on a buck shot the same place with a 130gr IL from my .270. No exit, no blood at all, just hair knocked off the far side by the impact of the bullet.

Tough bullets are one solution. Placing you shot lower so blood starts leaking out sooner is another. High shoulder shots, as some have pointed out, are another, eliminating the need for a blood trail.

If you can figure out how to shoot Muzzy broadheads out of that .243, all your bloodtrail issues will vanish. Big hole in, big hole out. Maximum carnage!
Posted By: Tejano

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

Do you want holes are dead deer? By going to a stouter or mono bullet the kills may not be as dramatic and slower. The Partitions have a soft nose and so to the Accu/Interbonds but the others especially the monos will do less damage. Good for saving meat but not necessarily for quick kills. The opposite approach would be to use even more frangible bullets like the Scenar and Berger. I will be giving this a try with the Berger 95 grain Classic Hunters. But I will also have the 95 BT as a back up. I am also uusing this concept with the 150 BT in the 300 WM. This ought to keep S Tex. deer out of the brush.
Posted By: Steve Redgwell

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

Yeah, and it also depends on where you're hunting. Plains or bush?

We don't get many shots beyond 300 yd. Wyoming is gonna be different, I think. Most of the deer in Onterrible are probably taken at 100 yd.

I've had a 243 for most of my adult life because we cannot use a bullet larger than .275 dia.(yeah, I know) south of the French River. I've taken six deer with my 243 using cup and core bullets. Nothing farther than 200 yd. Most went down within 25 yd or so with either a 90 gr. Speer or a 100 gr. Rem CL.

What about an 85 gr. Speer or Nosler? Just putting that out there.
Posted By: Brad

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

Originally Posted by Steve Redgwell
I've had a 243 for most of my adult life because we cannot use a bullet larger than .275 dia.(yeah, I know) south of the French River.


That's actually a fair bit more sane than the idiotic "shotgun only" zones found all over America...
Posted By: Mule Deer

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

Especially since many of of today's "shotguns" (and muzzleloaders) are essentially at least 200-yard rifles.

At the other end are the "traditionalists" who blast away with slugs and buckshot in smoothbore bird guns.

Have seen both at work. Dunno what the point of the regulations might be anymore.
Posted By: Steve Redgwell

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

I should further explain that this calibre restriction applies if you are hunting small game, which includes coyotes. A small game license is required to hunt them. As a result, when I went deer hunting, I carried a 243, just in case I spotted a coyote. Or, the reverse. When hunting coyotes during deer season, besides having to purchase a deer license, you needed a rifle less than .275.
Posted By: George_De_Vries_3rd

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

It’s a montage of regulations and legal cartridges to be sure. For example, I would have loved Iowa to legalize cartridges like the 30/30 and the 35 Rem when as you say, John, we have muzzleloaders loaded with smokeless to make 200-250 yd loads and even longer to hear tell..


The whole idea in Iowa is to prohibit longer range weapons. I don’t see where those two old classics would be much more of a potential thread than all the other stuff roaming the river bottoms. Plus would have had the opportunity to use some older classic lever guns. But so it goes.
Posted By: Orion2000

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/11/19

Another vote for 95gr or 100gr Nosler Partitions... Have never caught one in KY WT's...
Posted By: 1OntarioJim

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/13/19

Steve, I think you may want to clarify your statement regarding the restriction on the use of bullets of more than .275 calibre. The most recent copy of the hunting regulations I have are for 2018. In that copy on page 79 it states that the restriction applies to counties which are south of Highway 7 which would be 125 to 150 miles south of the French River.

The section covering Firearms has to be read carefully to avoid confusion.

Jim
Posted By: Steve Redgwell

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/13/19

Yes, you're right. I'm almost always north of Parry Sound.

There are more changes for Ontario hunters this year. Mandatory reporting of more species. A license summary must be carried, and they have replaced the tag system with seals.
Posted By: rainierrifleco

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/13/19

I quit hunting deer with 243 many years ago for just that reason....
No doubt the better bullets of today may work better but I found the 257 Roberts more reliable with 117 gr bullets...
Posted By: 358wsm

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/13/19

Originally Posted by hanco
I load the 80 TTSX for grandkids, never recovered one. They have been lucky, never lost a deer yet.


I've not used it, but if I was looking to get the most penetration from a bullet out of the 243 Winchester, I'd start right here.
Posted By: keith

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/13/19

Originally Posted by kalbrecht
Shot a fork horn mulie for the freezer behind my house this morning. Used a reload with a 95 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet. The bullet entered high in the ribs behind the shoulder and broke ribs on the far side but did not exit. Without a exit hole there was no blood trail and because the buck went down out of my view I had a heck of a time finding it.
I would appreciate anyone's advice on a different bullet that would give a reliable exit on a mule deer. I'm hoping there is something better without going to the expense of a monolithic or a partition. Thanks


100g Hornady FLAT BASE with a load of R#26 and federal 215's will exit deer most of the time, speed is a minimum of 3150 out of a 24" barrel and some barrels are most accurate at 3200 fps.

We shot a lot of large bucks in Nebraska with the 95g Partition which we found to be more accurate than the 100g partition with IMR 4831 and 9 1/2 primers. The deal on the 95g Partitions is complete penetration, breaking bones all the way.

I have total confidence in the 100g Hornady flat base bullet with R#26, and those Nebraska large corn fed white tails weighed 200+ lbs were shot no closer than 300 yards with a load at 3000 fps with IMR 4350. We have killed a Lot of deer and hogs with the 100g Hornady flat base and bt. The flat base is a stouter bullet in the hornady.

In the 243 that I have, throat is getting a tad long, and I shoot 44.5g of R#19 with the 85g tsx with a Win primer. This is a very stout load and work up to it in your rifle. Jump the bullet .050 from the lands. I have shot several does from end to end with this bullet. I am NOT a true believer on mono's and like to break them down with shoulder shots. I once had a 140 lb white tail Buck stand behind a 8" pine tree and stare at me at a distance of about 80 yards. I was sitting in a root ball of a big oak tree that had been taken down by a tornado the year before. I slowly raised my rifle, and aimed right for his chest knowing that the bullet would probably be stopped in the pine, but that buck flopped at the shot with that 85g tsx going through the tree. I called Barnes on the situation and they said that the bullet is not made to open up on trees, but flesh.

I have a friend in Ca that has had great luck with the 80g ttsx on hogs and deer.

HUNT for R#26 in the 243 for 95-100g bullets, fed 215's, speed puts the 95g Partition at 3300 at the accuracy node.

Hunting is often a proposition where you don't have exactly text book perfect shots. Consider quartering shots, coming and going, make your choice.
Posted By: Jim_Knight

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/16/19

I have shot a few animals with the older 85xbt Barnes, at 2900fps and it really needed some resistance. I killed Axis deer and even an heavy Oryx, but zipped right through 2 jackrabbits! The 100gr Corlokt was the ultimate in the 6mm Remington on Est Tx deer. I myself much prefer the faster 6mms over the 243 or similar wildcats. I just think they kill better, but "its sixes", as they say. I know one fellow who swears by the 95 Partition in his 240w and another who uses nothing but the 100gr Hornady Boat Tail, even on elk! The last animal I killed with any 6mm was 2001, a 90gr NBT from a 6mm/284 on a 150yd antelope doe. Fist sized exit, but it was antelope. Good luck to you Pard.
Posted By: kalbrecht

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 10/16/19

Thanks all. I found a couple of boxes of 95 grain Nosler Partitions on sale locally (they were out of the 100 grainers). I'll probably get them loaded to try next season. Thanks again.
Posted By: AnsonRogers

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/21/19

Originally Posted by AnsonRogers
I am looking for the same thing from a 243, two holes. I will try the 100 grain Partition this year.

How far was the shot and how far did the deer go after the hit? Thanks.



Killed a nice weird antlered 8 pt last evening with my 243 and 100 Partitions. He was moving at a pretty good clip following some does across a small clearing so had to shoot quickly. Range was about 60 yards. At the shot he slowed and turned toward me then turned broadside and stopped. I was sure he was going down but shot again just to be sure. Last shot was about 30 yards. Both bullets exited doing massive damage to his lungs. Looked to me like the damage done by a 7mm08 or 308.


This bullet worked great! Now, what would an 80 grain TTSX have done?
Posted By: xxclaro

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/22/19

I shot a decent size buck last weekend,first one with a .243. Distance was between 100-150 yards, quartering towards. Shot him with a 105 Hornady HPBT. Hit tight behind onside shoulder(I had intended to hit the shoulder) and exited near back of lungs on offside. He went about 40 yards, bled right away,not much for the first 20 yards but pretty heavy last 20. I'll try it again, was pretty happy with the performance.
Posted By: rickt300

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

Originally Posted by Steve Redgwell
I should further explain that this calibre restriction applies if you are hunting small game, which includes coyotes. A small game license is required to hunt them. As a result, when I went deer hunting, I carried a 243, just in case I spotted a coyote. Or, the reverse. When hunting coyotes during deer season, besides having to purchase a deer license, you needed a rifle less than .275.


So a 270 is not legal! The 6.5 are the biggest normal bore size, that is odd for sure.
Posted By: Steve Redgwell

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

I would have to check the regulations, but I believe that still applies.
Posted By: rickt300

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

So I could use a 264 Winchester magnum but not a 44-40, just not seeing the logic.
Posted By: Mule Deer

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

Couple of comments on a typical long-winded Campfire thread involving "calibers" and bullets:

Know an American woman who on her very first big game hunt, a safari in South Africa, killed three animals with one shot each, using a .243 with 85-grain Nosler Partitions. They were an impala (about the size of a typical whitetail buck), and a gemsbok and blue wildebeest, both of which are animals in the 500-600 pound class considered among the hardest to drop of the plains game. In fact many men advise nothing smaller than a .338 Winchester Magnum.

Have killed a bunch of deer from Texas to Montana with various cup-and-core bullets from .243's, and have yet to see one fail to penetrate sufficiently. This includes a 105-grain Speer Hot-Cor than lost its jacket just under the skin of a basic 4x4 Montana buck (the core kept penetrating and dropped him), and doe-culls where the 100-grain "blue box" Federal load broke both shoulders and the spine--and exited.
Posted By: AnsonRogers

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

JB, wish you had been here a couple of years ago when I shot a nice buck at 60 yards in the ribs with a 100 grain Sierra Pro Hunter. We finally found him at least a 150 yards away, no blood trail. The bullet went in between ribs and did not exit. We gutted him in the dark so I didn't really get a chance to see the lung damage very well. I don't know if it got one or both but he sure went a long ways if it was both.

I followed your recommendation and this year used a 100 Nosler Partition. Got two holes and a dead deer within 20-30 yards. Damage looked like that produced by larger calibers.
Posted By: chlinstructor

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

I’ve killed a whole bunch of deer and several truck loads of hogs here at the Ranch over the years with a plain ole 100 gr Remington Corelock.
Posted By: shootinurse

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

My old gunsmith recommended the Sierra 85gr hollow point. Have loaded it for friends in .243 and 6mm Rem with great results on our whitetails.
Posted By: chlinstructor

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

Originally Posted by shootinurse
My old gunsmith recommended the Sierra 85gr hollow point. Have loaded it for friends in .243 and 6mm Rem with great results on our whitetails.


I’ve killed a schitt load of coyotes with those. Super accurate in my Model 700 Classic in 243.
Posted By: Clynn

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

To the original question. I been through this myself. Monos all the way . What ever flavor you like .
Posted By: rickt300

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

Used many different bullets in the 243 before I realized I could pay the same amount for a rifle shooting a bigger bullet and not have to balance thin wound channels and penetration against wide shorter wound channels. That said I never lost a deer I shot with a 243. Favorite bullet was the 100 gr. Nosler solid base with runners up being the 95 gr. Ballistic Tip. I used the 80 gr. Remington PSP with pretty good results too. My biggest complaint is that often blood trails are pretty thin and don't start til pretty far from where the deer was shot. I only had a few deer travel far after being hit but others I have hunted with often consistently created complicated tracking scenarios sometimes resulting in lost deer. However I have had to do some tracking with deer hit with larger cartridges also. The splashier blood trails being greatly appreciated. When I look at my collection of rifles where a lone 243 still lingers and I have the choice of a 7x57, 7-08 or a 308 among many others for hunting the thorn tree country of north Texas the 243 is just not the one I pick. Typically if you don't find the deer that night the coyotes or feral hogs get it.
Posted By: szihn

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

Years ago I owned both a 6MM Remington on a Mauser I made, and later a 243 in a Ruger #1.
The best bullet I ever used back then in them for deer was the 100 grain Nosler Partition.
All of them I shot had exits. One shot by my friend Don was facing us and his bullet (Also a 100 grain Nosler Partition) went about 80% of the way through the deer and was found on the skin.

I have not used them myself, but I have seen Barnes TSX bullets used and they also gave the hunters exits. Deer antelope and several elk.
So if I were to get another 243 and hunt deer with it I think I'd choose one of those 2. Barnes TSX or Nosler Partition.
Posted By: Mule Deer

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

Anson,

Would like to hear more details--such as bullet path, internal damage, whether the bullet hit above the mid-line of the body, etc.
Posted By: DakotaDeer

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

Originally Posted by AnsonRogers
Originally Posted by AnsonRogers
I am looking for the same thing from a 243, two holes. I will try the 100 grain Partition this year.

How far was the shot and how far did the deer go after the hit? Thanks.



Killed a nice weird antlered 8 pt last evening with my 243 and 100 Partitions. He was moving at a pretty good clip following some does across a small clearing so had to shoot quickly. Range was about 60 yards. At the shot he slowed and turned toward me then turned broadside and stopped. I was sure he was going down but shot again just to be sure. Last shot was about 30 yards. Both bullets exited doing massive damage to his lungs. Looked to me like the damage done by a 7mm08 or 308.


This bullet worked great! Now, what would an 80 grain TTSX have done?


In my experience with the 80TTSX, it would have made a smallish straight-line hole through the deer, with not much damage to the lungs. Whether he would have reacted differently is debatable, but I have had not good results on lung shots with that bullet, and have stopped using it in the 243 as I like to shoot lungs.
Posted By: Steve Redgwell

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

Originally Posted by rickt300
So I could use a 264 Winchester magnum but not a 44-40, just not seeing the logic.


You're not stating anything new. Hunters here have been saying this for years. Remember that hunting regulations are not decided by hunters, at least, not here. In an earlier post, I mentioned not being able to hunt in S. Ontario for deer with a bullet diameter larger than .275. That was lifted several years ago, but this still apllies. From the Ontario Hunting Regulations:

A person hunting small game may not carry or use a rifle of greater calibre than a .275-calibre rifle, except a muzzle-loading gun, in the geographic areas of Brant, Chatham-Kent, Durham, Elgin, Essex, Haldimand, Halton, Hamilton, Huron, Lambton, Middlesex, Niagara, Norfolk, Northumberland, Oxford, Peel, Perth, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington or York.

This is much of S. Ontario.
Posted By: 10gaugemag

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

Originally Posted by Steve Redgwell
Originally Posted by rickt300
So I could use a 264 Winchester magnum but not a 44-40, just not seeing the logic.


You're not stating anything new. Hunters have been saying this for years. Remember that hunting regulations are not decided by hunters, at least, not here. In an earlier post, I mentioned not being able to hunt in S. Ontario for deer with a bullet diameter larger than .275. That was lifted several years ago, but this still apllies. From the Ontario Hunting Regulations:

A person hunting small game may not carry or use a rifle of greater calibre than a .275-calibre rifle, except a muzzle-loading gun, in the geographic areas of Brant, Chatham-Kent, Durham, Elgin, Essex, Haldimand, Halton, Hamilton, Huron, Lambton, Middlesex, Niagara, Norfolk, Northumberland, Oxford, Peel, Perth, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington or York.

This is much of S. Ontario.

Fuggin Frenchies cant even spell caliber let alone use sense when making regulations regarding cartridges/calibers for hunting.
Posted By: 10gaugemag

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

Originally Posted by AnsonRogers
JB, wish you had been here a couple of years ago when I shot a nice buck at 60 yards in the ribs with a 100 grain Sierra Pro Hunter. We finally found him at least a 150 yards away, no blood trail. The bullet went in between ribs and did not exit. We gutted him in the dark so I didn't really get a chance to see the lung damage very well. I don't know if it got one or both but he sure went a long ways if it was both.

I followed your recommendation and this year used a 100 Nosler Partition. Got two holes and a dead deer within 20-30 yards. Damage looked like that produced by larger calibers.

I never had any issues with Sierra bullets in either a 6mm or 243 but did switch to a 95 grain Partition 2 years ago for reasons unknown other than to see if they acted the same from my 6mm as they did from a 22-250.

1 DRT on a 150# 8 point and maybe a 60 yard death run on same sized 10 point last year. I shot pretty high on the 10 as I bobbled when the trigger tripped. He still left a blood trail Stevie Wonder could have followed even though it wasn't needed as I saw him fall.

Can't say they work any better on broadside deer but they do give me more confidence on larger bodied deer if I should need to drive from flank to shoulder.
Posted By: AnsonRogers

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

Thanks, DakotaDeer. Think I'll stick with the Partitions if I use the 243 again.
Posted By: AnsonRogers

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

JB, not much to add. The hit was about half way up the body, tight behind the front leg. I had already written the Sierra and the 243 off by the time we found that deer. Also was well aware that my neighbor was ready for it all to be over so hurried through the gutting process with poor lighting. Bullet did not hit rib going in and did not exit.
Posted By: BEN243

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

AnsonRogers, Try a Sierra 85gr HPBT ... you won't regret it Ben
Posted By: AnsonRogers

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

Ben, I shot one deer with the 85 BTHP in 2000. He was in an open pasture so was in sight the whole time. He ran about 50 yards and stopped for a few seconds then fell over. Massive lung damage but no exit or even marks on the opposite rib cage. There was no blood trail either.

Do you get exits? I use them for coyotes and they work great for that. Very accurate.
Posted By: JamesJr

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/25/19

Originally Posted by BEN243
AnsonRogers, Try a Sierra 85gr HPBT ... you won't regret it Ben



I posted on the Campfire forum the story of the 4 bucks my family killed this year, all from the same stand. Three of those deer were shot with the 243. The youngest granddaughter shot hers with a mild 85 Sierra HPBT, the first shot was too far back, and the buck ran about 50 yards and stopped. Second shot was in the front shoulder, and the deer died right there. Oldest girl shot hers in the front shoulder with a 95 grain SST, with the bullet in the skin of the off shoulder, and the deer died as quick as I've ever seen one. The heart was destroyed. Son shot his in the neck with a Sierra 85 HPBT at 100 yards. Deer dropped in it's tracks. He's killed a bunch with my handload of 45.0 W760 and the 85 Sierra. He says they usually run a little if shot in the lungs, but if he's where he can take a neck shot, that's what he does. That load is deadly accurate in his rifle, so he knows what's he's doing.
Posted By: DakotaDeer

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/26/19

Originally Posted by AnsonRogers
Thanks, DakotaDeer. Think I'll stick with the Partitions if I use the 243 again.


That'll work, as will most any "heavy" bullet in the 243. For factory ammo, give the Federal Fusion 95 grain a try.
Posted By: BEN243

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/26/19

AnsonRogers,
When I first started using the Sierra 85gr HPBT, probably back in the 70's, it was classified as a varmint bullet. The deer I hit with it usually went down very quickly, but usually there was no exit. However, I believe Sierra upgraded the bullet somewhere along the line, gave it a heavier jacket, and started calling it a Gameking bullet. Sierra now says that the HP "Gameking" hunting bullets penetrate better than a similar weight Spitzer or plastic tip bullets. Now a days, the bullet still destroys the deer insides and now usually exits. As far as a blood trail goes, sometime yes and sometimes not very much ... but it usually doesn't matter because the deer usually don't go very far after being hit .. if at all ... of course that's provided you hit them where you are supposed to. Ben
Posted By: Skatchewan

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/26/19

My son had good luck this year with 100 gr Core-lokt Ultra Bonds. For those of you complaining of a slight blood trail, expansion was immediate, HUGE entrance and exits. Blood trail at the point of impact.

One was a neck shot, broke spine, did not exit. Bullet stayed together very well.

We have also had good luck with the 100 Gr Interlock on a dozen big Canadian whitetails and mulies. Including breaking both shoulders and exits.

This week a friend broke the spine and dropped a large bull moose with his .243 and Partitions.,
Posted By: erickg

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/26/19

Killed more deer than I can remember using Sierra 85 hpbt, Nosler 95 BT, and a bunch of Hornady 105’s both Amax and bthp. All kill deer deader than fried chicken, never an issue with any of the above bullets.
Would pick the 95 BT as an “all rounder” if I had to pick only one.
Topic makes me laugh when I think of all the deer that die annually with arrows stuck in their ribs, no reason on earth to believe a .243 isn’t enough gun, just shoot straight like anything else.
Also laugh at the notion a bullet is somehow a failure while the shooter has a dead deer at his feet examining “wound channels”
Posted By: WTM45

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/26/19

Originally Posted by erickg

Also laugh at the notion a bullet is somehow a failure while the shooter has a dead deer at his feet examining “wound channels”


How far those feet had to travel to begin that examination is pretty important.
Posted By: Yaddio

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/27/19

I hunted coyotes for many years with a 240 WBY using 95 and 100 grain Nosler Partitions. Was hunting in pig country a lot, so I used this gun in case I came across a piggy. Shot a few deer with the 95, none with the 100, but in my experience with coyotes the 95 grainer always exited with much less damage and a smaller exit hole than did the 100 grainer. Both shot very accurately. I often wondered if the 95 bullet was harder than the 100.
Posted By: erickg

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/27/19

Originally Posted by WTM45
Originally Posted by erickg

Also laugh at the notion a bullet is somehow a failure while the shooter has a dead deer at his feet examining “wound channels”


How far those feet had to travel to begin that examination is pretty important.



Don’t like traveling, bust their shoulders, noses will be in the dirt where they stood, lung shoot em and they’ll do some distance regardless of caliber.
Posted By: DakotaDeer

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/27/19

Originally Posted by Yaddio
I hunted coyotes for many years with a 240 WBY using 95 and 100 grain Nosler Partitions. Was hunting in pig country a lot, so I used this gun in case I came across a piggy. Shot a few deer with the 95, none with the 100, but in my experience with coyotes the 95 grainer always exited with much less damage and a smaller exit hole than did the 100 grainer. Both shot very accurately. I often wondered if the 95 bullet was harder than the 100.


I suspect that the 95 was being pushed enough faster that it caused it to always shed the entire front core then fold back tight on the partition. That makes them work about like a wadcutter at the end of the penetration path.
Posted By: DakotaDeer

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/27/19

Originally Posted by Skatchewan
My son had good luck this year with 100 gr Core-lokt Ultra Bonds. For those of you complaining of a slight blood trail, expansion was immediate, HUGE entrance and exits. Blood trail at the point of impact.

One was a neck shot, broke spine, did not exit. Bullet stayed together very well.

We have also had good luck with the 100 Gr Interlock on a dozen big Canadian whitetails and mulies. Including breaking both shoulders and exits.

This week a friend broke the spine and dropped a large bull moose with his .243 and Partitions.,


Those UltraBonded sound about like the performance of the Federal Fusion factory load. Good stuff.....
Posted By: keith

Re: .243 Winchester bullet advice - 11/27/19

100g Hornady flat base is a poor man's partition, very accurate bullet.

Next would be the 95g partition.

We have killed a lot of BIG deer and hogs with the 100g Hornady BTSP and Flat base.

In my rifles, the 95g partition is more accurate and easier to tune than the 100g partition.

R#26 gets a guy 150-200 fps more velocity in a 243 or 6 Remington, figure 3250 to 3300, puts it very close to a 25/06 std loads.

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