.243 / .243WSSM / .257 Roberts / or WHAT???

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.243 / .243WSSM / .257 Roberts / or WHAT???

Postby Swamp Puppy » Wed May 31, 2006 5:01 pm

hey guys..

i'm looking into a new hunting rifle and want something that is capable of smaller ammo than my ol' '06.

requirements are:

-flat shooting trajectory out to 300 yards
-45-100gr bullets available over the counter
-able to buy a gun chambered in it that has an adjustable trigger and reliable accuracy "out of the box".

and that's about it. i'm not a reloader so i will be relying on being able to buy ammo from the usual type plaecs. so, please...no wildcat stuff.

i started thinking about the WSSM...but the lack of available rifles chambered in it ran me off. right now i am seriously leaning towards a Weatherby Rifle in .243 win.. a Tikka or a Savage could also be in the picture..not sure which yet.

suggestions?
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Postby ksubigbuck » Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm

Don't know about caliber, but you cant go wrong with a Savage with an accu-trigger.
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Postby pennsyltucky » Wed May 31, 2006 5:28 pm

savage 16fss in 243win. best there is. "hands down" hehe :)
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Postby quackhunter » Wed May 31, 2006 8:35 pm

Those weatherby rifles are a fine peice of work. I have been lusting for one for a time now. If it were me I would be picking up a Weatherby Sub MOA vanguard in 257 weatherby. The ammo is expensive but there are several factory offerings including one 87grn bullet that has a total of 3 inches of rise to 300 yds. Go to weatherbys website and check them out. A 243 would make a good low ammo cost entry.
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Postby cooter » Wed May 31, 2006 9:34 pm

I have a 6mm that is about as nice a round as there is. Prairie Dogs to Deer is in a world of hurt. I have a Ruger Mod-1. It is my favorite of all my rifles. Shoots flat, quick, with little recoil. It will thread the needle out to about 300yards, and probably more if I could shoot farther. It (6mm) shoots a little farther, flatter, faster than a 243 Win.

Then I have a 6.5 X 55 Swedish Mauser that I bult from a army gun, that is also a sweet round. Not quiet as flat as the 6mm, but a very accurate round.

I can neck shoot deer out to 300 yards with either one of these calibers little effort. And recoil is a shooter gun. cooter
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Postby critter stuffer » Wed May 31, 2006 11:20 pm

FOR THE PRICE YOU CAN'T BEAT THE SAVAGE. THESE ARE GREAT SHOOTING GUNS AND PROBABLY WONT BREAK YOUR BANK ACCOUNT. I OWN A COUPLE OF 243'S AND LOVE THEM BUT ALSO CONSIDER THEM THE MINIMUM FOR DEER HUNTING AND 300 YARDS IS ABOUT AS FAR AS YOU WANT TO RESONSIBLY SHOOT THEM AT DEER. ALSO THE 243 AMMO IS PRETTY EASY TO FIND OVER THE COUNTER
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Postby bgoldhunter » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:24 am

For a lighter caliber, have you given any though to 25-06? I like it a bit better than 243, and there still is plenty of available ammo for it. It offers very good ballistics up to, and a little past 300 yards with store bought ammo. If you begin to load for 25-06, give me a shout, I have some good loads for this caliber.

If you don't handload, I would think twice about 243WSSM or 257 Roberts, as I don't see those much on the shelves around here.

Between Weatherby, Tikka or Savage, I would have to go with a Savage. Ain't the prettiest things around, but have had great luck with them, and they have all been very accurate out of the box.
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Postby Citori12 » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:05 pm

The .243 is a nice light rifle but in actual hunting conditions has quite a bit of drift in the wind. I would prefer the .257 roberts as its a great gun for deer sized game. It also can be used with elk but that requires an experienced shooter to make the right shot with a .257 or .243. My choice would be a savage bolt action as far as price. Me personally, I prefer the Win 70 mountain rifles, or the Ruger M-77's. The .257 Roberts has been a highly overlooked cartridge but if I were to shoot a light rifle that would be the caliber I would shoot. Ammunition is not a concern because better ammunition can be manufactured at home that customizes the rifle to the ammo making pin-point accuracy a more achievable goal.
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Postby Sagebrush » Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:21 pm

:withstupid:

The Weatherby is a very nice well made rifle, however the ammo for this rifle is top dollar !! ( Cad vs Ford )

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Postby Swamp Puppy » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:57 pm

thanks for the input all. :salude:

i have my Win Model 70 .30-06 to handle the bigger jobs. elk, bear, etc. etc. i would certainly have that rifle in hand.

this is more to be a light load for deer in 300 yard or less situations. (our coastal blacktails are not the biggest creatures around..lol) and maybe some varmit hunting where i don't want to blow big holes in things. like 'yotes' hides.

the .25-06 was also on the list..and it is a nice cartridge, but it is a little big for what i want it to do.

i am still mulling it over...though if i put them in order of likelihood at this point it would be this:

.243 - either the Savage or Weatherby
.257 Weatherby
.257 Roberts (not sure what gun i would get with this.) If i were to decide to reload at home...this would probably end up as my #1 choice, but since i am making this decision based on over-the-counter availability...it falls to a third place ranking.
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Postby Citori12 » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:46 pm

Your choices are understandable.....but let me leave you with this note:
Anyone who can consistantly hit the vitals of a blacktail deer at 300 yards needs precision accuracy....those folks that shoot precision long distance target all reload...why? because just changing the overall length of the cartridge to suit the rifle will make the difference between 1 1/2" groups and .50" groups....the folks that I know that are accurate on a range at 300 yards all reload thier own ammunition. Being Ex-military that .243 factory gun and cartridge would be a pretty poor substitute for a 300 yard gun.
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Postby pennsyltucky » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:00 pm

if u were thinking of reloading, and dont mind the price of the weatherby, maybe u could look at the 240 weatherby mag. the sweetest 6mm there is.

but the 243 is def the best if u cant reload, and its dang close to the best when u do........... i love the 243. i think its been wrongly branded as a "kid's starter gun" or "the wifeys little deer gun". its really not. it doesnt give up much at all the the 25-06 or 257, and theres no comparison at all to the teeny 22cal guns. the 243 likes the 70-95 grain bullet, and as long as u stay in that range, it will kill anything u point it at.
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Postby Swamp Puppy » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:42 pm

i hear what you're saying Citori..and i do agree with ya. but a wiser man than i once told me to "only worry about things that are within my ability to control." and since i have no future plans to reload my own ammo, i am looking towards calibers that i can get the best off-the-shelf performance from.

truthfully, i doubt i could hit the vitals of a blacktail at 300 yards (hell...i probably couldn't even see the whole deer that far away. lol. tiny little buggers.) realistically the vast majority of any shooting i would do with the gun would be 200 or less. maybe if i found some nice high-end match quality ammo and took a few practice shots with it...i might push it farther, but most likely not.
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Postby Citori12 » Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:17 am

:thumbsup: Ah yes indeed very wise....for the most part off the shelf ammo and rifles should do well inside 250 yards. For those of us who are not competition long range shooters these ranges are best. Less chance of error, less chance of crippling an animal. Blacktails are small deer but I still think I would opt for a .25 cal bullet to be on the safe side. It is probably easier to find .243 ammo than the 257 roberts in that case. Here in colorado I would consider a .25 caliber rifle minimum. though I do know of some folks that have put down some elk with a .243. Good luck with the new rifle search!
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Postby Swamp Puppy » Fri Jun 02, 2006 9:49 am

thanks for the input, remember..i've still got the .30-06 for the bigger stuff. no way i (personally) would even consider taking an elk with anything smaller than a .30 cal bullet. (now..if i could just GET one. lol)
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Postby jjohnson_714 » Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:04 am

i may be a little biased because i own one, but i love my .243... so i'll put up another vote for that one... shoots really straight, easy to find ammo, and it doesnt have any trouble killing deer or, if you really trust your shooting, elk at reasonable distances...
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Postby Citori12 » Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:48 pm

:withstupid: Swamp P, if you already own a 30-06 and you would like a lighter gun for small deer, coyotes and or vermin then the .243 would be an excellent choice as ammo is readily available just about anywhere. I just finished a session with my rifles getting them tuned in for big game this fall. All my rifles can shoot .50" groups at 100 yards a about 1 1/2" groups at 200 yards. I am reloading to get them dialed in for the best accuracy possible. Even then considering taking a 300+ yard shot on an elk size critter I would have to have ideal conditions. I own a 30-06 pre-64 Mod 70 winchester, a post 64 wnchester mod 70 in .270, and a custom home built 7.65 arg mauser in which shoots extremely well and performs close to a .308.
Go for the .243 they are light on recoil and are pleasant to shoot for up to deer size game. Good luck!
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Postby quackhunter » Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:39 pm

The 300 yd shots are generally longer than most people realize. Many hunters claim to shoot this far consistently but when put to the test at a range many fail. I always love the srtories from the clowns at the range who come once a year to check zero about how they killed there big buck at 300 yds running. Personally I have gone to and have shot many many rounds of ammunition to 300 yds at ranges from three rifles, my 270, 223 rem and 17HMR (talk about a crap shoot at that range) It take a fair amount of skill and practice to do well at this range. I am still not a really good shot at distances this far. I need time and the ability to shoot from the prone position to connect at this distance. The 243 will do what you want your new gun to do. The 257 weatherby lacks the load offerings that the 243 has. I believe you can get all the way down to 55grn Vmax loads for it. The 257 weatherby smokes the 243 in sheer performance but the expense of ammo and the lack of manufacturers are its downfall. I could see a nice Wetherby vanguard in 243 win with a Nikon monarch 4-12 as the ideal deer/varmint gun.
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Postby LaRedneck » Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:12 pm

I was debateing weather I would get into this topic as the .243 is considered a womens gun but I'm not ashamed anymore so I guess i'll give my 2 cents like always, but I'm going to have to go with the .243. My mom passed her's down to me and from day one I love that thing, flat shooting, very easy on the shoulder and light. My mom and I have taken many, many deer with it and will continue too, she even has a Hugh nine point on the wall. But thats just me as we all have our own opinions.
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Postby kcduckslayer » Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:41 pm

22-250?
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Postby kcduckslayer » Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:44 pm

By the way, I dont mean to offend anyone around here and I am not the richest man either But why do all of you want the cheapest thing you can find? Does no one want craftsmanship?
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Postby jjohnson_714 » Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:59 am

weatherby and tikka are the cheapest guns?... the reason the rounds are cheap is that they are readily available... unlike something like the .257 which i never see around here...
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Postby LaRedneck » Sat Jun 03, 2006 2:27 am

KCD, to me there craftsmanship and reliabilty, which you you perfer if you had to chose. My .243 model 7400 Rem may not be the most stylish gun out there but I know at any time I can pick it up and hit what I'm aiming at.
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Postby Swamp Puppy » Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:50 pm

KC - i am looking at the inexpensive models of rifles for this time around...not the el cheapos, but i don't think i'll be plopping down 1500 for Sako either.

ideally, i'd like to get the whole package put together..that's rifle and scope..for about 600 dollars. i have a friend who works at Leupold so he hooks me up on the scopes for pretty cheap...so this should be easily doable.

btw...i was looking at the Weatherby Vanguard yesterday. uh-uh..not the gun for me. the bolt was not as smooth as i would like and it just felt "wrong". granted..the Vanguard is the entry level Weatherby model, but i still didn't much care for it.

Savage is next on the list of guns to pick up...
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Postby pennsyltucky » Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:59 pm

muleskinner wrote:you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth and a benalli in the other.
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