.243 or .308 for deer & reloading ?

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I have sold my .22 lr rifle and am looking at gettin either a .243 or .308 winchester rifle for hunting ... primarily for deer ... but I also want to do some reloading .. and am wondering if I should go with a .308 winchester caliber or a .243 caliber rifle ? Either caliber should work okay for my hunting ... but am wonder which is better/easier for reloading ?

Any experienced opinions / insights out there ?
 
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30.06.

Wait. What what was the question? Because 30.06 is typically the answer. :cool:

Of the two calibers you proposed, either will get the job done for deer. However, if you opt for mule deer or anything larger, the .243 is going to introduce factors you don't want to have to consider when hunting deer where you'll be finding them in Arizona.

Nothing wrong with a .243. They have claimed a lot of deer.

I suspect bullet choices will be greater with .308. Of the two mentioned, I'd go with that. Reloading either will be about the same.
 

Ura-Ki

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Depending on all the factors surrounding you needs and desires, a .243 is a very potent performer, in the hands of an experienced hunter and accomplished shooter, the .243 is quite capable of harvesting animals up to Elk! Note, i'm not saying it's the be all, end all, not by any stretch, but for a light kicking rifle with some really good performance, hard to go wrong with it! .308 is going to have a lot more utility and is never a bad choice until you get into Elk, then you really want a little more then the .308 can provide, and yet, with the same skill set needed for the .243, the .308 will have no issues as long as range is kept reasonable!

A much better recommendation, especially if your a hand loader and know what your doing, the mighty "Old" 6.5X55 Swede is a stunning performer, capable of harvesting ALL north American Game species, and it's a stunningly versatile performer. Another outstanding performer is the .270 Winchester, NOTHING is outside it's capabilities, and while it's not as popular as all the newer fancy stuff, it's reputation is well established and performance well proved! Running a .270 is like holding out the gold border man card with oak leaf clusters, proof you are not a snob, but a smart, thinking hunter who knows what he is doing!
For the Guy who wants a "ONE RIFLE BATTERY" a Mauser 98 based rifle in .30/06 is hands down the ONLY choice one must make! .30/06 is king for a reason, and while the newer stuff may be slightly better, honestly, how much better do you need? Honestly, until you start hunting in very specific conditions and need and can justify more, your not going to do any better then the mighty .30/06! If anything, the grand old round is a bit over matched to a lot of game, but when things get interesting, it's really nice knowing your rifle can perform when things are not range perfect, or the animals are bigger then you thought, or the conditions demand skill, power, and range with enough bullet to do the job when it gets there, and that job might be a hard one!
180 gr Nosler Accubond or 180 gr Swift Scriocco are THE answer to all your needs, load them near the top of the range and enjoy all that .30 cal goodness!
 
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For a uniform, "do anything" caliber for the contiguous US or Mexico,,,.30 caliber really can't be beat. Whether .308 to ..300 Mag...all do a wonderful job of putting a animal on its' butt. Not that I do not love my .243 though. I have shot up to decent sized mule deer with it, I just think for a beginning hunter that a .30 cal is a better choice. I shoot most everything mentioned here and my go to rifle will always be 30/06.
 
OP
W
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Thank you for all the feedback ... since this will probably be a "hobby" rifle ... only occasional hunting opportunities ... I will primarily be experimenting with reloading ... I have done some reloading years ago with 9 mm ... with some success but I thought I might enjoy working on rifle reloading .. ... so ... I think will will just get both a .243 and a .308 ... and see which I like/enjoy more ? I am betting I will like both of them but perhaps the .243 a bit more because of the reduced recoil ... but then I could add a muzzle break to the .308 .. . ..... gee... it looks like I have a good bit of opportunities ..

thanks again for the feedback ... lots of sales coming up in the next few weeks ... and many reasonably priced sales for Savages, Rugers, Remingtons, Winchesters, etc ...

and perhaps Tluzier in Nevada could tell me what Leupold scope and what price/cost including shipping to my FFL here in Chandler AZ .

Regards,
Walter
 
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Thank you for all the feedback ... since this will probably be a "hobby" rifle ... only occasional hunting opportunities ... I will primarily be experimenting with reloading ... I have done some reloading years ago with 9 mm ... with some success but I thought I might enjoy working on rifle reloading .. ... so ... I think will will just get both a .243 and a .308 ... and see which I like/enjoy more ? I am betting I will like both of them but perhaps the .243 a bit more because of the reduced recoil ... but then I could add a muzzle break to the .308 .. . ..... gee... it looks like I have a good bit of opportunities ..

thanks again for the feedback ... lots of sales coming up in the next few weeks ... and many reasonably priced sales for Savages, Rugers, Remingtons, Winchesters, etc ...

and perhaps Tluzier in Nevada could tell me what Leupold scope and what price/cost including shipping to my FFL here in Chandler AZ .

Regards,
Walter
Walter
Here is a picture and label of scope box.
$650 Shipped to AZ

20200725_082630.jpg 20200726_161645.jpg
 
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I have sold my .22 lr rifle and am looking at gettin either a .243 or .308 winchester rifle for hunting ... primarily for deer ... but I also want to do some reloading .. and am wondering if I should go with a .308 winchester caliber or a .243 caliber rifle ? Either caliber should work okay for my hunting ... but am wonder which is better/easier for reloading ?

Any experienced opinions / insights out there ?
I had a 6mm Remington (.243) and a 30-06 (.308) .. I reloaded both. My thought is if you plan to shoot small game up to deer size the .243 is a good choice, with lots of reloading data. If you will be shooting deer sized game and larger, then the .308 would be my choice, also lots of reloading data.
 
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Between the two I would go 308. I have a recipe for reloading that got me to 1000 yards. But I have to agree with the statement above and for hunting I would go with the 270.
Yep. Had my .308 out to 1750 many times. Of course I have to file a flight plan with the local airport. But it gets there & is fairly accurate for that distance. Good reloading techniques & a great gunsmith are imperative. However it's a freak build by my friend in Pa. He's never seen anything in 308 perform that well.

BW
 
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One thing you might not have thought about: what's your physical condition going to be in, say, 10 years? I shot .308 and .30-06 for nearly 40 years. Five years ago, I damaged my right rotator cuff, and it became painful to shoot those. I bought a .243; what a difference! It may not do everything that my .30-06 Smith-Corona would do, but in the time left allotted to me, it will probably do everything I really need from 600+ yard rifle.
 
OP
W
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Yep ,,, I also have a right shoulder problem (and I am a right handed shooter) . I have been advised by a local dealer that if I get a .308 I should get one that allows a muzzle break to be installed. So I am leaning a bit toward the .243 ... the local dealer said he could even get me a .243 with a muzzle break ! ... this getting old stuff is getting old ...

Thanks again for all the replies and support ... I should add that the .270 is a favorite caliber by many but I had a nice Tikka in .270 years back and I think something was amiss with it as the small group I could get at 100 yards was six (6) inches ...

I am not going to be doing that much shooting ... maybe 100-200 rounds a year .. and I want to learn/experiment with reloading rifle .. My local dealer says that the SAVAGE AXIS II with the accutrigger is a nice option ...

regards,
 
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.243 is an OK round, personally I've seen it used mostly for whitetails, less for mulies, especially where any distance is involved. (As an aside, gimme the 6.5 Swede over the .243).. I wouldnt willingly (this is me, YMMV) use it for anything bigger than whities at any distance over 100 yards, and would prefer a .30-30 at that distance.... It's just light...
.308 has been my go-to round for many years here in Colorado... .30.06 if I want to boot it up some, and I do have a few 7.92mm Mausers, one of which is a really nice build from post-ww2 Germany. When I scope it with a 3X9 gotten for that purpose it will be my main mtn rifle here in Colorado.
You couldnt go far wrong with a .308/7.62X51... Lots of ammo around, including if you look, still some milsurp. The reloading prospects are about endless as components are widely available in N.A., it's not a "magnum" but will do about anything the .06 will do, in my own experience with both rounds...
 
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Yep ,,, I also have a right shoulder problem (and I am a right handed shooter) . I have been advised by a local dealer that if I get a .308 I should get one that allows a muzzle break to be installed. So I am leaning a bit toward the .243 ... the local dealer said he could even get me a .243 with a muzzle break ! ... this getting old stuff is getting old ...

Thanks again for all the replies and support ... I should add that the .270 is a favorite caliber by many but I had a nice Tikka in .270 years back and I think something was amiss with it as the small group I could get at 100 yards was six (6) inches ...

I am not going to be doing that much shooting ... maybe 100-200 rounds a year .. and I want to learn/experiment with reloading rifle .. My local dealer says that the SAVAGE AXIS II with the accutrigger is a nice option ...

regards,


Custom 6.5 Grendel.........this would work.

0F37AEDD-2704-48DB-97B7-7200FCA1094D_1_201_a.jpeg
 
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My 243 in an older Remington 700 is sweet, doesn't just shoot good, but has an excellent trigger plus looks great, and fun to load for. its taken no step 140 and 250 pounders in Eastern Oregon. so I think it will handle your muleys. I'd pick the 243 over the 308 any time for a variety if reasons besides being a reloader so not worried about fodder to feed it. I picked this caliber for both deer and elk to down size from a life time with a .270. I had not been lucky enough yet to bag a elk when...... after shooting and loading for an extant military rifle in 6.5 X 55 I ended up switching to a wood stocked Tikka in the same 6.5 caliber and stuck with it. Not as classy looking as the Remington (to me) but still sleek and ergonomic, After putting a Leupold VX3i 4.5x14 scope on it so this old man can see, it shoots ragged holes and has an unprecedented array of projectiles and powders available for reloading. While my Remington shoots better than me, I believe the Tikka shoots even tighter groups which makes me look better than I am.
I still wipe down and pet my Remington 234 once a month mostly because I like the looks and feel of it.
 

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