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Thread: 243 or not 243.... that is the question

  1. #1

    243 or not 243.... that is the question

    I've been cyber researching this for months and thought I'd made a good decision, until I eventually asked a real person for his opinion and now I'm as confused as ever.

    It'll be my first deer rifle and the only one I'll own for the foreseeable future so I reckoned a .243 would be a good entry level, giving me the option of stalking in England if the chance ever came up and offering a huge range of ammo.

    I live in Scotland and there's a really good chance this rifle will never see anything other than roe and foxes over the next year or two. So what do you guys think? Should I keep all options open to me with the .243 or would I be more comfortable with something that'll adequately do the job like the .223 that was suggested to me today?

    Do any of you guys own both? If so, what's your fav? Would you take the .243 with you for roe and foxes and leave your .223 at home?

    Thanks in advance for the conflicting advice I feel I'm about to receive.


  2. #2
    Forgive the pun, but I think you should stick to your guns. The .243 has to be the better choice for deer and fox. Yes the .223 will do the job and is fantastic for fox, but why limit your options? .243 is deer legal for all types of deer in the UK, plus you'll get it issued for fox without too much quibble. It will shoot anything from light varmint bullets up to 100gr, deer legal for all species in Scotland & England.

    It might seem like the sensible thing to be conservative but trust me when I say this... "It'll do me for a few years" rarely works when you get the shooting bug! Avenues will open, unexpected opportunities will present themselves and you'll find yourself trying to push through a last minute variation just so you can pop across the border to go stalking.

    I started with a .243 and although I did end up getting a .30-06 for larger species and boar I still have my .243 and it comes with me 9/10 when stalking roe.

    I'd be interested to hear why the other person thought you should ditch .243 for .223....

    all the best,


  3. #3
    I have to agree with Alex, I've shot deer with both and would never choose to shoot deer with 223 over a 243. Dont get me wrong I never had problems using 223 but it did always leave me feeling that if the shot had not hit absolutely right, perhaps a freak gust of wind or the animal moved unexpectedly, the result would have been an unrecovered animal. IMHO I would go for the slightly bigger margin of error that a 243 affords.

  4. #4
    You can load the .243 to do what a 222 can and also a fair bit more with the heavier stuff so it will give you a bit more versitility. I bet your pal has a CF .22 for the deer. Guess what? I have a 243AI so it is all a bit subjective.


  5. #5
    yeah, I tend to agree with you guys after hearing those good points. He was basing his argument on cost, the fact that I'd almost exclusively be after roe and fox and, yes, because he has one himself for that very purpose and claims that it's all that I'd need. Lightweight, sling it over your shoulder and away you go...... but I reckon I could do that just as well with my original choice of .243.

    So I'm back on course... a .243 it is. Unless anyone else wants to confuse the issue.

    thanks for that, guys


  6. #6
    I have both .223 and .243 (also .308) if I could only have one of the first two , to do all things , it would be the .243 all day long. ai love the .223, but it would still be the .243.

  7. #7
    that's what I wanted to hear
    cheers hugh


  8. #8
    I have a .222 .243 & i have just added a .270 to my cert.
    The .243 is a good rifle but i manly use the .222 for roe & foxing. The .243 i only use on red deer & now that i have a .270 i could see the .243 going to the clasified section in the not to distant future.


  9. #9
    It comes down to personal choice, I have used most calibres at one time or another but .243 is my all time favourite
    if you are only going to have one rifle its the perfect choice, if you get in to home loading you have a lot of bullet weights to
    choose from, even in factory rounds you have a fair choice 80gr. 100gr. and R.W.S do 105 gr which is very good on Reds

    Its a popular calibre with professional stalkers, so that about sums it up.

  10. #10
    Try to source a .243 Win that will have the twist rate to properly cope with 100 grain bullets.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

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