I can, and have helped many people with rifles that won’t shoot. I Normally advise against buying a howa now as I have seen too many that won’t shoot. And before I get accused of being a snob ect. I used to love howas. I never had a problem with a pre 2012 howa, and I had many that would shoot...
I would happily use a .243 on reds if they could shoot back.
The .243 is the caliber of choice for many highland estates. I would go as far as to say that a .243 with good bullet choice is more deadly than a .308 with poor bullet selection. But then people like to get caught up in the caliber...
And the problem with carcass damage on roe with the 143gr eldx really isn’t a problem. I shoot plenty of roe and muntjac with mine and I’m pushing them faster than most, and I’m yet to have a problem unless you have poor shot placement
I push 143gr eld-x at 2950fps out of my 6.5x284. I have shot literally hundreds of deer with this combination, I can assure you, I havnt had this bullet blow up any worse than any other deer bullet at short range.
I shoot a lot of deer at under 50m with mine, and don’t class the meat damage as excessive at all, no more than my .308 using 150gr soft points. I would rather a tendency for over expansion than under expansion.
The magical bullet for me is 143gr eld-x. Brilliant bc, good expansion and penetration at any range from 10-1000m. I looked into non toxic a few years ago, I couldn’t find any bullet that would do all of the above.