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Thread: .243 95gr SST for Red?

  1. #1

    .243 95gr SST for Red?

    Hi all,

    Got a howa 1500 .243 currently using 95gr SST which I really like. However Ive just signed up my first bit of red land. I am fully aware that .243 is a touch on the small side in alot of peoples opinion for red however its what I have got at the minute and I also know that it frequently accounts for red deer and is a capable calibre for them so to that end I would appreciate it if we could just be objective about the question rather that saying, go and buy ... cal etc.

    The worry that i have with SST is that i know they expand incredibly well and are highly regarded for their stopping power, however do they over expand too early for red? Would i be better for example getting some 100gr soft tips? I really like the SST and shoot to a good standard with it so ideally I would like to stick with it, however if it isnt really good for red then obviously being as humane as possibe would take priority.

    Anyone who has first hand experience of using 95gr SST for larger deer I would be very grateful to hear from

    thanks in advance

    KS

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Kernow_Stalker View Post
    Hi all,

    Got a howa 1500 .243 currently using 95gr SST which I really like. However Ive just signed up my first bit of red land. I am fully aware that .243 is a touch on the small side in alot of peoples opinion for red however its what I have got at the minute and I also know that it frequently accounts for red deer and is a capable calibre for them so to that end I would appreciate it if we could just be objective about the question rather that saying, go and buy ... cal etc.

    The worry that i have with SST is that i know they expand incredibly well and are highly regarded for their stopping power, however do they over expand too early for red? Would i be better for example getting some 100gr soft tips? I really like the SST and shoot to a good standard with it so ideally I would like to stick with it, however if it isnt really good for red then obviously being as humane as possibe would take priority.
    Anyone who has first hand experience of using 95gr SST for larger deer I would be very grateful to hear from
    thanks in advance

    KS
    The .243 is perfectly suitable for hinds. If you avoid striking the foreleg, and go for heart/lung shots, you will have no problems. (You should avod the foreleg regardless what cartridge/bullet you're using.) I know a Scottish stalker who shot around 160 hinds p.a., and all he used was a 243 with Norma factory ammo. I have shot/seen shot red hinds with a variety of .243 and .30 bullets - they all work provided they are in the right place. We shot 16 hinds one week and in the larder, you couldn't determine which was shot with which calibre, not from the wounds. All the bullets produced similar wounds.

    Bullet placement. A couple of years ago, I shot a warthog in the guts with a 270g .375H&H bullet. I shot it again in the hips just above the spine with a second bullet, producing a wound 8-10 inches long and two inches wide. That pig ran a full two kilometres before lying down. The lesson being that it doesn't matter that bullet or gun you use, a bullet in the wrong place is worthless.

    I don't use a .243 on red stags, I use either a 7mm or .30-06. But I have the luxury of choice. If all I had was a .243, I would use it on stags but I'd probably go for a sturdy bullet (such as the Nosler Partition or the Hornady Interbond) and ensure I went for a behind the foreleg shot. In fact, in my .30-06, the 180g Hornady Interbond is what I use.

    -JMS

  3. #3
    As with the above, fine for hinds, and I know a lot depends on shot placement, but for my money, it's too small for the red stags in England, I watched a stag this year in the rut shot 4 times, each perfectly good kill shots, with a .308 150gr it was only the final 4th shot to the base of the skull which stopped that animal.....they are built of stern stuff and can take a lot of dropping when they are pumped full of testosterone and adrenaline.
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

  4. #4
    strangely when I used to use a 243 I found the 95grain sst not to kill well contrary to my experience with most of hornadys products ?

    a well placed 100grain soft point will kill reds fine , including the big ones but in my opinion if your ground holds really big reds then you would be well served by a slightly more powerful calibre.
    Right where's those stones , I'll start !

  5. #5
    243 95grn sst for red - not in scotland !

  6. #6
    Hi all, thanks for the input. All usefull information which I will take on board. 10.9 indeed that is true, fortunately for me I only need to go about 4 miles further south and I am statistically as far from scotland as you can be while still being mainland UK ;-)

  7. #7
    Two years ago my daughter nailed a whitetail doe with a 165 grain SST from a 30-06 and had to look for it til well into the dark. It was never found despite she and the guide staying out til almost midnight. Both swear the shot was high on the shoulder. Last fall my buddy shot a large mule deer buck with the same bullet. It dropped hard, then got up. I put it down with my 7-08 and a Sierra 120 grain. When we skinned it we found a large, crater-like wound behind the shoulder but nothing that would have done more than cripple. My nephew lost two deer to the 95 grain SST from a 243.

    The SST aren't all they are cracked up to be. I have weighed hundreds of them and believe me, if you are trickling your charges to an exactitude, the SST's weight variances will negate your efforts.

    I know guys who swear by them but I've lost my faith in SSTs. I don't see them a quality bullet. I'm not a fan of 243 but add the thought of an SST into the picture? Makes me shudder. JMHO. ~Muir

  8. #8
    100g SP Sako Gamehead - has never let me down and there's been a few big-uns

  9. #9
    One of the greatest messes I've ever seen was a big Yugo X German stag (320 kg plus) first hit in the shoulder with a 225grn SST from a 338win & then requiring several more. IMO they are a terrible projectile in any caliber. I still have several hundred of these in 338 (they were basically giving them away about a decade ago, $10 per box of 100) & I am slowly trying to use them up on pigs & goats. It seems a bit over gunned using a 338 on these but I have zero faith in these projectiles for game normally requiring a 338. Almost all of the bullet failures I've witnessed from different calibers have been with SST's. Ballistic tips are a wee bit harder IMO, but I have still had failures hitting the shoulder of fallow bucks with 150 grn in these from a 270WBY. I generally just use heavy for caliber Woodliegh's now as my "soft" hunting projectiles in most chamberings & Barnes X or my hoarded stash of failsafes for harder expanding pills if needed.

    Not a fan of SST's at all. Who can predict before the hunt the angle that the shot is going to be taking through an animal? Who can afford the luxury of being able to wait for a text book broadside shot? Even on paddock deer I'd pass on using SST's.


    Sharkey
    "Men Who Stare at Deer."

  10. #10
    Sharkey,
    Interesting to hear that your experiences mirror my own. I also have many boxes of 6.5 and 30 cal SST's that I got cheap. To date I have never seen a deer killed cleanly with an SST. I had thought I loaded SST's for a friend's daughter last fall - a hunt during which she killed a very large whitetail buck- but my notes say it was the soft point 150 grain Interlock that did the damage. One shot from a 308 at (a father and daughter, oft debated) 150 yards. For deer, and this fall,elk, I like the Sierra Game Kings. I've never had anything go anywhere but down after a well placed hit with one of these.~Muir

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