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Thread: A 243 with 1:9 twist and 21" barrel

  1. #1

    A 243 with 1:9 twist and 21" barrel

    I'm looking at a 243 rifle with with a 1:9 twist and 21" barrel. It's the standard 'light' barrel.

    My limited (!) understanding of the various compromises involved in choosing a rifle suggest this might be on the short side?

    It will be used mostly for Roe, but there will be some early range work to get the loads right.

    Given the intended use (Roe) and the twist rate, what are the upper and lower bullet weights/lengths I might be restricted to?

    I have read a lot of the excellent info on the forum about ballistics, and played with the spreadsheet but I am hampered my lack of technical knowledge a familiarity with velocities etc for factory ammunition. Some of it I understand and some of it I don't.


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member tartinjock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Nairn, Inverness-shire
    Hopefully this will answer your question.


  3. #3


    Hi snowstorm,
    Have you already committed to buying the .243 win?

    maybe if not it might be worth looking at a 6.5 to .30 cal rifle. this will give you more flexibility later if you want to shoot boar or other deer species. with the relaxation of the species specific calibres by the home office a bigger calibre might be a good call. a fox is just as dead if you hit it with 130 gr of 7mm bullet as it is with 58 gr of 6mm bullet from your .243. a boar will be significantly deader if you hit it with 160 gr of 7mm bullet than with 100gr of 6mm bullet. and some .243s struggle with 100 gr bullets.


  4. #4
    Thanks both. At the moment its due to land clearance, I had asked for a 308 but was kept to a 243. But for now I'm stuck with it.

    I did see the twist info post, but 1:9 wasnt there for the 243, does this mean :

    - 8" Special for VLD bullets over 100 gr.
    - 8"* Ratchet rifled 4 groove
    - 10" For bullets up to 120 gr. and VLD under 100 gr.

    that 110g would be the maximum I could realistically use? I'm not sure what VLD means!

    Basically, with a 1:9 twist and 21 inch barrel will be able to use a heavy enough bullet for Roe? It's probably the barrel length issue that has me most worried - I can't recall where, but recently I'm sure I read in a magazine don't go less than 22" for 243. Does 21 inches mean I'm committed to using lighter rounds?

    See I'm stabbing in the dark here, not an advisable thing to do !


  5. #5
    There is evidence that as barrels get shorter then muzzle velocity decreases, but in reality it would not decrease significantly enough to affect it for what you want. Somewhere in the region of 100 fps / inch reduction was the suggestion, so if you start off with a 24" inch barrel you may, and I emphasize may, lose 300 fps off your muzzle velocity. If I were in your shoes would not get too excited about the barrel length.


  6. #6
    my .243 prohunter mountain had 20" barrel and that done the trick. blaser offer all calibres with 20"/500mm barrel as a standard option.

  7. #7

  8. #8

    how come

    How come you got told you couldn't have the .308. it is a very well accepted deer cartridge?

    !00gr is not too light for roe. but in my opinion it is not the best tool for the job. there are lots of guys here that use them with great success. I have used one in the past but i have gone to 7mm08 now.

    I THINK that VLD means very low drag. if i am right the are very long bullets, not normally used in stalking.

    realistically there is a good range of 100 gr bullets you will probably be fine with. If you reload you get an even better choice. i have used 80, 87, 100 and 105 gr bullets on deer with my .243. the two lighter ones were very damaging and not very efficient and dropping the deer.105s were not accurate enough for me. I use hornady 100gr interlock (catalogue number 2450).

    as jayb said, don't worry about slightly shorter barrels, i think sometimes 3000fps .243 bullets might be going a bit quick. (sayng this 300wsms rifles are 3400 fps rifles and he shoots loads of deer) my 7mm08 has an 18.5 barrel so it maybe doing only about 2500-2600 fps with 145 gr bullets but it is a death ray. all of my shooting is under 200 yards so thats ok.

    If you have already got your ticket then so be it. if it is still away then maybe you could give them a call and say you think a .308 might be better for your needs.

    Where are you in the country?


  9. #9
    Thanks chaps,

    I did argue the case for 308, but its my land, just over the border in Scotland, and I had no invitations anywhere else - so couldn't show the need for anyhting bigger than what the land was cleared for. I also think the decision was influenced as much by the fact that I'm not an experienced stalker than anything else.

    The land clearnce influenced the FAC conditions and vice versa - who knows what goes on behind closed doors ?

    The inital clearance was for 223, and after some argument on my part they increased it to 243 - the argument was won by my point that I'd need to buy more rifles than I needed if I wanted to shoot in England as well - the topography of the land seemed not to be relevant at that point.

    Actually I'm quite happy with the 243, I just want to make sure I get the right rifle.

    They could have put named land and a mentor condition on my ticket, which they didnt, and I can go anywhere as long as I have permission and the land has been cleared for the calibre, and that in itself isnt a bad result for a first time application.

    Ultimately I imagine they will open my ticket which will resolve the 308 issue.

    The wild boar haven't made it there yet! but the fallow are just to the west. Soon as I spot either I'll ask again for the 308!

    I really appreciate the advice though, thanks everyone.

  10. #10

    there are better calibers than the fantastic .243 .

    i got one as when i stepped into the centerfire world i needed a rifle to do fox and deer i could not afford two rifles optics and mods at that time.i had permission to shot over several thousands of acres of land all assessed for max 243(no deer on this land) as i do a lot of foxing(no open fac)

    i did a lot of research and found the 243 would fill my needs . i am a firm believer in using one rifle to do a job if you can, as you get too understand the rifle far better and what it can do.

    i also try to use bullet weights that are reasonable close together ie my fox bullet is a 75gr and my deer is 90gr bonded bullet with a few reloading "tweeks" both bullets have the same point of impact .

    my 243 has served me well i mostly shoot fallow deer some up to 200lbs most drop either to the shot or take a couple of steps and go over. i have had deer run but they dont go far before stopping. what i am carfull of is my shot placment at rasonable ranges.

    to finish off a 25-06,6.5x55,270,308,338 and 375 will all kill deer better than the 243 but dead is dead i have had no issues with mine stopping what ive shot at ...........neil

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