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Thread: .243 or .308?!

  1. #1

    .243 or .308?!

    I know this has been talked about but my questions are slightly different...

    The .243 appears to have a better BC than the .308 when comparing a 100gn .243 to a 150gn .308 (which seems to be the norm for each respective calibre) - this said, then why do so many people recommend upping to a .308 if your after larger deer species?

    As far as I can make out, the .243 is travelling faster than the .308 at 200yds, and is LESS prone to wind drift not more (working off ballistics software here) in the same way that a .17HMR is less prone to wind drift than a .22lr...?!!

    I'm probably only thinking of getting a .308 as I know I'm more likely to be invited to red shoots if I have one, as the perception is the .243 lacks knock-down power - is that really true though?

    I appreciate the .308 round is half again as heavy as the .243 but does anyone know the actual difference in ft/lbs at 200yds?

    Do I really need a .308? Is it really that much better? Are the rounds any cheaper than a .243?

    If I get a .308 I'll probably have to do a 1-for-1 and lose my .243 (my FLO can be tough)... so want to be sure!

  2. #2
    i could be wrong and often are but i think a 150 grain .308 round is around 1900 ft/lb at 200

  3. #3
    Having had both I would go with the 308 using 123 sako factory rounds or homeloading 125 nosler bts.

    ATB steve

  4. #4
    My first deer rifle was .308, can be considered heavy for Roe so I have a .243 as well. In the right hands a .243 will cull a red. My suggestion would not to be too concerned with ballistics per se, as they both have enough oomph as hunting rifles. For practice at the range, unless you reload .308 FMJ factory ammunition is readily available and cheap.

  5. #5
    308 is the most popular rifle cartridge for a reason.
    243 works but lacks a bit in knock down power.
    Why not look at a 7-08?
    Or if recoil sensitive stick with the 243 and keep shots a bit shorter.
    edi

  6. #6
    Your missing a lot just looking at paper charts.

    The .30 cal has a larger diameter bullet to start with so has more area to transmit it's carried "energy" and make that "energy" work as we would like it too.

    In the .308 Winchester cartridge the 150 grain bullet is often loaded to produce 2900 fps now the .243 with a 100 grain bullet with a top load taken from the same loading data manual is 2966 fps. Looking at these results just picked out at random (I just grabbed the first up to date manual off the shelf which happens to be Speers #14) your looking at a 60 fps difference ........................................... gee wow . It's possible to get that much difference in velocities from one load.

    Looking further:-

    Hornady's 7th edition ( not the latest which is the 8th) lists 7 loads that they achieved the magic 3,000 fps velocity in .243 with 90-100 grin bullets. However they were more conservative with their .308 loads only getting 2800 fps with the 150-155 grain bullets.

    Vhit on the other hand with the Sierra 150 HPBT got 2956 fps in the .308 and a whopping 3085 fps with the Sierra SPBT 100 grain in .243..

    Of course what YOUR rifle can produce with any of the loads will have to tried and tested to find out but it's unlikely to be the same as the books say or claim

    For Reds I would personally load a nice 165 grain bullet at around 2800 fps. This of course will also work nicely on Roe and Muntjac. Or so I have found .

    In reality there is a good reason to have both rifles. However as you say the FEO and licensing department have their own ideas ............................ nothing new there then!

    As for felt recoil make sure the rifle fits you and learn and practice good technique. Far too much is made of recoil and I feel a lot of times people are taught to be scared of it before even handling a rifle.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Brithunter View Post
    Your missing a lot just looking at paper charts.

    The .30 cal has a larger diameter bullet to start with so has more area to transmit it's carried "energy" and make that "energy" work as we would like it too.

    In the .308 Winchester cartridge the 150 grain bullet is often loaded to produce 2900 fps now the .243 with a 100 grain bullet with a top load taken from the same loading data manual is 2966 fps. Looking at these results just picked out at random (I just grabbed the first up to date manual off the shelf which happens to be Speers #14) your looking at a 60 fps difference ........................................... gee wow . It's possible to get that much difference in velocities from one load.

    Looking further:-

    Hornady's 7th edition ( not the latest which is the 8th) lists 7 loads that they achieved the magic 3,000 fps velocity in .243 with 90-100 grin bullets. However they were more conservative with their .308 loads only getting 2800 fps with the 150-155 grain bullets.

    Vhit on the other hand with the Sierra 150 HPBT got 2956 fps in the .308 and a whopping 3085 fps with the Sierra SPBT 100 grain in .243..

    Of course what YOUR rifle can produce with any of the loads will have to tried and tested to find out but it's unlikely to be the same as the books say or claim

    For Reds I would personally load a nice 165 grain bullet at around 2800 fps. This of course will also work nicely on Roe and Muntjac. Or so I have found .

    In reality there is a good reason to have both rifles. However as you say the FEO and licensing department have their own ideas ............................ nothing new there then!

    As for felt recoil make sure the rifle fits you and learn and practice good technique. Far too much is made of recoil and I feel a lot of times people are taught to be scared of it before even handling a rifle.
    Thanks very helpful

  8. #8
    BD

    Chuck has some interesting comments on different rifles. http://www.chuckhawks.com/index2.guns.htm The last time I looked at changing rifles, I subscribed to Chuck's site for a month and read up on the stuff that was relevant.

    Good luck. JCS

  9. #9
    243 will kill everything in this country but you have to be confident with your shot placement, because of there tiny bullets against the 308 bullets. 243 is faster than the 308 there as good as each other as they both do the job its your choice wich you pick we can only advise.


    Regards james

  10. #10
    Don,t worry about calibre, worry about bullet placement, a 243 is ample for reds.

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