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Thread: 80grain .243 Vs 100grain .243 on deer

  1. #1

    80grain .243 Vs 100grain .243 on deer

    Hi guys, I've currently got a Tikka T3 .243 as my foxing/stalking (roe and fallow and fox no more than 150m at the very most) rifle and when I bought it (2nd hand) it came with 100grain Federal PowerShoks which are now running low. From looking on the Federal website I see they also do the PowerShok in 80grain which for all intents and purposes looks like a much better bullet. More energy (both at the barrel and down range), flatter trajectory, higher velocity, less wind drift etc. Seeing as both bullet weights fulfil the English/Welsh criteria for deer calibres I was asking if anyone has any experience of using an 80grain bullet on deer up to fallow size? I know a lot of people argue that a .243 is too "girly" etc but I'm doing more foxing than stalking and can't afford another rifle at present so I'm keeping the .243 and making sure I get good shot placement.


    My main concerns being with the 80 grain will I get sufficient penetration and will it cause more meat damage (heart lung shots) on fallow? Ideally I'd like to use one weight of bullet for all current foxing/stalking needs to keep my zero and confidence.

    I have researched as much as I can online so now after some real world advice from people and their experiences.

  2. #2
    put the bullet in the right place,what ever you point it at will fall over obvioulsy depending on distance.you could also stick one in the neck obviously if your confident and have a good stable rest to do so.
    Last edited by see it shoot it; 05-03-2013 at 11:53.

  3. #3
    It all depends how it performs in your rifle but if you're happy with the 100gr why change? When I got my .243 I tried various brands and weights inc federal 100gr & 80gr but the best groups I got were with Sako 100gr so thats what I use and I've shot fox , roe and red hinds with it with no problems.
    Virtutis Gloria Merces

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by cerealthriller View Post
    It all depends how it performs in your rifle but if you're happy with the 100gr why change? When I got my .243 I tried various brands and weights inc federal 100gr & 80gr but the best groups I got were with Sako 100gr so thats what I use and I've shot fox , roe and red hinds with it with no problems.

    Exactly.
    Some rifles won't stabilise 100gr some will, depends on the twist rate of the barrel.
    I use 85gr for fox and deer (Roe, Fallow, Muntjac), with good placement they all fall over.
    85gr is supposedly the ideal weight for 243.
    you get about 3" drop at 200 yards from a 100 yard zero, so for long range foxes just hold over very slightly.

  5. #5
    For many years I used Hornady No 2442, 87grn Hpt Bt bullets in my .243 on everything and never had any problems at all.
    Don't get them mixed up with the Hornady 87grn V Max, that is a different bullet altogether.
    Ah ! I've just realised you are not reloading, in that case I have no personal experience of using the 80grn bullet but I am sure if it is put in the right place it will still do the job.

  6. #6
    I would pick up a box and put a few groups on paper. Out of your 1 in 10 twist Tikka I bet they shoot better than the 100grn.
    Personaly 80grn is the minimum I would use on fallow but if you only shoot the odd one or two a year then fine. Perfect for roe an fox.
    I untill I started reloading I used sako 90grn from my T3 and shoot well and perform well on does (prefer neck shots on bigger bucks)
    I don't know where U are in Sussex but I have a bunch of spare sako 90grn if you want to try a box.

  7. #7
    I only have experience of 85gr Sierra and 87gr Hornady bullets which both perform well

    anything lighter run faster will give more meat damage for like for like shots.
    its just physics


    I am not sure the real world test of wind drift will see an 80gr bullet outperform a 100gr bullet even if running at 20% lower MV though
    "Trajectorily" speaking you are unlikely to notice any significant difference in drop inside 200m between the two weights.

  8. #8
    if your rifle shoots the 100g well then stick with it, the drop and drift differences are marginal and tbh, the 80g should drift 'more' if anything. Also the 100g is more versatile and might give you a touch more 'penetration' on both deer as well as through grass when foxing. Plus, you can take it to scotland for sika and reds.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by PKL View Post
    if your rifle shoots the 100g well then stick with it, the drop and drift differences are marginal and tbh, the 80g should drift 'more' if anything. Also the 100g is more versatile and might give you a touch more 'penetration' on both deer as well as through grass when foxing. Plus, you can take it to scotland for sika and reds.
    +1! I use the Federal 100 grains for all my stalking. The meat damage is minimal and i feel confident in knocking over all the deer i stalk with it. If its performing for you, why change?

  10. #10
    Thanks for all the input guys. I think I will try a box and see how they perform before I run out of the 100g. My main reason was out of curiosity and wanting the best ammo combo for my rifle as I'd heard the 100g in .243 was kind of pushing its limit so thought the 80g may be better. Also the slightly flatter trajectory would allow me to zero at 200m and only be 1inch high at 100m so giving me a bit more confidence in time to reach out to some longer distance foxes.

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