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Thread: Have I gone for the wrong calibre?

  1. #1

    Have I gone for the wrong calibre?

    Just got into deer shooting and have just received my FAC back with a 0.243 on it. I am within seconds of getting a rifle but am having second thoughts about the calibre I have chosen. I have to get it right because I doubt I will be able to afford another rifle. I want to shoot fallow deer predominantly in a woodland setting, mostly from high seats. Reading the hundreds of posts on this forum, there is loads of calibre/bullet mass related stuff but the comments seem to polarise between small deer - muntjac and roe and red. Fallow are somewhere in the middle. My question is: should I bite the bullet and send the FAC back for a variation to say 0.270, or will the 0.243 be OK for fallow with 100gr bullets? Can I get some feedback on the effectiveness of 0.243 on Fallow specifically. Cheers!

  2. #2

  3. #3
    I use it and have nothing to complain about.

  4. #4
    243 is more than enough gun for fallow - and its also an easy calibre to shoot well, low on recoil and will teach you the importance of good shot placement and good stalking technique.

    Im sure there will be the hard core here to follow with comments like "get a 308 or a 2506 etc etc", all very good calibre's but for your first deer legal rifle the 243 is a good choice IMO.
    It was my first deer legal rifle, and I still take the 243 out 10 years on over a 30-06 on some occasions because it's just a pleasure to shoot and carry around and can cross over to be used as a foxing rifle too.
    Plenty of new or good second hand rifles in this calibre around and plenty of ammunition choice available.

    It is inevitable that you will eventually want to get a bigger calibre, im sure, but 243 is a good starting place and is more than enough gun for Roe, Fallow, Muntjac, Chinese, even Red Hinds if shot properly.
    If all your deer stalking will involve shooting big fallow bucks and red stags then probably go for something like a 308.

    ​Good luck with your stalking and have fun.

  5. #5
    Notwithstanding the very good advice above, Just hope you don't get a lemon that does not like 100 grainers.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  6. #6
    SD Regular johngryphon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    North Eastern Victoria Australia Mitta Mitta Sambar country.
    Deer Dog Available
    A good man will kill any game animal in the UK with a 243
    "you nae be needing these no more"
    I said as I slipped the knife through the cord

    সাম্বার হরিণ

  7. #7
    The .243 has probably accounted for a large proportion of Deer killed in the UK. It's more than ample for your needs, get it, get out with it and get to know it.

  8. #8
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    No. It is a good calibre as it has little recoil in a standard weight rifle. But for short range do stick with "standard" velocity 100 grain loads and not either "Light Magnum" or those with plastic tipped bullets. However long term if a lead ban comes into force in the UK the 243 will be dead as I doubt any will stabilise a non-lead 100 grain bullet.

  9. #9
    hi the 243 works for me every time

  10. #10
    You're probably reading too many of the threads about fancy calibres.

    The fact remains the .243 has probably accounted for more deer than all of the other currently 'fashionable' calibres and will continue to do so. It's tried and tested. It stands up for itself.

    True, the other calibres will kill deer and you will read many threads here where it's claimed that a bigger one will make a deer 'more' dead. A dead deer is a dead deer. Stick the bullet through the vitals and you will kill your deer with a .243 just as easily as with a .308.

    There's nothing wrong with using these other calibres but for a first rifle that will do the job a .243 will be perfect. A properly placed .243 round will kill a deer quicker than a poorly placed 'other' round.
    Best Regards,

    Jedward. The reason why there are two barrels on a shotgun.

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