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Thread: .243 for Vermin to Deer?

  1. #1

    .243 for Vermin to Deer?

    Can .243 also be used for "vermin" i.e. Rabbits and Mid-Field Crows (i.e. is it commonly "authorised" if requested)?

    By way of background to the question; I have .17 HMR, .22 and .223 on my FAC presently. Already having upset the missus with three gun purchases in one year (12g, .17 HMR and .22), I'm seeking to "rationalise". I didn't apply for a deer calibre initially as I expected it to be several years before desiring/ready to progress to deer and didn't want to push my luck (the FEO was happy with the .223 off the back of the military training). I would now like to add the CF calibre to be better set-up for foxing, possibly PX'ing for the .17 HMR (Sako Quad). However, I've realised it would save a lot of money and possibly additional gun if I could change the .223 for .243. My FEO has already indicated that a variation for the .223 to .243 should be favourably viewed so long as I can "justify" (DSC1 would help but is not mandatory). I love my HMR, but if pushed to rationalise, feel that the .22 and .243 would perhaps be the best configuration to cover all bases.

  2. #2
    The .22 is cheap to feed and will do all your close rabbit work, the .17 isn't cheap to run but I do like it, not so good for bunnies if you're weighing them in unless head shot!

    .223, great calibre for sniping bunnies and shooting Charlie and small Deer (Roe in Scotland)


    .243, great all round calibre, fantastic for sniping bunnies, great foxing round and more than capable for all UK Deer.


    Don't be bullied by the FEO, have a read of the home office guidelines and have a copy on the table when comes to visit...YOU choose what way you want to go and check all your bases on doing so, so that they can't come back with some bull about suitability. They don't make policy they interpret at their discretion which doesn't mean it's a legal requirement.

  3. #3
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    wiltshire will allow it with no issues but they will insist that you have some form of deer management/dcs1/stalking/ qualification etc before you get the 243.

    i have been using mine for everything from furballs to deer with no issues.(apart from there is not a lot left of a rabbit after a 85gr pill hits it.)

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  4. #4
    Thanks gents that's most helpful. I suspected as much on the DSC. The FEO is clearly keeping to the rules in stating that DSC1 is not mandatory but clearly it would significantly lessen the chances of being approved if not possessed first. I had planned to do DSC1 in the next 6-months anyhow, so will look to get a course booked and completed before applying for the .223 to .243 variation.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tjm160 View Post
    Thanks gents that's most helpful. I suspected as much on the DSC. The FEO is clearly keeping to the rules in stating that DSC1 is not mandatory but clearly it would significantly lessen the chances of being approved if not possessed first. I had planned to do DSC1 in the next 6-months anyhow, so will look to get a course booked and completed before applying for the .223 to .243 variation.
    Level 1 as you know isn't mandatory so they cannot ask that you compete it before granting a .243, the more that people accept this as the norm (level 1 for Deer cal) the greater the chances of it becoming mandatory!

    Your call but I wouldn't accept this, I'd consider a mentor if you know anyone and if that suits you.

  6. #6
    Do Wilts do 'any other legal quarry'? If so then you're sorted with the .243 automatically.

    The only thing you have to worry about then is whether a pound a shot is worth it for rabbits and crows

  7. #7
    Thanks Jager although I wouldn't consider shooting a deer unless/until 'proficient' and so do not really have an issue with completing DSC1 first. A mentor would be more/most preferable regardless, but I'm not sure how I would go about finding one. Are there established channels for finding mentors?

  8. #8
    lol thanks csl, that's a bit of a wake up call Now I see why most CF users re-load.

    I asked the FEO about AOLQ and he made positive noises that it would be ok so I guess that answers that. It's just "justifying" a .243 for which DSC1 first would clearly help.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by tjm160 View Post
    lol thanks csl, that's a bit of a wake up call Now I see why most CF users re-load.

    I asked the FEO about AOLQ and he made positive noises that it would be ok so I guess that answers that. It's just "justifying" a .243 for which DSC1 first would clearly help.
    Mate, your in wilts, book a dsc for sometime in the future, put in your variation and let them know you are doing dsc, you'll get 'deer control and any other lawful quarry'
    wilts like you to shoot deer while supervised by an experienced stalker until you have passed a recognised deer qual, or you have experience, and a mentor or similair, to confirm this.

    ​I have deer and any other lawful quarry on the .444, no questions asked as I had three other deer legal rifles anyway. You should see what that does to rabbits
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  10. #10
    Thanks, again most helpful and much appreciated. A mentor is clearly the way to go in the meantime, if I can find one.

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