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Thread: 308 & 243

  1. #1

    308 & 243

    Hello all!

    I am looking to get my first rifles in the above calibers.

    I am after some advice!

    I have looked at the Tikka T3 super varmint in 243 but am wondering if this will be too heavy to carry around, it will mostly be used for foxing and small dear. Also it will be used in the range.

    The same goes for the 308, it will be used on the range (mostly) and for deer stalking.

    Also I have looked at second hand Sako 75/85 and also the How's 1500.

    I have no idea what to do for, but I think I fancy a longer barrel on the 308 for more accuracy at longer ranges when using on the range.

    Many thanks
    Last edited by pow1; 17-09-2014 at 09:57.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by pow1 View Post
    I have no idea what to do for, but I think I fancy a longer barrel on the 308 for more accuracy at longer ranges when using on the range.
    try them all for fit if you can
    get one that fits you for LOP and weight

    not a fan of varmint barrels unless its a range queen and won't be getting carried
    accuracy improvement is marginal if noticeable in a stalking rifle

    unless you are looking at 28-30" barrelled .308 I doubt you will see the benefits at the range
    out to 800yds shouldn't be a problem for even factory ammo
    after that it won't be the velocities that cause the variations in POI!

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply, I have found that the local shop that keeps the sako and tikka are not too helpful, so I guess I should go somewhere else to try the different models.

    So from what you have said there's not much point going longer than 20"?

    The only thing that naggs at me is the lighter barrels will be hot after a handful of shots and will need to be left to cool.

  4. #4
    What you can carry depends purely upon your own preference, so, get to a reasonable RFD or a show and try some rifles.
    Some folk carry heavy varmint profile rifles no probs and love them, some prefer lightweight sporters - each to their own
    At the range, if you're gonna be shooting groups of 10 in something akin to F-TR (the .308 specific class for example) then a heavy barreled rifle with at least a 26 inch barrel might be preferable, but even someone who likes a varmint rifle might not want to carry a rifle like that about for too long. I have an RPA Interceptor for that sort of work and although it's cleared for use on deer I would never stalk with it, from a high seat it's ok, but only just ok.
    I'm not a fan of short barrels, even on stalking rifles, I prefer rifles with approx 24 inch barrels, but that's mostly just personal taste although the slightly longer barrels do generally spit the bullets out a bit faster.
    Happy hunting, there's almost as much fun in choosing new toys as there is in using them
    I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, but it was only some fecker with a torch bringing me more work

  5. #5
    Thanks for the reply, ideally I'd like 2 308's and will do in time.

    I think finding a show is the best bet, preferably one in the next few weeks!!!

  6. #6
    i have the tikka super varmint in 243 ........if i had my time again i perhaps would not go with the heavy barrel again ..i do a lot more stalking these days and sometimes think i would prefer a lighter more traditional stalking rifle.. saying that the tikka is so nice to use super accurate very nice bolt lovely adjustable stock im mega confident in every shot.. i shoot it to 300 yards on a gong target and get wicked groups with home loads... i shoot 90% of sticks so dont feel the weigh ....if you where closer you could of had a play

  7. #7
    Pow1 - as you are fairly close to him, I'd recommend a visit to Ivythorne (Steve Beaty) near Street in Somerset. He always has a great selection of rifles - His gun room is quite special. His knowledge is extensive and he is willing to advise, his prices are ok and he won't bullsh*t you either. - He also has a range to try rifles out on - a real bonus. It's always best to arrange a time to go see him so that he can spend time with you.

    As always - go talk to those who have a good reputation - not a local unhelpful shop - put your money with people who deserve it - not those who are arrogant & evasive.

    As to first rifles, I'd advise starting with something in medium sporter weight. Not too light that managing recoil becomes a problem & is more likely to help you develop a flinch. Not a great heavy varminter lump that is a pain to carry, & most important get something that fits you naturally when shooting from different positions.
    It is more important that your first rifles help you stalking rather than being a compromise. (It's more important to get it right on deer than on targets!)
    As to barrel length - 243 is better with a longer barrel (22 to 24") to keep the velocity & energy levels above legal limits for all deer in the UK.
    308 is ok shorter & even 18" still works well with good accuracy & velocity.
    Try & handle as many styles of rifle as possible - some are better balanced than others & you can't feel that from a photo.

    Enjoy the choice


  8. #8
    Thanks for the reply, yes its that exact rifle I have fancied! That's the thing, do I go for the heavy barrel or not! I will also shoot mostly from sticks, but around here my farms are all on mountains so somewhat hilly!

    Thanks for the offer, yes shame not closer!

  9. #9
    Hi Ian,

    That's very helpful, I will indeed contact him next week and visit him

    I think, as you and others have said, it best to try the feel and fit of different rifles as I imagine modern rifles are all very accurate be it a howa or sako.


  10. #10
    Good advice from Yorric/Ian
    As I said earlier it's really down to personal preference, but a good sporter rifle for stalking is hard to beat, a big hefty lump of a thing can quite literally become a pain, especially if you're dragging it up down hills.
    If you can hold off til you get two .308's then do that, it's what I did and it worked out fine for me.
    My stalking rifle is in no way shape or form up to range days, the barrel simply heats up too quick and it's light enough that 100 rds of .308 is gonna get a bit tiresome on me too, gotta reload after only 4 shots etc.
    My range rifle, well, I've already described that - it's hard enough to lift the beast into a high seat never mind stalk with it. It'll put a bullet into gopher target at 500yds (BSRC 500yd club test) the times it doesn't can be blamed on me.
    As I hope you'll find, choosing the rifle for you is a large part of the fun of rifle ownership
    I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, but it was only some fecker with a torch bringing me more work

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