HI,im new on here and fairly new to stalking,i,ve been reading different posts regarding whether ornot the 243 is capable of humanly taking out red stags.i bought a 243 and i,m beginning to wonder is my rifle up to the job .thanks
Everyone will have their preferences and you are about to hear about them all. I think that almost any calibre above .243 is ok for stags. What terrain are you on? Also which part of the country, a large Southern stag will take more to ground it than its lighter highland cousin.
In a woodland or forestry environment I would want to use a larger calibre as it should drop them quicker. The chances are with a boiler room shot with a .243 the beast will run on. So, then you have to start looking for the beast.
My favourite is the 6.5x55.
Other goodies will be the .308, .270, 300win mag, 30-06, 25-06, 7mm-08
Personally , I prefer a heavier bullet for sika although I've shot plenty with a 243, I used to use a 7x57 for my sika, used a 25-06 for a while but have ditched it and am going to get a 270 or possibly a 6.5x55[was impressed by a couple at stag time] and I like a change of toy now and then!
A lot of the old fc rangers in Shin who shot a lot of Sika swore by the 243 and then moved onto 25-06. Personally I prefer a heavier bullet ,
I think the ideal deer round and best balanced for up to red deer would be the 7-08. Short action, better bullet selection and bc's than the 270's.
Very practical bullet weights 120 -160 gr. speeds of around 3100 - 2600fps. This covers from fast and flat to slower with less meat damage .
Downside is maybe availability of ammo.
If boar are also shot then a 308 might be the alround answer.
Shotplacement?? Mostly works, but when it for whatever reason doesn't then the only thing that is going to bring the animal down faster is a good bullet choice and the right caliber.
My last sika I shot with a 22-250, shotplacement must be very precise, but its certainly not the right tool for everyday.
we were on the way back from a stalk, met the farmer who mentioned about a few does close to his house on a bank. I swoped rifles with my son and took the moderated 22-250 instead of the louder 308. Shot was prone very well rested 180m frontal chest shot. Bullet went through heart and made a mess of lungs but didn't get into the gut area. No meat damage. She just slumped on the spot. Shot a grey back crow at over 200m with that rifle an hour earlier and therefore was sure zero was still good. I will use the 22-250 for does in the future, but only for special situations and because this rifle is so hyper accurate. Margin for error is very small with this tiny bullet.
Tomorrow I'll be out with the 308 again.
The reason I ask is because I'm fairly new to stalking as well and I contemplated going with a 270. Everyone I could find who was an experienced deer stalker expressed the view that they would much prefer a 308 over the 270 due to noise and, mainly, recoil. That may not be a factor for you but it is worth considering. For what it is woth I went with the 308 in the end and am happy with my decision and am glad I didn't go the 270 route.
I shot my first deer with a 243 (hill red hind) and it didn't move more than a few steps so I'm in no way anti the 243 but one thing I might suggest is that with a 308 you can load it to perform as a 308 or you can load it to, by and large, replicate the performance of the 243. Now, 100 grain bullets designed for large game in 308 aren't common but they are out there and in hunting situations will give you 243 performance as near as makes no difference. Should you feel that you would like something heavier then it is easy to go to 150 or 165 grain heads for the larger deer and if you want to go after vermin there is the 110 grain V-MAX. With each 308 you get a free 243
I would also suggest that the 308 can give pretty much the performance of the 270 in any realistic hunting situation with both throwing a 130 grain head at about 3000fps.
If you fancy a 243 or 270 then by all means go for one, or even both. Having made the decision recently myself I'm glad I went with the 308 and have no urge or requirement for anything different.
There are advantages and disavantages. Here are a few:
A second hand older rifle in 270 (Parker Hale, Sako 75, BSA) will be cheaper to by than a rifle in 243 as it isn't a fashionable calibre.
A 270 will "kick" more. Well that's stating the bleeding obvious isn't it? However a 270 using Remington Managed Recoil Loads will, it is said, have less "kick" than a 243 with 100 or 105 grain full power loads.
It will use a "long action" and so weigh more than a 243. Oh yes? By how much? Ounces. If that!
A 243 will have a wider selection of recent modern rifles (Sauer, Remington, Howa) as it is popular. But that will come with a higher price secondhand.
A 243 will kick less. But with "top end" loads it will have just the same muzzle blast as a 270. And if I load a 243 down to say 2700 fps it is getting a bit "lame".
A 243 can maybe use a 6x 'scope as less recoil means less loss of the sight picture. A 270 really demands a 4x if you wish to retain the sight picture after you've fired.
I have both. 243 and 270. I don't shoot foxes so the better low end "vermin" capability of the 243 isn't of any benefit. I hope to shoot wild boar so the 270 has that advantage.
I would not bother with 308. As others say 7mm-08 is a good round and I think that 6.5x55 or 260 Remington are a good compromise. If you want a "long" cartridge then maybe 25-06?