.243 OR .270

the scudd

Well-Known Member
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


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The answer to this is yes and no!

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

Choice between .243 and .270 for red stags?

the .270

the scudd

Well-Known Member
243 V 270

Hi,thanks for the reply,i,m stalking a mixture of hill and forestry ,all red deer.with perhaps a chance of a few sika.cheers.


Well-Known Member
The argument 'any calibre' Vs .243 will quickly attract equal numbers of stalkers, all equally passionate, all equally happy to 'prove' that their option is the best!

Only thing that I notice consistently - the more experienced the stalker - the more likely he will go for a larger calibre than the UK minimum! Judge for yourself what this may mean.

Me - I prefer a larger calibre, everyday of the week. :)

Rgds Ian


Site Staff
Agree, 243 is to light a calibre for Sika, especially Stags. It will kill them and Reds, but with Sika you need the extra bullet weight, go for the 270.

OR a 25.06 :)


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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 ,


Well-Known Member
.270 as a minimum.

I only use my .243 for roe, muntjac and fox. Stick with something that gives you at least 140gr heads. Personally I use a .30-06 for large deer.


Site Staff
I have and have used a 243 on Sika and Reds, and have got the job done, but I also have a 6.5X55 SE that I use for Sika stags and that knocks them down no trouble at all.

I would suggest that a bigger calibre may be better but lets not forget shot placement and how much confidence you have in your rifle.



Well-Known Member
243 or 270? certainly 270

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.


Well-Known Member
ejg said:
My last sika I shot with a 22-250

Sorry to comment on an "Off topic" remark?

There might be a perfectly good reason, but this will surley pose the question, Why?

Cheers TJ


Well-Known Member
I believe Edi is in the south of Ireland, where a 22/250 is legal for deer.

Scudd, having seen well hit Sika travel 50-100m even with a 270, I would not entertain a 243 for these beasts.

Somthing in the 6.5 - 30cal range would be the way to travel.

I am about 30 miles SW of Belfast by the way.


Well-Known Member
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.


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Where I favour a heavier bullet than 100gr for woodland red or sika , I think shot placement is the most important thing , big bullets dont make up for poor shot placement!


Well-Known Member
Have you used a 270 before?

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.


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I would agree with most of what Caorach has to say.

I have used a 270 for about ten years. When I got my first 270, most of my shooting was Reds in Donegal and some big Fallow.

At that time I wanted to get a 308, but 270 was the largest calibre legal in the Republic, so I went that way and stayed with it.

I don't think a 270 is the best choice and would always recommend a 308 as a first rifle, particularly if the main menu is Sika and Red.

I would not go as low as some of the 100 - 125gr bullets currently available. A conventional 150gr Interlock or the like is perfect.


Well-Known Member
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?