243 Vs 308

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If UK mainland deer stalking were your only sport which calibre would you choose? .243 or .308

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Well-Known Member
Blaser3006 said:
Is one too much or the other too little ?

No they both have there place in the UK stalking environment, for small species and foxes the 243 is the one, but for larger species then go for the 308. No boner that but obvious. :evil:



Well-Known Member
Had a SR30 243 when I first started stalking, bought a 30-06 sr 30 for my first trip to Africa and never used the 243 again,nothing wrong with it but the 30-06 does everything the 243 did and a lot more.


Well-Known Member
l own both calibres and they both have their place,l have ground both north and south of the border all mainly roe ground and the .243 as we all know is ideal for roe but on my southern stalking ground l also cull the odd red the .243 will do the job ok but the .308 has a greater knock down value,but in saying that the .308 with the right round is also ideal for roe, but l tend to leave the munties alone if l am with the .308 l also use the .243 for foxes and personally prefer it to the 22 centrefires BUT with the proposed new legislation regarding 22 centrefires there maywell be one joining the .243 & .308 in the cabinet because you need nothing more for munties but maybe thats for another posting later.


Well-Known Member
308 vs 243

Hi all
I own a .243 and have used it on all but munti and cwd, never had the chance. I ve had a go with .308 and I'm sure it will more than do all uk species.
with regards to using the pair in the UK I'm sure they are both up to the job and putting the copper covered lead lump in the right place is what counts most! IMO.


Well-Known Member
Hi all.
I have shot all 6 species of Deer in this country with a .30-06 and when deciding what is best look at the largest species [the Red] and the most difficult to kill `in situ`[the Sika].
Anyone who considers a .243 more suitable than a .308 has either had limited experience or has been lucky so far.
I spent 46 years culling many,many hundreds of these creatures and believe me there are times when the larger calibre with more terminal energy is THE KING.
In the famous words of the late Robert Ruark `use enough gun.`

In another country due to idiotic and perverse legislation for 21 years I killed a lot of Sika, some Fallow and some Reds and Hybrids with .22 centrefires.
Fortunately commonsense has prevailed and now normal stalking calibres are permitted.
Consequently there is less stinking game in the forests for the Foxes and Hooded Crows.


308 for me.

All the clout you will ever need and in a short action. What more could you ask for?


Well-Known Member
Hi Will B.
There is no answer to that !
I used a .30-06 for work principally on Reds in GB for many years until the law in EIRE permitted a ceiling of .270 in 1993, instead of the .22 cals.
I then changed to .270 for this cartridge is only a necked-down .30-06 anyway. Even now I generally pick it up when I go stalking even though I have a .243 and .308 also an 8/68S which I have used on even larger species than our own.
For a one rifle person in GB the .308 cannot be faulted.


stag1933 said:
For a one rifle person in GB the .308 cannot be faulted.

Right on brother, right on!

I'm very keen to find out what the professional deer stalker/managers experiences of the .260 are, though. As you get all the advantages of the 7.62 in a 6.5 calibre.


Well-Known Member
I have NO experience of the .260 or of some other calibres.
One of the principal advantages of the 7.62 is the easy availability of a vast range of ingredients over almost ANY shop counter unlike many others which are much rarer and less universally popular.


I have a .308 and a .260 handload both and have to say the .260 is a good round.
The rifle is a remmy model seven 20'' barrel and groups under 1'' at 100m.
I use a moderator to calm the short barreled light rifle down as without the mod is sounds and feels like a .308 with the mod is shoots like a .22-250.
BUT in the UK it is a homeloaders round due to not being stocked at most shops.
P.S. it surpasses both the .243 and .25.06 in bullets and speed/energy

Andy L

Well-Known Member
I have a Sauer 202 in .243 which is a beautiful rifle for anything up to fallow. I do not feel it is quite enough gun for Reds and is questionable on Sika. I have shot Fallow in Kent with the .243 and .270 and do not feel there is any difference in stopping power. If the beasty has veins full of adrenalin then it will run until its body realises it is dead, no matter the size of the hole!! No adrenalin and well placed shots and it drops.
A perfect shot will drop anything with any legal calibre, it is the not so perfect shot that makes you wish you had gone bigger!!
I cannot comment on personal experience with the 308 but if we are only allowed one calibre for all species then it would have to be 308.


Site Staff
This is THE age old debate over which gun to use and hopefully, as this is part of everyones peception and contribution to the knowledge base, will never end. I agree with Staggie that Sika are really hard to kill, the buggers never seem to know when they are dead, then they pull stunts like dropping down and creeping off, real tough and crafty and as twitchy as can be. Having said that I do use my 243 on Sika hinds, I know the gun and have confidence in my ability to use it on the hinds. I can't speak about the 308's game taking ability as I have only ever killed paper with one. If I am going out specifically for stag's then it is my 6.5X55, for me that is perfect.

Then again I know people up here in the Highlands who have used a 243 on everything for 30 plus years. So who is right and who is wrong I don't know but, the good news is that everyone seem's to be thinking about the game first when deciding on a calibre to use, which can only be good.


Carl Gustaf

I also use a 6.5x55 but I'm considering adding a 243 to the arsenal for fox and muntjac. Eventually I would like to have a 308 mainly for long range target shooting. I can't see myself chopping in the 6.5x55 though.
What to do?
As for the 243 I've narrowed my choice down to two rifles: Tikka T3 lite or the Remmy 700 SPS. Has anyone had any bad experiences with either?
I really need some help to make up my mind on this one. :confused: :confused:


Well-Known Member
l am going to change my .243 and l am thinking about the new sako,has anyone got any experience with them?


Well-Known Member
.243 v 30 cal

Over the past few years i have shot quite a number of deer, roe and muntjac. I have a .30-06 and a .243. I got the .243 for smaller deer species and fox control. I use 150 gr soft points in the 30 cal and 100 gr soft points in the 6mm.

IN MY EXPERIENCE (i am not an expert) i have found the .30-06 to have far superior instant knock over power than the .243 even with spot on shot placement. If i hit a deer in the heart area with the .30-06 it will be dead on the ground when i get there. I have had them run 80-100 yards aftre being shot with the .243. Meat damage is similar with both. BUT if i use lighter and faster 6mm bullets i get considerably more with the .243. becuase the bullet is bigger and heavier you don't get more meat damage per sae. and that bullet will not suddenly explode in a smaller animal, it will still expand at a similar rate, certian variables considered.
There is an element of bullet choice here. Again in my opinion quite a lot of 243 users are shooting, in my opinion, inappropriate bullets, lighter ballistic tips etc.

so, if you were a one rifle stalker and your choices were 243 or 308 win, then it would have to go to the .308 using 150 or 165 grain spitzers.


ps well done rob for ridding the forum of the problematic members.!!!
and sorry for throwing my teddy in the corner

Carl Gustaf

Welcome back Swampy!
Whilst your retrieving your teddy, could you possibily pass me my dummy and the box of soldiers I tossed out of my cot at the last 'tissy fit' I had! :oops: :rolleyes:


Well-Known Member

It's amazing that these rifles are equal. I don't know how they can be! i understand we are all "slaves to our experiences" (someone else said that i am just borrowing it).

My understanding of this poll was that if a stalker could have one stalking rifle for all stalking uses whould it be either a 243 or a .308 win. If this is the case I cant say i would be happy to shoot a fallow, sika or red in the woods with a 243 at all.

I am no expert but i am aware that you can get less than enough dead but you can't get more than enough dead. we looked at meat damage and thats a factor i would discount. the factor i wouldn't discount is searching through a forest looking for an injured or dead animal. You want it to fall over dead then and there. I know some will say it is all down to shot placement but i have shot animals in the heart with both 6mm and 30 cal and the 30 cal deer always fall over dead better.

But i am no expert.

swampy :D
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