How short is to short on my Howa 1500 .243

SHIPPERS2

Active Member
Hi all, I have just got my self a Howa 1500 243 and was thinking of chopping the barrel down some but I am not sure what the legal limit is on a 243 and what affect this could have to things like power, will the round get enough twist before it leaves the barrel and accuracy also what rounds to put down it?? Regards shippers
 
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Gaothead

Well-Known Member
There is regular discussion of barrel length of 243 which seems to be very sensitive - based on what I have read I would not want to go below 22 inches, but some people do - the deer wont know you are under powered. If you only want to go for Munties and CWD then do what you like but a short barrel may also make the rifle hard to sell. I suggest you get a different calibre if you want a short barrel.
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
Well the legal limit is 12" for a barrel with an overall length of 24" for the gun any less than that and it would be classed as a pistol and so require a section 5 authority. However if you are asking what the practical limit is while still ensuring that the rifle can reasonably be expected to provide the necessary muzzle energy for stalking larger deer in England and Wales that is going to re-open a debate that has been had dozens of times on this site so it might be worth doing a search of previous threads and draw your own conclusions from what has been said before.
It might also be worth looking at an article that Bruce Potts did in Shooting Times some time ago where he progressively cut down the barrel on a .243w rifle and chronographed the results. The conclusion that Mr Potts came to was that the most practical realistic limit for a .243w was in his view 20".
 

SHIPPERS2

Active Member
thanks guys for your replies and yes 8X57 I did mean the practical limit sorry I should of worded it better ill have a look at the article
 

aliS

Well-Known Member
I had 16.5" on a tikka T3, no issues with the heavier bullet weights or accuracy
 

huntsman

Well-Known Member
Might be worth asking Edi - Pse composites . I know he's a bit of an oracle when it comes to chopping barrels he has definitely chopped his 308 and 243 in the past, but i have no idea where he stopped.
20 sounds sensible and with a light over barrel mod it will remain nice and compact.
 

Simjim33

Well-Known Member
I was reading a paper the other day that surprised me. How much you could chop a barrel and still remain within the deer legal requirement. It has to be said though it was not a 243 that was tested.
 
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ejg

Well-Known Member
I also think 20" would be the lowest I'd go on a 243, power is on the low side for deer as it is. I wouldn't like to go much over 200m either.
For fox only it would be a different matter.
7-08 or 308 could be taken down to 16" and still be fine out to 300m.
edi
 

speyloon

Active Member
My ruger 243 has a 16" barrel, nice and handy from the truck, but I'm about to change to a 20" tikka for many of the reasons above. Having said that, no deer I've shot has complained yet, just want to squeeze a bit more out of the round!
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
You guys who cut your rifle barrels short should start looking at pistol data for some of your answers. ~Muir


http://www.loaddata.com/members/search_detail.cfm?MetallicID=5633
Unfortunately Muir while possibly a truer source of information for short barrels the results are quite depressing as regards meeting the legally required minimum muzzle energies. Many of the loads quoted don't even meet the required standards for small deer.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately Muir while possibly a truer source of information for short barrels the results are quite depressing as regards meeting the legally required minimum muzzle energies. Many of the loads quoted don't even meet the required standards for small deer.
I saw that but it is what it is. Very Seldom is there a 'free lunch' in ballistics I guess if you want a legal gun, don't cut your 243 or swap it up to something with more oomph. . ~Muir
 

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