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Old 03-24-2012, 02:46 PM
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Default Having a hard time deciding between .243 and .308



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Looking at ballistics I see that the .243 has much less drop than the .308, would that also mean that the .243 is more accurate? This would mostly be a rifle used to hunt white tail. I have heard that the .243 will cause more damage to edible meat due to the higher velocity, would it really cause enough damage to worry about? I plan on getting either an AR-10 or an M1a which the .308 would be interchangeable with.

The main guns I was choosing between were the Remington 700 SPS, Marlin X7, and the Savage Axis. Also, would a camouflaged gun be beneficial enough for hunting to justify the extra cost?
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TippmanPaintball View Post
Looking at ballistics I see that the .243 has much less drop than the .308, would that also mean that the .243 is more accurate?
Accuracy is the same for both rounds. The inherent accuracy issues arise with the shooter and not the round. A flatter trajectory does not always equal better accuracy as the shooter is the one who should be judging the distance and the drop. Now... a flatter trajectory can be more "forgiving" if you misjudge drop or distance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TippmanPaintball View Post
I have heard that the .243 will cause more damage to edible meat due to the higher velocity, would it really cause enough damage to worry about?
In my experience... it depends on the individual types of rounds used. FMJ vs ballistic tips vs soft points etc.


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Originally Posted by TippmanPaintball View Post
. Also, would a camouflaged gun be beneficial enough for hunting to justify the extra cost?
I personally don't think so. But there are people who do believe that. People have been hunting deer without camo or scent blockers for a long long long time.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:58 PM
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The only advantage I see in the 243 is recoil, or actually, lack of recoil. There is a distinct terminal ballistic advantage in a larger, heavier bullet for general purpose hunting and defense. With today's bullet technology, that advantage may not be as great, but it is still there.

There are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Lighter bullets driven at faster speeds tend to have a greater degree of deflection than heavier, slower bullets. This goes for wind as well as solid obstacles.

2. At the extreme limits, a bigger hole causes more "leakage".

3. The hunter/shooter has more options with the 308 WIN than he does with a 243 WIN.

From a terminal ballistics standpoint, the 308 WIN can do anything the 234 WIN can do and more. For instance, I would not want to be armed with the 243 if I had to go into the brush after a puma or a wounded brown bear. If I was in a civil conflict, the 308 would give me more ability to destroy enemy materiel.

For me, the 243 WIN is a heavy varmint cartridge, and given a choice, I would take the 6mm REM over it.
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:47 PM
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Split the difference get the 7mm-08 that's what I did.

The 243 is a fine round for shooting deer...first deer I ever killed was with a 742 243, wish I still had that rifle.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:06 PM
ridgerunner1965 ridgerunner1965 is offline
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either round is a fine round for whitetail. ive got preference for the 243 but the 308 is good as well.i hunted with a 243 for years and it was such a predictable killer it got boreing. i then went to a 30-06 that didnt seem to kill as well as the 243. but thats jus opinion.ive now settled on 6.5x55.any of these mid size rounds are fine for deer.the 308 is no better or worse than the 243 untill yu run into game over 400lbs.
Old 03-24-2012, 06:35 PM
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.308 in a heartbeat. For the reasons stated above as well as the fact it's likely to be much more available and fit a range of weapons. the .243 is a nice round, for smaller game and varmints.

As to a camo gun. You did mention deer hunting. People up here have to wear blaze orange during deer season, I laugh when I see them getting the orange on and pulling out an expensive camo gun....

I know, I know, if shtf you won't be wearing orange, but I wouldn't pay extra, you can buy some camo tape and break up the outline of the weapon if that's important to you.
Old 03-24-2012, 07:27 PM
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I have one of each, both kill whitetail with boring regularity. If I could only chose ONE however, it would be the 308. While the 243 is a real nice little round and works well, the 308 does everything the 243 does better and a whole lot the 243 can't or won't.

If you can handle the extra recoil from the 308, get it.
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:33 PM
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Bottom line is ....for appropriate distances the accuracy of the. 308 is what sets the standard for everything else. Within its effective range...there may be other rounds just as good. But none better.
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:44 PM
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Tale of the tape:

When I compare the .243, 95 gr/55gr, Ballistic Silvertip to a .308, 150 gr Ballistic Silvertip the tale of the tape puts the .308 in the winners circle IMO.

But your view may be different: I would suggest you look for yourself: http://ballisticscalculator.winchester.com/
Old 03-24-2012, 08:04 PM
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I've killed quite a few deer with both calibers. In my opinion, the 308 is the winner.

My regular deer rifle is a 7mm-08 now. I believe it's absolute perfection for whitetails.
Old 03-24-2012, 09:11 PM
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.308 all the way.

When you start getting into super high velocity rounds, the hydraulic shock can do more damage to the meat than a larger bullet.
Old 03-24-2012, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TippmanPaintball View Post
Looking at ballistics I see that the .243 has much less drop than the .308, would that also mean that the .243 is more accurate? This would mostly be a rifle used to hunt white tail. I have heard that the .243 will cause more damage to edible meat due to the higher velocity, would it really cause enough damage to worry about? I plan on getting either an AR-10 or an M1a which the .308 would be interchangeable with.

The main guns I was choosing between were the Remington 700 SPS, Marlin X7, and the Savage Axis. Also, would a camouflaged gun be beneficial enough for hunting to justify the extra cost?
The key phrase here is "between .243 and .308" in your heading. You must mean either the 6.5x55 Swede or the 7mm-08, either of which will outperform the two calibers you've listed. Don't take my word for it. Do the research. I did and ended up with both. People get all swept up in a lot of gunspeak clutter but the ballistics are there. You can get an AR platform in 7mm-08, too.
Old 03-24-2012, 10:15 PM
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If your just hunting whitetail then the .243 is fine.

But if you decide to use it for larger game the .243 starts to get a bit small. I've seen people do it for elk but most hunters frown on going that low.

Dont worry about accuracy. All modern hunting cartridges are plenty accurate in a bolt gun.

I've never camo'd a rifle, nor do i camo myself. You mostly spook deer from movement, noise, and smell. Camo and scent covering is more for archers who have to get very very close to make there shots.
Old 03-24-2012, 10:23 PM
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Another thing to consider is availability of ammunition. I've noticed that many places keep a fairly low inventory of less common calibers when it's not hunting season. If you plan on spending time at the range or stocking up before the election, .308 will probably be easier to find.

It's usually easy to find a lot of 30-30, .308, and 30-06, but stuff like .243, 7mm-08, etc, can get somewhat scarce (just 1 or 2 boxes on the shelf) during non-hunting season.

Another perk to .308 is that many .308 rifles are also designed to fire 7.62 NATO, which can make for some nice cheap target practice and ammo stashing.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:52 PM
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vicdotcom and FALPhil and Old Soldier pretty much broke your argument between the two down about as far as it needs to be done.

Bottom line, if you need lower recoil wont be shooting anything much bigger than a Deer or want to do a lot of varmint shooting then get the .243 Winchester or 6mm Remington. Want a good do just about anything rifle, with moderate recoil levels and shoot beyond 400 yards and have the flexibility of a greater range of bullet weights and designs get the .308 Winchester. Its really that simple.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:41 AM
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there is no way to compare the 243 with the 308, the 308 is the better choice bar none.
Old 03-25-2012, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anickode View Post
Another perk to .308 is that many .308 rifles are also designed to fire 7.62 NATO, which can make for some nice cheap target practice and ammo stashing.
There is no difference between 308 WIN and 7.62 NATO from a pressure or performance perspective; the difference is in chamber specifications. The exterior dimensions of the cartridges are identical and the pressure differential is about the same differential if you substituted a different primer for a given recipe.

The reason for confusion for this cartridge is that there was an Army manual that misreported pressures for 7.62 NATO in PSI instead of C.U.P. The two are not the same, and there is no consistent conversion factor, since C.U.P. is only consistent in a given setup.

Here is the research I did on this subject back in 2008:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/46153617/T...n-and-762-NATO
Old 03-25-2012, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmaw View Post
The key phrase here is "between .243 and .308" in your heading. You must mean either the 6.5x55 Swede or the 7mm-08, either of which will outperform the two calibers you've listed. Don't take my word for it. Do the research. I did and ended up with both. People get all swept up in a lot of gunspeak clutter but the ballistics are there. You can get an AR platform in 7mm-08, too.
Sorry, not buying that. The 6.5 Swede almost falls out of the sky, but the 7mm will perform at least very close to the 308.

However, please do not take my word for it: http://ballisticscalculator.winchester.com/

Quote:
Originally Posted by anickode View Post
Another thing to consider is availability of ammunition. I've noticed that many places keep a fairly low inventory of less common calibers when it's not hunting season. If you plan on spending time at the range or stocking up before the election, .308 will probably be easier to find.

It's usually easy to find a lot of 30-30, .308, and 30-06, but stuff like .243, 7mm-08, etc, can get somewhat scarce (just 1 or 2 boxes on the shelf) during non-hunting season.

Another perk to .308 is that many .308 rifles are also designed to fire 7.62 NATO, which can make for some nice cheap target practice and ammo stashing.
.243 is EZ to find down here in S Texas due to our whitetail population and the number of hunters. I agree on the others you mentioned. If its not stocked at a rural Wal Mart then I would not pick it.
Old 03-25-2012, 01:57 PM
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Velocity is higher with .243. Some .243 bullets have a better B.C. (ballisitc coefficient). This value is a comparison to the bullets mass versus the drag. Keep weight the same in the comparision below. A smaller diameter bullet has a higher B.C. (for example 150gr 7mm08 has a higher B.C than a 150gr .308). The bullet profile / shape effects B.C. A pointed bullet has a higher B.C than a flat nose one (150gr .30-30 flat nose has a lower B.C. than a 150gr .308). The tip is a factor so is the rear of the bullet.

.243 is about the best coyote round out there with 22-250 being ahead of it. If you coyote hunt reguarly and deer hunt, get the .243. If you're not going to coyote hunt much, then get the .308.

250 yards would be my limit for shooting deer with a .243. however, I do not hunt big game past 150 yards. The closer the range the less variables there is in producing a well placed shot. Does the deer start or stop moving, the wind, the bullet drop compensation could be off. I'd rather get the deer another time than wound the deer and not harvest it.

Another thought, plain old winchester or remington hunting ammo costs $17 for .308 and $25 for .243. The more popular rounds are cheaper at the big stores.

Out of those three you mentioned, I'd go for the savage Axis. I'm not sure if they with iron sights. I know some savage model 11's do.
Old 03-25-2012, 04:11 PM
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Awesome, thanks a lot guys. From the information here I have picked .308 to be the caliber I get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicdotcom View Post
Accuracy is the same for both rounds. The inherent accuracy issues arise with the shooter and not the round. A flatter trajectory does not always equal better accuracy as the shooter is the one who should be judging the distance and the drop.
Great to know, for some reason more drop made me think that it would be less accurate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FALPhil View Post
The only advantage I see in the 243 is recoil, or actually, lack of recoil.

From a terminal ballistics standpoint, the 308 WIN can do anything the 234 WIN can do and more. For instance, I would not want to be armed with the 243 if I had to go into the brush after a puma or a wounded brown bear. If I was in a civil conflict, the 308 would give me more ability to destroy enemy materiel.
I'm not at all a small guy so recoil isn't too much of an issue for me. This would also be a SHTF long(ish) range rifle for me so I would want a caliber good for that fact.


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Originally Posted by Bobbers View Post
As to a camo gun. You did mention deer hunting. People up here have to wear blaze orange during deer season
Good point, will go for the better gun at a better price then add camo later if I need it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anickode View Post
If you plan on spending time at the range or stocking up before the election, .308 will probably be easier to find.

Another perk to .308 is that many .308 rifles are also designed to fire 7.62 NATO, which can make for some nice cheap target practice and ammo stashing.
I would like to stock up on some reasonably priced ammo so that is a consideration for me.
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