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Hi everyone,

 

Just curious to find out what PW members reckon the best weight of .243 bullet for roe is? I'm still relatively inexperienced in deer matters and when I started out, a friend who is a professional stalker recommended always using 100 grain bullets. There's no doubt that Federal Premium 100 grains do the job, but I'm finding that they make a hell of a mess on the way out of the animal. I shot a doe on Friday and her whole right lung was more or less hanging out of the exit wound. I lost a lot of that side of the carcass as a result, which I didn't feel too good about.

 

I realise everyone will have their own opinions and to a large degree the choice is down to personal experience and preference. I'm just curious to see what the range of preferences is.

 

Thanks to all,

 

WG88

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Remember that word ALWAYS. Next time that same bullet cartridge combination might just pass through with a different exit hole. It is down to what it collides with on the way through. Miss a rib or hit a rib. Sounds to me like the bullet did a good job. That's what I like to see, chunks of lung. Not much meat on the ribs there anyway. Federal premium ?? Did that cartridge have the Nosler bullet ? I load all of my own and use Barnes TTSX these days in everything, but they are not easy to get hold of. Killed everything from a 190kg wild boar to a 35lb muntie with those with great success.

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If I had a .243, I'd be using 100gr bullets as a minimum.

If meat damage is an issue, then keep velocities moderate, bullets heavy-for-calibre and don't use anything with a plastic tip. For deer, I'd always choose a plain soft-point, but it looks like you've gone down that path already from what the Federal website says. Never used that particular brand myself though.

Of course, you are slightly handicapped by the .243 in terms of velocity, since it's a relatively fast cartridge (compared, say, to the .30-30 or .308), but the general idea behind the above advice is to put a BFH (work it out) through the animal without turning the innards to soup on the way through. They'll fall over if you do your bit - you don't have to blow them to bits as well, in spite of what some folk say.

That said, I've seen a dog fox survive long enough to need a follow up on what looked (at the time) to be a pretty good shot with a 180gr bullet out of a .308, so expect to have one or two "unexpected results" as you go on in your stalking career. In both directions, that is.

Good luck.

Edited by neutron619
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In theory, as stated in previous posts, a heavier bullet is usually better in regard to meat damage, mainly because in will be carrying less speed for the calibre. That said there are so many variables with bullets, jacket thickness and points that will control expansion. A bullet does not need a rib to mushroom or expand, its designed to act hydroponically in its expansion, this is why a bullet will make a hole in a steel plate yet explode a plastic bottle filled with water. I think this is another area in which reloading helps, bullet manufactures have a lot of info out there on there products and you can play with combinations. Take for instance sierra's 100 gr prohunter and gamekings, not only is one boat tailed for down range accuracy but also the copper jackets are different effecting expansion.

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You could try using non American ammo, something European, S&B, Privi, Norma, Lapua etc. In general European bullet makers go for more controlled expansion and less meat damage. The Americans can be a bit obsessed with expansion to the exclusion of other factors.

 

Its a try it and see situation really. buy one box and try it

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Remember that word ALWAYS. Next time that same bullet cartridge combination might just pass through with a different exit hole. It is down to what it collides with on the way through. Miss a rib or hit a rib. Sounds to me like the bullet did a good job. That's what I like to see, chunks of lung. Not much meat on the ribs there anyway. Federal premium ?? Did that cartridge have the Nosler bullet ? I load all of my own and use Barnes TTSX these days in everything, but they are not easy to get hold of. Killed everything from a 190kg wild boar to a 35lb muntie with those with great success.

Sorry, I meant Federal Power Shock. Slip of the keyboard...

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For vermin then 55gn varmageddon. Without doubt the most explosive round I have seen in the 243. It takes no prisoners.

 

Best stalking round, and I have loaded a good few different ones over the years, it has to be, as Redgun says. 100gn Sierra prohunters. Being knocking over smaller muntjac with out to bad an exit shoulder and big fallow bucks with ease.

 

Only thing wrong here is I'm thinking your after factory loads

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As can be read from the above threads there is no golden bullet.

Yes that's true. Today there are very few bad bullets made if any. Just choose one to do the job. Fox/vermin or deer and for a 243 I would be looking at a 100grainer for the deer.... why shoot less ??? Plus if you only have one rifle then flatten a few foxes with that as well as it will do that job adequately as well.

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I have a 243 Mannlicher luxus stutzen, 6×42 Habicht . Lovely gun if noisy because no silencer as the wood is full stock. I have worked two loads for it that are spot on. 105 grn round nose Speer and 70 Grn bthp speer. both are superbly accurate. especially the 70. several times I have shot single hole 3 shot groups and one time for a bet / dare I shot dead centre of a coke bottle lid at 100. I think that was more fluke that skill to be honest but if you go for it and get it. put it in the right place and it does the job.

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