.243 Deer Load?

.243 Deer Load?

This is a discussion on .243 Deer Load? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I'm about to buy my first rifle chambered for .243 Winchester and was wondering what load I should cook up to hunt deer in western ...

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Thread: .243 Deer Load?

  1. #1
    Member Array bpurdy0's Avatar
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    .243 Deer Load?

    I'm about to buy my first rifle chambered for .243 Winchester and was wondering what load I should cook up to hunt deer in western PA this Fall. My first question is what bullet should I use? The choices are:
    90 grain Nosler Accubond
    90 grain Nosler Partition
    90 grain Nosler E-Tip
    95 grain Nosler Ballistic Silvertip
    95 grain Nosler Partition
    100 grain Nosler Partition
    I'm also wondering what powders people have had luck with.

  2. #2
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    I've used the Accubond bullet in .270 Win and wouldn't hesitate to use it or the Partition. I've also used and am really impressed with the Barnes TSX in .270; I think the E-tip is like a tipped TSX. The big thing to worry about with .243 is bullet construction - don't use one designed for gophers. If you already have all those bullets I'd go with whichever Nosler is most accurate in your rifle. If you're looking to buy, I'd go with the E-tip (or TSX) - I was that impressed with the expansion on a deer at 80 yds. Since most of the bullets you mentioned are Nosler, give their techs a call; they'll probably ask ?'s about your hunt, rifle, etc.
    Aceoky likes this.

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    VIP Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    I still haven't shot up a box (100) of Sierra 100 gr round nose soft points I bought back in the 70's. I call them "one step" bullets.

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    Member Array Popeye5782's Avatar
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    I know it wasn't one of your choices but 85 grain Barnes TSX would be a good bullet.
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    mule deer or whitetail? I had good success in the early 00's with a 243 I wish I hadn't sold shooting the earlier generation barnes x-bullets. good penetration and slow expansion worked well on the bigger mule deer. Partitions were always a solid options. though I mostly used partitions in 30 cal guns against elk.

    for whitetails; of which I have no experience, I would imagine the ballistic tip would be about perfect. it'll expand faster in the smaller animal. Partitions might over penetrate and not expand enough.
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  6. #6
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    Which ever you feel comfortable shooting and is most accurate. I shoot hornady sst in 243. I shoot the same in my 270. 243 is a great caliber. Make sure you place the shoot in the right place. I have spent a lot of time chasing deer shot with a 243.
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    Member Array v1k1ng0's Avatar
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    I bought a savage in 243 and the guy threw in 6 boxes of the federal deer thug ammo (stupid name)....I think it's 90 grain bonded bullet if I remember right. Works good.....all deer taken last season were hit once and did the leap of death and that was it.....no tracking needed.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    Shot a bunch of whitetail with .243 over the years with varmit loads. All dropped in 10 feet.
    Tried heavier "deer loads". Good but invariably the deer go a bit farther but still no tracking.
    I hunt from ridge tops so 300 yrd to 450 yrd shots arent that unusal.
    The light varmit load shoots flatter and drops em in a few feet. Just need to put the bullet in the boiler room.
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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I'd take any of the Partition bullets and not think anymore about it.
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  10. #10
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    The problem with varmint bullets is when you get a close shot the higher velocity results in the bullet blowing a chunk out of a shoulder and the deer running off.

  11. #11
    Member Array con42's Avatar
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    I shot many deer in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the 60's with a 243 from less the a 100yds out to 300+ all with either the 100gr. Nosler partition or Remington 90gr Bronze point. great results good expansion and all one shot kills and these were all Mule deer. I don't know if the Remington's are still available. Good hunting.

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