.243 deer bullet choice

sandhill_hunter

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Nov 21, 2022
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There are tons of bullet for thr 6mm, which is why it's my favorite caliber and my favorite cartridge is the .243 winchester.

We have used many 6mm bullets to shoot deer and they all work. 85gr SGKs, 95gr SSTs, 100gr Hornady SP and SPBT, 87gr Hornady SP, 80 TTSX and 85 gr Barnes TSX, 80gr GMX, 100gr Nosler Partitions, etc. All killed deer. Some performed the way I like and some didn't.

What I like is that bullet to use up a lot of energy in the animal. It doesn't have to exit for me, but it has to get through 95% of the animal. Lately, our favorite bullet is rhe 100gr Speer BTSP. We have shot several deer with this from several different angles and all performed very well.

Anybody else like this combination?

My son with his cull buck this year. 4 1/2 year old barely a 4x4. 100gr Speer quartering too went through the chest and exited near the rear rib.
 

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Natimblue

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Nov 12, 2022
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I loaded 95g ballistic tips for my son’s first 3 deer and was very impressed, 2 dropped and the third only made it 40 yards. I have always used 30 calibers so I was unsure what to expect from a 243. There are better bullets but I keep going back to the nosler BT’s
 

Yoder

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Anyone use Federal Power Shok 100 gr soft points? My wife started hunting this year and that was pretty much all I could find at the time. Just curious about penetration and expansion through the shoulder and behind the shoulder.
 

cjones87

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Berger 105 hybrid and hornady 105 amax/eld. Have killed a pile of deer for my buddy and myself
 

EdP

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100 gr Sierra Gamekings for me in my 6mm Rem. Not a "premium" bullet but all the bullet you need for game the .243 or 6mm are suited for, plus they shoot very well.
 

6mm Remington

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My son and I have taken a lot of game with the 6mm Remington to include elk. I know, good shot placement and good bullet equals dead elk. The 6mm is a fantastic antelope and deer cartridge. I would feel comfortable with any of the bullets I list below.

95 or 100 gr. Nosler Partition
90 gr. Nosler Accubond
90 gr. Nosler E-tip

90 gr. Nosler E-tip out of my son's 6mm Remington. One shot 350 yards. She went 20 yards and tipped over dead.

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Schmitty

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Like you said it really doesn't matter as they all work. When my brother lived in TX, I loaded for a handful of .243 rifles that were used on an annual youth doe/pig cull hunt at one of his co-worker's family ranch where they'd shoot a dozen or so deer and pigs each year. We used 95gr SST's, 90 gr NoslerBT's, 87 gr V-max's, 100 gr SGK's, 85 gr TSX's, original X-bullets (90 gr) and a box or three of factory 100 gr Core-Lokts and all of them worked. The SST's and V-Max's were definitely a bit more frangible, but still 90% of them still exited. With kid's shooting, they tended to work a bit better if the shot was off a touch.

My only rifle in college was a .243 and I used it for everything. I only shot 2 bullets both under stiff charges of H414. I used the 55 gr Nosler BTs for coyotes, jackrabbits and p-dogs and 90 gr X bullets for deer and elk. Everything seemed to die just fine if I did my part.

Good memories for sure!
 

Yoder

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My wife just shot a doe last night with the Federal power shock 100gr soft points. It was a small doe at 80 yards. Blew through both shoulders. Decent exit hole. Destroyed the lungs and top of the heart. Deer didn't take a step. There was signs of the bullet fragmenting. But it still exited the opposite shoulder. Meat damage wasn't too terrible. I was impressed.
 

silasbowhunter

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Don’t crucify me, but we’ve shot the last few deer in our family with my 18.5” 243 and 75gr Vmax factory hornady superformance. According to my dope, they’re going about 3225fps at the muzzle. Nothin has ran more than 15 yards


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

KenLee

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Anyone use Federal Power Shok 100 gr soft points? My wife started hunting this year and that was pretty much all I could find at the time. Just curious about penetration and expansion through the shoulder and behind the shoulder.
Good expansion. Won't exit with a shoulder shot on a big deer.
 

Rich M

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My wife just shot a doe last night with the Federal power shock 100gr soft points. It was a small doe at 80 yards. Blew through both shoulders. Decent exit hole. Destroyed the lungs and top of the heart. Deer didn't take a step. There was signs of the bullet fragmenting. But it still exited the opposite shoulder. Meat damage wasn't too terrible. I was impressed.
I shot a 300# muley at 220 yards with blue box 100 gr and got 6-8 inches of penetration on high shoulder shot, bullet entered chest cavity immediately below the spine, an inch at most. Buck pegged legged 20 yds or so and stopped to take one thru ribs and drop. Got up when i walked over to it and ran - shot #3. Lousy bullet or strong desire to live?

My only comparison is 40+ yrs shooting 30-06 w 150 gr. First shot woulda killed it deader than a doornail.

I used the blue box as a comparison round when reloading the 243. It consistently shoots 1 inch at 100. I my reloads don't exceed that accuracy, I keep looking. Have a NP load that is close and a Sierra PH load that is tighter. Still not a huge fan of 243 but hate the 3006 recoil these days and got the 243 before 6.5 was common and 7mm-08 ammo is tough to get around here...
 

Yoder

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Good expansion. Won't exit with a shoulder shot on a big deer.
I was thinking that seeing the fragmentation. As long as it gets through the shoulder and takes out the lungs that's good enough. A big deer around here is about 150lbs dressed.
 

EdP

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The .243 and 6mm Rem are a bit light for 300 lb mule deer in my opinion. Sure, they will work with perfect shot placement, but there is too little margin for error and too many better choices available in my gun safe for me to consider my 6mm for mulies or larger game.
 

Titan_Bow

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I just ordered a 6mm ARC barrel and plan to build a new AR for myself and my kids, primarily as a deer and antelope gun, and to play around with some long range shooting. I was going to try and stick to 100-110gr projectiles, depending on what gives the best accuracy and performance. Seems like theres a lot of projectile choices
 

NorthernHunter

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I tried the SST as well as the 90gn eldx and 103 eldx for my wifes gun. The gun liked the 90gn eldx. She has shot around 6 deer with it now including a tank of an old whitetail buck that weighed roughly 245lb. Those things kill quick and leave giant exits. (I have her avoid shoulder shots) All but one of the blood trails looked like someone walked through the woods tipping a paint can. Deer ran very little. A lot of really good bullets out there these days though. The one that hits its mark every time is the best one.
 

NorthernHunter

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Anyone use Federal Power Shok 100 gr soft points? My wife started hunting this year and that was pretty much all I could find at the time. Just curious about penetration and expansion through the shoulder and behind the shoulder.
That is all my wife used prior to me starting to reload. They will work just fine.
 

KenLee

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South Carolina
I was thinking that seeing the fragmentation. As long as it gets through the shoulder and takes out the lungs that's good enough. A big deer around here is about 150lbs dressed.
Yep they do the job. Been running them in a 20 inch barreled TC compact for borrowed hunting midgets. Shoot crazy accurate. Bought a case 5 years ago for $120
 

Formidilosus

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I shot a 300# muley at 220 yards with blue box 100 gr and got 6-8 inches of penetration on high shoulder shot, bullet entered chest cavity immediately below the spine, an inch at most. Buck pegged legged 20 yds or so and stopped to take one thru ribs and drop. Got up when i walked over to it and ran - shot #3.

Bullets matter. 95gr Nosler Ballistic Tip and love life.


Lousy bullet or strong desire to live?

Both.


My only comparison is 40+ yrs shooting 30-06 w 150 gr. First shot woulda killed it deader than a doornail.

In hundreds of deer, I have had shot 5-10 whitetails that just wouldn’t go down with 30cal magnums 3-5 times. An animal not going down is just a thing as all living creatures have different wills to live and drive.



I used the blue box as a comparison round when reloading the 243. It consistently shoots 1 inch at 100. I my reloads don't exceed that accuracy, I keep looking. Have a NP load that is close and a Sierra PH load that is tighter. Still not a huge fan of 243 but hate the 3006 recoil these days and got the 243 before 6.5 was common and 7mm-08 ammo is tough to get around here...


Have used 243’s and other 6mm’s for hundreds of deer, antelope, bears, and elk- with good bullets they are phenomenal killers. With good bullets.
 
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