.243 or .308 - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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.243 or .308

Want to get my wife a compact rifle for mother's day. Shop has one in each cartridge. This will be for deer hunting only with a max range of 200 yards with most under 100.

She's killed at least a half a dozen deer with a .270 amd 7mm rem mag, but for some reason, i think the .308 with an 18" barrel will kick more. Rifle will be fed factory loads only, as I have no desire to get back into reloading.

What do you guys think?


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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 10:41 PM
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My 2 cents for what its worth. I like the .243 for deer and varmints. Ammo is reasonable and once you find a factory load you have it made. Now the the .308 is a great round also. If you decide you go on a bear hunt or draw an elk tag go for the .308.
I'd look a longer barrel.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 12:18 AM
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You would know your wife's tolerance to recoil better than any of us. If you think it will be an issue at all with the .308, then go with the .243. That .243 will harvest deer all day long under the conditions that you described. Good luck.
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 06:26 AM
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I'd go with the .243 as well with complete confidence. She can use it for groundhogs and predators as well is she ever wants to. Consider also that the 18" barrel is going to be loud.

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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 06:30 AM
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Either one would be fine.If she can handle a 270 and 7mm mag a 243 or 308 is mild.I would consider buying an adult sized rifle with a longer barrel.Have the length of pull corrected for her or buy a custom Boyds stock for about $160 in the desired length of pull.My 2 reasons are short barrels are louder and lose velocity compared to a longer barrel.Nice gift for her by the way.

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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 07:04 AM
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Short barrels are louder,true,but you would only notice it when shooting from a bench? In the woods who ever remembers their gun going off when shooting at a game animal ?
With the 308 you can buy ammo loaded with 125 grain bullets up to 180's plus.
With the 243 your limited to 100 grain maximum bullets.
You must have 270's and a 7mm mag so the choice for me for my wife would be the 243. They are a joy to shoot and are quite accurate.

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 07:22 AM
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My 2 cents fro what it is worth. I have a few young nephews who are into hunting so I wanted a 243 to have on hand for which ever one wants to hunt but also if they choose not to hunt I can use it myself if I wanted to. I was worried about kick for them and didn't want a youth gun. The local gun shop recommended a 7mm-08 using a reduced recoil load from hornady. Well I went with it and have shot it and like it. Savage with a synthetic stock and the reduced load which is 120 grain. There is 140 grain available as well. Good luck in your choices. Happy shopping

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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 09:14 AM
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Best pa deer caliber .243, imo! 100 grain bullets for deer ! Deadly!
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 12:08 PM
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I think the 308 is way more versatile.
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 12:34 PM
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I've said this in other threads, I just don't trust the 243. I used a loaner one year, accurate yes, but when it came time to put it on an animal it didn't do the job to my satisfaction. Deer ran 300 yards and had to be put down by another hunter. Had I not been hunting private property I wouldn't have filled the freezer. My 308 on the other hand has taken at least 3/4's of the animals I've harvested. The rest being broke between 20ga(1) 243(1) and 45-70(6). Of all those I rank the 243 dead last. If my only option for a rifle was a 243, I'd grab my youth model 20ga and toss the pumpkin balls in. Sorry, but you get one chance to make an impression in deer hunting. And mine was not pleasant.

My 308 is usually one shot. In fact in the last 15 years I have never taken more ammo into the field than will fit in the mag, 4 rounds. I have hit deer from the neck back to the liver. Only two have gone more than 30-40 yards, a liver shot and surprisingly my big buck that got both lungs and the top of the heart. Most drop in their tracks. Maybe I'm just lucky, but my 308 is my meat stick. When I want to have fun or a challenge I take something else.

I have become a bit recoil sensitive over the years. I have a Krag and a 35 rem pump that I think kick worse than the 308. And mine only has a 20" barrel. I wouldn't think 2" would make that much difference. IMHO, if she can handle a 270 that doesn't weigh 10+ pounds she should be fine with the 18" barrel. Yes, there might be more bark. But like was said earlier you never notice the bark when the adrenaline is pumping.

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Last edited by TRAPJAW; 05-10-2017 at 12:44 PM.
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