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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?

Thanks.
Brian
 

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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.
Lucky Mom.
 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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If you handload, you can easily download the 308 with lighter bullets for less recoil.
 

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Either one if she doesn't mind recoil (which it doesn't seem like she does). Not sure what your other rifles are like but I would think a 308 with such a short barrel might be a handful for some. I'd probably lean towards the .243. Not sure what rifle you're looking at but my wife was recently looking at the Savage lady hunter and the Weatherby Camilla. Both are designed specifically for women and are really nice rifles. My wife is looking to get one in 7mm-08.
 

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I said in an earlier post that, of the calibers listed, I'd go with the .243. I have both and the .243 has taken a number of deer in 50+ years of hunting without any required tracking. If you are still torn between the 2 calibers and want the best benefits of both, you might consider the .260 Rem or 7mm-08. The .260 in particular has very similar recoil to the .243 with factory loads in the 120-140 gr. range.
 

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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.

Based your opinion on a caliber after one experience with it.
I've been hunting with a .243 for 35 years and I've never had the experience you just described as a matter of fact all the deer I've shot were dead within a few steps of where I hit them. To each his own but I've said this before, if anyone says that the 243 is not good for deer they simply don't know what they are talking about. I've had more deer drop in their tracks with that caliber then any of my other.
 

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Of all the caliber I've killed deer with the 243 has the most bang/flop.The 85 gr HPBT just plain blow up the lungs!
 

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I'm a huge fan of the .243 Win. I use it in Eastern states and Western states. It's accounted for more mule deer, whitetail deer and antelope for me in the past three years than any other cartridge I've used and I've never lost anything hit by it. I just keep going back to it because it doesn't kick much at all and it simply gets the job done. Unless your wife going after something bigger than deer-sized animals, a .243 with factory load will be more than ample well past your 200 yard limit.
 

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Started all my kids out with 20" barreled .308's

You can load a .308 down to .243 power easily. You CAN NOT load a .243 UP to .308 power.

Today it's for deer to 200 yards. If, someday you wanna take Momma on a bear, elk, moose hunt, she's already set.
 

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I tend to go the route of simply going with a heavier cartridge when you need more punch for bigger game and doing the inverse when you don't. The problem with downloading a cartridge pushing a significantly heavier projectile to match the recoil of a lighter one (typically 50%-80% heavier in this case, depending on comparison to a 150, 168 or 180 gr. bullet from a .308 vs. a 100 grainer from a .243) is that you have to download it a good deal to mitigate the recoil down to anywhere near the .243 Win. That comes at a pretty stiff penalty in terms of velocity.

By itself, velocity from a .308 is a non-issue as far as lethality, as even a slow-moving 150 or 168 grain bullet from a .308 Win is plenty to kill a deer. The issue is that the trajectory and wind drift characteristics are going to suffer pretty quickly. It doesn't take much at 200 yards to drift an extremely slow .30 cal bullet a good bit, definitely enough to go from a good hit to a marginal one. You can drop down to a 110-125 grain .308 load, but the bullet ballistics continue downward accordingly. A 100 gr. bullet doing 3,000+ fps from a .243 Win is going to have much better trajectory without the recoil.
 

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I started all my kids with this Glenfield 30-30 carbine. Short, fairly light weight, and moderate recoil plus plenty of power to take down any deer that ever walked. These photos show what it can do for hunting at typical distances within forests and foothills.

.243 is a great choice for long distance hunting. The bullet is very fast.

.308 is most versatile of all. Managed Recoil ammo by Remington brings the recoil down to 30-30 levels.

TR





 

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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?

Thanks.
Brian
Either cartridges will work for her. There are alot of variables when it comes to recoil; rifle weight, bullet weight and velocity, powder charge. In similar weight rifles a 130gr bullet from a 270 and a 150gr bullet from a 308 will have similar recoil. Everything else being equal; a short barrel will not recoil more then a longer barrel. If she can handle 270 and 7mag recoil she will handle 308 recoil.

Good luck, Tony
 
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