.243 deer round suggestions

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BeerThirty

Senior Member
Hi Folks -

Bought my son a .243 for his first rifle this year and trying to understand what kind of bullet would be the most effective for deer. With the .243 being on the smaller size of deer calibers (not here to debate that), someone suggested I should strive for deeper penetration bullet, while a friend of my said I should rather look towards bullets known for rapid expansion. Frankly, I see the benefits of both which is why I'm having a hard time deciding. Either way I'm going for something 95-grain or bigger. Shots will be 25-250 yards, combination of mixed woods and open swamp.

Curious as to your thoughts.

Thanks!
 

kinross

Senior Member
The Nosler Accubond is the only round that i load anymore for hunting . I have shot probably 60 deer and pigs from 15 to 200 yards and everything has always been a one shot kill.
 

Jester896

Senior Member
I can understand both views. If you tend to hit bone you may need something that penetrates better. If you are more inclined to soft tissue it may not be so necessary. .243 is a pretty strong chambering on whitetails at the distances you mentioned
 
I have shot the 95gr winchester ballistic tips for years and so far I have not had a deer run more than 20yrds most drop in their tracks
 

furtaker

Senior Member
The 243 benefits from a fairly stout, good penetrating bullet. My dad has killed several with the 95gr Federal Fusions and performance has been excellent. When I was a kid I used 100gr Core Lokts and killed several deer with them but I rarely had a pass through.
 

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
Love the .243.

It has plenty of horsepower for deer.

IMHO, 250 yards is quite a hike for a new hunter, I fear you may be asking for heartbreak stretching it out that far.

I don’t see how any bullet discussion could not include the Barnes, it is THE most devastating bullet on the planet.

However, any properly constructed bullet that is properly placed is better than the best bullet in the world that is improperly placed.

Said more plainly, it ain’t what bullet you shoot them with (within reason) - it is where you shoot them.

Good luck!
 

biggdogg

Senior Member
My son shoots 100 gr Core-Lokts and has taken deer out to 200 yards and never had to track one.
 
Most of these answers are from people who have killed alot of deer or also have worked with their ammo and feel that this works good for them. A 243 is a great round and has killed alot of deer. But I don`t think it is really for a new hunter unless they shoot some of the premium bullets made for penetration encase they are off a little on their shot. It helps to have an entrance and exit hole for more sign to be left for the tracking job, which we all hope is the deer at the end.
 

deast1988

Senior Member
Last season I wanted to get a .243 kill under my belt. I chose 80gr TTSX loaded by Barnes. Nice doe slight quartering away 70yds watched her pile up. Solid exit, devasted vitals. Very nice round. I went with Barnes because I've read failures to exit with a lot of every kind of .243 round they make.
 
Most of these answers are from people who have killed alot of deer or also have worked with their ammo and feel that this works good for them. A 243 is a great round and has killed alot of deer. But I don`t think it is really for a new hunter unless they shoot some of the premium bullets made for penetration encase they are off a little on their shot. It helps to have an entrance and exit hole for more sign to be left for the tracking job, which we all hope is the deer at the end.
Agree - My son has taken several deer with his 243. Most thankfully dropped within sight as blood trails with SST, American Whitetail and others were sparse...but hard to argue their effectiveness as all deer were found within 100 yards. We settled on Barnes for combination of knock down, penetration and blood trail. Don’t let the 80 or 85 grains fool you and the extra cost is minimal when you are looking for blood in the dark. As mentioned by the previous poster, and despite our best training and practice, we can’t always rely on a young hunter to make a perfect shot. light caliber + young hunter = premium round and limited distance IMO
 
.243 is an expert's round. It's not the bullet, it's the shot placement. If the shot placement is the neck, they're either drop right there or you're not gonna find it.
 

biggdogg

Senior Member
243 is an expert's round. It's not the bullet, it's the shot placement. If the shot placement is the neck, they're either drop right there or you're not gonna find it.

I beg to differ. My son has been dropping deer in their tracks with behind the shoulder shots since he was 9 years old using cheap Remington Core-Lokts. The .243 is hardly an "experts" round.
 
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