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Old November 16, 2019, 09:36   #1
Invictus77
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Hunting ammo thoughts???

The wife got a black eye and a bloody nose one time from a scope on a 30-06 and has been afraid of 06 ever since, so I got her a 243 which she has hunted with the last few years. I've heard a dozen guys claim that 243 is the "perfect" whitetail deer round, but I've not been impressed.

Every single deer she has shot with the 243 has ran. Some far, some not too far, but every one has ran off some distance. Every single deer I have shot with a 30-06 or a 308 has either fallen in it's tracks, or at worst ran 10 yards into a face plant.

I've tried numerous times to get her on a 30-06. She seemed mentally convinced and ready this year, right up until the moment she was on the bench and about to pull the trigger to check the scope. She backed out and said no, she wanted to use her 243. I said OK of course.

Certainly shot placement is a factor, but I've mostly blamed the 243's lack of knockdown on the diameter and mass (100gr vs. 150gr). She got a deer yesterday and here is the bullet. Looking at the expansion (or lack thereof) from this ammo, I am now starting to wonder if it is not the caliber as much as my choice of ammo for her. To the best of my memory, this is the only ammo she has ever shot since I got her the rifle. I certainly don't see as much expansion as I would have expected. It only marginally peeled back the jacket on one side.

Any thoughts or experiences with this ammo from the tribe?

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Old November 16, 2019, 09:51   #2
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Mike, I would get her to switch over to the 6.5 Swede or the 6.5 Creedmore. Both are as capable as the '06 or .308, yet have milder recoil than either. Both are very accurate and have a wide range of modern hunting bullets available. The 6.5 Swede has been around for over 100 years and has taken everything from polar bears to moose, elk and reindeer.
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Old November 16, 2019, 10:33   #3
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My son has killed 2 deer with that same bullet without issue,,,but most likely way older stock judging by the box design.
THAT bullet clearly deflected and didnt perform as expected,,,shoulder shot ?

Ive a sportered swede with a 3-9 leupold that shoots sub moa if she would like to try it out sometime.
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Old November 16, 2019, 10:42   #4
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Hmmm...I have a box or two of that same Winchester load but haven't used any yet. A friend used my Savage 99 in .243 last year to kill a buck from about 120 yards. Like Mike said, the deer ran after being hit and he shot it again after it stopped. I thought shot placement was to blame at the time. He used some Remington Core Lokt that I got with the rifle. I'm wanting to try that .243 myself, not sure which ammo to use though.
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Old November 16, 2019, 10:45   #5
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Ive used the Winchester X before on pigs and was not really super satisfied but they do work.
I would suggest that before purchasing a new rifle in a new caliber you try out some of the Hornady precision hunter with the ELD.

I like the Superformance stuff as well. Granted its non lead.

Perhaps its all in my head and we all know its personal preference but when I switched over to Hornady hunting ammunition I stopped chasing animals and my accuracy tightened up drastically.

The 243 isn't a bad round and I know a lot of people who use it. The 30-06 although proven is too much for my wife though. Probably why all the hunting rifles in my household are 308, not bad on recoil and big enough to knock down North Idaho game.
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Old November 16, 2019, 10:56   #6
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Mike, my thought here pertains to shot placement. Where is your wife hitting these deer when she drops the hammer on them?

Case in point: I just got back from West Texas where I killed three deer and three hogs. The deer and two of three hogs were one shot kills. However the first doe was standing at a slight angle facing away from me when I shot her. The bullet entered behind the shoulder, travelled diagonally, broke no bones, and exited in front of the other shoulder. She ran for probably 50 yards before laying down next to a mesquite tree. I waited for better shots on the next two deer, hitting both of them roughly where the neck meets the shoulder and at a slightly downward angle. Both were one shot kills and both deer dropped like they'd been hit by lightning. I was shooting a .308 loaded with 150grn Sierra GameKings. All three bullets exited and were not recovered.

My point is that my first shot should have been as effective as my other two and would have been had I waited and taken a better aim. And that makes me where your wife is aiming? A .243 is a fairly effective whitetail round at 70-150 yards. With it's low recoil and an accurate rifle, she might try making a neck shot next and see if it doesn't knock the deer over.

Otherwise, I've killed deer and hogs with Remington Cor-lokt ammo, I've killed them with Winchester Power-Points, Sierra GameKings, and Hornaday Interlocks. I've had animals drop and I've had them run off on me. On those that I hit right near where the neck meets the shoulder, they dropped. On those that I hit on or just behind the shoulder, they ran. Based on my limited experiences, I would submit that shot placement has more to do with whether your query runs off or not.
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Old November 16, 2019, 11:24   #7
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I havenít hunted since 2004 but back when I did I used Winchester Super-X pretty regularly, particularly the 150-gr 30-30 load and it never let me down. Canít speak to the 243, but Super-X has a pretty well proven track record.
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Old November 16, 2019, 15:28   #8
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I first bought my Browning 270 I bought the 5 different brands of ammo available and shot them over a chronograph. It was said that the 270 was a great round at over 3,000 fps. What I found way back then is the advertised velocity varied as much as 300 fp's in brands. Federal was the only brand that hit their advertised velocity and Winchester was 300 fps slower.

Today I don't have enough money to test all the 270 brands.

I would recommend the 270 but I don't know what the area is like that you hunt in. I used mine to hunt the Eastern Oregon high country and it never failed to bring them down.
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Old November 16, 2019, 16:27   #9
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Im Sad for your wife --Sounds Like she Is afraid of the scope Not the recoil itself.. I suggest you have her shoot a 30.06 with open sights until she is used to the recoil of the 06 and we know an 06 does not kick that much ,,also have her shoot off hand !!


Reminds me of the time I let an 90lb Chinese gile about 15 shoot my 44 mag-I told her hold tight it jumps and she shot up all my ammo !!
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Old November 16, 2019, 17:04   #10
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There's nothing wrong with a .243. But I think I would buy ammo eith a premium bullet in it like Partition . Federal Premium has that I think.
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Old November 16, 2019, 17:12   #11
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I've heard the same issues with the stopping power of the .243 from a few different sources. I'm a bit surprised you were able to recover a .243 bullet from a whitetail. Especially, with that little expansion. Most of the stories I've heard had to do with pass through shots with little internal damage and long tracking jobs. That said, all evidence been anecdotal...I've never personally witnessed any of these issues.

You are a lucky man to have a wife who has the same interests as you.

There are lots of different brands of ammo out there. Controlled expansion is your best bet to dump as much energy as possible inside the animal. You might try something like a Nosler Partition which are designed to shed the front half of the bullet having the back end punch on through. Or, an expanding Barnes bullet. I would stay away from super expanders like Varmint rounds or ballistic tips (They tend to ruin a lot of meat and not penetrate).

Whatever you decide, try them on wet newspapers or old phone books to get an idea on how well they expand so you know what to expect during the season.
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Old November 16, 2019, 17:17   #12
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We use a bunch of 243s around here for general purpose farm work. The 100 grain pointed soft points have never impressed me with their instant killing power.

Bullets that kill stuff fast:

95 gr Hornady SST(or the brown tip rem equivalent)
95 gr Nosler Ballistic tip
85 gr Sierra BTHP and BTSP
87gr Hornady poly tip amax/vmax


All of the above will completely destroy lungs and heart in one properly placed shot(gooey jello filled chest cavity). The deer may still manage to run 100 yards, but it is a dead deer.

A 243 isn't a the cartridge to use for bone breaking anchoring type work. If she is making close shots, a 30-30 with a big exposed soft point does the job as well as anything, with no recoil.
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Old November 16, 2019, 20:34   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yovinny View Post
THAT bullet clearly deflected and didnt perform as expected
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall View Post
I'm a bit surprised you were able to recover a .243 bullet from a whitetail. Especially, with that little expansion.
I believe these two comments above explain it actually. She is a good shooter and she thought she shot well when she pulled the trigger. She was in a really awkward position to see the shot, as that deer was back in the woods and brush. She aimed at the heart but hit it in the neck. Over a foot off of POA at that distance is not normal for her, nor is a bullet that did not go out the other side in a soft spot. In hindsight, I think that bullet likely clipped a tree branch or something between her and the deer. That would explain the off target hit, the lost energy of the bullet that did not go through without hitting bone, and the off center peeling of the jacket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by randy762ak View Post
Im Sad for your wife --Sounds Like she Is afraid of the scope Not the recoil itself..
The scope on my 30-06 yes, not the recoil itself. Your suggestion of her shooting w/o a scope is excellent. She has and will shoot a Garand. I'll make a coaching plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall View Post
You are a lucky man to have a wife who has the same interests as you.
Yes Sir. I am blessed with a good one and I am thankful every day
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Old November 16, 2019, 20:34   #14
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Small sample size is your problem.

I saw a small deer shot right through the heart at 40 yards with 30-06.
It ran over a ridge and out of sight at dusk.
Found it the next morning with a hole through the heart that would pass a roll of quarters.

A similarly-sized deer was shot with a Crosman 766 BB gun (10) pumps.
Expired before it made it out of the yard.

Small sample size.

.243 will kill the fugk out of whitetail deer.
A “bonded” bullet will pass through, and leave a better blood trail.

We shot a doe low in the neck (directly-facing) with .223 necked-up to .243. Hornady soft-point handload, 85-grain IIRC. Doe was standing in creek bed. Shooter was elevated such that bullet should have passed from neck, into chest cavity. Doe was dead on the ground before recoil was over. Only ONE DROP of blood. No exit. Never did find the bullet.

Small sample size.
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Old November 17, 2019, 00:10   #15
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I have had similar experience as You have WEG
Shot a BIG running doe at 125 years broadside through the lungs with a 12 ga slug Took out huge amounts of lung tissue out the back side where I found the spot where it was hit ,,Doe left a blood trail 1 foot wide 100yards long then ran out of blood to exhale out its mouth,, went another 100 yards on adrenaline and dropped at the edge of the hay field I never had any idea I hit it way back up the field it never flinched ,,,They are some kinds tuff Like a drugged up Moro Warrior with a machete!!
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Old November 20, 2019, 08:17   #16
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Why are you so insistent on 30-06? My friend has a 30-06 bolt rifle with a scope as well and I hate shooting that thing and I’m a 6’ 210lb guy.

Try some Hornady stuff, visit their website and check out all of the options they have, they make some whitetail specific rounds in 243.
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Old November 20, 2019, 12:54   #17
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I have dropped deer that fell within several yards of being hit using a 90 gr. BTHP out of a .243. I shot a small buck through the chest the other week muzz hunting using a 250gr Hornady sabot and it ran 100 yds before dropping. Often there just isn't any rhyme or reason to what they do.

I've switched to the Hornady 'Whitetail' ammo for both my .308 and .270. Does excellent on paper. Haven't shot a deer using it yet.
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Old November 20, 2019, 21:08   #18
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OP you are trying to solve a software issue with hardware.
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Old November 20, 2019, 23:58   #19
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I kill deer regularly with a 22 Hornet nine out of ten drop DRT and the odd one will either stumble then fall or take a step or two then fall. I do limit my shots with a 22 Hornet to 100 yards and always shoot them in the ear. If fifty years or under it will often pop their eyes out of the sockets. This is back yard mostly inside my fence type killing as many mornings when getting a cup of coffee or snack in evenings will see deer in my yard or neighbors but this is not most peoples hunting as using same rifle that I use for head shots on squirrel from deck or patio.

If 30-06 is causing wife to flinch on the bench imagine how it will affect her shooting in the woods. I have seen many deer killed cleanly with 243s by wives, kids and grown men. 243 is a capable 600 yard varmint cartridge so accuracy can't be an issue unless have a bad rifle. Have no experience with this ammo killing medium game but that bullet looks like it hit bone and deflected and also shows no expansion. I am a fan of bonded bullets for killing medium game.

Texted and emailed a total of six people who I know hunt with a 243 or someone in family does and responses I got on recommended one shot stop factory ammo were these. Some of the people I contacted had wives and a kid or multiple kids hunting with 243 successfully. Hornady Precision Hunter 90 grain ELD-X, Winchester 100 grain Power Max Bonded, Norma 100 grain American PH, Federal 95 grain Fusion Bonded, Federal Premium 90 grain Nosler Accubond and Federal Premium 95 grain Berger Hybrid.

I would not hesitate to hunt deer with a 243 though my preferences are 25-06, 308 and 35 Remington for brushy areas where shots are under 100 yards and may need quick repeat shots if culling does or abnormal bucks. From there I step up to 7mm Rem Mag and 300 Win Mag for areas will probably take shots out to 450 yards then a 7mm Practical for power lines and bean fields where shots can be long.

You may want to buy a few boxes of Hornady 87 grain Custom Lite low recoil and muzzle blast ammunition for her to use at range while works on mechanics of breathing, trigger pull and working the bolt if has to take a second shot. The lighter recoil and blast will help with confidence then at end of session you can make whatever scope adjustments necessary to put ammo of choice on target. In the field odds are under the adrenaline of taking a shot at a live animal she will never notice the moderate difference in recoil of a 100 grain bonded bullet over the 87 grain reduced recoil.

I can let wife run 100 rounds of 38 wadcutters through a 357 wheelgun then somewhere near middle of session have her work in two or three cylinders of full bore magnum ammo and she won't flinch a bit. Same with tactical shotguns, have her an exact copy of the 12 gauge in my bedside rack in 20 gauge. She can practice with the 20 then swap her to the 12 for a tube full and first flinch I see switch her back to 20. She will usually get three to five rounds of full power 12 gauge before she gets stiff. She does most of her AR 15 practice with a 5.7x28 but when picks up a 5.56 or 6.8 will run an entire magazine without flinching or issues. With her bone disease only way I will let her shoot a 30-06 is with a LeadSled. She does practice on the 250 yard range with a 300 Win Mag or 7mm Mag using a LeadSled just to keep her mid range skills up with medium bore rifle.

Get her on target with the 243 and then send her into the field with a good 90 to 100 grain bonded bullet and she will be smiling when she anchors a few.
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Old November 21, 2019, 02:56   #20
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For the last three hunting years of my father's life he used a Tikka bolt gun chambered in .243WIN. He was a prolific harvester and on one particularly bountiful evening, killed 7 does with that rifle. All of them were DRT. (Game and Fish had issued a literal handful of doe tags to our camp so that we could thin the overpopulated deer herds)
I can assure you with absolute certainty that .243WIN is far more than adequate to the task of dropping deer where they stand. IIRC, his ammo of choice was Winchester Silver Tip. (Black bullets w/silver colored tips and nickle plated cases.)

My father was allergic to deer fur, so my brother and I got to process those 7 plus our own kills. So, yes, I can attest to the efficacy of .243WIN for killing deer.
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Old November 21, 2019, 08:08   #21
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We can't use a .243 for deer on my side of the river but my Dad kills the hell out of coyotes with his. No doubt it would kill a deer but I'm sure there are better options. We used 2-3/4" 12 gauge partition gold slugs for years they make a rifle out of a shotgun and I've never seen a deer run after being hit with one in the shoulder. Now the law has changed, I've been using a 45-70 which has not been as impressive with the cheap loads I buy. Its better on the meat though.
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Old November 21, 2019, 17:30   #22
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Im surprised at all that praise for hornady hunting ammo....
Personally, Ive been sworn off shooting game with hornadys for years.
Ive just had too many of their latest greatest bullets come apart, shed their jackets and basically disintegrate on impact.
Long hunts for flesh wounded game is not something I enjoy.
I prefer to do all my hunting before I pull the trigger,,,,
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Old November 21, 2019, 18:40   #23
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Per Hebrew Battle Rifle, while not seen results of Silver Tips in 243 I have never seen them not perform in any other cartridge. If out of state on a hunt, ammo was confiscated, ran low or realized didn't pack my ammo somehow, if unable to find a flavor I knew was top notch medium to large game ammo would not hesitate to buy a couple boxes of Silver Tips and sight my rifle for them in whatever cartridge I was using.
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