For years now, I find myself in a downward trend when it comes to hunting calibers/bullet size. I like as little recoil and meat damage as possible while still getting the job done cleanly. I already own a 6mm Remington, but it's a heavy, long-barreled affair designed for varmint hunting off of a bench. I would just as soon just buy a different/more woodland-friendly sporter gun in 6mm Rem since I already have the reloading components to make it happen. However, the aforementioned gun is a custom build because it's difficult, if not impossible, to find a left-handed factory gun in 6mm Remington. Hell, even Remington doesn't offer it in anything other than a varmint rig in this caliber and it's a righty.
So, the next best option for me is the .243 Win. The question is which one? I have two options that I want to focus on: The Tikka T3 (already own a T3 Lite Stainless in .30-06 and I love it) or the Browning X-Bolt (I own an A-Bolt in .300 Win Mag, but it's very different from the X-Bolt line)...
Both guns are similar in form with wood stocks, blued metal finish on most surfaces, and adjustable triggers (the Tikka can go 1/2 lb. lighter). Both have handy weights and lengths (about the same 22" barrel lengths with the X-Bolt being 3 oz. lighter) and I have experience with products from both manufacturers. If you have experience with the X-Bolt, in particular, I'm interested in hearing your thoughts since it's the one with which I have no experience.
Here's the rundown of what/where I will be using this gun:
-Target: whitetails/mule deer
-Distances: mixed bag (deep woods/inside of 75 yards out to open fields/200, 300, or even 400+)
-Conditions: mostly very dry but with extreme temps - this gun will be used in the bitter cold November/Decembers in Nebraska (9 degrees with 45% humidity on the evening I get my two deer) and possibly on mule deer here in Nevada (still dry as can be, but significantly warmer).