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Learn me on the .243

tubabucknuttubabucknut BannedPosts: 3,520 Senior Member
I am starting think about my next rifle, and am leaning heavily towards the .243. It will slot well between my .223 and .308. I want a varmint rig and have been looking at the Rem 700 vls. Are there any other good options? I am thinking of it as primarily a varmint gun, and having it serve second duty as a deer rifle for my wife. Will the 1 in 9 1/8 rifling on the 700 handle heavier bullets Say 105 gr. I hate the stock and am looking at this one.

http://www.stockysstocks.com/servlet/the-537/Bobby-Hart-AccuBlock-Long/Detail

Any thoughts are appreciated.
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Replies

  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,762 Senior Member
    I have 2 700 VLS's. One in .223 Rem and one in 6mm Rem. The 6mm Rem is basically a .243 Win on mild steroids. If shooting factory ammo, there's not a gnat's breath between them.

    The 6mm is my LR pdog rig, though I've pretty much retired it to antelope duty. It's killed pdogs out to 800 yards, and antelope out to 440. While I admit the 800 yard pdog shot is not typical, between 600 and 700 is pretty common for that rig, and it performs well. I do like the VLS platform.

    You will find that the VLS platform is considerably heavier than your typical "deer" rifle, and I'd not want to have to carry one around much. But, if you hunt from a stand, it's not a bad rig. Shooting it unsupported can take a bit of practice, at least if you're built as sparsely as me, but it can be done.

    As to the .243 Win chambering, I personally don't think there's a better "deer" round out there for deer in the lower 48. I load my 6mm with 95 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips over H4350 and they clock an average of 3250 fps. This is my go-to antelope round, and they've performed perfectly from 160 yards to the 440 mentioned above.

    If I was hunting deer at closer (read, less than 200 yards), I'd likely handload a Partition simply because it'll hold up better at the higher impact velocities. Some of the worst beat-up deer I've ever seen were several shot by a friends son using a .243 Win loaded with 100 grain Win Power Points. Most of his shots were 80 yards and less, and the damage he inflicted on the deer made the wounds caused by my .270 with 130 grain NBT's look mild in comparison. There's just something about the .243 Win and it's velocity/weight that make it an extraordinary deer-killer, way beyond what you'd expect from its paper ballistics.

    I think you're making a great choice. Just be aware that the VLS model isn't a "tote it around the hills all day" kinda platform.

    Mike

    edit: Yeah, you can shoot the 105's with that twist.
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • twatwa Senior Member Posts: 2,245 Senior Member
    I think that is a great choice. Perfect varmint round and a nice round for the wife for shooting deer. My 17 year old daughter has shot a few deer with her .243 and it is a great round for the job, and very light recoiled which is great for smaller framed shooters. I think you are dead on for changing the stock out, I have a VLS in .308 and while I think the stock is beautiful, I really don't know how functional it is. (it is definitely not free floated)
    This is the only Remington 700 I own that really doesn't shoot that well for me, and I have a feeling 95% of that has to do with the stock.
    As line finder mentioned, it's no light weight!


    700vls.jpg
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    Thanks for the insight Linefinder. I do intend to use it myself for varmint, and anti predator work. Couple of guys I know want some yotes taken care of. The deer function for my wife will be the once a century I can convince her to go hunting with me. I am pretty excited to get one I have wanted one for years. It has finally made it's way up the purchase list. What do you recommend for coyotes. Most of my bolt guns are of the heavy barrel persuasion. My six foot 220 lbs frame is getting used to lugging them around.:tooth:
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,762 Senior Member
    twa wrote: »
    I think the stock is beautiful, I really don't know how functional it is. (it is definitely not free floated)
    This is the only Remington 700 I own that really doesn't shoot that well for me, and I have a feeling 95% of that has to do with the stock.

    180 degrees out from my experience with mine. The 6mm has been heavily tweaked, and so has the .223, but in their bone-stock condition they were both tack-drivers. While I'll readily admit that the stock contributes greatly to the rigs cumbersome weight, I still think that the stock is the heart of this setup. I wouldn't change mine for the world.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • twatwa Senior Member Posts: 2,245 Senior Member
    When you say heavily tweaked, are you meaning stock work? Floated, etc…?
    I would love to TWEAK mine and get it shooting.
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    Thanks TWA. You guys are making my decision easy. You are making wonder why I waited so long.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,762 Senior Member
    What do you recommend for coyotes.

    75 grain VMaxes over H4350, if you handload.

    If not, anything factory loaded with a poly-tip. You will absolutely shred some coyote.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,762 Senior Member
    twa wrote: »
    When you say heavily tweaked, are you meaning stock work? Floated, etc…?
    I would love to TWEAK mine and get it shooting.

    Floated, pillar bedded, action blueprinted/trued, different trigger, different bolt guts, got rid of the J-locks. Krieger barrel and brake on the 6mm. Still have the factory barrel on the .223.

    But, I shot both of these rifles (especially the 6mm) for a long time before I had any work at all done on them and they both shot very well. While the "tweaks" improved the accuracy somewhat, I'm not convinced that it improved it by as much as it lightened my wallet. LR pdogs take a little more in the accuracy department than most endeavors, and I'd certainly not spend the money that I spent on tweaks for an occasional "deer/coyote" rifle. While there are always exceptions (yours, obviously), chances are it'll do for those two critters quite well straight from the box.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • twatwa Senior Member Posts: 2,245 Senior Member
    Thanks for the info. linefinder. If I remember right about the best I could get was a over 1" MOA (about 1 1/2" if I remember right) and never really played around with a lot of loads with it. I haven't taken it out in a few years, I may grab some different loads and give it another try. I always thought the gun should shoot better than it did, and probably does, I just need to take it to the range and give it another go.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,762 Senior Member
    Try some H4350. I got honest consistent 3/8" groups with Varget in my 6mm, and when I switched to H4350 it didn't improve accuracy noticeably, but the bullet got there over 400 fps faster. This kind of velocity increase gives you a lot of load tweaking room if you need it.

    I use H4350 with both 75 & 95 grainers nowadays, but I've also had great results with (believe it or not) RL19 & RL22 under 95 grain bullets.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,559 Senior Member
    I'll take that crappy stock off your hands if you don't want it!!!!!! I love those stocks!!! Ha!

    Listen to Linefinder. He suggested H4350 to me for use in my .243 Winchesters..............I've been thanking him ever since! That powder is an accurate magnet!!!! Both my .243 rifles shoot .1-.2" groups when I don't screw things up. I run 85gr Sierra HPBT-Gamekings, 87gr Hornady V-Max and 105gr Hornady A-Max in my rifles. Accurate and deadly. Stupidly even.

    I love the .243 Winchester and I blame Linfinder for my love affair with the cartridge. I could never be without one from now on. They are just too useful and too easy to shoot.

    I had a VLS in .22-250 that shot wonderfully. My buddy listed after it so he has possession of it currently.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • twatwa Senior Member Posts: 2,245 Senior Member
    Only problem is my VLS is in .308.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,615 Senior Member
    I've got the predecessor to the VLS, a 700HV. 243. On Linefinder and Jerrybobco' s advice, I also shoot 90gr. NBTs and 105 A max over H-4350.
    It used to shoot well, and now shoots great, since I changed the trigger, stock, and scope. It's a 1:9 twist, does great with 105 A max.
  • DurangoKidDurangoKid Member Posts: 183 Member
    You may also look at the 6MM Remington. The 6MM uses the excellent 7X57 case which has a longer neck. The very short .308 case necked to the .243 has more problems with stretching.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,559 Senior Member
    DurangoKid wrote: »
    The very short .308 case necked to the .243 has more problems with stretching.

    Ummmmmmm, at what point am I to be expecting to see this "problem" start being an issue? Been shooting .308 brass necked down to .243 Winchester for several years now.

    Where did this info come from? I'm curious.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    Anyone have a breath mint?

    Linefinder Is the 4350 temperature sensitive? I ask this in total ignorance. Would I need to load differently for the winter and summer. I shoot Varget in my .308 and get very similar mv at a wide range of temps. What about some of the magnum powders such as 7828 or Retumbo. I read some are using these powders for their heavier bullets. I don't ask to challenge your suggestion, just to learn. Why one over another.

    Zee I never said crappy, I just don't like the look of it. Regardless when I scape the money together it might be some time before I could put it on another stock. It will likely sit on the regular stock for some time.

    Durango I have no idea about the neck stretching, but I did consider the 6mm, and nostalgia won out. I have wanted a .243 for quite some time. With what appears to be minimal performance difference, and the great recommendations, it looks like it will be the .243 when I buy.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,559 Senior Member
    H4350 is a Hodgdon Extreme Powder and designed to be temp stable or, un/less effected by temp changes.

    I was kidding about the "crappy" stock. I just like them.

    ;-)
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
  • Ranch13Ranch13 Senior Member Posts: 820 Senior Member
    Been using the 243 for 50 years. Great cartridge that is easy to shoot , and that leads to it's being so successful.
    Gave up 4350 25 years ago in favor of H414. Hornady bullets have done everything I've ever asked the cartridge to do, and back in the pre panic days the Remington bulk bullets made for a bunch of inexpensive, yet accurate general purpose rounds.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    Here's mine, and a goat I shot with it. I've taken several with this rig, but nothing else.

    JerrysGoat2-web.jpg

    Like Mike, I also load 95 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips in front of IMR 4350. It's an accurate round, and I quit playing with trying to improve on it a long time ago.

    It's a great round, and I think you will like it.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • DurangoKidDurangoKid Member Posts: 183 Member
    The 6MM Remington has a longer neck and holds more powder than a .243. Most re-loaders see a longer neck as an advantage. If you are looking a 6MM cartridges why not look at all of them?

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/6mm.htm
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,762 Senior Member

    Linefinder Is the 4350 temperature sensitive?

    No, it's not. I shoot pdogs in 100F+ blistering sunshine, and antegoats on cold, windy mornings that would make a well-digger tote a blanket. Of course, I don't leave my ammo in the sunshine if I can help it, but that's a precaution I take with any ammo, regardless of powder.

    As to the 6mm Rem. I love it, and consider it mildly better than the .243 Win. But, it's a "handloaders only" chambering. As of a couple months ago, the only factory ammo listed was 100 grain deer bullets of some ilk. OTOH, the .243 Win cartridge is available in pretty much every combo of chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and green bean you can think of.At least, during non-panic times.

    You won't go wrong with a .243 Win. In fact....if you spend a bit of time with it (more than just the occasional range trip or coyote bust), I bet it'll become one of your top three chambering picks.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • 41magnut41magnut Senior Member Posts: 1,269 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    The 6mm Rem is basically a .243 Win on mild steroids.
    Mike

    edit: Yeah, you can shoot the 105's with that twist.


    I like that. Best description I've heard in a long time.
    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen :iwo:
  • brians356brians356 Member Posts: 161 Member
    I have an old (late 1970s) Rem 700 "Varmint Special" in 6mm Rem. I have had good success so far with IMR 4350 and also RL-19 with different Berger bullets, but I just bought a jar of "Superformance" which now produces the top velocities from Hodgdon's lineup with light-to-medium bullets (4350 was tops before.)

    Example: 75-gr bullet: H4350: 3563 fps, Superformance: 3637 fps

    That's from a 24-inch barrel - a 26" should go higher.

    Before the brickbats get tossed my way - No, extreme velocity is not the be-all end-all. But if Superformance will build accurate loads at well over 3600 fps, it will be a bolt of lightning on varmints.

    I'll report back on my results.

    243 Win will be much easier to find loaded ammo for, in a much greater variety, than 6mm Rem, which has all but disappeared from LGS shelves.

    Brian
    "If this is flag waving, can you think of a better flag to wave?"
    Irving Berlin
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 8,527 Senior Member
    I use Winchester brass, Fed 210M's, H-4350 with mine and 105 A-Max's.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    I use Winchester brass, Fed 210M's, H-4350 with mine and 105 A-Max's.

    What is your quarry with that load?
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,559 Senior Member
    What is your quarry with that load?

    I use the same powder and 105 A-Max as Ernie in my loads. I've shot deer with mine.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,559 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Bullcrap. Amax bullets are for paper targets, not animals.

    Damn lucky, I guess.

    ;-)
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • DurangoKidDurangoKid Member Posts: 183 Member
    I am a dedicated hand-loader. Sorry didn't realize this was more for "Factory" shooters. If you are not a hand-loader the .243 is a better choice.
  • twatwa Senior Member Posts: 2,245 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    H4350 is a Hodgdon Extreme Powder and designed to be temp stable or, un/less effected by temp changes.

    I was kidding about the "crappy" stock. I just like them.

    ;-)

    My thought on the stock. If you are going to name the gun model after the stock. (Vls - varmint laminate stock). At least take the time to bed it and free float it. While it looks nice it could have come a lot nicer from the factory with these simple steps.
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