Reacquainting myself with the .243Win

JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior MemberPosts: 6,195 Senior Member
The .243Win is a caliber I've always admired, but never really owned. I did own, for a while, a H&R Handi Rifle in the caliber, but I sold it for other projects. The single action didn't appeal to me and the accuracy was not what I wanted from a rifle. A while back, I had an opportunity to purchase a Remington 700 BDL .243Win second-hand. At $225, I jumped on it and it's been quite possibly one of the top-3 purchases I've ever made gun-wise; and not just for the value. I had originally bought it after correlating the the $225 price tag with a gun suitable only as a donor action. Boy was I wrong...

20150128_165430.jpg

The month and year manufacturing marks on the barrel are "C" and "S" making it April of 1969. Why does this matter specifically? For that year, the rifling rate-of-twist was 1:9". It's the fastest twist Remington ever manufactured .243Win BDLs with. And this translates to more versatility.

I recently got out to the range with some ammunition I'd loaded up for the gun:

60gr SIE HP Varmint
87gr HNDY Vmax
100gr SIE SP (not my load...more in a minute)


It was windy...shifting from 15mph in my face to 15mph half value from right to left. I called a couple fliers, too, but all in all, my shooting wasn/t my worst or best. I chalked that up to mean this is likely the average of how my shooting would be on any given hunting day: not the worst by far, but not my best.

60ge SIE HP Varmint | 41 & 42gr H4895 | 2.605" COAL

These puppies were cooking along at 3490fps (41gr) and 3557fps (42gr) on average.

I had one called flier in the two groups and I suspect my group on the right is an average of my shooting versus the load recipe. I am very confident the flier on the left-hand group was called spot on. The 41gr H4895 is a great load for these 60gr Sierra HP bullets as you can see. It's exactly 1/4" ctc. I saw absolutely no pressure signs with the 42gr load either, so I may bump up to 42.5 and 43gr and see what happens. 43gr is in excess of the Hodgdon manual maximum. If the group shrinks down above 42gr again, I will load up 100 rounds. I'm liking these bullets.

20150129_1506322.jpg

87gr Hornady VMax | 40 - 40.5 - 41gr H4350 | 2.620" COAL

I was moderately satisfied with my initial testing. I had high hopes for H4350 here. After finally getting my grubby hands on some, I loaded up some rounds. I don't have pictures of the 40 and 40.5gr loads, but 41gr produced the best group. It measured 0.812" ctc. It showed an average velocity of 2840fps and I consider that acceptable, but not ideal. I've got some other powders to try, but I am looking for 2900-2950fps here. H4350 is showing some promise in my .280Rem, so I may stay with it there.

20150129_1506592.jpg

100gr Sierra SP | Powder Not Known | 2.650" COAL

This is a load manufactured by a local FFL ammo manufacturer. They use factory new Winchester brass, 100gr Sierra SP bullets and the powder is unknown to me. After shaking the cartridges, hearing how full the case is with powder and registering about 2700-2800fps, I've narrowed it down to either Varget, H4895 or H380. I'll ask them. I buy all my powder from them anyways and they've got no issue divulging their load recipes. They aren't trade secrets to them.

As stated, they registered at ~2750fps. I only shot one over the chronograph before grouping the other shots above. This load is spot on for this rifle. Good velocity, and great accuracy. It's a 1/2" group with a very surely called flier. I zeroed the scope for this load for now. It's spot on to slam some hogs now. Or anything else in Florida for that matter.

20150129_1506462.jpg

I am all about this rifle. Light, quick pointing, and the 22" barrel lends plenty to velocity and maneuverability. It's going to be a go-to rifle surely. The scope atop it is my "test" scope. I plan to get it a hunting-looking scope that has a BDC reticle of likely the MIL variety. It's got medium range use, so quick come-ups with a reticle make it simpler.

After seeing the 60gr to 100gr bullet versatility first hand, I see plainly and unequivocally why the .243Win is probably one of, if not the most, versatile cartridge one can own for a non-combative game plan. Varmints to pigs and deer, no problem.

-Jason
“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
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Replies

  • Fat BillyFat Billy Senior Member Posts: 1,813 Senior Member
    What are you going to hunt? Looks like a decent shooting rifle. Leaving it alone would work for me unless I wanted to hunt big game. I've seen many a good shooting rifle not work as well when redone. It was cheap and shoots good. :uhm: Later,
    Fat Billy

    Recoil is how you know primer ignition is complete.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,932 Senior Member
    I love the .243 Winchester.

    Looks like you have a good base line.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,819 Senior Member
    Most accurate gun I own. Speer 100 gr SPBT's over H4350 and CCI primers at 38 gr's producing a group about .450 edge to edge or about .21 center to center


    F67D4AED-1DF0-4FD2-A2A5-E533E5A31B9F_zpswz1kdv17.jpg
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    I love my .243 as well. That is the first rifle I am working up a load for when I get my press fired up.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 5,800 Senior Member
    On a classic like that clean the bejesers out of it, could have copper in the bore and check your crown for mocks burrs ect. A Hawkeye bore scope is handy for this, most gunsmiths will do this for you too. Great shooting!
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,932 Senior Member
    Yeah. I think a new synthetic stock and some Krylon on that barreled action would work wonders.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,747 Senior Member
    Good shooting.

    Like you, I have always admired the 243 and have thought about buying one...........but I still have rifles I haven't shot yet and the raucous clamouring when I open any of the gun safes from those rifles ( especially when I introduce a new acquisition ) has to be heard to be believed.

    I am almost tempted to buy a safe just for the unfired so that I don't have to put up with their abuse............
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    I bought a .243 6 months ago, and have yet to shoot it.:bang: It came with Lapuaa brass, and 105 a-max bullets. I have been trying to get some glass on it, and some time to work up a load. It is the firearm I am most interested in in my entire collection right now. It is killing me.

    Looks good Jason.
    It's because I hate Trump.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,946 Senior Member
    20150128_165430.jpg

    The month and year manufacturing marks on the barrel are "C" and "S" making it April of 1969. Why does this matter specifically? For that year, the rifling rate-of-twist was 1:9". It's the fastest twist Remington ever manufactured .243Win BDLs with. And this translates to more versatility.

    Jason I didn't know they had ever produced the .243 in 1:9 back in the day. They made their initial poopoo with the .244 Remington making it 1:12, and I guess they must have gone anal and really tightened the twist up after they realized their mistake and didn't want to take chances with the .243. But I know they went back to 1:10 for many years. But guess what? Remington is back to the 1:9 twist rate in the .243 Win. I like the 1:9 twist. You're so right that it makes it more versatile. Especially since there are now so many heavy for caliber bullets out on the market nowadays. I haven't seen any personally, but I've heard somebody is now making a 110 grain .243-6mm bullet. You will definitely need a 1:9 twist to stabilize that pencil.

    I take it back. I was.....cough cough..... WRONG!!!

    You're right, the Remington rifles used 1:9 twist rate way back there. I must have been thinking about a Model 70 and not a 700. Sorry. Also I know Ruger made their model 77.243s AND their 6mm Remingtons in 1:10 twist.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,946 Senior Member
    BTW, I always loved that old scroll checkering on the older BDLs.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,370 Senior Member
    Great rifle. Very accurate, potentially. And yours is shooting right! I've had several, one I had one that would shoot in the twos but it was heavy. Those pressed-wood checkered rifles look great, to me.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,806 Senior Member
    You picked up......I mean stole... a winner.......it is theft and we know it.

    Been one of those on my list too. I just haven't found it yet.
    The 244 Remington would do fine for me as well.
    Got either one covered...... brass for a 243 and ammo for a 244
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,195 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    20150128_165430.jpg

    The month and year manufacturing marks on the barrel are "C" and "S" making it April of 1969. Why does this matter specifically? For that year, the rifling rate-of-twist was 1:9". It's the fastest twist Remington ever manufactured .243Win BDLs with. And this translates to more versatility.

    Jason I didn't know they had ever produced the .243 in 1:9 back in the day. They made their initial poopoo with the .244 Remington making it 1:12, and I guess they must have gone anal and really tightened the twist up after they realized their mistake and didn't want to take chances with the .243. But I know they went back to 1:10 for many years. But guess what? Remington is back to the 1:9 twist rate in the .243 Win. I like the 1:9 twist. You're so right that it makes it more versatile. Especially since there are now so many heavy for caliber bullets out on the market nowadays. I haven't seen any personally, but I've heard somebody is now making a 110 grain .243-6mm bullet. You will definitely need a 1:9 twist to stabilize that pencil.

    From the information I gathered, all other twists were either 1:9.25 and 1:9.125. As far as I could reference, 1969 BDL 700's are the only 1:9 guns.

    It may sound funny, but I think I won't develop any loads over 100gr. That would essentially turn this gun into a bench project...something she don't deserve.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,195 Senior Member
    Weatherby wrote: »
    You picked up......I mean stole... a winner.......it is theft and we know it.

    Been one of those on my list too. I just haven't found it yet.
    The 244 Remington would do fine for me as well.
    Got either one covered...... brass for a 243 and ammo for a 244

    Most .244 Remington 700's were 1:12 and some were 1:10. You'd be stuck like chuck under 90 gr bullets. My H&R .243 Handi Rifle was 1:10 and it hated 100gr bullets.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • kansashunterkansashunter Senior Member Posts: 1,505 Senior Member
    I had one like this many years ago that I traded for and promptly sold. I have been looking for one for a while and have found a few but priced way more than that. You suck!
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,195 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    20150128_165430.jpg

    The month and year manufacturing marks on the barrel are "C" and "S" making it April of 1969. Why does this matter specifically? For that year, the rifling rate-of-twist was 1:9". It's the fastest twist Remington ever manufactured .243Win BDLs with. And this translates to more versatility.

    Jason I didn't know they had ever produced the .243 in 1:9 back in the day. They made their initial poopoo with the .244 Remington making it 1:12, and I guess they must have gone anal and really tightened the twist up after they realized their mistake and didn't want to take chances with the .243. But I know they went back to 1:10 for many years. But guess what? Remington is back to the 1:9 twist rate in the .243 Win. I like the 1:9 twist. You're so right that it makes it more versatile. Especially since there are now so many heavy for caliber bullets out on the market nowadays. I haven't seen any personally, but I've heard somebody is now making a 110 grain .243-6mm bullet. You will definitely need a 1:9 twist to stabilize that pencil.

    Berger makes a 105, 108 and 115gr 6mm bullet. Their manual says 1:8 for the 105 and 108 and 1:7 for the 115.

    If I am remembering correctly, the longer a bullet is, the farther the center of pressure moves away from the center of mass. Consequently, if stabilized adequately, they fight wind well...if not..instant tumbling.
    snake284 wrote: »
    BTW, I always loved that old scroll checkering on the older BDLs.

    It does look nice. I was sold on it the moment in saw it.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,445 Senior Member
    You SUCK.

    Great rifle, great cartridge. Mine shot this group a few months ago:

    target1_zps1f816bc1.jpg
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,806 Senior Member
    Most .244 Remington 700's were 1:12
    You may be right I'll have to check I thought only the 722's were 1:12
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,195 Senior Member
    Weatherby wrote: »
    Most .244 Remington 700's were 1:12
    You may be right I'll have to check I thought only the 722's were 1:12

    There were some model 600 and 700 rifles in 1:9 for "6mm Remington", too. But the .244 Remington never saw faster than 1:10. I ha e a reference chart for all these twist rates. But not all years are mentioned.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 11,098 Senior Member
    I like it, try some Federal Fusions.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,946 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    Most .244 Remington 700's were 1:12 and some were 1:10. You'd be stuck like chuck under 90 gr bullets.y H&R .243 Handi Rifle was 1:10 and it hated 100gr bullets.

    Man Most .243s back up into the 90s were 1:10 twist and 1:10 stablizes 100 grain Spitzers just fine. Back in the 70s Speer came out with a 105 grain bullet and the 1:10s had trouble stabilizing them. My 6mm was 1:9 twist and it stabilized anything I fed it.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,764 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    The .243Win is a caliber I've always admired, but never really owned.

    Same here. I shot one, circa 1966, and even at 15yo knew it was a great chambering. Then, I got interested in .308 and took .243's for granted for about 50 years. Last year, I ran across a Model 600 Mohawk at a great price and snapped it up. It already had a Leupold VX-II (I think) and I fired exactly two rounds of factory Core-Lokts through it before letting my SIL borrow it for my grandson to hunt with. Both of those Core-Lokts hit the bulls eye at 100 yards, about a 1/2" apart, and I have been negotiating for its return for over a year, now. I had been dreaming about putting a nice walnut stock on it and maybe a Timney trigger, and using it for whitetails, when I get too feeble for my .30-06. But, I might just start using it immediately, since it is such a sweet shooter.

    That is a really nice rifle and you shoot it well. :up::yousuck:
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,513 Senior Member
    Good deal Jason. I love the .243. Much like you, when I got my first one, I wasn't intending to buy a 243. It was just a great deal that came along.
    Then, I realized what it could do! One of mine is a '78 r700 HV. It's 1:9 barrel shoots 105 a max like crazy.... .250". 75gr v max, yep. 90gr NBT, yep.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,195 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    My daughter's first rifle was a youth model 700 in .243. When she decided she wanted to graduate to something bigger I foolishly sold her rifle to one of my neighbors with kids to get her 7mm-08. THAT was a bad idea. I should have put that action into an adult stock and kept it for myself. That short little barrel shot like gangbusters! There is definitely another 700 in .243 in my future. You really got a winner there!!!

    Funny you mention 7mm-08. As much as I like 7mm bullets and the versatility of .243Win, I reckon it ain't a stretch to conclude 7mm-08 would exude the same versatility.

    6mm and 7mm bullets have firmly begun my disenchantment for 308Win. If I ever buy another .30cal it'll be .300WinMag or the like. The BC vs velocity of standard (147 - 168gr) .308 bullets are rubbish in comparison to the heavier .243 and .284 calibers. As I see it, unless I can push a 208gr or 220gr .30cal then I'm not going to bother with it. And in those weights, .300RUM is more favorable to me.

    Truthfully if I had the disposable income for it, I would rebarrel my FN PBR to a 1:8.5T .284Win or something like that.

    I'm even seeing the stark volumetric inefficiency of my .280Rem the same as .30-06. The .280Rem uses the same basic powder charges as 7mm08 and even when .280Rem calls for a few grains more the published gains are minimal and realistically diminishing in return.
    jbohio wrote: »
    Good deal Jason. I love the .243. Much like you, when I got my first one, I wasn't intending to buy a 243. It was just a great deal that came along.
    Then, I realized what it could do! One of mine is a '78 r700 HV. It's 1:9 barrel shoots 105 a max like crazy.... .250". 75gr v max, yep. 90gr NBT, yep.

    Giving me more to test, I see. Haha.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,946 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    Berger makes a 105, 108 and 115gr 6mm bullet. Their manual says 1:8 for the 105 and 108 and 1:7 for the 115.

    If I am remembering correctly, the longer a bullet is, the farther the center of pressure moves away from the center of mass. Consequently, if stabilized adequately, they fight wind well...if not..instant tumbling.



    It does look nice. I was sold on it the moment in saw it.

    Oh the 1:9 will stabilize 105 grain Speers and most others. I am not familiar with Bergers. Maybe they're just longer. 115 is wild for a 6mm. If you want something that heavy just get a quarter bore. My .250 Savage would surprise you. It shoots 115 grain Combined Technologies like you wouldn't believe. That's why I built it because it shoots heavier bullets than the 6mms. Also, something I read that isn't ever mentioned on here is that real tight twist barrels burn out or wear out faster. I don't know for sure if this is true, but it does sound like it makes sense.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,946 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    Funny you mention 7mm-08. As much as I like 7mm bullets and the versatility of .243Win, I reckon it ain't a stretch to conclude 7mm-08 would exude the same versatility.

    6mm and 7mm bullets have firmly begun my disenchantment for 308Win. If I ever buy another .30cal it'll be .300WinMag or the like. The BC vs velocity of standard (147 - 168gr) .308 bullets are rubbish in comparison to the heavier .243 and .284 calibers. As I see it, unless I can push a 208gr or 220gr .30cal then I'm not going to bother with it. And in those weights, .300RUM is more favorable to me.

    Truthfully if I had the disposable income for it, I would rebarrel my FN PBR to a 1:8.5T .284Win or something like that.

    I'm even seeing the stark volumetric inefficiency of my .280Rem the same as .30-06. The .280Rem uses the same basic powder charges as 7mm08 and even when .280Rem calls for a few grains more the published gains are minimal and realistically diminishing in return.



    Giving me more to test, I see. Haha.

    Earth to Jason, come in Jason.. ah don't fall into that trap. A 30 caliber does trump it, obviously at the expense of your shoulder but a good 150 grain or even a 130 grain 30 caliber bullet travling at 3000-3100 fps is awesome. It's the frontal area. It does make a difference that your BC figures don't take into account. The 6mms, the quarter bores, and even the 7mms are what they are, but a 30 cal. they are not. Of course the 6s are more than plenty for deer size and even larger game.

    But, size does matter.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,195 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Earth to Jason, come in Jason.. ah don't fall into that trap. A 30 caliber does trump it, obviously at the expense of your shoulder but a good 150 grain or even a 130 grain 30 caliber bullet travling at 3000-3100 fps is awesome. It's the frontal area. It does make a difference that your BC figures don't take into account. The 6mms, the quarter bores, and even the 7mms are what they are, but a 30 cal. they are not. Of course the 6s are more than plenty for deer size and even larger game.

    But, size does matter.


    Ehhh....


    If in were going for 400+ pound game, then in would opt for .30cal and frankly, again, likely .300WinMag or even .300RUM. 308Win/7.62mm is very utilitarian; I won't refute that. I'd never sell my Ruger Gunsite Scout. BUT, a 7mm08 Gunsite Scout would trump it, IMO.

    All I'm saying is that 308Win has what it has with regards to popularity due to the military adoption of the cartridge and early adoption as a competitive sport cartridge--again thanks to the military. The hunting world may disagree if it were honest with itself.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,513 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    Ehhh....


    If in were going for 400+ pound game, then in would opt for .30cal and frankly, again, likely .300WinMag or even .300RUM. 308Win/7.62mm is very utilitarian; I won't refute that. I'd never sell my Ruger Gunsite Scout. BUT, a 7mm08 Gunsite Scout would trump it, IMO.

    All I'm saying is that 308Win has what it has with regards to popularity due to the military adoption of the cartridge and early adoption as a competitive sport cartridge--again thanks to the military. The hunting world may disagree if it were honest with itself.

    Again, very interesting. It pretty much parallels my own thoughts, but I went about it backwards.
    I started with a 300RUM as my first hunting rifle. I shoot 200gr Accubonds in it.
    At the time, I figured if I was going to send a .308 projectile towards a game animal, might as well SEND IT.
    Since, I've added a bunch of 6mm, and 6.5mm rifles. I'm looking to add a 7RM.
    But, in the meanwhile, I got a 308. Once again, a great deal, too good to pass up. I've always thought of the 308 as kind of "meh"
    It's a heavy rifle, good for paper punching, long range work. I enjoy it for that, and enjoy it for the economy....bullets, brass, components are realatively cheap. If not free, in regard to brass.
    I'm also enjoying the availability of the components, if I'm having trouble finding the 6mm or 6.5mm bullets I like, there's ALWAYS .308 bullets aplenty.
    For all around utility, it's hard to beat a heavy barreled .308........unless you're heading up a mountain. Then, give me a light 7 or 300mag
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,370 Senior Member
    Got to disagree with your assessment of the .308. Sure, it's popular because of the military, so is the 30-06 and the .223. And they're ALL excellent cartridges. But the .308 stands out for its excellence.

    The .308 can use a shorter action which makes it lighter, and I believe it's more efficient than the 06, up to about 185 grain bullets. In lesser weights, it's pleasant to shoot (compared to a .300 WM). It will kill anything in North America. And do it rather well.

    Nothing wrong with the .300 WM, either, or going up from there if you're interested in killing game at 600 yards. But for me, they kick too hard. Going the other way, a 7x57 has killed a LOT of animals, with mild recoil. So has the 6.5 x 55, and even the .303. I'd love to have a 7-08 if I hunted, to me it would be a great choice. Rather have a 7x57, like a fool, sold the one I had.

    And of course, the 30-06 is never a mistake.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,195 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    Got to disagree with your assessment of the .308. Sure, it's popular because of the military, so is the 30-06 and the .223. And they're ALL excellent cartridges. But the .308 stands out for its excellence.

    The .308 can use a shorter action which makes it lighter, and I believe it's more efficient than the 06, up to about 185 grain bullets. In lesser weights, it's pleasant to shoot (compared to a .300 WM). It will kill anything in North America. And do it rather well.

    Nothing wrong with the .300 WM, either, or going up from there if you're interested in killing game at 600 yards. But for me, they kick too hard. Going the other way, a 7x57 has killed a LOT of animals, with mild recoil. So has the 6.5 x 55, and even the .303. I'd love to have a 7-08 if I hunted, to me it would be a great choice. Rather have a 7x57, like a fool, sold the one I had.

    And of course, the 30-06 is never a mistake.

    Yes, they work. They were conceived to work. But here is my point of view:

    .223Rem/5.56mm is usable as a game cartridge, but not IMO with most off the shelf ammunition. For me a 62 or 69gr at 2800 fps bullet is not adequate for deer size game and it's not much more acceptable for pigs. It's a great ~300yd varmint cartridge. The .220 Swift or .225 Winchester predates .223Rem and would be far more suitable for deer size game should you desire it to be used as such.

    .30-06 is essentially a corvette with a 2 speed automatic transmission. It's a powder inefficient cartridge. I like my sporterized 1903, but it's not a favorite caliber-wise. Never will be.

    .308 begins to crest the margin of performance and efficiency for me. While it's more powder efficient than .30-06, it suffers in bullet BC considerations.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
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