.243 vs .308 for new rifle

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What's better for long distance shooting

Poll ended at Fri May 12, 2017 12:34 pm

.243 Winchester
4
29%
.308 Winchester
10
71%
Wildcard (Not really considering other caliber)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 14

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.243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by JeeperCreeper » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:34 pm

So I sold a bunch of stuff online to fund my new hunting/target rifle. I posted on here before about looking for a beater .30-06, however I think I may go in another direction.

At my location Dick's Sporting Goods, there is a sale on a Dick's "exclusive" rifle from Savage... the Savage 11 VT. It's basically a basic Savage short action, with a heavy 24 inch barrel on a target-style cheap stock. It comes with a cheaper Bushnell 4-12 scope. It has the accutrigger. All for a sale price of $400. Obviously it's heavy and won't be a backpack hunting rifle (I decided to use my Rem700 for that) and obviously it has entry level gear, but it should be a great shooter and later building platform all for $400.

My question: What should I consider? 308 or .243? It comes in .223 and .22-250 but I already have AR's and don't want a 22-250. I also have two .30-06 rifles which I feel is superior to .308, but there aren't as many cool options in gun selection... but .308 gives me good and cheap ammo options with a wide range. .243 isn't bad but not as cheap as some .308 and I don't have anything comparable to a .243.


Edit: I would use for both hunting (varmint, hog, deer, etc) and target shooting

What say you?
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by JeeperCreeper » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:39 pm

Here's my thinking:

.308 Pro's
-Cheap ammo
-Great ammo selection
-Good long range caliber
-Can take just about any game in North America

.308 Con's
-I already have a ton of .30 caliber options including .30-06 and 7.62x54r and Jap 7.7 and 7.62x39

.243 Pro's
-I don't have anything similar
-Good for most game
-softer and faster shooter than a .308
-Decent ammo selection

.243 Con's
-ammo not as cheap for bulk stuff
-I don't know how useful it would be in the long run
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by w3rdtoyamama » Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:23 pm

I say 308, but thats for personal preference. I see no advantages, for my usage.
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by Close_enough » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:08 pm

How far do you want to shoot? <400 yards, and a .243 will carry enough energy to do the job. Over, 400, and you'll want the heavier .308.

As far as availability, .243 is one of more common hunting calibers. But, it's not a military caliber, so I wouldn't be too concerned about availability during a shooting war.

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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by The Twizzler » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:26 pm

Based off what you want to do with it and the fact you already have several 30 caliber rifles I would go with the .243.
It's gonna be easier on the shoulder and it's something different.
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by velojym » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:03 pm

A couple things...

.243 may be somewhat harder on barrels, but decent loads will carry as much power far downrange as its bigger cousin, if not a bit more. Flatter trajectory, though it's been beaten by some other calibers lately, this one is still widely available as it's been around a while and has been fairly popular.
If you have a rifle that'll do switchbarrel duty, you can have a barrel for .308 and .243, as they're based on the same case.

.243 hasn't really ever been considered a military caliber, though some police departments use it for their longer range enforcement activities, so if there are future restrictions on military calibers, you'll be ok for a while.
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by Zimmy » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:28 pm

I just bought a DPMS Oracle in .308. I'm not an impartial advisor.

However, if kids or other small creatures frequent your range .243 is a good starter caliber for them.
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by JeeperCreeper » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:41 pm

Zimmy wrote:
However, if kids or other small creatures frequent your range .243 is a good starter caliber for them.

Actually, that's a good point if I wanna get my GF into rifle shooting. I have AR's which are good, but a "big boy bolt gun" might change it up
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by LowKey » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:08 am

.308

Why complicate things with an additional caliber that doesn't offer anything significantly different than the ones you already have?
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by minengr » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:12 am

Personally, I really like the 243 and 6mm in general. I reload, so my options are considerable. For speed, I can load 55gr NBT's or I can go with the 105Amax at the other end. I own both a 243 and a 6-06 (30-06 necked down to 6mm). IMO, the 243 is an underrated cartridge. With a barrel twisted correctly (I believe the Savage is 1-9.25) you can shoot nearly everything. The 105's might not stabilize, I don't know off the top of my head, but everything else should shoot just fine.

If you don't reload, I'd probably give the nod to the 308 due to available ammo selection. I'm probably not the best person to ask because I have a 243, 7-08, 308, and a bunch of other stuff bigger and smaller.
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by Halfapint » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:15 am

I've got the savage 10T and I love it. Heavy sure but I carry it elk hunting. And the gf absolutely loves shooting it. I don't see an advantage of the .243 other than just having one.
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by brothaman » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:38 am

Speed kills. 243 is great for 80% of what you want to hunt. I've read more than one article of elk being take with 243. I've never hunted elk. I don't promote or condone hunting elk with 243. Just what I've read. However, you do get the advantage of cheap, high BC bullets and wide range of bullet weights and types. From 55 gr up 100 gr is the common stuff. You can make 243 brass from 308 by sizing and reaming the inside of the neck. Less recoil means greater accuracy. 243 is on the other end of the power spectrum. 243 provides a better crossover from varmint to deer type game. You can make your '06 shoot like a 308. You'll never make your 308 shoot like and '06. 243 covers anything between 223 and 30-06. There are a lot of F Class shooters shooting 6mm bullets. 243 standard chamber and 243 AI.
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by jor-el » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:01 am

How about 6.5 Creedmoor?
The 6.5 caliber as developed by the Swedes has lots of sectional density and BC. Offers flat trajectory and I suspect better barrel life. No shortage of factory ammo and plenty of documented load data.
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by JeeperCreeper » Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:39 pm

jor-el wrote:How about 6.5 Creedmoor?
The 6.5 caliber as developed by the Swedes has lots of sectional density and BC. Offers flat trajectory and I suspect better barrel life. No shortage of factory ammo and plenty of documented load data.
I probably would if the rifle I was looking at came in that caliber.

But now I'm kicking around the idea of a Howa mini action.

Who knows, I'm always searching for a fun new rifle.
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by raptor » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:04 pm

My $.02
If you want a .308 caliber rifle buy a caliber insert for one of your .30-06 rifles. They are easy to use and with some locktite and a ruptured case extractor you have the ability to use either .30-06 or .308 for less than $30.00

Then buy the .243 since that is the other choice you gave.

Either that or buy The equivalent dollar amount of ammo and skip the different caliber.

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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by LowKey » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:30 am

raptor wrote:My $.02
<snip>buy The equivalent dollar amount of ammo and skip the different caliber.
Given how close the performance envelopes of the two rounds are to each other, this advice seems the most sound.
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by 00dlez » Thu May 04, 2017 6:07 pm

I have the Savage 11VT (got it about a year ago for $412 otd... hmmm...)

Highly recommend. Only complaint is the 4 round mags that have $50 replacements and nothing higher capacity in the after market.
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by JeeperCreeper » Fri May 05, 2017 1:35 am

The deal for $400 expires today. I think I'm passing on it this time around...
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Her secondary offense will be nagging.

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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by 00dlez » Fri May 05, 2017 7:31 am

Based on this, it seems likely that it will come back around. I bought mine as a "Tiny Tykes: My First Precision Rifle". Went through a barrel break in process, now learning to get those groups smaller. It's a great first platform for the price, I think.
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by JeeperCreeper » Fri May 05, 2017 9:18 am

00dlez wrote:Based on this, it seems likely that it will come back around. I bought mine as a "Tiny Tykes: My First Precision Rifle". Went through a barrel break in process, now learning to get those groups smaller. It's a great first platform for the price, I think.
Yeah that's what I'm thinking. Plus with the gun market the way it is, I feel like there are gonna be crazy sales this summer on all sorts of fun toys
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Her secondary offense will be nagging.

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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Fri May 05, 2017 11:54 am

Late to the party- the rest of the thread is currently classified in my TLDR file:

I'm a .308 fan boy, you all know that-

But choosing a round is ultimately....

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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by VTPATRIOT » Sat May 13, 2017 3:31 am

I didnt read all the prior posts

however in a SHTF scenario 308 might be a but more easily available

its hard enough to find everyday normal ammo, let alone one specific caliber when society collapses

just my $0.02
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Re: .243 vs .308 for new rifle

Post by Prepper245 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:26 pm

I was recently stocking up ammo and took that as a chance to lock down on one main round, those were exactly the two rounds I took into consideration. IMO being comfortable with a single round greatly improves accuracy and reduces room for error in any form. This article compares the .243 vs the .308 in a more technical way, including stopping power, a factor that I consider fairly important. Being able to take down game with a single shot is obviously handy, if you only have limited ammo supply.
At the end I went for the .308. I am comfortable with shooting it (been shooting it for years) and the recoil really isn't that bad with a decent shoulder pad. The stopping power is ridiculous, there is nothing around in NA that it couldn't take down. Price sold the deal for me, I bought in bulk.

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