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  #1  
Old 12-18-2011, 12:15 PM
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Default 25-06 vs. the .243

Been a big fan of the .243 for a number of years. Very fond of the caliber and its short action guns.

Have recently acquired a Ruger 77 MKII in 25-06.... Never fooled around with this long action caliber.

Is the .257 really that much better then the .243 ? Or is it really a apples to oranges comparison? Maybe a East/West thing?
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:32 PM
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Very different cartridges. Apples and oranges is about it.

People ruin the 243 trying to make it something it is not- a tough bullet slinger. I stick with light bullets at high velocity, which is what it was designed for. Velocity is all it's got. I stick to 70 and 80 gr. Shoot something in the ribs, it falls, and the lungs come out as purple mush. Move up to heavy bullets, and you have to wait for the prey to drown.
IMO, deer size is the limit.

The 25-06 is in a whole other class, capable of driving heavier bullets in both weight and construction, and therefore moving into larger animal classes. Drop back to lighter constructed bullets and get better long range performance than a 243 on deer sized animals like antelope and sheep.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:35 PM
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I think it all depends on WHAT your hunting, at what ranges, etc. Out here in the West the .25-06 is IMHO about as good* as it gets for deer or especially antelope or LR PD's/Rockchucks.

* Then again so is the .270 Win, .280 Rem and a dozen other ctgs.

If your stuck in the big woods of the northeast and your shots are at 40 yds...different story.

I think the .25-06 with 75 to 120 gr slugs is a far better choice for larger game (deer/elk) than the .243 will ever be. I've killed elk with a .257 Roberts AI a feat I'd most likely not try with a .243 . to me the .243 is more of a LR varmint ctg than a big game ctg.

YMMV
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:38 PM
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Interesting... Lee,

I shoot the .243 at .244 bullet weight in a fast twist rate. More of a 6mm footprint.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:21 PM
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The .25-06 will produce heavier bullets with better sectional density than a .243. Which means the .25-06 should penetrate deeper and handle wind better.

I killed 4 or 5 Mule deer with the Sierra 120 grain boat-tail hollowpoint in a .25-06. All lung shots, and all the deer fell to their feet or walked no further than 15 feet. Shots were from 20 feet to about 100 yards. I never found the bullets and they never exited the body. The lungs were described as handejector described, literally mush. I shot one in his bed at about 70 yards and all he did was lift his head and lay it back down.

I killed one antelope with the Nosler 100 grain Ballistic-Tip at about 50 yards. It entered the neck at the joint of the shoulder and exited the opposite side, same place. The entry hole was about an inch in diameter, indicating explosive entry, and the exit hole was about three inches in diameter. In theory no vitals were struck. I assume we damaged the spine/neck. The antelope fell straight down at the shot and never moved.

I own a Ruger RSI Mannlicher in .243 with the 18 inch barrel. With the Speer 105 grain spitzer I get 2800 fps from the muzzle on my chronograph. I have not killed game with it. I suspect that bullet, at that velocity, will not open up as fast as my .25-06 loads have.

I suspect that handejector is correct. The .243 will kill, and I know of a few folks that have used it on elk. But it is like the 410 shotgun. Actually an expert's gun and not a tyro's gun as it requires good shot placement. And the heavy 100 grain and 105 grain bullets do not travel fast enough to open up rapidly to kill quickly. However some brands are more frangible than others and therefore the more frangible may be more destructive.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:44 PM
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I've used both on mule deer. One a small coastal muley (south of blacktail range but much the same). The 243 dropped him.

Used the 25-06 on larger deer. I've seen elk taken with the 25-06, although I personally would not. Rolled a coyote at 500+ yards with the 25-06. The advantage is at long range.

In short, the 243 is for varmints and into deer class game; the 25-06 is for deer and down into varmint size game.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semperfi71 View Post
The .25-06 will produce heavier bullets with better sectional density than a .243. Which means the .25-06 should penetrate deeper and handle wind better.

I killed 4 or 5 Mule deer with the Sierra 120 grain boat-tail hollowpoint in a .25-06. All lung shots, and all the deer fell to their feet or walked no further than 15 feet. Shots were from 20 feet to about 100 yards. I never found the bullets and they never exited the body. The lungs were described as handejector described, literally mush. I shot one in his bed at about 70 yards and all he did was lift his head and lay it back down.

I killed one antelope with the Nosler 100 grain Ballistic-Tip at about 50 yards. It entered the neck at the joint of the shoulder and exited the opposite side, same place. The entry hole was about an inch in diameter, indicating explosive entry, and the exit hole was about three inches in diameter. In theory no vitals were struck. I assume we damaged the spine/neck. The antelope fell straight down at the shot and never moved.

I own a Ruger RSI Mannlicher in .243 with the 18 inch barrel. With the Speer 105 grain spitzer I get 2800 fps from the muzzle on my chronograph. I have not killed game with it. I suspect that bullet, at that velocity, will not open up as fast as my .25-06 loads have.

I suspect that handejector is correct. The .243 will kill, and I know of a few folks that have used it on elk. But it is like the 410 shotgun. Actually an expert's gun and not a tyro's gun as it requires good shot placement. And the heavy 100 grain and 105 grain bullets do not travel fast enough to open up rapidly to kill quickly. However some brands are more frangible than others and therefore the more frangible may be more destructive.
all i ever shot was 100 grain bullets in my .243.
handloads and federal premiums.
i dropped more deer more quickly than a friend that used a 7 mag.
the exit hole was bigger than when i used my 45-70 w/300 grain hollowpoints.
the 25-06 is a superior round, but the little flat shooting .243 became a quick favorite for me.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:15 PM
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Back when the 243 was conceived, it was thought that velocity was the key to killing. In a way it is, but you also need mass behind that velocity. The 243 was meant to be a varmint gun in the spring and a deer gun in the fall for that 1 rifle guy. The 243 is an excellent varmint to deer round and has put alot of meat on the table and heads on the wall. The 25-06 is not in the same league though. It is a flat shooting round that was originally meant for long range hunting - 400+yards, on deer sized game. It will take about any game in the US. I would not use it on big bears but it could with the heavier bullets and a good shot. What it really comes down to is what you are comfortable shooting. If a 25-06 is too much recoil the step it down. I personally like the 257Roberts as a medium round. Less recoil than the 30-06 and some flexibility in light weight bullets. Either way, the 243 or 25-06 will take a deer down with a perfect shot under 250 yds. Out past that then step it up to the 25-06.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:02 PM
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I like my 243. It is a great gun for deer and 'lopers. It does a good job on coyotes and other small critters.
A close friend has had a 25-06 as his only rifle for over 30 years. He shoots his Elk most years, an occasional bear and gets a deer or two annually also. IIRC, he does not use premium bullets, just 117 gr spitzers.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:16 PM
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Back in the day, the 243 was quite popular among elk hunters in my area, northern Wyoming. I knew lots of guys that killed elk with it every year, usually with factory 100 gr. bullets of various makes, and some of them absolutely swore by it. 'Course, every now and then one would get away, but they usually just put that down to bad luck or not holding their tongue just right when they pulled the trigger or some such nonsense. I never thought much of the practice and never used one for big critters myself, but my point is that the 243 can and has taken some very big animals, even though it probably isn't good practice.

The 243 isn't quite as popular now for really big game, most folks having seen the light or died off. The 25-06 is better for bigger animals, but I don't think either of them is really quite enough. I'd say you're better sticking to deer and antelope, and there isn't much difference between them for that purpose in my opinion.
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:54 PM
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Lee has it right. The 25/06 is in a different class then the 243. It is really a light 270 class of rifle for more precision shots. I think of it as a weak 270 and not a beefed up 243.

I have 2 25/06's and now am thinking about a 257 Weatherby. The 25 caliber rounds are nice and accurate at long range and you might as well go all the way to the max.
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:37 PM
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Will have a chance to test out a 25-06 Ruger MKII all weather with a heavy barrel contour ....over the weekend. Just scoped it with a Bushnell Elite Firefly. Have factory ammo and reloads ready to see what it likes.

Hoping it will be a sub MOA gun....as I'd like a gun that is all stainless and synthetic..... for rain and snow.

My love of for .243 goes back aways... And my favorite bolt gun is a Remington in that caliber. So the Ruger has big shoes to fill...
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:43 AM
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I had a 6mm Rem and got tired of searching for ammo that ended up being scarce and pricy in my area. I sold it off and got a .243 as it is nearly identical ballistically and common as dirt. Have yet to bag a deer with it though.
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