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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just curious as to what .243 loads people would recommend for deer... I bought my GF a nice little tikka and want to make sure I get some opinions before buying a bunch of bullets...
 

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Looking at the Lee book, there are lots of loads with common powders for 90, 95 and 100 grain bullets. Check out what projectiles are in stock at the big two. Nosler Ballistic tips, Hornady Interlocks or SST's should all work. I have used all of these in numerous calibers and they all perform well. The velocities are all about 3000 fps +/- 150. A short 20" barrel in a light rifle will be a little less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I originally bought fedral premium loaded with 85gr Barnes tsx bullets... i was told they wouldn't open up very well on deer... Now she is shooting 75gr bt remingtons... I am looking for factory loads (I should have included that in the OP), I haven't made the leap into handloading yet... gotta build a man cave!!!
 

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For years I shot Federal Premium 100 gr Nosler Partitions in my .243. It was an excellent factory load for deer. I don't shoot that gun as much for deer deer now, but while my son was using it, he had good success with 95 gr Federal Fusions. That bullet performed well,but I still prefer the Nosler Partions for deer hunting with the .243.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Whats the lightest anybody would go for a deer??? I know heavier is better but am more curious than anything, there are alot of "deer bullets in the 75-85gr weights... Although the partitions have peaked my interest, didn't know they came factory loaded in a 243 round...
 

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Patty said:
I originally bought fedral premium loaded with 85gr Barnes tsx bullets... i was told they wouldn't open up very well on deer... Now she is shooting 75gr bt remingtons... I am looking for factory loads (I should have included that in the OP), I haven't made the leap into handloading yet... gotta build a man cave!!!

Admittedly I don't have any experience with the 85gr tsx's, but I've used 100gr tsx's in my 25/06 AI, 110 ttsx's in my 270 wsm extensively and have had nothing but great performance on deer with those light for caliber bullets. In saying that, I would have no problem using the 85gr tsx's in a 243. If you shoulder shoot the deer, it isn't going far, and the monolithic bullets don't fragment, so you actually get very little meat damage. You can shoot behind the shoulder for a double lung, the deer will run further, and likely a smaller blood trail than with other bullets. That's my experience with the lighter tsx/ttsx on deer. I've also used 180 tsx's from my 300 RUM on deer and caribou, but would never take a shoulder shot on deer with that combination. ;)

For cup and core bullets I'd lean toward the heavier bullets in the 100gr range.
 

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I have used .243 for many years, and prefer 95+gr. I found that the smaller bullets had a tendency to go clean through without enough damage. Which of course meant tracking a wounded animal for far too long.

IMO
 

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Hornady custom 100g BT's are very good. I ran some over my crony and they are very consistant with 2980 fps with less than 5 fps up or down. I bought them for the brass and like them a lot.
 

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My cousin has used Federal Soft Point 100gr on deer for years, a lot of them dropped on the spot, the rest made it less than 50yds. Most are pass through's with good sized exit holes, no problem with the blood trails.
 
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