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View Full Version : 223 vs 243 vs 308 for hunting


koldar
12-13-2006, 9:06 AM
Hello,
I am thinking about purchasing a rifle for the purpose of hunting deer and smaller game and need some advise as to what size caliber I should be looking to shoot. I have heard quite a bit of mixed information as far as hunting deer with 223 however I am thinking that anything larger than that will tear appart smaller game (turkey, rabbit, etc). I plan on purchasing a rifle with a scope and would value information on that as well. I have heard that Remington 700's are the way to go, but they are incredibly bland. I would like to get an AR-15 (CA legal) type of rifle or even something in the realm of a Steyr Scout. Ok...opinions/advise?

Thank you!

Koldar

Vepr62
12-13-2006, 9:31 AM
Get Howa 1500 Lightning in .243. This action is smoothest ever. With lighter bullets (say 58 grn) it is a very good warminter or small game hunter, and with heawier (80-100) you can take down any size deer in CA. Mine is a tack driver with Hornady factory ammo (58, 65, and 75 grn A-max molly coated) Also I get deacent grouping with havier ammo, like 1 1/2 in at 100 yards. Mine is heavy barrel with cheap plastic stock.
Vasiliy

cornholio1
12-13-2006, 9:40 AM
Don't think its legal to hunt deer with 223.

joel1316
12-13-2006, 9:45 AM
Nor is it legal to hunt turkey with a centerfire rifle (if I'm not mistaken). Usually shotgun only areas.

koldar
12-13-2006, 9:56 AM
Cool. Thanks for the info on hunting. :) I guess .243 it will be. Rifle recommendations? I hear the Howa Lighting 1500. Any others that you could recommend for hunting? I still prefer the look of the Steyr Scout, but the Howa does look pretty nice too. The Remington style is just too bland for me.

Joe
12-13-2006, 10:46 AM
I would personally get a .308

M1A Rifleman
12-13-2006, 11:19 AM
Last I recall, there is not a specifc prohibition on a using a 223 on deer in CA for hunting - other states do have this. CA leaves it up to the hunter to determine what would be the proper caliber, however, there are some general requirements such as centerfire etc.. With that said, any reloading book and knowledgeable gun writer will state the 223 is suitable for varments, not medium/large game such as deer. A 308 is the best choice of the three. The 243 is a 308 case necked down to .243.

Sydwaiz
12-13-2006, 11:47 AM
22-250

Mark_in_Pasadena
12-13-2006, 11:54 AM
From what I've heard the Remmington 700 .308 is a great rifle for hunting...

But I bet my FAL would product the same results....:D

joel1316
12-13-2006, 1:34 PM
The Remington style is just too bland for me.

My opinion for hunting is you want lightweight and bland.... You end up painting it or covering it with something to hide your rifle. None of my jazzed up rifles make it to the field in fear of damaging them :D LOL
I would go with accuracy, reliability and function rather than looks :)

5968
12-13-2006, 1:42 PM
If you are going to be doing a lot of hiking, you might want to check out a feather weight winchester model 70 in 243. I have had a lot of sucess using one on deer as a kid. Now a days, I take out the good ol 30-06!

arguy15
12-13-2006, 1:46 PM
.223 is legal to hunt deer with in California, but it is not is some other states. The only rules on ammo for deer hunting I know are; no FMJ, and it has to be centerfire, and the guns barrel has to be at least 3"

Altahick
12-13-2006, 4:34 PM
i think .243 is the best if u want to do both, i bought a stevens 200 in .243 at sportsmans warehouse i pick it up on monday, its a good gun for the price, $260 bucks, it has good action and good accuracy from the reviews ive seen, its a good choice if ur looking for something cheap. or for that price u could get the .223 and the .308 :D

ballistic
12-13-2006, 5:44 PM
You really need three rifles.
.308 is best for deer or other larger game.
.223 is a great rifle to have for smaller critters, varmit, and target.
If you want to eat any of the small game like rabbits, a .22LR is a better choice. There won't be much meat left if you use the other cartridges.

I leave out .243 because you can get ammo cheaper for .308 or .223 compared to .243.
Shooting .22LR is almost free. Shoot all day for a few bucks.

Pick one and learn to shoot it well based on your current needs.
If you keep up with the shooting hobby, you will likely get of all these in time.

Wecome to the shooting world.

M. Sage
12-13-2006, 5:55 PM
My opinion for hunting is you want lightweight and bland.... You end up painting it or covering it with something to hide your rifle. None of my jazzed up rifles make it to the field in fear of damaging them :D LOL
I would go with accuracy, reliability and function rather than looks :)

+1, don't get a hunting gun you're scared of scratching, dinging or possibly seeing some rust crop up on.

Fjold
12-13-2006, 7:10 PM
Buy them all, That's left to right 308, 7 mag, 300WSM, 375 H&H,6.5x284 and 22.250. I have an extra 243 barrel for the 22.250. These are just the left handed, centerfire bolt guns and doesn't count the rimfires, semi-automatics, or right handed guns.

If you buy the Savage or Stevens you can shoot the 308, 243, 22.250, 260, 358 Win, 7-08, etc. all just by swapping barrels at home without a gunsmith.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v214/Fjold/DSC00320.jpg

metalhead357
12-13-2006, 7:49 PM
Hello,
I am thinking about purchasing a rifle for the purpose of hunting deer and smaller game and need some advise as to what size caliber I should be looking to shoot. I have heard quite a bit of mixed information as far as hunting deer with 223 however I am thinking that anything larger than that will tear appart smaller game (turkey, rabbit, etc). I plan on purchasing a rifle with a scope and would value information on that as well. I have heard that Remington 700's are the way to go, but they are incredibly bland. I would like to get an AR-15 (CA legal) type of rifle or even something in the realm of a Steyr Scout. Ok...opinions/advise?


Seems many beat me to the punch-- Yep you CAN hunt deer with a .223 but I woulnt reccomend it. It definitely IS ILLEGAL to hunt turkeys with deer.

But guys....C'mon! >308 FOR RABBIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:eek: I love the .308 beyond compare--- but THAT is just WRONG to do to such a little critter!!!!!!!!!

For what the Original post asked- No way to do it with the calibers offered; the Mentioned 22-250 might still be to small for deer and still way to big for the small-uns.

I'd say get TWO rifles... a .22 AND a .308

tzahoy
12-14-2006, 7:09 AM
Seems many beat me to the punch-- Yep you CAN hunt deer with a .223 but I woulnt reccomend it. It definitely IS ILLEGAL to hunt turkeys with deer.

Man, do you know how long it took to train my herd of killer turkey hunting bucks? Now I fiind out it's illegal! ;-)

koldar
12-14-2006, 8:34 AM
Alright - I get it. So I won't plan on zeroing in my .308 with turkeys. :) I am completely green on hunting so I do appreciate all of the advise. How easy is it to change barrels on a savage? Will I need new receivers for different calibers? I am thinking that I would first get a .308 and then get a stock that I really like followed by the hardware needed to shoot .223 or .243. Does that sound reasonable or is it shockingly obvious that I am a rookie with hunting and gun customization? :) With the savage / remington rifles, do they usually have two screws in the front for a bipod and a strap or just one screw?

Fjold
12-14-2006, 9:16 AM
To change the barrel on a savage/stevens: if both cartridges are the same length and have the same cartridge head size like the ones that I listed above, then you just need a padded vice to hold the action, a barrel nut wrench (Midway has them for $30 or so) and a fired case from the new cartridge or a headspace gage ($10 from Midway).

Unscrew the old barrel, start the new barrel, insert the headspace gage or fired case and screw the barrel on hand tight, then torque the barrel nut to about 30 ft Lbs.

If you want to switch to a different case head size then you have to change the bolt head also. You can buy the bolt head assembly seperately for about $30 and change it out in 2 minutes. Going to the skinnier 223 cartridge will probably require changing out the magazine box to the smaller size also and that takes another minute to do.


Go to www.savageshooters.com and click on "Articles". In their "Technical Articles" section they have two articles there titled "Bolt Head Swap" and "Barrel Swap 'How To'".

I swap between 243 and 22.250 all the time with one of my Savages but I'm going to change my 300 WSM over to 22.250 and leave my other rifle as a 243 full time.

joel1316
12-14-2006, 9:48 AM
I am thinking that I would first get a .308 and then get a stock that I really like followed by the hardware needed to shoot .223 or .243.

In my opinion, if you get a 308 and a 223, your 243 might not see too much action. :D I thought about getting a 243, but realized that if I went for larger game, I would use my 30-6. When I go varmint hunting, I use a 223 or a 204 ruger. So I realized that a 243 would never get used :eek:

Rifles usually don't have two studs, but when it does. One is for the sling and the other is for a bipod.