Quantcast

243 VS 7mm 08

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by razorback2003, Jul 16, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. razorback2003

    razorback2003 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,231
    What are the pluses and minuses of 243 VS 7mm 08 as far as a rifle mainly used for deer and black bears and occasional pest coyotes? I know both are quite capable for deer and black bears. Barrel life, ammo availability, ease of reloading, accuracy in bolt action rifles such as Savage, Remington, Tikka. I thought about throwing 260 in the mix, but would like to be able to come across factory ammo in a pinch if I misplace ammo.
     
  2. Delmar

    Delmar Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,059
    Location:
    Cedar Bluff, VA
    The 243 would likely be the most available, depending on where you are. Might be worth a check of your local sporting goods store to see what is on the shelf.
    The 7MM08 would be my choice as to bear hunting as it would be capable of shots requiring more penetration, but I suppose that any of the 3 would work okay to their limitations.
     
  3. tdoyka

    tdoyka Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    windber, pa
    i'd use the 7-08, it puts deer down.
     
  4. Corn-Picker

    Corn-Picker Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    478
    Location:
    Morgantown, WV
    Check Midway to get an idea of ammo selection. The 243 undoubtedly has more varieties, but the 7mm-08 has a few and it may have a few more "medium game" varieties.

    I say find the rifle you want as a first step, if it's availability is limitd to only 243 and not 7mm-08 then the decision may already be made for you.
     
  5. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    4,015
    Location:
    W.GA
    I own both and have killed many deer with both, but more with the 7mm08.
    Both kill deer effectively, but the 7mm08 is definitely superior.
    How much more you need depends on how big your deer are, and which species of bears you're likely to encounter. The .243 has failed me far more often than the 7mm08. With a well placed shot, the 7mm08 has never failed to do the job. The .243 may fail to penetrate on an extreamly close shot (under 50yds) and fail to expand at ranges over 300yds. Several aquaintainces used .243's for many years but after many such instances abandoned the .243 for such as the .270 or similar.

    East of the Mississippi River, the .243 is much more popular. It kicks a bit less than the 7mm and has been around longer.
    If elk, moose, or a likely encounter with a Grizzly/Brown bear are possible, the 7mm08 is MUCH better, though if in such habitat I carry something somewhat larger still. (.300RUM, .338's, or .375magnum, .45/70-400gr @ 2,000fps).

    However, I wouldn't purposely use either .243 or 7mm08 for the larger bears.
    FWIW; the Georgia state record black bear was killed on a WMA in N.Georgia by a deer hunter with a .243 (100gr Remington CorLokt factory load, single shot). Bear weighed in at check station at 733lbs.... Abnormally large for a black bear, but not impossible for a "garbage dump" bear.... plenty of food, warm winters with long growing season...

    I also own a .260. It is much more like the 7mm08 than it is the .243. I still rank the 7mm08 as superior to the .260 except as an extreme long range target round.
     
  6. solvability

    solvability Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    372
    Location:
    HSV, AL.
    I have a 243 and plan to upgrade to a 260 - just a bit more energy at longer ranges and the barrel life is 3 or 4x - 243 is a throat burner.
     
  7. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    15,710
    Location:
    Hot and Humid FL
    I owned both at one time (still have the 7-08). IMO, much better bullet selection for hunting for the handloader of larger game (not coyotes, etc.)
     
  8. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    12,040
    Location:
    Georgia
    The 243 might be the best dedicated deer round made today. Better bullets make it acceptable for larger game. If deer were the biggest thing I planned to hunt I'd go that route. In the rare chance you'd hunt larger game, that is why they make the expensive premium bullets.

    If game larger than deer were going to be hunted on a regular basis I'd go 7-08. I chose 308, but for other reasons. I have no doubts about the 7-08 being capable.
     
  9. 1948CJ2A

    1948CJ2A Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Messages:
    386
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I don't like either one... mostly because I'm not a big fan of the 308 parent case they both use. And this is coming from someone who owns a 308 Win.

    Sticking to your question though, I'd use the 243 for varmints and the 7mm for larger game. You could pick one and use it for both but neither would be optimal for all 3 animals.

    I don't hunt bears but for deer and coyotes, a great all around caliber is .257. I have a 250 savage, 25-06 Rem, & a 257 Weatherby to quench my quarter-bore thirst.
     
  10. Sunray

    Sunray Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2003
    Messages:
    11,573
    Location:
    London, Ont.
    "...The .243 may fail to penetrate on an extremely close..." That's caused by using the wrong bullet. Usually a varmint bullet vs deer bullet. Moose and elk are killed regularly with a .243, but it's marginal for game that big. It's really a deer/bear/antelope cartridge and using the right bullet is essential. Nothing under 80 grains with 100's or 105's being better.
    For barrel life(that is unlikely to matter for a hunting rifle), etc. They're close enough to be even. Look in your local Wally World. If they have it(mostly the 7mm. The .243 is everywhere) all of 'em will have it.
     
  11. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,870
    Location:
    Cleaning my guns.
    That was exactly my experience shopping locally last weekend. Lots of .243, but it was mostly in varmint or target loads. The medium game loads exist, but I only saw one kind. Maybe closer to season...

    With the deer around here, and at the ranges I'll be hunting, I've got no qualms hunting with a .243. For record deer, particularly at longer distances, elk, and bear of any size, I'd go up to a 7mm-08 or even larger. As pointed out, a .243 can work on a decent size bear, but it wouldn't be my choice.
     
  12. Skyshot

    Skyshot Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    936
    Location:
    Tn.
    As much as I love the .243, for deer and black bear the 7-08 wins. A marginal shot with a 7-08 might anchor a little better than a .243.
     
  13. DM~

    DM~ Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    2,746
    Location:
    upper mid west
    Here's another 7-08 vote, even though I did kill my biggest blk. bear to date, with my .243 loaded with 100 NP's.

    There's no doubt in my mind, the 7-08 is a better deer/blk bear round...

    DM
     
  14. denton

    denton Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,562
    People do often use the wrong bullet in the 243, and get disappointing results.

    Standard cup and core bullets tend to fail if they impact at speeds above 2800 fps. It's pretty easy to get lighter bullets going much faster than that in a 243. OTOH, a 100 grain Partition at 2950 FPS out of the muzzle has a reputation as a capable and dependable venison getter.

    Anyone who would deliberately engage a grizzly with a 243 is much braver than I am.
     
  15. browningguy

    browningguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    4,655
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Either will work fine for your use. You don't need a big selection of bullets if you go .243, the 85 gr. SGK or 95 gr. Berger loads will kill anything that needs killing.
     
  16. ridgerunner1965

    ridgerunner1965 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Messages:
    698
    a good all around bullet for the 243 is the rem core lokt 100 grn factory loaded round. ive never had it fail me on deer or coyote. in fact it seemed excessive almost all the time. from 15 yrds out to 300 yrds. always a pass thru with substansial tissue hydraulic damage. we dont have bears here or very many of them. but i would not feel undergunned on up to a 400lb bear. i would however choose my shot and place it exactly.

    elk can get much larger and would limit my shots to 200 yrds.

    the 7mm08 is the better round im sure due to it being able to shoot heavier bullets. for heavier game.

    again as a previous poster said, the 243 gets in trouble when used with the wrong bullets.stick with 100 grn good bullets and yur good to go.
     
  17. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    45,927
    Location:
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    Having both, it's kinda six of one, a half-dozen of the other. :) I've never had to track any of the two dozen bucks I've tagged via the .243. Odds are that I'd take the 7mm08 if black bear were the target, but I wouldn't be particularly worried about what I can do with its little brother.
     
  18. natman

    natman Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,637
    The 243 is an adequate deer/black bear cartridge.

    The 7mm-08 is a good deer/black bear cartridge.
     
  19. razorback2003

    razorback2003 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,231
    The black bears are usually killed in this part of the country (southern US) by deer hunters when it is both deer and black bear season. I do not black bear hunt, but if one came across my stand, I would like the opportunity to take the bear during bear and deer season.

    The folks that I know who use 243's claim they are pretty accurate with even factory ammo. I have not heard of any problems with 243's killing deer because our deer in the southern US do not get that big. 223 is legal for deer where I hunt.

    I am looking into something with mild recoil and that is why I have been looking at options in both 243 and 7mm 08.
     
  20. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    9,773
    Location:
    Illinois`
    That choice to me comes down to planning to shoot more coyote than deer and or black bear, get the .243
    Planning to shoot more deer and black bear than coyote, choose the seven oh eight.

    I have a .243 and shoot a lot of coyote with it but cannot hunt deer with a centerfire rifle in this state and black bear are pretty much non existent except in zoos.
     
  21. CarJunkieLS1

    CarJunkieLS1 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Messages:
    994
    Location:
    N. Alabama
    7mm08 would be my pick over the .243. Will a .243 kill deer, coyote, and black bear...yes it will. A 7-08 does it better. Has more energy, similair recoil, and is a flat shooter. For your purposes of the 2 choices you listed a 7mm08 is your only option.
     
  22. jim243

    jim243 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,992

    Bullet weight and size. The 7 mm is just that a 7 mm (.284) while the 243 is a 6 mm (.243). Lighter and faster bullet, but needs to be placed accurately to be effective.

    You can go up to 194 grain bullets with the 7 mm while you are limited to 107 grain bullets with the 243.

    So long range tough shots the 243, medium range slam dunk shots the 7mm.

    Your choice, we have no way of knowing what or how you will be shooting.
    Jim
     
  23. razorback2003

    razorback2003 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,231
    I have never heard of anyone not happy with 7mm 08 rifles. They seem to be good all around rifles like 308, 270, or 30-06, but have less recoil.
     
  24. Pilot

    Pilot Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    6,691
    Location:
    USA
    And then there is the .260 Remington. :D
     
  25. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    8,002
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    He's hunting whitetails and black bear. Either will work just fine.

    If he were going after grizzly and moose, obviously they wouldn't so much. I wouldn't use either of those for that job but obviously the 7mm would have the edge there because of the option of heavier bullet weights.

    The fanboys of each cartridge can sing the praises all day long, but they're fooling themselves. For deer and black bear, it just don't matter.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice