243 Loads anyone?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by dbach, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. dbach

    dbach Member

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    I going to be reloading my first rifle rounds in the very near future. This will be for the Winchester 243.

    Here is what I'm looking at:

    Bullet - Hornady VMax 87 grain bullet
    Powder - Varget at 40.5 grains
    primer - WLR
    COAL 2.7"
    3230 Fps +/-

    I found this load somewhere on the web, can't remember where. I'm also out of town at the moment and haven't hade a chance to access my three books for any kind of verification.

    Does any one have any tips? Suggestions? The loads will most likely be used for target practice and hog/varmit hunting.
  2. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Thats way way way too much varget IMO. about 3.5 grains over MAX for bullets weighing 85-90 gr in the .243.
  3. dbach

    dbach Member

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    Thanks, again.
  4. dbennett48

    dbennett48 New Member

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    You had better get a reloading manual or two. Searching the internet, for loading information, is going to be deadly for you. Never trust any loads off of the internet.
  5. the wolf

    the wolf New Member

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    for target shooting which what you got works. For hog shootting I would go for the 100 grans bullets using varget 30 to 34.5 grain or 4350 35 to 46 grain power. use the reloading book that is more safer than internet.
  6. dbach

    dbach Member

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    Please read post:
    "I'm also out of town at the moment and haven't hade a chance to access my three books for any kind of verification"

    I do appreciate the concern.
  7. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    I will also recommend a 100gr bullet @ 2900-3000fps for hogs or deer.
    87/90gr and under are typically built with lighter jackets for varmints/coyote/etc.
    The only 85gr that I would consider for larger game would be the Barnes TSX.

    The 87gr Vmax is a great bullet for coyote and varmint hunting though.
    Be sure to double check the max COAL for your rifle before you try 2.7" The Hornady manual lists max length as 2.640"...most likely for mag feeding issues but possibly for rifling contact issues in some barrels.

    Otherwise, yep that's too much Varget for an 87 Vmax.
  8. Caneman

    Caneman Active Member

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    my state says i can only use a non-lead bullet in the area i hunt... so i have to use the Barnes 85 gr TSX... the only powders that gave decent groups in my Tikka .243 were H4831sc and H4350
  9. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    I use the Barnes 85 gr. TSX and the new 80 gr. TTSX. Both bullets like RL19--I want to say 46.0 gr. in front of a Federal 210m primer in Federal brass. That gives me cloverleafs in my 700 BDL at 100 yards. I seated the bullets pretty far out over the factory C.O.A.L. to minimize bullet jump but still fit in the magazine.
  10. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily so binder, The 85 gr sierra gameking is a buckslayer. Excellent deer hunting bullet. I wouldnt hesitate to go after bear with the 85 TSX in the 6mm bore. Those bullets are just sick.
  11. Pagrizz

    Pagrizz Member

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    I have been using 40.5 IMR 4350 with 100gr SBT's and I get dime size groups at 100 yards.It does the job on deer out of my Remington 760
  12. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    The #1520 flat-base SP or the #1530 HPBT?
    Out of the .243 & 6mmRem, both are too light for the deer we've got up here in ND. In an area with smaller deer, they might work fine. I didn't take into account that the OP is from TX so you're probably more familiar with the size of critters he'd be hunting.
    The #1530 will grenade in a whitetail if you hit a rib bone on the way to the vitals. I've got a few fragments of one from a doe several years ago. It was my 6mmRem 788's favorite bullet though.
    In a 6x47 or other small-case 6mm at a little slower velocity they'd probably be just fine.

    Unless the Barnes TSX (or maybe Nosler Partition), I'll still recommend 100gr for deer.
    Besides...higher sectional density is your friend. :p
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  13. 243winxb

    243winxb New Member

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    IMR 4350- 42.0gr CCI BR2 primer works well with 85gr Sierra hpbt # 1530 Win. Brass. For better accuracy, change to a Berger Match bullet. Use a starting load and work up as always
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    The HPBT sierra gameking. Ive been using them for years.

    I like them because at .243 win velocity they hit hard, penetrate well and expand violently. Then usually end up within an inch or so of the offside skin.

    I agree with you about the heavier 6mm pills. They are better all around. Flatter shooting over a longer range too. I have dropped hogs with the 105 Amaxes, even though they arent technically hunting bullets, they do well.
  15. dbach

    dbach Member

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    I know everything is bigger in Texas. I wasn't borne here, but I got here as fast as I could. I'm 59 and I moved to Texas when I was 5 (1957).

    Truth is Texas has a lot of variety. Hill country deer will run smaller than most other deer in the state. West and South Texas have the mule deer, which are usually much larger. I hunted hill country deer for 22 years, most will field dress around 100 to 135 lbs, maybe a bit bigger if you get lucky. Good Mule Deer will be about 35 to 50% heavier, sometimes more.

    Hogs are a curse here, they destroy land, eat everything in sight, and breed .... well like pigs. Start with two and two years later you have a heard. Hog hunting is encouraged, even though there is no proof that hunting alone will control a hog population. I'd guess the current state wide drought has done more to control hog population as of late.

    I've heard many deer stories, like it takes a high power rifle to bring one down. I have shot many a deer with a 22 Long rifle, a very long time ago when I was much younger and much less responsible. We hunted deer at night with spotlights, my Remington Nylon 66, and hollow point bullets. I never had a deer run ... far. I never left one on the ground, I was always able to find the animal I shot.

    Killing deer or hogs isn't always about the caliber or weight of your bullet. Most of the time it's about shot placement. An educated hunter knows where to place the shot, simple as that. I'll be hunting Ferrel hogs out of a blind at about 30 to 50 yards, at night, under a feeder and under lights. I will use my Henry .357 the first few hunts. After that I'll move out to another blind with 75 to 100 yard shots. I most likely be using the .243 with the Hornady 87 grain bullets I mentioned earlier. All of my ammo is hand loaded. I haven't been doing it long but I think I have a good grip on the idea. I never hesitate to ask for opinions. As smart as I am I realize there is no substitute for experience. This site is a great source for that, meaning there is a lot of knowledge here.

    I don't think I'll have any trouble bringing a hog down with either rifle. Realize that a 300 lb hog is garbage to me, I'm looking for the 125 lb or less variety. Something worth eating. I never was one to shoot large deer either. The horns make a mighty thin soup if you know what I mean.
  16. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    It's been my experience that using one of the solid copper offerings usually steps the rifle up a notch in terminal performance. I use the Barnes, haven't shot a hog with it, but probably will at some time. I would expect it to run if chest shot, but I ought to get good penetration using the 80 TTSX handload. It's also accurate enough to whack coyotes a loooong way out there.

    I quit using the Sierra years ago after getting poor performance in hogs. I hate finding an empty jacket under the skin on the off-side or a hole at right angles to the entry wound; both of which have happened to me. If I was shooting a cup-and-core bullet I would use the Nosler Accubond. Nosler guarantees 70% weight retention, but the Barnes promises nearly 100%. It's worked well so far on dozens of hogs and deer.
  17. dbach

    dbach Member

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    Now that I'm home and can access my books. The Speer manual calls for the following:

    .243 Winchester
    85 grain Spitz BTSP
    Varget 37.5 to 41.5
    Expected Velocity @ 3268fps

    My bullet is 2 grains heavier, I think Ill start at low range at 37.5 Varget and work my way up. Say five of each at 100 yards .2 grain steps, stopping at 41.5

    I have three books and the Speer is the only one that mentions Varget. Neither Hodgden (Hodgden sells Varget), or Lee mention it. I understand that Varget is actually manufactured by ADI as AR2208. I don't know if thats true or not.

    Also, the book says the casings should measure 2.045" I have new Winchester brass and it measures 2.035". So whats up with that?
  18. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    The 2.045" COAL is the maximum length.
    The "trim-to" length is typically 0.010" shorter than maximum so that's where the 2.035" comes from. You don't need to worry about trimming the brass until it exceeds 2.045".

    Does the current Speer manual list Varget for their 90gr SP? If so, that would be the data I would use.
    87 falls between 85 and 90...in a case like that, my mentors always recommended to use data from the heavier bullet.
    The online Hodgdon manual does have data for the 90gr Speer with Varget.
    Min: 34.0gr 2964fps 44,800cup
    Max: 36.5gr 3106fps 50,400cup
    I would watch very closely for high pressure signs once you get above that 36.0gr mark.

    Varget behaves nearly identical to IMR4064 and it's a little faster burning powder than what I prefer to use in the .243...but that's not to say it doesn't work so if you've already got the powder go ahead and give it a try.
    Like 243winxb, I usually use IMR-4350. Winchester 760 is another favorite powder of mine for the .243 and 6mm also.
  19. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Varget is a tad fast for the .243, most manuals wont list powders that produced sub standard performance. Id bet youd find data in all 3 for powders like H4350, IMR4350, IMR and H4831, RX19, etc.. The .243 is overbore and is best served with slow powders normally suited to large rifle cartridges.
  20. dbach

    dbach Member

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    The Speer book does not list Varget for the 90 grain Spitz SP, only the 70, 75, 80 and 85. Where 760 is listed for all.
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