.243 or .308?

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by BlackEagle, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    A Browning Lever Action Rifle is on my shopping list. Two are advertised, one in .243, the other in .308, same price.

    What are the advantages of one caliber over the other?

    I'm guessing reloading will cost less for the .243.

    What about range? Our club shoots out as far as 600 yards on occasion, but most competitions are in the 100-300 yard range.

    I don't have much occasion for hunting at this point, but that could change. If I were to hunt it would be mostly deer and fox.

    Thanks for any pointers/advice.
  2. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    Either caliber should work just fine! Both will shoot 600yds, with accuracy, if you do your part. When I purchase a new gun I ask myself if it is a good caliber for SD, since I might have a need for such in the near future! But that's just me!

  3. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Member

    Nov 15, 2011
    nc mountains
    243 will be 4 dollars ahundred cheaper to load than the 308 useing a sierra gameking as a bullet choice. Brass is cheaper for 308 .

    Both cartidges are arecapible out to 600 rounds but the 243 is harder on barrel throats.

    You should not expect to much at 600 yards from the browning lever rifle. But for fun its fine.

    You would be way better off picking a bolt rifle for both long range shooting and some hunting that may come along. Also depending on rifle make a 260 or 6.5x55 would make for a better long range cartidge than ether.

    For less money than the BLR you can buy a tikka t-3 rifle or a number of bolt rifles for the same or less money.
  4. bobski

    bobski Former Guest

    Jan 16, 2005
    va., conn., & mo.
    round nose bullets to 600yds?
    am i missing something?
  5. blackhawk44

    blackhawk44 New Member

    Aug 4, 2011
    Round nosed bullet? Topic is .308 (7.62mm), not .30-30. Inside 400 yards (a more realistic ability of most shooters) the difference between cartidges is nil with any advantage going to .308 for its variety of commercial loads (especially for medium game).
  6. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    I forgot he stated 'lever gun'. My mistake! Lever guns are not going to get you much out past 200 -250 yards.
  7. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

    I am a .308 Bolt action man myself...Lever action I would stick with the tried and true .30-.30.
  8. bntyhntr6975

    bntyhntr6975 Member

    May 5, 2009
    Wichita, Ks.
  9. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    Many thanks for the replies, guys.

    If I were still in the US I would have a Winchester 30-30 built around 1920 or so. My brother has it; it will stay in the family as long as possible. I just can't get it shipped over here.

    The BLR has a removable box magazine which allows for a variety of bullets.

    I have a bolt-action Styer Elite .223 that does a good job at 100-200 yards, sub-moa groups with 69 gr. SMK. Everyone else in the club has bolt action rifles; I was thinking it would be nice to be a little different. :)

    Is bolt-action that much more accurate/precise than lever action?

    I have visions of a bipod suppporting the BLR.

    Thanks again.
  10. zkovach

    zkovach Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2009
    I'd take the 308 u can get any ammo anywhere for it
  11. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008

    You just opened up a can of worms. :D:D:D:D Bolt action. Here ya go.

    http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/models/ Look at the mdl 12's

    That rifle will shoot hornady superformance ammo around 3000 fps. Mabybe a tad bit more. In 308. 165gr

    Yep if you are thinking about looking into a bolt action you certainly opened up a can of worms. Stand back your gonna get some suggestions now.

    The 6" more bbl will get your there a tad bit more easy. Heavy gun tho. I have one and I love it. Nothing around me is safe 600 yrds in any direction.
    Out the box you cant beat it.

    now as far as what cal?

    Lets see what would you want for paper punching?
    What would you want for hunting?
    What would you use for defending the constitution?
    What would you want to defend your life?
    See if that helps you make up your mind.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  12. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    A couple of things:

    First is a story of a co-worker who was born and raised on the east coast. He literally could walk across the street from his home and go deer hunting. Growing up he had a 243 Browning Lever Rifle (BLR). Under the pressure of "macho friends" he later sold it and bought a 308 BLR. He loved it in 243 and hated it in 308 because of the recoil. So take note: the 308 BLR recoils more than the 243 BLR.

    Secondly, putting the BLR in the same league as a Winchester or Marlin lever gun is not correct. The BLR has a rotating bolt. That means the bolt is locked directly to the barrel when closed. Winchesters and Marlins use a block in the back of the receiver to hold the bolt closed. Consequently the receiver's thin walls are used to help keep the bolt locked closed. This is a much weaker action design and accuracy suffers especially at longer ranges.

    The bottom line is the BLR is a turn bolt gun that happens to operate its bolt with a lever instead of a protrusion on the bolt itself. It has the potential of being as accurate as most bolt guns. The BLR's are a short barreled gun so the velocities are less and the ballistics are different between a same caliber bolt gun and the BLR if the bolt gun has the normal length barrel (24 inch whereas the BLR I believe is a 20 inch barrel).

    Shooting at 600 yds is not easy and any gun will not shoot 100% "X's" at that range. But I have shot military guns with open sights out to 400 yd steel target with very good results and modern and military guns with scopes to 600 yards and beyond with acceptable results. I see no reason a BLR could not be used occasionally at 600 yds with acceptable results. At that range it is more the shooter than the gun.

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012
  13. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    hear hear !! well said LD
  14. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Talking about long range shooting, the range we use to shoot at had metal targets to 600 yds and a couple at 800 yds. We loved to shot there and only ever shot at the metal targets.

    My son-in-law (my shooting buddy) once went to the range without me. A guy known to us for his bragging, showed up with a modern scoped hunting rifle and was having an awful time hitting things with it. He muttered to my son-in-law that it must be the ammo he was using (over the counter modern ammo). He remarked that my son-in-law was doing much better than he was. My son-in-law offered that he was shooting a 70 year old Mauser with open sights out to over 400 yds with 1940's surplus ammo. The guy was obviously distressed at that answer and left.

    We no longer go to that range or belong to that club because they got religion about steel cored surplus ammo and no longer allow its use. They were upset at the damage to their steel targets, some of which we provided! They justified the ban on surplus steel cored ammo as a "fire hazard". In fact, there had only been one fire at that range when perhaps 30% of the rifle ammo fired at that range was surplus ammo. That fire was caused by a 50 BMG which probably did not belong being fired there anyway. Oh Well, such is life.

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012
  15. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    LD thanks for taking time to answer, and for the info. From what you are saying it sounds like I should go for the BLR in .243.

    I would plan on reloading from the get-go; I've always been happy with my reloads and being able to tailor the ammo to the gun. Load development is part of the fun for me. I also like the price of reloads. :)

    Your son in law's experience makes me think of the old addage that a poor workman blames his tools. Sounds like your son in law is a pretty good marksman.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012