ammo tutorial

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by gregw, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. gregw

    gregw New Member

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    Feb 2, 2011
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    I am an admitted newbie (55 yrs old, newbie nonetheless) and I really want to learn more about the variances in loads for given caliber ammunition. (if this has been discussed already, please direct me to the thread).

    Specifically, I have noticed a wide range of grain size choices in loads. For my uses, I am talking about the .243.

    I know that a lighter load won't have the impact on target as say a lighter load. Is that a safe assumption? For instance, will an 80 grain projectile hit with a noticeably less impact as 100 grain? Conversely, does the lighter load have a faster fpi?

    I saw that there is a 55 grain load available. What is this best suited for? I am assuming it is a predator load...raccoon, coyote, whatever. As opposed to deer, wild boar, etc (heavier game). Am I on base in my thinking?

    Again, if there is a published tutorial or article on line that addresses my questions, I definitely would like to know about it!

    Thanks!
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  2. Popgunner

    Popgunner New Member

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    Hi Greg
    in the .243 bullets up to 80 grains are usually for varmints. These lighter bullets have thinner copper jackets. For the intended game (small) the effect is that the energy is used to "blow up" the target. There is little resistance in a prairie dog & so the thin skinned bullet works wel to destroy them. The lighter weight bullet is great for small game but unreliable on large game that 90 grain & higher weight bullets are good for. I've used 90, 100, & 105 grain bullets on deer in the .243 & they have thicker "skins" to penetrate better while the tips mushroom to increase the size of the wound chanel. These bullets for larger game aren't meant to come apart like the varmint bullets do.
    Heavier weight bullets in 243 still kill varmints but not as spectacularly.

    The best info I've seen written on this caliber is in the Speer load manual. You can get a pretty good education on bullet/game/load selection from any of the Speer manuals. Other load manuals are good for this too but I think Speer is best at helpng you know what to select & why.
  3. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    Hope that helps, best of luck to ya !!
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Lighter weight bullets usually bear higher velocoties and hit the target harder at closer ranges. The heavier weight bullets have less velocity but retain more energy at further ranges.

    55 gr bullets in the .243 are considered varmint bullets and only suited to killing anything the size of a coyote and smaller. They will kill a pig, but the bullet would need to be precisely inserted into the ear canal where the skull is thinnest. I wouldnt dream of shooting a deer with a 55 gr .243 load, the bullet would likely explode outside the ribcage just under the skin, itll peel the skin off the deer and prolly kill it but not before it runs far into the woods causing you to have to track it.

    I hunt deer with 85 gr sierra gamekings, and this bullet is even considered marginal for deer sized game. But one to the neck and its lights out. Neck shots are by far my favorite, it severs the spine and causes the animal to collapse where they stand.

    55-80 grains in the .243 should be considered varmint use and 80 and up are for bigger game.

    Keep in mind also that once you get up to the 100+ weights, most factory rifles dont have the necessary barrel twist rate to stabilize the bullet. rem produces their 700s with a 9.25 twist which is good for up to 100 grainers. 105 and 107 gr bullets require 8 twist
  5. ozo

    ozo Active Member

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    Hey Greg,
    Speer should be only the first manual you NEED !
    http://www.speer-bullets.com/products/reloading_manual/
    I think #14 was published in 2007 and my neighbor said they
    were about $35 on Amazon. It's full of stuff, good stuff.
    But, the ABC's of Re-loading is also a must, as most all
    of the others.(manuals)
    Best advice if you are gonna start re-loading.......[same advice posted here over and over] -----get some manuals and read-read-read-read-read-read.....
    and you WILL enjoy re-loading. It is easy, simple, fun, and safe with a tiny bit
    of common sense. You can even get manuals at the library. And the library online.
    [even for a youngun' like you]
    And if your not gonna re-load, the manuals will give you variances for speed, knock down, etc.
    Tons of stuff online about it, and did I mention, great help on www.thefirearmsforum.com
    BUT, re-loading will give you 'real-time' variances, specific to each and every firearm you have,
    as you try different loads and 'design' a load for yourself.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  6. madbuck22

    madbuck22 Member

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    san diego
    my daughter has been hunting deer in.243 for 4 yrs now 4 deer only one went 60yds using federal 95gr nbt in a savage youth model. the others dropped. oh i love the .17 on squirels and like minded creatures the blow up like popgunner said cool sheit.
  7. gregw

    gregw New Member

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    Feb 2, 2011
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    Thanks to everyone for the great advice!
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