Some people really like this “mid-sized deer round”
Designed in 1955 by Winchester as their answer to the vaunted .257 Roberts and .244 Remington, the .243 Winchester is fundamentally a necked down .308 cartridge case topped with a lighter (70-100 grain) bullet. It has since become one of the most popular of rounds for medium game and just about every rifle maker produces multiple offerings in the chambering– the same cannot be said of .244 and .257 today.
However, besides its use for whitetails from thin-barreled budget guns from the big box store, the .243 has a crowd of die-hard users who like it for serious target shooting to 1,000-yards and beyond.
Five-time NRA High Power Long Range National Champion John Widden only uses the .243, preferring a hand-load that hits the sweet spot.
“My .243 Win. shoots inside a 6.5 mm-284 Norma with 142-grainers,” says Widden. “Nothing out there is really ahead of the .243 Win. in 1000-yard ballistics unless you get into the short magnums or .284s—and those carry a very significant recoil penalty … I went to the .243 Win. because it had similar ballistics but had much less recoil. It doesn’t beat me up as much and is not as fatiguing.”
The guys at Long Range Shooters of Utah have an open challenge to those who can peg a milk jug with a precision rifle at extreme distances, and Chad Kinyon just pulled it off.
Rules for the challenge at LRSU are that each shooter has a maximum of 10 shots within 10 minutes and can attempt it three times in 24 hours. The distance is verified by laser rangefinder and GPS and is witnessed and officiated by LSRU.
Kinyon pulled it down on the 6th shot (who doesn’t need correction at 1,200-yards) using a Ruger Precision Rifle topped with an Athlon Argos 6-24 x 50mm scope. The round was a 115gr DTAC going 2963 FPS.
The prize? A sticker and a $100 gift cert.
But it’s a hard sticker to get.