Comments on the Terminal
Various Bullets on Hunting Whitetail Deer - Best Rifle Caliber for
Hunting Whitetail Deer and Best
cartridge for Hunting Deer
Here's my Personal Test Results on
.243-Win 85-gr-BTHP Bullet
promised, I wanted to give
you my take
on the .243-Winchester Sierra Game-King 85-gr BTHP. I
shot a spike-buck at about 6:30am, Saturday, 11-22-03, opening day of
Wisconsin's nine day season.
him at a slight quarter
at about 90-yards. The bullet hit right behind the front shoulder,
the lungs, out the opposite side and shattered the opposing leg, just
good measure. I was very impressed. Small entrance wound
it is a .243 we are talking about here) but massive damage on the way
a 2 inch by 2 inch exit
wound on the rib cage not to mention the
fact that it almost took the left front leg off. The buck "ran" about
30 yards, but it was dead on its feet. Incredible blood trail.
damage than my brother-in-law's 270 did with 150-grain Core-Lokts on
buck he shot later that morning. The moral of the story, I will stick
the 243 85-gr-BTHP. What a sweet shooting
me onto about the best caliber/bullet combo in the Wisconsin
Trimner | E-Mail Received: 11-29-03
Darrell: I have been a veteran deer hunter for over twenty years. I
tended toward the high powered, stove piped guns. This deer season
of 2001, I decided to put my 8mm and 30-06 on a rest and take up my
and unused 243 Winchester.
having any shells, I went to the local dealer and picked up some
Winchester Super Supreme 95 gr. Ballistic Silvertip ammo. I sighted in
this round for a zero at 150 yards. First day of season I drew down on
buck at about 50 yards, took my shot, and the deer ran about 25 yards
and fell like a ton of bricks. Although it didn't drop dead in its
I must say it was dead on its feet.
was a great deal of expansion of the bullet at this close range and
quite a bit of meat loss. I measured a hole of about 2 inches by 1.5
inches. The lungs were reduced to liquid and the heart was shocked into
oblivion. I was very impressed with this cartridge in the 243. I did as
well with this cartridge as I have done with my larger cannons and
didn't have near the meat loss. It bears out to say that, I have
used larger calibers with hot loads in them and still had whitetail to
run after being hit
in the chest cavity.
had a whitetail to run
between 50 and 75 yards after hitting a whitetail in the chest with a
Winchester Silvertip. My trophy this year was following about
20 feet behind a doe and was pumped up on adrenaline. He was basically
dead on his feet and running on a "high." I will certainly use that
little 243 again.
bears out saying that, using any weapon, a kill-zone shot is necessary.
had a friend who lost a whitetail this year after shooting it with a
300 Win. Mag. He took a risky shot and left a wounded deer
It is important that we consider the emotional state of the deer when
we shoot. If the deer is calm and indifferent to our presence, don't be
surprised with devastating results with respect to the deer dropping
like a ton of bricks. If you have one that is pumped on adrenaline and
is madder than a barrel of rattlesnakes from some heavy rutting
have found that you may be surprised how far he can run, even with a
shot that jellies his organs in his chest cavity. Despite its small
lets be sure not to count the 243 out. It has its place and if used by
experienced hands, it can be a lethal dose of medicine on deer sized
and has been used on bigger game.
Jake Dufrees, Ky.
E-mail Received: 11-29-01 | From Jake Dufrees
Darrell: Thanks for your reply. I agree with the attributes
of the 243 that you wrote about in your reply. I have had bullets
me more than once while hunting, even after they have exited a deer.
is a great deal safer to use as a hunting tool in the ever increasing
populated society in which we live. That is one thing that
impressed with my experience with the 243 this past deer season.
Last season, I shot a doe with a 30-06 using a 150-grain power-point
plus cartridge. It was a spine shot, and the deer dropped
immediately. The bullet exited the deer and sheered off a tree
about half the size of my wrist several yards from where the deer
fell. How far the bullet traveled beyond that is anybody's
guess. I am glad I was certain of my surroundings and my
backstop. Unfortunately, a lot of people are not quite
as conscientious, when it comes to taking a shot.
for the time and expertise that you have imparted in producing a nicely
done web site. I hope to hear more from you in the future. Please
feel free to use my 243 report on your guest page. You may also
use my name and Ky.
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 00:14:29 -0400
From: "Ray Hileman" firstname.lastname@example.org
read your article "The Ultimate Deer Cartridges" and I am not at all
surprised that you found the .243 Winchester to perform better than any
other caliber on whitetail deer. You stated at the end of your
article that you would like to hear about your readers' experiences
with different .243 loads.
have killed 2
whitetails in my short
hunting career so far, both with a Model 110 Savage chambered in .243
Winchester. The load I used for the first deer, a monster buck,
was 100 grain Remington Core-Lokts, factory loaded. I shot the
buck at about 120 yards right behind his front shoulder.
died so quickly that
he didn't bleed. I kid you not, we found not a single drop of
anywhere on the deer or on the surrounding ground. He died while
was on his feet. After skinning it, we found the very small entry
hole, and a larger exit hole. The bullet blew the bucks lungs to
You cannot beat bullet performance like that.
you can meet that kind of performance, as I did with hand loaded 100
grain Hornady bullets. Unfortunately I can't remember the exact
bullet type or amount of powder, so this experience is probably not
of any use to you. Anyway, the bullet ripped through the exact
center of a button buck who was running directly at me. Once
again, the deer was dead on his feet, he never bled a drop. I
hope this at
least helps you to testify how a .243 performed on a young deer.
this e-mail is of some use to you. I'm no expert, but I cannot
see how any bullet can outperform the factory loaded 100 grain
Remington Core-Lokt bullets for a .243 Winchester.
totally agree with your article. It is nice to see a hunting
praise the .243. A writer in an article of one of last year's
Field & Stream issue's, "Your Deer Gun Stinks," referred to the
Winchester and 6 mm Remington as "known crippler's." I was
at that comment. He didn't even like .30-06's or .270's.
That author believed that the only way to kill a whitetail deer was
a magnum caliber. For crying out loud, .243's have killed tons of
elk, let alone the thousands and thousands of whitetails harvested with
Weatherby was one of the first people I know of to write about "shock
value" on big game. He, and you are right. Shock value is
kills the deer, the bullet turning individual blood cells into
throughout the animal. The only thing large magnum calibers like
.300 Remington Ultra Mags. and .300 Weatherby Magnums have over .243 is
that there's a better chance of taking down a deer with a poorly placed
shot, like one to the shoulder or hind quarters.
say if a hunter can't put a bullet into the large vital area of a
whitetail, they do not deserve to hunt them at all!
Subject: 243 Sierra HPBT
Date: Tue., 20 Nov. 2001
Jay D. Lewis
I read you article about the Ultimate deer cartridge/load. I
haven't used my .243 lately, have been experimenting with other loads
was stationed (Air Force) in Colorado a friend helped me brew up some
loads using the 85 gr. Sierra HPBT's. I thought he was crazy
recommending such a load for Mule deer. I want to tell you I shot
load (I lived there several years and only shot the limit during the
correct seasons) of deer with that load. I was not only impressed
but shocked at how effective it was. All of the deer were shot
while they were undisturbed, standing broadside to quartering and were
all shot behind the front shoulder from 25 to 200 yards, 1/3 to 1/2 of
the bullets passed all the way through.
for the article, you have brought back some good memories, and now I'll
have to grab that lonely Ruger 243 off of the shelf and take her out
One of the muley's I shot had a very nice high wide 4 point rack
(western count) and went over 200 lbs. Again, just one shot, he
kicked, jumped about 8 feet, and it was over. Of all the mule
deer that I have shot with that load none went farther than 10 feet
where they stood. The other guys in my hunting group soon
when they heard the little pop from my .243 (little compared to what
were shooting) that they needed to head my direction to help drag out
location of my Colorado hunts was, 50 miles west of Grand Junction,
on the Deloris river.
Ron Re: 243 bullet performance
Darrell, I have killed several deer with my 243, ...several were killed
very, very quick, ...but last year I had a nice buck run off, ...the
you know you have hit, ...but something went wrong, ...couldn't find
him, ...then my daughter shot a big doe at 50 yards, ...we hunted
an hour, almost gave up, then we found the beast almost 300 yards from
the shot, ...a perfect shot midway chest cavity right behind the
foreleg, ...the bullet appeared to penetrate only the ribs on the side
shot on, ...in both instances we were using Winchester Power Point
which I will never use again.
tried the 85 SIERRA HPBT AND I NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH THEM. They had
ENTRANCE AND EXIT WOUNDS, ...only thing better I have used for good
and exit wounds is 8mm mauser or 30-06 in 165 grain bullets...but i bet
they wont kill them quite as quick, ...you might have to walk another
yds to find the game is all, ...so much for my experience, ...it
that bullet selection is more critical in this smaller caliber!
- Middle of October 2001]
email reply to my response:
Me and my brother live in PA., and we buy as many tags as we
and shoot a lot of deer, ...they were 100 grain bullets (I agree with
you that the bullets fragmented on the ribs). Me and my brother killed
4 deer last year with Hornady Light Magnum ammo .243 100 grain,
two dropped dead in their tracks and two ran about 25 yds before
collapsing. I believe these bullets in the light magnum brand are 100
grain Hornady Interlocks, if my memory serves me well, ...these bullets
certainly did the job, however, there was much more bullet
fragmentation than there was with the Sierra HPBTs even though the
Sierra bullet is lighter weight at only 85 grains. Evidently the Sierra
85 gr. bullets hold
together better, perhaps made of harder sterner stuff.
two deer the year before last in the shoulder with these 85 grain
Sierra HPBTs bullets and they fell down immediately, ...moral of the
...stay with the sierra 85 grain bullets, but if you get in a pinch and
don't care about losing some meat, go with Hornady Light Magnum,
used Remington Core-Lokt bullets so don't know what to say about
Good luck, Ron
Darrell, Took your advice & loaded 90 gr. (Nosler BT, #24090) with
H-4831 as a "one shot kill" deer cartridge for my 243/06: Monday
day) shot an 8 point at 160 yards running straight at me and looking
for a place to jump the railroad tracks.
Bullet entered the chest, hit the heart, and he stopped
immediately (one of the few times I've actually heard the bullet hit);
I'll look for remains of the bullet when i do the processing, can't
wait to try it again.
had loaded 85
grain Nosler Partitions for my hunting
.243; I recovered the bullet on that one much intact after hitting neck
bone. [Might try the Sierra 85 grain HPBT bullet, bet it would have
done a lot more quick kill damage.]
loaded some 95 grain Nosler BTs #24095 in both .243 and for my 243/06
Wildcat. I will probably shoot the 100 grain Hornady Interlock bullets
first in my 6mm Wildcat. According to email reports the 95's and 100's
here both work well in the 243 and 6mm Remington calibers.
According to Sierra ballistic experts the 243-06 or 6mm-06 velocity is
using the 85 grain BTHP under 200 yards. (07-23-03)- I would try the
Bonded bullets when they become available. Darrell Udelhoven)
Allen Polk wrote:
are two scenarios in Kentucky that work out fine for me, depending on
165 grain Nosler ballistic tip, pushed by a .300 Wby. cartridge does
a fine job on the heavy bodied Western Kentucky grain field whitetails.
Cover the field with a Bushel 50-mm 6x18 scope shooting
Vanguard synthetic stock supported with a Harris
bipod. Can you say Sniper?
250 grain flat nosed soft point pushed by a .356 Winchester casing
through a 336'er Marlin Lever Action for those close-holding brush
river bottom deer that slip through the briars and brambles at 50 yards
Peeking through the vegetation with a 4x Bushnell, "scope,
the two examples I have given here seem "overpowered " for the
thin-skinned whitetail, I consider these weapon combinations to
be effective "one shot one kill" solutions. The Ultimate Deer
caliber's .300 Wby. and .356 Win. are both accurate and highly
their extreme scenario environments limitations, and
conditions. In my experience they are both a reliable and
humane option in unfortunate scenarios that the humane/ethical hunter
hates to witness, i.e. having to drop a hunting partner's evading
wounded buck, (with it's uncanny
ability to withstand a tremendous amount of damage and cover a lot of
ground) before it runs away and out of range, and remain possibly
of the environs that I hunt in Kentucky, the terrain and undergrowth
will conceal a fleeing/dying deer like a needle in a haystack.
That's why I have confidence in my two "Ultimate" rifles, and
through practice, knowing what the bullet will do, and picking quick
kill vital impact shots. I have also enjoyed the .243 and the
well, but in extreme Ultimate scenarios, my selections have worked for
me. Plus, this combo would be effective for larger game (there
is also a strategy in talking my Wife into going on a hunt out West)
in other locations as well.
Send mail to Allen at:Innisbuie@aol.com
where do I begin, first off I own a Remington 700ADL 243-caliber rifle
and a Browning BLR 243 Win. I have shot several deer with both rifles
and I am shocked at times at the results. For starters, the 7 point
buck was shot using:
I used this bullet
when the buck was shot at a
distance of 30 yards. The Bullet placement was just behind the
and dead on. After recovering the deer, from what I saw, it was pure
shock power. This deer dropped in his tracks, plain and simple, he
didn't run anywhere and was dead in about 15 seconds.
There was no need
for a second shot. Upon looking at the deer for why the hit was
instantly fatal, I realized
the shot has gone right through the heart and did its job. The bullet
didn't exit the deer but lodged in the upper front hide. I don't
normally care to brag, but I was online looking for some input on why
this cartridge is so deadly. A perfectly placed 243 Win bullet will do
major shock damage to a whitetail deer.
I have shot several deer
with the .243 Win caliber; one doe 130 lbs
dropped instantly, never ran, and died real fast with a shoulder hit
that shattered both shoulder bone areas. Deer number two, a buck @ 175
lbs dropped and rolled about 10 ft before dying within 30 seconds. The
bullet crushed the left shoulder bone and hit the lung area.
My views are simple, this
.243 Win caliber bullet in the
right hands is deadly, all you need is a 2 foot window to shoot (look
before you shoot though) and the bullet will do its job. My son will
inherit my Remington as I plan to use the Browning BLR from now on.
No other caliber gun is needed if the person hunting plans to hunt deer
.243 Win caliber rules -
Whitetails 24/7 - Jose E-Mail Received: 9-27-02
25 yard .243
Win., 100 Grain "Remington
Premier Core-Lokt Ultra" "Bullet Terminal Performance" Test I Promised.
This bullet is now available at Cabela's for Reloaders.
used (3), three gallon capped
plastic milk jugs and
1.56 gallon Ultra Sun clothes detergent plastic jug filled with water
backed up with numerous old magazines. The bullet below went
all (4) four jugs back to back and the magazines stopped it.
100 grain Core-Lokt Ultra
explosive performance on the first jug going
through all four jugs and
in front of the magazines. At only 25 yards the mushroomed bullet
weighed 84.8 grains with an over 2X .489 caliber diameter expansion
that went past the base of the bullet.
Click customer Service & ask if the nearest Cabela's retail store
has your caliber bullet in stock.
impressive terminal bullet
weight retention for close range shots on deer! These bonded bullets
will be more dangerous to shoot in respect to ricochet and shoot
through scenarios, use extra caution. I would like to see their .243
Win perform on Elk
A knockdown anchoring
kill shot placement
to 4 inches below the topline just behind the front leg.
Side view - base-
left-side (25 yds
gr retained 84.8 gr new Core- Lokt Ultra 243 Win.)
The 100 grain Nosler
Partition bullet blew open (3) three gallon capped plastic milk jugs of
water sitting in a row at 16 paces and was still going, with no bullet
95-SST blew-up one
jug and one tiny fragment caused a very small leak in the second jug
-95-SST 100 yard plus
lung shots only - much more violent explosive hydraulic
-due to all of its energy being shed within the first plastic milk
gallon jug of water. [.243
performed a 95 gr SST
terminal test with my 243/06 at only 16 long paces with two one gallon
plastic milk jugs filled with
water lined up with a short distance between them. The bullet totally
blew-up the first one and blew the second water jug up leaving the
remainder of the bullet's copper jacket inside
it. The remaining jacket only weighed 22.2 grains of the original
95 grains. [243/06
Wildcat aka 6mm-06
Wildcat] Darrell Udelhoven