I'm getting THE itch…
...to buy a new rifle that is. You guys have a wealth of knowledge on these things, so I'd really appreciate your advice.
I am considering a new rifle for varmint (mostly coyote) and deer sized game (and perhaps an elk at modest range in a pinch). After reading a bunch of the posts here on both calibers and rifles, I am considering a .243 or a .260 Rem in a Tikka T3 Lite, a Savage or the Remington 700 or model Seven.
Since I'm not currently reloading, the .243 seems a bit ahead with more factory ammo choices, plus I don't hear too much about the .260 these days.
For the rifle, I'd really like one that gives me my best chance at a good shooter straight out of the box with no work accept picking a load it likes. And if it turns out to need a little work, which one is most easily and inexpensively tuned.
What are your thought, suggestion or recommendations? Any other choices you'd recommend?
Sorry so long winded and convoluted, just wanted to send a clear picture on what I want.
Any advice is much appreciated,
6.5-284, Savage has a great choice of guns in that caliber. I have one in a Long Range Hunter and it shoots good out of the box.
Look for a CZ 527 .243 they are great shooting guns. I have a .17hmr and a .223 CZ for varmints and they both are unbelievable shooters out of the box.
The tikkas are great! I have 3 of them now and every one of them has shot less than 1 MOA at 100 yards. That's with factory ammo too. With my .30 06 I have found a few pet loads that it really likes that shoot 1/2 groups at 100 yards consistently. Unfortunately they no longer make the t3 in the .260 Remington or I'd have one of those too. Bell and Carlson makes a pretty sweet aftermarket stock for them that you can find all day for 230 bucks that greatly improve the feel and looks. I say go for the .243 tikka and don't look back! Take care
Total weight of the gun is another consideration when choosing a caliber. If you want a light quick gun consider a short action with a 22'' barrel and synthetic stock. If you dont mind a little extra weight a long action with a longer barrel would be fine. The .243 win would be a great all around gun for coyotes to deer but a little light for elk IMO although it will certainly get the job done with a well placed shot. .243 6mm 243wssm 25wsm 25-06 .260 rem 6.5-284 .270 win would all be good choices. As you stated availability of factory ammo is another consideration. I am kinda partial to the .243 win because it was my first gun in a model 70 win. I killed alot of deer and coyotes with that gun and I still have it but these days I carry a .22-250 for coyotes and .270 win for everything else.
I really like my Tikka T3 Lite, a lot! Mine was very accurate, right out of the box, and has a really nice, crisp trigger. I'd bet a T3 Lite chambered in .243 would be a pretty sweet shooting gun!
I have a Browning a-bolt in 243wssm with brake and boss, perfect for coyotes, however I am mostly using a Savage in 22-250, love that trigger. Fink probably has it right with the straight 243 in Tikka, I shoot coyotes with light bullets, 55gr from the 243wssm 37-45 gr in the 22-250. The aforementioned 6.5x284 is sure a good round and would do both very well. My 243 wssm in Browning is light and just feels perfect, with the BOSS I can switch to 95gr and hunt larger game in seconds and have a very accurate gun, still not enough gun for spot and stalk bear or elk. IMO I am enjoying my 22-250.
What would a 30-06 do on the varmint?
Before I got my 25 & 22 centerfires (many,many years ago) I used to use my 30-06 for everything. Loaded down to 110 gr HP bullets and they work fine. The only thing with the lighter .30 bullets is that the accuracy (at least for me) dropped off. The "experts" attribute it to bad ballistic coefficiency of the lighter bullets. Don't load that anymore, lightest I use now is 150 grainers.
Originally Posted by xtreme
Thanks for the suggestions. I also feel like both the .243 and the .260 are on the lite side for elk. I only added that because if for some reason I'm out with both a deer and elk tag in my pocket (99.9% of the time a hunt like that and I'd have my '06) and have a shot at an elk. That said I have heard of plenty of guys that have taken elk past 250-300 yards with both calibers.
I have shot one coyote with my '06. I was deer hunting so was using my deer load - 150 or 165 grain factory soft point - so not too much pelt damage.
One thing I didn't mention was part of this itch is to get a lighter rifle for when I go after deer specifically.
Plus I haven't bought a gun in 3 or 4 years. I think I can be arrested for that in ID.
Is pelt damage a consideration on yotes? How about 7-08?