Written by: Kim Lockhart, Copyright.
The popular 243 Winchester center-fire rifle cartridge originated as a wildcat based on the 308 Winchester brass necked down to accept .243" diameter bullets, Warren Page developed the first prototype of this cartridge. Warren Page, then shooting columnist for Field & Stream magazine, was an avid wildcatter as well, had convinced many American hunters through his writings that his .24" caliber wildcats would effectively harvest varmints and deer as a combination cartridge. Winchester agreed and this cartridge was made available to the public by Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1955. Winchester chambered the new cartridge in their new Model 70 Featherweight bolt action rifle using a 22 inch, 1 in 10 inch twist barrel and offered 80 and 100 grain bullet ammunition loadings.
The 243 Winchester 80 grain bullet loading was designed for varmint and predator hunting and the 100 grain bullet loading was designed for use as a thin skinned big game cartridge, today there are many various weight bullets offered in factory produced ammunition. Usually bullet weights less than 85 grain are better suited for use on varmints and predators such as coyotes, groundhogs, foxes, bobcats and prarie dogs. Bullet weights of 90 to 100 grain are better suited for use on wild pigs, wild boar, javelina, blacktail deer, whitetail deer, mule deer and black bear.
The 243 Winchester is the first true dual purpose class of hunting rifle cartridges and it is now among the top five most popular and widely available of all centerfire rifle cartridges in the world today.
Part of the extreme popularity of the 243 Winchester is the fact that a rifle chambered for this cartridge recoils very little to the shooters shoulder which adds to its over-all accuracy potential of which this cartridge is well known for.
The greatest virtue of the 243 Winchester is that it offers a flat bullet trajectory for varmint hunting, predator hunting and has adequate killing power for thin skinned big game animals at a low recoil level that will help any hunter to shoot their rifle more accurately at greater distances.
243 Winchester Cartridge Case Dimensions:
Neck Diameter - .276".
Shoulder Diameter - .454".
Base Diameter - .471".
Rim Diameter - .473".
243 Winchester Barrel Specifications:
Common Barrel Twist Rate - 1 in 10" & 1 in 9".
Bore Groove Diameter - .243"