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243 Winchester:
Written by: Kim Lockhart, Copyright.

243 Winchester Rifle Cartridge:
 The popular .24" caliber, 243 Winchester, centerfire rifle cartridge is a commercial, rimless, bottleneck cartridge case design that is loaded commercially (factory produced ammunition) or reloaded by individual handloaders with various combinations of primer, powder and .243" diameter bullets. (243 Winchester Reloading)
Cartridge Specifications:

Bullet Diameter - .243".
Primer Diameter - .210".
Primer Type - Boxer - Large Rifle.
Case Neck Diameter - .276".
Case Shoulder Diameter - .454".
Case Base Diameter - .471".
Case Rim Diameter - .473".
Minimum Case Length - 2.035" / Trimmed.
Maximum Case Length - 2.045" / Stretched.
Minimum Cartridge Overall Loaded Length - 2.540".
Maximum Cartridge Overall Loaded Length - 2.710".
Maximum Average Pressure - 60,000 Pounds Per Square Inch.

243 Winchester History:
The popular 243 Winchester centerfire 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.


243 Winchester Performance & Comparisons:


243 Winchester vs. 260 Remington vs. 7mm-08 Remington vs. 308 Winchester.
25-06 Remington vs. 270 Winchester vs. 280 Remington vs. 30-06 Springfield.
264 Winchester Magnum vs. 7mm Remington Magnum vs. 300 Winchester Magnum.

243 Winchester Factory Ammunition Ballistics:
The below factory produced ammunition ballistics for the 243 Winchester were recorded from a 8.5 pound 243 Winchester rifle with a 24 inch barrel.
243 Winchester
Rifle Cartridge
Manufacturer
Bullet
Weight
Grains
Bullet
Ballistic
Coefficient
Muzzle
Velocity
Fps.
Muzzle
Energy
Ft. lbs.
Recoil
Energy
Ft. lbs.
Winchester 55 .276 3,910 1,867 6.43
Hornady 58 .250 3,925 1,824 6.82
Black Hills 62 .199 3,700 1,885 6.96
Federal 70 .309 3,450 1,850 7.44
Remington 75 .330 3,375 1,897 8.18
Winchester 80 .255 3,350 1,993 8.50
Federal 85 .391 3,200 1,933 8.85
Hornady 87 .400 2,800 1,514 7.85
Winchester 90 .354 3,100 1,920 9.11
Winchester 95 .411 3,100 2,027 9.88
Winchester 100 .372 2,960 1,945 10.13

External Ballistics:
 External ballistics pertains to bullet velocity, energy and trajectory down-range. Bullet trajectory is the flight path of the bullet relative to some known and fixed points.

Bullet Trajectory And Sighting Plane:
 1. Point blank range when sighting in a rifle is the first point at which the line of sight intersects with the bullets path in the bullets trajectory.
 2. Mid-range rise when sighting in a rifle is the highest point in the bullets trajectory between the point blank range and true zero.
 3. True zero when sighting in a rifle is the second point at which the line of sight intersects with the bullets path in the bullets trajectory.
 4. Maximum point blank range when sighting in a rifle is the height of the mid-range rise and the bullet drop beyond true zero, both are equal in measure.

correct-trajectory-sight-plane
correct-trajectory-sight-plane-scope-view

243 Winchester Rifle:
 Variables such as riflescope choices, riflescope mounts and properly mounting your riflescope affect the line of sight above the bore centerline, which contribute to ballistic variances.
 To achieve maximum accuracy from your 243 Winchester rifle for proper ballistic evaluation you need to, break-in your rifle barrel and then accurately sight-in your rifle.
Rifle Specifications:
Rifles chambered in this round have a barrel bore land to land diameter of .237" and a bore groove to groove diameter of .243".

Current bore rifling twist rates are 1 in 9" - 1 in 10".
Browning 243 Win. Hunting Rifles - 1 in 10" Twist.
Remington 243 Win. Hunting Rifles - 1 in 9 1/8" Twist.
Ruger 243 Win. Hunting Rifles - 1 in 9" Twist.
Savage 243 Win. Hunting Rifles - 1 in 9 1/4" Twist.
Winchester 243 Win. Hunting Rifles - 1 in 10" Twist.
Common barrel lengths for the 243 Winchester are;
20, 22", 24" and 26", all of which will show a variance in the ballistics of the 243 Winchester.

 True top ballistic performance for the 243 Winchester as a deer rifle can only be realized by understanding the effects of the 243 Win. rifles bore twist rate inside the barrel and barrel length as ammunition selection is critical to the level of performance achieved in the hunting fields with the 243 Winchester rifle and cartridge combination.

Rifle Sight Height And Bullet Trajectory:
 To properly sight-in a hunting rifle a person needs to know a little bit about their scope mount height of their rifle as this affects the sight plane that intersects with the bullet's trajectory.
Rifle Sight Height to Bore Center Line:
Open Sights = 1 inch sight height.
Rifle Scope Center Line to Bore Center Line:
Standard 1 Inch Diameter Scope Tube.
Low Scope Mount And Rings = 1.5 inch sight height.
Medium Scope Mount And Rings = 1.8 inch sight height.
High Scope Mount And Rings = 2.0 inch sight height.

Rifle Barrel Length, Bullet Velocity And Energy:
 Bullet velocity readings are generally taken from a rifle barrel length of 24 inches and using the following formula the bullets energy is determined; velocity x velocity x bullet weight = _ divided by 450,340 = bullet kinetic energy in foot pounds. If your rifle barrel length is not 24 inches then you have to recalculate the bullet velocity and bullet energy, bullet velocity deviation by barrel length;
Rifle Barrel Length Shorter Than 24 Inch You Subtract Velocity.
Rifle Barrel Length Longer Than 24 Inch You Add Velocity.
2,500 to 3,000 feet per second advertised velocity, adjust at 20 feet per second per inch from standard of 24 inch rifle barrel.
3,000 to 3,500 feet per second advertised velocity, adjust at 30 feet per second per inch from standard of 24 inch rifle barrel.
3,500 to 4,000 feet per second advertised velocity, adjust at 40 feet per second per inch from standard of 24 inch rifle barrel.

Bullet Ballistic Coefficient:
 The bullet ballistic coefficient, higher B.C.s mean flatter trajectories and higher retained energy down-range on target. A ballistic coefficient is the measure of a bullet's relative ability to overcome air resistance. Each bullet is assigned a numerical value expressing this efficiency. Ballistic coefficient calculations combine both shape and sectional density factors.

Bullet Energy (Terminal Ballistics):
 Before the bullet is down-range and on target, you have to know whether the bullet will have enough energy retention to cleanly harvest the animal. A bullet's kinetic energy is measured in foot pounds, and this is a proxy for what's generally termed stopping-power. The higher a bullet's energy at the point of impact, the greater its stopping-power.

Target Size (External Ballistics):
 Just as important is the size of target that a game animal that your hunting presents to you, typically standing broadside, exposing heart and lung area. Below are several hunting ballistics and sight-in charts for popular 243 Winchester ammunition such as Hornady, Remington and Winchester that categorize this ammunition to its practical use on various game animals for hunting at various distances.

Deer Size Animals Include: Antelope, Blacktail Deer, Hogs, Javelina, Mule Deer And Whitetail Deer. These animals can be somewhat small at times and offer about an four inch target zone, for a correct rifle sight-in, a two inch mid-range is required for minimum bullet trajectory effect.
For this size animal, I prefer 1,200 foot pounds of bullet energy.

243 Winchester Hunting Ammunition:
Ammuntion: Handload.
Bullet Diameter: .243 Inch.
Bullet Weight: 100 Grains.
Bullet Ballistic Coefficient: .430.
Rifle Barrel Length: 24 Inches.
Rifle scope mounted 1.8 inches above bore center-line.
Rifle bullet trajectory set at 2 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle true zero is 228 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 268 yards.
Note: (FPS. = Feet Per Second.) (IN. = Inches.) (FT. LBS. = Foot Pounds.)
Range
Muzzle
100 yds.
200 yds.
300 yds.
400 yds.
500 yds.
Bullet Velocity / FPS.:
3,107
2,881
2,667
2,463
2,268
2,082
Bullet Trajectory / IN.:
- 1.8"
+ 1.7"
+ 1.0"
- 4.5"
- 15.9"
- 34.0"
Bullet Energy / FT. LBS.:
2,143
1,843
1,580
1,347
1,142
962
Deer Size Animals:
+
+
+
+
-
-

243 Winchester Hunting Ammunition:
Ammuntion: Hornady 243 Winchester Superformace 95 Grain.
Bullet Diameter: .243 Inch.
Bullet Weight: 95 Grains.
Bullet Ballistic Coefficient: .355.
Rifle Barrel Length: 24 Inches.
Rifle scope mounted 1.8 inches above bore center-line.
Rifle bullet trajectory set at 2 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle true zero is 230 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 267 yards.
Note: (FPS. = Feet Per Second.) (IN. = Inches.) (FT. LBS. = Foot Pounds.)
Range
Muzzle
100 yds.
200 yds.
300 yds.
400 yds.
500 yds.
Bullet Velocity / FPS.:
3,185
2,908
2,648
2,402
2,169
1,950
Bullet Trajectory / IN.:
- 1.8"
+ 1.7"
+ 1.1"
- 4.4"
- 16.1"
- 35.1"
Bullet Energy / FT. LBS.:
2,139
1,784
1,478
1,217
992
802
Deer Size Animals:
+
+
+
+
-
-

243 Winchester Hunting Ammunition:
Ammuntion: Winchester 243 Winchester Super-X Power Core 90 Grain.
Bullet Diameter: .243 Inch.
Bullet Weight: 90 Grains.
Bullet Ballistic Coefficient: .354.
Rifle Barrel Length: 24 Inches.
Rifle scope mounted 1.8 inches above bore center-line.
Rifle bullet trajectory set at 2 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle true zero is 223 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 253 yards.
Note: (FPS. = Feet Per Second.) (IN. = Inches.) (FT. LBS. = Foot Pounds.)
Range
Muzzle
100 yds.
200 yds.
300 yds.
400 yds.
500 yds.
Bullet Velocity / FPS.:
3,100
2,828
2,572
2,331
2,102
1,887
Bullet Trajectory / IN.:
- 1.8"
+ 1.7"
+ 0.9"
- 5.2"
- 17.8"
- 38.2"
Bullet Energy / FT. LBS.:
1,920
1,598
1,322
1,085
883
711
Deer Size Animals:
+
+
+
-
-
-

Predators Include: Bobcat, Cougar And Coyote.
These animals can be somewhat small and offer about an two inch target zone, for a correct rifle sight-in, a one inch mid-range is required for minimum bullet trajectory effect.
For this size animal, I prefer 360 foot pounds of bullet energy.

243 Winchester Hunting Ammunition:
Ammuntion: Handload.
Bullet Diameter: .243 Inch.
Bullet Weight: 80 Grains.
Bullet Ballistic Coefficient: .319.
Rifle Barrel Length: 24 Inches.
Rifle scope mounted 1.8 inches above bore center-line.
Rifle bullet trajectory set at 1 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle true zero is 200 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 230 yards.
Note: (FPS. = Feet Per Second.) (IN. = Inches.) (FT. LBS. = Foot Pounds.)
Range
Muzzle
100 yds.
200 yds.
300 yds.
400 yds.
500 yds.
Bullet Velocity / FPS.:
3,460
3,133
2,830
2,547
2,281
2,031
Bullet Trajectory / IN.:
- 1.8"
+ 0.9"
0
- 5.2"
- 15.9"
- 33.2"
Bullet Energy / FT. LBS.:
2,126
1,743
1,423
1,153
924
733
Predators:
+
+
+
+
+
+

243 Winchester Hunting Ammunition:
Ammuntion: Remington 243 Winchester AccuTip-V 75 Grain.
Bullet Diameter: .243 Inch.
Bullet Weight: 75 Grains.
Bullet Ballistic Coefficient: .330.
Rifle Barrel Length: 24 Inches.
Rifle scope mounted 1.8 inches above bore center-line.
Rifle bullet trajectory set at 1 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle true zero is 195 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 223 yards.
Note: (FPS. = Feet Per Second.) (IN. = Inches.) (FT. LBS. = Foot Pounds.)
Range
Muzzle
100 yds.
200 yds.
300 yds.
400 yds.
500 yds.
Bullet Velocity / FPS.:
3,375
3,065
2,776
2,506
2,251
2,011
Bullet Trajectory / IN.:
- 1.8"
+ 0.9"
- 0.1"
- 5.7"
- 16.8"
- 34.9"
Bullet Energy / FT. LBS.:
1,897
1,564
1,284
1,046
844
673
Predators:
+
+
+
+
+
+

243 Winchester Hunting Ammunition:
Ammuntion: Hornady 243 Winchester Superformace 58 Grain.
Bullet Diameter: .243 Inch.
Bullet Weight: 58 Grains.
Bullet Ballistic Coefficient: .250.
Rifle Barrel Length: 24 Inches.
Rifle scope mounted 1.8 inches above bore center-line.
Rifle bullet trajectory set at 1 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle true zero is 218 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 248 yards.
Note: (FPS. = Feet Per Second.) (IN. = Inches.) (FT. LBS. = Foot Pounds.)
Range
Muzzle
100 yds.
200 yds.
300 yds.
400 yds.
500 yds.
Bullet Velocity / FPS.:
3,925
3,465
3,051
2,674
2,327
2,007
Bullet Trajectory / IN.:
- 1.8"
+ 0.8"
+ 0.4"
- 3.7"
- 12.6"
- 28.1"
Bullet Energy / FT. LBS.:
1,984
1,546
1,199
921
697
519
Predators:
+
+
+
+
+
+


243 Winchester / Reloading:

Rifle & Cartridge Information Sources:
 1. (SAAMI, Rifle Cartridge and Chamber Dimensions)
 2. (SAAMI, Rifle Cartridge, Velocity and Pressure)
 3. (Browning Rifles)
 4. (Remington Rifles)
 5. (Ruger Rifles)
 6. (Savage Rifles)
 7. (Winchester Rifles)
Ammunition & Ballistics Information Sources:
 1. (Black-Hills Ammunition)
 2. (Cor-Bon Ammunition)
 3. (Federal Rifle Ammunition)
 4. (Hornady Rifle Ammunition)
 5. (Norma Rifle Ammunition)
 6. (Nosler Ammunition)
 7. (Remington Rifle Ammunition)
 8. (Winchester Rifle Ammunition)

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