Bottom line, rule of thumb: 200 to 300 yds. for a .243 using 95+ grn.
The .243 is excellent for either, but within the limitations of it’s cartridge. The rule of thumb on maximum range, or distance to shoot at an animal is 1.5 times the effective range of your rifle. For a .243, this would be about 200 to 300 yards.
“Effective range” is the range that you can expect to hit an 8″ circle 6 out of ten shots from a bench rest, at 100 yards.
Most .243 rifles are capable of putting 3 shots into this circle from the bench, but not 6.
The .243 will kill any deer in North America at these ranges, with proper shot placement, and a good bullet.
If you practice with your rifle and select a good bullet for it, you will do just fine. Good luck!
The .243 is a great entry-level rifle for youth shooters and new hunters. It’s light weight, easy to shoot and its recoil is low enough that it won’t scare off beginning hunters.
The caliber is even popular enough that ammunition can be found in most stores, which makes it easy to practice with.
The .243 shoots a bullet that ranges from 80 grains up to 105 grains in weight and the average muzzle velocity is between 2,850 feet per second (fps) at the low end of the spectrum and 3,150 fps on the high end.
Can you use a .243 for long range shooting?
When choosing a cartridge for long-range shooting, hunters need to take into account several factors, including their own experience level and what they intend to hunt.
Because of its recoil and limited range, the .243 may not be the best choice for hunting large game like elk or moose at long range.
But smaller game like deer or even coyotes are within reach of this powerful little rifle round.
How far will a deer need 243?
I would say use a 3-9X40mm scope and with the 100 gr V-Max boat tail loads, you will have a very effective hunting gun for any large game animal in North America at ranges well out to 250 yards.
In states where there are no restrictions on the type of rifle deer hunters can use, many choose to use .243 caliber rifles because the recoil is negligible and it is an accurate flat shooting caliber. A good many deer have been taken with the .243 at ranges well over 300 yards.
How good is a 243 for deer hunting?
The .243 is very commonly used by youth and some women shooters due to its manageable recoil and good accuracy.
The .243 is a great bullet if you can shoot it accurately and are willing to limit the range at which you take deer. It’s not unusual for shooters to say their .243 will do anything a .30-06 will do, and that’s just not true.
The .243 is best used for shots of 200 yards or less. I would even recommend taking no shots beyond 300 yards.