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Introduced by Winchester in 1955, 243 ammo (also known as .243 Winchester) was initially developed for two Winchester rifles, the bolt action Model 70 and the lever action Model 88.
Originally designed as a varmint round, 243 ammo quickly gained popularity as a sporting rifle cartridge and was used for wildlife and game such as coyote, blacktail deer, whitetail deer, mule deer, pronghorn, and wild hogs.
However, firearm experts and hunters agree that .243 can sometimes be "too light" for hunting large game such as black bears.
Based on a .308 Winchester case from the necked down, 243 ammunition had reduced recoil, making it a popular choice for smaller framed shooters and young hunters.
The cartridge's flat trajectory and high velocity make it an effective long-range round, and its accuracy has also made it popular for target shooting.
Today nearly all significant firearms manufacturers have at least one weapon chambered for .243 Winchester, making it easier to find and purchase bulk 243 ammo.
Common Names for .243 Ammo
Since being introduced over 68 years ago, .243 ammo has undergone several improvements and has gone by many other name variations. Some of the most common names include:
.243 WSSM (Winchester Super Short Magnum)
.243 AI (Ackley Improved)
Regardless of your preferred terminology, .243 ammo has always maintained a loyal following throughout the firearm and hunting communities and is available from many major manufacturers, including Federal, Hornady, Remington, and Sig Sauer.
243 Ammunition Features
VERSATILE 243 ammunition is suitable for both small and medium game hunting, as well as varmint hunting, making it a versatile choice for hunters.
ACCURATE 243 ammo is known for its accuracy, which is why it's a popular choice for target shooters and hunters alike.
FLAT TRAJECTORY 243 ammo has a flat trajectory, which means that it travels relatively straight and doesn't drop as much as other rounds at long ranges. This makes it a great choice for hunters who need to take shots at longer distances.
LIGHT RECOIL Compared to other hunting rounds, .243 ammunition has relatively low recoil making it more comfortable to shoot, which can be beneficial for novice or younger shooters.
HIGH VELOCITY 243 ammunition typically has a high velocity, which translates to increased energy and stopping power upon impact.
AVAILABILITY .243 ammunition is widely available and can be found in most gun stores, making it easy to purchase and use for hunting or target shooting.
Popular Guns that Shoot .243 Ammo
Winchester Model 70 The Winchester Model 70 is a bolt-action sporting rifle. It has an iconic place in American sporting culture and has been held in high regard by shooters since it was introduced in 1936, earning the moniker "The Rifleman's Rifle".
Remington Model 700 Since 1962, more Model 700s have been sold than any other bolt-action rifle before or since. The legendary strength of its 3-rings-of-steel receiver is now paired with a 5R barrel on every 700. Bearing the most popular bolt-action rifle in history.
Ruger American Rifle The Ruger American Rifle is a family of budget-level hunting/sporting bolt-action centerfire rifle made by Sturm, Ruger & Co., which also produces a line of rimfire rifles with similar designs called the Ruger American Rimfire.
Savage Axis The Savage AXIS offers hunters and shooters a high performance rifle without breaking the bank. Every AXIS rifle is loaded with features that deliver tack-driving accuracy with every shot. Offered in a variety of configurations.
Browning X-Bolt The bolt-action rifle was forever changed with the introduction of the Browning X-Bolt and building upon the proven successes of past Browning rifles and adds numerous improvements that place the X-Bolt at the top of any side-by-side comparison.
Weatherby Vanguard In the 1960s, Roy Weatherby recognized the need for a more affordable rifle that could chamber his signature magnum cartridges and with this, in mind, the Vanguard project was born and for over 50 years and has consistently produced some of the most accurate rifles on the market.
243 Ammo FAQ
QUESTION: What is 243 ammo?
ANSWER: Introduced in 1955 by Winchester and based on the .308 Winchester cartridge, 243 ammo is a popular rifle cartridge used primarily for hunting medium-sized game.
QUESTION: What are some common uses for 243 ammo?
ANSWER: 243 ammo is commonly used for hunting game such as deer, antelope, and coyotes. It is also used for target shooting and varmint hunting.
QUESTION: What are the benefits of using .243 ammunition for hunting?
ANSWER: The .243 cartridge is known for its accuracy and flat trajectory, which makes it a good choice for hunting in open terrain. It also has relatively low recoil, making it easier to shoot accurately.
QUESTION: What is the effective range of 243 ammo?
ANSWER: The effective range of the .243 ammo depends on what you’re shooting. For varmints, the 243 can be effective up to 400 yards. However, when hunting big game, the maximum range is about 300 yards.
QUESTION: Is 243 ammo good for target shooting?
ANSWER: 243 ammo is considered very popular as a target shooting ammunition. The round is powerful enough for long-range shooting, and its light recoil is manageable by most shooters.
QUESTION: The prices of .270 Winchester and the .243 Winchester are relatively similar. Although more popular and versatile, .243 ammo is often cheaper. The caliber starts at about $0.67 a round, whereas the .270 Win starts at around $0.90.
QUESTION: Is .243 ammunition readily available?
ANSWER: Yes, .243 ammunition is a popular cartridge and is widely available at most sporting goods stores and online retailers.