Will a .243 do more meat damage than a .308?

Bambistew

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I have owned and hunted with both calibers for over 30 years and can say without a doubt there isn't one iota of difference.. Killing close to 100 deer total with these 2 calibers.. Bullet construction and shot placement are the defining factors in meat loss...
I think we may have had similar history, but most of my kills with a 308 were bigger than deer. I shot a bunch of animals with .243 V-Max bullets in my teen years, the amount of bloodshot was actually quite small on rib shots.

Stay away from shoulders and things don't really matter with any caliber/bullet combo, in my experience.
 

mummel

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I use Speer 100 grain BTSP in my .243, on the whole it's absolutely fine, I use it on the lightly framed roe deer right up to the big Red stags we have, no more damage than my 30-06, but I use a soft point, people I know use sst's and they just create too much damage.
Cheers
Richard
I was looking at the Hornady 125 grain .308 SST. Bad idea?
 

devon deer

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I was looking at the Hornady 125 grain .308 SST. Bad idea?
I'm sure others have differing views, but I used to guide many clients deer hunting in the UK, in the end I made the decision that they could not join me for a hunt if using SST, they just created too much damage.
Cheers
Richard
 

antelopedundee

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I'm sure others have differing views, but I used to guide many clients deer hunting in the UK, in the end I made the decision that they could not join me for a hunt if using SST, they just created too much damage.
Cheers
Richard

That's why I opted NOT to use them last year. I sort of happened upon the Sierra GameChangers [.264 130 grainers] which worked well last year and I will use them again this year. I'll use my 2 boxes of SSTs for berm damage.
 

Don Fischer

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Strange thing about meat damage with one cartridge over another. If you shoot a deer in the butt with a 308 and in the lungs with a 243, the 308 will damage more meat. Then if you shoot a deer in the butt with a 243 and the lungs with the 308, the 243 will damage more meat! Funny how that works. If you shoot the deer in the butt with a 308 and a monolithic bullet and take the same shot with an SST, I'm reasonably sure the SST is gonna ruin more meat. But bullet placement is the key. Shoot both bullet's through the rib cage of the deer and neither will do a lot of damage to anything you might want to eat! Problem I have with bullet's with plastic tip's. I think they ar designed to give better BC and thus better long range performance. Problem with that is that very very few people shoot long enough to use the difference and maybe fewer still have the ability to place the bullet that well at say 500 yds plus! So what you end up with it taking a shot at 100 yds with a bullet designed to work well at 500+ yds and shooting into something you might want to eat and blowing it to h*ll! That tip not only increases BC but also must go somewhere and that some where is right back into the bullet and I'd think will expand the bullet more violently. Two places I like plastic tip's. Varmint bullet's and monolithic bullets. They explode thing's when I use 75 gr V-Max bullet's in my 243, absolutely explode! With a monolithic bullet My understanding it they ensure the bullet expands. I shot some Sierra match kings into newspaper years ago, HP bullet's. Dug them out and they had closed up the HP and the bullet's bent, not a good thing in a hunting bullet. Add the plastic tip and they will open every time. Lead core bullet just might open to fast and damage thing's you'd rather not damage.
 

mummel

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Strange thing about meat damage with one cartridge over another. If you shoot a deer in the butt with a 308 and in the lungs with a 243, the 308 will damage more meat. Then if you shoot a deer in the butt with a 243 and the lungs with the 308, the 243 will damage more meat! Funny how that works. If you shoot the deer in the butt with a 308 and a monolithic bullet and take the same shot with an SST, I'm reasonably sure the SST is gonna ruin more meat. But bullet placement is the key. Shoot both bullet's through the rib cage of the deer and neither will do a lot of damage to anything you might want to eat! Problem I have with bullet's with plastic tip's. I think they ar designed to give better BC and thus better long range performance. Problem with that is that very very few people shoot long enough to use the difference and maybe fewer still have the ability to place the bullet that well at say 500 yds plus! So what you end up with it taking a shot at 100 yds with a bullet designed to work well at 500+ yds and shooting into something you might want to eat and blowing it to h*ll! That tip not only increases BC but also must go somewhere and that some where is right back into the bullet and I'd think will expand the bullet more violently. Two places I like plastic tip's. Varmint bullet's and monolithic bullets. They explode thing's when I use 75 gr V-Max bullet's in my 243, absolutely explode! With a monolithic bullet My understanding it they ensure the bullet expands. I shot some Sierra match kings into newspaper years ago, HP bullet's. Dug them out and they had closed up the HP and the bullet's bent, not a good thing in a hunting bullet. Add the plastic tip and they will open every time. Lead core bullet just might open to fast and damage thing's you'd rather not damage.
About bullet placement. Does the high shoulder shot damage meat?
 

mummel

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Not to be flippant, but what’s wrong with just putting the bullet in the sweet spot triangle and be done with it?
It seems like a well placed high shoulder shot drops the a deer in in tracks. Quick dispatch, less suffering, no problems with recovery etc. Just curious though about meat damage vs the heart/lungs shot.
 

mtmuley

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It seems like a well placed high shoulder shot drops the a deer in in tracks. Quick dispatch, less suffering, no problems with recovery etc. Just curious though about meat damage vs the heart/lungs shot.
No deer has ever lived through a bullet through the lungs. High shoulder is great on tv. mtmuley
 

antelopedundee

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Strange thing about meat damage with one cartridge over another. If you shoot a deer in the butt with a 308 and in the lungs with a 243, the 308 will damage more meat. Then if you shoot a deer in the butt with a 243 and the lungs with the 308, the 243 will damage more meat! Funny how that works. If you shoot the deer in the butt with a 308 and a monolithic bullet and take the same shot with an SST, I'm reasonably sure the SST is gonna ruin more meat. But bullet placement is the key. Shoot both bullet's through the rib cage of the deer and neither will do a lot of damage to anything you might want to eat! Problem I have with bullet's with plastic tip's. I think they ar designed to give better BC and thus better long range performance. Problem with that is that very very few people shoot long enough to use the difference and maybe fewer still have the ability to place the bullet that well at say 500 yds plus! So what you end up with it taking a shot at 100 yds with a bullet designed to work well at 500+ yds and shooting into something you might want to eat and blowing it to h*ll! That tip not only increases BC but also must go somewhere and that some where is right back into the bullet and I'd think will expand the bullet more violently. Two places I like plastic tip's. Varmint bullet's and monolithic bullets. They explode thing's when I use 75 gr V-Max bullet's in my 243, absolutely explode! With a monolithic bullet My understanding it they ensure the bullet expands. I shot some Sierra match kings into newspaper years ago, HP bullet's. Dug them out and they had closed up the HP and the bullet's bent, not a good thing in a hunting bullet. Add the plastic tip and they will open every time. Lead core bullet just might open to fast and damage thing's you'd rather not damage.

HPs are not guaranteed to expand/disintegrate. Sometimes they just fill up and act like solids.
 

antelopedundee

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It seems like a well placed high shoulder shot drops the a deer in in tracks. Quick dispatch, less suffering, no problems with recovery etc. Just curious though about meat damage vs the heart/lungs shot.
I'd never do a shoulder shot if a lung area/boiler room option was available. A good lung shot kills em deader than dead faster than fast.

 

antelopedundee

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Darn. What caliber?

6.5-06 or 6.5-06 AI 129 grain Hornady interlock. That's the exit wound, but it's deceiving because a lot of that is blood that oozed out and congealed. The actual hole wasn't all that big.

Here is another from about 50 yards. Many times it's hard to see the exit hole.

 

devon deer

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If you put a bullet in that circle, you will 1) ruin very little meat and 2) probably recover the animal within steps of where it was shot.

View attachment 110502
Absolutely spot on JLS, sometimes it does a lot of good just to give a little reminder to people, it's not that difficult is it?
Cheers
Richard
 

3855WIN

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I was looking at the Hornady 125 grain .308 SST. Bad idea?
The 125 would probably be fine. A friend runs them out of a 300 Ultra mag. But it wouldn’t be my preference. I’d go with a 150 or 165 Accubond. It’s a great bullet that will fly well.
A broadside double lung shot will waste the least amount of meat. But game animals don’t always stand broadside. Often, we need to take the first good kill shot available. That might be quartering to or away, etc.
 

cahunter805

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The 125 would probably be fine. A friend runs them out of a 300 Ultra mag. But it wouldn’t be my preference. I’d go with a 150 or 165 Accubond. It’s a great bullet that will fly well.
A broadside double lung shot will waste the least amount of meat. But game animals don’t always stand broadside. Often, we need to take the first good kill shot available. That might be quartering to or away, etc.
A 125gr in a 300RUM?? Seriously? I always get a kick out of people’s fascination with velocity and how they think it “kills” better. I’ll take a big slower heavy bullet any day.
 
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