.243 for PRS type comps

Mr. F

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So is this smart? I know there are more comp efficient cals like the 6.5cm and the 6mm family but if i had no other option than to use the .243 win as a comp caliber would it be a decent match cal?

I wont be reloading till june so the first 4 - 6 matches would be run with off the shelf ammo and then i might just rebarrel for a 6.5cm, just not right away.

I dont mind being at a small disadvantage if its something i can roll with for half a year. Im just learning at this point.

Its just a good deal i dont want to pass up.

Thanks
 

just browsing

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You can absolutely make due with a .243 in the interim. Especially if it is setup for a DBM and has a reasonably fast twist rate.

Otherwise, the factory ammo will be your limiting factor, not the chambering itself.
 

Mr. F

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Stick is 1:8 finished at 26" and yes, DBM setup.

Is there decent factory ammo out there tho. As a stop gap till i get my loading bench back up.

Im just going thru a move and everything reloading is still boxed up.
 

GIXXER2000

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In looking at factory ammo the .243 selection for PRS is not very good. The round i saw were for hunting. Having said that if I were going to shoot a .243 I would choose the Hornady Superformance 95 grain SST.
I shoot berger 105 or 108 ELD-M in but these are reloads
 

Mr. F

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Yeah thats what im hearing. Sort of concerned i might break the 3200fps speed limit with the Hornady Superformance 95gr SSTs out of a 26"
 

RogueTanker

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243 is great but only if you habe the proper twist (which you do) and reload. Shoot it and burn it out
 

PowellSixO

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I would absolutely use your 243 in a prs. I did my first match last month. I used a 7 mag. Lol. I used it, because it was the cheapest rifle I had that was capable of 1000 yards. I learned a lot. I'm glad I didn't just run out and buy a rifle and scope before I experienced a match first. After that first match, I've decided to stay in the production class for a year. After that I'll probably have a custom rig built for the open class.

So with what I learned and saw at the match, I did a little researching. I ended up ordering a Howa HCR, chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. I also picked up a used 5.5-22x50 Nightforce NXS, with mil turrets. I picked up 100 pieces of laupa brass, 5 lbs of powder, 1000 primers, and 1000 Hornady 147 ELDM bullets. I've got just about everything I need to shoot a years worth of prs matches. It's not cheap, but the cheapest way I feel I could get in, with any hopes of being slightly competitive. The matches are definitely fun to do. I'm looking forward to the next one.
 
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Batemanb12

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the .243 would be a good cartridge for PRS, but has been pushed aside for the newest 6mm (6CM, Dasher, BR's, 6GT, etc)
At one time George was a big fan of the .243 for tactical competitions.

 
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rundm

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Does everything that the newer rounds do and more but limiting factor is factory ammo. If you reload, you are not at a disadvantage. My 243 barrel will be here this week for my AI.
 

Long Range 338

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243 is great, ballistic twin to the 6CM. If you’re looking for match ammo I would give the GECO a try
 

Mr. F

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the .243 would be a good cartridge for PRS, but has been pushed aside for the newest 6mm (6CM, Dasher, BR's, 6GT, etc)
At one time George was a big fan of the .243 for tactical competitions.

Checking the article now
 

rundm

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That guy knows what he is talking about. He gave me some good info a few yrs back when I started with 243.
 

Rob01

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Mr F coming in late but as stated already it's a very good match caliber. Your rifle is set up perfect for it but as you have seen the issue is not much factory match ammo and what there is is expensive. You can try to use something cheaper in the hunting realm but get that bench set up quickly if you want to make the best out of the .243 for matches.

Also when you do load don't try and push it super fast. Keep the 105-115s at around 3000fps and you will get longer barrel life and plenty of good Ballistics.
 

Mr. F

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Mr F coming in late but as stated already it's a very good match caliber. Your rifle is set up perfect for it but as you have seen the issue is not much factory match ammo and what there is is expensive. You can try to use something cheaper in the hunting realm but get that bench set up quickly if you want to make the best out of the .243 for matches.

Also when you do load don't try and push it super fast. Keep the 105-115s at around 3000fps and you will get longer barrel life and plenty of good Ballistics.
Thanks for chiming in.

Being conservative on speed if i manage to get going on the bench, what barrel life im looking at?
 

Rob01

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My old .243 running 115s at about 3000fps was sub half moa at 1880 rounds when I sold it. I don't see why you couldn't be close to 2000 without issue. Something that is good to try also is 2 Tubb TMS rounds every 300 rounds or so. Keeps the throat smooth.
 

sierracharlie338

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I ran a 243 for a while and wouldn’t hesitate to use it as a comp cartridge. Key is reloading but that copper creek ammo with the 105, while expensive, would be a hammer. I’d pay for that and carry it to a comp with full confidence. I ran 105 Amaxs with great results.
 

Dirty D

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Yeah thats what im hearing. Sort of concerned i might break the 3200fps speed limit with the Hornady Superformance 95gr SSTs out of a 26"
I love the Superformance 95gr SST’s for whitetail because it makes a golf ball sized exit hole and they don’t run far at all but my 24” barrel chrono’ed at 3300 and change.
 

EastCOYotes

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So is this smart? I know there are more comp efficient cals like the 6.5cm and the 6mm family but if i had no other option than to use the .243 win as a comp caliber would it be a decent match cal?

I wont be reloading till june so the first 4 - 6 matches would be run with off the shelf ammo and then i might just rebarrel for a 6.5cm, just not right away.

I dont mind being at a small disadvantage if its something i can roll with for half a year. Im just learning at this point.

Its just a good deal i dont want to pass up.

Thanks
243 will do everything any other 6mm will do. Brass will likely just stretch more and require more trimming than The popular 6mm cartridges like creed, BRA, and dasher.

I’m biased since I love the 243 win
 

GUNNER75

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Check out the Hornady 90gr ELD-X. (3150fps) Might be a little more friendly on the wallet getting up and going until you can reload.
I'm a huge 243 fan, just spun a new barrel up as a matter of fact. (also run 6 Creedmoor and 6.5x47 but I'll always have a 243 around)
 

Hawk37

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Stick is 1:8 finished at 26" and yes, DBM setup.

Is there decent factory ammo out there tho. As a stop gap till i get my loading bench back up.

Im just going thru a move and everything reloading is still boxed up.
243 has done my jobs sense the 60,s and I too reload 75, 77 too 100 grain bullets, then nosler came out with their 55gr. Black bullet, it shoots as good at 300yds as my 22-250 same type bullets. New ammo I use Hornady Amax or match sighting in-mounting scopes. Tho some barrels likes different ammo 18 bucks a box good brass for reload
 

Dirty D

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Check out the Hornady 90gr ELD-X. (3150fps) Might be a little more friendly on the wallet getting up and going until you can reload.
I'm a huge 243 fan, just spun a new barrel up as a matter of fact. (also run 6 Creedmoor and 6.5x47 but I'll always have a 243 around)
What barrel length?
 

aqualung

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Stick is 1:8 finished at 26" and yes, DBM setup.

Is there decent factory ammo out there tho. As a stop gap till i get my loading bench back up.

Im just going thru a move and everything reloading is still boxed up.

Sounds like a good set-up for PRS.
With that twist I think that you are best trying to source a load with the Berger 105grn Hybrid.
Why not look at one of the custom reloading outfits? If it's just for a few months it might be cost effective? Custom Reloads of Dallas is one that I am familiar with, but there are many others.
Not sure if they have .243Win, but try ABM, Applied Ballistics Munitions. Their ammo will be loaded with the Berger bullets. Blackhills might also be worth a look.
I doubt that you are going to get decent MATCH ammo from your local big box store, but maybe if you have a more specialised local gun store you might find something there.
Failing that, have a look for some 90 - 95 grain Nosler BT hunting rounds. The 95grn would be better, but watch out for the velocity. There will be a velocity limit if you are shooting at a PRS/NRL sanctioned match.
If you can get a 100+ grn, or something around that weight polymer tipped hunting round (Hornady ELD X?) then that would be your best bet. The ELD X and ELD M bullets have very similar BC's (sometimes the -X is higher!)
HTH
 

rockn30809

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this is what I use. It is very accurate and consistent.
That is good to hear. I've been wanting to try Spark's loads but the shipping seemed really high off the website and I haven't had a chance to call them and try to get a better shipping rate.
 

BadAccountant

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.243 AI guy here.

Let me put down what I learned shooting .243 and .243 AI.

1. Not very efficient for what you get. You're burning up 42ish grains to get a 105 or 108 a little faster than what can be achieved with a 6mm AR/6mm Grendel. I'm not saying those are what you want to shoot, only that the extra powder doesn't seem to translate into velocity as well as I would have liked.

2. RIP barrel life. Just as bad if not worse than a 6 CM. Lots of powder, tiny hole, high pressure.

3. Finnicky/shortage of reamers. Reamers optimized for long ogive bullets are not standard, and unless you want to spend a couple hundred bucks getting your own, are hard to find. They're out there, but hard to get quickly.

That leads me to my next point - reloading can be frustrating. The nodes on a .243 with long bullets are strange and difficult to predict. Throats wear very quickly to compound the seating part of the equation. It likes slow powders at one seating depth and faster powders at another. It's a strange crossover point I didn't encounter with lighter bullets.

4. Versatility. I normally like multi-use guns. .243 built for long range is not that. Most .243s are good for game from varmints up to white tail, with a wide range of bullets weights. A LR .243 will likely have a faster twist (1:7.5 - 1:8). I have grenaded light bullets mid flight (75 grain bullets!) from faster twist barrels. I didn't bother trying to work up a fun 55 gr. load.


It's a fun process, but if you're looking for easy, ream it to 6 CM and buy factory ammo.

Edit: 28" bbl, 1:7.5 twist. Liked 105s, 108s, and DTACS. Did not like light bullets.
 
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BadAccountant

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I never had any problem loading for my .243. Was easy to find a load and used it for the whole time I had the barrel. Might have been his bullet of choice.
Liked 115s alot (but every gun does).

75s, 87s, 90 gamekings, and 105s were finnicky. H4350 is the best overall powder for the cartridge I found for the 115s.

3,000 FPS easy.
 

heytonyman

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I spun a 26" AINA Bartlein 1/8 .243 barrel on my AX 6 years ago and made up a load with 105 Hybrids jumping .030" over H4831. During workup I saw speeds over 3200fps and physically couldn't get enough powder into the case to show pressure signs. I was deforming the bullet trying to seat it into 47.5+ grains of powder. I backed off the charge and found an extremely consistent load at 46.8 grains running 3130fps.

That was 1200 rounds ago. I have never touched the load. I have seen ES's starting to pick up lately but I am attributing that to the doughnut forming in the necks of the 4x fired Lapua brass. I can feel it there when I seat the bullets. The brass hasn't grown at all since the second firing so I figured that brass flow had to be going somewhere.

Curiosity got the best of me and this week I finally broke down and measured the throat to see just how much I was jumping after 1200 rounds. I was expecting .150+ of erosion from some of the PRS style matches I had shot with this barrel. In disbelief I measured 3 more times to be sure I wasn't screwing it up. .040" is how far the lands had grown.

I've been told that this is not the norm. That others aren't getting the speeds, accuracy, life, ease of loading, the complete lack of tuning throughout the barrels life, etc... Despite all that, I'm pleased that this barrel will be making its way onto my new AX. It's shooting the best it ever has right now. I finished 3rd in a local LR match with it a few weeks ago against some stiff competition. How much life she has left is hard to say... But until then, she's getting sent.
 
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GUNNER75

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107's, 105's, 115BN Tubbs, all perform with a std load at 42 gr and 1/2 life I went to 43 gr to keep velocity. My first Bartlien barrel ran 3K rounds very very good then I used that barrel to FF 6 Crusader rounds (500). Barrels over the last few years fell short of that. Actually much, but whatever.
6 Creedmoor, and 243 both ride right around 42 gr H4550 like a champ. 6 Creed seems a bit more likable, but 243 is right there.

Just loaded 42gr H4350 in 450 243 cases with 115gr DTACBN.
Getting ready to load out 850 in 6CM with 105 Bergers.
Daughter and I are gonna have fun shooting them all summer.

I also load out 6 BR with 107's and Varget in my cheater rifle. 107's are no slouch.
 
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BadAccountant

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105 and 108s are easy to load too. I am betting the issues with the lighter bullets was due to your twist rate and not the cartridge.
I'm 100% sure it was. Jacket separations mid-flight don't just happen without cause. I had hoped it wouldn't be an issue, and I wanted to have my cake and eat it, too. Oh well.

A 6mm built for long range, especially if DTACs and other heavy 6mm bullets are involved, is not going to be the most versatile gun. It will do heavy game well and LR shooting better than just about any other caliber, but prudence requires staying inside of certain strictures.
 

Rob01

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I'm 100% sure it was. Jacket separations mid-flight don't just happen without cause. I had hoped it wouldn't be an issue, and I wanted to have my cake and eat it, too. Oh well.

A 6mm built for long range, especially if DTACs and other heavy 6mm bullets are involved, is not going to be the most versatile gun. It will do heavy game well and LR shooting better than just about any other caliber, but prudence requires staying inside of certain strictures.
He is wanting a rifle for PRS matches. Not varmints so worrying about doing everything isn't an issue. Heavier 105+ weight bullets are what is used for what he wants.
 

aqualung

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He is wanting a rifle for PRS matches. Not varmints so worrying about doing everything isn't an issue. Heavier 105+ weight bullets are what is used for what he wants.
Yeah, Rob and he SPECIFICALLY wants factory ammo until he gets his reloading bench set up.
I thought 105ish ELD-X might work well for him. Doubt he'll find much in the way of match ammo, but you might know better. (Also, I think budget comes into it a little, he was shocked at the price if CC match ammo)
Hope you are well, Brother.
 

Rob01

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Yeah, Rob and he SPECIFICALLY wants factory ammo until he gets his reloading bench set up.
I thought 105ish ELD-X might work well for him. Doubt he'll find much in the way of match ammo, but you might know better. (Also, I think budget comes into it a little, he was shocked at the price if CC match ammo)
Hope you are well, Brother.
Yeah and that's an issue with .243. The big issue actually. Not really any reasonably priced options for long range. Just nature of the beast but a good motivator to get the reloader up and running. Took me almost 2 years after moving to do it but glad I finally did.

All good here. Hope the same for you!
 
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BadAccountant

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He is wanting a rifle for PRS matches. Not varmints so worrying about doing everything isn't an issue. Heavier 105+ weight bullets are what is used for what he wants.
That's what I shot in matches, too. I don't want someone making my mistake and wasting barrel life/components working up a lightweight do-all load.

Personal take? Ream to 6CM or rebarrel to a factory cartridge. I just don't see the pluses of a .243 AI working for him.