243 Winchester – A Great Starter Deer Cartridge with Well Constructed Bullets

The .243 Winchester is a great starter deer rifle cartridge as its recoil is very mild. Hand loaders get to see and read a lot about bullets, their specifications and their intended uses. The Hornady InterBond® is a bullet in .243 is designed for deer size game and for the .243 Winchester it appears at 87 grains bullet weight.


6mm .243 85 gr InterBond®

This bullets lead core is bonded to the gilding metal jacket so it will mushroom in a controlled manner in deer size game. The Gildng Metal Xpanding bullet (GMX®) is solid gilding copper and also mushrooms in a controlled manner in deer size game.

6mm .243 80 gr GMX®

The next step down in cartridges like the .223 and smaller the Hornady InterBond and the GMX are absent. Why? I believe that Hornady is defining the threshold in deer killing reliability at the .243/6 mm level. The same is true for Nosler as well where their AccuBond® Long Range is 90 grains below.


Next is the  Nosler e-Tip® below with green tip  is like the GMX from Hornady see the ballistic gel test below. It will blow you away!



In open spaces the .243 Winchester really shines, like field hunting for deer out to 300 yards. What it is not is a heavy brush cartridge. The bullet mass in insufficient and is subject to loss of mass and direction of travel after glancing on a branch or sapling.

Given these brush limitations the cartridge with these bullets can down a coyote or varmint past 600 yards if you have the skill to make the shot or a deer out to 300 yards. I have written several articles for you to brush up on with the .243 in New Hampshire Rifleman so check them out. I own the Ruger American in .243 and love it. It shoots 90 grain e-tips like the GMX inside one inch at 100 yards and at just over 300 dollars it is a bargain!  © 2013

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About Ed Hale

I am an avid hunter with rifle and Bow and have been hunting for more than 50 years. I have taken big game such as whitetail deer, red deer, elk, Moose and African Plains game
such as Kudu, Gemsbok, Springbok, Blesbok, and Impala and wrote an ebook entitled African Safari -Rifle and Bow and Arrow on how to prepare for a first safari. Ed is a serious cartridge reloader and ballistics student. He has earned two degrees in science and has written hundreds of outdoor article on hunting with both bow and rifle.