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#6466321 - 09/24/16 02:05 PM Question on the 243 Winchester - Hunting Pronghorns
Hunter Gatherer Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 161
Those of you that have hunted pronghorns, and ONLY those of you that have hunted pronghorns, do you think a 243 Winchester is a good caliber? I have a really good rifle that's very accurate in 243. I'm going to be in central New Mexico. I don't plan on shooting more than 300 yards so I think I'm OK but curious what those of you with experience out west might think. I can use a 25-06 if necessary, but it's more of a light weight rifle with a 22-inch barrel.

Thanks!

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#6466456 - 09/24/16 04:59 PM Re: Question on the 243 Winchester - Hunting Pronghorns [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9433
Loc: Lewisville, TX
I have never hunted pronghorns, but I have many customers who have. I have loaded several with an 87 grain Berger VLD at 3150+ fps, and it has worked very well for pronghorns. One customers' wife made a 400+ yard shot on one with it. So with the right bullet and good shot placement, I think the 243 would be a fine pronghorn round. It's fast and flat with not much wind drift with the heavier and higher BC bullets. I don't think that a light weight bullet would be a good choice, though.
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#6466553 - 09/24/16 06:30 PM Re: Question on the 243 Winchester - Hunting Pronghorns [Re: ChadTRG42]
Creedmoor Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 695
Loc: Soon to be Hudson Oaks
Your 243 will be just fine. Antelope are very thin-skinned animals that aren't difficult to kill. I have taken 2 with a 6.5 creedmoor, and my son killed one with his 243. Bullet weights from 85 to 100 grain will kill them stone dead provided you place the bullet in a decent place. A gut-shot antelope will run forever even if hit with a 50BMG. The only limitations the 243 has is when you stretch it out to 300+ yards in a moderate crosswind. They will drift a bit more than you might think under those conditions. Honestly, you should be able to get to 150 yards or less with a bit of planning and careful stalking. But YES, the 243 is a good choice. I wouldn't hesitate one bit to use it.
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#6466740 - 09/24/16 08:00 PM Re: Question on the 243 Winchester - Hunting Pronghorns [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
syncerus Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 1993
Loc: Dallas, TX
Shot with a 6mm Remington. Yes, it will work well.

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#6466784 - 09/24/16 08:21 PM Re: Question on the 243 Winchester - Hunting Pronghorns [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
Jgraider Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 06/13/15
Posts: 265
Loc: West Texas
.243's loaded with 95g ballistic tips are very effective on deer sized game. This particular BT is tough.

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#6466797 - 09/24/16 08:28 PM Re: Question on the 243 Winchester - Hunting Pronghorns [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
mikei Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/16/14
Posts: 1282
I've taken two of them with my .243. One at slightly less than 200 yards, the other at 160 yards. One shot; one kill. 95 grain BT's on both.

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#6467058 - 09/24/16 11:57 PM Re: Question on the 243 Winchester - Hunting Pronghorns [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
kmon1 Online   content
junior

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 20301
Loc: Texas
243 is plenty for pronghorns like another said they are not that hard to kill as long as you put the bullet in the vitals. Shoot real tight to the shoulder on a broadside shot or quartering either way have it cross through the chest and you have a dead speed goat.
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#6467191 - 09/25/16 08:52 AM Re: Question on the 243 Winchester - Hunting Pronghorns [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
RHutch Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 05/25/13
Posts: 317
Loc: Frisco
I've killed one antelope at 420 yds with a 105 Berger from a 243.
Can't imagine needing more gun.

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#6467233 - 09/25/16 09:24 AM Re: Question on the 243 Winchester - Hunting Pronghorns [Re: RHutch]
Creedmoor Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 695
Loc: Soon to be Hudson Oaks
Originally Posted By: RHutch
I've killed one antelope at 420 yds with a 105 Berger from a 243.
Can't imagine needing more gun.


Might want to add that the 105 is a great bullet, but some 243 barrels won't stabilize it. Even Berger cautions against using it with a 9 twist, which is the norm with most 243s. Not always the case .... but usually.

If you're getting good accuracy with a 9 twist consider yourself fortunate.

Our 243s are 9 twists and neither will shoot the 105s with any consistency.

If a rifle won't stabilize the 105s, the 95 Classics are excellent, and are plenty of bullet for antelope.
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#6467299 - 09/25/16 10:32 AM Re: Question on the 243 Winchester - Hunting Pronghorns [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
RHutch Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 05/25/13
Posts: 317
Loc: Frisco
Was a Bartlein 1:8 on that rifle, throated for the 105's.
Still a 243 and ten grains of bullet would make no difference killing an antelope.

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#6467613 - 09/25/16 04:07 PM Re: Question on the 243 Winchester - Hunting Pronghorns [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
cblackall Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 05/12/16
Posts: 114
Loc: Lewisville, TX
You're good to go with the 243. As stated above, shot placement is key as always. Antelope go down very quickly with a well placed shot, but I've seen a marginally hit goat shot with a .270 WSM travel a very long ways in a short amount of time.

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#6471511 - 09/27/16 09:28 PM Re: Question on the 243 Winchester - Hunting Pronghorns [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
Simple Searcher Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 4153
Loc: Helotes, Hext
My brother and I showed up to meet our guide in New Mexico with my 243 (85gr bthp) and his 22-250 (55gr bhtp).
The guide noted that pronghorn are not very big but most guys show up with 7mm mags and 300s.
I shot my pronghorn from 220 yards, my brother shot his from 165 yards.
The guide noted after the hunt that we had showed up with the two smallest calibers that he had ever guided, and that our two antelopes were the only ones that where dropped in their tracks. He thanked us for not having to track them.
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#6471699 - 09/28/16 05:45 AM Re: Question on the 243 Winchester - Hunting Pronghorns [Re: Simple Searcher]
Creedmoor Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 695
Loc: Soon to be Hudson Oaks
Originally Posted By: Simple Searcher

The guide noted that pronghorn are not very big but most guys show up with 7mm mags and 300s.


Yep. Some folks who have never seen one think they are going to be the size of a bull elk. roflmao

When you actually get close enough to touch them you realize that they aren't very large. Thousands have been killed with the 22/250 and 243.
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