Which caliber?

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Synthetic, May 16, 2008.

  1. Synthetic

    Synthetic Guest

    Hi guys, I'm a beginner from New Zealand.
    I would like to get my first centerfire rifle but not sure what caliber and model to get.
    The rifle will be used for:
    40% goat hunting in scrub
    40% goat hunting in open country
    5% red deer hunting in open country
    10% pig hunting in scrub
    5% informal target shooting/practice/sighting in

    I want a rifle that has:
    -Low noise
    -Low recoil
    -Low ammunition cost

    At the moment I'm looking at the Ruger M77 Hawkeye in either .223 or .243.
    Is that a good rifle?
    Please note that ammo cost is very important to me, and I will be reloading in 6 month.

  2. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Evangelist

    i'd opt for the .243.

  3. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

    Of the 2... the .243 !
  4. wily1

    wily1 G&G Addict Forum Contributor

    I love my .223 but then I have other larger caliber rifles. For what you want to hunt a .243 is the better round.
  5. First , I gotta say welcome and second I gotta agree with the others the 243 would be the better choice, and yes the Ruger M77 is a nice gun.
  6. EHCRain10

    EHCRain10 G&G Newbie

    First off welcome to the forum, dont afraid to ask questions everyone here is extremely helpful
    i would vote for the 243win with the size of game that you will be hunting the 223 would be a little on the light side for a quick and clean kill
  7. TexasT

    TexasT Devil's Advocate >:) Forum Contributor Forum Contributor

    What about any other calibers than the ones he mentioned?
  8. Ron AKA

    Ron AKA Guest

    I also would agree with the .243. Would seem to fit your specific requirements very well. Some may suggest you need a bigger bore for the brush, but unless you go to a 12 guage slug, all centerfires are not going to take to hitting twigs very well.

    I would suggest reloading from day one. You can buy unprimed brass for a quite reasonable price. And, a Lee reloading outfit can be purchased which is very good, and will not cost very much.

    For guns I would suggest you also consider the Savage AccuTrigger and Remington 700 lines.

  9. texnmidwest

    texnmidwest Sir Loin of Beef Forum Contributor

    243! By far of the two gives you better performance.
  10. Synthetic

    Synthetic Guest

    Thanks for the replies guys.
    Mr Ron AKA, I have handled the savage and remington, but their stock are not as good as the ruger. The savage trigger is quite nice though.
    How long would a typical .243 barrel last?
  11. Texan4life

    Texan4life G&G Newbie

    I have the old tang safety M77 in .243 that I deer hunt with. Got it as a graduation present( Either get a watch or a gun, go figure what I would choose). I use 95 to 100 grain bullets and have shot many rounds through it with no accuracy problems as of yet. As long as you stick to average velocities and don't try the barn burners in the lower weight bullets it should last a very long time.
  12. Ron AKA

    Ron AKA Guest

    A US benchrest shooter has posted a formula to calculate barrel life, that I think is realistic. Within a bore size the only other variable is the powder weight. You can load the .243 from about 29 grains to 49 grains of powder depending on the bullet weight, powder, and how hot the load is. With 29 grains barrel life using his formula comes out to about 3200 rounds. With 49 grains it is only 1100.

    The .223 would give better barrel life, but probably is not the best suited for the game you list.

    Barrel Life Formula
    Barrel life (Bart Bobbitt)

    Sierra .243 Win Loading (very good info and I would download the pdf)

  13. toolman

    toolman Resident Sasquatch Forum Contributor

    You didn't state the ranges you'd be shooting at, but you want to look at the CZ carbines in 7.62x39. They're good out to 200 yds with practice and the ammo is as cheap as you'll find anywhere. The only drawback is that in your part of the world, decent '39 hunting ammo may be a bit scarce unless you roll your own.

    CZ 527 Carbine 7.62x39, 5rd Mag

    BTW, of the two cals. you listed, I'd opt for the .243 as well, it's a great all-around caliber.
  14. sc928porsche

    sc928porsche G&G Newbie

    From what I understand, the red deer is quite large, almost the size of elk. To keep the cost, noise, and recoil down and yet enough punch for the larger game, may I suggest a 308. The recoil is almost the same as the 243, the muzzle blast is almost the same, and the ammo is easy to come by and in the same price range.
  15. hornet lover

    hornet lover Guest

    welcome to G&G mate, i own a winchester 670model in 243 and i've dropped goats out to 200yrds cleanly, as well as big boars, as for red deer your not aloud to shoot reds with any thing smaller than a 6.5, but the .243 will take red deer cleanly with a nice 100g soft nose slug, my pet load is 34g adi 2208 with a 85g nosler boat tail spitzer, this is only a very mild load, has very little recoil but is cutting 5 leaf clovers at 1ooyds, i have cleanly taken med boars and sows out to 180yds, i have never tried factory's and probally never will, brass is cheap so are the rest of the components and i use a mequon full lenght hand loader, this is very affective and cheap.
  16. Billyz

    Billyz G&G Newbie

    .308 cant say it eneough
  17. Ron AKA

    Ron AKA Guest

    You have a good point if red deer really do go up to 650 lbs as Wiki says. Comments from the Aussi/NZ mates?

    I am not a big fan however of the 308 as like the 30-06, it would seem there almost always has to be a better choice. However none real popular come to mind with the low recoil requirement. I'm not so sure how low the recoil is on a 308 if loaded up to give a reasonably flat trajectory?

    Some alternative possible options would include 25-06, 260 Rem, and the 6.5 Swede or other smaller cased 6.5 or .264 calibers. My choice would be the 260 Remington, and they just happen to make a nice gun in that caliber. It may be very hard to get however.

    Model 700™ CDL™ SF Limited Edition


    I like that gun!

    Also, if red deer really are that big, the .223 Rem is a very bad choice.

  18. Synthetic

    Synthetic Guest

    Looks like I'll be getting the .243.
    Any Ruger M77 Hawkeye owner willing to tell me more about the gun?
  19. Ron AKA

    Ron AKA Guest

    If red deer really are in the 650 lb range, I would back off from my earlier recommendation of the .243. See my later post.

  20. either that or the 7.62x39 (dont know about the availability of the ak round) but the .308 while its great for hunting, its loud and can get expensive