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Sept 1973 Rob and I were out shooting our Winchester Model 100 308 semi autos. We had the mags installed but not loaded, just drop a round in and release the bolt.

Rob had just did one and all kinds of crap was flying thru the air.

I picked up over 134 pieces of wood and metal parts.

I now had a fear of shooting the model 100 I had so sat about getting rid of it. I went to many a gun shop with the Idea of coming home with a bolt action rifle capable of killing white tail deer and not loose my shirt in the deal.

After about two weeks I found a shop willing to do a nearly equal trade. The Rifle I had was a Winchester Model 100 nice wood very little worn blueing and a Tasco scope 3x9.

Gun shop gun was a Remington model 700 bolt action 243, nice wood and no wear of blueing at all. It had no scope but that could be added later.

Dealer said for me to take the rifle and two boxes of shells home and shot it some to see how I liked it.

I do not remember the ammo bullet weight today, but shooting water bottles pumpkins and other things that blew up I was impressed and did the trade. Dealer and I became friends with that trade.

Fellow I worked with sold cameras, scopes and other glass on the side. I bought a Bushnell 3x9 with BDC rings and rails off him.

The dealer I made the trade with also hunted with a 243 so he recommended a load for deer. Regular rifle primers, IMR 4350 Powder and 100 gr. Round nose bullets.

I loaded up a batch and they seemed to do a good job killing pumpkins so I saved a few for deer season.

I found out deer are not pumpkins and the first deer I shot I tracked drops yes drops of blood nearly 300 yards to find the dead deer. I became unimpressed with the 243 for deer, went and ordered a brand new Remington 700 in 308 since I still had ammo left.

I bought another Bushnell. 3x9 BDC scope look thru mounts and rails from the guy at work. That became my deer rifle the 3d rifle I now owned.

Thanks giving day We were out hunting, we were my self, brother and new brother in law. It was close to dinner time so were headed up to Robs jeep and go home for Turkey and foot ball. A doe came by us and didn’t look right, then we saw the neighbor guy, a hypocrite. Said to us why didn’t you shoot the deer, because it was a doe, your so anti doe hunting why are you trailing her. I thought she was a buck and shot her so she is wounded. Told us he was done chasing her now that he knew she was a doe.

We went on home and had dinner but no foot ball. We went back and started tracking that doe. Tracked her a long way finally jumping her once but could not get a shot off.

The neighbors son caught up with us. We jumped the deer again and the kid shot the deer, bang flop she is down.

I asked what he was using, said a Savage something in 243 hand loaded 85 gr. Bullet.

That stuck with me.

Nearly a year later I had a accident and had some bad head trauma so the doctor at work would not allow me to work for a while.

This was during labor day week, every one else working so I decided to play with different loadings for the 243 all 85gr bullets.

Settled on the 85gr Serra HPBT bullets over top of IMR 4350 powder.

You did not have to mash potatoes just shoot them with that round.

Finally Robs settlement with Winchester was finished and he could not only get a pocket full of cash but any rifle they made. He got a Winchester model 70 bolt action in 243 4x12 red field scope.

He also used the same recipe for his hand loads of course we lived together so one of use was always loading some thing shoot shells, rifles or pistols.

My hunting partner Rick also bought a Savage rifle in 243 and use the same round. He got the package deal scope which turned out to not be much. We were shooting a lot of crows then.

I bought my dad a Rugar 77 tang safety rifle in 243 3x10 Simmons scope so on a week end we would get together to shoot for fun. So there we are 4 guys with 4 different brands of rifles scopes and shoot into our hill side where we put targets all different types cause the water filled stuff went quick.

Soon Rob and Rick would get to betting on who could hit the closest to dead center of a milk jug cap or shoot a water bottles cap off with out hurting the bottle.

I have no idea how many crows we shot with the 243’s, deer, wood chucks, Rick shot a bear in Canada with his.

Rob and I shot a lot of snow shoe hare in March near the end of the season with ours.

We love our pea shooters.

I still have my Remington, Dads Rugar too. One ofRicks grand sons got his when he passed and Robs daughter got his before he passed.

I have no Idea who will get mine when I am gone. My son doesn’t hunt nor is his son interested either. My daughters son isn’t interested either.

So If I do not find any one before my time is up Kare will do with them as she wishes.

Remington 700 308.

Remington 700 243,


2,986 Posts
The 85HPBT bullet has remained a good all around bullet for the 243 or 6mm over the years. I know some people who shoot nothing else out of them, they are that good a bullet.

4,073 Posts
I believe those Sierra 85gr HPBT are Game Kings. They are designed as hunting bullets and work quite well. They are also very accurate in my .243.

5,997 Posts
About 20-25 years ago I wanted a fairly light bolt gun for walking and calling yotes. Had the hots for a Model 7, but it seems Model 7 owners buy 'em for life. What I did come across was, to me at least, a weird little Remington 788, with three rings of locking lugs, three lugs per ring, right in front of the bolt handle. They offered it that year in an 18.5 inch barrel and a more standard 21 or 22 inch. The used one I found had the short barrel and was chambered in .243. I took it yote hunting a few times, then gave up that quarry.

The little .243 sat around for a few years until I decided the short length might make a handy little deer rifle. I had begun reloading, so I started asking around about bullets. Both friends and total strangers recommended the very same bullet: 85gr Sierra HP. They were all adamant about it. That's all I've ever shot in that little .243 and it's always done it's job well. I learned that not only is that bullet legendary, but the Remington 788 also has almost a cult following. And I love the short barrel as it points perfectly when you bring it up. When you're carrying it on its strap, it's a lot easier to walk through woods with low tree limbs. You wouldn't think a barrel just 3-4 inches shorter would make much difference, but it really does.

Thanks for your .243 tale,TT, I enjoyed it.
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