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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I wrote a few days ago, my .243 is defective and will be sent back to H&R. I figure while it's there I might as well get another barrel ;) My question is .223 or .357? It will be mainly a rifle for my sons- used for plinking and varmints. I don't handload so I'm wondering if the .223 might be the way to go. And, no, I can't afford both :( Which is cheaper, .223 or .38/.357s in factory ammo? Thanks for the help. It's great knowing I can come here and get truthful, honest answers without being ridiculed.
 

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If you get the .223 Barrel you can shoot WOLF steel cased ammo and that is very cheap. Since you don't reload then it does not matter that the casings are trash after you shoot them. That is the way I would go since the WOLF 55gr FMJs are great for plinking and you can buy other commercial ammo for varmints.
 

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Don't get me wrong, I love the .223 cartridge. My .223 ultra shoots great, but in my opinion your .243 will do everything a .223 can do and then some. I would say go for the .357 to fill a different niche.

Jake
 

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243 with light bullets will do more than the 223. 357 will shoot 38 specials as well as 357 mags and be pretty cheap to shoot. Kinda addicting, get ready to start hidin' money to get more. ;) ;D DP
 

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I'd say 357 as well, since you already have a 243. But i guess it really depends on how far you want to shoot the varmints. Your 243 already covers 223 duty IMO since you don't reload.
 

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It will do well in own form at reasonable ranges with good loads. Go for it! Fred
 

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I've owned all three and the .223 is cheap enough to shoot a lot if you don't reload, which is the advantage over the .243, which can do more than the .223 for as far as the size of the animals you can take, which is an advantage if you want to use it for deer.

The .357 mag can be used in it's present form firing .38 special ammo, as a fun gun to plink with and inexpensive way to practice, and it makes a perfect small game rifle with the .38's or it can be loaded up with some quality .357 Magnum ammo for taking deer under 100 yards.

It can be reamed to .357 Maximum, and you can buy those cartridges on line also, so you don't have to absolutely be into reloading to have one.

I would say having the .243 you really only need to get the .357 mag to have your bases covered.
 

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cgturner7 said:
]And, no, I can't afford both .....[/color][/i]
Can't you beg, steal or borrow the $$$? Even from (Santa?) or Mrs. Claus?

Twas me I'd also pick the .223 first (for a maximum-versatile Handi battery), but if somehow you also managed the .357 barrel you would NEVER loose money on it!
 

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Now if you sons are going to use it “mainly” for plinking and varmint, .223 is what I would chose. Especially if shooting varmints at 100 plus yards out. As said before, there is plenty of low cost .223 ammo around. I still have trouble locating .38 or 357 magnum ammo in my area.
 

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If you don't use the 243 for deer or serious long range coyote hunting and don't reload, you may not shoot it more than 20 shots a year. If you want varmint and target get 223. If you want target, plinking and close deer get 357.
OK you can shoot varmints with 357. And some places deer can be taken with 223.
If all above is true, get a 223 and 357 barrel fitted if available and sell the 243 in the classifieds. I WILL have all three. But I reload!
"It will be mainly a RIFLE for my sons-used for plinking and varmints"
Good Luck and Have Fun!
 

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I'll second what several have already said. Considering you already have a .243, the .223 seems awfully close to duplication.

I would go with the .357. .38 plinking loads like wadcutters are cheap and fun. In my area, you can purchase remanufactured loads that are a good bit cheaper than factory.

Also, if you ever decide to get into reloading, .38's are about as easy and cheap as they get. I buy brass here from a range by the pound. About 550 cases, which last just about forever, cost $15.

You also have the option of reaming to Max, which adds even more versatility to the gun.

With the .243 and .357, I'd say most of your bases are covered, unless you decide to hunt something really big like elk or moose.
 

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My buddy has a 243 and switches between light bullets for varmint work and heavy bullets for deer. he uses factory ammo and just has to adjust the scope up or down depending on what wieght he is shooting, so as has been said that covers 223 duty. the 357 is just plain fun, and I have taken numerous deer with mine. The farthest shot was 134 paces and I'm 6'4" double lunged him and blew out the drivers side shoulder. He dropped right there, and that was with winchester white box 125 gr jsp. go with the 357 you won't be dissapointed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Was at Bass Pro yesterday to see Santa. Ran upstairs real quick to check ammo prices to see if that would help in my decision. I found 2, yes two, boxes of .38 Special ammo and just one box of anything in .357!! The pistol ammo section was pretty much bone dry, the only exception being plenty of 9mm ammo. There did happen to be plenty of .223 ammo. Is this normally the case or did I miss a big pistol ammo sale? I'd hate to get the .357 barrel and then not be able to shoot it.
 
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