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After deer season I plan to send my receiver off to NEF for a new barrel. I thought I had settled on a .357 barrel and would ream it out to max. But with all the recent threads on the .243 I am reconsidering. I will use it for TX sized whitetails, axis deer and the occasional **** or possum. My shots will be from 25 yards to no more than 200 yards (self imposed limit). I was planning on mounting a Weaver K4 or K6 fixed power scope. In the future this rifle will be handed off to my sons when it's time for them to learn how to hunt. So, what do you say?
 

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With the 200yd self imposed limits the 243 would be my choice.Now that I have said that I have three long arms in 357 and flat love the combination.But in my mind it is at best a 150yd weapon.I have no experience with the 357Max, but I am sure those that have will check in. hth Doug
 

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I have a .357 Mag myself and wouldn't use it at 200 yards but for teaching kids to hunt
the .357 has it all over the .243. My 9 year old daughter is extremely recoil shy, she is afraid
to even shoot her .410 barrel on her versa-pack but with the .357 she can practice with
.38 specials which is basically like shooting a .22 recoil wise. For deer hunting I have it sighted in
with 180 grain Federal Vital Shoks and she'll never notice the recoil if she actually gets a shot off this year.
I would have never gotten her to go hunting with me if she had tried out a .243 because even that would have
been too much for her.

My self imposed limit is 100 yards but I'm using peep sights. With a scope you could probably take it out to 150 yards.
 

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The .243 seems to be one of the more problematic calibers. I would get the .357.
 

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200 yards is pushing the MAX a little. I would get the 243, a very versatile round. If you were going to keep the shots with in 150 Yards then I would go for the MAX, but only if you reload.
 

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I suggest the .357 Max if you can live with a bit less than your 200 yard self imposed limit and feel the kids learning to shoot and hunting with it are more important than the occasional (if ever) maximum shot for you. Heck, with practice a properly loaded .357 Max should be capable of the occasional 200 yard shot, members here are shooting 200 yards with the Ultra Slug shotguns. Many people set a max limit on shots and later realize the great percentage or ALL of their shots are well under the max limit, and lowering your self imposed limit is easy to do. The .357 would be much better for all around use and teaching and handing off to your children. Start them on .38 specials and let yard shoot .38's, .357 Mags, .360 Dan Wessons, or .357 Max's as they progress or as they desire. Better for them, much cheaper for you, and it is a gun both you and they could get a LOT of use out of, in a cost effective and recoil sensitive manner as well.....<><....:)
 

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.243 unless you are in a wooded area.
357 would work better in brush.

BTW do you already have a 30/30?
It kind of fills the gap between 243 and 357.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advice. My limit of 200 yards is about the longest shot I would have any confidence in taking. Like you say, most shots would be well within that limit. Most of the spots I hunt it would be under 100. I do have my .308 if I will be in places where a longer shot is possible. I do not handload so I will have to rely on factory .357 mag or custom order max shells.
 

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Man I am surprised no one said both ;D And normally I wouldn't, but in this case I could see both calibers put to good use now and later down the road.
Plus it'll give your boys some variables to play with.




-Aaron
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks quick. Of those choices from Reeds Ammo, what would be a good hunting round?

myarmor- I suppose one day I will have both. But for now I have to make my firearm purchases wisely. You know, "Why do you need another gun?" When my boys get older and into hunting I will have no choice but to buy more rifles. ;)
 

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I would say the 243 is a very poor caliber for a beginner. The 357 is a much better choice. A 7mm-08 down loaded with a 120gr BT would be my choice.
With this cal. she can grow into a very versatile big game rifle.

With all the problems the 243 Handi has, this make even more sense.
Of course I have no use for a 243Win no matter in which rifle it comes in.
 

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cgturner7 said:
Thanks quick. Of those choices from Reeds Ammo, what would be a good hunting round?

myarmor- I suppose one day I will have both. But for now I have to make my firearm purchases wisely. You know, "Why do you need another gun?" When my boys get older and into hunting I will have no choice but to buy more rifles. ;)
I understand exactly. Both calibers can shoot very well in a Handi and I am sure you will be happy with either choice. If not,then it's not too hard to work with NEF to make it right. Partsmans suggestion of a 30-30 is also a very good choice. IN a Handi these have a great rep.
 

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