Hunting rifle

6.5×55 Swede or .243 Winchester for easy shooting?

Q: I enjoy reading your technical advice in Sporting Shooter. Keep up the good work. I am 71 years old and other than a couple of hunting trips in the early 1960s (culling kangaroos) and three years in the school cadets, I’m relatively new to the shooting world.

I own three Lithgow Arms rifles: LA101 in .22 LR, LA102 in .223 Remington and LA102 in .308 Winchester. All of these rifles are quite accurate, but both centrefires are a bit heavy to be dragging around the countryside.

I handload for both and am getting reasonable results, but I have a problem with shooting the .308 (36 shots) on each of the last two sessions at my local range. Recoil is firm and manageable but the next day my neck and back of my shoulder is very stiff and sore – arthritis maybe?

My question concerns the purchase of a new rifle for hunting, a sporter, possibly a Tikka T3x in Lite or Super Lite.

I am very much attracted to the 6.5×55 Swede but wonder if I should give more consideration to the .243 Win? I would welcome your opinion on a choice of calibre for hunting goats, pigs and small deer.

– Chris Anderson

A: Happy to hear you enjoy my advice. I agree that Lithgow Arms rifles are accurate and they really are on the heavy side for a sporter to be carried in the field.

I think you’d be more comfortable shooting a Tikka Lite in .243 Winchester. The 6.5×55 Swede is a fine cartridge but generates quite a bit of recoil with heavy 140gn bullets.

I recommend you get a .243 and shoot 80gn bullets in it for pigs and goats and 100gn bullets for deer.




Like it? Share with your friends!

What's Your Reaction?

super super
fail fail
fun fun
bad bad
hate hate
lol lol
love love
omg omg
Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.