Q: I have an old BSA .243 which fits me well and is accurate. It has a Leupold VXIII scope and a Harris extendable swivel bipod. I’d like to use this outfit on fallow bucks using factory ammunition as I don’t reload. I’m new to deer hunting and all the bucks I see are 300yds away. Is this too far for the .243? Every gun shop recommends a different brand of cartridge and all the ads say theirs are best. So I’m confused as to which weight, shape and structure of bullet would best serve my purpose. Can you recommend a factory load that will reach out 300yds. and do a good job when it gets there? I’ve bought Hornady SuperFormance 95gn SST and Winchester PowerMax 100gn bonded rapid expansion ammo. I don’t know how these loads will perform as I have not shot a deer with them yet. Is there a better load for fallow deer?
A: In all honesty, 300yds. is a long way to shooting deer with any calibre of rifle. Personally, I always try to stalk within 200yds. wherever possible. Having said that, I remember knocking off a chamois at over 300yds. in Austria years ago with a Steyr .243. Fallow are fairly “soft” animals and I would recommend Hornady SuperFormance ammo loaded with the 95gn SST bullet which will open up at long range where velocity has dropped off. Winchester’s Supreme 95gn XP3 is also a good load. It leaves the muzzle at 3100fps and the XP3 is a tough bullet.