Q: Last year I bought a new Remington Model 700 rifle in .243 Winchester. Having done a fair amount of goat and pig hunting with it, I have 150 once-fired shells and wish to start reloading. What make and weight of bullet do you recommend for goats and pigs, and possibly fallow deer. Can you give me some loads with different bullet weights including one for varmints using the 55gn Nosler? What is the best powder and primer to gain the best results?
A: The .243 has a large case capacity compared to its bore diameter and is best served by relatively slow burning powders. My favourite is AR2209 with all bullet weights from 70 to 100 grains. With the 70gn Sierra 47gn of AR2209 delivered 3442 fps; 45gn with the 85gn Sierra HPBT got 3189fps; and 43gn with the Sierra 100gn achieved 3004fps. All velocities taken in the 584mm barrel of a Sako L581. For a varmint load with the 55gn Nosler try 44.5gn of AR2208 for 3760fps. For pigs and goats I like the regular 87gn Hornady and for deer the 100gn Lapua and the 95 and 100gn Nosler Partition spitzers. All large rifle primers are good these days; take your pick. My loads proved safe for use in my rifle, but just to be on the safe side, I’d recommend you work up from at least 2 grains below.