History of .243 Winchester Ammunition
The .243 Winchester was introduced in 1955 in the Winchester Model 70 bolt action rifle and the Model 88 lever action rifle. Today the .243 is a well respected cartridge and is offered by all of the major American ammunition manufacturers in a wide variety of bullet weights and types.
For many shooters, the .243 was their first centerfire rifle and for a large portion of those the .243 was used to harvest their first deer. What makes the .243 such a stand out is that it is a very efficient cartridge. The necked down .308 case provides plenty of room for powder to make the small light bullets perform at their peak. The .243 is suitable for varmints, predators, deer and some have even used it for elk hunting.
.243 bullets commonly range in weight from 55 to 115 grains. Bullet types vary and include Ballistic Silvertip, soft point, Accu Tip, Core-Lokt as well as several others. Muzzle velocities start around 2800 feet per second and top out close to 3900 feet per second. Muzzle energy will vary from 1700 to 2600 foot pounds.
The .243 is known as a light recoiling, highly accurate round. It performs admirably on deer sized game out to and beyond 200 yards, some even claim to have taken whitetail deer at 400 yards on a regular basis. The cartridge has also seen service with the Los Angeles Police Department's Special Weapons And Tactics unit in a urban counter sniper role soon after the unit was created.
Today the .243 can be found chambered in all commonly made rifle action types and all major rifle manufacturers have a least one model chambered in the .243. Ammunition is easily found with a variety that is second to no other cartridge on the market today.
The 243 Winchester has been and will likely continue to be a cartridge in demand for shooters looking for a light recoiling round that can hunt virtually any game animal in North America at short to medium ranges.
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