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243 winchester vs 44 magnum for deer which would you pick ?


phantom
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Friends son wants to buy a scout td he cant decide if he  wants  44 mag  or  243 winchester  For deer . He ask me but i use nether  figured i just post it here .  I just told him go as powerful of a cal  that   you can take  and still shoot good with out flinching .

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I would go with the 44 mag because it will destroy less meat and meat is the primary reason why I hunt.  Most folks who only give a crap about the antlers would go for the .243, especially if longer range shots are expected. 
How much meat gets destroyed with a double lung shot? What does the caliber have anything to do with only caring about antlers? I realize you like thumping the bible, but the preaching gets old.

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2 hours ago, phantom said:

Friends son wants to buy a scout td he cant decide if he  wants  44 mag  or  243 winchester  For deer . He ask me but i use nether  figured i just post it here .  I just told him go as powerful of a cal  that   you can take  and still shoot good with out flinching .

Say what on that last part? I can't even..................................

 

When I think scout rifle I either think a lever action or a short bolt action, short action bolt ( not the same thing here ) that's easier to carry trekking long distances. But seeing a scout rifle is a carbine by technical gibberish that's not the case.

 

I would go .243.

 

 

Interesting article on the Scout Rifle. I like this thinking on the 7mm-08.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/rugers-scout-rifle-total-waste-your-time-98992

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1 hour ago, chrisw said:

How much meat gets destroyed with a double lung shot? What does the caliber have anything to do with only caring about antlers? I realize you like thumping the bible, but the preaching gets old.

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Very little, but they don’t alway get hit there.   A few years ago my neighbor, who raises beef cattle and don’t like venison, gave me two deer that he had killed with his .243.   I had the pleasure of processing and eating both of those deer. 

One was a doe fawn that field dressed about 70 pounds, and the other was a 2.5 year old 8 point that field dressed about 140 pounds.   

Each deer yielded roughly the same amount of usable meat (about 35 pounds each).  The doe fawn was struck broadside, center lung.  
 

The buck was struck twice, with the first one broadside on the hip joint.  That shot turned most of both hind quarters into something resembling grape jello, and not at all fit for consumption. 
 

He ran over to the buck, and finished it with a second broadside shot to the front of the shoulder blade, at the base of the neck.  That shot resulted in a grape jello neck roast, along with the front half of the back straps.

That experience moved the .243 way down the list of anything that I would consider for a deer rifle.  I almost bought one the year before, but am very thankful to have gone with a 30/30 instead.  
 

I don’t get a lot of chances at deer, and sometimes need to shoot them from other than perfectly broadside angles.  Most of mine are taken at well under 100 yards so I would certainly go with the .44 between those 2 from a less meat damage standpoint alone.  
 

The same year that I butchered that shot up 8 point, I cut up one of my own that was struck 3 times by 12 ga sabots, which are very similar in performance to the .44 mag.  The first 2 shots were too far back with one passed thru just under the spine on center, and the second passing right thru, paralyzing the deer.

My finisher was to the same place, the base of the neck.  The neck roast was still good on that one and I only lost a chop or two where the other two slugs passed thru.   That buck yielded more then 90 pounds of meat so we didn’t need to buy much store bought  chicken that year even though we got very little meat from those other two.

 

Edited by wolc123
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It all comes down to bullet selection and shot placement.. 

I chose 243 all day! Choose your bullet wisely and you can kill most all if not all North American big game animals with it.  

44mag will work well if your shots are kept under 100 yards. Is imagine their may be a decent change in recoil between the two. Though ive never shot a 44mag long gun. 

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40 minutes ago, wolc123 said:

Very little, but they don’t alway get hit there.   A few years ago my neighbor, who raises beef cattle and don’t like venison, gave me two deer that he had killed with his .243.   I had the pleasure of processing and eating both of those deer. 

One was a doe fawn that field dressed about 70 pounds, and the other was a 2.5 year old 8 point that field dressed about 140 pounds.   

Each deer yielded roughly the same amount of usable meat (about 35 pounds each).  The doe fawn was struck broadside, center lung.  
 

The buck was struck twice, with the first one broadside on the hip joint.  That shot turned most of both hind quarters into something resembling grape jello, and not at all fit for consumption. 
 

He ran over to the buck, and finished it with a second broadside shot to the front of the shoulder blade, at the base of the neck.  That shot resulted in a grape jello neck roast, along with the front half of the back straps.

That experience moved the .243 way down the list of anything that I would consider for a deer rifle.  I almost bought one the year before, but am very thankful to have gone with a 30/30 instead.  
 

I don’t get a lot of chances at deer, and sometimes need to shoot them from other than perfectly broadside angles.  Most of mine are taken at well under 100 yards so I would certainly go with the .44 between those 2 from a less meat damage standpoint alone.  
 

The same year that I butchered that shot up 8 point, I cut up one of my own that was struck 3 times by 12 ga sabots, which are very similar in performance to the .44 mag.  The first 2 shots were too far back with one passed thru just under the spine on center, and the second passing right thru, paralyzing the deer.

My finisher was to the same place, the base of the neck.  The neck roast was still good on that one and I only lost a chop or two where the other two slugs passed thru.   That buck yielded more then 90 pounds of meat so we didn’t need to buy much store bought  chicken that year even though we got very little meat from those other two.

 

So you're saying a .44 wouldn't have ruined the hind quarter? 

Either caliber would result with a hind quarter ruined. 

To the OP....If I only hunted thick stuff and no fields, I'd I'd pick the .44.

If I hunted both fields and brush, .243 without hesitation. 

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34 minutes ago, LET EM GROW said:

It all comes down to bullet selection and shot placement.. 

I chose 243 all day! Choose your bullet wisely and you can kill most all if not all North American big game animals with it.  

44mag will work well if your shots are kept under 100 yards. Is imagine their may be a decent change in recoil between the two. Though ive never shot a 44mag long gun. 

A .44 lever jumps a wee bit.

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A lot depends on where they are planning on hunting, and expected ranges. I am not a fan of either, and have shot both. A better compromise of the two would be a 30-30. Better range and flatter shooting than a .44, more mass than a .243 (yup, I am well aware of velocity differences) , and a lot of rifle options. Not to mention bullet choices. In this day and age though, I would give considerable thought to the cartridge availability.

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Boy: 44 in a rifle or a 243. I’m looking for a 44mag lever gun. I have the triple 4 would like a 44 but they cost more than the triple 4.

Here’s what I would look at if most of my shots are less than 100yds I would go with the 44. There easy to reload and there hard hitting. If you want to make longer shots, then go with the 243. I have a 6mm Rem. and love it I’m really impressed how well it works on deer. You know what you can’t go wrong with either of them. I think the 44 would be fun to hunt with. Go with what you like you’re the one the is hunting or shooting it. unless you want to buy me a 44 lever gun.:hunter:

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I'm a 44 guy . That said  243 in a long rifle paired  with a premium bullet such as the nosler partition 90 to 100 gr  is the better over all choice . Shot placement is every thing for both calibers.  Heavey for caliber in the 44 mag has some amazing  penetration capabilities . Still its a 150yd round .

I haven't seen either 243 or 44 mag on the shelf in a year.

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4 minutes ago, Larry said:

Boy: 44 in a rifle or a 243. I’m looking for a 44mag lever gun. I have the triple 4 would like a 44 but they cost more than the triple 4.

Here’s what I would look at if most of my shots are less than 100yds I would go with the 44. There easy to reload and there hard hitting. If you want to make longer shots, then go with the 243. I have a 6mm Rem. and love it I’m really impressed how well it works on deer. You know what you can’t go wrong with either of them. I think the 44 would be fun to hunt with. Go with what you like you’re the one the is hunting or shooting it. unless you want to buy me a 44 lever gun.:hunter:

Ive been looking for a 44 lever as well. Everything starts at a grand. New or used. 

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3 hours ago, mowin said:

So you're saying a .44 wouldn't have ruined the hind quarter? 

Either caliber would result with a hind quarter ruined. 

To the OP....If I only hunted thick stuff and no fields, I'd I'd pick the .44.

If I hunted both fields and brush, .243 without hesitation. 

A 44 mag might have ruined half of one hind quarter, but the .243 ruined nearly all of both.  Meat damage is directly proportional to bullet velocity but not so dependant on bullet weight.  

That little .243 bullet is screaming fast compared to the .44 mag or a 12 gauge sabot slug.   The meat damage from the .44 would be much closer to that minimal loss that  I saw on my 8 point that same year with those slugs.

You really get a good feel for the meat loss situation, when you butcher a few that were killed with different types, on consecutive days, like I did that year.

All the talks of shot placement is meaningless for most short range, heavy cover type hunting situations.  A deer rifle should be able to drop a deer from any angle with minimal meat damage if I am going to lug it around. 
 

If you don’t mind eating meat that looks like grape jello, then the .243 would be a fine choice in a deer rifle.

Edited by wolc123
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Very little, but they don’t alway get hit there.   A few years ago my neighbor, who raises beef cattle and don’t like venison, gave me two deer that he had killed with his .243.   I had the pleasure of processing and eating both of those deer. 
One was a doe fawn that field dressed about 70 pounds, and the other was a 2.5 year old 8 point that field dressed about 140 pounds.   
Each deer yielded roughly the same amount of usable meat (about 35 pounds each).  The doe fawn was struck broadside, center lung.  
 
The buck was struck twice, with the first one broadside on the hip joint.  That shot turned most of both hind quarters into something resembling grape jello, and not at all fit for consumption. 
 
He ran over to the buck, and finished it with a second broadside shot to the front of the shoulder blade, at the base of the neck.  That shot resulted in a grape jello neck roast, along with the front half of the back straps.
That experience moved the .243 way down the list of anything that I would consider for a deer rifle.  I almost bought one the year before, but am very thankful to have gone with a 30/30 instead.  
 
I don’t get a lot of chances at deer, and sometimes need to shoot them from other than perfectly broadside angles.  Most of mine are taken at well under 100 yards so I would certainly go with the .44 between those 2 from a less meat damage standpoint alone.  
 
The same year that I butchered that shot up 8 point, I cut up one of my own that was struck 3 times by 12 ga sabots, which are very similar in performance to the .44 mag.  The first 2 shots were too far back with one passed thru just under the spine on center, and the second passing right thru, paralyzing the deer.
My finisher was to the same place, the base of the neck.  The neck roast was still good on that one and I only lost a chop or two where the other two slugs passed thru.   That buck yielded more then 90 pounds of meat so we didn’t need to buy much store bought  chicken that year even though we got very little meat from those other two.
 
All of the scenarios you listed are a result of terrible shooting. Sometimes you have to blame the Indian...

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1 hour ago, chrisw said:

All of the scenarios you listed are a result of terrible shooting. Sometimes you have to blame the Indian...

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Says the Indian still looking for a buck hit with an arrow last week ? 

Edited by wolc123
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Says the Indian still looking for a buck hit with an arrow last week ? 
Yes, exactly. I failed to execute. That's all on me. I don't hide behind BS excuses. The fact that you thought you would take the opportunity to beat me while I'm down says a lot to your character. I'll take the higher road I guess and not say what I would love to say to you...

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