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The Mighty but Overlooked .243 Win.

Author:  Michael T. Huff, CoyoteLight Pro Staff
Owner: masterpredatorhunting.com
September 24th, 2014

Many coyote hunters I encounter today hunt with a rifle chambered in either a .223 Rem. or a .22-250 Rem.   Sometimes I will also encounter someone using a .204 Ruger or one of the many .17 caliber variants.  While all of these calibers are outstanding coyote calibers under the right conditions, the .243 Win. is capable of outperforming them all.  However, it is often overlooked for coyote hunting.

Ballistically speaking, the .243 Win. will do anything the .223 and .22-.250 can do and do it much better with a heavier bullet.  The .204 Ruger does give it a run for its money in the trajectory department.  However, the .204 Ruger needs to use much lighter bullets to compete with the mighty .243 Win.  If hunting at long ranges in windy conditions, these light bullets will drift more significantly.  Their lighter mass will also result in less energy transferred into the animal.

Caliber

BulletWeightMuzzle Velocity (fps)Trajectory 200 YardsTrajectory 300 YardsEnergy (ft/lbs.) 200 YardsEnergy (ft/lbs.) 300 Yards
.223 Rem.5532400-7764578
.22-250 Rem5536800-5.11004772
.204 Ruger4039000-4.3855675
.243 Win.5839250-4.41200922

The .243 Win. has great authority in quickly and humanely anchoring a coyote.  This is a significant consideration for those who hunt coyote contests as well as those hunting at night.  I have even discovered a hand load that performs rather mildly on fox as well.  In addition, the .243 Win. is a great caliber for women and kids seeking a rifle that can also be used to hunt wolf and deer.   Commercial ammunition is readily available and all major gun manufactures chamber rifles in this caliber.

All of the calibers I mentioned in today’s blog are great coyote calibers.  I have and do use several of the often with great confidence.  The point of my article today is to shine some light on the often overlooked .243 Win. for coyote hunting.  While it falls short in barrel life compared to a .223 Rem., it has a lot of great features that make it an ideal coyote rifle.

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