In this article, we will be taking a look at two very popular cartridges in the US and the world, the .243 Win and .308 Win. These rounds have been on the market for over 50 years, and there is no reason why they won’t continue to be a mainstay in small firearm ammunition.
We are going to make a lot of comparisons on these two cartridges. In the end, we are not going to try to make a claim for which is the best. It’s all relative in our eyes to the situation they are being used in is going to determine which is better suited.
We will take a look at several ballistic categories and performance specs important for hunting and general shooting and discuss the similarities and differences between the two. From there, we can discuss the applications for each cartridge and under which situations they will be better suited.
.243 vs .308: A Brief History
The .308 Winchester was introduced by Winchester in 1952. Though the predecessor, this cartridge is the civilian version of the 7.62×51 NATO round that saw brief use in Vietnam before being replaced.
Where the .308 has gained a strong and loyal following is in the hunting community. This is a larger bullet with excellent range and stopping power. It’s a great medium to large game rifle and can be used for just about any large game animal in the world, barring a few.
Not only is the .308 a fantastic civilian hunting round, but it also displays enough speed, power, and distance to be adapted into police force sharpshooting units. That is a high recommendation for the use of this cartridge.
The .308 is extremely popular, and you can tell based on the sheer amount of ammunition and type of ammunition that is available. There are several bullet weights, powder charges, and bullet design can all impact the bullets flight and power characteristics.
We are really interested in this comparison, and one of the reasons is that the .243 Win came about from modifications of the .308 Win. And though the .243 is a direct descendant of the .308, there are some significant differences between the two modern cases.
The .243 Win case is a necked down .308. This smaller neck diameter allows the .243 to take the smaller. 243-inch diameter bullets. There are of course other modifications that we will look at shortly, but that is one of the large differences between these two cartridges.
The .243 Win was introduced in 1955, and the versatility of the bullet became apparent immediately. The .243 can take a wide range of bullet weights ranging from 50 to 100 or more grain weight bullets. With the velocity, trajectory, and light recoil, it made the .243 a standard for long range varmint hunting as well as larger game such as deer.
This versatility has kept the .243 relevant and ever popular in its 60+ years of existence in the hunting and shooting competition world.
.308 vs .234 Specs
|.308 Win||.243 Win|
|Parent Casing||.300||.308 Win|
|Max Pressure (SAMMI)||62,000psi||60,000psi|
By looking at the case and bullet dimensions, we can immediately begin to make assumptions about these two cartridges. Because the parent case of the .243 is the .308 Winchester, these cartridges have some similarities, but as we will see, there are also a lot of differences. The most noticeable difference is in the neck diameter where the .308 is much wider to fit the larger caliber bullet. We also see that the .308 can withstand higher pressures than the .243 Win which allows the 308 to run a little hotter. For the heavier bullets that the 308 uses, it’s going to need a little more force to get those bullets at the speed needed for proper terminal ballistics The .243 is also longer than the .308 and cannot handle as high an internal pressure as the .308 Win.
Besides those differences, these two cartridges have very similar case dimensions such as the base diameter, case length, overall length, and the case capacity. To see how these two cartridges stack up against each other we have chosen ten factory rounds, five for each cartridge type, and those are listed below.
And we are aware that there are a lot of other options that are on the market and there is a good chance that a round you use and has served you well might not be present. This list is not composed of rounds that we think are superior to all others. We chose these to get a nice, diverse selection of rounds with differences in several aspects within each cartridge type.
- .243 Winchester Super-X Power Point 100gr
- .243 Hornady Superformance Varmint V-Max 58gr
- .243 Remington Core-Lokt PSP 100gr
- .243 Federal Vital-Shok Nosler Ballistic Tip 95gr
- .243 Nosler Varmageddon FB Tipped 55gr
- .308 Hornady BTHP Match 168gr
- .308 Winchester Super-X 180gr
- .308 Nosler Ballistic Tip 165gr
- .308 Federal Vital-Shok Ballistic Tip 150gr
- .308 Federal Gold Medal Sierra Matchking 175gr
With only ten rounds to compare, and even with the other rounds we will use in our average tables, we are still only scratching the surface of the options that are out there. We took a lot of time in the rounds that we selected and tried to bring in a wide array of bullet designs as well as rounds for some different applications.
We didn’t have space to graph 100 different rounds and trying to discern any specifics from such a cluttered graph is not something you want to do with the little spare time that you have. With careful selection and the addition of the average tables, we think our picks give you a fair idea of how these different cartridges compare to one another.
We should also note that all of these rounds are common and popular factory loads that you can pick up at just about any retail store, with some exceptions. Some of you might be coming in with a hand loading background and will quickly point out that you can get much better numbers out of your hand loads than what will be presented here. We would love to hear your setup in the comments section, and we are sure the readers will too. Unfortunately, with the time and space we have, handloading is going to have to be pushed back into its own article.
One of the pros to comparing factory loaded ammo, besides the fact that it is what most people are using, is that we can get some consistency in the rounds for comparison. All of the data that we will be looking at throughout the entirety of the article is computer generated data. While calculating these numbers with live rounds and a rifle is much more fun on our side of things, there are a lot of variables that can throw off the numbers including our rifle, the weather, and if we had a good nights sleep and a cup of coffee the morning of.
With computer-generated data, we can limit these variables, and while important, they make comparing two cartridges a bit muddled. All the data comes from the manufacturer when available, and when not, we utilized public, online ballistic software. Due to the differences between the cartridges, we sometimes have to change the variables for each such as propellant charge and gun weight to give more accurate data sets. When this is needed, we will be sure to make it clear to you how we came about specific numbers.
This section is as clear of a decision as any other category we will discuss on the 243 versus 308. When most of us think of recoil, we think of the actual kick that is felt when the gun is fired. A lot of factors go into the actual “felt recoil” that we can’t put numbers on for comparison. Instead, we are going to look at the actual energy(ft.lbs) that is created when the power is ignited.
There are several factors that influence the recoil energy. When the data was calculated we used the muzzle velocity for each round, the bullet weight, the gun weight, and the powder charge. We kept the gun weight constant at 7lbs and used the average for several popular powder brands provided by Nosler load data for each cartridge. So while the numbers we present might fluctuate depending on the actual powder charge used by the manufacturer (not provided), the general trends are safe to draw conclusions from.
So, before we look at the ten rounds, let’s take a general look at the recoil energy generated by the two cartridges. This graph was using data provided by the ballistic calculator for each cartridge.
There is no debate on this category when comparing the .243 and .308 cartridges. The .308 kicks like a mule compared to the .243. With nine ft.lbs of difference between the two, even an experienced shooter is going to feel the difference between these two cartridges.
Of course, the energy generated is going to vary from round to round even within the same cartridge type.
In this graph, we take a look at our ten rounds and see how they compare and if the same trend continues from what we saw in the previous graph.
Again, you can see that there is some variance in recoil energy between the two cartridges, but they mostly stick around the same ft.lbs of energy. Also, keep in mind that some of these rounds might have used less or more powder so the recoil energy may vary a little. Regardless, you can easily visualize the greater recoil energy that is produced by the .308 rounds. All of the .308 rounds are generating more than 20ft.lbs of energy which is considered enough to influence the shot if you are not experienced with the round. On the other hand, the .243 rounds come in between 8 and 12ft.lbs of energy.
In the ballistics section, we will focus on the differences in velocity, ballistic coefficients, and trajectory. With this information, we can begin teasing apart where these cartridges would be better suited.
There is not anyone out there with a rifle in hand that has not given thought to the ballistic performance of their chosen cartridge and round. Whether you are hunting or interested in long-range target shooting, the ballistic performance is critical to success just as experience shooting the rounds are.
We are going to look at all of these various categories and compare the two cartridges in a vacuum so to speak, but in reality, all the ballistic specs interplay and influence one another. So while looking at each alone makes comparing the two cartridges much simpler, we have to keep in mind that we are only looking at a piece of the puzzle. To understand which scenarios one cartridge might be better suited than the other, we have to take all of it in together, and we will do this to some degree once we reach the application section.
It’s not as simple as using higher burning powders as these cartridges can only hold so much and take so much pressure, and there is a fine line you walk with a hot round. If paired with the wrong twist rate, the bullet is going to be unstable in the air. For factory loads, you often don’t have to worry about this concept.
There are several reasons to look at the bullet velocity from the muzzle as it moves downrange. The velocity of the bullet is going to play a major role in the trajectory, which in turn, is going to determine the number of adjustments needed to make when taking shots at extended ranges. Velocity is also important in the terminal ballistics of a round as it influences the bullet’s energy as well as how the bullet will expand on impact.
We compiled the velocities of the ten rounds from the manufacture and have graphed them here. We are looking at the velocity (ft.sec) from the muzzle out to 500 yards in 100-yard increments.
There are several interesting talking points we can harp on from this graph. The first is that the .243 seems to have higher velocities from the muzzle out to the 500-yard mark. The averages all support this though the .308 closes the difference as the rounds move downrange. One of the biggest reasons for this is how quickly the 55gr .243 rounds bleed off velocity. They come out with nearly 4,000ft.sec velocity and they maintain a distinct advantage until the 500-yard mark where all of the rounds begin to group much more tightly.
There is some overlap in velocities between the two cartridges as they reach the 200-yard mark and beyond as it appears that the .243 rounds bleed of velocity at a higher rate than the .308 rounds. All of these rounds maintain supersonic speeds out to 500 rounds and probably will for another several hundred yards.
The BC is simply a rating that is derived from an equation that uses multiple cartridge/bullet variables. What this number tells you is how well the bullet resists wind drag and wind drift throughout its flight path and gives you an idea of how well a bullet will be able to cut through air and wind resistance. The higher the ballistic coefficient, the less drag, and influence this resistance will have on the traveling bullet. For shots taken at extended ranges, a higher BC often means fewer adjustments will have to be made to get the bullet on target. The ballistic coefficient is not everything when it comes to having a true flying bullet. While we think it has a large role in making difficult shots easier, don’t make the error of thinking that if a bullet has a high BC, it is going to do all the work for you or replace experience and skill.
Often, the ballistic coefficient is given more attention with long range shooters, but we think it can be important for hunters as well. While hunters might not be taking shots at distances where they need to be worried about the bullets wind and drag resistance, it can’t hurt to know as much about your cartridge as possible.
We have compiled the ballistic coefficients for all ten of the selected rounds and graphed them here.
When we look at the BCs of these two rounds we see that the .308 round, at least from this selection of rounds, has higher ballistic coefficients. There are .308 rounds with lower BCs that look more like the .243 rounds, but there are also rounds with close to double the BCs of some .243 rounds.
So there is some variability within each cartridge type, but generally, .308 rounds are going to have higher BCs.
It doesn’t matter what you are using a rifle for or what cartridge you are using. The trajectory of the bullet is often one of the most discussed and scrutinized ballistic components. As bullets move downrange, they have a flight path of a parabola. As the bullets lose velocity and as outside influences act on the bullet, it loses altitude. For a cartridge comparison such as the .308 Win vs .243 Win, potential users want to see which has a flatter trajectory, meaning it shows less bullet drop.
Before we look at specific ranges with the short and long-range trajectory, we want to step back and just look at two rounds, one from each cartridge type, that are similar in bullet weight, BC, and bullet design. Hopefully, this begins to give us an uncluttered look at how the trajectories of these two cartridges compare.
Just because of the nature of these two cartridges, there is some difference between the bullet weights of these two rounds.
We see that there is less than an inch of difference in bullet drop between these two rounds out to the 350-yard mark. From this point, the gap does widen slightly with the .243 round continuing to show a slightly less pronounced drop in trajectory than the .308 round. Even so, the biggest difference in trajectory is not until the 500-yard mark where we’re only looking at five inches of difference, at the most.
While the .308 is using much heavier bullets than the .243, they are also using more powder to propel them downrange. So even though the light .243 rounds has a slightly flatter trajectory than the .308, it’s not as pronounced as one might think.
Let’s increase the number of rounds we are comparing and see if this trend continues.
Short Range Trajectory
Both of these cartridges are very popular whitetail cartridges, among other medium sized game, and in these scenarios, the majority of shots are coming at ranges up to 300 yards. Because of this, we want to compare the short-range trajectories of our selected ten rounds.
We compiled data from the manufacturer when available and also from ballistic calculators. To generate data from a ballistic calculator we used the rounds BC, muzzle velocity, and bullet weight.
With the short range trajectory, we do see some patterns regarding cartridge type. The .243 rounds have the flattest performing rounds with the 55 and 58gr bullets. Even barring those two rounds, all of the .243 rounds show a flatter trajectory than the .308 rounds though the difference is minimal at the 200-yard mark. At this point, there is less than two inches difference between the averages of the two cartridges, and if we omitted the two light .243 rounds, there is less than one inch. Regardless of the difference, every round shows less than 5 inches of bullet drop at the 200-yard mark.
The same trend continues at the 300-yard mark. We do see the rounds begin to distance themselves from each other a bit more. Like at the 200-yard mark, the lightweight .243 rounds are nearly five inches flatter than the next closest round. Even the steeper dropping .243 rounds are 2-3 inches flatter than all but one of the .308 rounds. At this point, the averages for both cartridges is 9.72 inches for the .243 and 14.68 for the .308.
Long Range Trajectory
While neither of these rounds is considered top long-range rounds in today’s shooting world, they are still options and are used by a lot of people. Because of that, we will take a look at these rounds long-range trajectories.
Data were acquired in the same manner as the short range trajectory, but we carried the graph out to 500 yards.
Overall, we see a similar trend as we did with the short range trajectory. Besides the two lightweight .243 rounds, we see tight groupings of all the other rounds at the 300 and 400-yard marks.
As the rounds move out to the 500-yard mark, we do see a distinct advantage in trajectory for the .243 rounds. There are several .308 rounds that cluster more tightly with the steeper .243 rounds, but overall the difference in averages is pretty clear. The .243 has an average bullet drop at 500 yards of 38 inches while the .308 has an average of 50 inches.
And while the .243 might appear to be a clear-cut winner there is more that you have to take into account depending on what you are doing. Especially if it is hunting, where stopping power is as critical and is the subject of our next section.
These two cartridges are not often used in home defense settings, so we will focus on knockdown power regarding hunting scenarios. While hunting, being able to have confidence that your bullet will reach the target and still have enough force to make a clean and quick harvest does a lot for confidence. We will look at two components to stopping power, including the kinetic energy carried by bullets downrange as well as how well the bullets will penetrate the target.
The energy or force (ft.lb) that is associated with a bullet on its flight path is transferred to the target on impact and can cause a tremendous amount of damage to surrounding tissue and organs which makes this component of stopping power important to examine. You will often see the loose guidelines for how much energy is needed to harvest specific animals. For most medium size game, 1,000ft.lbs of energy is the recommended amount, and this increases the larger the animal gets.
For the two cartridges we are looking at, they are very popular whitetail and other medium-sized game. Although, the .308 might have other applications that we will look at later.
While we agree that energy is important, we also think shot placement is as important if not more. It’s also important to remember that expansion of the bullet is also important is this allows the maximum amount of energy to transfer to the target.
So, let’s take a look at our ten rounds and see how the kinetic energy differs between these two cartridges.
The differences in bullet energy between these two rounds is obvious. Both cartridges cluster tightly together through the 500 yards with the .308 showing significantly more bullet energy than the .243.
From the muzzle, we are looking at nearly a 1,000ft.lbs difference in the averages of the two cartridges. The difference shrinks as the rounds move downrange but the advantage still clearly belongs to the .308 rounds. And we would expect this trend given the similarities in velocity between the rounds, barring the two lightweight .243 rounds, and the increased bullet weights of the .308 rounds.
At the muzzle, the .308 rounds have bullet energies above 2,500ft.lbs, and all remain between 1,000 and 1,400ft.lbs at the 500-yard mark. The .243 rounds all have muzzle energies between 1,700 and 2,000ft.lbs at the muzzle but drop below the 1,000ft.lb mark by 400 yards. This information is going to be useful when we discuss the applications of these rounds.
To get an idea of how well these two cartridges can penetrate a target, we will look at the sectional densities (SD) of the same rounds we have been using for comparison in this article. We do want to note, that not all hunting or shooting scenarios call for a large amount of penetration. It goes with what we have been saying from the beginning, that there is not clear cut winner and both provide the performance you need for certain hunting and shooting applications.
The SD is derived from the bullet’s weight and diameter. The higher the SD of the bullet, the deeper it should be able to penetrate. SD along with velocity and bullet type all factor into penetration, and we will discuss how it all ties together in the application section.
If we look at the SDs of the ten rounds, which we calculated using an SD calculator we see that there are some differences between these two cartridges.
First, there are some distinct differences just between the .243 rounds. We see that the lightweight .243 rounds have a significantly smaller SD than the heavier .243 rounds.
If we look at the heavier .243 rounds, there is not a whole lot of difference between the, 308 rounds. All of the .308 rounds still have higher SDs, but their sectional densities are only around 1-3 hundredths more.
While the .243 has a smaller diameter, the heavier .308 rounds are the reason their sectional density is greater. And this information is going to let us tease the hunting applications of these two cartridges in a few moments.
This is another point of comparison with the .243 vs the .308 that a lot of hunters or marksman often search for when trying to decide on a cartridge. The honest truth is, accuracy is often more linked to the firearm, the optics, and the user’s ability. Though, the ballistics can make a difference when the two cartridges are being shot by someone who knows what they are doing.
Within 200 yards, both of these cartridges can be nail drivers given their trajectory at these ranges. Once you move out to longer ranges, the .243 showed a slight advantage over the .308 with a less pronounced bullet drop. Now, there was a much greater advantage to the lightweight .243 rounds, but if they will not be suitable for certain applications, there were .308 rounds that were very similar to the heavier .243 rounds.
We did see a slight advantage in the ballistic coefficients of the .308 rounds. So while the bullet drop might be more pronounced, the BC and heavier weight of the .308 might help it resist other environmental factors such as wind, when taking long range shots compared to the .243.
The recoil of the .308 could reduce accuracy for novice shooters compared to a .243. We were looking at nearly double the recoil energy of the .308 compared to some .243 rounds. This is enough difference and enough recoil for the .308 to throw off shots during the pull.
With the .308, you can get up to some pretty heavy bullet sizes, and the twist rate of your rifle could impact the accuracy of the round. This will only be the case if you are using a heavy bullet with a rifle with a slow twist rate. Having the correct twist rate will stabilize the bullet as it moves through the air. Poor stabilization can throw off the trajectory that you have sent the bullet on. And the same goes for .243 rounds though the issue often arises when handloading the cartridge too hot. This is not something we discussed in the article, but it is something to keep in mind.
Again, regarding the actual cartridges along with their case and bullet design, the differences in accuracy are non-existent. It is just going to depend on the skill of the user and environmental conditions.
Price and Availability
Both of these cartridges are fairly prevalent on the market. For any major retailer, they are going to have both .243 and .308 rounds in stock and usually have a variety of options for both cartridges. A lot is also going to depend on the area you are in. The internet has made it much easier to find the specific round of either cartridge you fall in love with, but often these rarer cartridges are going to cost a pretty penny.
|.308 Hornady BTHP Match 168gr||$22.89 (20 Rounds)|
|.308 Winchester Super-X 180gr||$21.99 (20 Rounds)|
|.308 Nosler Ballistic Tip 165gr||$30.99 (20 Rounds)|
|.308 Federal Vital-Shok Ballistic Tip 150gr||$31.79 (20 Rounds)|
|.308 Federal Gold Medal Sierra Matchking 175gr||$25.99 (20 Rounds)|
|.243 Winchester Super-X Power Point 100gr||$17.99 (20 Rounds)|
|.243 Hornady Superformance Varmint V-Max 58gr||$22.99 (20 Rounds)|
|.243 Remington Core-Lokt PSP 100gr||$22.99 (20 Rounds)|
|.243 Federal Vital-Shok Nosler Ballistic Tip 95gr||$29.99 (20 Rounds)|
|.243 Nosler Varmageddon FB Tipped 55gr||$31.99 (20 Rounds)|
Regarding price, the .243 round is on average cheaper than the .308. It all depends on the quality of the cartridge as well. There are cheaper versions of each cartridge available in bulk while high-end rounds are both going to be pretty expensive regardless of the cartridge. For a 20 round box of .308 rounds that are reliable enough to be used in the field, you’re looking at around $35 on average. For the .243, you’re looking more at an average price of $30 for a box of 20 rounds. Like the 308, a box of .243 cartridges can vary from $20 to $50 bucks.
Overall, the price of these cartridges is not very different. Not enough to choose one of the other based solely on price in our eyes.
So, now that we have a good basis of comparisons of the .243 vs .308, we can take a look at situations where one cartridge might be favored over the other.
A lot of people associate the .308 with an excellent short range cartridge. Especially when that short range is in some heavy brush. And while a lot of people mistake that notion with the cartridge itself, it’s all about rifles chambered for a .308 being short actioned which makes them a little bit more maneuverable in tight conditions. And while it can certainly be used in that capacity, the numbers we have seen show that the .308 is certainly capable of taking long-range shots, 300-400 yards, for medium to even large game animals. And that is the case even with the heavier bullet weights that might be more suited towards game such as elk.
And as far as stopping power goes, the .308 carries more than enough energy for just about any game animal in North America within 400 yards. It’s also heavy enough that with the right bullet design, you are going to get more than enough penetration. The .308 Win does produce more recoil energy than the .243, and it is going to translate to a more pronounced kick. Even so, we don’t think it is enough to deter anyone who wants the performance of the .308.
The .243 serves well in several roles as well when it comes to hunting. The .243 is a light and high-velocity cartridge that is one of the best for varmint and predator hunting. By increasing the bullet weight, you also have a tremendous whitetail cartridge as well that we think is just as efficient as the .308 with its high velocity and penetration. While this cartridge has decent range, it just loses too much energy to take larger game at far distances unless it’s the perfect shot, and even then it might just result in a wounded animal.
The .243 ammunition is cheaper than the .308, and it’s flat trajectory and high speeds make it a fun and affordable round to use on the range. The lack of recoil also makes it a great firearm to introduce new or young hunters/marksmen to the sport.
When it comes to long-range shooting with these rounds, there are pros and cons to each. And again, we are not talking about handloading here, strictly factory loads. There is the issue of recoil, which we talk a little more about shortly, but we want to focus on the ballistics. The differences in velocity between these rounds depends on the individual round. The .243 has options for some hot rounds, but the hot ones, bleed velocity quickly and by the time you get out to 500 yards there is not much difference. The .243 rounds have an advantage in trajectory, but their lightweight bullets are going to be affected by wind more so than the heavier .308 rounds which also have slightly better BCs overall and sometimes a large advantage.
If you have a decent amount of experience with firearms, the .308 recoil is probably nothing that would deter you from using it. With a decent recoil pad and proper shooting position, the recoil is manageable for adults. Where it may cause some pause when considering the .308 based on recoil is if it is for someone just getting into shooting and hunting or a younger outdoorsman.
You just have to have experience shooting these different rounds of the two cartridges to get a feel of what is too much recoil for you to shoot comfortably.
Before we wrap up this article, we want to look back at the ten rounds we have been comparing throughout this debate and make a few selections for rounds, from each cartridge, that we think are well suited for specific tasks. This is just our opinion, and we think there are quite a few rounds, those not on our list as well, that can do just as well as the rounds we are going to pick. At the end of the day, we think the best round is the one you are confident in and the one that has brought you success consistently.
Top Hunting Round
For the .308 Win, we like the Nosler Ballistic Tip 165gr for hunting applications. While there are heavier rounds available, we like the 165gr weight because of its versatility. It can be used for both medium and even larger sized game without any concerns. Regarding bullet energy, this round is the highest of the five selected and is in the top when compared to the other rounds we compiled. With 1,300ft.lb of energy at 500 yards, there is no shot within normal hunting range where this round is not going to be carrying the needed energy for taking down game. We also like the expansion properties of the ballistic tip and feel it gives you very advantageous energy transfer upon impact. The BC and the long-range trajectory of this round also make it ideal for hunting situations where wind can be an issue as well ad range. 300 to even 400-yard shots are more than manageable though most would prefer to stay within the 350-yard mark.
For a .243 Win hunting round, we go with the Federal Vital-Shok Nosler Ballistic Tip 95gr round. And we should note that we picked this round with whitetail in mind. For varmint hunting, a lot of hunters might go with a lighter bullet weight that carries higher velocity and flatter trajectories. Even for a 95gr weight round, it has excellent trajectory out to 200 yards with only 3 inches of bullet drop, and it is also manageable out to 300 yards for those long-range shots on a mature buck. You’re also not going to have to worry about having enough stopping power at these ranges as this round has one of the highest kinetic energy rates of the .243 rounds we compiled.
Top Range Round
For heading out onto the range, we like the 168gr Hornady BTHP Match .308 Win round. Whether you are taking the round out to compete or to get some practice in, this round delivers the performance needed. We like this round for the latter application because of the price. For match grade ammunition, it is pretty more affordable per box. While this may or may not pertain to you, getting a lot of bang for your buck, if you excuse the cliche, is important to the vast majority of us. Besides that, this round has a pretty decent ballistic coefficient for a .308 round at 0.45, and it maintains its velocity at a pretty high rate compared to other .308 rounds. The trajectory is not the top performer of some of the other rounds, but it is still manageable out to 500 yards. Bringing in all of these variables together, it makes a good choice for a round to bring to the range.
For the .243 Win range round, we have gone with the 58gr Hornady Superformance Varmint V-Max. This round has tremendous muzzle velocity thought it does lose velocity at a pretty substantial rate. More than anything, it’s the low recoil and the trajectory that sways us on this round. You can shoot these rounds all day without getting fatigued, and they have tremendous long-range trajectory even out to 500 yards. The one downside to these rounds for range work is the low BC. They are light rounds so wind drift can be an issue when dealing with higher speed crosswinds. Other than that, this is a great round to go out and have some fun with on the range.
Conclusion – .308 Win vs .243 Win
When looking at the. 243 vs .308 cartridges, there are certain situations where one cartridge excels over the other, but it all depends on the circumstances and your personal preferences as to which you enjoy shooting and are more comfortable and confident with using.
Both the .243 and the .308 are tremendous cartridges that are widely abundant to come by and are pretty versatile when it comes to different shooting scenarios. We hope that this article has provided a more detailed comparison between the two cartridges and given you a much stronger foundation to base your decision on.