As I stated in the title this is only my Opinion based on half a century of combined Military and general hunting experience. I am and Armorer a
collector and avid re-loader. I also follow the threads here on ATS very closely and lately I have found a disturbing trend. A push away from good
proven hunting rounds and weapons, towards what I feel in many cases are poorly designed paramilitary platforms. (M4/M16 or SKS AK's)
Now I too have a love of shinny new toys and as a collector I would say at least once in your life you should own and play with Bushmaster or the
likes, they are a lot of fun after all. But is this the gun/round combo to bet your life on?
I say no....
to quote a good many others,
""As hunting cartridges, the .223 Rem. is best described as a varmint (ground hog, rabbit) cartridge, and the .308 Win. as an "all-around" (antelope,
deer, elk) cartridge. Since enemy soldiers are approximately the size of deer, not groundhogs, the .308 is the obvious choice between the two.""
So why did the US military choose this round (5,56 or .223) over all the other's?.... Recoil control...
From 7.5 pound rifles, the .223 firing a 62 grain bullet at a 3,020 fps. generates only 4.07 ft. lbs. of recoil energy; the .308 firing a 150 grain
bullet at 2,800 fps. generates 17.72 ft. lbs. of recoil energy.
what that means is two thing's the first is does not intimidate the inexperienced shooters and allows you to come back on target quickly. We have an
old saying in the Marines, You cant miss fast enough to lose a gun fight. Aimed accurate fire is the key. for those reasons alone the .5,56 was
chosen, not for is killing ability, period
(The velocity, energy, trajectory, and wind drift figures quoted below are taken from the 2007 Federal, Remington, and Winchester ammunition
Compared to its main competition in the infantry rifle cartridge sweepstakes, the 7.62x39 Soviet, the 5.56mm NATO cartridge has much higher velocity
(for flatter trajectory), and slightly more energy downrange. Neither actually has much punch at medium to long range: at 200 yards they have 860-875
ft. lbs. of energy, and at 300 yards they are down to only 655-710 ft. lbs. When you consider that 900 ft. lbs. of remaining bullet energy is
generally considered the minimum for reliably killing an inoffensive deer, these numbers are not impressive. For what it's worth, at each range the
slightly higher figure belongs to the 5.56mm.
At typical 5.56mm velocities, this bullet's lateral drift at 300 yards in a light 10 MPH crosswind is 14.2 inches. This is enough to blow a perfectly
aimed bullet completely off a Deer/man-size target! The 5.56mm 62 grain FMJ-boat tail spitzer has a BC of .307. This is still very inferior to the BC
of the .243's 95 grain bullet. Good enough for varmint shooting under the best conditions, but...
At typical .243 velocities, the 95 grain bullet's lateral drift at 300 yards in a 10 MPH crosswind is about 6.3 inches.and that takes us to what a
The .243 (6mm) is based on a necked down .308 cartridge case and is known for its accuracy, flat trajectory, and relatively mild recoil.
.243 Win. is a much better killer on animals in the 100-350 pound class than the .223 Rem. A 95 grain .243 boat tail spitzer bullet at a muzzle
velocity of 3,100 fps. retains 1,455 ft. lbs. of energy at 200 yards, 1,225 ft. lbs. at 300 yards, 1,024 ft. lbs. at 400 yards, and 890 ft. lbs. at
500 yards (Winchester figures). The .243 is more lethal at 500 yards than the 5.56mm NATO or 7.62x39 are at 200 yards!
In a non-sporting context, bolt-action rifles chambered for the .243 were utilized by the Los Angeles Police Department's Special Weapons And Tactics
(SWAT) unit during its early years.
For Tactical Comps George Gardner said why he chose .243 Winchester for his Tactical Comp Gun. "Why would I run anything else? Think about it. I'm
sending a .585 BC 115 at 3150 fps--that'll shoot inside the 6XC and .260 Rem with ease. I'm pretty sure I have found the Holy Grail of Comp
Of course this is all just my Opinion ... but...
the .243 is by far the better choice for a personal protection/hunting arm...plus you can pick up a new for for under $500, rather than spend a
couple grand for a cheap M4 copy...
Photos of .243 rifles
edit on 10-3-2011 by DaddyBare because: (no reason given)
edit on 10-3-2011 by DaddyBare because: Typo's, typo's