The .243 Winchester is simply the .308 Winchester necked down to take a .243-inch-diameter bullet. The 20-degree shoulder is maintained, and the case length is slightly longer at 2.045 inches, versus the .308 Winchester’s 2.015-inch length. The strength of the .243 Winchester is its versatility. It is a true “dual-use” cartridge that will perform equally well on Weer-sized game and on varmints. The .243 Winchester is an excellent coyote cartridge and is a good choice for hunting groundhogs or prairie dogs, as it handles wind better than the bullets used in lesser varmint cartridges. My DPMS LR-243 is poison on coyotes and is not at all out of place in the deer woods. Bullet weights run from 55 grains at 4,000 fps to 100 grains at 2,950 fps. I have tried most of them over the years but lately have been having excellent luck on deer with the Federal Fusion 95-grain load, while nothing shuts out the lights on a coyote like the 58-grain Hornady Superformance load.
The .260 Remington bridges the gap between the .243 Winchester and the 7mm-08 Remington while retaining much of what is good about both. Its recoil is manageable, making it a good choice for young or smaller-statured hunters, but it has more bullet weight and a larger frontal area than the .243 Winchester for improved on-game performance. I have quite a bit of experience with this cartridge on deer and antelope, and with a good 120-grain bullet, it’s a game-stopper. Popular bullet weights are 120 grains at 2,950 fps and 140 grains at 2,750 fps.
Think .260 Remington, but with better marketing. The two are very close ballistically, and the major difference is that ammo-makers for the .260 Remington have focused mostly on hunting while the 6.5 Creedmoor is targeted (pun intended) more for the long-range target crowd. Hornady makes the ammo in both hunting and target bullets. The 120-grain Superformance load has a muzzle velocity of 3,010 fps. The 129-grain Superformance load hits 2,910 fps, and the 140-grain A-MAX has a muzzle velocity of 2,710 fps.
“Every family of cartridges must have a 7mm.” This is the law of Remington. In general, the American public does not give great acceptance to metric cartridges, except if Remington promotes them. The 7mm Remington Magnum is popular, as is the 7mm Remington Ultra Magnum and the .280 Remington. Pretty much nobody else has been successful with the .284 bullet diameter. The 7mm-08 is Remington’s contribution to this class of cartridges. It’s an excellent cartridge for hunting big game in the deer category. Popular bullet weights run from 120 grains at 3,000 fps through 150 grains at 2,650 fps. The most popular is a 140-grain with a muzzle velocity of 2,850 fps.
This is the cartridge the AR-10 was originally designed around. It’s excellent for hunting anything from coyotes to deer and works for elk and moose. Randy Luth, the man who started DPMS, has used LR-308 rifles to shoot sheep, leopards and dozens of big-game critters. This is the preferred cartridge for fighting with the AR-L guns, and it’s also one of the best for long-range target shooting and competitions. As with all .30-caliber cartridges, the bullet options are too huge to list here. My choice for long-range shooting is the Federal Premium load with a 168-grain Sierra MatchKing bullet. For hunting deer and hogs, I really like the Barnes Vortex ammo with a 150-grain TTSX bullet.
This is one of the best short-action hunting cartridges offered in any gun and particularly in an AR-L rifle. Federal’s Fusion line offers a wide range of options, but I am partial to the 200-grain load with a muzzle velocity of 2,700 fps. Some years back, I used an early engineering sample of this ammo to shoot my best ever black bear, and I have nothing but confidence for its use hunting hogs or deer. I have seen this cartridge perform on elk, moose, mountain goats and a bunch of other game. It’s very impressive. With the Federal 200-grain Trophy Copper bullet, it can handle any ungulate in North America. My choice of rifle is the incredibly accurate JP Enterprises LRP-07H long-range precision hunting rifle. With the Fusion load, my three-shot 100-yard groups average 0.71 inches. The best group was a ragged hole that measured 0.3 inches. That’s about as good as it gets.
To be honest, nobody I know of makes an AR-L in this chambering, but I sure wish they would. It’s one of my favorite cartridges. It would be easy enough to do, as it’s the same .308 parent cartridge. Maybe I’ll just get a barrel and make an upper myself.
For a while there were some AR-platform rifles chambered in .300 Remington SA Ultra Mag (RSAUM) and .300 Winchester Short Mag and perhaps some of the other short magnums. I have a DPMS rifle in .300 RSAUM that redefines power in an AR-platform rifle. But, I don’t think it was ever put into production on a large basis. I took a quick look on the Internet and didn’t find any of these rifles currently in production. Perhaps this trend for hunting with AR rifles will creat enough market demand that they will come back.
By now, you’re probably well versed in the AR-15 and all of its various chamberings. This article deals with cartridges chambered in its bigger brother. The trouble is that I’m not sure what to call it. While Colt technically owns the rights to “AR-15,” the term has become generic to describe the rifle. When you say an AR-15-type rifle, everybody knows what you mean. Armalite owns the trademark to “AR-10.” It calls its gun the AR-10, but the rest of the makers had to get creative if they wanted to avoid trouble.
DPMS calls its big-bore AR rifles LRs, as in LR-308, LR-338, etc. Even the new Gen II DPMS guns have the LR designation. Rock River Arms calls its own the LAR-8, and with JP Enterprises, it’s the LRP-07. Ruger calls its rifle the SR-762. The list goes on, and to avoid confusion, a lot of shooters just call them .308/7.62mm ARs. But, as we are about to find out, that’s not correct either, as there are plenty of other cartridge options beyond the .308/7.62mm.
So, I think I’ll just invent my own term: AR-Large, or AR-L for short. It should keep me and this website out of trouble, and you will all know what I am referring to as a rifle platform.
Most of the new gun-makers entering the field are following the DPMS concept, and that has become the standard more or less. Magazines and some other parts will interchange, whereas the AR-10 and some others use a different magazine and most parts will not interchange with the DPMS-style guns. Confused? Me too.
When you move up to the larger AR-L style of rifle, the cartridge options open way up. This rifle is designed for the .308 Winchester, so any variant of that cartridge will run well in the gun.
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This article is from “Black Guns 2018” magazine. To order a copy, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.
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by Tactical-Life / Jan 10, 2018