AR15.Com Archives
 .243 sniping
IcarusY625  [Team Member]
9/18/2008 8:55:17 AM
Any Depts. using .243 as a sniping round?
joker581  [Team Member]
9/18/2008 10:06:02 AM
There are according to John Plaster. Actually, there probably aren't many anymore but back when any centerfire hunting rifle doubled as a sniper rifle, they were used widely enough that Plaster included .243 ballistic tables in his first "Ultimate Sniper" book.
alorton  [Member]
9/19/2008 12:07:38 AM
That is an interesting question. I could see the benefit. The .243 would be an effective round on a person and would not have as many overpenetration issues that a .308 may have (I assume it would break up like a .223, though I can't say I have tested it). With the current trend toward libaility oriented policing I'm surprised it isn't popular.

That said, I know of no agency that uses the .243
IcarusY625  [Team Member]
9/19/2008 2:12:27 AM
I don't know any using it either, but we used to and still have the rifles (Ruger 77 Mk II's, cracking little rifles but would benefit from a more suitable stock). We used to use them alongside the .308's but stopped to save money I believe, not having to qualify on two weapons.

With typical LEO sniping distances being so close I believe the way to go is an accurate semi-auto in .243, something like the DPMS Panther version but I have a long way to go in convincing the others......
Tin_Star  [Member]
9/20/2008 1:31:58 AM

Originally Posted By IcarusY625:
I don't know any using it either, but we used to and still have the rifles (Ruger 77 Mk II's, cracking little rifles but would benefit from a more suitable stock). We used to use them alongside the .308's but stopped to save money I believe, not having to qualify on two weapons.

With typical LEO sniping distances being so close I believe the way to go is an accurate semi-auto in .243, something like the DPMS Panther version but I have a long way to go in convincing the others......


That's easy to do. Just put a 6mm remington barrel on your AR, and you're there. Same bullet, different case than the .243. The 6mm uses the same case as our 5.56. (Size anyway). It will fit in our current .223 mags. The only difference is the diameter of the bullet.
762DM  [Team Member]
9/20/2008 8:15:54 AM
Schoharie County, NY used to. They had good luck with it but decided to standardize and went to .308. I would take a gander at the .260 myself.
IcarusY625  [Team Member]
9/20/2008 3:03:17 PM
I should have clarified, I meant .243 Win. ie necked down .308 case

We used to run .308 Win and .243 Win side by side but switched to .308 only to save cost and training. I think the .308 is a great all-rounder but in typical LEO scenarios I think it can be way too much gun, with over-penetration problems.
Mike92GT  [Member]
9/20/2008 8:19:17 PM
Generally speaking, I think that the .308 performs better when dealing with intermediate barriers, especially when used with a bonded bullet.
Pacs  [Team Member]
9/20/2008 8:29:33 PM
I don't want to be hit with a .243 at any range you can hit me at.
alorton  [Member]
9/22/2008 2:56:42 PM

Originally Posted By IcarusY625:
With typical LEO sniping distances being so close I believe the way to go is an accurate semi-auto in .243, something like the DPMS Panther version but I have a long way to go in convincing the others......


I agree 100% LE is too married to the bolt action .308 rifle. While a good bolt gun has it's place, the small accuracy advantage of the bolt gun when compared to today's semi-autos is easily offset with the fast follow up shot capability of the semi-auto. Especially with the ranges seen for LE.

I personally think the DPMS series of rifles is ideal for this type of shooting. I own 1 and have a second on order. The AP4 I have shoots 1 MOA and isn't the accurized version of the rifle. I have the SASS on order so I'll let you know how it does when I get it in December if you are interested.
PoopyPants603  [Member]
9/22/2008 4:41:18 PM

Originally Posted By Mike92GT:
Generally speaking, I think that the .308 performs better when dealing with intermediate barriers, especially when used with a bonded bullet.



alorton  [Member]
9/22/2008 5:48:16 PM

Originally Posted By PoopyPants603:

Originally Posted By Mike92GT:
Generally speaking, I think that the .308 performs better when dealing with intermediate barriers, especially when used with a bonded bullet.





The above statement is both the strength and the weakness of the .308 as compared to the .243. The OP mentioned that the .308 was a concern due to overpenetration. I'm a fan of the .308 but I see a use for the .243 as well. It is an interesting idea for urban snipers where backdrop can be a real problem.
IcarusY625  [Team Member]
9/23/2008 12:00:16 PM

Originally Posted By alorton:

Originally Posted By PoopyPants603:

Originally Posted By Mike92GT:
Generally speaking, I think that the .308 performs better when dealing with intermediate barriers, especially when used with a bonded bullet.





The above statement is both the strength and the weakness of the .308 as compared to the .243. The OP mentioned that the .308 was a concern due to overpenetration. I'm a fan of the .308 but I see a use for the .243 as well. It is an interesting idea for urban snipers where backdrop can be a real problem.


I too am a huge .308 fan. It will do pretty much anything I ask of it, but sometimes it does too much. The real argument to retain .308 may be for penetrating glass, but that would likely be a co-ordinated shot involving two shooters anyway, which could still be done with .243. The vast majority of LE work is likely to be urban, and close range, thus if I can only have one, I think .243 would be the one to go for. But I'll still shoot my own .308 just for fun

Shortly I hope to be checking out accurate versions of the HK 416(5.56mm) & HK 417(7.62mm) Perhaps I can persuade them to make a .243...........but then again perhaps not
IcarusY625  [Team Member]
9/23/2008 12:01:19 PM

Originally Posted By alorton:

Originally Posted By IcarusY625:
With typical LEO sniping distances being so close I believe the way to go is an accurate semi-auto in .243, something like the DPMS Panther version but I have a long way to go in convincing the others......


I agree 100% LE is too married to the bolt action .308 rifle. While a good bolt gun has it's place, the small accuracy advantage of the bolt gun when compared to today's semi-autos is easily offset with the fast follow up shot capability of the semi-auto. Especially with the ranges seen for LE.

I personally think the DPMS series of rifles is ideal for this type of shooting. I own 1 and have a second on order. The AP4 I have shoots 1 MOA and isn't the accurized version of the rifle. I have the SASS on order so I'll let you know how it does when I get it in December if you are interested.


I certainly would be interested, thanks
ALASKANFIRE  [Team Member]
9/23/2008 1:26:41 PM

Originally Posted By Tin_Star:
That's easy to do. Just put a 6mm remington barrel on your AR, and you're there. Same bullet, different case than the .243. The 6mm uses the same case as our 5.56. (Size anyway). It will fit in our current .223 mags. The only difference is the diameter of the bullet.


The 6mm Remington would use the same bolt as a 243/308 and will not fit in a normal AR15. It is very similar in size to the 243


ETA link
arcticbear  [Team Member]
9/24/2008 12:30:24 AM
The .243 in not a bad rond at all and wold do well for the most part. We use .308's for our two rifles. Withs rounds from 110 grain to 175 grains you can pretty much do anything you want. One of the biggest reasons for the .308 is the simple price. You can have an odd-ball round and shoot from time to time or a .308 and shoot all of the time.
Tin_Star  [Member]
9/24/2008 4:10:04 AM

Originally Posted By ALASKANFIRE:

Originally Posted By Tin_Star:
That's easy to do. Just put a 6mm remington barrel on your AR, and you're there. Same bullet, different case than the .243. The 6mm uses the same case as our 5.56. (Size anyway). It will fit in our current .223 mags. The only difference is the diameter of the bullet.


The 6mm Remington would use the same bolt as a 243/308 and will not fit in a normal AR15. It is very similar in size to the 243


ETA link


You are correct. My mistake.
The AR's I remember back inthe 80's that were barreled for 6mm were for the 6mm SAW round. Not the Remington. It's basically a 223 brass necked up to the 6mm bullet. It worked well in the AR magazines.
I haven't seen them offered in a while, so they may not even be available any more.
Combat_Jack  [Team Member]
9/24/2008 4:15:58 AM
Tin_Star, I don't know anything about 6mm SAW, but Remington has made 6x45s, and they are a popular wildcat.

Would be very concerned about underpenetration and bullet failure with .243.
SSDSurf  [Member]
9/24/2008 11:02:18 PM

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Would be very concerned about underpenetration and bullet failure with .243.


Exactly.

To the OP, the key here also is barrier performance. Many sniper shots involve barriers such as glass. I suggest you do some extensive testing on various types of glass / barriers using different rounds and see how the .243 is affected by differing barriers.

For this very possible barrier scenario the .308 is my minimum choice with Blackhills Accubond rounds in the buttstock pouch for a quick changeover if a barrier shot is needed. We have significant data on this round through almost every type of glass / barrier and the performance balance is superior.

Having said the above, I also suggest not taking my word for it or anyone else here, but going out and getting good first hand info/data as opposed to the internet stuff. If you are serious about forming this type of team at the least get on some vetted sites, where you can confirm who and where the info is coming from.

There is a reason you can show up to a top rated sniper school, LE & military shooters, and see 18 out of 18 guys using Remington based, bolt action rifles. I will also say that gas guns have come a long way, however my weapon of choice in a LE environment is without a doubt, a fine tuned bolt action rifle.
IcarusY625  [Team Member]
9/25/2008 7:14:48 AM

Originally Posted By SSDSurf:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Would be very concerned about underpenetration and bullet failure with .243.


Exactly.

To the OP, the key here also is barrier performance. Many sniper shots involve barriers such as glass. I suggest you do some extensive testing on various types of glass / barriers using different rounds and see how the .243 is affected by differing barriers.

For this very possible barrier scenario the .308 is my minimum choice with Blackhills Accubond rounds in the buttstock pouch for a quick changeover if a barrier shot is needed. We have significant data on this round through almost every type of glass / barrier and the performance balance is superior.

Having said the above, I also suggest not taking my word for it or anyone else here, but going out and getting good first hand info/data as opposed to the internet stuff. If you are serious about forming this type of team at the least get on some vetted sites, where you can confirm who and where the info is coming from.

There is a reason you can show up to a top rated sniper school, LE & military shooters, and see 18 out of 18 guys using Remington based, bolt action rifles. I will also say that gas guns have come a long way, however my weapon of choice in a LE environment is without a doubt, a fine tuned bolt action rifle.


I hear what you're saying and my concern too is barrier penetration, where the .308 will perform better. That said, we're assumimg there will be a barrier.

Unfortunately, we don't have the facility/luxury of conducting thorough tests to compare one against the other. We certainly don't have the luxury of different types of ammunition available, and all our guns will be factory standard.

I have a feeling that we will have to go with .308 and accept the possibility of over-penetration / collateral damage...
SSDSurf  [Member]
9/25/2008 7:53:10 PM

Originally Posted By IcarusY625:

Originally Posted By SSDSurf:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Would be very concerned about underpenetration and bullet failure with .243.


Exactly.

To the OP, the key here also is barrier performance. Many sniper shots involve barriers such as glass. I suggest you do some extensive testing on various types of glass / barriers using different rounds and see how the .243 is affected by differing barriers.

For this very possible barrier scenario the .308 is my minimum choice with Blackhills Accubond rounds in the buttstock pouch for a quick changeover if a barrier shot is needed. We have significant data on this round through almost every type of glass / barrier and the performance balance is superior.

Having said the above, I also suggest not taking my word for it or anyone else here, but going out and getting good first hand info/data as opposed to the internet stuff. If you are serious about forming this type of team at the least get on some vetted sites, where you can confirm who and where the info is coming from.

There is a reason you can show up to a top rated sniper school, LE & military shooters, and see 18 out of 18 guys using Remington based, bolt action rifles. I will also say that gas guns have come a long way, however my weapon of choice in a LE environment is without a doubt, a fine tuned bolt action rifle.


I hear what you're saying and my concern too is barrier penetration, where the .308 will perform better. That said, we're assumimg there will be a barrier.

Unfortunately, we don't have the facility/luxury of conducting thorough tests to compare one against the other. We certainly don't have the luxury of different types of ammunition available, and all our guns will be factory standard.

I have a feeling that we will have to go with .308 and accept the possibility of over-penetration / collateral damage...


I do understand the difficulties of smaller units, or units just starting up and the funding available. For barrier or glass, you should go out to scrap yards, glass shops, bus barns etc and look for or solicit donations of scrap materials. Take them out to the range and shoot them. You need to know how your round is going to react to barriers, given barrier type and distance that the round will travel once it has penetrated the barrier to the target. This is not a luxury but a necessary training activity as the courts have already outlined this. We keep targets and document information. For OPSEC type of reasons I will not post targets for different rounds and barrier types, or how initial barrier impacts affected the rounds flight path and overall integrity of the round to target. Also be aware of spalling and what it can do to a target or hostage. Just be aware that there can be some serious deviation given round caliber, round type and barrier type. Your shooters need to be aware of this information. Any lack thereof and it could be deemed lack of training or deliberate indifference.

A glass shoot can be as simple as this. No need for fancy facilities, just a range. Notice the distance from the barrier to target. You should vary this distance that the round has to travel after penetration of the barrier and record variations. Your shooters must have a good grasp on this data.