The Classic Two-Forty-Three
In their song ‘Ballad of a Southern Man,’ Whiskey Meyers sang “My first rifle was a two-forty-three, that papa gave daddy and daddy gave to me. They taught me how to shoot with a steady hand. I guess that’s something you won’t understand.”
In the modern age of shooting further and faster, there has been a resurgence in the development of smaller calibre rifles specifically geared towards target shooting. Accuracy and effective range are the key considerations, therefore bullet speed and ballistic coefficient are the backbone on which these calibres are designed. Of these, the most popular (and for good reason) are the 6,5 and 6mm derivatives. From PRS to long range challenges, these wildcats rule the roost.
These new design upgrades stem from a proven track record of accuracy and dependability of the parent cases, where hunting was often the main requirement, and the calibre with the most versatile application to tick all of these boxes has no doubt been the .243 Winchester. Large enough to drop small to medium game animals with a 100-110gr bullet, while with 80-90gr bullets being able to reach out to well over 500m to take care of pesky predators posing a risk to small livestock.
Designed off of the popular .308 Winchester cartridge, the .243 has been a popular all-round calibre for nearly 70 years and during this time has become famous for accuracy and dependability. Passed down from generation to generation, the .243 has reached cult status for being one of the best ever. That means components are easy to find and things like data on loads and other information is abundant all across the world. Exactly what you want when your goal is to get a single rifle that can fulfil multiple functions.
Let’s be honest, we all want 20 guns – but this isn’t Texas and besides the local restrictions and licensing regulations pertaining to firearms here in Namibia, there is a massive cost implication to acquiring multiple rifles – one that certainly prohibits most of us from “living the dream.” That means we need to look for calibres that can tick multiple boxes in terms of performance versatility. We want to hunt both springbok and gemsbok, occasionally dabble in competition shooting, and have a dependable firearm with readily available components at a great price when compared to many of the newer fancy calibres. Well if that sums up your thinking, look no further than the .243!
And whether you like your rifles fancy and full of class, or cheap as chips without any fuss, we’ve got a .243 for you! Contact your nearest Agra to order, or visit the Agra Safari Den and Rosenthal stores next time you are in Windhoek.