I have chosen the 85 grain Sierra Game King and a Speer bullet of the same weight. Both are boat-tail and I try to reproduce the ballistics of the Federal 80 grain loading.

So far, so good, but do I need to alter my approach? Also, I do not crimp the case necks; should I do so?

Deer stalking


First, if your loads are accurate and the deer fall over when you shoot, you don?t need very much help from me!

There is no ballistic advantage at normal stalking ranges in using a boat-tail (BT) bullet but they are certainly easier to seat in the case; and that?s a bonus if you have large fingers.

So if your present loads shoot accurately in your rifle and perform well on the deer – killing cleanly without excessive meat damage – there?s no need to change anything.

Neither is there any need to crimp case necks unless you are firing something with VERY heavy recoil ? we are talking Dangerous Game rifles here – or unless your rifle has a tubular magazine.

Neck crimping is a right, royal pain in the wassaname because it must be absolutely uniform which in turn means that every case must be exactly the same length and have the same thickness of brass at the neck.

Otherwise, crimping is likely to make accuracy worse rather than better.

If you do fancy trying a crimp, your bullet seating die probably has a crimp collar, if you look at the instructions. But if it hasn?t, I really wouldn?t bother. I have been loading rifle ammo for more than 45 years and have never needed to crimp loads, even for .375 H&H Magnum.

What you do need to do is check case length and either throw away those cases which have stretched beyond the maximum for the .243 (2.045in) or trim them back to ten-thou (0.010in) below maximum, i.e. 2.035in.

Cases that are too long for the chamber can cause pressure to go through the roof, so it is important to check every time.

And remember to check AFTER the case has been re-sized because they stretch a little in the full-length sizing die.