GEORGE WALLACE says: For woodland stalking my preference is for a larger calibre at lower velocity, but that’s just a personal thing. So many people swear by the .243 Winchester that it must have something going for it.

I used the very similar 6mm Remington at one time for culling in the Deer Park, including red deer, and found it excellent, but on the larger deer you do need to be careful of shot placement with such a tiny bullet. Also, at the relatively high velocity of the .243, particularly when using 75-80 grain bullets at up to 3500 feet per second, you will find that one type of bullet will give you better results than another.

In the Park, my favourite handloads used a fairly rapidly expanding bullet which did not exit the target deer and risk wounding another. Out in the woods however, where your shot may have to be taken from a less than perfect rest, if you can find ammunition loaded with 100 or 105 grain round or flat nose bullets, you will find they strike a heavier blow.

The .243 is a fine cartridge in careful hands, but the high velocity can damage a lot of meat and it doesn’t have a lot of spare ‘clout’ if the shot is less than perfectly placed. On the other hand, its low recoil makes it easy to shoot accurately.

You pays your money and takes your choice!

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