243 vs 308: Whitetail Nightmare Fuel

If you’d like to poke the bear on any online hunting forum, all that’s needed is to proclaim that “243 Win is best!” Or conversely, “308 Win is best!” And then sit back and watch the fireworks. When it comes to medium to large game hunting, two rifle cartridges stand out from the rest, 308 Winchester and 243 Winchester.

These two rifle cartridges offer a wide variety of ammo to meet your needs for varmint hunting. From Pronghorn to prairie dogs to antelope to Whitetail deer, no varmint is safe from the 243 Winchester or the 308.

There’s no denying that both cartridges are excellent at effectively and ethically harvesting medium to large game animals, but which one truly is better? Both cartridges are effective at long range and have enough muzzle energy to take down a mule deer at 400 yards. But which cartridge will suit your needs best for your next hunting rifle?

The 242 has long been considered an excellent choice for whitetail and smaller game, but nothing much larger than that. Whereas the 308 can take down elk and probably a moose with proper loads and shot placement. However, the 308 has considerably more recoil and the question comes: is it worth it?

Many shooters prefer the added power of the 308 as it can fire heavier bullets and take down large game as well as medium to small game. This gives the 308 a broad range of versatility that is difficult to match with any other cartridge. However, the 308 is often considered a bit too much bullet for varmint hunting and this is where the 243 does very well.

Picking the right cartridge here mostly consists around which game animals you want to hunt most!


Never owned a 243, but the 308’s have killed all kinds of animals and critters over the years.


I have owned a few . They are good for deer and vermin.


You won’t find many critters that are fans of either.


I can say a 308 hunting round can make an armadillo explode.


Try a texas heart shot on a coyote at 20 yards with a 270 . Makes a big mess.