The .243 Winchester is a popular choice among shooters.
This cartridge was first manufactured in 1955 for rifles such as the Winchester Model 70 bolt-action and Model 88 lever-action. Nowadays, basically every major manufacter sells rifles chambered in .243 Winchester.
It’s a no-brainer, having the combination of both lightweight (50 to 80 grain) rounds for hunting coyote-sized animals and the 90 to 105-grain bullets for relatively larger targets.
The .243 Winchester simply proves to be an ideal candidate for all your hunting and shooting fun with its dual-purpose use.
Going the Distance: Maximize your Shooting Range
The .243 can shoot up to 200 yards with less than 1 MOA.
With the right scope and enough practice, you can triple this distance and even more. The .243 is capable of doing it, are you?
A Quick Guide to Distance: How Far will Your Bullet Go?
For a rifle with a 22-24″ barrel chambered in .243 keep these rough measurements in mind.
- Long Range: about 350 yards and above
- Medium Range: about 150 – 350 yards
- Close Range: Under 150 yards
What magnification do you need?
For taking long-range shots, you’re going to need some skills. But skill alone isn’t enough. A proper magnification will do the trick and give you the ease and clarity required for such shots. But even if you’re not going for any challenging yardage, a scope is required for proper locking on relatively small targets.
Of course, as you might have guessed, the further the target, the higher the required magnification will be.
So, let’s analyze the different requirements for each kind of range
- Long Range (350 yards and above)
At this level, you’ll need all the clarity and magnification that you can get, especially if you intend on going for smaller targets. Your best choice for magnification, in this case, is with scopes of 9x and up. Also, for the small targets that you’ll be dealing with, you’ll need to counter the downside of the distance with large scope lenses for a maximum light absorption and hence better clarity. For that, 40mm lenses are the way to go. I will give you a few recommendations with similar characteristics.
- Medium Range (150 – 350 yards)
Now at medium range, you’ll find more comfort in using your .243 equipped rifle. But magnification should never be an afterthought. You’d still need some zooming ability, albeit less than previously mentioned. A scope of 5-9x is a suitable range for the requirements of medium distances.
- Close Range (under 150 yards)
- There isn’t anything the .243 cannot hit and even obliterate at this range. Since your targets are closer, you’ll have to go for scopes with magnification of 1-4x.
The 4 Best Scopes for .243
So now to the bread and butter of this article. You want some help figuring out the best scope for 243 Winchester. Well, we got you covered. We went through all the trouble and found 4 suitable scopes for rifles using rounds such as the .243 Winchester.
Here’s the short answer:
- Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40
- Burris Fullfield II Ballistic Plex Scope
- Sightron 3-9x40mm SIH-Tac Duplex Series Riflescope
- Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 3-9X40mm
You may have noticed that some scopes use the term BDC while others don’t. What does that mean? BDC stands for Bullet Drop Compensation which basically means that you don’t have to adjust the elevation for longer range shots, just get the reticle that matches the distance, and you’re good to go or to pull the trigger in our case.
Now, our job here isn’t entirely done. You might want a bit more explanation and persuasion to truly find the perfect match for your personal requirements. So, we’re going to dig deeper into the specifications of each one of our recommended scopes to help you choose the best scope for 243 yourself.
1. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40
This one right here is one of the best scopes for any .243 rifle that you can find out there.
It’s targeted towards big game, predator/varmint, long range hunters, which probably means you if you’re reading this.
Vortex Optics have created a piece of equipment that’ll surely prove helpful in handling because of its impressively lightweight body.
As it’s aimed for long range usage, it was made to deliver crystal clear view throughout any given time of day thanks to its multi-coated lenses. Add to that the eyepiece that offers easy manipulation of the Dead-Hold BDC reticle.
There’s also the zero-reset turrets. After sight in, you can easily rotate to your zero and get into the action seamlessly.
Built to resist
What’s also neat about this scope is its shockproof and durable, recoil-resistant design with its anodized surface, which helps maintain a low profile. Plus, it also proves to be of great manufacturing quality. This thing will maintain a waterproof, fogproof performance for an unbelievable amount of time. No matter where you are: snowy mountains, green hills, by the riverside, humid or dry climates, this scope got you covered.
The Bottom line
This .243 scope can almost be called perfect for the tasks you’re most likely looking to accomplish. One thing it’s not commended for is that the parallax isn’t that great after the 50-yard mark. Sure, it may affect the time you put in adjusting your shot. But with everything else included in this awesome piece of machinery, it’s not that big of a problem.
One good thing to know is that this is the most expensive scope on our list (for a good reason) and it’s still not ridiculously over-priced in any way.
2. Burris Fullfield II Ballistic Plex Scope
The .243 excels at relatively mid-range engagements at around 200 yards. Therefore, it’s a perfect rifle to combine with this Burris FullField II scope, which is set to magnify between 3-9x with a 40 mm objective lens.
It’s a lightweight and durable scope from start to finish, weighing just 13 ounces and being comprised of high-quality optical glass and aluminum tube materials. The aluminum materials are super durable and are reinforced with gas seals to ensure that the scope will work under any weather conditions.
We also really like the tactile windage and elevation adjustment turrets. These don’t have very clear markings, but are smooth and responsive every time you put your fingers to them; they do not need tools to operate.
High-Grade Hunting Glass
As mentioned, the glass lenses used with this optic are high quality and coated with special layers of materials to ensure long-term durability and phenomenal light transmission. But the glass itself is precision ground to make sure that it collects as much light as possible.
What does this mean for you? Every time you sight in through the scope, you’ll see a great sight picture with high resolution and phenomenal color contrast. You’ll be able to spot small targets more easily than otherwise, even if they blend in to the background environment.
Further cementing this as a quality piece of hardware is the integrated eyepiece. This is durable and has a no-slip grip so you can quickly adjust between magnification settings in the field. Again, this is great for hunters who may need to rapidly swap between magnification settings to track fast-moving targets that are running away from them.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the FullField II is a phenomenal rifle optic from start to finish. But it may be a perfect choice for your .243 rifle since it’s versatile and perfectly suited for mid-range hunting engagements.
This Burris scope would also be a good choice for the more powerful 30-06 caliber.
3. Sightron 3-9x40mm SIH-Tac Duplex Series Riflescope
Sightron’s SIH-Tac Scope is another great choice for .243 rifle users. There’s a lot to like here, starting with its overall construction. The scope is designed with high-quality materials for the outside tube, as well as multiple coatings for the lenses to boost light transmission and lens durability.
You’ll benefit further from relatively high eye relief at about 3.9 inches at maximum magnification. The scope can magnify to typical mid-range factors, 3-9x, and comes with a 40 mm objective lens. The reticle, a duplex variety, is simplistic but perfect for hitting targets at about 200 yards out.
We also like the fact that the scope comes with extra flip-open lens caps to protect the glass from ambient debris or degradation over time. As a lightweight scope, the SIH-Tac Scope only weighs about 15 ounces, so adding it to any rifle should be quick and easy without affecting its overall balance.
As mentioned, this scope is supremely durable. It’s made to work in wet or foggy conditions and is totally waterproof down to about a meter. So you can easily take this into inclement weather if that’s what your hunting expedition calls for.
You’ll also appreciate the high-quality turrets that come built into the optic. These turrets provide positive feedback clicks every time you change either windage or elevation settings. So you’ll be able to adjust for these variables without taking your eye off your target. The turrets are even well marked so you never lose your position.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the SIH-Tac Scope is reasonably affordable and quite suitable for both target shooting and hunting. Consider this for your .243 rifle if you want something versatile and built to last without having to spend too much cash on a single purchase.
4. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 3-9X40mm
This Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn scope is another example of a quality scope at a reasonable price.
It’s one of the most popular scopes around in the market. It comes with its very own Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) Coating that ensures clear and bright lenses during any moment of your hunting day. That’s really something for such a cheap piece of equipment. The name of the brand isn’t just a fancy phrase. This scope can truly deliver reliable imagery from the first light of day to the last.
Made for hunters
What’s also nice about this one is that it comes with the Multi-X reticle. It’s a duplex style crosshair; ¼ MOA fingertip windage, elevation adjustments, and reset-zero turrets. Something that most hunters are very accustomed to. It should be noted that it doesn’t come with parallax adjustment.
And you don’t have to worry about all the rough conditions around you. This one, like all mentioned before, is also waterproof and fogproof and can hold it’s on against rough recoil. Pop in your .243 rounds without a second thought. Don’t let the price tag give you doubt.
The Bottom line
Although it might be the cheapest scope that we recommend on this list, this thing is nothing short of a good investment. It can be a very good ally of yours when you decide to take your .243 rounds for a hunt or to a shooting range. You won’t be disappointed.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Was The .243 Winchester Made For?
The .243 Winchester was created specifically for varmint hunting. The round’s potential was discovered by shooters, who began utilizing it on medium to large game like turkey, whitetail deer, mule deer, and pronghorn. Wild hogs, black bears, and caribou have all been killed with the .243.
Is The .243 Winchester Effective?
The .243 is a tiny, light rifle that is ideal for first-time deer hunters. This rifle round is used by big-game hunters in the western states to take down mule deer and even bear. At ranges under 200 yards, it may also be one of the most accurate rifle rounds available. It can, however, stretch out across a vast distance if necessary.
How Accurate Is The .243 Winchester?
Although the rifle is exceptionally accurate out to 300 yards (270 meters), it may not have enough terminal energy to dependably drop medium game at that range.
Is The .243 Winchester Good For Young Shooters?
The.243 Winchester is a fantastic choice for young hunters, especially when it comes to medium-sized animals, where solid shots must be placed accurately. The.243 requires accurate shot placement as well, but it’s a little more forgiving, making it ideal for a first deer rifle for a child.
How Expensive is a .243 Winchester?
A .243 Winchester rifle is currently worth an average price of $729.11 new and $725.17 used. The 12 month average price is $702.74 new and $615.86 used.
Is The .243 Winchester Good For Bear Hunting?
A .243 with a good, bonded bullet is absolutely lethal for black bears. Grizzlies have a reputation for being more difficult to kill, however this appears to be due to the bear’s awareness of the hunter’s presence. A good shot trumps a huge bullet even on giant coastal brown bears.
Is The .243 Winchester Good For Hunting Elk?
Although the .243 Winchester is a decent elk rifle, it’s unlikely that hunters would choose it over harder-hitting cartridges. Premium bullets have come a long way in terms of boosting the lethality of hunting rifles, yet many people still prefer alternatives. Elk hunting with a 243 Winchester will never be a feasible option.
When Was The .243 Winchester Created?
The .243 Winchester was created by Winchester in the year 1955.
How Much Kick Does The .243 Rifle Have?
According to multiple studies and charts by respected shooting writers, the .243 with a 100-grain bullet produces about 9 pounds of recoil using a 7.5-pound gun. A 7-08 using a 120-grain bullet out of the same weight gun produces just over 12 pounds of recoil.
What’s The Difference Between the .243 and 6.5 Creedmoor?
The .243 Winchester fires smaller diameter bullets at a significantly higher velocity than the 6.5 Creedmoor. The .243 has a flatter trajectory and much less recoil, but the 6.5 Creedmoor retains more kinetic energy and drifts less in the wind than the .243 Winchester at typical hunting ranges.
So that’s pretty much it. Those are the best optics for .243 Winchester.
You deserve the best rifle customization to really get the best out of the .243 Winchester. And the list above is nothing but a summarization of the best products the market has to offer for such cartridge. Delivered to you by the best craftsmen in the business. So, what are you waiting for? Make your choice and get into the action in the only way that it’s meant to be done.