257 roberts or 243 winchester?
I'm undecided, and hoping someone out there familiar with both can give pro's and cons and their personal favorite.I'd mostly be using the rifle for deer and target shooting at distance.
If you are a handloader, then one is as good as the other. Since you are asking this question, I am assuming you are not a handloader.
Here is the pros and cons of each.
1. The 257 Roberts is about 200fps slower with a 120 gr. bullet then the 243 Win is with a 100gr bullet. However, the 257 Roberts carries more energy downrange than the 243 Win. The difference isn't substantial (roughly 100 ft-lbs), but it is a difference all the same if you care about numbers. Personally, I don't think this gives the upper hand to one over the other
2. I theory. the 243 Win with a 100gr bullet shoots a little bit flatter than the 257 Roberts with a 120 gr bullet. There is roughly a 0.1 inch difference at 100yds and about 0.3 inch difference at 200 yds. Most people can not hold a rifle still enough for the 0.3 inches to matter at 200 yds. We are talking about 0.15 MOA accuracy at that point. Once again, I'd wouldn't give one rifle the advantage over another.
3. Recoil is about the same. Looking at a recoil table online, given a 7.5 lb 243 Win rifle and a 100 gr bullet @ 2960 fps, the recoil will be about 8.8 ft-lbs (not sure if units are correct though). A 8 lb 257 Roberts with 120 gr. bullet @ 2650 fps, the recoil will be 9.0 ft-lbs. I don't know about you, but I don't think I could tell the difference between 8.8 and 9.0 pounds of energy.
Some people are set on numbers. If you are, use the information above. However, IMHO (and in my experience), the two rifles are pretty well equal. So this brings me to my final point:
243 Win ammo is everywhere. You can find it loaded from the factory with pretty much any type of bullet you want. The 257 Roberts isn't really a popular cartridge now a days. If you do not handload, you will be limited as to your choices of ammo. If you mail order ammo (http://www.midwayusa.com has a great selection...not the cheapest, but a decent variety), you can probably find something to suit your needs. However, if you are deep in Nothern Minnesota or some other remote place, you might have issues finding ammo for a 257 Roberts.
Then again, it is kind of neat to have a rifle no one else has. I have never seen anyone carry a 257 Roberts hunting. My father has one and I've only seen a couple at the shooting ranges.
Personally, I've carried a 243 Win hunting deer in Alaska and Wisconsin. I used 95gr to 105 gr bullets for deer with no problems.
Most of this data was taken from the website http://www.chuckhawks.com. This is a good general information website on cartridges and firearms.
I also recommend the site http://outdoorsbest.zeroforum.com/. This is a place you can post questions about anything. It is associated with a number of sporting magazines and has the biggest collection of gun nuts I've found on the web
The .243 Win. is based on the .308 Winchester (which is the same as the 7.62x51 NATO round). The .257 Roberts, if memory serves me right, is base on the 7x57 Mauser and will have a longer case.
The .243 shoots a .24 caliber projectile and the .257 a .25 caliber.
The .257 Roberts would have a slight edge on deer-sized game, but I doubt that it would be a negligible difference. Ammo for the .243 is more abundant and both calibers are still available in some really good rifles, so take your pick.
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