Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

jbrunner

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Jun 20, 2010
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Hi All,

I've been thinking of taking my coyote hunting caliber up a notch, since I haven't been super happy with the .223. I was looking at the Sako TRG's and I love those rifles, but I think the .308 is probably the smallest caliber they come in and I'm not sure if that's the safest round to be using on coyotes considering ricochet/safety concerns.

My next bet was the .243, and from all the photos I've seen on forums, the GAP rifles look amazing. I was just wondering if anybody has one in .243, and if so, what you thought of it?

Also, can any of you .243 owners comment on short barrel lengths and the .243? I'm wondering if I can get something with short barrel (20" - 22") in that caliber or if that's a bad idea in terms of that particular round? I'm kind of clueless on ballistics, but love the 20" LTR in .223 that I'm currently shooting so I would really like to keep the barrel length to the minimum allowable for the round...

Thanks for any thoughts on the subject.
 

darrenk75b

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Aug 28, 2007
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Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

There are a few guys here with GAP .243s. George himself has run one as his comp rifle. All the GAP .243s I've seen here have been stellar, like you would expect from GAP.

Considering that many of the guys here are shooting tactical comps, you'll see a lot of recommendations for 26-28" barrels throated for the 115 DTAC.

However, if I were building a hunting rifle and wasn't trying to build a 1000 yard comp gun, I'd look into a build with at most a 24" barrel. I wouldn't be unhappy with one in the 22"-24" range, but wouldn't want one much shorter. Throat it for the 105 AMAX bullet and go kill some yotes.

FWIW, I have a .243ai with a 23" tube, and certainly don't feel like I'm giving much up, although my rifle is more of a sporter build that a heavy tac rifle.
 

ggmanning

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  • Apr 23, 2010
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    Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

    I have an APA .243 that I bought here on the Hide. It wears a 23" 1:8 Broughton barrel. It is too heavy for me to use as a walking gun often....but great for setting up and shooting distance. My daughter shoots a Model 7 .243 with a 20" barrel. The little Model 7 with a 20" sporter is the perfect walking 'yote gun. Light, short and a hammer with 95gr Ballistic tips. It is plenty of gun to 300 yards but I have a little trouble in the field with it approaching 400 and beyond. Not because of the barrel length or ballistics, but because it is just too light and wispy for me to get solid at extended ranges. The .243 is superior to the .308 in terms of drop at all the ranges I shoot, it just hits with 105 or 115 grains vs 168gr. I love the caliber as an all around varmint, coyote, deer, antelope and paper punching gun. It has mild recoil and with a brake it is very mild...easily allowing you to see hits through the scope. Decide what you want to shoot and rifle accordingly. The best BC bullets are 105+ (A-max, Berger VLD hunting are what I am loading) and you need the 1:8 to shoot them in most guns.
     

    Diablo

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    Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

    darrenk75b is right.

    My GAP .243 was built by "Moon" for another member, and I bought it a few months ago.

    Surgeon action, Badger M5 DBM, McM A5 adjustable pull and cheekrest, barrel length 27", threaded with a thruster break, and I use the 115 grain DTACs. Currently this rifle has a USO SN-3 3.2-17 low profile, EREK, & Lit scope.

    A 24" barrel would probably be OK, but you'll be giving up some velocity. Even a 22" or a 20" might be useful for your purpose, since most (all?) shots will be under 400 yards.

    Just recognize that the MV of your loads is going to be reduced with shorter barrels (also more muzzle blast) and felt recoil will increase (due to less barrel weight). Not that the .243 has much recoil to begin with.

    Depends how and what you hunt whether you need rock steady and accurate for long range work, or quick/light/effective for CQB.


     

    ggmanning

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    Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

    Diablo, Mine is a Surgeon 591, Badger DBM, A3 with a USO 3.2-17 low profile and Moon just put a thruster on it for me....we have very similiar rifles.
     

    RobertB

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    Aug 20, 2009
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    Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

    Just ordered a Remmy sps varmit in.243. SOunds like a great caliber. Can't wait
     

    Diablo

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    Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: ggmanning</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Diablo, Mine is a Surgeon 591, Badger DBM, A3 with a USO 3.2-17 low profile and Moon just put a thruster on it for me....we have very similiar rifles.</div></div>

    Moon does very good work, and I notice it every time I pull that rifle out of the case.
     

    ggmanning

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    Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

    Yes he does and a great guy to deal with....even bought one of my USO's used from him.
     

    darrenk75b

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    Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

    FWIW, here is my .243ai that I mentioned above. Certainly not "tactical", but very handy for a hunting rifle

    DSC_0120.jpg
     

    Diablo

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    Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

    Nice rifle.

    I like that Ackley.
     

    JRose

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    Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

    I'm waiting on my second Gap 6mm. I wouldn't build a short barreled .243 myself, but it is the fad now. If it's strictly a medium range hunting gun, cut her down...

    DSC_0398-2.jpg
     

    barnes12

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    Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

    I have a GAP Rock in 243 on order, only about 6 more months to wait. It will have a 24" barrel, Mcmillan HTG stock, Badger detachable bottom metal and a few more little odds and ends.
     

    jbrunner

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    Jun 20, 2010
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    Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

    Hey All,

    Thanks so much for the feedback, great information and I'm looking forward to getting a .243. The short barrel thing was what I was concerned about - I tend to hike around quite a bit and I do a lot of night hunting where a fast-handling rifle is more important than maximizing MV and so on...

    Sounds like shorter barrel .243s are not uncommon, so that's good news. Thanks again!
     

    knockemdown

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    Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

    Hey jb,
    I've got a GAP rifle in .243 and have taken it out after coyotes once this past winter. I spec'ed it out to register on the lighter side, with a Rem Varmint contour 1:7.5" twist Rock tube @ 26" and a McM A5 with EDGE fill. Fed from a Seekins DMS, shoots DTACS like a friggin' laser!
    OPHA2010014.jpg

    With a hefty scope, stock pack, & Atlas bipod, this rifle weighs only a little over 12 lbs. And even with the 26" tube, I didn't find it too burdensome to drag around Oklahoma for three full days. If anything, it sat on the sticks like a champ in the windy conditions. Even banged down three on one stand with the 115DTACS...
    OPHA2010027.jpg


    Although a precision rifle may not be 'ideal' to use as a coyote rifle, I sure didn't feel burdened draggin' one along that trip.

    Good luck with your build!
     

    Jon Lester

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    Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

    While I love my GAP's, I have also plugged a lot of animals,including Coyote with the TRG 22. Bullett selection is everything in the 308,you can do what you want. a 243 is Great but for me it seems to like new barrels often, I (Moon) will rebarrel the winchester within the year.
     

    GunGuru727

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    Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: knockemdown</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hey jb,
    I've got a GAP rifle in .243 and have taken it out after coyotes once this past winter. I spec'ed it out to register on the lighter side, with a Rem Varmint contour 1:7.5" twist Rock tube @ 26" and a McM A5 with EDGE fill. Fed from a Seekins DMS, shoots DTACS like a friggin' laser!
    OPHA2010014.jpg

    With a hefty scope, stock pack, & Atlas bipod, this rifle weighs only a little over 12 lbs. And even with the 26" tube, I didn't find it too burdensome to drag around Oklahoma for three full days. If anything, it sat on the sticks like a champ in the windy conditions. Even banged down three on one stand with the 115DTACS...
    OPHA2010027.jpg


    Although a precision rifle may not be 'ideal' to use as a coyote rifle, I sure didn't feel burdened draggin' one along that trip.

    Good luck with your build!

    </div></div>


    Really like that paint job.
     

    Roscoe_M4

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    Re: Anybody have a GAP rifle in .243?

    I have a GAP .243 and had planned to go something like 22" with the M40 contour using an McM HTG stock. I wanted to shoot lighter bullets for 500 yd. local matches and also be able to use the 115 DTACs at 1000 yds. After talking with George he suggested I go longer - like 26" minimum to get the most out of the DTACs. We settled on a 25" Bartlien in the MTU contour - definitely not something you want to carry on a hunt - but it has mucho zip out of the barrel.

    Prior to the re-build this stick had a 22" factory barrel and wasn't close to any published data in reloading manuals or with factory loads (usually 80 - 100 fps slower). Of course now it easily beats those velocities.

    FWIW, I did go 23" with my .260 and I very happy with it!