243/6.5CM/7-08 WTH Do I Choose?

Crowfeather

Newbie
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
9
Some may be agast to hear I've wrestled with caliber choice in a Tikka T3X Lite- it fit me best- for over a year.

I've been in every localish gun shop and read every forum/blog post (multiple times). I'm just horribly indecisive and only like to buy something once.

I don't want to hand load because I am a certified dumb-dumb. That limits me to off the shelf ammo- so maybe that knocks 7/08 down the list for me.

Only looking to do deer and pronghorn honestly. I'm in ID so take that list of game as you will. I've NEVER SHOT before, so I'm getting a .22lr shipped from some buddies to plink with but that won't cut it for hunting.

Too Long; Didnt Read: I'm scared the recoil of a 6.5/7-08 will be too much in a T3x Lite, especially since I want my sister to be able to shoot it. I don't want to brake my gun- and the 7/08 has less factory ammo on the shelves, but the .243 may be limiting? I want an enjoyable experience and dead game.

Thanks for putting up with my shenanigans!
 
OP
Crowfeather

Crowfeather

Newbie
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
9
Also is there any significant accuracy/heat issues in the SL vs the Lite? Ty.
 

TxxAgg

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2019
Messages
853
Based on what you wrote, a 243 will be great. Even a 223 will work great if it's legal for you
 

fmyth

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
930
Location
Arizona
Some may be agast to hear I've wrestled with caliber choice in a Tikka T3X Lite- it fit me best- for over a year.

I've been in every localish gun shop and read every forum/blog post (multiple times). I'm just horribly indecisive and only like to buy something once.

I don't want to hand load because I am a certified dumb-dumb. That limits me to off the shelf ammo- so maybe that knocks 7/08 down the list for me.

Only looking to do deer and pronghorn honestly. I'm in ID so take that list of game as you will. I've NEVER SHOT before, so I'm getting a .22lr shipped from some buddies to plink with but that won't cut it for hunting.

Too Long; Didnt Read: I'm scared the recoil of a 6.5/7-08 will be too much in a T3x Lite, especially since I want my sister to be able to shoot it. I don't want to brake my gun- and the 7/08 has less factory ammo on the shelves, but the .243 may be limiting? I want an enjoyable experience and dead game.

Thanks for putting up with my shenanigans!
I have a Tikka T3X lite in 6.5C and a Savage Axis Compact in 7mm-08. The Savage is slightly lighter weight and has a little more recoil but not enough to make me choose one over the other if I was in your position. I've been actively buying ammo for both and have had fewer opportunities to buy 7mm-08 than 6.5C but have still managed to pick 30 boxes at $30-40 a box. I've bought about the same amount of 6.5C but most recently have paid closer to $50 a box for the good stuff. In the same time frame I've only scored one box of .243. If I were in your shoes I'd buy the Tikka in 6.5C based upon ammo choices, ammo availability and lower recoil.
 

Jalenweyker

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2019
Messages
279
Location
WI
For deer sized animals ive been liking my 6.5 a lot. My girlfriend also used it and is very green to shooting guns and she didnt mind the recoil at all. Shes 130lbs about. So its very shooter friendly in my opinion. But you cant go wrong with any of those and a well placed shot
 
OP
Crowfeather

Crowfeather

Newbie
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
9
I just want to give a big thank you to everyone who's replied! It's all been very helpful information, especially the comparisons. I know I'm kind of splitting hairs here with these 3 but it's nice to hear some real world experiences over online numbers. At least I feel like I won't be overpowered by one of these now haha.

For deer sized animals ive been liking my 6.5 a lot. My girlfriend also used it and is very green to shooting guns and she didnt mind the recoil at all. Shes 130lbs about. So its very shooter friendly in my opinion. But you cant go wrong with any of those and a well placed shot
Just curious what the weight of this gun is and I assume not braked? That perspective gives me a lot of confidence.
 

Mt Al

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
773
Location
Montana
For deer and antelope, all will do fine. Factory ammo available as well. I pinky swear, recoil will not be an issue with any of them. My very small daughter shoots 6.5 CM, I shoot 7mm-08. They'll all work. Pick one and be happy!
 

Jalenweyker

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2019
Messages
279
Location
WI
Nothing fancy at all its just a cheap savage axis, i think maybe $300 for the gun and scope. I topped it with a nicer maven RS1 but im
It weights 8lbs al together( no bullets but sling is incuded in weight. The scope and rings are just under 2 lbs about. But like stated before this round is very popular so ammo could be an issue for a bit. But i must say its a caliber you can shoot all day long wothout getting beat to hell from recoil. Just make sure you beat people to the man bun hippie jokes if you join the creedmore club. Best of luck!
 

sndmn11

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
2,764
Location
Morrison, Colorado
We have two 6.5cm and two 7-08 rifles, I don't think either could be distinguished from a recoil stand point. You could throw the 25-06 in the mix too, of which we have one and I would never tell you I could feel a difference.

In your case I'd choose a 7-08 if elk were ever a consideration. If not, like you stated, .243/6cm/25-06 for the same of trajectory and velocity.
 

Mac7

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2017
Messages
558
Location
Idaho
Daughter who is 14 has shot a Tikka T3x lite in 6.5 last 2 years. She may have just hit 5' and probably not 100lbs yet. 2 deer and an antelope and she's taken it over so I bought a superlite in 6.5 a few weeks ago.

Lite is 8lbs 2 oz with 3rds and SWFA 6x in sportsmatch rings. Haven't set up the superlite yet but probably be about same it's getting a SWFA 3-9 in same rings.
 

LookinforDirt

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
155
Location
Texas Hill Country
When I wanted a lighter recoil (than my 30.06) higher bc bullet do it all elk, deer, black bear rifle I went with 7mm-08. I picked up a rifle for my 11year old and got him a Savage Axis .243 when Walmart was clearing them out, $189 out the door. If they had a 6.5 Creedmoor I may have picked it instead of .243. But most likely not. I’d have probably bought both at that price. I like .243 as an excellent varmint round and a very good deer rifle and perfect for a skin and bones kid. All are great cartridges whether you are a man, woman, or kid.

However, for what you describe, I’d go 6.5 Creedmoor. It’s a very hot caliber now, meets all your requirements, and I’ve seen more ammo for it (reloading components as well) than .243 and for sure more than 7mm-08. When the factories are caught up you’ll get more load choices for 6.5. If I were to rule out one it would be .243. Not because it isn’t awesome. But the other two IMO make better deer size game rifles.
 

SPC

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
28
Location
Idaho
I own a .243 Ruger American, 7mm-08 Ruger M77 stainless and a .280 Rem in a Ruger M77 stainless. All are bearable on recoil in my opinion. I don't notice much of a difference in the 7-08 and the .243. You can find reduced recoil loads for the 7-08 in a 120 gr bullet. In all the three choices the op gave I would say would be a good choice for deer size game. I would even go as far as to say a .308 with a 168 gr bullet might not be a bad choice. if you are recoil shy, invest in an additional recoil pad. The recoil pad is helpful when you are target practicing but not necessary while hunting. You won't notice any recoil while there is an animal in the crosshairs.
 
OP
Crowfeather

Crowfeather

Newbie
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
9
This thread has gotten far more attention than I thought it would and I SUPER DUPER appreciate it! You're all fantastic.

I will absolutely 100% make sure I come back and tell you guys which one I ended up with- which at this point may be whichever ends up in stocks first haha. I am very excited now.
 

Antares

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
305
Location
Alaska
My friends 11-yo daughter has killed a pile of animals with a 6.5 CM Superlite. It's a great choice. Very manageable recoil. Get it threaded for a brake if you really want to reduce recoil.

The best thing you're doing is getting the .22 rifle. Put some time in on that. Find some drill to shoot to keep it interesting.
 

jaredg

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2017
Messages
35
Location
N. Utah
One vote for the 243 here.. Fast, flat and great for deer. I've shot close to 100 deer with 243 from 30yds to 400yds. I use Sako 100gr Gamehead factory loaded out of my Sako Carbonlight 243. Fun fact, the Tikka SL uses the same barrel as the Sako Carbonlight. Also, you can run the 58gr V-Max in factory ammo for foxes, rock chucks & coyotes. Very versatile, I considered using it for cow elk this year.
 

jaredg

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2017
Messages
35
Location
N. Utah
Also, my daughter has been shooting her Browning micro midas 243 at deer and rock chucks / praire dogs since she was 11yo. Plenty of gun, but not too much gun...
 

OMB

Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
60
I sort of went through the same thing recently while setting up a new sheep rifle (Kimber Montana), albeit between 7-08 and 6.5C. Ended up finding a 6.5C faster, and through searching for ammo, I've kept track of both calibers and good 6.5C hunting ammo has been easier to find at reasonable prices than 7-08. I've shot guns chambered in both, recoil is pretty much the same, and there's people that will argue differently, but I'm confident that terminal ballistics are both more or less the same between the two cartridges in commercially available factory loads.
 
Top