Why Use .243 Winchester Ammo When Dealing With Varmints

Having to deal with varmints requires using a versatile cartridge that can effectively deal with shooting chores of different sizes—from small to medium-sized game.

When chasing after varmints, you are after a target that is much smaller than elk or deer and will therefore require you to be much more accurate. While cartridges meant for big-game hunting can serve the purpose of killing small varmints as well, they are not the best choice.

Read on to find out why!

What Are Varmints?

Varmints are pests that cause damage to crops and gardens, spread disease, and even attack livestock. Examples of varmints include badgers, foxes, coyotes, mink, rodents, snakes, raccoons, weasels, etc.

These animals can be tricky to hunt, as they are very alert and often move quickly. Therefore, you need a weapon that can accurately fire off shots so you can stop them in their tracks. This weapon is usually referred to as a varmint rifle.

Varmint rifles typically feature a long barrel that can reach long distances and provide accuracy, a lightweight body for comfortable carrying and tracking, higher caliber ammunition for maximum stopping power, and a good trigger for firing quickly.

Why Choose .243 Winchester Ammo for Varmint Hunting?

The .243 Winchester cartridge is a popular choice for varmint hunting as it offers excellent accuracy, relatively low recoil, and greater stopping power. It is used primarily for hunting coyotes, foxes, and other small animals. Its flat trajectory allows for sights up to 500 yards.

The .243 Winchester is also an ideal choice for younger and more inexperienced shooters; it has enough power to effectively harvest varmints, but the recoil is mild enough that it won’t cause too much discomfort. Additionally, .243 Winchester rounds can be easily found in most gun shops and sporting goods stores.

General Characteristics of .243 Winchester Ammo

The .243 Winchester ammo was designed with a dual-purpose cartridge in mind. It was modeled after .308 Winchester ammo, and it is highly effective in dealing with small and medium-sized game. It boasts a fast 1:10 twist that stabilizes 100-grain and lighter bullets.

The .243 Winchester ammo is praised as extremely accurate and suitable for windy weather, as it offers sufficient penetration and expansion power. Another great advantage is its low recoil, suitable for recoil-shy shooters or beginners.

Moreover, this ammo is very popular with reloaders due to the wide selection of bullets available. The choice of the .243 ammo depends on the hunting situation and is a crucial factor in achieving desired results. For example, while hunting coyotes requires a high-velocity load and lightweight bullets, a .243 Winchester cartridge might be too light for a medium-size game like deer or elk.

The Best .243 Winchester ammo for Hunting Varmints

When purchasing ammo for varmint hunting, it is important to buy high-quality rounds that will provide maximum accuracy and stopping power. This is why it is best to opt for premium .243 Winchester ammunition such as Winchester Varmint X.

Winchester Varmint X is the best choice for hunting predators and varmints, just as its very name suggests. This ammo features a polymer tip and a lead core with a copper alloy jacket for improved expansion and penetration. It is available in bullet weights ranging from 55 grains to 95 grains and is known for its accuracy and terminal performance.

Tips for Using .243 Winchester Ammo for Varmint Hunting

For small predators and varmints such as crows, coyotes, groundhogs, prairie dogs, etc. The .243 Winchester 55 to 70-grain bullets are an excellent choice. This is due to their weaker penetration and expansion, which is effective with small-game animals. To put this into perspective, to successfully kill a deer or an antelope, you would need to load your .243 with heavier bullets, such as 80–100-grain bullets.

For hunting medium-game and big-game animals, make sure you use the controlled expansion bullets. Otherwise, small-diameter bullets such as 6mm will not effectively penetrate the animal’s skin and kill it. In this case, you should consider using 90–100 grain bullets.


The .243 Winchester ammo is a popular choice for hunting predators and varmints thanks to its excellent accuracy, relatively low recoil, and higher caliber for maximum stopping power. It is available in bullet weights ranging from 55 to 115 grains and is a great choice for beginners or shooters who are recoil-shy.

So long as the correct bullet weight is chosen, it is definitely possible to bring down predators and varmints with the .243 Winchester cartridge. Most importantly, regardless of what type of ammo is chosen, always remember to practice safe and responsible hunting.

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