The .243 is an excellent calibre, versatile for both small to medium game and arguably one of the most accurate rounds available in this bracket. You can hunt small game and deer both reliably with this gun.
The 7 Best .243 Rifles Currently on the Market
Here is our list featuring the 7 top .243 rifles currently on the market in Australia:
- Tikka T3x Lite
- Remington Model 700 BDL
- Ruger American
- Howa Hunter Series 1500 Stainless
- Browning A-Bolt II
- Ruger M77 Mk II
- Savage LRPV
Tikka T3x Lite
The Tikka T3x Lite series holds the tagline, ‘carrying a new era of accuracy.’ It does well in producing a more accurate shot, as the T3x focuses on customisation. The rifle supports a variety of stocks and calibres, including the .243.
As a mid-ranged priced rifle, the T3x Lite offers a combination of precision quality, reliability and modern design providing the latest features in firearms manufacturing to provide an accurate, lightweight rifle which can equally contend in being carried hunting through to target shooting.
The Tikka T3x Lite comes in at 2.8kg, nearly 30% lighter than most comparable rifles. The downside with this is recoil can be slightly more noticeable, so for those looking to shoot regularly with this rifle we would recommend adding a recoil pad to dampen impact strain on your shoulder.
New Price: from $1,499
Used Price: from $700
Remington Model 700 BDL
This Remington hunting rifle has an American walnut body with a high-gloss finish. It is considered the gold standard of bolt action hunting rifles.
The .243 Win Remington Model 700 BDL comes with a 22-inch barrel and weighs in at 3.28kg. This rifle has an adjustable trigger system, adjustable rear and front sights, and a hinged floorplate magazine.
The BDL uses push-feed action, which keeps the smoothness of its action untouched. If you’re looking for a rifle that can withstand a lot of wear and tear, this is the one for you.
The BDL overall provides a great rifle for beginners with manageable recoil and reliable manufacture. I’d note that the BDL does lack a secondary safety which some may consider as an important factor in weighing this rifle up against the alternatives.
New Price: from $1,925
Used Price: from $1,100
The Ruger American is well known in the entry level budget category as a consistent contender. The American is meant to get the job done but for the price you pay for it, you’ll be surprised at the features that it has.
The American features a rotatory magazine, adjustable trigger, and Weaver-style bases.
The black matte finish on the American undoubtedly scores some points with me. It isn’t the most thorough model, the Ruger American remains a must for those wanting a tack driver on a budget.
New Price: from $839
Used Price: from $450
Howa Hunter Series 1500 Stainless
The Howa Hunter series doesn’t come up as much as the other entries on our list. Unfairly so, if you ask me. Howa is well regarded for their consistent quality in production, whilst being at comparatively affordable price point.
It is a reliable rifle with three safety positions. These positions are:
- Position 1: Both Trigger and Bolt Operable
- Position 2: Trigger Inoperable and Bolt Operable
- Position 3: Both Trigger and Bolt Inoperable
You can hear a click each time you push the safety backward or forward. This auditory confirmation is useful when shooting.
You can get these rifles with a blue or stainless steel finish. Whilst many shooters have traditionally stuck to blued finishes stainless has increasingly become popular due to its durability. It is also more resistant to corrosion, which makes it a better fit for hunting use.
This mid-range rifle is a pretty good package at a more affordable price. When factoring the total cost of fitting out a Howa 1500 however you may want to consider swapping out the stock as many owners don’t rate the standard stocks highly.
New Price: from $990
Used Price: from $650
Browning A-Bolt II
The performance and shooting experience that the Browning A-bolt rifle provides is incredible. This rifle shoulders smoothly and feels light. You’ll realise this once you begin shooting the A-Bolt rifle.
A-Bolt rifles can accurately shoot up to 1000 meters in range. Considering the price, the effective range is impressive. Almost all components of this rifle are hand-crafted. Browning combines a precision barrel with a smooth trigger to give you a guaranteed clean shot.f
Moreover, the feeding system of this gun is high-performing and lifts the shooting experience well. It feeds effortlessly, as the cartridge depressor stays in place when the bolts slide over the rifle’s cartridges.
The easy handle and precision shooting make this rifle a cut above most.
New Price: from $1,095
Used Price: from $650
Ruger M77 Mk II
This rifle comes in two different styles. The stock comes in either a synthetic ABS or laminate wood stock.
Along with a smooth two-stage trigger, the medium-level weight produces a smooth shooting experience. The scope mounting system is the same as what you will find on most other Ruger rifles. It comes with a five-round internal box magazine.
The Mauser-style action and the two-stage trigger separate the MK II from the other entries on our list. If you’re a fan of the two-stage trigger, this one’s for you.
New Price: from $1,899
Used Price: from $950
The Savage Axis is a great option for those wanting an accuracy small game hunting rifle which can still hold its own on the shooting range.
Savage Axis delivers extraordinary long-range accuracy. Its features include an adjustable trigger, an HS precision fiberglass stock, stainless steel barrel. This single-shot bolt action rifle has a 22″ barrel, a 9″ twist rate, and weighs 4.9kg.
This rifle has a 3-position safety feature, and it’s drilled and tapped to accommodate optics devices. You’ll find the Savage LRPV easy to handle. Its smooth action makes it well worth its price.
New Price: from $799
Used Price: from $500
Related: Check out our review on the best .22 Magnum rifles available in Australia.
These are the very best .243 Rifles available for those looking to hunt up to midsize game or target shooting. I’ve included more affordable options along with the high-end and sought-after brands you can find today. Do you think there’s another .243 rifle which should make the list as one of the best? Let us know.