September 2003

.243 Winchester Hunters: We Test T/C, Savage, and M.O.A.

The $562 Savage Striker and $588 Thompson/Center Encore provided bang for the bucks. But the fancy $919 M.O.A was a bust, in our view.

The .243 Winchester is a versatile centerfire cartridge. When it’s loaded light in rifles, it’s a comfortable varminting round. With bigger bullets, it’s plenty good for taking antelope and deer, and its modest recoil make it a favorite among people who don’t like too much action at the butt end of the gun.

But we wondered how we would like the .243’s manners when we fired it in handguns such as the break-action Thompson/Center Encore, $588; the falling block-style M.O.A., $919; and the $562 bolt-operated Savage Striker 516SAK, which also sports a two-round magazine and a muzzle brake.

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