Just Enough Gun

The .243 Winchester is always recommended for those who are recoil-shy, while at the same time being quite effective on big game. My hunting partner Rick had been using it on elk for a couple decades with no complaints. He is, of course, an excellent hunter and is very careful to choose shots on his terms. He’s always believed “hunting” means getting as close as possible — not making long shots for bragging rights. And for his style of hunting, the .243 works just fine.

Once a year our little group (including Rick) would take an annual hunt after exotic sheep, goats and feral pigs. Our hunting area was a pleasant drive from our homes in Idaho. We’d have the place entirely to ourselves so we could hunt on our own terms, where and how we wanted. Above all, it provided a great time of fellowship away from all civilization’s noise and interruptions. One year one of the fellows suggested we take .243s. The only problem was I didn’t have one, hard to admit it, but I’d simply neglected the .243 part of my shooting life. About the same time, Ruger announced the Compact Hawkeye Model 77 chambered in .243 Winchester. Who was I to go against such obvious signs?