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Decision Making - What Calibre?

Discussion in 'Firearms Certificate (FAC) Guns' started by Issac, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. Issac

    Issac Keyboard Hero

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    Before covid, I started to consider getting a centrefire, but as everything went into lockdown, I put this on the back burner. I have decided to take another look, and the following, although at first glance appears to be no more than the ramblings of a madman, it is in fact an attempt at a decision-making process. Feel free to post thoughts and comments, it might make things clearer, or even more complicated, who knows?



    What you want is not always what you need, or what you might be allowed to have. It is even difficult to be sure what it is you want, even after reading post after post and watching review after review on Youtube.


    Below are my thoughts and considerations. I think I know how to proceed, but this is a sharing forum and I value your opinions.







    The Need.


    To shoot more foxes, as they are increasing in numbers and lambs are being lost to them every year. The poultry on another permission has been attacked and wiped out. So there is a need. Although I shoot a few if they cross my path whilst out using the HMR, I feel that I need a more suited calibre and to go out after them properly. The landowners have asked if I could sort them out.




    The Want.


    I also want to use the rifle for the occasional roe which would go in my freezer and maybe two or three paid stalks a year. I also want to practice long-range shooting on gongs for the pleasure of doing so.



    Where does this leave me?


    Starting with my experience, I was in the military and have been trained to use rifles and various other weaponry. I understand the importance of absolute gun safety. I have been a RCO and a Skill at Arms Instructor.

    I have held a FAC since 2018 for HMR which has recently been updated after having the restrictive condition removed (Some would refer to this as an Open certificate). Currently, the HMR can be used on vermin, fox, ground game and any other lawful quarry.


    I go out after rabbits at least once week, sometimes twice.


    I have been out stalking as an observer on four occasions, assisted with the removal of the deer from the field and have assisted with the gralloching in each case. I have been out on paid stalks twice and although located deer was unable to shoot. (Wrong gender in each case)




    A .243 fits the bill for both quarries and the long-range practice.


    A .223 would be acceptable for the foxes and therefore satisfies the need, and maybe the practice, but not the want to shoot occasional deer.


    There may other calibres that I have not considered.


    If I ask for a .243, I expect that Firearms Licencing will say that I have to have a Mentor or do DSC1, (because of the deer) but finding a mentor and convincing the landowner to allow someone on their land is no easy task. I have no issue with doing a DSC1, except it is a three day course, and that is a lot of time away from home leaving the wife to manage everything I do as well as what she needs to do as well, and there is no guarantee of a pass.


    If I ask for a .223 for fox, then I need no mentor or course, (as it is not a deer calibre) and as this responds to the need, it will probably be granted. I will not be able to shoot deer for the freezer and will have to use the ‘estate’ rifle on stalks.



    It seems that the Mentor condition only relates to deer, so this must mean that it has less to do with taking a safe shot and gun safety and more about the quarry. I did not have to do a course to shoot, clean and skin rabbits.



    Options


    • I could ask for .243 and try to convince them by listing personal experience, that I be safe. Afterall they said I can use a HMR without any mentor and that bullet can travel several hundred yards and could cause some considerable damage.


    • I could ask for a .223 (or maybe another fox calibre) This would help with the fox problem at hand.


    • I could ask for a .243 for fox but with a condition to use it on deer whilst on a paid stalk.


    • I could ask for a .223 now and do a DSC1 later when time allows, then ask for an additional calbre for deer.
     
  2. rich79

    rich79 No deep or funny comment here

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    If you're definitely going after deer as well then I'd go 243 or 25-06, something like that, this is if you only want one gun!
    Theres no point going bigger into 6.5 etc, you could use 90gr for Roe then use 70gr bullets for fox, I doubt the twist will matter at fox ranges (100-150yds).
     
    Issac likes this.
  3. Nords

    Nords Thermal Fiend

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    Wouldn’t they just worry about the land being cleared for the calibre? Which police force will be doing the approval?
     
    Issac likes this.
  4. r10hunter

    r10hunter Honorary Member

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    Your permissions are very windy and you need to shoot foxes and control the odd pest deer if causing the farmer serious damage.
    Only you are allowed on the permission due to landowners rules.
    Enough for a grant and no need for a mentor or DSC.
     
    Storcky, lee71 and Issac like this.
  5. Devonair

    Devonair Oh deer.....

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    It really depends on how many rifles you want in the long term. As you know I have a .243 but in hindsight I’d probably have got a .223 and a 6.5creedmoor. You are very close to red deer that wouldn’t be ideal with a .243 although legal.

    This could mean you applying for a .223 now and then your deer rifle when you are ready to do your DSC1. I’m doing mine just down the road from me which isn’t too far from you.
     
    Issac and gasman like this.
  6. Herb64

    Herb64 Posting Addict

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    IMHO you would be quite within your rights to apply for any of .223 .243 or 6.5 Creedmore or a combination of two. You fit all the criteria for them. As for the DSC1 you can do it in a day. Just do the studying yourself and pay for the tests. Do D&C insist on it? As for mentoring I’m pleased I never had that.
     
    Issac likes this.
  7. Spray1Mark

    Spray1Mark I see light at the end of the tunnel!

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    It's much better to base the choice on your general useage, than the "odd" time you are needed to use a larger round for legal purposes should not dictate it!

    If I had a pound for every time one of my club members asked me if they could have a deer stalking rifle that also doubled for 1000 yard target or vice versa I would be a wealthy man!

    IMO a .223 is a much better dedicated predator round, it's also more pleasant to shoot, can be cheaper to buy ammo, you try finding target ammo in .243 only thing I ever found was Lapua 90 grain which aint cheap I can tell you, less muzzle flip in a light gun, less muzzle flash, easier to supress etc. etc.
     
  8. gasman

    gasman Up a bit,,,,,,,

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    I would put in for .223, you can use this to gain Experience etc then do your dsc 1 then put in for a larger cal like a 6.5x55 or 6.5cm skip the 243, from want I’m hearing from people testing.243 is Struggling on lead free loads atm, it’s going to happen sooner than we think.
    As regards to your military training rco etc, I’d leave that bit out, military training and range safety isn’t a patch on nra safety it goes well above and beyond army training and don’t take that the wrong way :thumb:
    Some army guys I’ve meet over the years I’d not trust with airguns let alone cf’s :rolleyes:
     
    Devonair and Issac like this.
  9. Spray1Mark

    Spray1Mark I see light at the end of the tunnel!

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    Well put Gasman, personally I would expand that to "most" rather than some LOL!
     
    Issac and gasman like this.
  10. gasman

    gasman Up a bit,,,,,,,

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    You too lol thanks, I’ll just add, it’s one thing shooting the bigger Cals on a range with a Massive Sand birm behind the target, but take that gun out and away from that safety and see how safe your shooting really is !
     
    Issac likes this.
  11. Readie

    Readie Grumpy Old Fart

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    Well I did my DSC1 and have land cleared for 243 plus the written permission of the land owner.
    Had my FAC for 8 years and they still wanted a mentor.

    It depends on the area you’re in I guess, no joined up thinking amongst the Forces
     
    Issac likes this.
  12. nCognitos

    nCognitos Engaging Member

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    I pay the following for 'club' ammo but in general the ratios hold, a .223 is going to cost half of a 6.5, bullet for bullet.
    .223 = 55p a round
    .243 = 75p a round
    .308 = 70p a round
    6.5 = 100p a round

    I love the .223 calibre, it's a joy to shoot and accurate. The .243 is also fairly easy shooting, but it's becoming one of those meh calibres, most people would probably now go to a 6.5 for greater flexibility.

    I would follow the advice given by others, start with a .223 for the foxes, then do DSC1 and get a .243 or Creedmoor or, my personal favourite, a 6.5x55 Swede.

    As @gasman says, can be difficult to find lead free but lapua offer their naturalis bullets in all the calibres you are interested in, if you want to roll your own.
     
    Issac and gasman like this.
  13. Issac

    Issac Keyboard Hero

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    The land is cleared for up to 308. This is Devon and Cornwall.
     
  14. billy_boy_2010

    billy_boy_2010 Well-Known Member

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    You have pretty much summed it up.

    You can't shoot deer with 223 in England.

    The 223 is the best fox calibre you have described by far. And a good range tool too- especially if you can source a faster twist rate barrel so it can handle the heavier bullets.

    If you're doing paid stalks you will v likely be able to use the estate rifle. So you won't miss not having one on guided stalks.

    Thus get a 223 and use estate rifle.

    The only compromise then is you won't be able to shoot roe on your permission.

    If you want to shoot roe on your own land- you will have to get a 243 or above.

    So the question is

    Is the compromise of a more expensive to feed, heavier recoiling deer calibre (with conditions) worth the roe deer you may take on your own land ?
     
    Issac likes this.
  15. gasman

    gasman Up a bit,,,,,,,

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    Apart from muntjac
     
  16. rich79

    rich79 No deep or funny comment here

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    I really don't see a problem with using 243 with two different bullets, sounds like the deer will be few & far between and realistically how far do you guys shoot foxes at?
    With a 20gr weight difference it's not going to affect accuracy!
     
    r10hunter likes this.
  17. buffy vampire slayer

    buffy vampire slayer LOW BELLEND THRESHOLD

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    and CWD
     
    gasman likes this.
  18. Devonair

    Devonair Oh deer.....

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    Expense to feed doesn’t come into it for deer. £2 a deer is not a lot of money.
     
  19. gasman

    gasman Up a bit,,,,,,,

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    Idea!!!
    Put in for a .223rem, which even when you “ go big “ will still be worth having for foxy, then put in for a .22lr, never get one but when you want/need a bigger cal do a one for one Variation for free
     
    Devonair and John Entwistle like this.
  20. r10hunter

    r10hunter Honorary Member

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    On a typical farm permission if you don’t intend to buy stalking in my opinion .243 is the way to go.
    With light weight bullets it’s flatter and bucks the wind better than .223 but has a little more felt recoil so makes a good fox round.

    But you have the option to carry a mag of deer rounds. A quick tweak of the scope and drop the mag in and you can take that pest deer spotted while looking for foxes or just mooching around evenings and mornings.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021

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