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244 Remington

244_REM

In 1955, Remington Arms introduced the 244 in answer to Winchester’s 243. With the popular 250 Savage and 257 Roberts rounds already filling the small-cartridge deer-hunting niche, Remington saw no need to market another small cartridge for deer hunting. So, it designed the 244 as a varmint-only round, giving it a 12-twist barrel that could give better accuracy with feasible 75- and 90-grain bullets of that era, compared to a faster twist that would stabilize 100-grain bullets. It marketed ammunition with these lighter bullets. In the 1950s, limited concentricity of bullet jackets limited accuracy. Providing twist-rate was sufficient to stabilize the bullet, the faster the twist, the lower the accuracy. This is no longer an issue because the best modern bullets have sufficiently concentric jackets to eliminate this problem.

Few shooters could justify buying a 244 that was good only for varminting when they could buy a ballistically similar 243 and have a duel-purpose gun.

 


 

To solve this problem, instead of simply designing a 90-grain big-game hunting bullet, for ten years, Remington kept trying to market the 244 as a varmint-only rifle. This failed. In 1964, Remington renamed the 244, increased chamber pressure, and changed the rifling-twist rate so it could offer ammo loaded with 100-grain big-game bullets. See the 6mm Remington discussion.

In contradiction to the 243 Winchester, I have never met a ballistician who had anything bad to say about the 244 Remington. Despite this, the 243 has been wildly popular while the 244 AKA 6mm (superior in every way) was a dismal failure. Marketing matters and bad decisions often have long-term consequences.

Heritage of this case dates to the 1870s with the introduction of the 40-70 Ballard case.


The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
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