I guess its that I'm getting old and words have different meaning to me than to a lot of posters here. To me, .243 isn't really medium caliber its small bore like .223 but just a tad bigger.
Its not medium caliber by a long stretch. Medium to me starts at maybe .270 or 7mm and runs up into the .30s. Large bore starts at maybe .40 and goes up. I know the .264 probably qualifies, but I don't know of any but bolts.
Time was, medium caliber rifles were mostly lever guns, and they worked well for the medium sized critters like woods deer.
A while back I wanted a "loaner" rifle in the pile. I looked for a while and found a nice BAR for about $500. It was a tad older, but came with scope mounts. So I started looking for a nice scope. And destroyed any thought of loaning it out with a nice, nearly new Zeiss variable. But its a .30-06 which basically owns the mid bore category. Just a little small for big critters with claws and teeth (like bears that aren't black) but big enough for all the horny things here in the US. If you go hunting moose or black bear with a .243, you're undergunned. If you hunt griz with it, take out more insurance.
There have been a bunch of bambi like things shot with a .30-30. Smallish bears,too. I'd guess that lever guns all fit the mid size caliber you seek. But of course you only want semi-autos. You can find lever guns up into the large bore calibers like .45-70. And they do a respectable job, maybe as well as the even slower bolt guns.
It seems to me you've kind of limited your choices by designating the action type.
Unhappy ammo seeker
|My hypocrisy goes only so far|
|Go ahead punk, make my day|
rburg, finding a used bar for $500 would be sweet!
Medium caliber is subjective. Lets not turn the thread in to a subject argument over what is medium vs large.
"Practice like you want to play in the game"
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