That takes nothing away from the rifle manufacturers or the guns in general, but the real power in the .270 Winchester is that it is a traditionalist’s cartridge. Again, 270 is a fine cartridge, but whatever you shoot, you need to understand that cartridge’s limitations. Eventually, I wanted to go after elk but wanted to remain with a lever action so in 1972 I bought a Savage 99 in .308 shooting 180 grain core-lokt ammo. Either way, a great .270 is one of the best rifles you can use for target shooting, especially when you’re dealing with something that has a little bit of “oomph” to its firing ability. The .270 Winchester might be the better choice for you. This fits with the original intent of the designers interested in building a mild shooting and easy to handle cartridge that was still powerful enough for hunting medium sized game at short to moderate range. The .270 Winchester has a significantly longer case length (2.54″ vs 2.015″) as well as overall length (3.34″ vs 2.81″). The author’s son anchored his first South Dakota whitetail in its tracks with a perfectly placed quartering-away shot that took out the deer’s far-side front leg as the bullet exited. P.S. Similar to the abundant ammunition choices available in .308 Winchester and .270 Winchester, there are also plenty of quality rifles manufactured in the two cartridges. Thanks. You may not want to spend hours trying to find where your deer went to. But when a bow is your primary tool, I recommend sticking to the lungs. Although many bowhunters like to aim for the heart, aiming low and up against the shoulder/leg can set you up for heartbreak if you hit square on the shoulder joint and don’t get adequate penetration. Make sure you follow The Big Game Hunting Blog on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. A big, handsome buck with a good looking rack is a nice trophy. Art Eatman, Sep 13, 2016 #8. There has been many moose found that were shot and never recovered by the hunter because of lack of a blood trail, so use what will drop it in its tracks or at least leave a good blood trail. Though some were reluctant to adopt the cartridge, many American hunters eventually came to appreciate the flat shooting characteristics of the round as well as the fact that it was so effective on thin skinned game. Thanks Brian. Do you want to hunt larger game animals like kudu, eland, red stag, elk, or moose? Deer Caliber., Great article both of these rounds are plenty capable of humanly killing most North American medium to large game Remington made a great cartridge in the 280, but really botched the rollout and the cartridge has never recovered. Note: there is quite a bit of overlap with the performance of various 150 grain loads for both the .270 Winchester and .308 Winchester. However, if you can, avoid shooting the best-looking specimens unless you really have to. For other readers: you can see what Brian is talking about with regards to the 270 Winchester vs the 280 Remington at the link below. Do not forget the brain is the center of all life in a deer. Art nailed it. for deer hunting. Maximum pressure obtained from SAAMI (p171 and p172). In summary, I had very good luck with my .308 downing elk and a couple bears but it’s too powerful for common deer at typical distances hunting the forests and foothills. 270 is a nice cartridge; however, I think if the 280 Rem had come out at the same time, the 270W would be a footnote in history. So shooting at the brain will incapacitate the deer and disrupt all the essential functions. I've always shot at a particular place on a deer. The best tasting deer are younger does and smaller bucks. You're over thinking this. The American exotic hunter will find that the calibers recommended for shooting elk are also appropriate for harvesting red stag. Prices and availability vary from region to region, but ammunition for both cartridges is widely available. Joined: Jan 23, 2003 Messages: 1,991 Location: Munising MI. However, the 7.62x51mm achieved that performance with a much shorter case (51mm vs 63mm) due to advances in powder technology that occurred after the development of the .30-06. There have been some instances when I was shotgun hunting that I made other type of shots (little buck was getting ready to bolt and could only see its head at 15 yards, and a neck shot … Your ultimate goal as a hunter is … Read More I’m more than happy to shoot inexpensive bullets like Speer Grand Slam (180 gr and 175 grain, respectively) out of a 308 or 280 Rem. Like many other cartridges developed in the United States, the story of the .270 and .308 Winchester begins with the .30-06 Springfield. So I bought a Glenfield carbine in 30-30 and fitted it with a 2-7X scope. If you’d like to learn more about how the .308 Winchester compares to the .30-06 Springfield, read the article below: 308 vs 30-06 vs 300 Win Mag: Which One Should You Be Hunting With? Regardless of the cartridge you choose, finding a good deer rifle shouldn’t be an issue. Here are five spots in the kill zone which you should aim for hitting if you want to make a clean, one-shot kill. The table below compares the recoil produced by 130gr and 150gr .270 loads to 150gr and 180gr .308 loads (all shooting a Nosler Partition bullet) when fired from a Ruger American rifle. This discovery of shot placement on whitetail deer developed over the course of many years of hunting whitetail deer. For that reason, users of the .308 Winchester benefit from the extensive the research and development that has gone into refining .308″ bullets and rifles for long range shooting in the United States over the last century. Both cartridges have the same .473″ rim diameter. The original 7.62x51mm NATO M80 ball load fired a 146 grain full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet at 2,750 feet per second (2,469 foot pounds of muzzle energy). In addition, this shot often paralyzes a deer and requires a second shot or throat slit to complete the job. After all, the recoil of the .308 is very similar to the .270. Broadside shot is the ideal angle and it gives the bowhunter a straight shot to exposed vitals and a large target for a lethal hit. My .243 does a fine job on any whitetail I've run across on the east coast. That’s not a hard and fast rule though, and 22″ and 24″ barrels are very common for both cartridges. With regards to bullet selection, .308″ bullets in particular are very easy to find. The fact that the .270 and .308 each have very devoted fan clubs can also make it difficult to navigate the debate. For this reason, the .270 Winchester is used in standard/long action rifles, while the .308 Winchester is the poster child for short action rifles. Specifically, the military wanted a new rifle chambered in an intermediate cartridge, capable of automatic fire, and equipped with a detachable magazine. They’re both about the same up to 150 gr bullets, but 160 and 175 gr bullets are easily obtained for 280R, and in a wide variety of cartridge and bullet makers. With good shot placement and when using quality bullets, the .270 Winchester and .308 Winchester are ideally suited for hunting medium to large sized game. Not only are one-shot kills best for the whitetails we’re shooting, they are also best for the hunter. To kill an animal with a single shot is the goal of every responsible hunter. In my opinion the 180 grainer bullet is too heavy for the smaller powder capacity for the shorter cartridge. However, the .308 has a slightly steeper shoulder angle (20 degrees vs 17.5 degrees). I am planning a trip to Idaho in 2021 and want to make sure I find the best round to make sure I can bring one home. 1. price Virtually every major style of bullet is available in .270 and .308 as well like the Barnes TTSX, the Hornady ELD-X, GMX, InterBond, InterLock, SST, and V-Max, the Nosler AccuBond, AccuBond Long Range, Ballistic Tip, E-Tip, and Partition, the Remington Core Lokt, the Swift Scirocco and A-Frame, and the Winchester Power Point (just to name a few). So where do we stand with each cartridge? But, even then I think the hunter is on a very thin edge of killing efficacy. Both are very common in bolt-action rifles. With a 200-yard zero, Winchester’s Deer Season XP 130-grain ammo drops only 18 inches at 400 yards, carrying more than enough killing power with its reliable Extreme Point bullet. Basically, there is no shortage of quality .270 Win and .308 Win factory ammunition suitable for hunting. Therefore, this revelation means that even if you aim at … John The only bad thing about shooting a deer in the brain is that the target area is obviously very small, so the chances of you actually making the hit are more limited. Shot through both shoulders at about 100 yards. Where To Shoot A Deer. Your ultimate goal as a hunter is … Read More Book an outstanding Africa hunting safari here. However, since most modern .30-06 factory loads have a small edge in velocity (usually around 100-200fps) over .308 factory loads shooting the same weight bullet, the advantage in velocity of the .270 Winchester is even more pronounced when compared to the .308. On the other hand, even though the .270 Winchester does shoot flatter in many cases, military and police snipers, hunters, and practical and/or long distance shooting competitors have all used the .308 Winchester extensively over the years. I moved away from Wyoming and settled here along the Gulf Coast of Florida where deer are much smaller. On the other hand, the majority of .270 Winchester factory loads shoot bullets in the 120-150 grain range. Of these, 130 grain and 150 grain bullets are by far the most common. Don’t get discouraged though: in today’s blog post, I’m going to discuss the pros and cons of the 270 vs 308 so you can make an informed decision on which one is best for you. I was wondering what everyone recommends for ammo for Elk hunting. This Year’s Best 270 Rifle You Can Lay Your Hands On. For instance, though it’s possible to find .308 ammo shooting bullets weighing as little as 110 grains, most .308 Winchester factory loads designed for big game hunting use heavier weight bullets in the 150 grain to 180 grain range. We asked a number of deer cullers, those sharpshooters whose job requires them to kill deer quickly, for their perspectives on bullet placement. While the .30-06 performed very well during both world wars, the US Military again recognized the need for a new rifle and cartridge after World War II. When taking a broadside shot, it is generally best to aim about five inches behind the deer’s shoulder and about halfway up the deer’s body. A shot at the brain is more likely to get down the deer within a few seconds and in the most humane way. Heavier, more stoutly-constructed bullets are almost universally better at penetration, given their lower velocities. This is a real deer-flattener and is the gun/load with which I have taken a deer at longest range. Red deer, photo by Olivier Deme. Contrary to the belief held by most hunters, the most suitable place to hit a deer and pick it where the bullet landed on is not on the heart itself but the area just above the heart. Those efforts bore fruit a few years later with the bolt action 1903 Springfield rifle chambered in the new .30-06 Springfield cartridge. Both the .270 and .308 will work extremely well under those conditions and there is very little difference between them at short range. Deer starve if they don’t have enough to eat, so do the species a favor and use them as the good Lord intended. Head And Neck Shots: So, where should we try to put our bullet on an animal to ensure a clean, one-shot kill? With the right firearm and ammunition, the shoulder is one of the best shot placement for deer. Read more: Maine Moose Hunting Guides For Both Experts And The Novice This shot is very good due to its effect. Momentum (not KE) is king when it comes to penetration, and heavier bullets retain it better than lighter bullets. 223/5.56 vs 7.62×39: Everything You Need To Know. But should we be aiming elsewhere? Helped along by Jack O’Connor and the famous articles he wrote for Outdoor Life about the .270 over the years, the cartridge gradually caught on with the hunting community. All that being said, while the .308 probably has a slight edge here, both cartridges have the potential for excellent accuracy in the right hands. All cartridges/rifles are a balancing act between However, the flat trajectory and resistance to wind drift of the .270 Winchester makes it a really good choice for game that might require a longer shot such as pronghorn or mule deer. I think the majority of hunters and shooters would agree that the .270 Winchester and .308 Winchester are outstanding hunting cartridges. Now the .308 Winchester is a perfectly capable long range cartridge and plenty of hunters use it on mountain hunts each year. Shot Placement. By going by the chest cavity by one side of the shoulder blade to the other the deer’s nervous system wi… For those reasons, understanding their true strengths and weaknesses can be pretty confusing at times. I have always been a believer in heavier bullets regardless of the difference in drift because of lower BCs with heavy’s. There's nothing wrong with 140 or 150 grain .270 bullets, but they provide no advantage for deer. Do you hunt in areas where it might be necessary to take a longer range shot? After a very controversial selection process, the Army eventually settled on the M-14 rifle and the new 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. If you’d like to learn more about the accuracy of the .308 Winchester and how it compares to cartridge purpose built for long range competition shooting, read this article: 6.5 Creedmoor vs 308 Winchester Debate Settled. Even though they have slightly different strengths and weaknesses, the .270 Winchester and .308 Winchester are outstanding rifle cartridges. Hit low, and you’re going to wound a deer with little chance of recovery. By necking down the .30-06 case to shoot smaller diameter bullets, the designers of the .270 Winchester built a cartridge with a higher velocity, flatter trajectory, and less recoil than the .30-06 Springfield. If you are hunting primarily for meat, the head or neck would be the best targets. The faster 150 grain bullets were tried for mule deer but I was disappointed with the significant meat damage. Indeed, they’re both consistently among the most popular centerfire rifle cartridges used in the United States each year for good reason. Target Shooting. Some gun designers necked up the .30-06 to develop bigger cartridges like the .35 Whelen and .400 Whelen. Therefore, I rule out using the .308 for moose because I think a 165 grain bullet is too light for an animal that size unless you have the velocity created by the .270 Win. The relatively light recoil of the cartridge also makes it easier to handle in a lightweight rifle that’s desirable on a mountain hunt. Otherwise, the red deer is generally silent, but they often bark when alarmed. The reason you want to hit here is because once the bullet or arrow enters the deer it will … These projectiles quite often take advantage of the latest developments in bullet development and offer advantages in precision and ballistic coefficient compared to the bullets used by the .270. Once you know what this is, you might look at deer and deer hunting (and shot placement) in a completely different fashion. I also think the heaviest bullet for the .308 should be no more than 165 grains. Put the bullet through the ribs, behind the front leg, and about 1/3 of the way up the body, and you will have virtually no meat loss. However, the .308 performs better with heavier bullets than the .270 and is available in a wider range of bullet weights and models. Consistent practice with good targets will help you develop the confidence and ability needed to achieve your hunting goals. I used the Federal Ballistic calculator and to compare wind drift, the range each bullet goes subsonic, and recoil for the cartridges. If you are using a smaller caliber such as.25-caliber rifles or smaller, I recommend a shot directly behind the front shoulder, one-third of the way up from the bottom of the deer’s belly line. Excepting 375 H&H and 375 Ruger, there’s a reason dangerous games cartridges aren’t generally any faster than about 2200-2300 fps. This rifle accounted for several bulls and many cow elk; my longest shot was about 225 yards. While many were satisfied with the .30-06 from the start, wildcatters also quickly started modifying the cartridge for more specialized tasks. Since the .308 Winchester is essentially a scaled down .30-06, with the exception of recoil (which we’ll get to in a minute) the .270 Winchester has the same advantages over the .308 as it does over the .30-06. 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