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270 vs 308: Medium Game Hunting Cartridges Collide

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270 vs 308: Medium Game Hunting Cartridges Collide

Old 03-16-2022, 04:06 PM
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Default 270 vs 308: Medium Game Hunting Cartridges Collide

When it comes to the debate about what the best big game hunting cartridge is, the 270 Winchester and 308 Winchester are always in the middle of the discussion. Both the 270 Win and the 308 Win offer exceptional long range ballistic performance and have claimed countless game animals across North America and the world for decades.

These spectacular hunting rounds have a track record about a mile long, but which one is going to be better for bagging that trophy whitetail, mule deer, or pronghorn antelope this hunting season?

In this caliber comparison, we are going to break down the history, ballistics, and pros/cons of each cartridge to help you understand whether you should purchase a 308 Win or a 270 Win for your new hunting rifle.

The 308 Winchester is America's long range cartridge and has served in the military, law enforcement, and hunters for decades. It is a strong, short action cartridge that captures the terminal ballistics of the 30-06 Springfield into a smaller cartridge. Although it is falling out of favor in the long range shooting community, the 308 Win is still a formidable hunting cartridge that will not go away anytime soon.

The 270 Winchester is one of those calibers that you don't think of when you start comparing hunting cartridges. However, thanks to Field & Stream author Jack O'Connor, the 270 Win has become much more prevalent in hunting circles. O'Connor took the 270 on safari in Africa and was extremely successful with it, despite it being smaller than a 308 Win or 30-06. The 270 Winchester takes a page from the Mauser playbook and utilizes a smaller, more aerodynamic projectile moving at a higher muzzle velocity to increase penetration and terminal ballistics.

Both rounds are incredibly capable, but which one is best? Watch the video and find out!
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Old 03-18-2022, 10:24 AM
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At ranges up to 300 yards the 308 is the better round. The classic bullet weights for the 270 are 130 and 150 grs with the 150 being the heaviest bullet offered by most ammo companies. Looking at the load data it shows a 130 and 150 gr bullet from the 308 is nearly identical velocity wise as the same bullet weight as the 270. And if you really want a short range thumper you can get bullets up to 220 gr for the 308.

Once you get over 300 yards the higher BC of the 270 would get the nod from be but if I am shooting over 300 yards I will be using my 7mm Mag with a 160 gr Nosler Accubond which beats the 270 in every way.
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Old 03-18-2022, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by flags View Post
At ranges up to 300 yards the 308 is the better round. The classic bullet weights for the 270 are 130 and 150 grs with the 150 being the heaviest bullet offered by most ammo companies. Looking at the load data it shows a 130 and 150 gr bullet from the 308 is nearly identical velocity wise as the same bullet weight as the 270. And if you really want a short range thumper you can get bullets up to 220 gr for the 308.

Once you get over 300 yards the higher BC of the 270 would get the nod from be but if I am shooting over 300 yards I will be using my 7mm Mag with a 160 gr Nosler Accubond which beats the 270 in every way.
Id tend to agree (with the above) and point out the vast majority of large game is shot at well under 300 yards and shorter ranges, shots claimed at longer, ranges are at times to be taken with a "GRAIN OF SALT"
Id also point out that I can't count the number of times I've hunted with guys who claimed to have made 400 yard or longer shots,
who also claimed to have held dead on the animals chest and made the shot.. most guys I know locally, sight in at about 2" high or dead on, at 100 yards
.most guys are terrible shots once ranges exceed 300 yards, I've used both cartridges in the field , and marginally prefer the 150 grain 270 win, but the effective results are almost indistinguishable from what Ive seen, simple because the vast majority of large game is shot at well under 300 yards and shorter ranges,

years ago I saw a game department survey made ,
where they asked hundreds of hunters at a western BLM check point,
to look out at 5 different colored flags placed at random ,
but carefully measured distances, and write down what each person estimated the distance too be from the check point,
they were handed a pen and a survey card,
with a picture of each flag color and a space to write the estimated distance,
they were told NONE of the colored flags were at an even 100 yard multiple,
but that was the only info
, each flag was a different, color,
and had been placed
in a different direction and at a different distance.
the survey taker pointed out each colored flag and asked them to write down their estimated range!
they tabulated the actual hunters field estimates being made on the spot, vs the carefully measure actual distances.
.
.
the results were about what Id have expected.
.after decades of listening to guys claim they killed deer & elk at 400 and 500 and 600 yards.......
the vast majority were very VERY bad at estimating distances correctly past about 150 yards, some estimates that were over 70% wrong were not uncommon


most guys I know are not skilled at making accurate range estimations at ranges over 200 yards, and many have very little understanding of longer range trajectory and required adjustments in sight changes required.
most guys have very limited access to local ranges where they can even set a target out to practice on out past 100 yards
and yeah I vastly prefer the 338,win or 340 wby if I expect to be offered a shot out past 300 yards, but I also use a bi-pod and have a trajectory table card laminated on my rifle stock and carry a range finder optic.,
Ive had zero problems using a 270 on deer Ive used it on,
and its certainly been working well for decades,
for one of my hunting partners, who has used it in a ruger #1 for over 45 years.

Last edited by hardcastonly; 03-18-2022 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 03-18-2022, 09:09 PM
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See critter.

Shoot critter.

Dead critter.

With either one.

-Jake
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Old 03-20-2022, 08:13 AM
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Both cartridges are capable deer and elk rifles.
I have used a 3" high at 100 yard zero for 40 years with my 270 shooting 140 gr Hornady BTSP.
I have always felt that the 270 is really overkill on deer. On elk I have never felt under gunned in any situation.
As far as the 308 goes. I don't have one but it has always been a respectable round. I don't feel it is superior to the 270 in any ballistic way. I could see how a short action ultra light rifle might be easier to carry than let's say a pre 64 winchester 270 might be. That would be the only advantage.
Like I said both are capable.

A final word on this video. These guys know nothing of what they are talking about.
they need to stick to stuff they know which isn't much.

Last edited by idahoron; 03-20-2022 at 08:43 AM.
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