is .270 too much?

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by firehammer, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. firehammer

    firehammer New Member

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    Okay, here's the deal. Looking at buying a rifle mainly for white tails. I have a 12 ga. that I use for hunting right now & that's all I've ever hunted with. Mainly because I've hunted mostly wooded areas. The area that I hunt is a wildlife managment area & in has some areas that have been logged because Weirhauser owns parts & some parts are U.S. forrestry land. The logged areas would probably give me a shooting distance of no more than 300 yds. but maybe as short as 75 or 100 yds. The terrain is mostly rolling hills & in the bottoms of the hills they left the hardwoods which is why the shots wouldn't be more than 300 or so. The woods have a lot of under growth in most places but there are food plots that the wildlife, fish, & parks maintain where a shot of maybe 50 or 100 yds is possible. I figure that I can bring both a rifle & shotgun with me & get the best of both worlds. If I use a tree stand I may have a decent shot with a rifle through the trees... but not on the ground. So, since I'm new to centerfire rifles, is a .270 cal. too much gun for what & where I'll be shooting? I figure a .270 is also pretty good all around caliber if I ever get to hunt west of the Mississippi as well.

    I appreciate any input.
    Stay Frosty, Mike
     
  2. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    A .270 is an excellent all around caliber for North American game up to elk. Some would even consider it adequate for elk. By no stretch of the imagination is a .270 "too much".
     

  3. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    .270 is a great all around game cartridge, especially in North America. Very versatile. I think that, or maybe even the .243 would be a good choice, depending on the size of the animals in question.

    I would be a little concerned about shooting meat at 50 or 75 yards with the .270, but it's certainly not going to blow a hole in the animal big enough to drive a truck through or anything. You wil definitely get some penetration though.

    .270 is a good cartridge, it can be found in just about any sporting goods, or other type, of hunting store and the recoil isn't bad at all. You can reload it across a pretty broad spectrum if you were so inclined.

    I notice that you mentioned Weyerhaeuser land, where abouts? Because it might not be their's much longer. My gal used to work there in HR for about two years, got out last year when the writing started to hit the wall. They are selling off just about everything. You favorite hunting land might become someone else's here in the not so distant future...

    JD
     
  4. firehammer

    firehammer New Member

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    The place I hunt is in South Mississippi. It is part of the Little Biloxi Wildlife Management Area. It straddles both Harrison (south) & Stone (north) Counties with most of the Weyerhauser land in Harrison County.
     
  5. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

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    First get a rifle with, at least, a 24” barrel. (Stay away from anything that’s shorter; and, anything longer than 26” is a waste of good ordinance steel.) I’ve watched many a hunter hit low on long shots while using a short 16.5” - 18” barreled carbine.

    OK, then, when using a rifle hold a little low on the close-in shots. When you have the time read,

    THIS!

    Sounds great! However, in practice, I think you’ll find carrying two long arms to be a real nuisance. I always used to bring a slug gun and a centerfire rifle with me to deer camp. Whichever one I carried depended on where I intended to hunt that day. When I was out in the hardwoods, moving along ridge lines, I carried my Sako FinBear 30-06 with a 24” barrel. When I was down in the bottoms still hunting the edges of swamps, I carried my old Remington 870 slug gun.

    A word about the 270 Winchester: It’s a great cartridge, shoots nice and flat, doesn’t always have the range, and won’t do a damned thing that a 30-06 can’t do better. When I was a young man I worked as a guide at a commercial Pennsylvania deer camp. We used to have all these affluent, fat bottomed, ‘city slickers’ show up with their fancy deluxe grade rifles in the trunks of their cars.

    All arriving hunters had to demonstrate that their rifles were zeroed-in. More often than not, these rifles were scoped with the best of optics and so far out of zero that their first sight-in shots would be as much as 3 feet off in any direction! Naturally, none of these guys had a clue; and, it always fell to me to have the task of sighting-in these thoroughly screwed up rifles before we could turn the owners loose in the woods with their fancy artillery.

    Now, don’t misunderstand. Some of these hunters were big tippers – That was the good part. The bad part was that by the third day of arrivals my shoulder was sooo …. sore from sighting-in everybody’s rifles that I (truly) didn’t feel like shooting for the rest of the season!

    The rifles that used to annoy me the most were those damned 270’s! All the frigg ‘in kick of an 06 and little more than half the performance! Consequently, I have never sighted-in anyone’s 270 in my life that I didn’t think to myself; ‘Stupid jerk, you should have bought a 30-06.’

    Almost 40 years later I haven’t changed my mind. If you’re going to carry that much rifle make it the right rifle: If you want a nice small caliber rifle that’ll work effectively out to 300 yards on deer-sized game look at the 243 Winchester. It won’t beat the Hell out of your shoulder; and, it’s based on exactly the same cartridge case as the: 270, 308, and 30-06 calibers.

    My own personal favorite, ‘small rifle’ deer cartridge is the 6mm Remington – I love this cartridge and everything about it! It’ll do everything a 243 will do; only, it will do it better!

    If you decide to go with a larger caliber hunting rifle I’d start with the excellent 25-06 Remington. It is an ideal round for long ranging shots at far off deer-sized game; but, now, you’re going to start noticing the kick. Bigger than this? I’d go straight to the 30-06 Winchester.

    You’re going to need a decent scope. Personally, I’ve never used anything except Leupold scopes all of my life, and have never had a (good) reason to want or need anything else. My smallest hunting scopes are 4X; my largest are 3-9X variables. I’ve used much more powerful scopes; but, I’ve always felt that the disadvantages outweighed the advantages. 12X is as high as I prefer to go.

    As for Range? I can't remember a hunting shot that I ever made at greater than 9X magnification. Most have, probably, been around 4X. If it’s within 400 yards, there’s a 99% chance that it’s going to be dinner. (Been this way all my life!) ;)

    I know the legendary Jack O’Conner loved the 270 Winchester; but, as far as this old deer camp guide is concerned, it’ll never be more than a genuine pain in the neck. If I’ve got to suffer that kind of recoil, give me a 30-06 every time!

    Good luck to you! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2008
  6. firehammer

    firehammer New Member

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    I should clarify. I would bring both along in the truck. I would only carry the gun that would suit the terrain I chose to hunt. I should have made that clear from the start. The land I hunt is open to the public so any one that paid for the user permit can hunt it. That makes where you can hunt first come first served. I'm usually there pretty early but sometimes someone beats me to the spot I want to hunt. This would give me the versatility to not just hunt the woods.
     
  7. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

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    :) Which is the exact same reason, 'Why' I, also, carried two different long arms to deer camp every winter. The camp I used backed onto state gamelands. (a very large one) I used to get sick and tired of other hunters either wandering into or deliberately coming onto turf I'd carefully scouted out weeks in advance and always arrived at very early in the morning.

    One of two things would frequently happen: You'd have to talk to the other guy(s) which would finish your chances for that morning; or, you'd have to sweat being mistaken for a deer and getting shot as you walked in before dawn. (I could tell you a great story!)

    After my 3rd close call, I swore off anything that had to do with hunting state gameland in Pennsylvania - Where, according to state records, over 200 hunters a year get injured in some sort of firearms accident. (Most aren't fatal.) With the exception of the public ranges, I haven't set foot (away from stream side or road) on public gamelands in more than 25 years.

    Do let us know what rifle you decide to go with.
     
  8. firehammer

    firehammer New Member

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  9. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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  10. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The .25-06 is smaller than the .270. Both are offspring of the .30-06 parent case. The .270 could have been easily called a .27-06. The .25-06 is a very good cartridge also. It is perhaps a bit more difficult to find than the .270 or .243, but is certainly not scarce. With 117-120 grain bullets it is more than adequate for whitetails and pronghorn. Probably too light for elk and mulies.

    My 25 year old Remington 700 ADL in .25-06 seems to not have a preference for ammo. It shoots anything well. I can make handloads with 117 or 120 grain, BTHP or FB Spitzer, any headstamp case (.25-06, .270, .280, .30-06 commercial/military) and it shoots them all into the same sub minute hole. Every one I have every known with a .25-06 says the same thing. "You can't load a bad round for the .25-06".
     
  11. Water-Man

    Water-Man New Member

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    .270 is fine but a .30-06 is better. You can use ammo from 110gr. to 220gr. that will handle any animal in the USA.
     
  12. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

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    :rolleyes: Well, the 25-06 is a standard rifle chambering that I see more of nowadays than I did, say, back in the 80's. It's usually on the shelves of the larger gunshops; but, you're right, most of the guys I know who shoot this caliber are all reloaders with more than amply supplies.

    The bullet is actually .257" diameter (based on the old 257 Roberts - an excellent deer cartridge in its own right!) The old range officer who sometimes reloads for me has the same opinion of the 25-06 as does robocop10mm; and, I know he's hunted with it out West where - if my memory's OK - he's taken both mulies and elk.

    I don't have a problem with 270 recoil either - That's not really what I meant to imply. It's only after your 4th or 5th trip to the sight-in range on the same day that the wisdom of using this cartridge begins to come into question. Most of my life I hunted with the same 30-06 or 12 gauge slug gun.

    Occasionally someone will show off his: 35 Whelen, or 257 Roberts, or 7mm Magnum, or 25-06 to me. All nice deer rifles and great range conversation pieces, too; but, the only other rifle chambering I've ever (sort of) hankered for is either the 35 Whelen or the 45-70 Government.

    These rounds should definitely be worth the recoil in anyone's book! ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2008
  13. DuckA

    DuckA New Member

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    I've hunted deer and wild hogs in Georgia with a .270 for the last 16 years. The places we hunt give us shots that sound very similar to what you're talking about. I've shot them at ranges from 10 feet up to about 175 yards. My dad and grandpa have taken shots out past 300 yards. It does the job as well as anyone would need. There is a reason I'm using the same rifle for as long as I have. I haven't seen anything that will do what I need better than what I have. There isn't any need for you to still bring the shotgun to the woods. Shoot 130 grain power points and get it zeroed about an inch high at 100 yards. You will need to make a little adjustment for the closer shots, but it will be pretty close to right on at 200 yards. Don't fall for the BS about all of the different bullets, just stick with a plain old 130 grain soft nose. You don't need ballistic tips or any of that other crap. Deer are fairly easy to kill.
     
  14. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    My dad fed us with his bolt action .270 when we were kids. It would take at least 2 deer and an elk each season. He ran open sights, took shots at >50 yards and rarely if ever had to do much tracking.
     
  15. firehammer

    firehammer New Member

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    thanx for the help

    Just wanted to say thanx for the help fellas. I appreciate the help & opinions. After all the feedback on both the .270 & .25-06 I think I am going to go for the .25-06. It'll have enough a*s behind it for the hunting I plan on doing in the near future. It'll also give me an excuse to buy another rifle in a larger caliber later on if I actually get to do some hunting out west or in the great White North.;) And I also may be able to get my wife to shoot the smaller caliber!:rolleyes:
     
  16. bgeddes

    bgeddes New Member

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    As this is only your first rifle any of the listed choices will work fine. Fortunately we have a big selection of suitable rounds. I would tend to agree with Water Man on the 30-06. With the right round, you can shoot anything from chipmunks to water buffalo. For north American game, .270, 25-06, 7mm and a long list of others will do fine.

    Good luck with your new firearm.
     
  17. rlowe357

    rlowe357 New Member

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    270

    I grew up hunting north Miss.(Holly Springs) hardwoods and wouldn't have traded my 30-30 for anything. My dad hunted with a 270 and killed many deer with it across open cotten and bean fields. While I still hunt with the old 30-30 here in Middle Tenn., I wouldn't trade my Browning BAR(Belgium) 30-06, with a Leopold VX-I. I hunt power lines from time to time. I take my Ruger Super Blackhawk 44 Mag. for a close shot, my farthest shot with my 06 is 278 yrds(thank god for rangefinders) she went about 10 feet after it hit her (we can shoot 3 does a day here). I'm not gonna knock a 270, it's a good round, but I love my 06 and my 44. That's just my opinion and we all know what opinions are like:D. Thanks for letting me speak my mind, R.Lowe357
     
  18. stick_man

    stick_man New Member

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    Just a quick comment on the .25-06. Some have said it may not be enough for the mulies and elk out west. I disagree! Both my dad and my brother have shot the .25-06 for the last 30+ years and have taken many mulies (we have very few whitetails in Utah) at ranges up to about 350 yards or so. Loaded properly, it will do anything that the .270 will do. I consider it light for bull elk, but my brother has taken several cow elk with his at up to about 200 yards with 120gr Partitions.

    Personally, I prefer the 30-06 for my big-game shooting. It will handle the mulies out to any distance I can reliably hit a target at and is plenty for the biggest bull elk and moose anywhere in the continent.

    For varmints and smaller big game (pronghorn and mulies), the 6mm Remington is tough to beat as well and is very close in ballistics to the 25-06 (.244 vs .257 diameter projectiles)
     
  19. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    Ok the 270 and 25-06 are the same except for bullet diameter. Both are based on the 30-06 case.

    I have shot all three and the 25-06 has the least amount of recoil then the 270 then the 30-06.

    You can take anything up to elk with any of the three if you know your game and pick your shot right. So why are any of these three not enough rifle for deer? I think some of you guys would hunt deer with a damn howitzer if it were legal. What was used before all these fancy cartridges came out? muzzle loaders with round lead balls. So if a gun can kill a deer with a round lead ball poking along at 1/2 or 1/3 the speed of a 25-06 why can't it kill a deer?

    With the bullets on the market today and the powders on the market I think an elk with a 25-06 is easy. they use the 6.5x55mm swed on elk and moose in Europe why not here? To many people in the USA think BIGGER IS BETTER. Seen a guy once had a 338 weatherby mag with a 8-32x50mm scope on it for deer hunting. I asked him why such a big scope on that rifle he said because it can kill an elephant at 1,000 yards one shot DRT (Dear Right There). I then asked him about the deer he just shot in Central Texas he shot him at 55 yards and it dressed out at 80# had a hole in the one side big enough for your fist wasted about 5# of an 80# white tail.

    The 22lr can kill deer it has been done many a times. Know your game and know your gun and you can do it. Just like the 223 rem if it can kill a 250# man why can't it kill a 250# deer? Use the right combo or gun, bullet and shooter you would be amazed at what you can do with something.

    I am really surprised that some one has not told the OP to go and get a 300 wsm or something stupid like that.

    Some need to face the fact that the 25-06 and 270 win will kill any deer in this country.

    270 WIN 140 GR SST

    25-06 REM 117 GR SST
     
  20. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    With a heavy weight bullet (117-120) made of the proper toughness (Win. CT, Barnes, etc.) the .25-06 is perfectly appropriate for Elk. Shot placement becomes more critical as it lacks the mass of a .30-06 to penetrate through heavy shoulder bones.

    I agree there is a tendancy amongst the American hunters to shoot bigger, faster (magnum) rifles when they are not neccessary. Kind of like the guy who has the F-350 Super Duty Diesel pickup and never gets it dirty, much less puts a load of anything heavier than a few trays of annual flowers in the bed (and those probably get put in the back seat on a plastic tarp to keep the glove leather "King Ranch Edition" seats from getting dirty).