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Ripp
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Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley
      #308984 - 15/12/17 01:14 AM

https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/...m_campaign=1217

Why do I hate the .270 Winchester? Well perhaps for the same reasons I dislike fish dinners, smart cars and rap music—they just are not to my taste.

First off, the .270 is too popular, and I have always disliked running with the crowd. I usually find the misfits of the world much more interesting, but I can’t make that argument and still talk about how much I like the even more popular .30-06 Springfield without embracing hypocrisy.

The .270 Win. was introduced in 1925 along with a new Winchester bolt-action rifle—the Model 54. It ushered in a new era for American hunters, with a muzzle velocity in excess of 3000 fps, and a bullet big and heavy enough for big game. It’s a mystery exactly why Winchester chose the .277-inch bullet diameter. One theory is that the company wanted something different and distinctive from the bullets everyone else was using. The 30-caliber was well established with the .30-06 Springfield, .30-30 Win., .30-40 Krag and other cartridges. The 7mm cartridges were mostly European at the time and not popular with or well-known by American hunters. That left the .250-3000 Savage as the next step down in popular U.S. rifle cartridges. I don’t think it’s any accident that the .270 Win. split the difference almost exactly.



The .270 Win. was an orphan for 20 years. Then for the next 56 years, its only sibling was a stepbrother, the .270 Weatherby Magnum. The latter is a good cartridge, perhaps even a great cartridge, but it has never enjoyed the commercial success of the .270 Winchester.

It’s only recently that a few more 27-caliber cartridges have entered the market. The .270 WSM was introduced in 2001, but sales withered in the shadow of its bigger sibling, the .300 WSM. The 6.8 SPC was introduced commercially by Remington in 2004 and was designed to bring a bit more performance to the AR-15 rifle platform. It has a small but loyal following.

The truth is, the .270 Win. is the only 27-caliber cartridge that enjoys huge commercial success—and it didn’t gain popularity until decades after its release. My guess is that if the .270 Win. were introduced into today’s “make-or-break” market, it likely would never have survived. Its eventual success is attributed to the writings of Jack O’Connor, who is often quoted as saying he thought the .30-06 was a better cartridge.

It’s said that foolish people get their opinions from others, but intelligent people form opinions from multiple sources, including their experiences. My experiences with the .270 Win. have not been very impressive.

The first time I saw it in action was back in the ’60s when my grandfather shot a whitetail on the point of the shoulder. It politely fell down and didn’t move. It was, however, in a different pasture on the other side of a fence. When we arrived, the deer was gone. We looked long and hard, but never found it.

Years later, I was hunting moose in Newfoundland and I watched a man shoot a spike bull seven times with a .270 Win. The last shot hit the spine, and mercifully the bull tipped over and hit the ground. I gutted it for him, and was shocked to find most of the bullets only penetrated about halfway through the moose.

I could, and have, blamed both of those experiences on bullet failure. While I’ll never know for sure with my grandfather’s whitetail, the moose hunter spent thousands of dollars on his hunt, yet went cheap on his ammo. He had the lowest priced, bargain-basement ammo he could find.

Bad bullet, not a bad cartridge? Not so fast.

Several years later, I was hunting mule deer in Montana when I spotted a rutted out, scrawny buck with a huge rack. I shot him with a .270 Win. loaded with factory ammo using the latest, high-tech wonder bullet. The deer dropped, but as I walked closer it tried to get up, so I shot it again. Both were broadside shots, and neither of the 140-grain bullets managed to exit the deer’s body.



I have plenty of other experiences with the .270 Win. that were also less than impressive—whitetails in Alabama, Maine, Saskatchewan and probably a few other places I am mentally blocking. There was a hog in California and an elk in Colorado. They all died, so the unimaginative will argue that the cartridge worked. I am a student of terminal ballistics, and can tell you without hesitation that in each of these circumstances it did not—at least in the technical sense. The fact that the critter died was secondary to the failed performance of the cartridge.

I used to do a lot of black bear hunting in Canada and I think I have tracked more wounded bears that were hit with the .270 than all other cartridges combined. But don’t just take my word for it. Kenny Jarrett—inventor of the legendary Beanfield Rifle, the .300 Jarrett cartridge and a world-traveled hunter—told me that hunters lose more deer at his Cowden Plantation in South Carolina with the .270 Win. than with any other cartridge.

I know this will ruffle some feathers, as the .270 has a large, loyal following. I understand that it makes no sense that I’ve had better luck with a .243 Win. than with the .270 Win. I’m a huge fan of the .280 Remington, but when you compare it to the .270 Win., there is little ballistic difference. Explain it? I can’t—at least not from a technical standpoint.

Most will agree that our dislikes and biases are often anything but logical. If you love the .270, I understand—there is no need for you to send me hate mail. I am simply explaining why I do not. I’ll bet there is a cartridge out there you feel the same way about.

For the record, I am stubborn. If anything, I continually try to prove myself wrong. I own several rifles chambered for .270 Win. and keep hunting with them, mostly because I like a little contradiction in my life. I find it keeps things interesting. But it also ensures that my opinions are drawn from a solid foundation of experience. I maintain they are.

It seems no matter how hard I try—as with the search for the Holy Grail—my quest to find love for the .270 has gone and may always remain unfulfilled.

--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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Claydog
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Ripp]
      #308994 - 15/12/17 07:50 AM

I have seen more animals wounded with a 375 H&H than anything else only because I have seen more shot at with it than anything else. Still think it is a good cartridge. Leave the 270 alone I say.

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coll416
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Ripp]
      #309004 - 15/12/17 11:36 AM

Sounds a bit like the nut behind the butt, please don't blame the tool! My experience with .270W is extensive with hundreds of clean kills on animals 50kg to 350kg. The cartridge is a surgeons weapon, however dodge the big bones on the close shots !

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szihn
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: coll416]
      #309009 - 15/12/17 01:36 PM

coll416 said
"Sounds a bit like the nut behind the butt, please don't blame the tool! My experience with .270W is extensive with hundreds of clean kills on animals 50kg to 350kg. The cartridge is a surgeons weapon, however dodge the big bones on the close shots ! "

I also have made more kills with 270 Winchesters than I can count. I have had 0 complaints, as long as a good bullet was used. I can say the same thing about good bullets on any game and from any bore diameter. A poor bullet that fragments and doesn't penetrate is not dependent on it's diameter when it's in the shell's neck. It's just a poor bullet. Be it .243" or .366" And yes, I have seen both in those diameters.

I also avoid the biggest bones when shooting close, but not because the bullet don't get through and exit. They do. What I don't like is the damage it does to the meat, so I avoid bone shots on close range deer and elk for that reason alone.

I shoot only those bullets from my 270s that the last 50 years of hunting have shown me are good. 130 Gr Partitions, 150 Gr Partitions, 160 Gr Partitions, Barnes X in any weight, The old 1960s made Remington Core-Lokts in 150 grain, the new Fox bullets made in Slovenia, any bonded bullet of 130 grains and heavier, and a handful of other standard "cup and core" bullets that just work fine.

Ascribing a damnation, or some virtue to a mathematical measurement is a sigh of a lack of logic or wisdom.
I have to give the author credit, in that he did acknowledge this point.

Edited by szihn (15/12/17 01:46 PM)


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sharps4590
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: szihn]
      #309022 - 15/12/17 11:52 PM

eh...sounds like fodder for those who don't know and don't know that they don't know.

--------------------
Jesus said, "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me." John14:6


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Ripp
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Claydog]
      #309034 - 16/12/17 04:07 AM

Quote:

I have seen more animals wounded with a 375 H&H than anything else only because I have seen more shot at with it than anything else. Still think it is a good cartridge. Leave the 270 alone I say.




I knew posting this that it would raise more than a few hackles...

Creates good discussion IMHO...

Personally I have nothing against the 270 other than its not for me..no particular reason other than I feel there are better options...

In the case of the .375H&H, do you feel that is more a product that most can't shoot a 375 because of recoil/fear ?? Curious as to your experience...

Thank you..

Ripp

Edited by Ripp (16/12/17 04:08 AM)


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szihn
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Ripp]
      #309036 - 16/12/17 06:31 AM

Ripp said;
"In the case of the .375H&H, do you feel that is more a product that most can't shoot a 375 because of recoil/fear ?? Curious as to your experience..."

I would second this.

The 375H&H is the cartridge I have shot more than any other rifle cartridge except the 270 Winchester, and I have nothing but good to say for it. (I am not counting the 7.62 NATO fired from machine guns I used in the Marine Corps and as a DOD Employee.)
I have four 270 rifles now and I have had 3 others in the past which I have sold. I have one made on a Mauser that is on it's 3rd barrel.
I also have a Mauser in 375H&H that is well into it's 2nd barrel.
I do know a bit about the effects of both the 270s and the 375s on game. No one can know it all, but I do some, and what I do know I know from experience, not reading a book or article.

I would have to guess that anyone that is having troubles with a 375H&H in the game fields is either using the wrong bullet for the job, or is not shooting very well, or both. In EVERY instance I have shot anything with a 375 the results were as good as I could have hoped for, and often better. I have had mine since I was 22 years old. I am now 61. Soon I will have 40 years of use with a 375H&H and I have yet to see anything wrong with it. Reading the hunting stories of a lot of men who went before me, I don't find I am alone in this thinking. In fact, I know a few men still living today, who have used the 375 extensively, and all agree with me that if you use the right bullets for the job, the 375 is a rifle that is good for about 95% of all the hunting you could want to use it for.

What I do know from a lot of experience is that a gut shot, or even a liver shot, from a very powerful rifle is not as effective as a center chest hit from a lesser rifle assuming both bullets hold together enough to exit the animal.

Bullet failures can turn perfect placements into hair raising stories and/or long tracking stories. And that has NOTHING to do with the diameter of a bullet.

Edited by szihn (16/12/17 06:33 AM)


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Dogfish858
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Ripp]
      #309037 - 16/12/17 06:36 AM

I once saw a 3000 lb Charolais bull shot dead with one shot from a 22-250.

This fall I made a perfect 70 yard shot through both lungs of a whitetail buck using a .280 Rem. The buck ran 300 yards with two shattered shoulder blades and no lungs.

I saw a small black bear shot three times perfectly with a .308 run uphill away over Vancouver Island old growth slash before keeling.

I have wounded several deer with shotguns and bows, to the point where I quit using them.

I have seen blacktail deer nearly decapitated by a .222

I have shot black bear, deer, coyotes, etc dead without a twitch using shotguns and rifles. Clean kills are -- to my dogmatic view -- the product of accurate shooting combined with suitable bullets, usually aimed at a nerve. There are mathematics in play with distance shooting but killing to 'modern standards' usually seems to be a euphemism for 'making up for impatient and uneducated or otherwise innapropriate shots resulting in wounded animals'.

I killed my first deer at 14 with a .270 in one shot. I would shoot a moose with a .270 but only through the neck within 75 yards. But that's me. I try to shoot everything in the neck.

--------------------
But what about you? he asked. Who do you say I am?


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Claydog
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Dogfish858]
      #309043 - 16/12/17 09:49 AM

Ripp
Most people I see use the 375H&H and usually it works out just fine. I took out a couple for a cull hunt that shot 50 odd buffalo with a 223 and 308 with zero problems. 375 H&H is my choice for most folks as it is a balance between power and usability. But I have seen some flinches from hell and think that is the biggest issue. At the start of the hunt we go to the range and fire a few shots and it can get quite touchy. Especially when someone uses our rifles and wants to adjust the scope because they barely hit the target at 75 yards or the groups are all over the place. I always have two shots before I adjust the scope and it can cause some tension when I put them an inch high and dead centre. Add in shooting sticks, a bit of excitement and some nervousness and it can easily go wrong with any cartridge. Just has happened most with the 375 because that is whats used most. I have also seen shots from 416 and 458s that should have been fatal just cause some mild level of annoyance. Some times more comes into it than cartridge and projectile. I think the situation the animal is in when it is shot can have a huge effect especially on bigger animals.


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paradox_
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Dogfish858]
      #309044 - 16/12/17 09:58 AM

Im with Ripp.......its not bad, or great, just another one of those slightly overbore, boring, un interesting, common as muck cartridges, whose reputation is over stated ( thanks to Jack).
Just go stright to the great range of true 7mm cartridges, and be done with it.
The European manufactures got it right over a century ago.....

--------------------
Walk softly and carry a big stick


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Ripp
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Claydog]
      #309049 - 16/12/17 11:26 AM

Quote:

Ripp
Most people I see use the 375H&H and usually it works out just fine. I took out a couple for a cull hunt that shot 50 odd buffalo with a 223 and 308 with zero problems. 375 H&H is my choice for most folks as it is a balance between power and usability. But I have seen some flinches from hell and think that is the biggest issue. At the start of the hunt we go to the range and fire a few shots and it can get quite touchy. Especially when someone uses our rifles and wants to adjust the scope because they barely hit the target at 75 yards or the groups are all over the place. I always have two shots before I adjust the scope and it can cause some tension when I put them an inch high and dead centre. Add in shooting sticks, a bit of excitement and some nervousness and it can easily go wrong with any cartridge. Just has happened most with the 375 because that is whats used most. I have also seen shots from 416 and 458s that should have been fatal just cause some mild level of annoyance. Some times more comes into it than cartridge and projectile. I think the situation the animal is in when it is shot can have a huge effect especially on bigger animals.




Agree 100%..what you say is what I have seen in my travels as well as visits with PH's and guides around the world..sad but true fact, many are not as impervious to recoil as they think..as such are not as deadly as they think..OR, they just have the guide kill the game for them which truly disgusts me for several reasons...

My first cape buffalo I shot as chased in a cat and mouse pursuit for about 2 1/2 hours...finally he exposed himself and I got a trotting shot at about 80 yards...hit him hard with my .416..he stopped briefly..I shot again and he turn running away..I placed 2 more Texas heart shots..he dropped..about 20 yards away I shot him again..when about 3 yards away he tried to get back up..to which I shot him 2 more times..amazing..

The next buffalo I shot had no idea we were there..snuck in on him..made a good shot..boom down he went..no adrenaline to affect his mood..DEAD..

BTW Clatyon, had breakfast with Troy today,,told me to tell you Hello...

Ripp

--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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Daryl_S
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: paradox_]
      #309050 - 16/12/17 11:39 AM

I've never liked the .270 - mainly because I never liked Jack O.
I liked Elmer much better and leaned his way, most of the time.
I know people who have great faith in the .270 - good, long time friends who have used that round for over 40 years.

I stopped reading Jack, when he said his average # of shots needed to kill a Canadian moose in BC, Northern Alberta or Northern Sask, was 3.8 shots per.

The man was a lousy shot and needed to learn how to shoot, not write about how wonderful his blow-up 130gr. ST's were on all game.

On one African strip, his wife Elennor O. shot something like 28 head of game with 29 shots using a 7x57 Mauser - 175's I think - - Why-The-Hell couldn't Jack do that?

Those people I know who use .270's and swear by them on all our game, use hand loaded 150gr. or some old horded 160gr. Imp. KKSP's for ALL big game. One shot, one moose, deer, elk or bear - quite simple with any decent rifle, including the .270.

One merely has to hit them in the 10 ring with a good bullet.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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cordite
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Daryl_S]
      #309054 - 16/12/17 12:49 PM

Only owned one 270, and that very briefly. Never very interested. Like Daryl, I'm a Elmer Keith fan. Maybe that's why. Elmer did say the 270 would be just fine for coyotes!

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Rule303
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: paradox_]
      #309055 - 16/12/17 12:52 PM

Quote:

Im with Ripp.......its not bad, or great, just another one of those slightly overbore, boring, un interesting, common as muck cartridges, whose reputation is over stated ( thanks to Jack).
Just go stright to the great range of true 7mm cartridges, and be done with it.
The European manufactures got it right over a century ago.....




The 270 is actually the closest to a true 7mm on the market today, those others are not true 7mm's.
The 276 is 7mm.


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paradox_
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Rule303]
      #309058 - 16/12/17 01:57 PM

Mmm, thanks Rule, then I gues I should have being referring to the " not true" 7x57, " not true" 7x64....sorry my mistake.

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Rule303
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: paradox_]
      #309062 - 16/12/17 07:23 PM

Quote:

Mmm, thanks Rule, then I gues I should have being referring to the " not true" 7x57, " not true" 7x64....sorry my mistake.




Yep, the 277 is 7.014mm, the 7X57 etc 7.24mm. Nitt picky I know.


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coll416
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: szihn]
      #309063 - 16/12/17 10:11 PM

Szihn I love your pragmatic views. I have made many errors & misses with shots on big game over 45 years. As my knowledge increased through these experiences I found less inclined to blame the tools & look at how I could improve. I bought a .270W with my first adult pay & wore it out over 10 years hunting & culling ferals. My second .270W a plain ol' push feed Model 70 is accurate with all fodder I have tried. I particularly liked the old 130gn Nosler Solid Base.... 60.0mm high at 100.0m it sure hustles way out!

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Daryl_S
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Rule303]
      #309081 - 17/12/17 04:34 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Mmm, thanks Rule, then I gues I should have being referring to the " not true" 7x57, " not true" 7x64....sorry my mistake.




Yep, the 277 is 7.014mm, the 7X57 etc 7.24mm. Nitt picky I know.




As I see this,

The .270 has a .277" groove diameter. The .276 (7mm) has a .284" groove diameter but .276"/.277" bore, hence the Brits named it the .276, not .7mm or .284.


The same? - not a chance, but they are as close as a .358 is to a 9.3 (.366")

and a 9.3(.366") to a .375.

All 3 of these comparisons use the former's groove diameter as their bore diameter.

What changes the most and usually more than simply bullet diameter, is the bullet weight in the normal run of 'factory' ammo.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Rule303
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Daryl_S]
      #309090 - 17/12/17 08:48 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Mmm, thanks Rule, then I gues I should have being referring to the " not true" 7x57, " not true" 7x64....sorry my mistake.




Yep, the 277 is 7.014mm, the 7X57 etc 7.24mm. Nitt picky I know.




As I see this,

The .270 has a .277" groove diameter. The .276 (7mm) has a .284" groove diameter but .276"/.277" bore, hence the Brits named it the .276, not .7mm or .284.


The same? - not a chance, but they are as close as a .358 is to a 9.3 (.366")

and a 9.3(.366") to a .375.

All 3 of these comparisons use the former's groove diameter as their bore diameter.

What changes the most and usually more than simply bullet diameter, is the bullet weight in the normal run of 'factory' ammo.




Yep I was talking grove/bullet diameter. Please do not confuse "The 276" with an actual measurement of .276" "The 276" is a false 7mm ie 7.24mm, where as the measurement .276" is a true 7mm measurement.


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Daryl_S
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Rule303]
      #309097 - 17/12/17 10:24 AM

No confusion, I was referring to the .276 Rigby, which was the 7x57 Mauser iirc - that is why I wrote as such .276 (7mm) bring the bore measurement and .284" the 'normal' groove diameter when having standard 004" rifling depth.
|some rounds, on the other hand tend to have deeper rifling - as in some 9.3's and some .375's. Standard seems with euro rifles, to be .004" to .006" depth.


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Rule303
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Daryl_S]
      #309102 - 17/12/17 02:52 PM

Daryl the Rigby was the 275. The 276 was the 276 Pedersen from jaded memory. This was a 284 grove size I believe. I stand to be corrected on that.

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szihn
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Rule303]
      #309124 - 18/12/17 07:29 AM

Inches to MM is a multiple of .03937

So if we look at it mathematically instead of in the shooters vernacular,

5MM = .1968" (almost 20 cal)
5.56MM = .2188" (almost 22 cal)
6MM = .2362" (remember the old 6MM Lee was called a 236?)
6.5MM = .2559" (the 256 Rigby was their version of the 6.5X54 Mann /Scho)
7MM = .2755" (Close to the 270 which is .277)
6.8MM = .2677" (so where in the hell did the US Army come up with that name for the 6.8SPC?)
.284" is actually 7.213MM
.308" = 7.823 Not 7.62MM
8MM = .3148" (the old 8mm Mauser with the J bore was .318", which is close but not exact)
9mm =.3543" 7 ten-thousandths off.
9.3MM = .366" (Wow, one that is correct)
9.5MM = .374" (very close to the .375 bullets used in that bore size)
10MM = .3937" (again close but not .400 as we have been told)
11.5 = .4527" (wow, another one that's right)
13 MM = .5113" VERY close to the 50 BMG which is .512"

Edited by szihn (18/12/17 07:30 AM)


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Rule303
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Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: szihn]
      #309130 - 18/12/17 08:52 AM

szihn, thanks for that.

6.8SPC I believe is based on the bore size as the grove size is .277"

308 is grove size and 7.62 is bore size I believe.

303 is bore size .311 is bullet size and nominal grove size. I do say nominal


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SharpsNitro
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Reged: 12/08/08
Posts: 654
Loc: Pacific Northwest, USA
Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Rule303]
      #309134 - 18/12/17 09:53 AM

I’ve owned a few 270s. Never kept one long, bullet selection is too limited for my tastes.

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Daryl_S
.577 member


Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 17865
Loc: Beautiful British Columbia, Ca...
Re: Why-I-hate-the- 270 -- by Bryce M. Towsley [Re: Rule303]
      #309135 - 18/12/17 10:39 AM

Quote:

Daryl the Rigby was the 275. The 276 was the 276 Pedersen from jaded memory. This was a 284 grove size I believe. I stand to be corrected on that.




Oh yeah now I remember - sucks to have a screwed up memory.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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