270 or 308?


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Sulaco
September 19, 2004, 10:56 PM
I am getting a Weatherby Vanguard and putting my Nikon 4X40 on it for Whitetail deer hunting in SC. I also would like to shoot this rifle some in the off season to stay competent.

I have narrowed my selection down to either a 270 or a 308.

Here is the ballistic data for my preferred ammunition, Hornady Light Magnum SST's;



.308 Win. 150 gr. SST


Velocity (fps) / Energy (ft-lbs)

Muzzle 100yd 200yd 300yd 400yd 500yd

3000/2997 2772/2558 2555/2173 2348/1836 2151/1540 1963/1283


Trajectory (inches)

Muzzle 100yd 200yd 300yd 400yd 500yd

-1.50 1.50 0.00 -6.90 -20.00 -40.70





.270 Win. 140 gr. SST


Velocity (fps) / Energy (ft-lbs)

Muzzle 100yd 200yd 300yd 400yd 500yd

2940/2687 2750/2351 2569/2051 2394/1781 2226/1540 2065/1325


Trajectory (inches)

Muzzle 100yd 200yd 300yd 400yd 500yd

-1.50 1.60 0.00 -6.80 -19.70 -39.70



These loads are very similar and in my opinion, the 308 wins because of the cheap ammo availability.

Any opinions?

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RevDisk
September 19, 2004, 11:17 PM
.270 ammo is a bit harder to find. Unless you reload, I would go with .308

(Just my opinion)

rbernie
September 19, 2004, 11:31 PM
The 270 can generally shoot flatter than the 308, but the 308 will have more bullet weight choices than the 270. The 270 bullets will have better sectional density than the equivilant weight in 308, and will penetrate better thru bone and gristle. For example, a 140gr in 270 really needs to be compared to a 168gr in 308 to compare bullets of equal sectional density. This won't really matter for whitetail, but could if you choose to hunt larger and/or tougher game.

The 308 is a shorter round - if the action is also shorter to match, the rifle may weigh a good bit less (which is always nice).

So which is more important to you - weight and action shortness and cheap practice ammo availability or penetration and long-range performance?

Zeke Menuar
September 20, 2004, 12:35 AM
Either one should work just fine. I am partial to 270 because I own one. No recoil, easy to handload and deadly accurate.

The 308 is just as good a round.

I don't put much faith on "published" ballistics. The goal is to hit what you aim at. Either round will do this just fine.

ZM

WhiteKnight
September 20, 2004, 12:41 AM
If you'll just stick to the $25/box Hornady ammo for hunting, you can pick up fairly cheap federal .270 ammo for about $14/box. Not bad, and it has better performance than .308.

Art Eatman
September 20, 2004, 01:29 AM
For all practical purposes, there ain't a nickel's worth of difference between them. The .308 will be a wee tad lighter and similarly handier because of the shorter action, but it's not that big a deal.

Sight in for two inches high at 100 yards with either, and you'll be pretty much dead on at 200 and six or seven inches low at 300. Basically, out to 250 yards it's a case of "point it and pull".

Art

Omaha-BeenGlockin
September 20, 2004, 10:14 AM
.270 ammo hard to find???? that's the first time I've ever heard that one.

Sulaco
September 20, 2004, 11:55 AM
Well, I went with an '06 because the price was right. I got it for $100.00 off because my local Wal-Mart needs to move them out. So, now I have a Weatherby Vanguard in 30-06 wearing a Nikon 4X40 and have less than 500 dollars in the whole package new. I'm happy. Thanks for the help ya'll.

Nathanael_Greene
September 20, 2004, 12:12 PM
Good decision.

Litefoot
September 20, 2004, 12:34 PM
FIrst of all, I applaud you for not succumbing to the magnum crowd. Good decision! Secondly, when you had to choose between .270 and .308, you picked the best one...the 30.06.:) ....and you saved money to boot. You had a good day, my friend.

Sulaco
September 20, 2004, 12:46 PM
Hehe, thanks guys. Now I just have to sell the 60 dollars worth of ammo I just bought! :banghead:

I didn't know that Winchester's Fail Safe ammo was moly coated. Argh. Is moly really as bad as they say for barrels and cleaning?

VARMINT_HUNTER
September 20, 2004, 08:00 PM
it isn't moly coated it is lubalox coated and i dont think is causes too much wear and tear. it is actually better for your barrel because it doesnt stick to it like brass.

SteelyDan
September 20, 2004, 10:38 PM
Just wanted to say "welcome" to Varmint_Hunter, and offer my opinion that almost nobody has regretted buying a .30-06. I like your choice, Sulaco.

nico
September 20, 2004, 11:28 PM
Sounds like a good choice. From a hunting standpoint, I don't think you could have gone wrong with any of the three (unless you want to hunt elk, in which case you made the best choice from what I've heard/read). From a plinking standpoint however, and I say this as the owner of a .270 that I wouldn't think about giving up, I think the .308 or 30-06 are better choices.

Sulaco
September 22, 2004, 08:48 AM
Well, I liked the first one so much I bought another one in 270. :D

WhiteKnight
September 22, 2004, 08:49 PM
Let us know how the .270 stacks up!

Sleeping Dog
September 23, 2004, 08:08 AM
Ok, you got one in 30-06 and one in .270 ...

When do you go back to the store to pick up the .308 rifle?

Resistance is futile. :)

Regards.

Sulaco
September 23, 2004, 09:31 AM
When do you go back to the store to pick up the .308 rifle?

Haha, I have asked myself that question already. Apparently, 308 is special order only so the 300 dollar deal would not apply. I think I may get a heavy barrel Savage in 308 next.

:evil:

ddc
September 23, 2004, 12:45 PM
Not being all that familiar with either other than from the internet I'm surprised at how similar the trajectory data is.

The "conventional wisdom" I've heard (or read) on numerous occasions is that the .270 is a "flat shooting" cartridge which I realize is a subjective description but the implication is that it would shoot significantly flatter than "similar" rounds (again very subjective) but in this case, say a .308.

But that turns out not to be the case, eh?

Sulaco
September 23, 2004, 12:54 PM
All of the major non magnum high power rifle cartridges like 243, 6mm rem, 257 roberts, 260, 270, 280, 30-06, 7mm-08, 25-06, and on and on are so similar at less than 250 yards, the point really is moot.

WhiteKnight
September 23, 2004, 03:58 PM
The "conventional wisdom" I've heard (or read) on numerous occasions is that the .270 is a "flat shooting" cartridge which I realize is a subjective description but the implication is that it would shoot significantly flatter than "similar" rounds (again very subjective) but in this case, say a .308.

I think many may refer to it as "flat-shooting" in relation to other popular deer rounds: 30-30, 12 gauge slug, etc.

Bigfoot
September 24, 2004, 07:45 PM
You can make that .06 reach out like the .270 does by using 130gr Barnes XLC or GS-Custom HV, both high BC solid bullets. Some say they penetrate as well as the 180gr Partition.

Honestly I just wanted to make the first post and this looked like as good a place as any. :)

Little Loudmouth
September 24, 2004, 07:54 PM
I'd say .308.

Sulaco
September 24, 2004, 08:07 PM
I may give those Barnes a try if I ever start hand loading for the '06.

I am presently shooting 150gr. Hornady SST Light Magnums out of the '06 and am very impressed. I am seeing just over 3100fps which in my opinion, is magnum territory. Here are the specs for the '06 and the 270.

.30-06 Sprg. 150gr. SST

Velocity (fps) / Energy (ft-lbs)

Muzzle 100yd 200yd 300yd 400yd 500yd

3100/3200 2867/2736 2645/2330 2434/1973 2233/1660 2041/1387

Trajectory (inches)

Muzzle 100yd 200yd 300yd 400yd 500yd

-1.50 1.40 0.00 -6.40 -18.60 -37.80



.270 Win., 130 gr. IB 85549

Velocity (fps) / Energy (ft-lbs)

Muzzle 100yd 200yd 300yd 400yd 500yd

3215/2983 2998/2594 2792/2249 2595/1943 2406/1671 2225/1429

Trajectory (inches)

Muzzle 100yd 200yd 300yd 400yd 500yd

-1.50 1.20 0.00 -5.70 -16.50 -33.30

ddc
September 25, 2004, 12:40 AM
All of the major non magnum high power rifle cartridges like 243, 6mm rem, 257 roberts, 260, 270, 280, 30-06, 7mm-08, 25-06, and on and on are so similar at less than 250 yards, the point really is moot.

That's what I'm picking up on (slowly, as usual).;)

Humor me now...

Isn't that an argument to shift the discussion from trajectory concerns over into terminal performance? Or is that actually what the discussion is all about and I just didn't get it?

In other words if they are all going to follow the same basic flight path then isn't the distinguishing characteristic going to be how they perform once they hit the target?

And doesn't that have about as much to do with bullet design as it does with the actual caliber?

(assuming we are talking about the cartridge families listed in the quote?)

artherd
September 25, 2004, 01:28 AM
In other words if they are all going to follow the same basic flight path then isn't the distinguishing characteristic going to be how they perform once they hit the target?

The deer won't know the difference. .308 or .270 is like being hit by a freight train inside 300yards (max rational hunting distance.)

Now, you could plug deer at 600yds with a .338 Lapua too... ;)

jlarry
September 25, 2004, 02:36 AM
Sulaco, I also purchased a Vanguard 30-06 on Friday. It is the Sporter with a walnut stock. I would have preferred the .308, since I have a lot more of that ammo stockpiled, but do have several rounds of 30-06, too. I have a question for you. I need a quality base and ring set for the new toy. I wonder what you are using on yours. Also, will the two-piece Leupold base and screws made for the Remington 700 work alright on the Vanguard? I will be mounting a 50mm. scope on the Vanguard Sporter. Will I need medium or high rings for this large a scope? I will appreciate your guidance. Thanks in advance. By the way, my gun was the last one in stock and was marked down to $350 from the original price of $469. Best regards.

Sulaco
September 27, 2004, 11:38 PM
Well, bullet performance is my next step in the ballistic chain, so I am not quite there yet.

Bigfoot
September 28, 2004, 02:13 AM
This might have been the $60 I ever spent. http://www.loadammo.com/

Sulaco
September 28, 2004, 01:52 PM
Sulaco, I also purchased a Vanguard 30-06 on Friday. It is the Sporter with a walnut stock. I would have preferred the .308, since I have a lot more of that ammo stockpiled, but do have several rounds of 30-06, too. I have a question for you. I need a quality base and ring set for the new toy. I wonder what you are using on yours. Also, will the two-piece Leupold base and screws made for the Remington 700 work alright on the Vanguard? I will be mounting a 50mm. scope on the Vanguard Sporter. Will I need medium or high rings for this large a scope? I will appreciate your guidance. Thanks in advance. By the way, my gun was the last one in stock and was marked down to $350 from the original price of $469. Best regards.

jlarry, Glad to hear you got a deal. I hear those walnut sporter's look nice. I bet most all of the Vanguards are gone now.

All 2 piece bases made for Remington 700's will fit the Vanguard/Howa's. I put Leupold bases and rings on mine. With a 40mm scope, I used the low's and I can just barely see light between my scope and barrel. I like it that low.

For a 50mm scope, you are definitely going to need medium or high rings. I am not sure which, though. The outside diameter of your endbell will be greater than 50mm, so keep that in mind.

The matte Leupold stuff is a decent match to the low gloss bluing of the Vanguards. Redfield may be a better match, but I am not sure. I like Leupold bases and rings and use them on all of my stuff. I haven't had any problems with them.

Good luck with your rifle and letus know how she shoots! By the way, what did your test target look like?

jlarry
September 28, 2004, 10:44 PM
Sulaco, thanks for the info. I will get me a Leupold standard base tomorrow. I already have a matte set of medium rings to try. I think that the medium height will accommodate the 50 mm objective of the Bushnell Banner 6 x 18 AO.

jlarry
September 28, 2004, 11:01 PM
The test target showed two of the shots making one large single hole, while the other was about an inch to the right. The group was about an inch to the upper left of the center target. This was a decent looking test pattern. It is a very nice rifle with beautiful furniture. And, yes, I got the last one on sale. Thanks again for the info.

WhiteKnight
September 29, 2004, 11:25 AM
I used a STD leupold base and medium STD leupold rings to mount a 50mm VariXIII with no problems (Remingon 700).

Wisconsin Bill
February 17, 2007, 11:34 PM
I am searching for a long range big game rifle. I discovered this site and the discussion for 270 or 308 and like the interaction and information shared.

I currently have a .300 Savage for WI Whitetail and don't think it will be adequate for Elk or Moose and long range shots (over 150 yd). Limited ammunition available and more costly, too. Any opinions? (Great rifle, otherwise).

I agree with the choice of 30-06, but now wonder if there are strong preferences for brand-model.

Feedback welcome. I would rather purchase a used rifle in good condition.

Thank you

MCgunner
February 18, 2007, 09:39 AM
I like light, short actions rifles and the .308 is very efficient in shorter barrels and very accurate. I vote .308 just because of that. Nothing wrong with .270 as a hunting around, though there's nothing really special about it. Heck, I like the .280 better, better bullet selection in a similar case with similar ballistics. I handload, so factory ammo doesn't interest me at all and I can load .270 or 6.5x55 or .351 Winchester easily enough. Availability of brass and bullets is about my only care.

Hutch
February 18, 2007, 09:54 AM
Bill, are you settled on a bolt-action? There's tons of threads out here regarding the Remington vs. Savage vs. Winchester vs. Sako vs. Tikka vs CZ etc.

Mostly Ford vs. Chevy vs. Chrysler vs. Volvo vs. Saab vs. uh... Do Czechs make cars???

Since you're looking for a used hunting rifle in the most popular centerfire caliber in all of Western Civilization, I'd just keep my eyes on whatever local classified papers are out where you are, and buy the one that had the best scope on it already. To me, that means Leupold (but that can touch off another Ford vs. Chevy discussion);)

rockstar.esq
February 18, 2007, 05:03 PM
Your question about terminal performance was answered pretty well earlier but there're a few pertinent details to tell the difference between cartridges. Kinetic energy calculations only consider bullet weight and velocity (at impact distance), this is somewhat usefull provided the bullet in question is designed to open at the aforementioned impact velocity. My personal criteria at this point is to consider how likely it is that the bullet will stop in the animal. I figure that if the bullet exits, some portion of it's kinetic energy wasn't transmitted to the target which is essentially wasted energy.

The shorthand answer regarding sectional density is to say that greater sectional density occurs with missles that're more like a long cylinder than a pyramid. Sub bores were invented after thier 30 cal counterparts and the designers made the bullets longer relative to bore diameter to accomplish decent terminal performance. The most famous of which is the 6.5 Swede round which was used on everything from chipmunks to elephants.

The final piece of the ballistic puzzle is ballistic coefficient which pertains to a projectiles ability to slide through the air. Higher is better because it'll lose less velocity resulting in less drop and wind drift.

Sadly, all these factors together don't really give a numerical representation of terminal perfomance. Thus we continue to debate such esoteric arguements as 9mm vs. .45ACP etc. A guy name Taylor came up with a formula called the "Taylor Knock Out" factor, which is ((bullet weight in grains * velocity in FPS * bore diameter in inches)/ 7000)

So using the TKO system for the .270 and .30-06 respectively you'll get the following. (100yd velocities)

.270 TKO = ((140*3215 *.277)/ 7000) = 17.8111

.30-06 TKO = ((150*3100*.308)/ 7000) = 20.46

.308 TKO = ((168*2600*.308)/7000) = 19.10

Using the same formula you'll see some wierd things as well. The .357 Mag will end up pretty close to these figures because the bore diameter makes a pretty significant difference.

Sulaco
July 11, 2007, 09:44 AM
I am searching for a long range big game rifle. I discovered this site and the discussion for 270 or 308 and like the interaction and information shared.

I currently have a .300 Savage for WI Whitetail and don't think it will be adequate for Elk or Moose and long range shots (over 150 yd). Limited ammunition available and more costly, too. Any opinions? (Great rifle, otherwise).

I agree with the choice of 30-06, but now wonder if there are strong preferences for brand-model.

Feedback welcome. I would rather purchase a used rifle in good condition.

Thank you

I was looking through some of my older posts and saw you had revived this one back in February of this year. I don't know if you're still around, but I thought I'd let you know what my research has garnered me as far as brands go. I have owned a good many different brands of bolt action rifles from different eras and my favorite 'made today' is without a doubt, CZ. They are made like Winchester and Remington used to make long guns and they are done right. The prices are steadily increasing though. But in my opinion, you can't buy a better performing rifle for the money (or a lot more in some cases).

Sav .250
July 11, 2007, 10:17 AM
I`m not a fan of the 308.......a personal choice.
Even so I`d still go with the .270.
About the ammo question (availability) I don`t quite understand that.
I`ve been in lots out of the way places and they always had 270 ammo.
Come to think of it, who goes hunting with out any ammo ??

TCB in TN
July 11, 2007, 10:39 AM
The "conventional wisdom" I've heard (or read) on numerous occasions is that the .270 is a "flat shooting" cartridge which I realize is a subjective description but the implication is that it would shoot significantly flatter than "similar" rounds (again very subjective) but in this case, say a .308.

In my own practical experience the 270 IS a flatter shooting cal, but mainly when you drop to a little lighter bullet weight. Compare the .270 at say 130gr to the 308 or 30-06 at the 150 and you will see a difference, and further more the reduced bullet weight will give you a slight reduction in recoil. The 30 cal bullet carries a higher gr bullet better, but (at least in most commercial loads) lighter flatter shoot loads are easier to find in the .270. That said I no longer own a .270 and do have both 308 and 30-06. ;) There isn't just a lot of difference in any of them.

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