270 Winchester vs. 7mm Remington Magnum


January 13, 2008, 02:45 AM
I've never shot these two loads before but I was paging through the ballistics of the different rifle rounds and found these two calibers have many offerings, they have roughly the same bullet weights available and the drop on both is relatively shallow. I was wondering if any of you have shot both and know from practical experience how these two rounds behave. I'm looking at the bullet drop and accuracy in wind first of all. Secondly I'm looking at recoil. I would like to know how much each round kicks in comparision to each other. And lastly, what's the largest sized game you should consider taking with each of these rounds? I don't really know how much power you need to cleanly harvest what sized animal.

Again, the rounds are the 270 Winchester and the 7mm Remington Magnum. Thanks up front for the comments I know are coming.

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January 13, 2008, 03:04 AM
I use a 7mm Rem Mag as my primary hunting rifle. I did a lot of research on the different calibers and this seemed to be better than the .270. Although I haven't used a .270, all the things I read seemed to indicate that the 7mm was ballistically superior especially approaching longer distances. I have taken a couple deer with it, and I have heard from some that the bullet velocity from a 7mm is a little high for short range shots. The kick is to me is a little harder than a 30-06, but probably around that, and I would think that the .270 is probably a little less. As far as the size of game that can *ethically* be taken, I would say PROBABLY just about everything you'll find in North America, although some will argue against using it for something as large as a moose or possibly a bear. Although I think that with the right load/bullet they would be fine. Hope this helps!

January 13, 2008, 03:07 AM
The 7mm (.284) a little larger round than the .270 (.277).
The 7mm Rem Mag is going to top out at about 3250fps with the 140gr bullet.
The 270 Winchester tops out at about 3050fps with a 140gr.

There is going to be some added recoil with the 7mm Rem Mag (close to a .30-06 IMO). Either will take up to Elk size game. I have used the .270 for deer and it is quite capable, but now I have a 7mm-08 (140gr @3000fps reloads) for deer and a 7mm STW (140gr @ 3450fps reloads)for anything larger and hunting large fields or cutovers.

You really can't go wrong with either. I would look at some ballistics tables and go from there. You don't NEED mor than a .270 for anything up to an elk, but I like the 7mm rounds a little more personally. A 270WSM may be another one to look into.

January 13, 2008, 04:23 AM
i have both, shoot both, hunt both, and prefer the 7 rem mag for no good reason.

January 13, 2008, 05:20 AM
I was initially tossing around the idea of a 270 Winchester Short Magnum too. If I asked about that round too, what would you guys say? Judging by the ballistics the 270 WSM seems to be exactly the same as the 7mm Rem. Mag. The only differences here are that the 7mm bullet's average ballistic coefficient is a bit higher than that of the 270's bullet. That and the 7mm has all the cartridge offerings of the 270 Win and the 270 WSM and it adds a few more on up to 175 grains so you get the heavier rounds too if you decide you need them. What do you guys say about the 270 WSM as well as the two mentioned above?

Edit: I was in an online reloading database and found that the 7mm can do the same stats as either of the 270's but the 7mm can get those results with lower maximum pressures. What exactly does that mean? Why is the 270 rounds using higher maximum pressures to accomplish the same job as the 7mm? Shouldn't the bigger bullet (7mm) have the higher maximum pressures?

January 13, 2008, 10:41 AM
Hi Jaenak...

All of the calibers mentioned in all of the above posts are entirely capable of taking everything that walks on North America.

None of them is just an "...up to Elk" cartridge.

My personal favorite of the two you mentioned originally happens to be the .270 but the 7mm Rem. Mag. is a hoot to shoot. If you don't reload, the .270 will be cheaper to feed.


January 13, 2008, 03:17 PM
Really? All the rednecks I know and live around say the 270 is an "up to and including mule deer" kinda gun. That is coming from a bunch of rednecks too though. (alas, the area I love is redneck stomping ground) The 270 seems to be the lightest kicking and lightest powered offering of the ones I mentioned and if I can ethically and cleanly take something like grizzly with it (if I do my part) then I'd just stick with that.

The one question I'm still scratching my head about though is the chamber pressures of the 270 and the 7mm. Is the 7mm just more efficient or is it simply incapable of handling the higher chamber pressures? I might just take this small question to the reloading forum though.

January 13, 2008, 03:38 PM
A 7mm(139g) will give you about 1.5" less drop(32") at 500 yds, and 3/4" less drop at 400 yds than a 270(130g) will. You still gotta know the range with either past 300 yds. The 270 ammo is cheaper, which is what you will need to get good at ranges past 300 yds, and it don't kick as hard.

January 13, 2008, 03:44 PM
No animal will be able to tell the difference between the two.

January 13, 2008, 03:51 PM
Hi Jaenak...

Jack O'Conner, the world-wide big game hunter/author and long-time rifle editor for Outdoor Life magazine wrote that the first Grizzly he shot with the .270 hit the ground so hard it bounced.

All that "...up to Elk" horse mustard is nothing more than the big-bore bozos trying to justify the mistake they've made in choosing laughably over-powered and punishing calibers.


January 13, 2008, 03:55 PM
I have owned 2 270 rifled and one 7 mm mag.I have a 7mm mag Winchester ss W/synthetic stock and the BOSS system.The Boss reduces recoil and makes the mag kick like a 243 and it really works.I sold my 270 because I was hunting 200 plus pound deer on fields in Georgia and I could see over 500 yard and I wanted a flat shooting gun.I now hunt florida and the 7 mm mag is too much gun for florida deer.I won't be selling it because I love the gun it shoots 3/4 groups at 100 yards.Wincheter makes a good shooting gun.My father has a 270 winchester an it shoots great.For 250 and under deer the 270 is great but if your shooting 200 plus yards the mag is flater shooting.I think only Browning offers the Boss now with there rifles???
Any Questions send me a message???
I would love to have the 270 back because it is a lighter gun

January 13, 2008, 07:30 PM
at least look at 280

January 13, 2008, 08:44 PM
3/4" less drop at 400 yds than a 270(130g)

It's really kinda funny. Guys say the .270 is smallish for elk, and the 7mm mag may be considered one of the very best elk rifles....

difference is 150 fps with a 150 grain bullet. Bet the elk would never know. If you can hold within 3/4" at 400 yards hunting, you're a lot better shot than I am.

As for recoil, it's pretty much a function of bullet weight, velocity, and amount of powder. Felt recoil will be determined by stock design, recoil pad, action (bolt vs. auto), and muzzle brake.

January 13, 2008, 08:53 PM
Not enough difference between them except the recoil and muzzle blast. I doubt you will notice any difference in range and killing power.

Winchester 73
January 13, 2008, 08:54 PM
Weight is a factor and recoil is a factor.
The .270 is going to come out ahead in both.
And I agree the .270 with the right 150 grain load is going to knock off that elk or even moose as well or better than the 7mm with proper shot placement.
Being a life long Jack O'Connor disciple,my prejudice is with my beloved .270.

January 13, 2008, 09:11 PM
You never said what exactly you were intending to do with it???? I have owned a 7mm and currently own 2 .270WSM's. I harvested 3 whitetails with the WSM's this year and numerous with a 7mm in the past, if you can tell the difference when harvesting game you are smarter then I am. Dead is dead and they both do a damn fine job. I can actually load my WSM to be faster then the 7mm in 130/140gr offerings and can at least equal it at 150gr, the 7mm does much better with the heavier bullets because of it's slightly larger diameter and longer case, the bullets don't infringe on case capacity so much. My WSM's seems to be more accurate then my 7mm was, my Browning M1000 Eclipse is simply incredible. I would say if you don't reload go with the 7mm or the .270 but if you are a handloader go with the WSM it does an awesome job but factory ammo is pricey and can sometimes be hard to find. My favorite hunting load for it right now puts a 140gr Barnes TSX through the chrony at 3260fps and groups well under an inch at 100yds in the Eclipse and just over an inch in my Vanguard, damn fine deer medicine in anyones book.

January 13, 2008, 09:58 PM
I have to agree with the O'Conner buffs as I am one myself.
Jack called the .270 Winchester the poor mans Magnum and he stressed shot placement above all other factors.

January 13, 2008, 11:06 PM
The 270 is a great cartridge. As you can see from the ballistic charts it is very close to the magnums as far as drop and wind resistance. It has less recoil than the 7mm Mag, the ammo is cheaper and more readily available (it is the 2nd most popular deer round), and you get 1-2 more rounds in the magazine.

I have never noticed any accuracy differece, except for what can be attributed to recoil fatigue.

If you are of the school that elk require heavy bullets, the 7mm Mag has an advantage in that regard.

Both are good cartridges for sure.

January 13, 2008, 11:20 PM
The 7 uses .284" bullets for which there are a great variety of choices in bullets. I like that. .270, while better now days, has always waned in bullet selection, odd ball .277". The .270 is easier on the shoulder and doesn't carry as much down range punch, but has enough. No, I wouldn't go brown bear hunting with it, nor would I be completely comfy with the 7, but hey, I could kill one with it with proper placement and a controlled expansion bullet.

I was thinking .280 Remington (a .270 clone ballistically) when I bought my 7 mag. I thought about it, why buy the .280 when the gun is the same in 7 mag? Holds one less round in the magazine, but it's the same long action gun in the same weight. Well, the magnum does have 2" more barrel. I figured if I was a wuss and didn't like the recoil (not likely) I could down load it to .280 ballistics (I handload), but I can't load the .280 up. So, I really prefer the 7 mag. Turned out to be rather pleasant to shoot, too, no worse than a .30-06 IMHO and a little flatter shooting with a little more punch at range and somewhat better BCs and SDs. I like the .284" bullets a lot.

In the end, I can't kill anything with my 7 that I couldn't with an ought six or a .270 or .280, anything that I'll ever be hunting, so it's really just what gets you goin', makes you happy. I ain't going to sit here and put down the .270 just because the ballistics on the 7 mag are better, which they are. I mean, they'll both kill game and if you're afraid of the magnum recoil or don't like the belt or something, get the .270 and live happy, or a .280, or a .30-06, or a 300 mag, or a 7-08 or a .260 Remington, or a 300 H&H, or a .308, or a 25-06, or a 300 Savage, or a .264 Win Mag, or an 8x57, or a 7x57, or................ They all work.

January 14, 2008, 12:41 AM
If you ever read a copy of 'Pet Loads' or reload .270 and try light bullets, you'll see another advantage: It meets or exceeds the flexibility that was always attributed to the .30-06. And unlike the .30-06, for some reason, the .270 seems to shoot light bullets as well as the heavier ones. Perhaps it was optimized for the mid-weight 130 gr.

Try Sierra's RL-15 90 Gr Varminter load (Their accuracy load)...or the 110 Gr VMax max load with Varget. I've never seen a .270 that didn't shoot 'em well, and yet I've never seen a .30-06 shoot accelerators well. I can push a 90 Gr Varminter @3650 fps without flattening or cratering primers in Winchester brass. (That's a 90 Gr BTHP at 50-55Gr .22-250 speeds!). The 110 Gr V-Max load is shoots great too!

In Pet Loads (by Ken Waters) there are cast loads listed that shoot to the same point of aim as 130 Gr Hunting loads, and were used by T. Whelen to hunt small game with.

.270 is really a very forgiving cartridge to reload.

7mm Mag benefits from better bullet selection, but that big case, you won't find allows this kind of flexibility.

Just my $.02

January 14, 2008, 12:51 AM
One last note, maybe a deciding factor: .270 Win really likes 24+ barrel lengths. You'll get realistic Jack O'Connor velocity from the longer barrels. You won't be able to get 3140 fps with 130 Gr bullets with a 22" barrel. If you opt for a .270, get a 24" barrel. I put a Pac-Nor 26" barrel on my Savage that had a 22" barrel, and get an additional 180 fps with H4831 or IMR4831

January 14, 2008, 01:55 AM
Another Jack O'Connor "believer" here (though the "old" rumors had it that Jack privately thought the .280 might be a little better [bear in mind he didn't actually tell me that]).

I've owned several .270s but never bought a 7mm - the 7mm is a proven caliber for deer or elk, great ballistics, etc. - it just never interested me enough to buy one.

I normally use a .270 Win for deer and a .300 WinMag for elk, but if it was necessary I could reverse the order - I'd just have to make a few adjustments as I live and hunt both deer and elk in very open, windy country.

It still all comes down to bullet placement - the animal won't be able to tell the difference between a .277 and a .284 projectile well placed. That said, bullets matter, and I wouldn't hunt elk with a .270 using anything other than a 150 gr. Nosler Partition (just me) or maybe the new Trophy Bonded Tipped.

Just MHO, worth exactly what it cost - sort of a Dodge/Chevy/Ford question that will generate 1000 learned and well-intentioned opinions, but no clear answer - you can sort through the opinions and figure out what the answer is for you, because you're the only one you need to please.

January 14, 2008, 07:25 PM
I have a 7 X 57 which Jack also used before a 270.
Go with a winchester when you get a gun, best shooting out of the box,next would be remington

January 14, 2008, 07:39 PM
I have both and shot both. A Win M70 in 7mmMag and a Rem BDL M700 in .270. The 7mm Mag kicks more. Don't know what else to say. It beats me up at the range more than the .270 and I don't like shooting it near as much. Shooting deer with it, you don't feel it. I've noticed it does not put the deer down any faster than my .270, so that's what I shoot. I've not shot anything larger than whitetail with either of them. I think the 7mm mag makes a fine elk rifle, and if I ever get the chance to go that's what I'll carry. Besides that scenario, it's the .270 for me.

As for ballistics, I believe the 7mm Mag may have more reach and shoot a little flatter, with heavier bullets. It's ballistically superior, but not by a huge margin. That said, the .270 shoots flat and far enough for me. If I could really see a difference in the way it puts deer down, I would put up with the added cost and recoil of the 7mag, but as it is, I can't, so it sits in the safe more often than not. YMMV

January 15, 2008, 09:53 AM
.270 and 7 mm Remington Magnum are functionally equivalent. Once again, the real differences lie in the rifle, the projectile used and the shooter.

January 15, 2008, 11:34 AM
7mm Mag benefits from better bullet selection, but that big case, you won't find allows this kind of flexibility.

I own more rifles for my 7 mag. I don't really buy the "flexibility" thing. If I did much varmint hunting, I'd get a .22-250. I don't use the big boomer much, bought it when I thought I was going to get to go elk hunting and my only rifle at the time was a .257 Roberts (which is hard to beat on whitetail, and talk about soft on the shoulder!). Well, I since acquired a .308 which does 90 percent of my rifle hunting lately, love that thing. It'd do anything the .270 or the 7 will do and in a handier short action rifle.

January 15, 2008, 03:48 PM
For me, I guess the decision would come down to whether or not I reloaded or was willing to. LOT better bullet selection for the 7mm... BUT you can buy 270 ammo at 7/11 (well, not quite, but just about anywhere).
I'm presuming here, but I'm probably a lot like you in that I spend a lot of time reading stats, energy tables, velocities and the like... heck, it's fun! Many people would tell me that I over-analyze things. But one thing I've learned is; Once you decide and plonk down your hard-earned cash, STOP LOOKING IMMEDIATELY because sure as hell, the very next day, you're going to spot the "perfect" rifle at the "perfect" price yammer yammer yammer.
I like reading reloading manuals. I might start out studying .22-250 stats, become even more intrigued by the .243's, and before I know it, I'm falling in love with the .378 Weatherby Mag. Then I go here, http://www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm and look at how quickly that thing is gonna try seperating me from my shoulder. ...and I start all over again.

January 15, 2008, 08:37 PM
Sounds like you need a 30-06. Cheap ammo and a wide variety of differnt grain bullets.:)

January 15, 2008, 08:52 PM
My 7mm mag has served admirably for many years on all sorts of game. Very versatile cartridge.

January 16, 2008, 03:20 AM
7mm Rem Magnum. Hard hitting and longer distance. PLUS more guns available in it if you step of the US market- since 270 is primarily a US cartridge.

January 16, 2008, 08:32 PM
I own more rifles for my 7 mag. I don't really buy the "flexibility" thing. If I did much varmint hunting, I'd get a .22-250.

Your preference doesn't say much here. I also have a .22-250, a .22-250AI, multiple .223(s), and a 6BR. I also still carry 90 or 110 Gr .270 loads in the field. Read of the flexibility as was described in Pet Loads by Ken Waters, and contribuited to by T. Whelen, I claim to be no authority.

Regardless, it'll be hard to find much to say positive about 7mm Mag and it's suitability and flexibility for shooting light varmint bullets. Check a few reloading manuals, try a few loads. For .270 Win, you'll also find varmint offerings in factory ammunition. For 7mm Rem Mag, see if you can even find a good reload.

And on the heavier end of things, run comparative ballistics, 7mm Rem Mag is just a hair over 100fps faster, and 1" less drop with a common zero at 300 yards. Longer than that, you'll still need to account for drop with either. The 7mm Mag just has a lot more cost, noise, recoil, and a belted case for little in return for less than 200 fps @500 years, (even given the 7mm Mag's higher BC), and 10 grains or so more weight. Insignificant in my book.


I'll take the flexibility, over the cost and relatively insignificant increase in power.

I think both the math, and available references pretty much make my point. But like all decisions, make yours and live with the results.

George Hill
January 16, 2008, 08:45 PM
The only downside to buying a good 7MM Rem Mag, is that it becomes hard to justify the purchase of other rifles afterwards.
I looked at the .270 WSM, and other new hot calibers and compared that to what The Seven can do... I pass on buying a lot of other rifles now.
And I'm down to two loads. 154 SST Hornady for anything up to and including Mule Deer, 162 BTSP for anything bigger. With these two loads, it can hit and kill anything in the New World and 99% of everything else on the planet.
This makes The Seven very boring.

January 16, 2008, 08:52 PM
Well, I'm beginning to think a bigger number is considered better, and is the sole criteria for most. If you're gonna pick a bigger number, why not better ones like .375 H&H, .416 Rigby, or .50BMG ;)

July 8, 2009, 09:11 PM
For the average hunter in the USA who hunts deer/black bear the .270 is very hard to argue with. It will handle the largest mule deer to the smallest Florida pee wee. I have seen the .270 Winchester handle Roosevelt elk with authority. I have two .270's and have a desire for nothing else.

Uncle Mike
July 8, 2009, 09:19 PM
Go with a winchester when you get a gun, best shooting out of the box,next would be remington

well, it IS his opinion..... Savage.

For an all around caliber.... 7 Mag. But I do prefer the .270 over the 7 mag.

You would probably do well to get the .270.


July 8, 2009, 10:24 PM
The rounds or reloads are the same price as the .270. You get a little more power than the .270, but less recoil than the 7mm (and lower price). If you already own a quality .30-06, I'm not sure adding a .270 or 7mm is worth your while unless your budget is unlimited.

July 8, 2009, 11:56 PM
I have a remington 700 adl in 270 that I absolutely love. Factory ammo is abundant, and the cartridge lends itself to reloading well. bullets in 130 or 150 gr varieties perform well on game and often used rifles can be found for a steal!

I saw a remington 710 in 270 with a cheaper scope on it today at the gun shop near me used for under 300 OTD.

July 9, 2009, 12:08 AM
I used a 270 Ruger #1b for years with a handload 140gr bullet, it was and is an excellent combo for deer. Ask my youngest son...handed him my 270 when he thought he was getting the 243, didn't notice any difference from the stand until he looked at the case. He was 11 then.
At one time there were quite a few 270's around here, then my wife assumed ownership of a Tikka Stainless/laminated in 25-06, but - she still drinks out of her Sierra Club coffee mug:cuss: she doesn't pull the trigger when hunting.
After buying a rem 700 with a Bell & Carlson carbalite stock in 7mm rem mag - I haven't used anything else with any regularity.
Both rounds worked exactly the same for me, but that stock on the Remington was the deal maker. The #1 in 7 mag has shot exactly one deer, but I think the stock design on most ruger rifles actually enhance recoil. That rifle doesn't get out much.
I'd say it is a toss up on these two calibers, but reloading cost ( you will reload....Right?) favors the 270 by a small margin; the fellow who posted above about the 7 not working well with lighter loads needs to give my brother a call - he is shooting some 120gr's out of a 7 RUM and hits a MOA target out to 700 yards at the range every time. He invested a ton of time (and money in accurizing a Sendero) in this endeavor just to prove me wrong about the light bullet inaccuracy problem with the various 7 Mag rounds.

July 9, 2009, 12:29 AM
Somebody clean up the cobwebs...a moth flew out of my computer when I opened this thread. :D

July 9, 2009, 01:14 AM
7mm rem mag is the better choice.

July 9, 2009, 01:27 AM
7MM Mag allows you to shoot heavier bullets, and the .270 can shoot lighter bullets. There is plenty of overlap in the middle of course, performance is similar with the 7MM going a little bit faster with same bullet weight. Ammo is more expensive with the 7MM, and rifles are marginally heavier.

Ultimately it really doesn't matter for shooting deer and elk.

July 9, 2009, 08:25 PM
your shoulder will like the .270 more and you will probably make a better shot.

July 9, 2009, 08:29 PM
vs .270 WSM vs .270 WBM?? :]

July 9, 2009, 08:36 PM
i have both, shoot both, hunt both, and prefer the 7 rem mag for no good reason.

Same here. As for recoil, I have shot them back to back from the bench, and that is the only way I can tell the 7mag thumps a little harder; from the stand or offhand, you would be hard pressed to feel the difference. All game I have harvested with either died when shot, so I call them even in the harvesting department. .270 ammo is much cheaper, more bullet selection for the 7mag, either could be my primary, they both get a lot of use. Either will carry killing energy as far as I am able to shoot.

July 9, 2009, 11:08 PM
The 7mm Mag is still the darling of lots of Western hunters. I have never seen any actual numbers recently, but the westerners I know shoot 30-06s, 7mm mags, or 300 mags. But, comparing the 270 to the 7 mag, the 7 mag has the advantage, when needed, to shoot heavier bullets at really good velocities. If you intend to hunt elk with your rifle, go with the 7 mag.

July 9, 2009, 11:29 PM
I have owned multiple 270 Winchesters over the years. I have taken elk, moose and deer with 130grain, 140grain & 150 grain bullets including Barnes X, Nosler Partitions, Trophy Bonded Bear Claw & Speer Grand Slam. Ranges have been as short as 50yds to around 300yds or so. I don't think they would have been dispatched any quicker with a 7mm Remington mag. By the way I did own a 7mm mag 25yrs ago but I sold it with no hesitation.

July 10, 2009, 01:46 AM
They are both great rounds. I would say the 7mag has a little more knock down power, especially at longer distances. Really just depends on what your going to hunt most with it. If your shooting mostly white tail then I'd go for the .270, but if your looking to more elk and moose then I'd go with the 7mag.

March 22, 2010, 02:27 AM
I've used a 270 win for 10 years now. I've never shot a 7mm but have heard they have a little more kick. I bought a Tikka T3 270 win about two years ago. When I bought it I had descided on 1 of 3 guns. 270, 7mm mag or a 300 win mag. They had blow out prices on a 270 win and a 338 win mag. I didn't want to dislocate my shoulder and spend $50/box on ammo so I bought the 270.

I have no regrets. I would confidently shoot a moose with mine.

Art Eatman
March 22, 2010, 09:31 AM
Necrothreadia of 18-month-old thread; OP questions answered.

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