Questioning my 270win for deer


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JMPhoto
December 29, 2009, 08:47 AM
First of all, I am not trying to stir up any heated discussions here, but I am concerned at my choice of caliber for whitetail deer. I know many here love the 270 win which is what I shoot, but lately I have not been bringing home the deer. I know it is about shot placement and I feel I have good shots, however I can never confirm that since I have yet to bring one home that I had to chase. Just this years deer season I had a good shot at a doe and took what I felt was a good lung shot at about 75yds. It was a solid hit, but yet I did not get her. We tracked the blood trail for over a mile and finally lost it in the fresh snow. I am now starting to get frustrated and questioning my 270 win. Most of the guys I hunt with are all 30-06. I am shooting a Browning X-bolt medallion and shooting Winchester XP3 130gr. I am looking for suggestions. I am ready to trade for something larger like a 30-06 or 300 wsm. I donít hunt for trophyís and the thing I hate most is leaving a wounded animal behind.
Thanks for your input.

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rizbunk77
December 29, 2009, 08:56 AM
If you are having trouble, I would try the 30-06 first before the others. I would use a Sierra or Hornady 150-165 SP, staying away from the polymer tipped stuff. Or you could go with a 25-06 shooting 100-117gr. and start aiming for the (upper) neck, if you are a good shot. One of the above should help you start anchoring deer better.

Snakum
December 29, 2009, 09:05 AM
A .270 is a lord's plenty for deer anywhere, even up north. You might want to look at what kind of bullets you're using or practice a little more, maybe check your zero? Not trying to bag on ya, just that I know I can take a deer with a 123gr 7.62x39 running at about half the speed of a 130gr or 150gr .270. I have friends who have never used anything but a .270 and they bring home the bacon (venison) every year and have never lost one. If you look at the ballistics of the .270 it actually packs a pretty good whallop. I was looking for a lightweight rifle over the last two weeks and when I averaged out the ballistics of Federal, Rem, and Win factory loads for the 243, 270, 308, and 30-06 and compared the trajectories, the .270 made the most sense. Wound up with a Rem 7600 in 270 this week (that a whole 'nother story, however :( ).

Anything that packs very close to 30-06 punch (energy) and runs very close to 7mm mag trajectories yet kicks a little less than both has to be a good round. It's been around since Jesus was in diapers and still selling hot for a good reason. :) One of the Benoit brothers has used the .270 exclusively for 30+ years (Lanny?) for those big bruisers they chase up there. If it'll knock one of those monsters down it'll deliver for us. Just gotta select the right ammo and polish up at the range.

Water-Man
December 29, 2009, 09:20 AM
I used a .270 years ago with good success. Remington Core-Lokt was my prefered ammo. If the deer you shot is running that far, then the problem is shot placement or the bullet being used.

Olympus
December 29, 2009, 09:27 AM
I hate to say it, but it's not the caliber. My "ole trusty" is a .270 A-bolt and my dad has shot an A-bolt Medallion in .270 for the past 10 years or so. Neither of us have been let down and we've taken a lot a deer between the two of us. If I had to make a judgement call, I would say that the primary problem is shot placement.

Just this years deer season I had a good shot at a doe and took what I felt was a good lung shot at about 75yds. It was a solid hit, but yet I did not get her. We tracked the blood trail for over a mile and finally lost it in the fresh snow.

If you make a solid hit, my experience is that you won't be tracking more than 50 yards. If you get a blood trail that's a few drops every now and then, that's not what I'd call a solid hit. Solid hits for me leave blood trails about 1 foot wide and don't run for more than 50 yards. But if you don't wait them out and give them plenty of time to expire, there's no telling how far one will run. If you put a solid hit on one, wait 30 minutes before tracking. A deer that's hit solid will expire before 30 minutes. And it's been my experience that you can never trust a "feeling" of your shot when you're hunting. I've got a good example of both ends on this. I shot a doe opening morning of muzzleload season and I just knew I made a good shot. I saw her run off with her tail down. But I looked and never saw a drop of blood or hair. Not one single thing and the shot wasn't more than 50 yards. I just missed. Then opening morning of rifle season, I shot another doe and I was just sick at myself because I just knew I missed. She ran off and had her tail up and didn't act like she was hit at all. I waited 2 hours because I just knew I missed. I went to where I shot and there was a huge blood trail and she went about 30 yards. So I never trust those feelings anymore.

Fremmer
December 29, 2009, 09:38 AM
IMHO, there is not a significant difference between the performance of a .270 and .30-06 on deer. If a .270 won't kill it, I doubt that a .30-06 will, either.

You might consider switching to a different round, perhaps a simple soft-point round such as a Core-lokt or something like that. But all of the soft-point rounds should perform about equally well.

Perhaps the hit wasn't as good as you thought. Or, you just shot a tough deer. Yes, they can be that tough. Once in a while you'll find one that just won't drop like it should. Good luck!

atblis
December 29, 2009, 09:40 AM
You didn't make a solid shot on that deer then. Deer are thin skinned, lightly boned, medium game. 270 is over kill.

SalchaketJoe
December 29, 2009, 09:42 AM
It was a solid hit, but yet I did not get her. We tracked the blood trail for over a mile and finally lost it in the fresh snow

Then it wasnt a good hit.

Malamute
December 29, 2009, 09:59 AM
I'll echo what others have said, it wasnt the cartridge. A friend has used nothing but a .270 for his elk hunting for many years and never ever lost one.

How often do you check the zero on your rifle, and how much practice shooting do you do from field positions (not from a bench)? I'd suggest burning a couple bricks of 22's offhand in a bolt rifle before deer hunting next time. You may be flinching, which will throw your shot off, no matter how well you can do from a bench. Shoot some paper targets off hand with the 270 and see how you do.

HoosierQ
December 29, 2009, 10:07 AM
You need more practice with the firearm rather than a new caliber.

rangerruck
December 29, 2009, 10:08 AM
deer, any deer type, are thin, skinny animals, with thin hair, thin fat, thin bones, thin meat, etc., I would look for a bullet that opens up fast. I would also look for a heavier bullet, 140 to 150's if you can find them. lastly, make sure your shot is either a front or side shot; low in the chest for a front shot, just below the shoulder for a side shot. If you are not worried about a rack or mount, and just want meat, punch em in the head, if you are sure of your accuracy.

HGUNHNTR
December 29, 2009, 10:10 AM
Sorry but its not the rifle or the bullet. The .270 win has plenty of power, and if you indeed hit vitals that animal would have died quickly.

The 30-06 gives you no advantage over the .270 for deer.

Maybe switch to Hornadys SST bullet, or Federal Ballistic Tip. They will likely give you more devastating wound channels.

Put the gun on paper, maybe you scope/sights have shifted.

Maybe its time for a better optic, don't underestimate the importance of a good quality scope and its effect on repeatable accuracy.

JMPhoto
December 29, 2009, 10:13 AM
Ok..I guess I just needed to hear it from more people. I certainly understand that it is all about shot placement and I probably did not get the best shot. The tough thing as you all know is that you think you have a great shot and then at the last split second the animal moves slightly. Its hard to anticipate that when you go to shoot. I just thought I had a good shot because when we tracked her there were several large pools of blood, which looked to be areas where she paused to decide which direction to go.I will do more experimenting over the next year on different types of ammo, maybe avoiding the polymer tip ammo like the xp3. I did sight the rifle in a week before deer with a bench. The scope I am using is a Nikon Monarch 3-12 so I doubt it is optics. I will do some homework on different ammo.
Thanks for all your input and reinforcement

HGUNHNTR
December 29, 2009, 10:16 AM
Yep, it sounds like you have all of the ingredients for a successful hunt, try out some different loads and shoot more.

Best Wishes.

rizbunk77
December 29, 2009, 10:17 AM
I had a broadside hit with a 308 this year that dad cussed me for because the deer trotted off with its guts hanging down and I shot again at 200 yards with a kill shot through the neck. I thought what the heck, I heard a solid THUMP!! and I had the red dot right behind the shoulder half way up. When I butchered the deer there it was, the shot hit right where I aimed and broke a rib and fractured another, how the hell the shot went down from there and gutted the animal I don't know, but I am getting away from that 308 with the polymer tipped bullet. Just acted too funny. I don't think a SP would have done the same. When I was checking deer for the state, 30-06 shooters outnumbered all others at least 2-1 maybe more.

Mr_Pale_Horse
December 29, 2009, 10:29 AM
Two words,

Nosler Partition.

Austinite
December 29, 2009, 10:33 AM
Please don't lump all polymer tip bullets together. That's lazy thinking. The XP3 bullet behaves VERY differently from a ballistic tip or an SST.

That said, I'd use a softer, more aggressively expanding bullet out of a .270 when going after deer (core-loct, SST, power-point, etc.).

Gordon
December 29, 2009, 10:35 AM
Ditto on the 130 grain Nosler Partition. 150 grain for elk.

35 Whelen
December 29, 2009, 10:38 AM
First of all, I am not trying to stir up any heated discussions here, but I am concerned at my choice of caliber for whitetail deer. I know many here love the 270 win which is what I shoot, but lately I have not been bringing home the deer. I know it is about shot placement and I feel I have good shots, however I can never confirm that since I have yet to bring one home that I had to chase. Just this years deer season I had a good shot at a doe and took what I felt was a good lung shot at about 75yds. It was a solid hit, but yet I did not get her. We tracked the blood trail for over a mile and finally lost it in the fresh snow. I am now starting to get frustrated and questioning my 270 win. Most of the guys I hunt with are all 30-06. I am shooting a Browning X-bolt medallion and shooting Winchester XP3 130gr. I am looking for suggestions. I am ready to trade for something larger like a 30-06 or 300 wsm. I don’t hunt for trophy’s and the thing I hate most is leaving a wounded animal behind.
Thanks for your input.

Holy COW!!! Are you serious?!?!? IF, and I emphasize IF you hit the doe broadside in the lungs with ANY commercial 130 gr. bullet, she would be DEAD. Judging from the description of the blood trail, you hit an extremity, i.e. a front leg, the brisket, etc. Gut shot deer typically don't let much blood out.

I think the key to your post is : "...what I felt was a good lung shot..." That tells me you're uncertain of your shooting. You should know (remember) where the crosshairs were when the rifle went off. (Competitors call that "calling the shot")

I can 100% guarentee you that you are flinching...probably even closing your eyes at the moment you pull the trigger. I've seen this time and again with my hunting buddies. At least two of them cured their problem and became excelent game shots by buying a smaller caliber and overcoming their fears of recoil.

I've verified flinching problems many times at the range by handing an unloaded rifle to someone who thought the rifle was loaded, and asked them to shoot it. It's somewhat comical to watch as they appear to jerk the entire trigger and floorplate assembly out of the rifle when they shoot.

Go to the range and practice practice practice. If you can't hit a paper plate at the 100 yds. range from field positions...not the bench...then I can assure you that you'll be very lucky to hit the vital area of a deer and you're going to wound and lose lots of deer.

Please, whatever you do, DO NOT go out and buy a bigger, louder, harder-kicking rifle. It will only exacerbate your problems.
35W

Heck
December 29, 2009, 10:44 AM
A deer hit in the lung with a .223 isn't going to go far. I have hunted with a .270 for 20years and love it. I did start having issues with core lokts about 8 years ago. Inside 100 yards with a lung shot the deer never even seemed to acknowledge there were hit and kept walking till they fell over. Anything I put into the shoulder they were dead right there. I am guessing that they just werent expanding without hitting bone at that range.
I'm shooting a Hornady 140gr soft point and have not had an issue since.
I am gussing that you may have hit a little far back and high. you wont necessarily see evidence of a a gut shot with a hit like that and they will run FOREVER. I would check my scope mount and rings to make sure they are tight and then go shoot it. Might be the bullet but I am guessing shot placement. Its fairly easy to unentionally shoot farther back than intended especially if they are walking. I think that is something we have all done before. I've just gotten lucky and found it when it happened to me.
As far as the .270 goes, easily one of the top 4 or 5 deer rounds EVER.

MJR007
December 29, 2009, 11:03 AM
The bullet you are using is to "good". The Winchester XP3 130gr is a good bullet for heavy game. I loaded 165g triple x for the wife's 7mm-08 last fall. All pass through with longer blood trails. To good of a bullet for deer. It does little good if the bullet goes through the deer and hits the tree behind it with half of it's energy. You want that energy in the deer. The bullet should just have enough enegy to make a exit hole. Try a couple boxes of cheap soft point bullets. You should see a difference. Sorry for your loss and good luck.

rizbunk77
December 29, 2009, 11:20 AM
I think its funny how ammo brands will use words like "Supreme Elite" ammunition, I guess to draw young urban dudes to buy it. I've got your supreme elite: Here's what I do, take a bag of 100 brass and sort by weight, then length to cull out the brass and adhere to .5 grain (1/14,000 of a pound) on the weight and .0001 on brass length. Then chamfer and debur each case. Next weigh each charge to one tenth of a grain of powder, not plus or minus but to the actual tenth. Next use only quality spire points and either Federal or CCI BR primers. Now take this load out and shoot to fire form the brass to your chamber. Bring the cases home, clean primer pockets and "neck size" only and repeat the process. All of this of course after you have checked your rifle's throat and have set your bullet seating die to specifically locate the bullets (depending on your preference) down to 1/1000 of an inch. Now do you think that box of ammo is "Supreme Elite"?

scchokedaddy
December 29, 2009, 11:24 AM
been shooting 270 for 12 years off and on, son been shooting one since he started hunting. never used anything but federal 130 grain boat tail soft point ammo never a problem. dont know why ( BECAUSE YOU DIDNT SAY) you took shot you werent comfortable with, but as someone else stated SHOULDER SHOTS ARE DEADLY!!!!!! lung shots are a trackers delight. If it is a big rack and you want big cape then shoot high behind shoulder. but it mostly sounds like you 'RUSH" shot, not meant to diss you just food for thought. by the way I had same problem years ago, and my dad made me start carrying only 1 shell, idea was to make that 1 shot count,it worked. I learned to either wait for my shot or let them go for another chance later. must have worked because 40 years later I still wait for MY shot or enjoy watching them leave, cause you gotta admit once the gun goes off the funs over and the work begins. Good Luck and God Bless

scchokedaddy
December 29, 2009, 11:26 AM
Good food for thought lot of hidden meaning in your post

Art Eatman
December 29, 2009, 11:28 AM
Sounds more like a shot placement problem than anything else. It's possible it might be a bullet problem, with maybe a lack of expansion, but that's sorta unlikely with the .270.

Practice always helps, particularly being careful about any flinching. For some people, a flinch from anticipated recoil causes anything from a bad hit to a complete miss. Sometimes the only cure is to drop back to a lighter-bullet cartridge such as the .243. Just one of those things to be aware of and be practical about. It's no big deal. The deal is to eat deer meat, not show the world you're Mr. Studly.

jbech123
December 29, 2009, 11:28 AM
My brother in law has a farm in New York and doesn't have much time/inclination to hunt, but gets severe crop damage from whitetails. I few years back he got 50 doe tags that could be filled by anyone hunting on his property(about 2500 acres). He gave them all to me and said have fun. After bringing up some friends etc to shoot some for meat I still had 30+ tags left. Talked to the local hunters for hungry program and they said they could take as much as I could bring them. I just can't shoot stuff and let it go to waste. Anyway, since the conditions were right(fresh snow, easy tracking, I know the property well), I decided to put the 223 to the test. Not the optimum deer caliber by any means, but I shoot alot so I was confident, and like I said easy tracking conditions. I used a sierra gameking bullets. I shot 19 deer over 2 days, at ranges from 75-200 yards. All shot in the lungs behind the shoulder. The one that went the furthest went less than 100 yards after being shot. About half of them took only a step or 2.
I'm not saying use a 223, but a 270 is more than enough for whitetails.

jbech123
December 29, 2009, 11:31 AM
I think its funny how ammo brands will use words like "Supreme Elite" ammunition, I guess to draw young urban dudes to buy it. I've got your supreme elite: Here's what I do, take a bag of 100 brass and sort by weight, then length to cull out the brass and adhere to .5 grain (1/14,000 of a pound) on the weight and .0001 on brass length. Then chamfer and debur each case. Next weigh each charge to one tenth of a grain of powder, not plus or minus but to the actual tenth. Next use only quality spire points and either Federal or CCI BR primers. Now take this load out and shoot to fire form the brass to your chamber. Bring the cases home, clean primer pockets and "neck size" only and repeat the process. All of this of course after you have checked your rifle's throat and have set your bullet seating die to specifically locate the bullets (depending on your preference) down to 1/1000 of an inch. Now do you think that box of ammo is "Supreme Elite"?
Impressive. Sounds like a lot of work for something that under hunting conditions wouldn't do any better than federal supreme.

oneounceload
December 29, 2009, 11:38 AM
It ain't the arrow, it's the Indian.

The 270 is practically overkill for whitetails, especially at 75 yards. Shot placement, as previously mentioned, seems to need some work

FRJ
December 29, 2009, 11:40 AM
I have over 45 years of hunting with the .270 and can't say anything but good about it. With it I have taken whitetail, mule deer , blacktail deer, in numbers well over 50. I have taken 6 elk 2 carabou 20 or so blackbear etc. NEVER did an animal hit properly go farther than 40 yards. If your hitting deer a thin skinned light animal and not recovering them it isn't the fault of the caliber or the bullet.I would suggest you check your zero and then check your scope to make sure it isn't changing point of impact on you. In the last annalisys your shooting is highly suspect. FRJ

fireside44
December 29, 2009, 12:02 PM
I had the same problem as the OP with a .243

Lung shots and the deer gets up from where he was LAYING DOWN and makes a run for it.

Never lost any but was more than unimpressed with the put down power of the cartridge when the animals stands up from where it was laying when I shot it and starts to bound off into the woods.

I guess I just got sick of making clean shots and then needing to make follow up shots in order to avoid a day tracking a wounded animal in the woods.

Needless to say, a .444 marlin is my deer gun now. Give me an 06, a 7mm mag, an 8mm mauser, or even a .308, but I'm done with the varmint cartridges and deer hunting. To me, it's not fair to the animal.

Fremmer
December 29, 2009, 12:02 PM
JM, don't take things too hard, we've all missed or made a bad hit. You'll do better next time. Get some practice in, and get ready for next year! :)

Horsemany
December 29, 2009, 12:46 PM
I have the exact same rifle and it shoots 130 Federal Fusions in .5's and .6's at 100yds. Very accurate. I shot a 154lb 12pointer this year at 20paces. He was trotting right at me and I shot him just obove the brisket. The bullet exited between his shoulder blades and he dropped like hit by lightning. That's probably the 10th deer I've killed with a 270. The only one I ever lost was a 20yd shot that hit the shoulder bone and exploded.

IMO you probably need to practice more off hand shooting and learn to relax and take careful aim in the heat of the moment. It's easy to rush the shot when the adrenaline starts pumping. You could also be having a bit of bad luck. Sometimes the difference between dropping like struck by lightning and tracking for a mile is just a few inches. Put out some reactive targets like clay pigeons and practice shooting them offhand at 100yds. If you get good at that and know the vitals of a deer you'll do better IMO.

Uncle Mike
December 29, 2009, 01:03 PM
My safe is full of big ol' magnums because someone missed, or got a bad hit on an animal with their master blaster rifle.
Likewise I have amassed a rather large collection of normal calibers because of the same!

Guy shooting a 270 misses, he needs practice...so next thing you know, he's buying a 300 WIN.MAG., because that little ol' 270 ain't big enough and the 300 magnum will be!
So I buy the 270.....

BOOM! goes the 300MAG, off runs the deer...another missed shot! Now the guy is looking hard at a 338 or better yet, one of those fancy Weatherby magnums...
We got em'....we will buy that 300WIN.MAG from you and sell you the Weatherby....and on it goes......

If you need practice, there is not ANY caliber that is going to compensate for that!

A 270, as was said, is nearly too much for whitetail! You just more than likely was looking AT the deer in the scope, and not looking at WHERE the bullet needed to be!

No biggie, we all have done that! But you have plenty of power, and then some, for deer, with the 270!

CoRoMo
December 29, 2009, 01:06 PM
What Art said.

My family and I hunt elk every year. The largest caliber used is my .270.

Mr. T
December 29, 2009, 01:08 PM
Depending upon the ammo, the .270 actually will pack more punch than a 30.06 at long distance, but is very comparable to the 30.06 at all ranges in between 100 to 500 yards. I would recommend 130 grain to 150 grain soft points or boat tail hollow points designed for hunting. The .270 is not your problem -- shot placement might be, but I would wager on the type of bullet your using. Also just a note to rizbunk77, a neck shot on a Whitetail is not a guaranteed shot either-- you're better off going center mass everytime. I have had two deer get away from me on accurately placed neck shots, one was a trophy that ended up being very close to a World Record Whitetail. I shot him in the neck as a ten pointer, but he added another 4 points over the years. I know that no one ever got him, because if they had the hunting world would have been on fire with one of the largest whitetails of all time; I shot him with a 30.06 in the neck and we chased him 2 miles and then lost the blood trail. I also shot a doe in the neck with a 12 guage shotgun, right under the jaw in the neck...it nocked her down, but she got back up and ran off...I chased her for 700 to 800 yards before having to stop at a property line....long story short the neighbor got her. Morale of the story...I've never had a deer walk away from a torso shot when it was hit in the heart or lungs. I've killed hundreds of whitetails, few have gotten away, but none have when shot properly in the torso.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 29, 2009, 01:13 PM
What you absolutely positively 1,000% DON'T need is a different caliber. There's nothing better on earth for deer than the .270 Win. A little overkill, but "more than perfect", let's say.

I guarantee you the same animals shot with a same-constructed .30-06 or .300 win mag bullet would have reacted exactly the same way, and you would have lost them anyway. It's NOT caliber choice.



It's about 3 things here:

1. Bullet selection

2. Shot placement

3. Luck / Deer's state of mind / state of adrenaline or alertness


And of those 3, it sounds like bullet selection is most likely the culprit from what you are describing, or a combination of things.


Shot placement. If you want them to go down immediately, shoot the in the brain, neck, or high shoulder, and then shoot a follow-up shot. If you understandably don't want to rely upon that small of a target at longer distances, then shoot for the heart / lungs. The key is to hit either (a) both lungs, or (b) the heart. What you did sounds like the classic one-lung shot. They can run a loooooong ways with one lung. Two lungs, they cannot, and will go down within 100 yards tops, typically. So the key to getting two lungs (if you don't know exactly how to hit the heart) is to get a *broadside* shot, not a quartering shot. And one without too much up or down angle either.

Alertness / luck: Some things are just luck of the draw on the toughness of the critter, and the more alert they are when shot, the farther they will run.

Bullet selection: This is more key. You want a light fast, *somewhat* lightly constructed bullet for deer - this means probably a 130 grain bullet, and frankly, for heart/lung shots on deer, you do NOT want a premium bonded bullet - you want violent and rapid expansion, with adequate penetration. The faster-moving 130s, particularly ballistic-tip bullets, will expand very violently and typically put them down quickly, within 30 or 40 yards. Look at your ballistic tips or just your standard cheap soft-nosed bullets.

JMPhoto
December 29, 2009, 01:54 PM
OK...now I feel kind of silly asking the original question. Thanks for all the great suggestions and information. I donít plan on selling the gun, I will be keeping it, but I will be doing much experimenting and practice with it. Just to follow up on ones comment, the shot I took I was confident with at the moment I took it. There were two doe walking through a wooded area and I had her in my sights for a while waiting for the right moment, she paused, I sighted her in and squeezed and she just began to walk again just as I squeezed. So, I could have flinched, she could have stepped forward causing my shot to land back more, I guess I will never know. I know the gun is spot on and it shoots very tight groupings, but as many of you mentioned, that was off of a bench. I do shoot in different positions at the range, like standing, kneeling etc, but I guess I need to do that more.
Thanks again.

MJR007
December 29, 2009, 02:10 PM
A bullet going 75 yards through the woods stands a very good chance of hitting branches you can not see in your glass. Anyone who has woods hunted for any length of time has done it (some more than others). Thank you for your post, we have all lost deer and feel like crap when it happens.

jbech123
December 29, 2009, 02:17 PM
I had the same problem as the OP with a .243

Lung shots and the deer gets up from where he was LAYING DOWN and makes a run for it.

Never lost any but was more than unimpressed with the put down power of the cartridge when the animals stands up from where it was laying when I shot it and starts to bound off into the woods.

Again shot placement. If you keep your ranges at less than 300 yards, 243 is plenty for whitetail. Not saying optimum, especially if you're an average or less marksman, but more than enough power for a whitetail. Deer simply are not that tough. I mean an average deer on the hoof is maybe 200 lbs, about the same size as an average guy. How far would you go if you were double lunged by a 243?

atblis
December 29, 2009, 02:57 PM
I mean an average deer on the hoof is maybe 200 lbs, about the same size as an average guy. How far would you go if you were double lunged by a 243?
Probably more like 100 lbs (especially in southern states).

natman
December 29, 2009, 03:36 PM
Sorry to join the chorus, but the 270 Win is plenty for deer. If anything the XP3 is on the tough side for deer, but I'm afraid that the problem is probably that the bullet didn't go where it should have.

Shot placement should be where the red X is:

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e166/nat_mann/deershotplacement-1.jpg

It's possible that the bullet was deflected, or that you just missed or that you weren't aiming where you should. It's awfully easy in the heat of the moment to just center the crosshairs on the animal. You have to concentrate on putting them on the exact right location.

Thanks for your candor and better luck next time.

Arkansas Paul
December 29, 2009, 04:12 PM
I am a huge fan of the .30-06. I think it is one of the best all around cartridges for North American game. But I try not to get crazy about it. I am under no illusions that it can do anything a .270 can't. My opinion, and the opinion of hundreds of thousands of others is that it doesn't get much better than a .270 for whitetail. A deer isn't going to run a mile with a hole in it's lungs. You just missed. And that's not any slight towards you. I shot at a deer at about 100 yds with my muzzleloader this year. It was standing broad side and I didn't cut a hair. I checked the zero and the gun was fine. I just rushed the shot. Everyone misses. If someone tells you they haven't missed, hand them a salt tablet.

fireside44
December 29, 2009, 04:22 PM
Again shot placement. If you keep your ranges at less than 300 yards, 243 is plenty for whitetail.

Not in my experience. I took two spike bucks with that gun, a Rem 700. One was a 25 yard shot on a buck laying down. Took my time and got a clean lung shot, yes, but he got up and ran 30 yards before collapsing. The other buck was a 65 yard shot, again, had plenty of time to pick my spot. Spike buck was laying down. Clean shot placement through both lungs. Got up and ran 30 yards only collapsing after I put two more shots into his lungs.

I am not a great shot by any means, but both of those first shots were clean. More than anything I didn't want to have to feel like I had to "move in" on the deer immediately after I made the kill. One shot in the lungs didn't seem to guarantee that the deer wouldn't be able to run off and die hiding in thick underbrush.

For me, it wasn't an effective nor ethical enough as a deer cartridge. After seeing it's performance twice, that was enough for me. I have no confidence in the .243 as a serious deer cartridge and so I don't feel comfortable hunting with it any longer.

I know most won't agree, but I sympathize with the OP.

homers
December 29, 2009, 04:45 PM
Probably was a solid hit, but obviously not in the vitals (otherwise it wouldn't have gone over a mile). As everybody already said, the 270 is way more than enough on any deer. I'd try a different bullet - if you don't reload try the regular old Remington Core-Lokt. You need a bullet that will expand on the thin skinned deer.

Sav .250
December 29, 2009, 04:54 PM
I`d look else where for your problem cause there is nothing wrong with the
round in question. Course if you don`t have any faith in it (for what ever reason) buy yourself some thing else.

brianr23
December 29, 2009, 06:58 PM
Im frustrated this season too. My frustration is that I can't even get a shot with my .270 I think its cursed....Everything I have seen this year was either in bow season and I couldn't get a shot or running and not able to get a shot. In the past my .270 has always done the job when I get a shot....Like a thunderbolt...in their tracks....piggys too. Sometimes it all boils down to a little luck...my problem is not getting a shot this year

AKElroy
December 29, 2009, 07:07 PM
Sounds more like a shot placement problem than anything else. It's possible it might be a bullet problem, with maybe a lack of expansion, but that's sorta unlikely with the .270.

+1111. I have never had trouble with a well hit animal failing to go down in a reasonable distance, and I have no count of how many have fallen to my .270. I think Art is on target; sounds like a poor hit. It happens to the best of us. It could also be your scope / mount / rings are starting to walk around a bit. Also, if you have never run a good course of copper solvent through it, you may be losing some accuracy to fouling, but I doubt that is the cause @ 75 yds.

You may have just flubbed it---Sorry for the loss of the animal. That sucks---

jocamp64
December 29, 2009, 07:29 PM
That bullet is too hard so it whizzed thru the deer with little damage to it's innards. If you shot through a tree first it would have dropped it. A shoulder shot would have also anchored it.
I would suggest a normal/regular/non-premium/expanding/cheap bullet that will dump it's energy inside the deer. This will damage the heart even if it is not hit. Just don't expect it to shoot through a tree first.

Maj Dad
December 29, 2009, 07:32 PM
Don't forget: a heavy bullet for caliber (>130gr in the 270), especially one designed for penetration, will tend to go farther in the animal with less expansion (sectional density: if you're not familiar with the term, it relates to mass per frontal sectional area - the greater the mass, the more oompah. Think of a freight train at 60 mph versus a Toyota Prius at 60...). That's what you want for larger game but a white tail can be punctured clean through like a FMJ with a heavy 270 that doesn't expand. If you're using 130s, you're back to placement and animals with stamina.

scchokedaddy
December 29, 2009, 07:33 PM
If they aint missed, they aint been hunting!!!!!!!!!

sig220mw
December 29, 2009, 07:49 PM
I've had a pair of 270's that both killed like lightning bolts. They both did it with ONLY 1 shot each time. A good soft point bullet, not even a "premium" 130 grn bullet did it. I usually make neck shots unless I don't have a rest for the gun or the shot is really long in which case it is a shoulder/lung shot. Sounds like you may be flinching and pulling your shots like someone else suggested. You have plenty of gun in the 270.

Josber
December 29, 2009, 08:24 PM
I go along with the other guys.I have taken at least 6 deer with a .270 and all died in their tracks when hit with a serria 130 gr soft pt.I remember writing to the late Jack O'Connor the Outdoor Life shooting editor with the same problem.He told me the bullet I was using for deer had to heavy a jacket and was probally not expanding well.I switched to the 130gr and the problem was solved. Don't give up on that .270 it's a fine rifle for deer. Pratice,Practice ,Practice

d2wing
December 29, 2009, 08:34 PM
Another aspect is going after it too soon. I have made the same mistake of not giving the deer time to lay down and bleed. I don't agree that the .270
is as good as a 30-06, but it should be plenty with the right bullets, as said before, need to expand to work.

Stainlessbutcher
December 29, 2009, 09:03 PM
I've never shot a 270, but I'm thinking about getting one for my fiance'. I have a couple of good deer rifles but neither are what would be good for her. I took a little 4 pointer this year at about 70 yards using my Remmy Game Master 30-06 with 180 gr corelokt bullets. The shot went thru both lungs and exploded on the off side sholder bone. Only a very small exit wound from a piece of the shrapnel. Needless to say, it dropped where it stood. Shot placement is critical as everyone has said, but I'm leaning with the bullet choice too. You may have had a thru and thru that left a .270 sized hole in whatever vital organ you may have hit. Seems to me that would explain the lost deer.
B.

AKElroy
December 29, 2009, 09:20 PM
You may have had a thru and thru that left a .270 sized hole in whatever vital organ you may have hit. Seems to me that would explain the lost deer.

Not likely. Even with solids, 130 gr @ 3000+ fps is still going to put vital organs through a blender. That deer was not well hit. A shot in the hams missing bone & vitals = a lost animal; regardless the cartrige. Likwise, a shot through the lower gut will still liquify the innards, but might allow a nice mile or so run. In the snow, that might = lost animal.

MNgunhead
December 29, 2009, 09:26 PM
I have only shot two deer with my 270, though I have shot dozens of others with arrows and slugs. I shot both with a handloaded Barnes 130 grain Triple Shock. Both deer did the big belly flop without taking a step. The first one I hit went through the shoulder angling up went the full distance through one sided of the backstrap and angled down again to break the back leg. That deer was a mess, but I did manage to recover the bullet, which looked like an ad picture. I could post it if you want to see. The second was picture perfect shoulder shot/double lunger that had the same belly-flop result. Don't doubt the power of the 270. Work on shot placement. That seems to be the issue with your lost deer in my humble opinion.
Anyone who hunts will eventually lose a deer to a shot they thought was good. The one thing that you can be sure of is that the deer was not wasted even though you didn't recover it. You simply gave the coyotes an easy meal and saved them from having to kill a different deer to survive. All hunters will make bad shots now and then. Work hard not to let it happen too often. Keep your head up.

bowyer58
December 29, 2009, 09:53 PM
As bullets go, there is Sierra and everything else. A 270 with a 130gr Sierra Spirepoint Boattail at 75yds leaves a fist sized exit wound. If you hit that deer in the front half you'll find the blood trail on the far side of the corpse about two feet down the trail from the impact site. Hydrostatic shock puts an animal this size down immediately, vital organ destruction keeps them down. An elk will be another matter, but penetration on this size animal is something to be debated by 223 shooters

Kentucky Jelly
December 29, 2009, 11:14 PM
130 gr Hornady SST. Shot a Big 8 this year and the entry wound was big as a fist, and lodged in the opposite shoulder on a quartering away shot. Deer ran full speed for 10 yards and slid another 10 feet in the leaves. The Heart came out in 3 pieces. Massive trauma to say the least. Deer was real close about 30 yds. Weighed between 180-190 lbs. I used to shoot 150gr core lokts and switched to the 130 gr hornadys. They do not run as far with the lighter bullets. The 150s were singing right through with little expansion.

saturno_v
December 29, 2009, 11:55 PM
I'm sorry but nowdays a puny 270 Win is too light for deer....get a 30-378 Weatherby instead...the deer will die just ast the look of it.....:evil:

Joking aside, many decades ago the 270 Winchester was used as lion medicine in Africa (the name Jack O'Connor does ring the bell??) so.....good for deer?? You do the math.....

robctwo
December 30, 2009, 12:23 AM
You don't hand load from the sound of it. I have a Winchester .270 Featherweight. Bought it to go with my .243 deer slayer. I load the "youth loads" for range sessions. Have had a few guys new to shooting start out with that gun and loads at the range. They don't flinch, and have no fear of recoil. In the field with a full power round and a deer in the sights there is no issue with recoil, and much better shot placement.

[Pb]
December 30, 2009, 11:48 AM
If you can't kill it with a .270, you didn't get a good hit. You aren't going to gain much by using a bigger caliber, .270 is plenty.

sleepyone
December 30, 2009, 03:26 PM
i have dropped all three of my doe this year with my new model 70 featherweight .270 and plain 'ol 150 grain Federal Powershoks or Fusion factory ammo. None of them took a step.

jbech123
December 30, 2009, 04:05 PM
As bullets go, there is Sierra and everything else.
They make fine bullets, but that statement is funny. You were joking right?

Nico Testosteros
December 30, 2009, 04:22 PM
I can't testify to the .270s effectiveness on deer, yet. Hopefully this weekend.:D
But I can attest that 3 wild hogs, 2 of them pretty big, went down and died quickly when shot with 150 gr Federal VitalShok soft points last weekend.
The one we cleaned and skinned had its heart turned to mush.
The shots weren't particularly long range, but I have faith in the .270.

SlamFire1
December 30, 2009, 07:58 PM
I don’t hunt for trophy’s and the thing I hate most is leaving a wounded animal behind.
Thanks for your input.

Your attitude and concern are commendable.

That deer did die. You can bank on it, wounds become infected and animals don’t use antibiotics, you can be sure that that deer suffered before dieing.

I would recommend checking the zero of your rifle with the ammo you use to hunt. I also recommend practicing between the hunting season.

There are a number of disciplines (highpower, action pistol) which, with enough sight alignment and trigger pull, will improve your hunting accuracy.

Accurate shooting is a skill. You have to work at it.

Wildfire
December 30, 2009, 08:22 PM
Hey :
35 Whelen said it . He is right. I have studied bullet performance for many years now. The bullet you say you used is not and I repeat NOT the right bullet for 100 lb deer. The deer is likely dead. I see no reason it would survive.

Those premium Bullets were made for heavy hided Monster bucks and Elk.
You poked a hole through that deer and it walked off to die latter.
Period...
Nosler Balistic tips are well known for killing deer. Period. They are calimed to loose at least 40 to 50% of their weight .
The XP3 will NOT. It will poke a surgical hole clean through any smaller than Monster deer, etc. No one can disprove this. The manufacture even states that they will give complete penetration. But need a lot of meat and bones to open and expand and shed their power to that animal.

They would work on much larger game , But ALL of the results I have seen and heard about with that bullet and many just like it have come to the same ending as you report. Some even claimed that they missed completely.
Little if any blood. Expansion on smaller deer is the Key and the .270 caliber has absolutley no problem dropping deer in their tracks.
I have used the Nosler Ballistic Tips 150 grainers with Zero problems for years. Dumped every one of them in their tracks.

Meat damage ???? Bull. None of us today hunt just for the meat. If that were true we would all take head shots only or use .22s. Prime Beef is cheaper.... By the time any of us are honest about this and figure in all of the cost to bring home a deer for meat , how much did that deer cost per pound ????? Way more than the best beef you can buy.
A day atleast off of work ? Gun ? Ammo ? trip? Clothes ? Scents ? For some a quad ? keep it going. How much stuff do you own just to deer hunt ?

Shouldn't be much argument here.
Your .270 will drop any and all North American critters with the right bullets and good hits.
I hate Blood trails.

jbech123
December 30, 2009, 08:43 PM
Those premium Bullets were made for heavy hided Monster bucks and Elk.
You poked a hole through that deer and it walked off to die latter.
Period...

you saying period after everything does not make it a fact. While a bullet with lighter jacket and better expansion is certainly far far better, if you hit a deer in the boiler room with even a match bullet(which won't expand at all) and poke a whole through both lungs, it's not going real far. In my younger and dumber days I did it many times. The temporary cavitation from a 270 at that close a range will make jello out of the internals, regardless of expansion.

natman
December 30, 2009, 09:02 PM
Don't forget: a heavy bullet for caliber (>130gr in the 270), especially one designed for penetration, will tend to go farther in the animal with less expansion (sectional density: if you're not familiar with the term, it relates to mass per frontal sectional area - the greater the mass, the more oompah. Think of a freight train at 60 mph versus a Toyota Prius at 60...). That's what you want for larger game but a white tail can be punctured clean through like a FMJ with a heavy 270 that doesn't expand. If you're using 130s, you're back to placement and animals with stamina.

I agree with your analysis in general, but a 130 grain is not really all that heavy for caliber in a 270.

Gr. Caliber SD
130 0.277 0.242
165 0.308 0.248
100 0.243 0.242
125 0.264 0.256
110 0.257 0.238

I wish I had a dollar for every deer dropped cleanly with a 130 grain bullet from a 270!

I think that if there is any mechanical cause for this problem it would lie in the choice of too tough a bullet for such relatively light game. I think a Nosler Partition or even any of the conventional soft points would have worked better.

Wildfire
December 30, 2009, 09:09 PM
Hey there ;
I agree and I understand this. I disagree on the Match bullets. cut one in half. Nosler and all the other 168 grain National Match bullets have a hollow cavitiy . Sierra and Nosler Both say that thye get 50/50 results reported when these bullets are used on deer. Half expand the other half can find no proof of expansion. they are made to come unglued at the point of striking any hard object. Their nose is empty. Just a thin jacket .

Any lung or vital hit will kill most any animal. But any none vital hit with a hard jacketed bullet designed for BIGGER game will poke a hole through most of the time. Bullets all act different , we know that . What most call Hydrostaic shock { Really is Hydrodynamic Shock } will upset any soft tissue.
Just like hitting a water jug. But yet worse because this soft tissue is CONTAINED inside of a hide and has no place to go. It in turn creates much worse damage than even what we see on a water jug.
That is what puts the critter down fast.

I agree with you all on the .270 and have no issue with that cailber. I use one. I have always used Nosler BTs , But now know that Barnes makes a better bullet and will soon switch.

The reason I used the word Period is because ALL of the results I have seen {Many} were as I stated. That makes it a fact up to this point in my records. Things can always change and often do. When that happens I will change my listing and call it a percentage. :)

noob_shooter
December 30, 2009, 09:18 PM
i think the shot placement was not as good.. if you hit the lung, i know the deer would be dead no more than 50 yards.. what the heck, i shot a good size buck with my PSE OMEN bow and it ran only 15 yards.


aim for the head, if the deer is running, you missed.. a head shot (never tried it) will most likely drop the deer every time even with a bow

blackops
December 30, 2009, 09:56 PM
Not the cartridge nor the bullet. Honestly you can use any bullet for a 270 and drop a deer easily at 75yds. I moved to the 150's from the 130's, but either is more than enough.

Wildfire
December 30, 2009, 10:15 PM
Hey :
natman is right . 130 grainers in a .270 are not heavy for caliber.
I use the 150s all the time. They groups right at 1/2 to 3/4" at 100 Yards and
always drop the buck.
Mine is a Rem. mountain light weight 700. The 150s will let you know you have a heavy bullet in there. I run them right at 2850 fps. And that has always worked well. recoil is up there and makes it something you don't want to target shoot with .

I hunted with guys that were using 30-06s with 165s at 2900 Fps. They felt they had an edge . Yep , they did , 50 FPS...
But they could not shoot, so mine was the better choice.

Bullets , bullets , bullets , no matter what caliber . the .243s kill deer every day . .257s take their share too.
Softer expanding bullets are known to kill faster than harder jaketed bullets no matter what the box says.
Most of the Winchester Bullets were tested in Africa on much different game than we have here . They worked very well. They were also fired by professional hunters and shooters . And would never have reported an bad hit or a miss. Or a messy chase. I would dare say not very many of these were ever tested on 80 to 100 pound Whitetail does.
No matter a killing shot is a killing shot. A wounding shot is just that.

don
December 31, 2009, 01:27 AM
I too shoot a .270 and my bullet of choice is Hornady's 110 gr. hollowpoint at about 3200-3300 fps. Believe it or not, these do more damage than the 130 gr. Sierra bt soft points I used to use. As Roy Weatherby said "velocity kills". The 130gr. will penetrate better. but how much penetration is needed for a whitetail deer? I recently shot a deer with the 110gr. bullet and the exit wound was huge. I have also shot deer with the 130 gr. Sierra and the bullet did not mushroom; hence, a rather small exit wound even though the bullet hit a rib before entering the chest cavity. Since it was a heart shot it really didn't matter. I am considering a .270WSM because of the increased velocity or a .270Weatherby magnum. What can I say, I am a speed freak.

elkhunter101
January 10, 2010, 04:58 PM
it may just be shot placement i shoot a 243 for deer and it does just fine

nulfisin
January 10, 2010, 06:38 PM
No matter what round you use -- and a 270 is enough for ANY deer -- you still have to be a good hunter. If you know the deer was hit, but didn't fall, it is your obligation to use every effort to find that deer. Unless you just grazed the animal, it is almost surely dead, perhaps killed by coyotes or other predators while weakened.

I bowhunt and sometimes can't tell where a shot landed. If you suspect a bad shot, you wait at least an hour and usually more before beginning a trail. Then you follow the blood and/or look for likely travel routes. If that doesn't work, get others to help you. Sorry to rant, but this is a touchy subject.

lopezni
January 10, 2010, 08:36 PM
No, it not necessarily a bad shot. That bullet is so fast that it could have zipped right through the deer and not expanded at all. I've seen it happen with a 7mm-08. If the shots you are taking are often falling under 100yds, then it is pointless to have a .270. You'd be better off with a medium velocity cartridge. There isn't much difference in a 130gr .270 and a 150gr .30-06 so, I don't think that will change anything.

JimKirk
January 10, 2010, 11:40 PM
Back when I shot Archery, you learned where the heart of a whitetailed deer was. It is a lot lower in the body than most folks think.
I've had heart shot deer run 100 yds before, there is no way in heck that deer should have run that far, but it did! There was no heart left, just a blood filled chest with two holes in it, a finger sized going in and a hand sized going out. Well the blood poured out all the way.

JK

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