Can I hunt Elk with a .270?


September 28, 2010, 10:46 PM
So here is the deal, I have not hunted in years, well since I had shoulder surgery. I had a browning 300 win mag and it tore the <deleted -- Sam> out of me. I am not a fan of mule deer, I think they taste like dog <deleted -- Sam>. I may do some black tail around enumclaw or something, but my main goal is to go elk hunting. I applied for a disability permit that allows me a few advantages, like hunting from my quad, and getting me a key for the gates on Talbot and pope and Weyerhaeuser properties. I can not be climbing all over the place and the permit allowing me to use my quad is a god send.

Anyways, I want something light, something that will not kill me to sight in after 20 or so rounds. Will a 150gr, barnes .270 bullet do the trick? Inquiring minds want to know.

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September 28, 2010, 10:49 PM
i dont know about elk but a remington 7600 in 270 might be a good gun, or possibly a browning BLR in 270...i had one in 243 that i loved

September 28, 2010, 10:51 PM
Do you loose a bunch of accuracy with a semi-auto?

September 28, 2010, 10:52 PM
I really liked my Ruger No. 1 in .270, but I sold it because I do not hunt.

I could hit a pie plate at 100 yards off hand with a 4X scope. Not spectacular, but I did not practice much and I never measured my groups.

September 28, 2010, 10:53 PM
Not minute of elk accuracy.

September 28, 2010, 10:53 PM
Absolutely. There are people who will probably tell you that you can't, but they are wrong. I've shot numerous elk with 150gr bullets from a 30-06, and two elk with a 150gr bullet from a 300 savage. I've seen two elk killed with a 270 shooting 150gr bullets. You don't need big magnum cartridges shooting heavy bullets to kill elk, you just need to hit them well. Plenty of elk are killed with 270's every year. Keep your shots to distances you can accurately shoot and you'll kill elk with your 270. Good luck!

September 28, 2010, 10:54 PM
fwiw Jack Conner seemed to think that the 270 was the perfect elk rifle.

September 28, 2010, 10:57 PM
So is a muzzle break key? I am looking at a savage with the accustock, and accutrigger. It also has a muzzle break, I am wondering if a 7mm mag with a break will be less of a recoil?

I know the rifle is a different thread, but for right now I need to figure out if the round is good. I load my own, so I can get a Barnes bullet that I am told is the best hunting round you can buy.

Arkansas Paul
September 28, 2010, 11:03 PM
Sure you can.
Your bullet selection is good also. If you're going to use a standard caliber, make sure you've got a bullet that will hold together and penetrate well. No fast expanding stuff that looses weight.
Barnes TSX, Nosler Partition, Swift A-Frame. Something like that, and you'll be fine. I wouldn't take any long quartering shots or anything, but if you know the limitations of your rifle, you'll be fine. But that applies whether the caliber is standard or magnum.
Happy hunting.

September 28, 2010, 11:16 PM
270 will work fine on elk. Put a muzzle brake on it and you will barely notice the recoil. It will kick like a .223.

September 29, 2010, 12:11 AM
So what rifle would you recommend then for longer range shooting, I imagine 400 yards would be the most, but around the 200 yard mark. I am really leaning towards a savage with a accu trigger and an accu stock. Seems to me Savage has come a long way in the last few years.

September 29, 2010, 12:16 AM
Yep a .270 with a decent bullet makes a fine elk round. And of course like all other rounds it is only capable within it's useful limits.

400 yards is getting out there for any round. Try to get closer you'll find that you get a heck of a lot more one shot clean kills if you try to close to 200 yards before firing. If there is any wind I like to be 200 yards or closer no wind and I feel comfortable at 300 only on a very special day do I think 400 is a good idea and beyond that you need some special equipment to make it happen.

September 29, 2010, 12:21 AM
I don't know anything about barnes bullets. I personally killed 2 elk with my .270 1 was with a 140 gr. nosler accubond and the other was with a 150 gr. nosler partition. the pics are on THR somewhere. I shoot mine with a slip on recoil pad and it is not bad at all and I'm like 130#'s. When I hunt I take off the recoiil pad. Jeff

September 29, 2010, 12:53 AM
Jack Conner seemed to think that the 270 was the perfect elk rifle.

O'Conner thought the .270 was perfect for dang near anything.

September 29, 2010, 12:54 AM
Why not just go with a .30-06 there really isn't a difference in felt recoil.

September 29, 2010, 12:58 AM
Gasitman, the 30/06 and the 270 have nearly identical recoil, however, the energy and range both projectiles offer is different. The 30/06 is superior. Put a brake on the muzzle and you have very manageable recoil. Beware though, if you don't have ear plugs you will quickly understand how loud a rifle becomes with a brake. It is not healthy for you ear drums, remember that. Personally, I'd rather deal with the recoil. The weight of your rifle also will play a major roll in recoil. The lighter the rifle, the more felt recoil.

As for the projectile (assuming 30/06), I would not go with anything less than a 165gr bullet for elk. If you happen to get the opportunity, don't sell yourself short with a lighter bullet. Can you kill an Elk with a 270, 130gr? Of course. Would it be my first choice, it sure wouldn't! My favorite bullet for hunting is the Hornady GMX's. They have a good BC and are devastating on big game. Barnes TSX, TTSX, MRX, Nosler Partition, E-Tip,Hornady SST, Berger VLD hunting, are all exceptional.

As for the rifle, they all are competing right now for business and all are doing their best to provide accurate rifles. It all depends on what you want to spend. I'm tired of hearing Savage is more accurate than Remington. My Remington puts 7 shots in one hole and I've posted the results. I've put three shots in a hole nearly the circumference of the bullet. What should I call that .15 moa? For the money, I really like the Howa 1500. I've never been a fan of these rifles, but I am now. I think a lot of people underestimate the importance of how a rifle "fits" its user. These rifles are VERY comfortable and are rated for 1.5 moa. Your choice of the Savage w/'accustock and accutrigger is a great rifle also.

September 29, 2010, 01:02 AM
O'Conner thought the .270 was perfect for dang near anything.

It is when you can shoot like he could.

September 29, 2010, 01:14 AM
to answer the question about losing accuracy with a semi... it depends on the semi. For instance, BAR's get rave reviews while Remingtons get mixed reviews on both accuracy and durability. I have neither, but I think that illustrates my point. The fact remains, a semi will greatly reduce the recoil that makes it to your shoulder.

September 29, 2010, 01:16 AM
Be sure to get a rubber recoil pad for your stock

September 29, 2010, 01:19 AM
There is not a hooved animal in the US that I would not confidently hunt with a 270.

That said, a 270 is far from light recoiling... if you have shoulder problems, you will still have to take other recoil reducing measures. Also, I would NOT recommend the 7600 in any long-action cartridge.

September 29, 2010, 01:21 AM
Most guides will tell you that a big percentage of their clients use the .270Win and it takes down elk about as well as the bigger boys. The key, of course, is bullet placement and if you flinch with a 300 Ultra-Mega-SuperKickAss-Whooper-Macho Light wt cannon then all of that power just hits a tree in the next zipcode and the elk goes on to live another day.
Which Barnes are you thinking? Nosler's "Partition" has a 50 year track record of being a supurb elk bullet.

September 29, 2010, 01:22 AM
5k years ago, your ancestors hunted elk with arrows.

And you ask if you can hunt them with .270?

Go figure.

September 29, 2010, 01:34 AM
5000 years ago? Hell, I hunted them with arrows last year!


September 29, 2010, 01:38 AM
If the Swedes use the 6.5 x 55 for moose and the Canucks use the .303 Brit on elk and moose, then the .270 Win can do it much better.

i personally will bring my K 31 loaded with Hornady 165 gr BTSP to take elk or moose . Of course, ill limit my shots to less than 200 yds.

The Bushmaster
September 29, 2010, 10:17 AM
I've put Elk down with a .30-30 Winchester. They are NOT bullet proof. The 270 is an excellent Elk caliber using the heavier bullets.

September 29, 2010, 10:29 AM
That said, a 270 is far from light recoiling... I'm sure that depends more on the rifle than the round. My Weatherby vangard in .270 had very little in the way of recoil BUT my High Standard (HVA action) kicked the stuff out of me!

September 29, 2010, 11:26 AM
More than the cartridge, the weight of the rifle really matters when it comes to recoil. More weight dampens the recoil; and if you're on a quad and not carrying the gun around all day, i'd go with a heavy bull contour barrel instead of a sporting contour.

I've heard some argue that the .270 is fine for cows, and a little light for bulls; but shot placement matters much more, and if you're flinching due to expected recoil then that's a major impediment to accuracy.

captain awesome
September 29, 2010, 11:47 AM
I am wondering if a 7mm mag with a break will be less of a recoil?
absolutely! you should feel the difference on my 338 win mag. My 115lb mother actually LIKES it with the compensator on it. with a good recoil pad and compensator, you can shoot a lot of stuff comfortably that previously would have been a bruiser.

A 270 is definitely able to do it, but its not my first choice.

September 29, 2010, 12:21 PM
Ideally it should be a magnum to reach farther . In high country , the distances are deceiving. A bull looks like too close but is way farther away. So know your distances and limitations of your cartridge. Get as close as possible Thats the challenge.

September 29, 2010, 12:23 PM
A BAR with a BOSS system would be a terrific rifle for someone that's recoil sensitive and will be hunting from a stand or quad.

September 29, 2010, 01:17 PM
270 win is my prefered ELK cartridge. I have pleanty of larger calibers, but still prefer the old reliable 270. Both my 270's will shoot 150 gr Partitions MOA. Even at shots approaching 400 yards (390), the 150 partitions have never failed to penetrate both sides. That 390 yard shot was on a 5x5, he dropped where he stood.

September 30, 2010, 01:04 AM
I have no idea how many hunters I know around here in s.w. Idaho, who have killed bull elk with their .270 Win. rifles, with great success.

Although I've not used one on elk, I've used my .280 Remington on elk, with handloads containing a 160 grains Nosler Partition bullet and 54.0 grains of IMR 4350 powder. I assure you that works perfectly on elk. Very little difference between the .280 and the .270. A .270 with a 150 grains Nosler Partition bullet will put some fine meat in your freezer so long as you shoot accurately.

Best of luck on your elk hunt.


September 30, 2010, 01:09 AM
+1 on the .270 win for elk. I carry a CZ 550 FS in .270 when hunting elk in SW MT (thanks to CZF). I carry an old Ted Williams .30-30 when I know the cover is going to be thick. Keep yer' belted magnums...I'll take the .270 any day.

September 30, 2010, 02:24 AM
Well, I went to find my rifle today, no such luck on the .270 I did buy a savage weather warrior 30-06 wit a muzzle break. Only one I could find was the 30-06 and the .308. Maybe I should of went the .308 route, but I hope this is the right choice for me. Seems to me with the muzzle break, and their recoil system butt pad, I should be ok.

September 30, 2010, 02:49 PM
If you are considering a semi, I would recommend a Benelli R1 with the comfortech stock. Mine is in 30-06 and is just as accurate as my rem 700 and savage model 10 predator. Last year I killed a doe with it at a little over 500yds!!! So either it was a lucky shot or the rifle is accurate. I like to think its accurate lol. I believe that the make it in .270 aswell and with it being a semi, and with the addition of having the comfortech stock, it will barely kick. I wouldnt get rid of my Benelli for anything, I love that gun!

September 30, 2010, 03:38 PM
Can I hunt Elk with a .270?
Of course you can, but if you are asking whether you can kill an elk with a .270, that is a question about your abilities, not the rifle's performance.
Will a 150gr, barnes .270 bullet do the trick?
That's another question about your proficiency. A 50gr bullet will kill the largest bull elk, if it is sent into the right spot. But a 500gr. bullet won't even affect a heifer calf elk, if you can't hit her.

I've managed to kill elk with regularity, using nothing more than 130gr. handloads through my .270 rifles. FWIW, those same handloads can 'do the trick' on bowling pins set out at a quarter mile. But I claim a bit of credit for that feat as well. :D

September 30, 2010, 03:39 PM
I put a Simms LimbSaver pad on my 700 and added a shoulder shield. The stock style by the way can make a huge difference. Get a laminated thumbhole for the added weight and recoil reduction.

September 30, 2010, 03:45 PM
Well, I went to find my rifle today, no such luck on the .270 I did buy a savage weather warrior 30-06 wit a muzzle break.

Congrats. That will make a fine rifle. Those Savages with the muzzle break are great rifles. I've shot one in .338 that felt like shooting a .308. Good luck.

September 30, 2010, 03:47 PM
I have a left handed 270 winchester savage 110D. It does a good job on elk using a heavy nosler bullet. Last elk I dropped was at about 100 yds and hit it in the center of the neck. Only fools take belted magnums and try to hit animals at 500 yards. Respect for the game you hunt is essential. be safe

September 30, 2010, 07:48 PM
With ease the real question is can you make a good shot palcement with the rifle and do you have the some large grain bullets like 150grain for your .270 I've taken many moose with a .270. the fact is that it might talk a while for it to realize that it's heart and lungs are gone and that it should be dead. Most of the area that I hunt is near big open slashes with 100-200 yard shots being common.

September 30, 2010, 08:11 PM
I would have to disagree with the statement that the .270 and 30-06 have about the same "felt" recoil. I have two new Winchester M70 FWs in each caliber with with wood stocks, and I can "feel" a big difference. These are identical rifles except for caliber about six months apart in age. They both have the nice decelerator (sp?) recoil pads that come stock from FN now. After shooting a box of 150 gr. through my 30-06, I am ready to lay it down for the day. I can shoot a box of 150 gr. from the .270 and not be in much discomfort. My daughter, who is 5' 5" and about 140 lbs. says the same thing; although she really likes her featherweight .243 the best.

September 30, 2010, 08:25 PM

October 1, 2010, 12:19 AM
I put 60 rounds down range on Sunday with my 30-06, 180gr. Nosler partitions with 55-57gr. of Hodgdon 4350. No bruises, no broken blood vessels and no ache. I'm not terribly recoil sensitive but having a father who deals with pain daily has me looking ahead. He's got a .300Win Mag. with custom break on a TC Encore. Nice combo with the Flex-Tech stock (the stock reduces recoil) and Simms pad.

The LimbSaver combo on mine replaced a Pachmayer Decellerator and Past recoil shield. Once the new stock arrives it should shoot like a .223. If you'll be hunting from a quad, a heavy rifle/heavy stock combo shouldn't be a problem.

Mr. T
October 1, 2010, 08:30 PM
The .270 Win is a good Elk caliber; I would recommend using 150 grain bullets though.

October 1, 2010, 10:24 PM
I think you made a great choice in that SS Savage 30-06 w/brake in your situation.
But after taking 26 elk, I respectfully recommend to reduce your maximum range to from 400 to 300 yds or so, unless the conditions are very much in your favor, and if you spend some time practicing at long range to learn the new gun.
Hits are easier nowdays with laser rangefinders and improved optics, but I consider the 06 as kind of in the "adequate" class of elk rifle, not so much the "ideal".
A 400yd shot at a big bull quartering towards you at the edge of a steep timbered canyon at dusk might be a good one to pass on with the 30-06.
But one strolling in a meadow at 9 in the morning at a known lasered distance with a well practiced shooter, well, what the heck.

October 3, 2010, 07:28 PM
I killed my first 3 elk dead as Julius Caesar with 30-30 carbine while hunting with my Grandad in Bighorn Mts. of Wyoming. They didn't get away! I shot into the chest organs from approx 80 yards and kept shooting until the animal toppled over. Generally two hits stop the animal and another to finish.

270 has taken scores of elk and many African animals as well. Now that Premium bullets are widely available in factory ammo, this oldy-but-goody is even more impressive!


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