.270win for varmint hunting?


January 28, 2004, 01:13 AM
My father and I were talking about ways to get some shooting practice before next year's deer season and he mentioned going varmint hunting on the farm where we'll be hunting deer. I looked around a little (mostly in the Cabela's catalog) and found varmint sized bullets in 90 and 110 grain, but I don't reload and can't find any factory loads with anything less than 130 grain bullets. I realize that it doesn't really matter if we use bullets that are "too big" but I was wondering if someone could point me in the direction of some factory varmint loads in .270win or at least some cheap factory loads that would get the job done (it'd kill two birds with one stone if it's also good/cost effective for plinking).
Also, I'd be using a ruger M77 MkII all-weather (22" barrel) with a 3-9X40 Leupold VXII. How would this combination be for varmint hunting (mostly foxes and ground hogs), and what else would I need? I know a bipod would be a good idea, but what brands are good and what length would be best (sitting or prone)? Thanks

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January 28, 2004, 03:23 AM
Harris makes great bipods, with standard mounts (probally the most common.) I love mine.

.270 is maybe 'overkill' for varmanting, but like you said, there's really no such thing! :D)

Any cheap .270 ammo will do just fine, you don't need pricy frag-happy varment bullets with such a hot calibre.

Get the cheapest .270 FMJ/Plinking you can find, that's accurate (that will be the most important thing! Minuite-of-squirrel is not very big! ;)

Enjoy blowing them straight to hell.

Mal H
January 28, 2004, 09:51 AM
A .270 should be very good for varmint hunting, especially the varmints you're going after. Perhaps you know someone who reloads who can work up some 100 grain loads. I've tried those and they are fine for long range small game.

To me, the question is sort of like "what is an assault rifle?" It's any rifle you go out and assault with. It could be .22 Shorts in a lever action. Any rifle can be a good varmint rifle, the question is what shape do you want to find the varmint in after it's been shot? ;)

January 28, 2004, 09:56 AM
From what I have seen the 270 isnt too great of a varmint gun, the lighter bullets in that caliber that you can reload just dont seem to be real accurate when your pushing out very far, maybe the SD is too low or something. You can use the larger factory type loads but better be a good shot if your hoping to keep the furs or anything. I think you might be better served with a 243 or a 6mm or even something like a 22-250.

Doubt your gonna find any bargain priced 270 loads, even reloading a shell that large isnt so cheap. If you want a cheap plinking round look at a 223. Hope this helps

January 28, 2004, 09:58 AM
The 130 grainers are more than enough for woodchucks and crows. They're definitely explosive.

No experience with the lighter bullets, but the .270 is plenty accurate to varmint hunt with.

It will do, if you will do.

Mal H
January 28, 2004, 11:08 AM
Ah, but Surely, not all reloads are equal. :) The 100 grainers seemed to do fine. Agreed that they are no where near ideal, or even advisable, for 300 or 400 yard shots at PD's. But up to 200 yards on a groundhog, they should do the trick as will 130 gr. commercial rounds.

I didn't get the idea that a new rifle is in the works for nico and that he wanted to practice with the same rifle he would be hunting deer.

January 28, 2004, 11:28 AM
If you want to practice with that gun for deer season I would recommend that you use a similar type of round that you will be using for the deer. At distance a 100 grain bullet will have a significantly different POI than a 170 grain bullet, if you are going to hunt with 170, practice with 170. Any bullet out of a 270 that hits a prarie dog will be plenty to make it pop, unless you maybe use FMJ. GL!

January 28, 2004, 12:22 PM
I used to hand load light bullets for various 270s. In my rifles they were as accurate as normal 130 gr ammo. I don't know how easy it would be to find commercial ammo in the 100 gr range. The 270 works fine on varmints, but it probably wouldn't be that great firing hundreds of rounds at prarie dogs in a day. The recoil isn't really bad, but it certainly is more than a 22-250. I recommend a 22-250 for serious varminting, but almost any rifle will do to have some fun zapping varmints. Best. Watch-Six

January 28, 2004, 08:54 PM
mal is right. A new rifle is not in my (near or distant) future. The rifle I mentioned was actually a Christmas present this past christmas and when I finally get it out to a range it will only be the second rifle I've fired (the other was a marlin 30-30 that I fired about 10 rounds from off of a benchrest at the beginning of deer season). Any varminting I do would be primarily for practice so the condition of the carcasses wouldn't be very significant. I guess I'll just stick with the 130 grain soft points that I plan on using for deer.
About the bipod, I know that shooting from prone is supposed to be more accurate than sitting, but it's also less comfortable (right?). Would the accuracy gained from using a bipod in the prone position make up for the increased felt recoil?

Art Eatman
January 28, 2004, 09:12 PM
Bullet weight and trajectory aren't nearly as important as eye-finger coordination, when practicing.

That's one of the reasons for handloading. You can use lighter bullets and less powder, and still have an effective varmint cartridge. You can focus on the coordination, and ignore the issue of recoil.

:), Art

January 28, 2004, 11:04 PM
that's actually part of the reason the 80gr bullets caught my eye Art. But I won't have the room to recoil for a while so I guess loads that light aren't really an option. As far as combatting recoil for recreational shooting (including varminting), what would the combination of a Pachmayr Decelerator and a PAST non-magnum recoil pad do for recoil? Is a pre-fit recoil pad easy to install on a gun and do they really fit or would it still need some grinding? It doesn't matter if it fits absolutely perfectly, but I don't want any overhangs that could snag on clothes.

Smoke Rizen
January 28, 2004, 11:49 PM
That is anything on the No. American Continent. I'm the guy who's always bragging on the .270! I've been very happy with the performance of the 100gr.hand loads in my .270's. I never found a good load for the 90gr. points,seems they were a little short to stabilize in my rifle's twist rate. I doubt if you'll have much problem shooting the 130gr. factory loads, if you're shooting in hunting situations. I don't recall ever feeling a kick, and maybe not even hearing the report, when shooting at game(even the lowly P.dog). Something about adrenalin that blocks out all else. Sounds to me like you need to ask for the reloader next Christmas! I find it to be a real money saver, and a couple hours in the garage alone reloading is good therapy. My wife says she wonders how buying enough stuff to reload 8-10 K loads a year saves money! What does she know bout economics! Best luck, S.R.

Art Eatman
January 29, 2004, 09:17 AM
nico, fitting/installing recoil pads is easy for those with the tools and with the experience. Check around for a competent gunsmith who does such.

Good pads are in the $30 range, plus labor. The labor can involve shortening the stock for the thicker pad, keeping the same length of pull, plus using a belt sander on the pad to shape it to the stock. One to two hours of skilled labor...

Bench shooting, I'll wear a padded jacket or put a pad between the butt and my shoulder. Field shooting, I've never noticed either muzzle report or recoil. Adrenalin, you know. :)


December 16, 2005, 10:23 PM
I bought a 270 in '99 because it was available and the 7mm I was shopping for wasn't. I'd heard about them through the likes of Jack O'Conner over the years and it was one of those rounds I'd had no experience with but figured "why not". A Weatherby Weatherguard, 24" bbl, 1-10".
The only factory loads I've ever shot through it have been 130gr Remington core-lokts, and that was because I didnt have dies yet. :D
After working with two different 140gr bullets I decided to try the light stuff and began with Speer 100gr HP's. These are the ones with a gaping hollow point and the lead core is visible WAY down in the cavity.
I've never been one to push the edges of the envelope when reloading anything-given that these little rascals still start out over the chrony at 3,300fps and are nearly like launching miniature grenades downrange.
We'd tested them in various test mediums to check expansion/penetration.
One clue to their ferocious terminal energy dump is the fact that when fired from 100yds into thin metal 5 gallon cans of water, the results were 6-8" of "hangtime" for the can, top and bottom blown out round, and NO EXIT HOLE.
During a friendly afternoon of shooting at a friends range we were taking a break when a large bird (no other specifics here) was spotted in the top of an old oak snag. It was roughly 275yds and at the shot the snag seemed to contain what resembled a very large pillow fight. Very decisive.
I've used the same load on coyotes and given the right angle it will make a serious mess. Not exactly what you'd want for pelt hunting, but very effective, especially when losses to livestock and domestic fowl have driven a landowner to wits end. :banghead:

December 17, 2005, 02:17 AM
The cost of your ammo in the .270 would almost certainly cover the cost of a .22LR rifle and ammo! Consider that 20rnds of .270 average $20.00 I have personally found at least four .22LR rifles for $40-$150 every time I've ventured to the local pawnshops. For the cost of three boxes of ammo you'd have a humble rifle and enough ammo to practice/hunt with for an entire year! Frequently ,the stock dimensions of your hunting rifle can be approximated with a similar .22LR . All that being said, I'm sure that the .270 won't leave much to chance when you connect with it.

December 17, 2005, 08:39 AM
but never able to verify this (so it might not be true)
that firing light bullets in a gun not throated for them can cause the barrel to wear out faster (Specifically the throat). Supposedly a normal 270 is throated for up to 150 gr bullets. A 90 gr .277 bullet is pretty short. Also your generally trying to push those lighter pills pretty fast.

December 17, 2005, 10:08 AM
Remington does make a reduced recoil .270 with a 115 gr bullet. I was looking at a box at the store today as my nephew is getting a .270 for Christmas.

December 17, 2005, 11:07 AM
So far as the throat issue, I've always left my seating die alone as to depth. No matter whether I'm loading 100gr speer hp's , 100gr barnes X's (no longer available, sadly), or either of the 140's I've worked with. its been 6 years with maybe 4000 rounds and havent noticed any deterioration accuracy wise. still holding 5/8ths" off the bench at 100.

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