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270 Vs 308

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ShaiVong, Apr 16, 2003.

  1. ShaiVong

    ShaiVong New Member

    Ok. I have my eye on a BBL .308 700. Good distance, good power, good dent in the wallet (new~$800).

    Problem: I found a used 700 ADL in .270, with a cheap scope, for about $350.

    Beyond price and availability of milsurp ammo, is there a huge difference ballistically between the two rounds? Could i reach > 600 yrds with a 270 as accurately as .308? How about 1000?

    I was thinking about 30.06 vs .308, .308 being theoretically more accurate at long range due to the thinner powder column. Any design issues like that with .270?
  2. cratz2

    cratz2 New Member

    Well, I've long been a fan of the 270. I consider it to be the best all around cartridge that can reliably take all North American game (give or take a couple bears :p ) and with widely available ammunition. The 30-06 is just as versatile but I prefer lighter rifles and in an 8 lb rifle (including scope) the 30-06 just packs too much of a wallop for me to be comfortable with. There isn't much difference in measured recoil, but to my shoulder, the 270 seems to have less kick.

    Real world trajectory, discounting using MilDots or making adjustments on the scope I'd consider the 270 to be about a 50 yard longer cartridge. The 130 Gr 270 bullet has about the same sectional density as the 165 Gr 308 bullet. This means that in general, they will have about the same penetration capabilities. Of course, you can easily go up to the 150 Gr 270 bullet and have more sectional density than any factory loaded 308 Winchester load that I'm aware of.

    The 308 is a proven 1,000 yard cartridge, if not the ideal one. The 270 is used much less in that capacity for obvious reasons but I think it would be well capable of competing at that distance. of course, wind will be more of a problem with the 270. If you are a handloader, there are some excellent bullets available for the 308 for longer range shooting. The Lapua Scenar and the Hornady AMax both excellent bullets to start with. I don't buy into the inheirant accuracy school of thought. There is no reason the 270 wouldn't be as effective to any distance as the 308. Assuming you do everything you're supposed to, and the barrel is good and has a good crown and a decent chamber, as long as you hold the rifle the same way everytime, follow through, have the same sight picture and the bullet and powder weight don't vary, it will be an accurate rifle.

    In my estimation, if you were going to do a bit of hunting with it, I'd give the edge to the 270. If you are set on the 600 or 1,000 yard shooting, I'd probably lean towards the 308. That being said, either would work just fine in either capacity.

    My 700 ADL in 270 is surely my most versatile rifle and one of my favorites. I've been paying more attention to my 25-06 Ruger lately but that's because of a long adoration of that cartridge. Both guns have Weaver Grand Slam 3-10x40 scopes mounted and both are very capable rifles. I'm not one much to brag when I don't have targets to back it up but the 700 ADL has surpised more than one of my shooting buddies. The flimsy stock is only an issue if you twist the very end of the stock and I tend to either use a bipod or support the stock just forward of the location of the bullets if using an improvised rest. My reloading friend works me up a couple different loads - the Hornady 150 Gr SST for tougher game though I've never had this rifle hunting anything larger than coyote, and the 110 Gr VMax. They are very impressive on crow and coyote and I wouldn't hesitate to use them on up to medium-sized deer.

  3. ShaiVong

    ShaiVong New Member

    Thanks cratz, lots of good info.:)
  4. ShaiVong

    ShaiVong New Member

    How far out are you shooting crows with that thing?

    ATM I hunt crows at 30-40yrds with my 10/22 =P
  5. Soap

    Soap New Member

    Preach on cratz2! When I want to hunt, I bring my BDL in .270 Winchester. Flat shooting and hard hitting over practical hunting ranges. When I want to head to the target range I bring my 700P in .308. Why? Simply because it is easier to get match bullets and long range data for it. I received the BDL from my parents for Christmas when I was 13. In 8 years of shooting the thing and taking game with it, I've never felt that it was inadequate in the slightest sense. As far as flat shooting, I used to hunt groundhog with it in open fields if that gives you any idea of the round's capabilities. Now actually blasting a 'chuck at 500 yards under field conditions is another story entirely :p
  6. Gordon

    Gordon Active Member

    I'm with Cratz. I think that you could add a quality fiberglass stock to that fine ADL and tune the inletting and trigger and put on a Leupold VariX II or better scope and be ahead of the game. The only advantage the .308 has really is the military surplus ammo, and (except for Lake City match) that stuff is not all that accurate. I have one .270 (a 1953 Win. Mod 70) and eleven .308's but for you you have my studied advice.
  7. ShaiVong

    ShaiVong New Member

    I like the idea of a 270, 22-250, 220 swift etc.. Fast, flat bullets. I wish there was as much support out there for them as the 308.
  8. Soap

    Soap New Member

    One of the primary reasons why the .308 gets that level of support is because it is a military based round. Very ubiquitous.
  9. cratz2

    cratz2 New Member

    For the record, I no longer shoot crow outside of the Indiana hunting season or unless I have the specific permission of the land owner to take the crows as a deterrant to crop damage.

    Now then... There are two primary fields I have taken crows - one is about 250 yards deep and I can shoot safely in nearly any direction as the land is comsiderably lower than my shooting position. The other field is about 600 yards deep but has two aluminum buildings on the far end limiting my shooting to a narrower arc. This field is marked at 200 yards (parents property line) and about 550 yards (another owners line) from the county road my wife's parents live off of. The shooting position is about 35 yards from the street line. I don't use a range finder or anything but I've taken crows all over the shorter field and about 300 yards into the longer field. I've often had the chance to take longer shots but again, with the buildings limiting the safe shot range, I've passed. I've really shot a lot more with 22 Magnum, 223, 243, 25-06 and 308 but I've found this to be about the best possible practice with a new rifle. My 270 has a very thin barrel and I don't really want to heat it up too much buth with the 223, I've had times where I could take 4 shots in five minutes.

    This has also reinforced in me that high magnification isn't required to make very impressive shots. I almost always shoot in the lower half of the power range. Really, I'm trying to stay at 6x just for consistancy.
  10. teppo-shu

    teppo-shu New Member

    I compiled a spreadsheet for a bunch of factory loads a while back, comparing .270 vs. .308 among others.

    At 500 yds., the avg. 140 grn. .270 carries about ~150 f.p.s. more vel., but is actually a little less FPE than the avg. 165 grn. .308. (About ~20 FPE less for the .270)

    As others said, the big edge is the flatter traj. of the .270 - about 7 inches flatter at 500yd.

    I like the .270 round, but here's a compromise you may want to consider: check out a Savage 10FP in .308. Then mount a little 6x or 8x fixed power scope on it. Whole pkg. s/b a little less than the 8 zulus on the BDL alone. I'd take that over a used ADL.
  11. greg531mi

    greg531mi New Member

    Comparing apples to apples, 150 grain Remington factory loads, a 308 Winchester will drop less than the 270 Winchester....check out Remington's Catalog!!!!!!!!!.....but they are both good rounds, but with all the surplus and reloading componets out there, the 308 Winchester is a cheaper round to shoot.
  12. rebbryan

    rebbryan New Member

  13. cratz2

    cratz2 New Member

    Yes, you can compare 150 Gr bullets from each caliber but at longer ranges, many folks would say the difference in sectional density could make a significant difference. Granted, inside 300 yards where most hunters make their shots, the difference will be very little - in this line of thinking, on a medium-sized deer, a 243 and a 338 Win Mag are about equal too. ;) But say at 500 yards, I assure you that not only will the 270 have dropped less, it will have more remaining energy. Plus, if you want a really flat-shooting load, the 130 Gr in 270 is the way to go. There isn't a 308 load that flat over that long of a range, PERIOD!
  14. e007dw

    e007dw New Member

    I shoot a Remington Sendero in .270 and love it. Mine is used for hunting a variety of critters ranging from prairie dogs to white tail deer. I think the .270 is very versatile but the .308 is certainly well proven and documented. I don't have a stock problem as the sendero is equipped with the better fiber-composite stock with full aluminum bedding. Mine shoots best with the Federal premium 130gr nosler ballistic tip rounds. Sub-inch groups at 100 yards from the bench are normal. If I had more money I'd get another sendero in .308 too. I don't think you would go wrong with either choice.
  15. pinetree64

    pinetree64 New Member

    I bought my 30-06 BDL for $399 at BassPro, albeit several years ago. If $'s are the issue get a Savage with their new trigger. I'd go short action. You didn't state what this gun is for, if hunting deer sized game, I'd get a 7mm-08 or 308.

    My recommendation is decide what you want and find a shop that will order it for you. $800 sounds high.

    A light and handy model 7, stainless/laminated in 7mm-08 would be a good deer rifle.

  16. Lone Star

    Lone Star New Member

    The gentleman who said that Remington's .308 shoots flatter than their .270 may be comparing dissimilar bullet shapes. (Spitzer .308 vs. roundnose .270.)

    I wouldn't rely on Remington ammo, anway. I'd use Federal's Pemium loads, with Nosler Partition bullets. (I know, Remington now also offers some Noslers, but Federal ammo tends to be loaded hotter and more consistently.)

    I think the acid test here is that the .270 is THE classic plains and mountain hunting cartridge. The .308 is used mainly by target shooters and military snipers. Jack O' Connor, the famed rifle editor who used .270's all over the world on a wide variety of game, referred to its "stretched string" trajectory.

    I think you'll find it easier to hit a pronghorn or mule deer at distance with the .270. O'Connor found it very effective (with Nosler bullets) on even very large antelope like kudu and gemsbok.

    Why not consider a Winchester M70, perhaps in the Featherweight version? It's a much classier rifle than either the Remington or the Savage. Ruger makes good .270's, or one can look for an old Mannlicher-Schoenauer or a good Sako. Take a little pride in your rifles! How many will you actually need to buy? They may as well be good ones.

    This said, John Wootters made the excellent point that the .308 is a swell deer rifle at average ranges. His Sako Forester .308 carbine took many whitetails.

    Lone Star
  17. jem375

    jem375 New Member

    either one will do, there is not that much difference between the two anyway..........the 308 is more versatile because of the variety of light to heavy bullets you can either buy or reload for........
  18. cratz2

    cratz2 New Member

    I hate to pick nits but I'm not so sure I'd say the 308 is more versatile than the 270. The 308 is capable of taking on a moose hunt if you don't have a more ideal cartridge. I'm sure moose have been taken with the 270 but I wouldn't do it. Both are good up to elk maybe giving the edge to the 308 in that role as well. But the 270 can be loaded light for the 110 Gr VMax bullets for varmints of all types and work fine in my 700 ADL, completely stable out to at least 250 or 275 yards. I don't know how well I'd expect a 110 Gr bullet to work in a standard twist 308 barrel.

    Still, six of one, half-dozen the other. :p
  19. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

    Then how about this, if you're a handloader: Buy the .270 and have it reamed to .270 Ackley Improved. I'm building one right now. 270 Weatherby ballistics with less barrel wear and more accuracy.
  20. TexasBret

    TexasBret New Member

    You need to decide what you will be using the rifle for.

    The .308 (7.62mm) was designed as a military round (shorten to fit in a machine gun). The lenght of the round limits what types and amounts of powder can be used (although you may not plan on reloading). Great for military use but very limited for hunting. Everyone I use to hunt with left the .308 behind years ago. Most of them went to 7mm (.270) Mags. Check any balistic table and you will see a much flater trajectory. The .270 was created by taking a 30-06 round and necking it down to a .270 (7mm) diameter. I used the .270 for years to deer hunt and was more than satisfied. Since I never hunted elk, I never felt the need for the more powerful 7mm Mag. But I would highly recommend either over the .308. If you want a .30 caliber for hunting, get a 30-06. It's a better cartridge than the .308.

    If you want the gun for military purposes, get the .308 since that is the NATO standard.:)

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