1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

caliber selection: .243 Win or .270 Win?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Magwa45, Dec 22, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Magwa45

    Magwa45 Well-Known Member

    I have almost decided on a rifle, Rem 700 SPS, leaning toward the .270 Win. For a while I borrowed an old Rem ADL in .270 and really liked the way it shot. I reload and made up some light loads, 100 gr. Hornady SP. That would make a good smaller game load, i.e. coyotes or plinking at the range. But I thought about a .243 would fill that role better. The only thing is a really deer stopper is desireable. So maybe I have answered my own question. Is there a real solid deer stopper in .243? Maybe the Nosler Partition or a Barnes XLC? Beyond that there is the scope question. A Bushnell 3200 Elite would save $100 over a VXII. Are those .270 light loads good for teaching a kid how to shoot centerfire? I guess we could get him his own rifle when he's ready.

    Back here deer hunting is almost exclusively shotgun slugs, unless you take to the hills with a good rifle. But I want to pursue that game. Plus maybe make a trip out of state sometime to plug some feral hogs and other game. I figure .270 with 150 gr. is good for black bear too.

    Anyway, any advice/experience would be appreciated. Thanks,

    Magwa in MD
  2. Jackal

    Jackal Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, the .270 is really a pointless caliber. It does nothing that the 30-06 or .308 can't do. Recoil is a slight bit less, but most .270 loads I have fired feel much like a .308. The .243 on the other hand really is a great caliber. It can be ideal for everything from varmints to deer/predators and has practically zero recoil in a 8+lb rifle. Bottom line? Skip the .270 and go for the .243. Or, step up to a .308. Another problem with the .270, is factory ammo cost. It is quite pricey compared to more mainstream rounds.
  3. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    If you're looking for a deer rifle then you really should go for the .270. I like the .270 a lot and get a lot of lip from the 30-06 guys about it but the .270 is a better deer stopper than the .243. The .243 will do the job on deer but just not as well as a .270 will.

    You said you reload so that's even more a a reason to buy a .270 since you can make up some light stuff if you find the need to clear out some varmints. Even if you didn't reload your own rounds there are factory loads available for the .270 in 100, 115, 130, 140 and 150 grain. On the other hand, I like the .308 better than the .270 or the 30-06. You might want to look at a .308
  4. Geno

    Geno Well-Known Member

    .243 can be picky Re: powders

    the .243 Win is an excellent round, however, according to the professionals, it tends to be picky regarding powders. Mine was.

    I have had several .270s and none have been picky. The all-round best load of the .270 Win is 60 grains of H4831 under a 130 grain bullet and a F210 primer. If this load does not group sub-MOA for you especially in a neck-sized-only reload, something is wrong with the rifle. I have never seen this load group over 1 MOA in a good quality rifle. I have seen many rifles group .25 MOA with it.

    By the way, if you get the .270, get at least a 24 inch barrel. It was designed for a 26" barrel. Take a look at T/C Pro Hunter with its 28" barrel it should be a genuine barn-stormer. I am thinking of adding that very barrel for my Pro Hunter.

    In the end, you make the call. Good luck and let us know.

    Edit to add: they also produce 160 grain bullets. :)

  5. sacp81170a

    sacp81170a Well-Known Member

    Boy, did you just open a can o' worms. Why not compromise a little and get a .25-06? Great little round. I used a Remington 700 in .25-06 for everything from prairie dogs to antelope to mulies on the plains of eastern Wyoming. It has an advantage over the .243 of being able to handle bullet weights up to 120 gr. as opposed to 100 gr. Try the Speer Grand Slam in 120 gr. for deer and the Hornady 75 gr. V-Max for varmints. CAUTION: If you're shooting varmints and you want to keep the hide, use a 100-115 grainer in FMJ. This will kill coyotes and fox cleanly without tearing up the pelt like a V-Max will.

    I'd go for the .270 if you want to hunt anything tougher than a mule deer. Then again, I've just pretty much said, "step up to a .30 caliber" haven't I?
  6. LHB1

    LHB1 Well-Known Member

    IMO, the .270 is one of the all time great hunting calibers. It can easily handle bullet weights from 90 grains (varmints) thru 150 grains (deer, black bear, elk, etc.) with modest recoil. The velocity and trajectory are excellent making it very good at long range as well as short range. The .243/6mm is also a great caliber and I have killed a number of deer with it but again IMO it is primarily a varmint/small deer cartridge. The .270 provides a larger margin of power, performance, and punch for larger game. YMMV. Choose the one you like and use it within its capabilities. Good hunting.

    Good shooting and be safe.

    ps: My long range hunting caliber these days is a .25/06 which sort of splits the difference between .243 and .270. My short range hunting caliber (100 yds or less) is a .44 Mag in S&W M629 Classic pistol with 2X EER scope.
  7. rockstar.esq

    rockstar.esq Well-Known Member

    Well I'd go with the .270 because if you're bent on something smaller than .30 cal you should at least get better velocities out of the heavier projectiles. Although I'm not a .270 fan, I do think it's a good choice considering it's one of precisely THREE .270 caliber commercial chamberings! Aside from the Short magnum and the Weatherby there isn't another .270 that made it to legitimization. I view the .243 the same way I view the 7mm-08, as less useful than the .308 winchester and less powerful than their longer action counterparts. Plus you stand a FAR better chance of finding 270 win on the shelves of stores than the .243! Plus the .270 has way more commercial loadings which is helpfull to the non handloader.
  8. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    I will give you my common sense suggestions on the 270 vs 243 scenario posed. First, you don't need a 243 as the 270 is a much better deer caliber which has some flexibility to take game larger than a whitetail deer. It will take out the larger varmints, but another caliber would be better. 243 sure, but it is also a bit oversized for most varmint shooting. I would go with a 223 (since the 222 has lost some favor) for varmints which would be effective to most practical distances needed. Heck, most varmints can be taken with a rimfire, but you are more restricted on distance.

    My first centerfire rifle was a 243. Why? Same rationale you are looking at... I wanted a deer rifle and a varmint rifle as I could not afford both. It worked, but the 243 is too much power for a varmint rifle and just a bit undersized as a deer rifle caliber. The 243 is in fact not a good stand alone choice for either. I later bought a 270 Remington BDL. Still my primary deer rifle. I would buy another one if I lost this one.

    My dilemma is do I really need the 223? Why not just get a 22WMR rifle or perhaps a 17Rem.? Answer... extended range of the 223, but I would also get a 22WMR too and use the tool that fits the job at hand. Use the least amount of power to accomplish the objective, but with adequate force and effect.

    You could argue the merits of a rifle in 300 win mag or 300 WSM as being the more flexible caliber... most would agree that it is just too much gun for varmints and probably too much gun for whitetail deer at normal ranges. Throw elk into the equation, and you could convince your self that the 300 is the way to go, but your shoulder will thank you for not making this choice.
  9. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I can't agree with your choice of .223 (or even.222) for varmints. The 22-250 is a much better round for that job hands down.
  10. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    I can live with the 22-250. Great caliber for wood chucks!!
  11. Jackal

    Jackal Well-Known Member

    The .243 is my primary varmint round. No 'yote has lived after 1 shot. I would buy both. Buy a cheap .243 for varmints and a decent .308 for deer+.
  12. Powder_Burn

    Powder_Burn Well-Known Member

    I dropped 2 deer this year in their tracks using the Hornady SST 95gr Light Magnum in .243. If you use premium ammo, you will not have trouble with deer and will have a more appropriate varmint round all in one gun.
  13. Essex County

    Essex County Well-Known Member

    I'd go with the .270. It works well on deer+ anywhere in the country, and it's still very varmit capable. I've always had at least one .243 around, but tend to see it as most suitable for varmits. I fully realize that multitudes of folks swear by it as poisen on whitetails..........Essex
  14. BigFatKen

    BigFatKen Well-Known Member

    Tell this to the late/geat hunter and writer Jack O'Conner who owned 28 .270s. A .270 150 gr bullet has everything over a .30, 150gr. Better BC, penetration, less wind drift

    I sold my .30-06 years ago and never looked back. I still shoot my 1976 .25-06

    I need a new scope more than the rifle does. My rifle loves the 117gr spbt by Serria bullet
  15. one-shot-one

    one-shot-one Well-Known Member


    inside 200 yards on deer or smaller either will do. past 200 yards and on larger game the .270 gets my nod plus i would feel more comfortable taking quartering shots with the .270. really boils down to how difficult you want to make your hunt. deer have been taken with handguns, bow&arrow and .22's (unlawful in most places). haveing bigger, faster chamberings just allow you to take advantage of shots that you might have to pass up with lesser rounds.
  16. .38 Special

    .38 Special Well-Known Member

    Boy, talk about a difference of opinion! I'll make my contribution short: just look at Jackal's opening post, take the opposite of every single thing he said, and you'll have my opinion. :D
  17. dfaugh

    dfaugh Well-Known Member

    I've always been a fan of the .270 as an "all-around caliber". Maybe I read too much Jack O'Conneer when I was younger. But essentially the is nothing the .270 cannot do that any other caliber can do. On the converse side, other calibers may not give you quite what you can do witha .270.
  18. 270Win

    270Win Well-Known Member

    +1 to .270 ;)
  19. wingman

    wingman Well-Known Member

    In my younger days deer hunting in the east I made a number of one shot
    kills using a model 70 win in 243, 85 gr hp reloads. Most were under 200
    yards however I'm a believer in the 243 and shot placement accuracy.
  20. .38 Special

    .38 Special Well-Known Member

    IMO, the .243 is great for deer if

    A) You keep ranges reasonably short, like <250 yards

    B) You use the best bullets available

    C) You wait for "perfect" shots, ie. broadside at an unalarmed animal.

    D) You have carefully prepared your own ability and KNOW you can slip that little bullet into the heart and lungs.

    Lots of folks are apparently unable and/or unwilling to accept those limitations. That's why I'm not much of a .243 fan.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page