7mm-08, .308, or .270?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Doc Holliday45, Dec 15, 2020.

  1. Doc Holliday45

    Doc Holliday45 Member

    Apr 5, 2020
    Which of the three do you all prefer for whitetail deer? I will be buying another rifle after hunting season and I have narrowed it down to these three.
    270OKIE likes this.
  2. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

    Oct 19, 2009
    All three are great rifles for deer and elk, it's a question of what manufacturer you want and model. You won't make a bad decision, no I take it back, buy all 3.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2020
  3. Ohen Cepel
    • Contributing Member

    Ohen Cepel Contributing Member

    Feb 4, 2003
    Where they tell me to go
    Where are you? Size of the deer may matter a little at to choice. Do you reload? If not, .308 may be a gain as there are lots of loaded options for it, 270 I think would be 2nd in factory load options and the 08 last (guessing on all of that). .308 often has cheaper plinking ammo (in sane days) if that matters to you.

    All 3 are good options but I think I would do the .308, plenty of power in a short action.
  4. Peakbagger46

    Peakbagger46 Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    For deer? 7mm-08 all day long
  5. hq

    hq Member

    May 24, 2011
    Personally, it's a .308. Deer is a very soft target, so a slightly larger diameter bullet to start with and a near-endless selection of ammo and bullets is an advantage. It also has a reputation of being an inherently accurate round even though it depends more on the rifle than the caliber itself.
    Poper likes this.
  6. DairyVet

    DairyVet Member

    Dec 19, 2010
    7mm08 has done very well for me. If I didn’t reload I’d vote either of the other 2 you mentioned and be satisfied, with a slight edge to the .308 because I prefer a shorter action.
  7. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

    Jun 11, 2011
    I would pick 7-08 but would be happy with any of those three.
  8. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    If you want possibly 4moa cheap plinking ammo, go 308win.

    If you don't need to stretch it out real far, again, 308win.

    If you want a little less recoil or to stretch it out a little, 7-08.

    If you want to stretch it even further, 270Win. The 270Win will be the heaviest of the three, being a long action.

    The 7 and 308 will be nice and trim actions, both being short actions. If you don't need real long range, the 308win will do better out of a shorter barrel than the 7 by a little bit and give you a real handy hunting rifle.

    If you
    skfullen likes this.
  9. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    May 26, 2007
    All 3 do the same job, all of them will kill anything in the lower 48 at ranges farther than most people have any business shooting. All 3 shoot similar bullet weights to similar speeds. No animal will notice the difference between .277", .284" or .308" bullets. That's .031" from biggest to smallest.

    The 270 shoots a smidge flatter but also has the most recoil. All 3 will shoot flat enough out to 300 yards to need very little if any hold over. Beyond 300 yards nothing shoots flat enough to not need a range finder and modern scopes with either multiple aiming points or dials to twist.

    On paper the 7-08 out performs 308 by a tiny bit. At 400 yards it drops 1" less, hits with about 30 ft lbs more energy and has 1 ft lb less recoil. But 7-08 ammo is more costly than 308 and harder to find. If you handload this is irrelevant.

    I chose 308 and 6.5 CM which bracket 7-08. I like short action cartridges too, but there are no bad choices between the 3.
  10. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

    Feb 1, 2014
    Middle Tn
    I would go 7-08 ONLY if I reloaded and for that, it’s a nobrainer that I would go 7-08. Without reloading that round may be harder to find than the others in the future.

    so to over analyze your picks....
    .270 is the rational compromise between 30-06 and 25-06 getting a little bit of the best of both worlds. Likewise 7-08 is the rational compromise between 308 and 243.

    I faced that very question 21 years ago and brought home a .270 and have not looked back because it fit what I wanted so well. Faster and flatter than the 30-06 without giving up much power. Today you look at deer rounds doing the same thing and you have the .270 still hanging around but slowly seeming to fade away a bit. 6.5 creedmore has fallen into that role pretty well and as much as I hate to sound like a fanboy it has all the right stuff on paper and people are saying it gets the job done in the field. For ammo availability I would lean towards 308, as a reloader I would lean to 7-08 and as a person looking for the most efficient round possible I would add the 6.5creedmore to the mix.

    I love the .270 but bullets have not seen much development as have the 30 caliber, 6.5mm and 7mm which all are crowded into one small area of bore size. That may change with the 6.8 western but as of today I would be looking the hardest at 7-08 as a reloader and at .308 for buying ammo off the shelf.

    Whooo! I’m scatterbrained today and talked in circles.
    Ks5shooter likes this.
  11. giggitygiggity

    giggitygiggity Member

    Mar 18, 2009
    I will add that while rifles chambered in .308 and 7-08 can have short actions, not all manufacturers and not all models that are chambered in .308 and 7-08 have short actions. This is usually the case in the budget models because a manufacturer can use a long action receiver and chamber it in any of the .308 and .30-06 parent chamberings by changing the magazine and barrel.
  12. skfullen

    skfullen Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Deep East Texas
    I would go .308 (in fact, I did).
    For me it was a matter of ammo availability and selection, along with the fact it is better suited for slightly heavier animals than the 7-08.
    I've never been a fan of the .270. I don't have a valid reason, really, I've just never thought it was THAT much better than a 30/06, and I'm an "if it ain't broke" kinda guy!
    WisBorn and adcoch1 like this.
  13. WisBorn

    WisBorn Member

    Jan 21, 2020
    South Carolina
    It would be easier to answer if you listed your current favorite rifle.

    If it's 30-06 I would go with 7mm-08.
    If its 243 I would go with 308.
    If the sun rises and sets only because Jack says it can well then go 270:D
    horsey300 likes this.
  14. George P

    George P Member

    Jan 10, 2018
    I own a 7-08 and I used it out West for mulies. I now live back in the SE where the deer are a LOT smaller; while the 7-08 is great, for THIS area, I'd opt for a .243.......
  15. Boattale

    Boattale Member

    Dec 6, 2012
    I shoot a .270.
    I bought my daughter a 7mm-08
    My grandson killed a doe last week at a lasered 507 yards with a .308.

    IMHO among those three it's a lot more about the rifle and scope than it is the chambering. Actually true for most common deer rifles and more so for "modern" bolt action rifles.
    horsey300, WisBorn and hq like this.
  16. Stevel

    Stevel Member

    Apr 28, 2004
    SE PA
    Agreed. Pick the rifle you like the best in any of those calibers.
    horsey300 and WisBorn like this.
  17. Poper

    Poper Member

    Jun 12, 2006
    Free state of Arizona
    I guess it really depends on where you hunt.
    We hunt where a shot could range from 40 yards (last year) to 400+ yards (4 years ago). This year was a +/- 70 yards. Three years ago, I shot a mulie buck through the head while he was laying down at 220 yards. The area is western plains where there are rolling hills and the occasional woody draw. My rifle of choice is my Tikka .270. Exceptionally accurate, when loaded with 130 grain bullets it's great for anything I hunt and factory ammo can be found everywhere. Loaded with 140 grain Bergers, it's a great silhouette rife and will keep 5 rounds inside 2-3/4" at 500 meters when the shooter is capable.

    So I guess, my choice would be the .270 at the top of that list.:D
  18. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Inside your brain
    Since I’m a slave to buying ammo I’d go 308 for availability and cheaper practice ammo as well as occasional milsurp.
    stillquietvoice and WisBorn like this.
  19. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

    May 22, 2009
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Probably, but not guaranteed. Some models use the same actual length and just a spacer for all cartridges. A lot of older models if you're buying used did this, but some newer ones like the Savage Axis still do it too.

    As to original question - there's not a whole lot of difference in capabilities between them. I'd probably pick 7mm-08 for deer hunting but wouldn't feel bad off with any of them.
  20. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

    Oct 2, 2015
    Centralia Washington
    None are a bad pick, but if it's just for deer hunting give me a nice short action rifle in 7mm-08 and some federal fusion ammo.
    Ks5shooter, horsey300 and WisBorn like this.
  21. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

    Feb 25, 2016
    Upstate ny
    I've never been much of a 270 fan, prefering 3006, 280 rem and 308 win. Fact is that any of your choices will work to take deer of any kind. I've been shooting 7mm08, 243 win and 223 for the last several years primarily the 7mm08 for my deer hunting.
  22. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

    Mar 21, 2018
    Up State New York
    I'd pick the 7-08 first, I like all 3 but prefer a 7mm, ppu had the 7-08 ammo for $14-$15 a box so ammo can be cheap. Most rifles today use a long action, so I'd prefer a round that uses the space better.
    Ks5shooter, WisBorn and entropy like this.
  23. LNK

    LNK Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    E TN
    As someone that has accurate rifles in both 308 and 270. When that annoying crow sits on the fencepost 300 yard away from my back porch, I usually grab my howa 270 to quiet him instead of my weatherby vanguard 2 in 308. Both howas. The extra speed makes my range estimation that less critical.
  24. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    Sullivan County PA
    Call it win, win, or win. My friend who is new to hunting bought a 7mm-08 on my advice. He is very happy. But they are ALL good. 270 and 308 are probably easy to find in most gun stores.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  25. 270OKIE

    270OKIE Member

    Oct 11, 2020
    I own a mossberg Patriot .270 and while I do not go hunting, yet, it's definitely a sweet gun to shoot for sure! It has enough oumph on your shoulder to let you know you have some serious power but it's not so bad you get tired after a few mags worth of ammo. I load a speer 150gr SPBT to high 2800 fps and it will serve well if I have to hunt for food in the future lol.
    LoonWulf likes this.
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