Is there a good .270 Winchester load for the American deer woods?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by BringHomeTheBacon, Mar 15, 2022.

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  1. BringHomeTheBacon

    BringHomeTheBacon member

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    My consideration would only be factory loads since most hunters don't handload. I've heard that 130 gr. bullets in .270 rifles have velocity that is high enough to cause significant meat destruction at close range and are best left for open plains. Woods hunting, as opposed to plains hunting, is close range. Does .270 in 150 gr. loadings do well on close deer in regard to minimizing meat waste? Close meaning 50 to 200 yards. 150 gr. is about tops for a factory .270 cartridge.

    Why might one even be interested in .270? I might just happen to find a minty vintage rifle in that caliber. I'd hate to have to pass it up because .270 Winchester is simply no good for the woods.
    Why did an iron-sighted lever action like Savage 99 even come in a 1925-released American caliber that is "meat-destructive at close range"?

    My two favorite hunting rifles have been offered in .270 Win: Savage 99 and Husqvarna Model 3000 Crown Grade.

    Has anybody here ever taken deer in the woods with a .270 and has been happy with the results when the deer carcass was butchered?

    Mr. GunBlue490 said there were complaints from earlier on in the .270's long history that meat was being ruined for close shots. The Jack O'Connor-celebrated .270 could surely kill but the question was could it do so efficiently? Without the availability of a modern lowered-velocity .270 loading, the Savage 99 in that chambering becomes a thing of low feasibility for the deer woods. Most hunters won't take up handloading just to accommodate it for woodland deer. The .270 really has to be slowed down to make it woods-worthy. It's a classic case of less is more. Just as an automobile engine is detuned for EPA compliance and governed to prevent overrevving, the jolly ol' .270 Winchester has to be detuned for woods practicality. Please see video time mark 4:50 for the older gripe about the venerable .270 in the woods.

     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2022
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  2. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    I never heard of a 99 in .270! ??? Always thought .308 was the longest cartridge put in the 99.

    Anyhow, a 150 would be "better" of course as it would have less velocity. In this case, velocity is the enemy.

    With the ammo and availability situation, I'm not sure why anyone who shoots would not reload.??? I mean, that is the most logical solution.

    The .270 is a nice cartridge, but perhaps for 50 to 100 yard deer shooting one might be barking up the wrong tree? I think a minty vintage 99 in .30-30 would be the answer to the puzzle.
     
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  3. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    Don’t shoot deer in the meat and you never have to worry about meat damage!
     
  4. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    Lot of misinformation here. Firstly, the Savage 99 was never chambered in 270. Or even any long action cartridge for that matter. Respectfully, it doesn’t sound like you know anything about what you’re talking about.

    Who knows how many hundreds of thousands of deer have been killed in the US with the 270 at distances under 200 yards. To ask if anyone has any experience with that is like asking if anyone has any experience drinking Pepsi.

    This whole thread is a waste of bandwidth.
     
  5. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    My head hurts after reading that. :oops:

    Stay safe.
     
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  6. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    As the other's said, the Savage 99 is a short action, no .270W chambering.

    I've used a .270 on deer in woods, my solution was to use a 130 Grain Partition, and trying to avoid any shot other than double lunging them. I'd also go to a 150 grain to slow things down some, but still try for a perfect broadside. I've shoulder shot deer with 130 cup and core bullets at under 100 yds and it does waste quite a bit of meat. My dogs are happy cause there's a lot more venison dog food available when butchering.

    Don't just look at bullet weight, look at bullet construction. Something bonded or solid copper is less likely to fragment. Another possible is to look for some of the reduced recoil loads.

    Now I simply pick a different rifle tailored to the task. The other issues with using the .270 for wooded terrain could be how the rifle is set up, meaning optic and barrel length. The rifles (carbines really) I've set up for wooded terrain have 20" barrels, and lower powdered variables, and cartridges with MVs under 3000 FPS. My "open country" rifles on the other hand (.270 and .300 Win Mag) have higher powered optics and 24" barrels.

    The rifle setup is less of a concern if your stand/blind hunting, although I like my short handy rifles for blind/stands too. If you're planning on still hunting and drives, a poorly set up rifle for your conditions just sucks IMHO.
     
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  7. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    If we'd had the internet in 1950, this is what we'd have argued about. :p
     
  8. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    I think the point of the post is how to reduce the amount of meat damage from a .270 at close range, rather than if it would kill a deer under 200 yards. Don't be such a grump. :)
     
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  9. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    That's right, a stubby barrel would help, if not make all the difference. I had at one time two 7.7's one with a 16" barrel, and one with a 24". Big difference in meat damage between the two, shooting identical loads.
     
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  10. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Don’t feed the troll
     
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  11. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    You may well be right, I just remembered he's the same guy that started two threads in the hunting section that ended up locked....

    1st indicator should have been the lack of woods in and around Lawton OK!
     
  12. .45Coltguy

    .45Coltguy Member

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    While I know the OP mentioned factory ammo, I'll just toss this one out there. In the mid 90's, I shot an elk in Colorado with a .270 Win loaded with Nosler 160gr Partition's and IMR 4831. That elk stumbled about ten feet and tipped over. One shot and no meat damage. Shot was about 150-160 yards. Those Nosler 160's are awesome. MV was a measured 2745. Perfect!
    The .270 can be a great woods rifle.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2022
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  13. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    I've often thought that 2700fps was the "sweet spot" in many calibers, as far as bullet performance.
     
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  14. jak67429

    jak67429 Member

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    Glad no one told me a 270 with 130 gr bullets is bad for deer. Been using a bar in 270 for close to 20 years now. I discovered it liked federal 130 soft points so bought all I could find at the time. no idea how many deer I have shot with that rifle bullet combo. at ranges from 20 feet to 250 yards. never had an issue with excessive meat damage. In my opinion the best deer load is one your gun shoot well enough to hit the kill zone at the ranges you are hunting.
     
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  15. .45Coltguy

    .45Coltguy Member

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    It's what I load for in my 30-06's using 180gr Hornady or Nosler's.
     
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  16. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I have killed whitetail from 6 yards to 600 yards with a .270. 6 yds was basically a defensive shot as the little spike buck was acting like he wanted to charge me. Square in the chest and he reared up on his hind legs and fell over backwards dead. 600 yds was a dumb shot at a mediocre buck. I thought he was on the near rise in the bean field. He wasn’t he was on the far side of the low spot behind the rise. Shot hit a bit low but I knew I pulled the shot high so I guess it worked out.

    As far as meat damage goes, anything that fast is pretty brutal. I have also shot deer at close range with 10mm pistol, 357 mag revolvers, a 30-30, a 44 mag carbine…. Realistically they all beat and bruise the meat, but the faster they are the worse it is. Shots off of the shoulder are what should be the primary focus, and based on where vitals are it’s unlikely to save both shoulders on anything other than a dead broadside shot or a straight head-on shot. Any angles and your shooting through a shoulder. Bear should for quartering to, far shoulder if quartering away. Your going to lose meat with that shot from any of the guns listed above. 357 or 10mm were eay the easiest on the deer… but I also nailed them multiple times while I had a chance to so that I didn’t lose them. That’s kinda my thing, after the first shot if it’s standing I’m still shooting. I lost the deer of a lifetime over second guessing my need for a second shot.

    Moral of this post is to bring enough gun to put the deer down quickly, and make a shot that will place the bullet in the right spot. To do so reliably your most likely going to lose a little bit of meat.
     
  17. Roverguy

    Roverguy Member

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    Any commercial hunting ammo in 270 Win you can find will be effective on deer out to MPBR. There’s a lot of confusion in that original post. Much research to do before going out to shoot deer…
     
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  18. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Any common bullet 130-150 gr from a 270 is just fine for deer size game at 300 yards or less. If you're shooting farther and/or hunting game larger than deer some thought might be needed as to which is best. Buy the cheapest ammo that shoots accurately in your rifle.

    There is no handicap to using a 270, or any other modern bottleneck cartridge at woods ranges. They work equally well close or far. Pinpoint accuracy and a laser flat trajectory is more important in the woods than at long range A deer at 300 yards standing in the open gives you a roughly 10"-12" kill zone to hit. And it doesn't matter if the bullet is 10"-12" above the deer at some point as long as it drops into that 10"-12" kill zone.

    In the woods you may only have a 2"-3" exposed aiming point at 50 yards. If the bullet rises over 1"-2" above line of sight in those 50 yards, it is likely to hit tree limbs. And there is no cartridge nor bullet that won't deflect when it hits brush. You shoot through brush with an accurate rifle and a good scope to avoid hitting the brush.
     
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  19. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I use a 140 gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw bullet my 270 Win ( think its been replaced by a version with a ballistic tip). Its a hybrid copper/lead bullet. The Copper makes up more than half of the bullet but it still have some lead bonded into the front half of the bullet to help with overall weight. I originally bought ammo loaded with this bullet to use on Elk as I wanted controlled expansion and good penetration. In my testing before my elk hunt I got excellent performance, It performed very well on water jugs and wet phone bullet testing retain 90+% weight retention in all my tests. I unfortunately never got a shot on an elk with it. I did take a nice coyote and a whitetail deer with that ammo and it did a very nice job in both cases. Good expansion and full penetration in both cases without excessive damage.
     
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  20. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    Have I ever taken a deer in the woods of Louisiana with a .270 Winchester! Is this even a serious question? There are those who might say that .270W is the deer cartridge supreme and just about everything else at just about any shootable range.

    3C
     
  21. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    I thought we solved that problem last night, but I guess not.
     
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  22. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    Back in the good old days I shot a Ruger 77 270. With it I took 22 whitetails, 2 mulies, 2 pronghorns and a bobcat. Speer HotCor 130grs was the main load and worked from 20 yards to 400+. If I were to hunt in the thick I would probably go with a 150 gr bonded bullet or partition, but the 130 worked for me with no regrets.
     
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  23. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Not a fan of the .270 but it is a good close range and longer range deer rifle. Deer are not that big so you need a fast expanding bullet. You want to shoot them in the heart area and the more destruction the better. Meat destruction is only a problem if you are a poor shot. Use your .270 with lighter fast expanding bullets and you will be happy. BTW the .270 is not faster than a 30-06 with the same weight bullets. Big myth unless you do use light bullets. Some bullets show what animal they are intended for on the box. If you use heavy bullets they might be Elk loads that don't expand fast enough especially at longer ranges. I have made that mistake. You don't need a different deer rifle. I use a 7-08. It's better because I like it. LOL.
     
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  24. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Did I just feed a Troll??
     
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  25. BringHomeTheBacon

    BringHomeTheBacon member

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    Sorry, I goofed. My memory is going bad. You are correct about the no .270 Savage 99. I might also pick up a classic Husky bolt that happens to be in .270. Ok, let's say you have some other kind of rifle in .270 and you want to hunt deer in the woods with it. What is a good factory ammo choice for it still?
     
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