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Questioning my 270win for deer

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by JMPhoto, Dec 29, 2009.

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  1. JMPhoto

    JMPhoto Member

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    First of all, I am not trying to stir up any heated discussions here, but I am concerned at my choice of caliber for whitetail deer. I know many here love the 270 win which is what I shoot, but lately I have not been bringing home the deer. I know it is about shot placement and I feel I have good shots, however I can never confirm that since I have yet to bring one home that I had to chase. Just this years deer season I had a good shot at a doe and took what I felt was a good lung shot at about 75yds. It was a solid hit, but yet I did not get her. We tracked the blood trail for over a mile and finally lost it in the fresh snow. I am now starting to get frustrated and questioning my 270 win. Most of the guys I hunt with are all 30-06. I am shooting a Browning X-bolt medallion and shooting Winchester XP3 130gr. I am looking for suggestions. I am ready to trade for something larger like a 30-06 or 300 wsm. I don’t hunt for trophy’s and the thing I hate most is leaving a wounded animal behind.
    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. rizbunk77

    rizbunk77 Member

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    If you are having trouble, I would try the 30-06 first before the others. I would use a Sierra or Hornady 150-165 SP, staying away from the polymer tipped stuff. Or you could go with a 25-06 shooting 100-117gr. and start aiming for the (upper) neck, if you are a good shot. One of the above should help you start anchoring deer better.
     
  3. Snakum

    Snakum Member

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    A .270 is a lord's plenty for deer anywhere, even up north. You might want to look at what kind of bullets you're using or practice a little more, maybe check your zero? Not trying to bag on ya, just that I know I can take a deer with a 123gr 7.62x39 running at about half the speed of a 130gr or 150gr .270. I have friends who have never used anything but a .270 and they bring home the bacon (venison) every year and have never lost one. If you look at the ballistics of the .270 it actually packs a pretty good whallop. I was looking for a lightweight rifle over the last two weeks and when I averaged out the ballistics of Federal, Rem, and Win factory loads for the 243, 270, 308, and 30-06 and compared the trajectories, the .270 made the most sense. Wound up with a Rem 7600 in 270 this week (that a whole 'nother story, however :( ).

    Anything that packs very close to 30-06 punch (energy) and runs very close to 7mm mag trajectories yet kicks a little less than both has to be a good round. It's been around since Jesus was in diapers and still selling hot for a good reason. :) One of the Benoit brothers has used the .270 exclusively for 30+ years (Lanny?) for those big bruisers they chase up there. If it'll knock one of those monsters down it'll deliver for us. Just gotta select the right ammo and polish up at the range.
     
  4. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    I used a .270 years ago with good success. Remington Core-Lokt was my prefered ammo. If the deer you shot is running that far, then the problem is shot placement or the bullet being used.
     
  5. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    I hate to say it, but it's not the caliber. My "ole trusty" is a .270 A-bolt and my dad has shot an A-bolt Medallion in .270 for the past 10 years or so. Neither of us have been let down and we've taken a lot a deer between the two of us. If I had to make a judgement call, I would say that the primary problem is shot placement.

    If you make a solid hit, my experience is that you won't be tracking more than 50 yards. If you get a blood trail that's a few drops every now and then, that's not what I'd call a solid hit. Solid hits for me leave blood trails about 1 foot wide and don't run for more than 50 yards. But if you don't wait them out and give them plenty of time to expire, there's no telling how far one will run. If you put a solid hit on one, wait 30 minutes before tracking. A deer that's hit solid will expire before 30 minutes. And it's been my experience that you can never trust a "feeling" of your shot when you're hunting. I've got a good example of both ends on this. I shot a doe opening morning of muzzleload season and I just knew I made a good shot. I saw her run off with her tail down. But I looked and never saw a drop of blood or hair. Not one single thing and the shot wasn't more than 50 yards. I just missed. Then opening morning of rifle season, I shot another doe and I was just sick at myself because I just knew I missed. She ran off and had her tail up and didn't act like she was hit at all. I waited 2 hours because I just knew I missed. I went to where I shot and there was a huge blood trail and she went about 30 yards. So I never trust those feelings anymore.
     
  6. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    IMHO, there is not a significant difference between the performance of a .270 and .30-06 on deer. If a .270 won't kill it, I doubt that a .30-06 will, either.

    You might consider switching to a different round, perhaps a simple soft-point round such as a Core-lokt or something like that. But all of the soft-point rounds should perform about equally well.

    Perhaps the hit wasn't as good as you thought. Or, you just shot a tough deer. Yes, they can be that tough. Once in a while you'll find one that just won't drop like it should. Good luck!
     
  7. atblis

    atblis Member

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    You didn't make a solid shot on that deer then. Deer are thin skinned, lightly boned, medium game. 270 is over kill.
     
  8. SalchaketJoe

    SalchaketJoe Member

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    It was a solid hit, but yet I did not get her. We tracked the blood trail for over a mile and finally lost it in the fresh snow

    Then it wasnt a good hit.
     
  9. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    I'll echo what others have said, it wasnt the cartridge. A friend has used nothing but a .270 for his elk hunting for many years and never ever lost one.

    How often do you check the zero on your rifle, and how much practice shooting do you do from field positions (not from a bench)? I'd suggest burning a couple bricks of 22's offhand in a bolt rifle before deer hunting next time. You may be flinching, which will throw your shot off, no matter how well you can do from a bench. Shoot some paper targets off hand with the 270 and see how you do.
     
  10. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

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    You need more practice with the firearm rather than a new caliber.
     
  11. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    deer, any deer type, are thin, skinny animals, with thin hair, thin fat, thin bones, thin meat, etc., I would look for a bullet that opens up fast. I would also look for a heavier bullet, 140 to 150's if you can find them. lastly, make sure your shot is either a front or side shot; low in the chest for a front shot, just below the shoulder for a side shot. If you are not worried about a rack or mount, and just want meat, punch em in the head, if you are sure of your accuracy.
     
  12. HGUNHNTR

    HGUNHNTR Member

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    Sorry but its not the rifle or the bullet. The .270 win has plenty of power, and if you indeed hit vitals that animal would have died quickly.

    The 30-06 gives you no advantage over the .270 for deer.

    Maybe switch to Hornadys SST bullet, or Federal Ballistic Tip. They will likely give you more devastating wound channels.

    Put the gun on paper, maybe you scope/sights have shifted.

    Maybe its time for a better optic, don't underestimate the importance of a good quality scope and its effect on repeatable accuracy.
     
  13. JMPhoto

    JMPhoto Member

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    Ok..I guess I just needed to hear it from more people. I certainly understand that it is all about shot placement and I probably did not get the best shot. The tough thing as you all know is that you think you have a great shot and then at the last split second the animal moves slightly. Its hard to anticipate that when you go to shoot. I just thought I had a good shot because when we tracked her there were several large pools of blood, which looked to be areas where she paused to decide which direction to go.I will do more experimenting over the next year on different types of ammo, maybe avoiding the polymer tip ammo like the xp3. I did sight the rifle in a week before deer with a bench. The scope I am using is a Nikon Monarch 3-12 so I doubt it is optics. I will do some homework on different ammo.
    Thanks for all your input and reinforcement
     
  14. HGUNHNTR

    HGUNHNTR Member

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    Yep, it sounds like you have all of the ingredients for a successful hunt, try out some different loads and shoot more.

    Best Wishes.
     
  15. rizbunk77

    rizbunk77 Member

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    I had a broadside hit with a 308 this year that dad cussed me for because the deer trotted off with its guts hanging down and I shot again at 200 yards with a kill shot through the neck. I thought what the heck, I heard a solid THUMP!! and I had the red dot right behind the shoulder half way up. When I butchered the deer there it was, the shot hit right where I aimed and broke a rib and fractured another, how the hell the shot went down from there and gutted the animal I don't know, but I am getting away from that 308 with the polymer tipped bullet. Just acted too funny. I don't think a SP would have done the same. When I was checking deer for the state, 30-06 shooters outnumbered all others at least 2-1 maybe more.
     
  16. Mr_Pale_Horse

    Mr_Pale_Horse Member

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    Two words,

    Nosler Partition.
     
  17. Austinite

    Austinite Member

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    Please don't lump all polymer tip bullets together. That's lazy thinking. The XP3 bullet behaves VERY differently from a ballistic tip or an SST.

    That said, I'd use a softer, more aggressively expanding bullet out of a .270 when going after deer (core-loct, SST, power-point, etc.).
     
  18. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Ditto on the 130 grain Nosler Partition. 150 grain for elk.
     
  19. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Holy COW!!! Are you serious?!?!? IF, and I emphasize IF you hit the doe broadside in the lungs with ANY commercial 130 gr. bullet, she would be DEAD. Judging from the description of the blood trail, you hit an extremity, i.e. a front leg, the brisket, etc. Gut shot deer typically don't let much blood out.

    I think the key to your post is : "...what I felt was a good lung shot..." That tells me you're uncertain of your shooting. You should know (remember) where the crosshairs were when the rifle went off. (Competitors call that "calling the shot")

    I can 100% guarentee you that you are flinching...probably even closing your eyes at the moment you pull the trigger. I've seen this time and again with my hunting buddies. At least two of them cured their problem and became excelent game shots by buying a smaller caliber and overcoming their fears of recoil.

    I've verified flinching problems many times at the range by handing an unloaded rifle to someone who thought the rifle was loaded, and asked them to shoot it. It's somewhat comical to watch as they appear to jerk the entire trigger and floorplate assembly out of the rifle when they shoot.

    Go to the range and practice practice practice. If you can't hit a paper plate at the 100 yds. range from field positions...not the bench...then I can assure you that you'll be very lucky to hit the vital area of a deer and you're going to wound and lose lots of deer.

    Please, whatever you do, DO NOT go out and buy a bigger, louder, harder-kicking rifle. It will only exacerbate your problems.
    35W
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  20. Heck

    Heck Member

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    A deer hit in the lung with a .223 isn't going to go far. I have hunted with a .270 for 20years and love it. I did start having issues with core lokts about 8 years ago. Inside 100 yards with a lung shot the deer never even seemed to acknowledge there were hit and kept walking till they fell over. Anything I put into the shoulder they were dead right there. I am guessing that they just werent expanding without hitting bone at that range.
    I'm shooting a Hornady 140gr soft point and have not had an issue since.
    I am gussing that you may have hit a little far back and high. you wont necessarily see evidence of a a gut shot with a hit like that and they will run FOREVER. I would check my scope mount and rings to make sure they are tight and then go shoot it. Might be the bullet but I am guessing shot placement. Its fairly easy to unentionally shoot farther back than intended especially if they are walking. I think that is something we have all done before. I've just gotten lucky and found it when it happened to me.
    As far as the .270 goes, easily one of the top 4 or 5 deer rounds EVER.
     
  21. MJR007

    MJR007 Member

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    The bullet you are using is to "good". The Winchester XP3 130gr is a good bullet for heavy game. I loaded 165g triple x for the wife's 7mm-08 last fall. All pass through with longer blood trails. To good of a bullet for deer. It does little good if the bullet goes through the deer and hits the tree behind it with half of it's energy. You want that energy in the deer. The bullet should just have enough enegy to make a exit hole. Try a couple boxes of cheap soft point bullets. You should see a difference. Sorry for your loss and good luck.
     
  22. rizbunk77

    rizbunk77 Member

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    I think its funny how ammo brands will use words like "Supreme Elite" ammunition, I guess to draw young urban dudes to buy it. I've got your supreme elite: Here's what I do, take a bag of 100 brass and sort by weight, then length to cull out the brass and adhere to .5 grain (1/14,000 of a pound) on the weight and .0001 on brass length. Then chamfer and debur each case. Next weigh each charge to one tenth of a grain of powder, not plus or minus but to the actual tenth. Next use only quality spire points and either Federal or CCI BR primers. Now take this load out and shoot to fire form the brass to your chamber. Bring the cases home, clean primer pockets and "neck size" only and repeat the process. All of this of course after you have checked your rifle's throat and have set your bullet seating die to specifically locate the bullets (depending on your preference) down to 1/1000 of an inch. Now do you think that box of ammo is "Supreme Elite"?
     
  23. scchokedaddy

    scchokedaddy Member

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    270

    been shooting 270 for 12 years off and on, son been shooting one since he started hunting. never used anything but federal 130 grain boat tail soft point ammo never a problem. dont know why ( BECAUSE YOU DIDNT SAY) you took shot you werent comfortable with, but as someone else stated SHOULDER SHOTS ARE DEADLY!!!!!! lung shots are a trackers delight. If it is a big rack and you want big cape then shoot high behind shoulder. but it mostly sounds like you 'RUSH" shot, not meant to diss you just food for thought. by the way I had same problem years ago, and my dad made me start carrying only 1 shell, idea was to make that 1 shot count,it worked. I learned to either wait for my shot or let them go for another chance later. must have worked because 40 years later I still wait for MY shot or enjoy watching them leave, cause you gotta admit once the gun goes off the funs over and the work begins. Good Luck and God Bless
     
  24. scchokedaddy

    scchokedaddy Member

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    rizzbunk77

    Good food for thought lot of hidden meaning in your post
     
  25. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Sounds more like a shot placement problem than anything else. It's possible it might be a bullet problem, with maybe a lack of expansion, but that's sorta unlikely with the .270.

    Practice always helps, particularly being careful about any flinching. For some people, a flinch from anticipated recoil causes anything from a bad hit to a complete miss. Sometimes the only cure is to drop back to a lighter-bullet cartridge such as the .243. Just one of those things to be aware of and be practical about. It's no big deal. The deal is to eat deer meat, not show the world you're Mr. Studly.
     
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