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Old April 27, 2014, 09:55 PM   #1
Ruger480
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.270 vs .308

I often see people vehemently trying to say that the 308 is equal to the 30-06 (for those of you who don't know, it is not) and by the same token others will say the 270 can do anything the '06 will do with todays bullets.

How come the 270 and the 308 never square off? Surely one must superior to the other. They can't both equal the 30-06, therefore, one of them must come in third place. And in doing so, must not really be equal to the "king".
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Old April 27, 2014, 10:06 PM   #2
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For hunting applications, the .270 shoots a bit flatter.

For target shooting, the .308 is supposed to be more intrinsicly accurate .... and brass and target bullets more plentiful .....



For most (90+%) of shooters, there is not a dollar's worth of difference.
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Old April 27, 2014, 10:15 PM   #3
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All three of the cartridges mentioned produce very similar muzzle energy numbers, and produce very similar ballistic curves, and kill animals just as dead.

Declaring one to be "superior" to another is a bit silly. The animals can't tell the difference, and the only way to tell a difference in a target is the 0.031" smaller hole made by the 270 Win.

So there may not be a nickels worth of difference in hunting performance, but I guess you could say that the caliber difference is splitting hairs..

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Old April 27, 2014, 11:27 PM   #4
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The animals can't tell the difference, and the only way to tell a difference in a target is the 0.031" smaller hole made by the 270 Win.
The difference is holdover .... Considering the most prevalent commercial loadings:

With a .270WIN (130gr @3100), it's point-and-shoot to nigh 350 yards ....
With a .308 (150gr @ 2800), the same hold will at best break a leg at that range....

Granted, 90+% of deer hunters kill their deer at under 100 yards .... but it's better to have and not need, than need and not have.....
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Old April 28, 2014, 12:55 AM   #5
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Granted it's not completely apples to apples comparing a 'super performance' load versus a non-super performance load, a picture is worth a thousand words.
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Old April 28, 2014, 07:35 AM   #6
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Where is the 308 in that chart?
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Old April 28, 2014, 07:39 AM   #7
Bart B.
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Ruger480, depending on the objectives, conditions and standards established for a comparison, either one will end up in first, second or third place.

What criteria will they be judged on?

What governing body established the .30-06 to be king? In some monarchies, a prince, queen or even a commoner may be the best performer in some events they're competiting in.
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Old April 28, 2014, 08:51 AM   #8
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A short action vs. a long action?

Both are entirely adequate for almost any kind of use that you require them for.

Is one better than the other? Yes. Swap the current need for another task and it will likely be reversed.
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Old April 28, 2014, 10:02 AM   #9
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In real world hunting applications...300yards and closer. That covers 99.9% of typical hunting scenarios and if you half that distance to 150yards which cover 90% of the aforementioned 99.9% there really isn't much difference.

But in EVERY scenario I'll take the faster and flatter shooting round provided it will ethically kill its target. But with either cartridge a 2" high zero at 100yards won't miss. My motto is "aim at hair and not air"

But if we are splitting hairs and are talking trajectory and downrange energy then the 7mm-08 is superior. BTW I own all 3 calibers and they all kill deer.
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Old April 28, 2014, 10:13 AM   #10
Art Eatman
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7mm08, .270, .308, .30-'06: If you sight in for 2" high at 100 yards, you'll be very close to dead-on at 200. At 300 yards, all of them will be about 5" to 6" low.

Bullet weights of 140, 130, 150 and 150 are mostly what I've loaded for mine.

For a deer hunter, there ain't a nickel's worth of difference among 'em.
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Old April 28, 2014, 10:31 AM   #11
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Art you are 100% right. I zero all of my deer hunting calibers 2" high at 100yards. I'm more or less dead on at 200yards and if I have a shot over 200 but no more than 300yards I aim at the spine. Have zero hold over and it falls right in the middle of the "8 inch pie plate" that is the general rule for killing deer.

I hunt with a 7-08,.270,.308, and .30-06. All kill deer very well but I prefer my .270 over them all. Just because it fits me best and I'm most proficient with it.
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Old April 28, 2014, 10:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Where is the 308 in that chart?
Take a few FPS of the .30-06 and you have the .308

It still ends up in 'last place' if you ask me.

.308 < .30-06 < .270 win

Just my opinion. None of the differences will actually matter in real scenarios, but the .270 win is the winner, on paper at least. With the right loads they should all be capable of harvesting the same game so it's kind of moot. They all have advantages and disadvantages so none of them is really 'best'

.308 fits in a short action
.270 shoots flattest of the 3, recoils less than .30-06
Both the .30's use .308 bullets which probably has the most choices out of any caliber bullet.
.277 cal has less projectile choices, but it's far from limited. It also has better lightweight bullet choices (IMO) than the .30's Good luck finding super light boat tail spitzers for the .30's. The .277 has plenty of choices in the 83-110 grain area and the bullets generally are more streamlined than the light .30's. The .277 has a much more limited VLD selection, especially if you want bullets over 150 grains.
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Old April 28, 2014, 11:26 AM   #13
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JD0x0,

Less than 3250 ft/lbs difference and less than 11 inches of drop out to 500 yards.

Which is my point, the animals can't tell the difference, and the only way to tell the difference on target is to get out the calipers...

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Old April 28, 2014, 12:03 PM   #14
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"Declaring one to be "superior" to another is a bit silly. The animals can't tell the difference..."

Very true, but if the gun and ammo buying public believed that, many gun writers would be in the unemployment line and hunters would have to find something else to argue about.

Jim
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Old April 28, 2014, 01:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
What criteria will they be judged on?

What governing body established the .30-06 to be king?
I'd judge any or all of the cartridges like this but not necessarily in order:

OTC ammo availability
OTC bullet weight selections
ability to harvest the greatest number of differing game species
Number of different models/manufacturers

I think that the '06 was established as king when it covered all of the aforementioned criteria.

Some of you may wonder why I started this thread. As it has been stated, the animal won't know the difference and neither will the tree on the other side of it.

But, when ever someone says something to the effect of: "I need a new hunting rifle for shooting "X" and someone suggests the '06 numerous people jump on board to exclaim why the 270 can do it just as well or better and the same goes for the 308. So I wondered, how come those guys never compare the 270 to the 308?
The only time they defend their cartridge of choice is against the 30-06. Is that because, maybe, the '06 really is king and the others are just fighting for second place?

Granted the whole of this topic is academic but at some point, academics do translate into real world scenarios.
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Old April 28, 2014, 01:51 PM   #16
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When I set out to buy an inexpensive Bolt Action rifle last year, I was going to get a 270 for something different. I wound up with another .308.

To me, its about cost really. Most 308 ammo will be cheaper than the 270 variety and I like to only keep a few types of ammo at home.
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Old April 28, 2014, 01:56 PM   #17
Bart B.
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Becha 3 fired primers and two empty cases of each that the .308 Win can do as well if not better in all these categories:

*OTC ammo availability

*OTC bullet weight selections

*ability to harvest the greatest number of differing game species

*Number of different models/manufacturers

Betcha twice as many of the above wagered items that depending on who conducted a survey along with how, where and with who it was set up, the results would flip in at least 3 directions.

Don't include competitive shooting disciplines as the .30-06 has very few entries in those venues.

Good thread, anyway, in spite of all our various opinions, preferences, experiences, weighting factors and emotional well being......
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Old April 28, 2014, 05:19 PM   #18
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hold on

In an apples to apples comparison, the '06 typically does better than the .308 on paper with velocity and foot pounds. But in the field, with multiple rifles, ammo, and distances, the difference is not so clear. Long barrels v. short barrels, one throat v. another, one make ammo v. another, one bullet weight v. another, one animal close, another farther out. So many variables, I maintain the '06 and .308 are indeed indistinguishable in the field. (not on paper). A .30 cal slug at 2800 fps is same same, no matter what case launches it.

Now re .270 v.308.....I'm not going there.
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Old April 28, 2014, 05:39 PM   #19
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I used to run 220 Grain bullets through my '06. Anybody ever do that with a .270?
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Old April 28, 2014, 05:43 PM   #20
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I've never owned one, but on paper I think the 270 might be the best all around choice for hunting game under 1000 lbs. I have owned a 280 and would rate it slightly better. But I concede this is really splitting hairs.

I've hunted with a 30-06 for 40 years, but within recent years have come to prefer the 308. My 308 handloads beat 30-06 factory loads by 50-100 fps and come within 100 fps of the best 30-06 hand loads I can come up with. I just don't see any animal ever noticing the difference. I can still find great deals on bulk loaded 308 ammo that I cannot find with any others. And I've come to appreciate the lighter, more compact rifles that can be used with the round. It is more accurate than either as well.

Quote:
With a .270WIN (130gr @3100), it's point-and-shoot to nigh 350 yards ....
With a .308 (150gr @ 2800), the same hold will at best break a leg at that range....
I'm shooting 155 gr Bergers in my 308 at just under 2900 fps. At 350 yards they drop 2" more than a 270, 130 SST @ 3100 fps. And have more energy at that range. Hardly a handicap.
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Old April 28, 2014, 05:59 PM   #21
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I used to run 220 Grain bullets through my '06. Anybody ever do that with a .270?
A valid point. You can also shoot 200-220 gr bullets through a 308 which folks rarely consider. A 200/308 can be fired at about the same speed as a 220/30-06. A 220 or 250 gr bullet can be loaded in a 308. It won't be fast, but speed isn't necessary at close range. On the really big stuff, 1000lbs +, this could be an advantage that the 270 cannot match.

But this be realistic. The only game animals in North America where this would be a factor are Alaskan Coastal Brown bears. While it gets discussed a lot on the internet very few of us will ever be in truly big bear country. A hunt for those animals will cost $30,000-$40,000. If someone can afford the hunt, they can afford a much bigger gun.

For most hunters deer or possibly black are the primary game hunted and almost no one hunts game larger than elk. A 270, 308 or 30-06 are all more than enough for elk.
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Old April 28, 2014, 06:43 PM   #22
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A valid point. You can also shoot 200-220 gr bullets through a 308 which folks rarely consider.
Actually we were discussing 220gr bullets from a 308 Win for the purpose of dispatching beached whales with a British gentleman not too long ago. Ended up recommending the Woodleigh solids around 2000 fps...

The sectional density of a 220gr 308 bullet is 0.331. Woodleigh also makes a 180gr .277 caliber bullet with an SD of 0.334, although it is a protected point and not a solid.

But either way, with comparable bullets, you get comparable performance.

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Old April 28, 2014, 06:55 PM   #23
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Well....kinda sorta, well they were really only 195grs, but they were .277" in diameter. They were bumping along at a modest 3250fps...oh never mind not the same critter....

In the context of this post however, I have run some 170gr Partitions out of my standard .270 Win, and they were pretty much more than I would ever have a use for. Even at the modest 2400'ish FPS I had them going they wold penetrate my whole hickory log backstop. The only other rifle I have had do that was my 7mm STW shooting similar weight bullets.

As for which one rates first in my book, none to be honest. As mentioned they all have an edge in one way, form, or fashion, but in the field performance is so similar that really doesn't matter.
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Old April 28, 2014, 07:11 PM   #24
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I just discovered the Berger EOL Extreme heavy hybrid 170 grain .277 cal bullet, today. Apparently it's a limited run bullet. They're over 1.5'' long and a 1-8.5'' twist is recommended, but I saw a thread on longrangehunting.com where the OP shot them out of his .270 weatherby, and apparently they went into the target straight, so they seem to be stabilized at the velocity he was pushing them at. The G1 BC is supposed to be over .7


There's also 200 grain bullets available here and there, which will stabilize in 1:10 twist barrels because of their relatively short length for their weight. I don't see it very useful unless you're going after elephant or something. IIRC they are solids.

I believe Barnes also makes a 120 grain solid, for anyone interested in solids for the .270
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Old April 28, 2014, 08:10 PM   #25
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I prefer the .270 to the .308...as has been said, flatter shooting by quite a bit actually...if you compare bullets of equal ballistic coefficient the .270 is definitely a step up. Also, a difference of a few hundred fps may not seem like much IF your starting from 0 fps...and we're not. This is admittedly quite subjective but all hunting bullets have what we call minimum impact velocity...a velocity below which the bullet cannot be expected to expand reliably and do its work. There is a lot of variation between projectiles of differing designs and toughness but needless to say its waaaaay above zero, generally between 1600-2400 fps. If 2000 fps is your cutoff point then the .270 has a very noteworthy head start indeed. The .308 is a much better choice for target shooting though for reasons that others have explained.
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