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Old June 19, 2009, 03:05 AM   #1
Winchester_73
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270 win vs 30-06 ballistic question

I was telling a friend of mine a few days ago I'm close to acquiring a winchester model 70 in 270. He jokingly asked why I don't want something more powerful, or so I thought. He went on to say that the 270 is a fine gun but when compared to a 30-06, the dropoff is tremendous at longer ranges. I told him that I always thought it was the opposite since the 270 is a lighter weight bullet thus having a flatter trajectory. He said after about 300 yds the 270 has a huge dropoff compared to the 30-06 (which I know it has some dropoff) and he said the 30-06 vastly outperforms it at longer ranges IE 300 to 500, +. I'm wondering which of us is actually right. I think this to be basically a ballistic coeffecient question. This would obviously also depend on the bullet grains used. For a 270, we can use 130 grn and for the 30-06 150 grn? Is that popular for the 30-06? Since the 270 is a necked down 30-06 I don't understand how he could be right since the velocity would be higher on the smaller bullet of the 270. He suggested its because of the momentum advantage 30-06 has due to the heavier bullet. Who is right? Thank you.
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Old June 19, 2009, 04:16 AM   #2
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270 vs 30-06

According to my Nosler manual No4 the 140 grain 270 ballistic tip is over three inches flatter than the 30-06 (.308) 140 grain ballistic tip when fired at the same velocity 3000 ft per second to 600 yards, greater sectional area of the 308 dia bullet would substancially increase air resistance over a great distance. comparing 150grain .270 to 150 grain 30-06 the .270 still has less drop by 4 inches at 600 yards.
At the end of the day both are still very good cartridges.
3000ft per second is pretty much a max load with the powder I use in the 30-06 and this velocity would also be a maximum load in the .270
Generally long skinny bullets go through the air better than shorter fat ones do.
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Old June 19, 2009, 05:20 AM   #3
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The heavier the bullet the further its out the faster it drops. The .270 is a more aerodynamic cartridge than the 30-06, is does shoot flatter but the 30-06 has more stopping power
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Old June 19, 2009, 07:12 AM   #4
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A good place to reference cartridges is to go to Federals web site. It is a very simple way to compare ballistics of similar cartridges. I wish they still published the BC of the bullet so stick to like bullets to get an honest comparison.

The simple fact is this is where ballistic coefficients (BC) come into play, is when we start talking about performance at 500 yards and beyond. Most of us who hunt don't have to worry about that as we rarely shoot beyond 200-300 yards where a BC of .100 in a bullet is as good as .500. Really the truth of the matter is as long as the two bullets being used are close in BC they the one that leaves the barrel faster will have the flatter trajectory.

If you compare the .270 Win 130/140 grain to a .30-06 180 grain using bullets of similar construction the .270 Win will be about 10" flatter at 500 yards and usually impact within 100-200 ft lbs of energy. The .30-06 is only slightly faster, with a little more energy but I can tell you at that range you will not tell a difference in terminal performance on game. The 180 grain bullet has the better BC but the initial velocity of the .270 makes up the difference since it is at least 200 fps faster to start.

To match the trajectory of a .270 130/140 grain bullet at 500 yards with a .308 caliber 180 grain bullet you need to step up to a .300 Win Mag. To significantly increase the trajectory and energy at 500 yards you have to step up to a .300 Weatherby or RUM cartridge. The price to meet or beat a .270 Win is a heavier recoiling rifle with more expensive ammunition.
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Old June 19, 2009, 08:11 AM   #5
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This was done with Point Blank ballistics software available from http://www.huntingnut.com/

Both were the Sierra Game King bullets, and velocities were from Federal Premium ammo using those bullets, and maximum trajectory height was set at 3" above the sight line.


Name: .308 Cal, Sierra #2140 HPBT, 165 grn
Ballistic Coeff: 0.375
Bullet Weight: 165
Velocity: 2700
Target Distance: 225
Scope Height: 1.500
Temperature: 70
Altitude: 500

Ballistic Data
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Range Elevation Velocity Energy ETA Drop Max Y 10mph Wind Deflect
0 yds -1.50 in 2700 fps 2671 fpe 0.000 sec 0.00 in -1.50 in -0.00 in
25 yds 0.05 in 2642 fps 2557 fpe 0.028 sec 0.15 in -0.56 in 0.06 in
50 yds 1.29 in 2585 fps 2448 fpe 0.057 sec 0.61 in -0.44 in 0.23 in
75 yds 2.21 in 2529 fps 2342 fpe 0.086 sec 1.40 in -0.24 in 0.48 in
100 yds 2.79 in 2473 fps 2240 fpe 0.116 sec 2.52 in 0.05 in 0.87 in
125 yds 3.03 in 2418 fps 2142 fpe 0.146 sec 3.99 in 0.44 in 1.33 in
150 yds 2.88 in 2364 fps 2047 fpe 0.178 sec 5.84 in 0.94 in 1.96 in
175 yds 2.34 in 2310 fps 1955 fpe 0.210 sec 8.08 in 1.54 in 2.73 in
200 yds 1.39 in 2257 fps 1866 fpe 0.243 sec 10.74 in 2.27 in 3.65 in
225 yds 0.00 in 2205 fps 1781 fpe 0.277 sec 13.83 in 3.12 in 4.71 in
250 yds -1.83 in 2153 fps 1699 fpe 0.311 sec 17.37 in 4.11 in 5.90 in
275 yds -4.12 in 2103 fps 1620 fpe 0.347 sec 21.37 in 5.24 in 7.22 in
300 yds -6.89 in 2052 fps 1543 fpe 0.383 sec 25.83 in 6.51 in 8.66 in
325 yds -10.13 in 2003 fps 1469 fpe 0.419 sec 30.78 in 7.94 in 10.23 in
350 yds -13.94 in 1954 fps 1398 fpe 0.457 sec 36.29 in 9.55 in 11.99 in
375 yds -18.26 in 1905 fps 1330 fpe 0.495 sec 42.32 in 11.33 in 13.86 in
400 yds -23.24 in 1858 fps 1265 fpe 0.535 sec 49.00 in 13.32 in 15.97 in
425 yds -28.90 in 1812 fps 1202 fpe 0.576 sec 56.37 in 15.54 in 18.31 in
450 yds -35.27 in 1766 fps 1143 fpe 0.619 sec 64.44 in 18.00 in 20.87 in
475 yds -42.36 in 1722 fps 1086 fpe 0.662 sec 73.23 in 20.70 in 23.62 in
500 yds -50.19 in 1678 fps 1032 fpe 0.707 sec 82.77 in 23.66 in 26.57 in
525 yds -58.77 in 1635 fps 980 fpe 0.752 sec 93.05 in 26.89 in 29.69 in
550 yds -68.12 in 1593 fps 930 fpe 0.799 sec 104.10 in 30.39 in 32.98 in
575 yds -78.24 in 1552 fps 882 fpe 0.846 sec 115.92 in 34.18 in 36.44 in
600 yds -89.14 in 1511 fps 837 fpe 0.894 sec 128.53 in 38.26 in 40.04 in
625 yds -101.23 in 1473 fps 794 fpe 0.944 sec 142.32 in 42.75 in 44.00 in
650 yds -114.26 in 1435 fps 754 fpe 0.996 sec 157.06 in 47.60 in 48.16 in
675 yds -128.50 in 1398 fps 716 fpe 1.049 sec 173.00 in 52.88 in 52.62 in
700 yds -143.93 in 1363 fps 681 fpe 1.104 sec 190.14 in 58.59 in 57.35 in
725 yds -160.56 in 1330 fps 648 fpe 1.160 sec 208.47 in 64.75 in 62.31 in
750 yds -178.37 in 1297 fps 616 fpe 1.217 sec 227.99 in 71.35 in 67.48 in
775 yds -197.37 in 1266 fps 587 fpe 1.275 sec 248.69 in 78.41 in 72.84 in
800 yds -217.84 in 1236 fps 560 fpe 1.335 sec 270.86 in 86.00 in 78.49 in

Name: .277 Cal, Sierra #1820 SBT, 130 grn
Ballistic Coeff: 0.461
Bullet Weight: 130
Velocity: 3060
Target Distance: 258
Scope Height: 1.500
Temperature: 70
Altitude: 500

Ballistic Data
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Range Elevation Velocity Energy ETA Drop Max Y 10mph Wind Deflect
0 yds -1.50 in 3060 fps 2703 fpe 0.000 sec 0.00 in -1.50 in 0.00 in
25 yds -0.12 in 3009 fps 2613 fpe 0.025 sec 0.12 in -0.57 in 0.02 in
50 yds 1.02 in 2958 fps 2526 fpe 0.050 sec 0.47 in -0.48 in 0.12 in
75 yds 1.92 in 2908 fps 2441 fpe 0.075 sec 1.07 in -0.33 in 0.29 in
100 yds 2.55 in 2859 fps 2359 fpe 0.101 sec 1.93 in -0.10 in 0.55 in
125 yds 2.92 in 2810 fps 2279 fpe 0.128 sec 3.06 in 0.19 in 0.91 in
150 yds 3.01 in 2762 fps 2202 fpe 0.155 sec 4.47 in 0.56 in 1.35 in
175 yds 2.81 in 2714 fps 2126 fpe 0.182 sec 6.16 in 1.01 in 1.87 in
200 yds 2.32 in 2667 fps 2053 fpe 0.210 sec 8.15 in 1.55 in 2.48 in
225 yds 1.53 in 2620 fps 1981 fpe 0.239 sec 10.44 in 2.17 in 3.16 in
250 yds 0.42 in 2574 fps 1912 fpe 0.267 sec 13.04 in 2.88 in 3.93 in
275 yds -1.00 in 2528 fps 1845 fpe 0.297 sec 15.96 in 3.68 in 4.76 in
300 yds -2.78 in 2483 fps 1779 fpe 0.327 sec 19.24 in 4.59 in 5.73 in
325 yds -4.87 in 2438 fps 1715 fpe 0.357 sec 22.82 in 5.59 in 6.73 in
350 yds -7.35 in 2393 fps 1653 fpe 0.388 sec 26.79 in 6.71 in 7.86 in
375 yds -10.21 in 2349 fps 1593 fpe 0.419 sec 31.15 in 7.95 in 9.12 in
400 yds -13.49 in 2306 fps 1535 fpe 0.452 sec 35.92 in 9.32 in 10.49 in
425 yds -17.18 in 2263 fps 1478 fpe 0.485 sec 41.12 in 10.82 in 11.98 in
450 yds -21.31 in 2220 fps 1423 fpe 0.518 sec 46.74 in 12.46 in 13.59 in
475 yds -25.88 in 2178 fps 1369 fpe 0.553 sec 52.80 in 14.24 in 15.30 in
500 yds -30.89 in 2136 fps 1317 fpe 0.588 sec 59.31 in 16.17 in 17.13 in
525 yds -36.37 in 2095 fps 1267 fpe 0.623 sec 66.28 in 18.26 in 19.05 in
550 yds -42.30 in 2054 fps 1218 fpe 0.659 sec 73.72 in 20.50 in 21.08 in
575 yds -48.72 in 2014 fps 1171 fpe 0.696 sec 81.62 in 22.91 in 23.20 in
600 yds -55.77 in 1974 fps 1125 fpe 0.733 sec 90.17 in 25.53 in 25.53 in
625 yds -63.16 in 1934 fps 1080 fpe 0.771 sec 99.06 in 28.29 in 27.85 in
650 yds -71.22 in 1895 fps 1036 fpe 0.810 sec 108.62 in 31.27 in 30.37 in
675 yds -79.98 in 1857 fps 995 fpe 0.850 sec 118.87 in 34.49 in 33.09 in
700 yds -89.43 in 1819 fps 955 fpe 0.891 sec 129.82 in 37.96 in 35.99 in
725 yds -99.60 in 1782 fps 916 fpe 0.933 sec 141.48 in 41.68 in 39.07 in
750 yds -110.49 in 1745 fps 879 fpe 0.976 sec 153.87 in 45.67 in 42.31 in
775 yds -122.13 in 1709 fps 843 fpe 1.020 sec 167.00 in 49.92 in 45.71 in
800 yds -134.50 in 1674 fps 809 fpe 1.064 sec 180.87 in 54.45 in 49.27 in
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Old June 19, 2009, 08:23 AM   #6
skydiver3346
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.270 vs. .30-06:

I have both. The dead Mulie won't know the difference between the two. But by in large, the .270 is flatter shooting at longer distances. But the .30-06 is close behind and usually has a heavier bullet so its pretty close all around when you compare them both. Can't go wrong with either in my opinion.
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Old June 19, 2009, 09:21 AM   #7
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At normal hunting ranges the 2 are so close it is pretty much a tie as far as bullet drop is concerned. Your friend may be considering that the 30-06 uses heavier bullets and may have an advantage on larger game.

As a hunting round you will probably never be able to tell the difference. I have always prefered the 30-06, but honestly feel that for 90% of the hunting situations the 270 is probably better. I like the 30-06 because I feel that it gives me more options and may offer some advantages in the other 10% of the hunting situations.

The ballistics listed in a previous post are accurate, but misleading. The 30-06 is shown with a starting velocity of only 2700 fps while the 270 is shown at 3000+fps. That is a very mild 30-06 loading. Hornady's light magnum ammo, or handloads will push a 150 grain 30-06 at 3100fps and a 165 grain bullet at over 3000fps.

For several reasons the 30-06 has always been loaded more conservatively than the 270. If both are loaded to their potential there is very little difference.
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Old June 19, 2009, 09:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Name: .308 Cal, Sierra #2140 HPBT, 165 grn
Ballistic Coeff: 0.375
Some one sure picked the worst BC of the 308 and the best of the .270 BC.

So here is the best of the 308 and worst of the .270.

The ballistic coefficient of 308 bullet #2120 168 HPBT is 0.462. A BC of 0.375 is what I use for 69 grain .223 match bullets.

And the BC of 270 bullet #1835 130 Spitizer is .370.

Use these numbers and the charts will be reversed.

http://www.sierrabullets.com/bullets...ient-rifle.pdf

Pick any number that you want, make the results come out any way you want. I have shot 130's in my 30-06 and they are 100-150 fps faster than a 130 in a 270. Which means it is flatter shooting out to 300 yards.

I also shot my 270 and my 30-06 on chickens, pigs, turkeys, and rams. At 200 yards the fast moving 130's I used in my 270 cratered the steel chicken targets. (Not a happy match director!) But at 500 yards, the 150's I used in my 270 were quite anemic on the rams.

The 30-06 with 180's had much more knockdown power at 500 yards.
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Old June 19, 2009, 11:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Pick any number that you want, make the results come out any way you want. I have shot 130's in my 30-06 and they are 100-150 fps faster than a 130 in a 270. Which means it is flatter shooting out to 300 yards.
There's lies, damn lies, and statistics... sure.

But 130gr @ .30 caliber has a lower BC than a 130gr @ .27 caliber. It doesn't fly as well in the air. It will drop farther, faster, because it has more wind resistance due to greater frontal surface area.

To compare apples to apples you need to use the same BC, not the same bullet weight.

.270 with 135gr Sierra MatchKing has a BC of .488, typical velocity ~2950fps.
.30-06 with 168gr Sierra MatchKing has a BC of .462, typical velocity ~2850fps.

With both zeroed at 200 yards using defaults in PointBlank, you get a drop of 39" in the .270 @ 500 yards. You get a drop of 43" with the .30-06 using the 168gr load @ 500 yards.

Comparing the same weight bullet (which is wildly unfair to the '06), the '06 is loaded with a 135gr Sierra Matchking with a BC of .370 at ~3100fps and with a zero of 200 yards in PointBlank we get 39 inches at 500, but if we go out to 700 we'll really see difference between the two: .270 @ 135gr = 89 inches and .30-06 @ 135gr = 109 inches.

The air resistance smacked down that light .30 caliber bullet.
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Old June 19, 2009, 11:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
The heavier the bullet the further its out the faster it drops.
32fps sq pretty much works the same on different weights (Newtonian Ballistics). Compare bullets of equal BCs at the same velocity and they will react about the same.

Heavier bullets seem to drop more but that is because they usually have less velocity, hence greater time-in-flight and more time for 32 fps squared to act upon them. This applies when looking at ballistics tables for a specific cartridge. BC's are great in that they isolate ballistics to the aerodynamics of the bullet while normalizing other characteristics. This allows us to compare calibers and weights and bullet designs (spitzer versus round, boat tail versus flat base etc.). A bullet's aerodynamics is the influencing factor on ballistics when you hold velocity constant.
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Old June 19, 2009, 12:12 PM   #11
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Tell your friend to perform an unnatural act. There isn't enough difference between the .270 and the .30-06 to argue about.

You got a good rifle chambered for a fine round. Now go and have fun.
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Old June 19, 2009, 12:51 PM   #12
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.270 is in the top 10 of flat shooting cartridges. A match for the .25-06 easily.

Sectional density which contributes to a higher Ballistic Coefficient will give the .270 the nod even if you used the exact same weight bullets (lets say 150 grain) in each rifle and drove them at the same velocity.

Even if the 30-06 were given a small velocity edge against the .270 on any bullet weight the .270 will retain its energy and velocity longer over distance.
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Old June 19, 2009, 01:44 PM   #13
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We need a good medium to contact Jack O'Connor and have him speak on the virtues of the .270. I would be more concerned with the accuracy of the rifle and the skill of the shooter.
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Old June 19, 2009, 01:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
I was telling a friend of mine a few days ago I'm close to acquiring a winchester model 70 in 270.
Arguments over 270 vs. 30-06 are academic. The fact I just participated in the debate just proves how stupid I am

The 270 is an outstanding caliber, my opinion is that it is at its best with the 130's. It shoots fast enough, flat enough, that anything hit within 300 yards is going to hurt bad.

300 yards is a long way in most areas, and beyond 300 yards is out of the effective range of most people I see at the range.
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Old June 19, 2009, 02:30 PM   #15
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Here's a link to Remington that compares the two most commonly used weights IMHO using the same type of bullet.Although the .270 would appear to be the winner,I'll take .30-06 any day.The .270 is the 150 grain bullet & .30-06 is 180

http://www.remington.com/products/am...=R270W4*R30064
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Old June 19, 2009, 02:46 PM   #16
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Oh boy, this never gets old does it?

Really depends on your application. Aimed correctly both will do a good job.

I don't buy the 270 being better at long range though - if the ballistic coeficients are similar and the initial velocity is similar the heavier .308 bullets will fair better. The difference in drop is a miniscule adjustment of the rifle inclination.

Probably the question is the use. Deer and under .270. Moose, elk, bear, etc, 3006.
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Old June 19, 2009, 03:02 PM   #17
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In the debate between 270 and 30-06 Jack O'Connor would tell you "have one of each".

Jack was really instrumental in popularizing the 270 Win, but a lot of people don't know that his "other" rifle was a 30-06.

A 1903 action with Sukail barrel, Jack used the 30-06 for everything he considered the 270 "too light" for. That is high praise for the 30-06.

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Old June 19, 2009, 03:52 PM   #18
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Two of my forty-some tagged bucks were shot at ranges beyond 300 yards. I'd guess that thirty of them were shot inside of 150, and quite a few were even closer. IOW, about 95% of the time it's, "Point it and pull, Hell ain't half-full." Trajectory? Who cares?

I used a .270 before I went to my .243 and my Ol' Pet '06.

Odds are, neither the shooter or the deer will ever tell the difference between a .270 and an '06.
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Old June 19, 2009, 05:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Sectional density which contributes to a higher Ballistic Coefficient will give the .270 the nod even if you used the exact same weight bullets (lets say 150 grain) in each rifle and drove them at the same velocity.

Even if the 30-06 were given a small velocity edge against the .270 on any bullet weight the .270 will retain its energy and velocity longer over distance.
Weight and diameter contribute to sectional density (SD), the SD of a bullet doesn't play much though in BC. The easiest way to make a bullet have a higher SD for caliber is to increase the weight which makes the bullet longer and to a point does increase a bullets BC. The overall bullet design plays more of a factor in BC such is it a round nose, flat nose, hollow point, ballistic tip, VLD, semi-spitzer or spitzer. As well as if it is a flat base or boat tail. BC is the bullets ability to resist drag, and the higher the BC the more retained velocity down range which contributes to more down range energy as well.

Take a Sierra 220 grain .308 caliber bullet it is both offered in a Match King HPBT and Pro-Hunter Round nose. Both bullets have a sectional density of .331 however they have vastly different BC. The Match King has a BC of .629 while the Pro-Hunter has a measly .310 BC.

The higher the SD the better indication of a bullets ability to penetrate a target. This is why the 6.5 MM has a reputation of being a good hunting cartridge. It combines high BC bullets with a high SD because of its use of heavy for caliber bullets.

Quote:
I don't buy the 270 being better at long range though - if the ballistic coeficients are similar and the initial velocity is similar the heavier .308 bullets will fair better. The difference in drop is a miniscule adjustment of the rifle inclination.
No one here has said the .270 Win is better at long range than the .30-06. However taking your statement there and changing the BC and Velocity to being the same or equal, then both bullets regardless of weight should have the same flight path. The only thing is the heavier bullet will impart more energy on the target; simple physics since it has more mass to impart energy with.

Now if you can tell me the exact amount of energy needed to get a kill on a game animal at any range out to 500 yards, then you might have an argument about the .30-06 being a superior long range rifle. The truth is all things are not equal and the .270 shoots faster, flatter and has nearly the same energy as a .30-06 out to 500 yards and does it with less recoil and a lighter bullet. Does it make it a superior long range performer? Not really but it does make the rifle easier to shoot, thus giving the user more confidence in his equipment. Confidence goes a long way to helping accuracy at any range.

Last edited by taylorce1; June 20, 2009 at 06:43 AM.
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Old June 19, 2009, 06:33 PM   #20
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the .270 is a litle flatter but when you get out to the distance where this is noticeable, you have to know your gun regardless of cartridge. Makes no difference, if you know what your gun is doing they do the same thing.
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Old June 19, 2009, 06:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
The heavier the bullet the further its out the faster it drops. The .270 is a more aerodynamic cartridge than the 30-06, is does shoot flatter but the 30-06 has more stopping power
Man o man; I had no idear.

Jackie O (not Onasis) did purdy good with the anemic 270.
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Old June 19, 2009, 06:49 PM   #22
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What do you shoot at in the 300-500 yard area?? How successful are you at hitting the target at those ranges??
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Old June 19, 2009, 09:29 PM   #23
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I have had and reloaded for both of them. They are both great calibers that you can do alot with. I guess it comes down to what you like, and shoot the best. We all have our favorites. I myself have never shot anything past 200 yards, and would not feel comfortable without a good rest past that. Were I hunt the deer are in thick woods close, and most of the time moving. You need to get on them fast and make the shot, or it is gone. Just my thoughts.
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Old June 19, 2009, 10:17 PM   #24
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This discussion would have made more sense in 1925 than it does today. 84 years ago most hunters shot 180-220 grain bullets in the 30-06 and considered it a rifle for larger game such as elk, moose or bear.

The 270 was the new kid on the block and most hunters shot 130 grain bullets at much faster speeds and it truly shot significantly flatter than the 30-06.

Most hunters considered the 270 marginal at best for animals larger than deer. With the bullets available at the time the heavier 30-06 bullets did perform better on larger game.

With todays modern loadings the 30-06 will shoot ALMOST as flat as the smaller 270. With the better bullets available the 270 will kill the larger animals ALMOST as well as the larger 30-06. Too many hunters and shooters just take what they have heard passed down for generations as gospel without realizing that things sometimes change. Or possibly grandpa was wrong.
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Old June 19, 2009, 10:25 PM   #25
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I thought the .270 was a necked down .30-06? I have a Model 70 in .270. It is scary accurate. I also have a .308(Remmie M700vls) that is also very accurate. I had a .30-06 in a Remmie 7400 but I sold it. The only .30-06 in the safe is an M-1...I have had success with all 3 cartridges....
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