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Old May 21, 2011, 06:04 PM   #1
hopeisnotastrategy
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.270 Win vs. .270 WSM

I thought I had settled on .270 as the caliber for my first rifle. I will be hunting throughout the lower 48 with Whitetail, Mule Deer, Black Bear, and Elk as my primary quarry.

Some buddies of mine have encouraged me to get the .270 WSM instead.

My concern is that I am going to spend a lot of time practicing at the range and want the weapon to be fun to shoot. I don't want excessive recoil and expense if it doesn't gain me a lot.

All that to ask this: Do I gain enough for my purposes to warrant the extra recoil and cost of ammo to justify the Short Mag?
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Old May 21, 2011, 06:09 PM   #2
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The biggest advantage of the WSMs is getting the same or a bit more power out of the same caliber in a short action. That makes the overall length at least an inch shorter.
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Old May 21, 2011, 07:38 PM   #3
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FOR your use IMHO the 270Win would be good,easy to get ammo,low recoil,flat shooting,good power,& would take all the game you have listed
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Old May 21, 2011, 07:45 PM   #4
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I've never gotten into the short mag craze. I'd get the standard .270 winchester myself. like doyle said, the main reason for the WSM is the same round made shorter. but that also makes it fatter so a rifle that might hold 5 now drops down to 4 or even 3. not a big deal to most but something to consider. probably won't ever be able to cycle through 5 shots fast enough anyway.
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Old May 21, 2011, 08:01 PM   #5
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As long as you are planning on keeping shots under 300, 400 yards the .270 will be fine. All these WSMs and RUMs are fine and dandy.. but expensive and usually not needed. Have you ever looked for used rifles? I see more used modern day hunting rifles in 7mm Rem Mag than any other caliber.. I guess people think they need the latest and greatest, but are unpleasantly surprised with how much recoil they have and how expensive they are to feed.

Not knocking the .270 WSM, though. I'm very interested in getting one too. From what I've read, the recoil is fairly similar to the .30-06 but with better ballistics across the board. With finances being tight, its just not a high enough priority right now.
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Old May 21, 2011, 09:04 PM   #6
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I'd take the 270 Win. Nothing more is needed, and it's cheaper to shoot.

The resale may not be as good with WSM. Been one for sale in the paper for a long time.
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Old May 21, 2011, 09:14 PM   #7
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The WSM's are spendy now, and in 5 years, the brass will be made of unobtainium. Anybody know how to form these?

.270 WIN is as common as corn. If you can't find that in 5 stores within 15 miles of you, either there are not 5 stores there or you are in some hell hole like Chicago, NYC or Jersey.......
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Old May 21, 2011, 09:54 PM   #8
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next time you go to a gun show walk in the door and throw a dead cat and see if you can't hit 5 savage 110s in .270win for under $300. I just bought one for my step-mom for $270 with scope last year. I'm planning on finding an old savage 110 long action and building a custom .30-06 on it. not hard or expensive, anyone could do it.
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Old May 21, 2011, 10:14 PM   #9
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I am a huge fan of the short mags but IMHO you'd be better off with the 270 Winchester if you make sure to use good hunting bullets for elk and large blackies: Partitions, A Frames, or Barnes. SAUM and WSM are pricey to say the least and can be hard to find in smaller stores.
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Old May 21, 2011, 11:44 PM   #10
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not a fan

The whole "alphabet soup" of new cartridges that have hit the market in recent years leave me cold. WSM, RUM, WSSM, and what all else??

+1 on comments on ammo and case availability.

By a standard .270 and enjoy a classic.
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Old May 22, 2011, 12:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
the brass will be made of unobtainium.
Quote:
next time you go to a gun show walk in the door and throw a dead cat and see if you can't hit 5 savage 110s in .270win for under $300.
Both of you made me laugh..............
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Old May 22, 2011, 09:07 AM   #12
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The .270 Win is a fantastic cartridge...venerable or not!!! Handloading is a great idea, since it brings out the best it has to offer, but there's some great factory ammo being offered today as well.

The Sierra 90 grain bullet is really great for midrange target shooting, and my load shoots very close to the hotter 130 grain deer rounds at 100 yards.
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Old May 22, 2011, 09:24 AM   #13
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It should be pointed out that the original 30 cal “short mags" were conceived to give higher performance in Military length Semi-Autos. In other words, it was a way to get higher velocity from a 308 length box magazine. The other bore sizes were adaptations of the 30 cal.
The concept works very well for that purpose.

But in bolt actions, short mags are a perfect answer to a non-existent problem.

If you want to get a hunting rifle in a 270 WSM and you want to use an auto, the Short mage is not a bad idea. Browning and Winchester have both made them, as has Benelli.
But if you are going to buy a traditional bolt action, I would advise to stick with the old standard 270 Winchester. It lacks nothing.

I have choreographed the 270 Winchester with a 26 inch barrels against the 270 Weatherby in the same length barrel and run both at the same chamber pressures. I was shocked to find that I was never able to get a full 100 FPS more speed from the Weatherby over the Winchester unless I loaded to higher pressures in one shell over the other. In fact, using heavy loads of powder with 130 grain bullets, there were 4 loads I tested in which the 270 Winchester was within 25 FPS of the Weatherby, and one load where the Winchester beat the Weatherby by 3 FPS

I would have to guess the 270 short mag is going to give similar results. It can give high velocity and shorten the pressure curve a bit over the 270 Winchester (hence it’s suitability for autos)
It may “beat” the standard 270, but not enough to make me spend extra money on the brass.

My opening is this;
Bolt action-----270 Winchester.
Auto….maybe 270 Short Mag……(maybe!)
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Old May 22, 2011, 09:33 AM   #14
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I'd get the Win first and if that got boring I'd try the WSM. Problem is it'll probably be obsolete by then.
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Old May 22, 2011, 09:52 AM   #15
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The .270 Win has been around since, what, 1925? A cartridge that age and PROVEN[re: 30-06!] is getting my field time, and does. Nothing wrong with theWSM's, just really do not see a need for a marketing idea that is no better than the original. Look what happened to the 7mmWSM. Poof. Gone.
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Old May 22, 2011, 10:34 AM   #16
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I'd recommend the 270 Win because ammo is cheaper and rifle selection is better.

However let's clear up some misunderstandings about the WSMs.

They do give a real ballistic advantage over their 30-06 based counterparts. It may not be important to you, it may not be worth the money to you, but it does exist.

Short action rifles are lighter and handle better than long action rifles. It's a real advantage for **some** types of hunting, not so much for others. If you appreciate the short action concept, the WSMs are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

The 270 and 300 WSMs are popular rounds and are going to be around for a long time. The 7mm WSM failed because it was too similar to the 270 WSM, not because of any inherent flaw in the WSM concept. The various Remington rounds are failing because they are "me too" wannabes with no advantage over their WSM counterparts, not because of any inherent flaw in the concept.
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Old May 22, 2011, 10:39 AM   #17
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I was hoping a WSM fan would chime in. Things were getting a bit lopsided.
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Old May 22, 2011, 01:39 PM   #18
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you have a chance to buy a 270wsm in a rifle that is as fast and flat shooting as my old 270 wby mag for half the price, 20% lighter weight, shorter action, and you don't know what to buy? and you may hunt elk? and you may shoot a long way? are you a aggie? i have to retire old betsy and re-spend again to get one of those. my bud has a winchester in wsm that shoots .5in. The short mag design should have been out 2 years after the 22-250 went public. i couldnt wait 30 years to get the perfect hunting rifle.
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Old May 22, 2011, 02:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
They do give a real ballistic advantage over their 30-06 based counterparts. It may not be important to you, it may not be worth the money to you, but it does exist.

Short action rifles are lighter and handle better than long action rifles. It's a real advantage for **some** types of hunting, not so much for others. If you appreciate the short action concept, the WSMs are the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Yes there is a ballistic advantage of about 200 +/- fps with factory loads with the same bullets. Which only equates to around a 7" advantage in trajectory at 500 yards, and 2" of wind drift at the same range and 25 more yards of point blank range. It delivers 300 ft lbs more energy as well at that range (roughly 350 vs. 325 yards). All of this can be pretty easly compensated for except for the energy factor, all you need is a good range finder and a quality scope with repeatable adjustments.

As far as the handling qualities go, those are really hard to quantify. How much better handling is it 10-20% or more? I run short and long actions as well, but can't really see the difference in handling a 1/2" shorter action makes. Shorter barrels yes, my 20" or less barreled rifles handle much quicker than a 22" plus barrels.

I like the .270 and .300 WSM's and have played around with them a little. That said since this OP's first rifle and one that he'll be using with his son, I wouldn't step into the WSM right from the start. The advantages of the short mag will not be realized by the novice shooter/hunter right away.
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Old May 22, 2011, 03:44 PM   #20
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Used WSMs of all calibers seem to be a dime a dozen in all the gun stores around here. I think hunters get sticker-shock from the ammo prices real fast. Buy whatever you want, but research ammo cost and see if you can afford to practice with it.
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Old May 22, 2011, 05:30 PM   #21
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I have a 7mm WSM but ammo is not a problem for me I have 250 rounds of ammo and reloading dies. On subject of your question my Aunt took the #2 Boone & Crocket trophy Mountain Caribou in the 50's with a .270 with one shot.
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Old May 22, 2011, 05:51 PM   #22
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.270 win. I have taken pigs out to 220 yards using 130gr Corelokt ammo with my M70 in .270. I have complete confidence in the rifle and round....
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Old May 22, 2011, 06:15 PM   #23
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If you're buying factory ammo

If your using factory ammo it's going to be a lot more expensive to use the 270 WSM. You will find 270 on sale at any walmart. Not so for the 270 WSM. I also notice WSM are a little finicky to reload. I have a 300 WSM and a 25 WSM. You can get them to shoot but it takes a lot of tweeking.
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Old May 24, 2011, 11:24 AM   #24
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If you handload or plan to: Get the 270wsm.
If you don't or don't plan to: get the 270 win.

I have a Vanguard in 270wsm and it is the most accurate rifle I have ever owned. I also handload, so that is why I will never get rid of it. However, there is nothing the wsm can do that the win can't do, except that you have to be about 30 yards closer.
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Old May 24, 2011, 11:38 AM   #25
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As others have said, get the 270 Win if you plan on finding readly available ammo. The WSM and all the others of its kind don't offer any distinctive advantages over the tried and true standards. Like many other new whiz bangers it was a way for the manufacturers to increase sales for the latest and greatest. They created a buzz and a following but based on history, they'll fall from popularity pretty quickly. Honestly, I seriously doubt that the animal or target on the other end is going to know the difference but your wallet will. I really believe that these are fad cartridges that are going to be harder and harder to find as time goes on, the .270 Win will always be around.

I use to be a Magnum Hound but I've realized that they have applications only when the shots are at distance and that most shooters of them never fully realize their uses where a standard will do the same. In fact my 7mm-08 is better suited to the whitetails and hogs we hunt than my 7mm Mags are.
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