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Old February 20, 2013, 08:10 AM   #1
FredFreakoutski
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.270 or 30-06?

I'm planning on buying a hunting rifle to use here in Idaho for deer and elk. Hunting will be in a mix of tight Doug fir forest and open sagebrush country. The terrain is hilly to mountainous (shots may be at pretty steep angles) and I like walking out and getting away from the roads. Most shots will be be less than 250 yards.

I'm looking at a Savage 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP w/ the Nikon 3-9x40 BDC reticle scope. This sound like a good basic gun that can put meat on the table.

I'm having a hard time deciding whether to go with the .270 or 30-06. I'll also put in for the draws on antelope and moose, but most hunts will be on over-the-counter deer and elk.

Which caliber would work the best?
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Old February 20, 2013, 08:17 AM   #2
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Deer won't be able to tell the difference and at that range the .270 trajectory really has no advantage in terms of ballistics over the .30-06 and the '06 has no real penetration advantage over the .270. The '06 could also be argued to better serve for elk as well, even though a well placed .270 will do the job, too.

Afterthought: '06 might perform better through brush, too.
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Old February 20, 2013, 08:18 AM   #3
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Either.

I'd pick the one with the prettiest wood.
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Old February 20, 2013, 08:22 AM   #4
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The 30-06 is available in a wider range of bullet weights than .270.

Do what I did .............. buy 1 of each and choose the one you want to use on that day
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Old February 20, 2013, 09:12 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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.270 or 30-06?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WeedWacker View Post
Deer won't be able to tell the difference and at that range the .270 trajectory really has no advantage in terms of ballistics over the .30-06 and the '06 has no real penetration advantage over the .270. The '06 could also be argued to better serve for elk as well, even though a well placed .270 will do the job, too.

Afterthought: '06 might perform better through brush, too.
No bullet "performs better through brush".
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Old February 20, 2013, 09:34 AM   #6
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Elk won't notice the difference either between the two. With the bullet selection for both you'll find a suitable one for all animals. Save yourself some headache and find one bullet that will work for all game. Since elk are going to be hunted I'd look at a 140 grain bullet like the Nosler Accubond for the .270 for a do all bullet. I no longer hunt elk with the .270 but I wouldn't hesitate to go back to it, as I've killed the most elk with it and a 150 grain Nosler Partition (before Accubond) . The only reason I don't hunt with the .270 anymore is because I'm always trying something different like a Whelen, .338-06, .300 Savage or H&H, and the .375 Ruger or JDJ. Now that I have a .45-70 I may have to try that one as well.
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Old February 20, 2013, 10:00 AM   #7
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I don't think you can make a wrong choice between those two cartridges. The 30/06 offers heavier bullet choices but with today's bullet technology I'm not sure that is enough to sway my opinion. The 270 offers slightly better ballistics but at the ranges you're talking it is a non-factor. Either cartridge is going to do the job as long as you do your part so pick one and enjoy!
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Old February 20, 2013, 01:43 PM   #8
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I checked around locally to see which caliber had the most options as far as ammo goes. Which one is kept in stock the most. For my needs it was a 243. Almost went 270. But 243 had more ammo availability in my local area.
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Old February 20, 2013, 03:46 PM   #9
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You will likely have an easier time finding cartridges for the 06. It may be the most popular (for good reason) center file rifle in the world.
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Old February 20, 2013, 03:57 PM   #10
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You, or your game won't be able to tell the difference between the two rounds.

If I had to suggest one over the other I'd go with the 30.06 since ammo, and variety of ammo, might be greater for the 30.06.
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Old February 20, 2013, 03:58 PM   #11
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Both are great cartridges for pretty much the same game. The .30-06 has the advantage on large bears or moose with the 200-220 gr bullets, but with the great premium bullets available that is less a factor nowadays.

With the current, and apparently periodic ammo shortages, I see the .270 ammo is more available than .30-06 right now. I just bought a new rifle, a Sako A7, and got it in .30-06 because I have a ton of ammo and reloading components for it already. But if I was getting a first rifle, considering the ammo shortages I would lean toward the .270 or 7mm Mag.

Go to your local sporting goods store or gun shop and see what ammo they have on the shelf. If you can buy it now you can probably buy it any time in the future. Look to see which caliber has the greatest variety and most ammo on the shelf. In most western states the .270, .30-06 and 7mm mag are very popular and you should have good selection options.
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Old February 20, 2013, 04:52 PM   #12
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I'm a 270 fan
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Old February 20, 2013, 04:53 PM   #13
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My uncle didn't know better and took everything from porcupine to moose with his 270 and 130 grain bullets. It helped that he was pretty good shot and had lots of practice on deer. It won't make a lick of difference which one you get, choose the one that fits you best and makes you smile when you hold it.
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Old February 20, 2013, 05:28 PM   #14
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I could definetly load a bullet capable of cleanly killing those animals you mentioned with a .270 win. The 30-06 is quite capable also but when you stated shooting up and downhill at pretty steep angles, I like the .270 for that, and I use a Savage 110 .270 win that weighs around 7 lbs dressed so it's a decent rifle for the mountains.

Also like Cowboymo, I have both so I can pick which I want to take.
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:21 PM   #15
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I like the higher velocity of the 270. the 06 is a fantastic cartridge and will do the job plenty well, and you have a larger bullet selection with 06. I like the fact that the 270 projectile, generally gets down range faster though.
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:47 PM   #16
Nico Testosteros
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.270 or 30-06?

I have a .270, wanted a .30-06. Either will work.
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Old February 20, 2013, 07:11 PM   #17
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Try both and pick the rifle which fits you best. Proper rifle fit has a greater impact on accuracy and accuracy is more important than the perceived differences between the two cartridges.

PS I would go with the 30-06 because that is what my family has shot for 4 generations.
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Old February 20, 2013, 07:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltc444
Try both and pick the rifle which fits you best. Proper rifle fit has a greater impact on accuracy and accuracy is more important than the perceived differences between the two cartridges.
Good advice, there. I doubt the animal can tell the difference. So, the question becomes: Which one do you want?
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Old February 20, 2013, 08:16 PM   #19
FredFreakoutski
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Thanks to everyone for your advice! Seeing how there won't be a significant performance difference between the two, I'm going to go with the .270. And the only reason is that my wife has a .270, and I figure I can steal her ammo when she's not looking
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Old February 20, 2013, 09:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
No bullet "performs better through brush".
Bullets can tumble depending on the debris between you and the target. I've seen tests with branches and paper behind and was published in an American Hunter magazine. Heavy and slow worked better than light and fast. Heavier '06 may (as in I don't have any empirical data in front of me comparing .270 and '06) maintain it's course while the lighter .270 may have tumbling issues... But it still stands the necked down '06 will have identical freezer filling performance on meat as it's big brother.
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Old February 20, 2013, 09:10 PM   #21
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270
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Old February 20, 2013, 09:46 PM   #22
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If there were one rifle cartridge in existence it would be something like the 30-06. Given there are so many cartridges in existence I don't even own one. If I could force myself into a more pragmatic self, and go back in time, my first rifle would be a 30-06.
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Old February 20, 2013, 11:08 PM   #23
highbrow
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I have that same package gun in 270. Excellent accuracy with 150gr bullets.
Will be enough for elk.
I usually use a 30-06 for elk but am planning on using the 270 next year as it is lighter than the -06.
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Old February 20, 2013, 11:31 PM   #24
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I have both but mt .270 is my go to deer rifle.
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Old February 21, 2013, 12:08 AM   #25
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Weed Wacker,

Interesting. Years ago Jack O'Connor performed the same experiment with wooden dowels to simulate branches. His conclusion was that no bullet performed dependably in brush. He further stated that the best thing to use in the brush was a gun that could be fired accurately through holes in the brush. Contrary to what is commonly believed, He found that pointed bullets did slightly better than round nose.
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