View Full Version : .270 or .308 for Whitetails?

June 2, 2004, 10:17 PM
Just converted a VZ-24 Czech Mauser to .270 with a combo sock and barrel kit from Midway. I threw on a cheapie BSA scope and now to the range to get things in order.

My question to folks here is which do you think is better for the deer season, .270 or .308?

June 3, 2004, 08:24 AM
Your question calls purely for opinion, because, ballistically speaking, both cartridges will get the job done.

.270 shoots flatter, and I'm a flat trajectory kind of guy. Comes in useful out in the sage brush.

.308 allows you to throw a larger bullet, but for deer, I can't see needing anything more than a 150gr, no matter how big the mulie(or white tail in your case) is.

.308, due to it being a short-action cartridge, also allows you to carry a slightly shorter/lighter rifle, if that is your choice.

That being said, since I just made this choice myself a few weeks ago, I went with .270.


June 3, 2004, 09:13 AM
A good hit will kill a deer dead with either caliber. I like 308 but I'm a 30 caliber person.


June 3, 2004, 10:20 AM
I like the 270 better. It hits a little harder when 150 grain bullets are used in both but not enough to get excited about. I like it because of the higher BC and SD of the slightly smaller diameter bullet. Both are good, very good, pick the one that has a percieved advantage that is important to you.

June 3, 2004, 04:09 PM
A good hit from either will have the same effect on a whitetail.

The .308 "may" be more intrinsically accurate at range, but the .270 will probably be a little flatter-shooting.


michael t
June 3, 2004, 06:48 PM
Get a good lever gun in 30/30. Really Id go with 308.

Johnny Guest
June 6, 2004, 07:41 PM
Both the .270 and the .308 are fine, highly developed cartridges. Either will properly take down even the largest whitetail deer walking, if you do your part well. A .375 or .458 couldn't kill a deer any deader than either of the first two rifles.

If you contemplate going north a bit and seeking out moose, perhaps the available heavier bullets would cause you to shoose the .308. If traveling west for pronghorn antelope, the flat trajectory of the .270 might serve you better.

I'm certain your .270 will serve you well.

Best of luck - -

June 13, 2004, 10:28 PM
Either will work. I would choose based on range. If your longest shot is under 300 yds it doesn't really matter. My primary bambi rifle is a 30-06. I got it when I was needing to have one rifle for all my hunting needs. you can use a 30-06 on anything in north america except dangerous game. If I had to do griz I think I would want something like a 338 lapua. :)

June 14, 2004, 05:15 PM
I hunt heavily wooded areas so distances above 100 yards are rare for me. I am sure looking forward to hunting season. I will be going with the 150. I'll let you all know how it works out one way or the other.

June 14, 2004, 05:39 PM
The forum lists your location as Rockland. I didn't know you could use a rifle in your area. Are you going far up state?

June 14, 2004, 07:07 PM
Technically shotgun is still allowed in Rockland. Bow is generally the way most folks here take a deer. I go up to my brothers property in Sullivan County. I can also go up to the Roscoe area using the properties of two clubs in which I hold membership.

The answer is no rifles for hunting in Rockland!

June 15, 2004, 12:54 PM
Hey, not to hijack your thread, but could yous guys answer me a similar (though not the same) question:

Of those exact two caliber choices (.270 Win and .308 Win), which one is better for hunting largeish North American animals at ranges under 200 yards, such as mulies, black bear, elk, caribou? Thanks.

June 15, 2004, 01:38 PM
Given your situation, under 200 yards on 'larger' game, I would go with the .308 over the .270.

Using a .270 with premium 150gr loads, or Hornadys 140gr 'Light Magnum' loads, I would have no reservations shooting at a big mulie, elk or caribou out to 250-275ish. Maybe even 300 if it was a nice broad-side shot, and I didn't have to worry about a shoulder getting in the way.

But, since you are going to be under 200, and you mentioned black bears, you might be better off going with a nice 180gr .308 load. It will certainly get the job done.


June 15, 2004, 03:13 PM
According to me. The 270 won't do for the bigger stuff. I also think the 308 is iffy. I would suggest nothing under a 30-06. For moose usually something bigger is mentioned. for a mooseberger, the 30-06 is just bearly in there and shot placement becomes critical. I wouldn't even consider a 270.

Rich Lucibella
June 15, 2004, 03:40 PM
Not saying that I recommend 30 cals for moose or bear.
But be aware that modern "Hi-Performance" loads in .308 render the ballistics between it and standard 30-06 virtually indistinguishable.

Kinda like the difference between the .338 WinMag and .375. There's nothing that the .338 can do that the .375 can't do a bit better; but there's nothing you can hunt with a .375 that the .338 isn't up to, either.

June 15, 2004, 04:41 PM
ya got me. I don't shoot "standard" 30-06. I handload and make the load to the use at hand.

June 15, 2004, 04:55 PM
If I was to go after moose with my 30-06 I would work with a 200 gr bullet such as the sierra #2165 and powders such as 4350, 4831, RE19 and RE22. looking for the best velocity with acceptable accuracy. As I would not attempt a real long shot on a moose with a 30-06 the choice would be power over pin point accuracy. 2-2.5 moa would be well within spec. 3 moa would be acceptable if there was a great difference in muzzle velocity

June 16, 2004, 04:39 AM
Here is Sullivan Co most shots are within 50 yds.Having butchered a few deer shot with the 270 130 gr I stronly suggest you stick to the 150 gr, you won't waste venison.In the 308 I probably would pick the 165 gr.

June 16, 2004, 08:46 PM
Path - you have a 270 so for you it's the better choice, unless you need an excuse to buy another rifle, then 308 is the right choice.

Fer moose - more than a few Scandinavian types and Canadians use a 6.5x55. In N.A. other than bears (blacks excepted) if a 308 won't do it you're doing something wrong. Everything in N.A. is consistantly killed with 44mag, 45 Colt, 454 Cassul, etc revolvers.

June 17, 2004, 11:40 AM
grimel, truth be told, I have a .308 I can use. I do like the flatter trajectory on the .270 though. I had heard from some of my fellow hunters that the .270 was great for white tail. I thought I would ask here in order to get more in the way of knowledgeable opinions.

June 17, 2004, 07:08 PM
truth be told, I have a .308 I can use. I do like the flatter trajectory on the .270 though. I had heard from some of my fellow hunters that the .270 was great for white tail.

LOL, ok, I understand. The 270 is a wicked deer round. Have you considered a 7mm-08 or the 260 Rem?

I prefer a 280 to the 270 even if I use a 7x57 more and a 7-30 Waters more than everything else combined.

June 18, 2004, 12:00 AM
grimel, you are going to get me in trouble with the wife because now I am going to have to look at those calibers. :D Oh well, look out safe and wallet I'm filling one and emptying the other!

June 18, 2004, 10:41 PM
grimel, you are going to get me in trouble with the wife because now I am going to have to look at those calibers.

My work here is done. ;) One reason I love my Contender is being able to play with new calibers relatively cheaply. Makes a nice carbine <38in <6lbs scoped.

Dusty Miller
June 20, 2004, 02:43 PM
When you consider, that there exists no deer on the North American continent that can't be taken with a .257 caliber rifle in one configuration or another, then your question is essentially moot.

August 11, 2004, 08:08 PM
Just pick one. Either will do the job.


August 12, 2004, 12:56 PM
Either. .270 - just becasue it shoots flatter, but 308 is fine was well.

August 12, 2004, 10:59 PM
Just pick one. Either will do the job.


By the way, many moose and black bear are taken every year here in New England with 30-30, .300 Savage, .44 mag, and many other cartidges smaller than 30-06. Some bigger cartridges might be a better choice for some hunters but most hunters are best off with the firearm they are most proficient with.

September 29, 2004, 10:19 AM
In my oppinion, i like the 270 better. I like alittle more weight to my rifle, when braced, its alot easier to hold steady. I have more experience with the 270 anyhow.

4 Wheel Drive
September 29, 2004, 03:54 PM
If I had both, which I do, I'd take them out for a side by side comparison with the loads I like best in each and see which one was the most consistent for me.

It helps if its the same rifle in both calibers. My only problem with the 270 is what I am used to. I've used the 308 for so long that when I practice chambering a second round for the 270, it seems like such a loooong pull on the bolt. But, thats not the rifle-its the shooter.

Steve Brook
September 29, 2004, 04:07 PM
Prefer the .308, shorter bolt throw, heavier bullet choice, less muzzle noise, but this is a personal preference. Go with the calibre and cartridge combination that works best for you.

October 1, 2004, 09:32 AM
You have answered your own question. You put a 270 barrel on your rifle! They are both fine cartridges. Good luck with your 270...

October 3, 2004, 09:14 PM
As has been mentioned, less than 100 yards either would do fine. If you own a 270 use it. If you are looking for a new gun a lever action 44 or 30-30 would make the deer just as dead and would give ou something different to try. A short quick handling gun in a caliber (30-30) has killed more white tails than any other.

Quickdraw Limpsalot
October 4, 2004, 05:57 AM
I really don't see the justification in choosing the .270 over .308 because the .270 is a "flatter shooter." They're both far beyond most calibers in that respect. Either is plenty good for any whitetail out there and will reach out and touch one at a darned impressive range.

That said... I'm with Longbowshooter. I've had many other rifles, but the ones I grab most often for deep woods hunting in KY (<200 yard shots) are my .35 Rem and 30-30 lever guns. At closer ranges, a .308 can do tremendous, maybe even excessive (in my opinion) damage to a whitetail. I took 3 deer with mine before selling it off for something lighter and more packable.

October 6, 2004, 06:25 PM
I've used a .270 all of my deer hunting career. I highly recommend it.

p.s. If you want to try all those different calibers and don't want to get in trouble with the wife, buy a large gun safe and don't let her know the combo.
I have found it helpful in "disguising" my hobby.

Good Luck!

High Mountain Hunting Supply