View Full Version : .270 too big??

October 15, 2007, 11:35 AM
I will be purchasing a rifle to mainly small game hunt(rabbit). I want a bolt action! I was looking at the .17hmr, but I got to thinking......would a .270 be too big for small game? The reason I am thinking about this caliber is so that if I do get into deer hunting or fox or coyote I can use it as well. What do you guys think?

October 15, 2007, 11:36 AM
Or what about a .243? In MN to hunt deer you have to have larger than .223. Thank you all in advance.

October 15, 2007, 11:43 AM
The .243 win is about right for varmints, coyotes, chucks and smaller deer. The .270 is a bit overkill for the smaller stuff, but is a fantastic deer round.

A 130 Silvertip from a .270 would be a bit, just a bit overkill for rabbits....

I'd go with a .243 for what you described...

October 15, 2007, 11:53 AM
Two calibers that are in between & EXCELLENT for deer & large varments is 25-06 & .257 Roberts. They are both still overkill for rabbits. 25-06 is flat shooting, good long range, & very light recoil.
.257 wont reach as far, will bounce a little more, but do a better job on larger deer if needed.

October 15, 2007, 12:06 PM
Rabbits are very weak animals. Any good shot that penetrates the body in a vital area will kill them. A Gamo pellet rifle is excellent out to about 25 yrds. The .270 you are thinking about will kill them, clean them, cook them, and eat them all in the same shot. A .243 isn't much better. If you want to shoot rabbits, think small and light. Of course, if you are thinking about western jackrabbits that have no food value, then use whatever you've got.

October 15, 2007, 12:51 PM
I think if you want something left to eat, anything larger than a 22 rimfire is too big.Unless you can hit them in the head.If they are damaging your garden or something and you just want to get rid of them,you can shoot them with whatever you like.

October 15, 2007, 02:58 PM
Like the other guys said, the .270 is huge over kill for rabbits and small game. Get you a .22 for small game and use the .270 for deer and other critters.

October 15, 2007, 05:17 PM
Thank you all for your responses. I will get a .17hmr, then another rifle if I start hunting deer.

Next question if I may........What about using a 20 gauge shot gun for rabbit?

October 15, 2007, 05:20 PM
There you go.And #6 shot.Low or high velocity depending on how long your typical shot will be.

October 15, 2007, 05:20 PM
You're kidding right??? That's a great round if you like to watch rabbits blow up, then again, you can say that for all the centerfires. Great on larger stuff...

October 15, 2007, 06:28 PM
Read up on a 22-250 if its legal for deer in your area.You might like what you see and buy one just like me :D

October 15, 2007, 06:44 PM
Umm, I'm gonna say overpowered, yes...

However, if you handload, I think it would be okay. Get some full metal jackets, load 'em light and try a few. I think you would want to work with a paper punching round...no expansion involved. Go straight through so you don't blow the thing up like a little "Varmint Grenade" and send bad stuff everywhere :p:barf::(


October 15, 2007, 09:37 PM
How about a .223 in a bolt action? I have an AR 15 which already uses this load, then when I start reloading in the spring I can just pump out the same caliber.

October 15, 2007, 09:48 PM
Now your talking, I would likely use that round a lot more for varmints then 270. The only thing is, even though it is legal in some states, I would have to be really comfortable with that rifle before I ever used it on a deer. It is smaller, but very, very capable for being a good hunting, plinking round.


October 15, 2007, 09:57 PM
Dead is dead, no such animal as "over kill".

October 15, 2007, 11:06 PM
.270 is an overkill. Yes dead is dead but I like to eat what I kill. I like a single shot 12 gauge for rabbit. I don't have a dog so I walk along kicking brush piles and try to shoot what pops out. Makes for a very exciting day. The single shot is light to carry and as fast as the bunnies break out I would never get a second shot anyway. The 20 gauge with #6 or maybe even #4 shot would work great.

October 16, 2007, 06:02 AM
Now that I think youve figured out that a .270 is in fact way too much for a bunny if you want any meat to eat I think either a .17 HMR or even a smaller guage shotgun would be a much better idea. The shotgun will allow you to get one as its moving. They'll take off into the brush if they see you. And the HMR will give you the range to pop them at a nice distance before they see you. Find a buddy and take both. Thats what I do for squirrel.

October 16, 2007, 08:28 AM
In fact, .17 HMR is overkill and will destroy a lot of meat. Some people use .22 short or subsonic .22lr for rabbits & squirrels, instead of standard .22lr, to leave them more hassenpfeffer on the plate.

Art Eatman
October 16, 2007, 10:42 AM
If you're all set up for handloading, and just want only one gun to do it all, consider these games:

00 round lead ball and about five or six grains of slow-burn pistol powder for rabbits and squirrels to eat.

80-grain pistol bullets or 110-grain varmint bullets for jackrabbits and coyotes.

150-grain to 180-grain for deer and elk.

Yeah, you probably guessed it. Me'n'my '06. :D

Anyhow, if I'm seriously after squirrels and rabbits to eat, I'm gonna use a .22 rimfire or my 20-gauge. Small varmints? I have been doing quite well with a 77 MkII light sporter in .223; half-MOA critter. Fun Gun. Deer? .243 on up to '06.


October 16, 2007, 01:39 PM
It's always good to ask questions like these. My opinion: a 270 (or any cartridge in that class) is really hard to beat for a deer rifle. But deer are pretty solidly built, and typically shot at 100 yds or so, so people like rifles that shoot flat and hit hard. Rabbits, on the other hand, are pretty fragile. If you shoot a rabbit with a 270, you will need a couple of hours to pick up enough pieces to make a stir-fry. Same story with the 223. If you shoot rabbits with either round, you will understand the term "overkill". Rabbits and other small game are best hunted with a shotgun with small to medium size shot, or a 22LR.

It sounds like you need:
A) a shotgun (covers both small game and deer) OR
B) a 22LR for small game and a deer rifle for deer (270 or other chambering of your choice).

October 16, 2007, 02:51 PM
What's wrong with headshots? I know that will limit some shots, but not more than 75% if one is patient. Everybody that shoots should have a 22lr and a shotgun, but I know that's not always possible immediately.

October 16, 2007, 04:03 PM
Yeah, if you're into rabbits, it's a lot cheaper to shoot a 22 lr than a 17. however, the 17 is a little rocket. You could get an inexpensive bolt gun and a 22 lr if you budget it right. You know, the ole' more bang for the buck theory...litterally...

I like the 22-250 too as another poster stated...