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.270/ Elk Question

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by svg4, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. svg4

    svg4 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I just drew a special hunt cow elk tag in the Grizzly unit. I just changed from a .300 Savage to a Remington .270. I was advised to use a Barnes Tipped TSX in 130 Gr. TTSX Boattail. The shot will not be long. I was hoping for some thoughts on this advise. Thanks
     
  2. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    Your shot placement will be CRITICAL with the 270. A 130 grain bullet is really light for elk.
     
  3. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    True. I have taken one Minnesota moose and one Colorado elk with a .270. Both were under 100 yard shots and both went down for the count with one bullet. I used 150 grain Nosler Partitions in both cases. You must pick your shot carefully and put them where they need to be. I passed on a couple of longer shots in Colorado before I got the opportunity I was looking for. I wouldn't hestitate to use the 270 again for these animals but would stick to the 150 grain bullets designed for heavy game... and the Barnes TSX is available in 150 grain so it would be a good choice.
     
  4. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    .270 on Elk? Since this thread will probably explode (as does any other on this subject), I figured I'd chime in with professed ignorance as well as prideful experience. (This will just about cover the range of responses, but I make no claims toward reducing them.)

    Professed ignorance: I have no experience with all-copper bullets on big game, but I will stand with the choice of a 130-grain TSX as entirely adequate. As to shot placement all of a sudden becoming "critical" with the choice of a .270, or 130-grain bullet, or such, I'd sumbit my humble contention that shot placement is always and without exception critical.

    I do have experience with intense testing of all-copper bullets in the .270, as this was a considered choice for me for elk and Dall Sheep hunts. To cut to the chase, I was extremely impressed with the expansion, weight retention, and penetration of the Barnes bullet (of a style prior to the TSX). All-copper bullets seem to "upgrade" a lighter bullet into the performance range of a heavier one in all respects mentioned. The litmus test for me however, also included accuracy, and this older-style Barnes could not measure up in that department. I have kept up with developments, and understand that the TSX bullet has solved most of this early accuracy issue.

    I included Nosler Partitions in this testing (including on big game) over the years, and found as many others have found that they do everything as represented, with a couple minor drawbacks: Rarely will a Partition bullet deliver the dramatic "explosive knockdown" (in truth, no bullet is capable of "knocking down" big game) on an animal, as a faster expanding bullet might.

    Rather, the strength in the Partition bullet is demonstrated in penetration, continuing on inside the animal to reach vital parts that a faster expanding bullet might not get to. It nearly always exits, leaving a fine blood trail. The other drawback to the Partition is that in its expanded state, its diameter is not nearly the diameter of a conventional expanding bullet, and therefore it creates less displacement.

    Most of what I've said is uncontroversial, and so, here's something some can argue with: My final choice for elk in the .270 Winchester is a 150 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, loaded to 3000fps. Tests in various media gave excellent penetration, excellent weight retention (surprising me, as I did not expect this bonus) and dramatic expansion. Used on elk, it gave one-shot kills, the most dramatic of which was a huge 6x6 trotting bull in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, which received this bullet a bit forward of "critical bullet placement"; The 150grain Ballistic Tip hit the ball of the shoulder, broke that shoulder and the bull's neck, penetrated the far shoulder blade and exited. The bull may have kicked twice after plowing 15 feet of snow.

    Lesser elk, smacked in the ribs simply did the "I'm hit in the lungs" jump, ran the customary 15-20 yards and died.

    Any stout 130 grain or 150 grain bullet in the .270, backed by a hunter who is confident with his weapon as a result of lack of recoil is entirely adequate for elk. A .338, .340 Weatherby, or the like reduces the criticalness of shot placement not one iota., and may actually in more than a few cases, impair it.
     
  5. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    Excellent information, Spitpatch. I have never taken anything larger than deer and a couple of hogs with Nosler Ballistic Tips but they were the yellow 130 grainers. Good results with them as you pointed out. We should get some folks riled up by this evening :D
     
  6. cash$$cow

    cash$$cow Eastern Wa Member

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    I have taken 4 elk here in Washington state with a .270. I would suggest a 150 grain bullet. They are fast and flat enough that it will not hamper anything. Good luck!!
     
  7. fry

    fry pacific north west Active Member

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    know people who have shot plenty of elk with a 270.

    i am quite sure the 300 savage is not an elk cartridge.
     
  8. svg4

    svg4 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I did not consider the .300 for elk. That is why I took the .270 when offered. It is a Remington 721. It is older, but has been shot very little.
     
  9. fry

    fry pacific north west Active Member

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    i didnt think you thunk it were. i have four rifles chambered in 300 sav so i woul dalso know.

    still waiting for someone to come along and say that 270 isnt an elk cartridge.
     
  10. Izzy

    Izzy Oakridge Active Member

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    I am planning to use a 270 for Elk this year, I'm going to be working up a load for it SOON.

    Nosler makes a 160 gr. Partition Semi Spitzer that I plan to use.

    I bring this up because, most people think that a 150 gr is the heaviest bullet you can get for the 270.
     
  11. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Hold that bus!

    I'll step forward right now and defend the .300 Savage as an excellent elk cartridge! She may not fly laser-flat as some, but in it's heyday, the .300 took tens of thousands of elk, moose, and grizzly. It was one of the most powerful hunting cartridges of the time. Secret information: elk today aren't any tougher than elk 60 years ago.

    In fact, despite my defense of the .270, in some applications the venerable Savage .300 may be a better elk cartridge, and when partnered up with its mothership the Savage 99, a better elk rifle than a .270 bolt gun.

    If I had the choice of the two, and knew my elk hunt was going to be in dark timber where fast-handling guns and moderate-range shots rule the day, I'd grab my Savage 99 .300 in a heartbeat before I even looked at any bolt gun, .270 or otherwise. If that hunt included horseback riding, that would cinch the deal for the .300/M99 with its slick comfort under a leg in a scabbard.

    Loaded with a 180-grain bullet (or a 150-165 of stout construction), the .300 gives amazing penetration as a result of its somewhat moderate velocity. It can be handloaded to easily match .308 ballistics. I'd be willing to bet that a .300 Winchester or Weatherby fan that would denigrate the .300 Savage as an elk cartridge could be caught red-handed bragging about his cartridge being capable of 400 yard shots on elk while not considering the .300 Savage easily matching that impact velocity at 200 yards. Secret information: very,very few elk are actually shot at 400 yards.

    The .300 Savage cartridge was ahead of its time by about 50 years. It featured a sharp shoulder and minimum-taper case in a short action (all the rage now, since gun people keep forgetting fashion statements of a bygone era, and reintroductions of the same concepts are greeted as new science).
     
  12. svg4

    svg4 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Even though I am very fond of my Savage 99 .300 I have committed to the .270 and am selling the 99. After reading all these great posts, it seems that placement is the issue. (It always is) I am more comfortable with the .270 and have been shooting it twice a week in different positions. I would like to say I am a great shot, but I still have a ways to go. I would be great if the elk would line up out at Tri-County in front of the benches. The question now is 130 gr., 150 gr., or 160 gr. I checked Barnes Loading and they are recommending H4350 or Rl19, which puts the 130 gr. at 2927fps and the 150 gr. at 2717fps. Listening to all of you it would seem I am on the wrong track with the 130 Gr. By the way, I appreciate all the info.
     
  13. fry

    fry pacific north west Active Member

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    i would take a shot at an elk with a three hundred sav 150g inside of a hundred.

    22 mag and 22lr has probably dispatched many "tens of thousands" of deer but its not a recommended cartridge.

    dont get me wrong i loves me some 300 savage and have had a thing for 99EG's, F's and C,s for 27 years.

    i would never take a 300 sav into the woods for elk if a bigger better option was available like a 270, 3006, ect ect.
     
  14. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    The .270 Win is one heck of a good round. It's all I've used for hunting since the early 70's. I like the Remington PSP bullets in 130 grain - 130 because they are so fast and flat shooting, and retain so much energy at distance.

    If you can't kill an elk with a .270 you need to go back to school. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :D
     
  15. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    svg4, here's something to work up to: My load for the 150g Ballistic Tip in the .270 Winchester is 56.5 grains of IMR4831, over a Federal 210Gold Match Benchrest primer. It chronographs just over 2950fps out of a 24" stainless barrelled M700, and groups in this gun under an inch.

    I fully understand that some may not agree with my choice of the Ballistic Tip, and with that in mind, if you choose a more conventional 150grain bullet, you may be able to match this velocity easier (the Ballistic Tip as well as Partition bullets develop high pressures earlier than conventional designs).

    Do not overlook the 140 grain offerings: Particularly attractive to me is the 140 grain Accubond from Nosler. All the features of a Ballistic Tip (including the unparalelled accuracy), combined with a very stout jacket and bonding process for bullet integrity. This just might be the happy medium and best of all worlds for the .270.

    Oh. I almost forgot: When that fat young "ice cream on the hoof" cow elk cooperates with your hard work and grants you that shot you are confident with, I for one will fully expect you to report here your certain knowledge that the ol' .300 could have done the job just as well.
     
  16. 4th_point

    4th_point Hillsboro Member

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    I shoot a 300 Win Mag, and never thought much of the 270 until I bought a used one and started looking at its velocity, sectional density, BC of popular bullets, etc. I sold that rifle after I got my 300WM, but based on what I've read, heard, and discussed with guys experienced with the 270, I wouldn't hesitate to use one for elk.

    The sectional density of a 130gr .277 bullet is pretty high... about the same as a 165gr .30 cal bullet. But, the 130gr bullet from a 270 will be travelling much faster than a 165gr from a .308 or 30-06. A 150gr bullet from a 270 should have outstanding penetration.

    Hornady has the all-copper 130gr GMX at ~3200 fps in their Superformance line. I'd willing to bet that this bullet would double lung any elk alive at just about any reasonable distance with a broadside shot.

    I wouldn't try to bust a bull's shoulders with a 270, but I wouldn't try that with a .308 or 30-06 either. Shot placement, just like the other guys wrote, trumps everything else and with the light recoil, flat trajectory, and low ammo cost of the 270 it should allow you to have the experience and confidence to place your shots.
     
  17. tkdguy

    tkdguy Portland, Oregon Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    270: you may recall that Jack O'Connor was a very big fan of the 270. He used it to clobber game.
     
  18. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    After seeing what my .270 did to both shoulders of a HUGE benchleg buck at 320 yards, (130gr Core-lokt) I wouldn't hesitate to bust the nearside shoulder of a bull.
    The SD you spoke about, coupled with the .270's velocity capabilities will do that every time. We used to call them "anchor shots", because that's what they did. Anchored the bull right there, after proceeding on through the chest cavity. I've seen many bulls downed this way by multiple .270 shooters.
    A monometal bullet like the Barnes would be even more capable of doing this. Guys in our parties did it with 150gr Sierra SPBTs. Which happen to have the same SD as a 180gr .300 bullet.
    I have never had to do it on an elk myself though. The 3 I have shot went down after neck shots (2) and one head shot, due to 2 of the 3 being bedded down when I pulled the trigger.
     
  19. 4th_point

    4th_point Hillsboro Member

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    Good info Jamie. The reports I've heard on quartering-away shots is impressive too.

    If I were using a 270, I'd be looking at the 130gr GMX or 130gr TSX/MRX. These seem like great bullets.
     
  20. surveyor nw

    surveyor nw Mid valley New Member

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    I agree with the herd on this one, 150grain Nosler partition works just fine...
    My dads had a nice mount on the wall to prove it...

    Learn to shoot with that cartridge and it can bring down anything in north america.