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.308 Win. vs. .270 Win. Comparison

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by HikerKat, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. HikerKat

    HikerKat Portland, OR Member

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    Am I correct in thinking that .270 is better for hunting since it is more accurate long distance? Or is there really no difference, since .308 is faster?

    Also, if my preference is for less recoil, would that favor the .270?
     
  2. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    How are you quantifying "more accurate at long distance?" Nothing wrong with the .270, but way more people are shooting the .308 for distance target shooting then the .270. Also consider Hornady doesn't even make a match .270 bullet, not an Amax or anything HP/BTHP line. Nosler makes a 115gr Custom Competition, but my guess would be its for the 6.8 SPC, not the .270.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
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  3. HikerKat

    HikerKat Portland, OR Member

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    I have nothing to quantify my statements with. I've never fired either round and so I'm going off tidbits of information I can gather off the internet, which it seems I'm not having much luck with. I guess I'm asking what the recommendation of you experienced shooters would be.
     
  4. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    Either will suit you fine for hunting in North America. You'll find a greater diversity of ammo for the .308, but the .270 is easy to find as well. I can't speak to recoil as I have only shot the .308. What's going to determine success in hunting is your proficiency with whichever you choose.
     
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  5. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I went .308. Especially for western oregon and Washington where there are rarely longer shots then 100 yards from my research and don what I've been told.

    .308 will be more versatile and ammo is more readily available.

    Have you shot a 12ga shotgun? My Ruger Gunsite has recoil similar to a light brass target load from a full size 12ga. Also about the same as my SKS.
     
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  6. 308

    308 ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Platinum Supporter Silver Supporter

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    In the past when .308 was much more readily available in surplus, I ended up spending many hours shooting rifles in that caliber. I like shooting surplus because it allows lots of time behind the trigger without breaking the bank. Hirtenberger was the cleanest and most accurate IMO. South African battle pack ammo was pretty decent too.

    The rifles I have owned and shot extensively are the Rem700 VLS, Rem700 PSS, Rem700 PSS-LTR, FN-FAL, and my M1A. Of all those rifles I absolutely loved the Rem700 PSS. The weight was significant enough to provide a manageable recoil....this allowed me to shoot quite a bit in one session without developing a subconscious flinch. As the heavy barrel warmed up after several shots, the point of impact did not change as much as it does with a lightweight barrel. LW bbls will heat up after a couple shots and if not noticed, one will start chasing the point of impact all over the target.

    My shooting buddy and I worked our own handloads and found them very accurate at 600yards. I prefer the 168gr and he likes the 175gr. 600yards is a decent distance and being able to consistently hit a paper plate at that distance with the .308 gave me a lot of confidence.

    .308/7.62x51 is a more common round and in a desperate time may be available when 270 may not.

    Probably doesn't answer your question, but it's my opinion on my favorite caliber.
     
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  7. twowheels

    twowheels portland, OR Active Member

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    They are both exceptional hunting cartridges. The 270 is based on the 30-06 case and is longer than the 308 case. Thus, 270 actions are longer than 308 actions (at least in actions that are sized appropriately for the cartridge like, for example, sako and remington) and therefore are slightly heavier. The 270 is higher velocity and shoots flatter than the 308. I've shot both extensively and have taken over 20 big game animals with a 270 and a couple with a 308 (as well as multiple animals with 7mm mag and 300 win mag). It was a tough thing to do but I passed my 25 year old sako 270 to a friend's son. I kept my sako 308 and 7mm mag, and my remington 700 KS mountain rifle in 300 win mag. This may sound like a cop out but the 270 and the 308 will reliably take anything up to elk in north america. All things being equal in a high quality rifle, the 308 will weigh a bit less and recoil a bit less as well.
     
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  8. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I agree with most of twowheels says with one exception. I don't believe the 308 will recoil less than a 270, especially in a lighter rifle that everyone claims is a benefit of the short action cartridges. Light recoil is one of the "talking points" of 270 fans. The 270 will have less drop at a distance, not only because of the higher starting velocities, but it's a long thin bullet and they usually have pretty high BCs of the commonly used bullet weights. The 308 has some fantastic bullets available, but doesn't push a 180gr or heavier bullet very fast so trajectory suffers.
    You won't catch me saying that the 308 isn't accurate at long range. It just has more drop to contend with.
    You'll likely find more ammo choices for the 308. This could be very important if you aren't reloading your own ammo.
    I've owned both. I tied ever so hard to warm up to the 270 in particular, but it just wasn't my "cup of tea".
    The 30-06 will do everything/anything these will do and that's been my pick for a long time and I doubt it will change.
    All that BS aside, buy the gun you like in one of these calibers. They really are so close it doesn't matter and you'll kill whatever you're aiming at if you do your job.
     
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  9. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Both are a great choice for hunting. Both are in the top 4 of rifles, ammo and reloading die purchases, for very good reason. It will be easy to find ammo for both, and due to popularity, you will be able to find bargains. Recoil will be very similar. The .270 will recoil with more energy, but since the .308 will probably be a lighter gun, felt recoil will be about the same. Both will hit with similar levels of energy on the target...the 270 is faster but the 308 will shoot a heavier bullet, so it evens out.

    There are advantages of both. The .270 Win is a faster round, so it will shoot flatter. Not much of a consideration unless you hunt wide open country for mule deer or open plains for antelope. The .308 is probably a more inherently accurate cartridge, but the .270 is known for accuracy too. If you reload, there are more .30 caliber bullets available than .277 bullets. The .270 probably has an slight edge on delivered energy, more on par with the .30-06 until you get into heavy .30 caliber bullets in the 06.

    Neither of these calibers could be considered a light recoiling caliber. If you want something with a little less punch, consider the 7mm-08. Based on the .308 case using 7mm bullets, it is an excellent compromise between killing power and recoil.
     
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  10. chainsaw

    chainsaw East side of Or. Active Member

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    No animal will know the difference between the two,so pick the rifle that fits you better.
     
  11. twowheels

    twowheels portland, OR Active Member

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    I agree with everything that orygun said but want to explain my recoil comment. I've shot both a bunch and do feel that the 308 has just ever so much of a hint of less felt recoil because it's a lower pressure cartridge and the jolt it gives you is a wee bit gentler. But neither of them has what I would call a lot of recoil, like a 300 win mag for example. What is going to matter the most in felt recoil is the stock design and fit (way more important than most people think, I love straight comb "classic" design stocks), the weight of the rifle, and whether you have a recoil pad and if so what type of pad you have and its thickness. I'm partial to 1" decelerators.

    Re bullet choice, what you are most likely to do in a hunting rifle is find a particular load and bullet type your rifle likes and stick with that. I shot almost exclusively in my 270 remington core lokt 130 grain soft points. In my sako 308, I've hunted with remington core lokt 150 grain soft points. I've just started developing hand loads for my 308's as I have 3 of them, the sako, a remington 700 ltr and an ar 10. I'm not sure where I will end up but that is the fun of handloading.
     
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  12. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I whole heartedly agree with this. A stock that has too much drop will cause the rifle to kick you in the face. Not pleasant at all.
    I've never had a issue with rifles in this recoil category and am not very sensitive to recoil in general, but if managing recoil is an issue, pay special attention to what twowheels said.
     
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  13. 308

    308 ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Platinum Supporter Silver Supporter

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    My top secret load is 168gr Sierra BTHP Match with 43.5gr Varget
     
  14. HikerKat

    HikerKat Portland, OR Member

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    Good information given by all of you.

    I have a Ruger M77 (.308) and a Remington 700 (.270), both inherited. The Ruger is a lighter gun and both have a 1/2" recoil pad.

    I will not be reloading, so the availability of a wider selection of rounds is preferable.

    It sounds like the differences between the two are not large. My Remington 700 has a 4x40 scope and is more difficult for me to hold up for very long. It's possible that because it is shorter and lighter, the Ruger is very comfortable for me to hold.
     
  15. kukusya

    kukusya King County Wa Active Member

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  16. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    If you have both rifles, then you're in the best situation of all. You can make a small investment in ammunition and shoot both rifles and see which really suits you. Already you're finding one more comfortable then the other so that is a plus. Best of luck with your selection.
     
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  17. Steve M

    Steve M Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    They are both accurate at long range, what I think you are wanting to know is which one will shoot flatter (have less drop) and deflect less in the wind. This is answered based on the ballistic coefficient (BC) and velocity. You said hunting purposes so I'm going to use the Nosler AccuBond and Nosler load data. If you don't reload you'll be stuck with what you can find on the shelf.

    For deer hunting the 130gr in the 270 is a good choice as is 150gr in the 308. Both of these bullets have a BC of 0.435 which means given the same muzzle velocity they will fly equally flat and deflect the same in the wind. The 308 can get the 150gr up to 2997 FPS with RL-15 while the 270 can get the 130gr up to 3158 FPS with Winchester 760 powder. If you loaded both the max velocity at 500 yards the 270 would have dropped 5.6" less than the 308 (41.9" versus 47.5" with 100 yard zero).

    I haven't said much about wind drift yet, but that 130gr load in the 270 drops 41.9" with a 100 yard zero and drifts 18.3" in a 10MPH at 500 yards. Replace that with a 150gr AccuBond Long Range with a BC of 0.625 and 2913 FPS using MagPro powder increases the drop to 45.1" but wind drift is reduced to 13.5". For comparison purposes, that 308 load with 150gr AccuBond would have drifted 19.8".

    If you have to buy your ammo Federal offers the 270 130gr ballistic tip at 3060FPS and the 308 150gr ballistic tip at 2820 FPS. That's a 240 FPS difference with the same BC. Firing these factory loads in a Ruger American (adding 1lb for scope) results in the 270 having 16.47 ft*lbs of free recoil energy and the 308 coming in at 16.40 ft*lbs.

    All this to say that the 270 and 308 in a typical deer hunting configuration are both excellent and will get the job done. But if you want the absolute flattest the 270 has a slight lead due to its higher velocity for the same BC bullet. If it were me I'd actually lean towards the 7mm-08 due to the excellent selection of 7mm bullets, but finding factory ammo for it can be a challenge in some areas.
     
  18. Steve M

    Steve M Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    I wrote the above while you made your post mentioning that you are limited to factory ammo. In that case I present the data for Federal ammo with Nosler Ballistic Tips, 130gr in the 270 and 150gr in the 308:
    http://www.federalpremium.com/products/details/rifle.aspx?id=237
    http://www.federalpremium.com/products/details/rifle.aspx?id=305

    These will give you an idea how the ballistics compare. In equal weight rifles I would expect the recoil to be the same between them, but since your Ruger 308 is lighter it will be easier to pack around but kick harder. I have an 11.2 lb 308 with metal butt plate and it nudges me like a kitten, but you won't catch me packing it through the woods on a deer hunt. I say shoot both and pick the one that you feel most comfortable with and shoot the best as that will likely matter more than anything else.
     
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  19. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've owned and shot both. The 270 kicked _much_ harder than my 308 or my 7mm Rem Mag. Light gun, too small for my frame. Then again, I had a 20ga shotgun that would bruise me every time.

    Shoot both, see which one you like. Settle on that. Even though the 308 may be too heavy at the moment, a little weight therapy can help that.

    OTS ammo: Most anything you find at Bi Mart, Sportsmans, Keiths, Fishermans or Cabelas will do.
    I have found success with the Remington Core Lokt. Cheap and accurate.

    I hope whoever owned them before you lived a long, fulfilling life. May you enjoy your inheritance.
     
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  20. HikerKat

    HikerKat Portland, OR Member

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    Good to know, P7id10T. I guess it's all relative, eh? Just need to get my butt out there and shoot.
    Thanks to all of you for your help. You're a great bunch! :)