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270 vs 30-06: The Big Game Hunting Caliber Showdown Login/Join 
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When it comes to hunting big game, it’s hard to ignore the 270 Winchester and 30-06 Springfield. Both cartridges see extensive use during rifle hunting season and are the bane of North American whitetail, mule deer, feral hogs, antelope, and elk.

There’s no denying that the 270 Win and the 30-06 are great cartridges that offer a wide range of bullet weights, allowing shooters to tailor their hunting rifle to take on varmints up to black bears.

And although each cartridge has its own merits, hunting forums across the Internet are ablaze with heated debate over which one is the best choice for their next bolt-action rifle.

First Shots: 270 Win vs 30-06 Springfield

Which is going to work better for You? Do you need the knockdown power of heavier bullets fired from the 30-06? Or does a flatter shooting 270 Win fit your hunting cartridge needs?

In this article, we will objectively compare the 270 Win and the 30-06 Springfield to give you all the data you’ll need to make the best choice on your next bolt action hunting rifle.

Cartridge Specs

When you begin comparing two cartridges, it is good practice to start by examining the case itself.

Looking at the 270 Win vs 30-06 cases, we notice that both cartridges descended from the .30-03 rifle round, which we will learn about later in the history sections below. This means that both hunting cartridges will be very similar.

When you begin comparing two cartridges, it is good practice to start by examining the case itself.

Looking at the 270 Win vs 30-06 cases, we notice that both cartridges descended from the .30-03 rifle round, which we will learn about later in the history sections below. This means that both hunting cartridges will be very similar.

There are only three major differences between the .270 Win and the 30-06, the bullet diameter each cartridge fires, their neck diameter, and the SAMMI max pressure rating.

The 270 Winchester fires a .277” diameter bullet while its larger brother fires a .308” diameter bullet. Simply put, the 270 Winchester is a necked-down version of the .30-03.

As the case capacity between the two is virtually identical, it makes sense that the 270 Win would have a higher maximum pressure as we are shooting smaller projectiles with the same powder charge. This will naturally lead to higher pressures.

Recoil

Recoil impulse is always something to consider when selecting which caliber you want for your new hunting rifle.

As the case capacity for both the 270 Win and the 30-06 is nearly identical, felt recoil energy is going to be dependent on two factors: rifle weight and bullet weight.

A heavier rifle will typically impart less recoil onto your shoulder, the same can be said for lighter-weight bullets.

Internet forums will often state that recoil is not a huge consideration for big game hunting as the shooter will typically only fire one shot. Generally, I’d agree. However, there is the occasion where a follow-up shot is needed. In that case, I’d want a cartridge with less recoil to help me get back on target quicker.

When it comes to 30-06 and 270 Winchester, the 30-06 is going to have higher recoil. How much you ask? The difference is not as great as you would think.

On average, the 30-06 will generate 25 ft-lbs of recoil energy while the 270 Winchester will slap your shoulder with 20 ft-lbs force. Although the 270 Win does have less recoil, it’s nothing like a 223 Rem!

Shooters will often report that the recoil impulse is different between the two cartridges. Hunters will often describe the 270 as having a sharper more defined recoil and the 30-06 having a rolling recoil impulse throughout the firing process.

Although this is not exactly quantifiable, it is a trend you will discover if you like reading shooting forums or talking about rifle cartridges around the fire at deer camp.

Regardless, the 270 Winchester has less recoil energy and will be a better choice for an inexperienced shooter or one with a smaller frame.

Continue reading .270 vs .30-06: The Big Game Hunting Caliber Showdown at Ammo.com.


We believe arming our fellow Americans – both physically and philosophically – helps them fulfill our Founding Fathers' intent with the Second Amendment: To serve as a check on state power.
 
Posts: 230 | Registered: January 10, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Ace31
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A ford vs chevy debate. Either one has served me well in whitetail deer hunting over the decades. I would not hesitate to select either caliber for true in the woods under 100 yards shots. Thanks for posting op.
 
Posts: 2099 | Location: Wherever the voices in my head tell me to go | Registered: April 08, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Non-Miscreant
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My first "sporting rifle" was a .270, and it was terrible. I learned why it was so cheap in the used rack at the gun store. I was so happy to be getting anything that my fathers "pushing" was all it took. Looking back, it wasn't so much the caliber as the rifle itself. A Remington 721, junk scope, and a real abuser. Way too light, the scope mounted up against my forehead due to it being cheap with no eye relief, and us sanding off even more weight when we refinished the stock. Just a junk gun. But then it was a Remington, so all the bad points were to be expected.

When selecting a centerfire rifle, there is a bunch more than just caliber. I was young and kind of light. Maybe as a hunting rifle that only gets fired a couple of times a year, it might have been OK. For a kid learning to shoot, it was beyond awful. But then it was a Remy, so to be expected. I've hated the brand ever since. In the over half century since, I haven't even looked at anything sporting that brand name. No surprise they're going belly up, the surprise being why it took so long.

I appreciate the OPs articles, but he's (I assume its a he) leaving out the manufacturer in the interest of fairness. It could be the most important part of the buying decision. More expensive and dependable might really be cheaper in the long run. Don't buy junk. If your goal is to killify paper, run from any light weight gun. The scope can also be of great value. Again, don't buy cheap. A good scope can make a medium grade rifle acceptable, and a junk scope will be little better than no scope. There is more to selecting a gun than just the caliber. The OP is putting the cart before the horse.

I know its old fashioned, but save up and buy a better quality package than just the sexiest caliber. Another consideration will be if the shooter will be buying factory ammo (good luck with that) or reloading/loading.


Unhappy ammo seeker
 
Posts: 17991 | Location: Kentucky, USA | Registered: February 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by rburg:
I appreciate the OPs articles, but he's (I assume its a he) leaving out the manufacturer in the interest of fairness. It could be the most important part of the buying decision. More expensive and dependable might really be cheaper in the long run. Don't buy junk.


Very much a he, sir, and that's an excellent point. The best made inferior cartridge is always preferrable to the slap dash better one.


We believe arming our fellow Americans – both physically and philosophically – helps them fulfill our Founding Fathers' intent with the Second Amendment: To serve as a check on state power.
 
Posts: 230 | Registered: January 10, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jhe888
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Those two rounds are almost identical. It hardly matters which you pick.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 50583 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of 45 Cal
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quote:
Originally posted by jhe888:
Those two rounds are almost identical. It hardly matters which you pick.

Well sir I have to disagree,lets see you shoot a 220 grain silvertip out of a 270.
Now lets see the 06 shoot a 150 grain at 500,with 37 inches of drop Big Grin
 
Posts: 22271 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by 45 Cal:
lets see you shoot a 220 grain silvertip out of a 270.


Can I watch?


Unhappy ammo seeker
 
Posts: 17991 | Location: Kentucky, USA | Registered: February 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by rburg:
But then it was a Remington, so all the bad points were to be expected.

But then it was a Remy, so to be expected. I've hated the brand ever since. In the over half century since, I haven't even looked at anything sporting that brand name. No surprise they're going belly up, the surprise being why it took so long.


Did I miss something? I think you're about the only person I've ever heard profess that Remington was a shit brand before the Cerberus/Freedom Group buyout. You're going to base your opinion of everything Remington's ever produced based off experience with one rifle from when you were a kid? Ok.


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Posts: 13840 | Location: Seattle-ish | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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