If you ask most hunters to name their best big game hunting cartridges, you can be sure the 270 Winchester will fall on that list. It’s famous for its accuracy, making it a good choice for long-distance shooting.
But how far will a 270 shoot? Here we look at this specific cartridge and its effectiveness when in action.
How Far Will a 270 Shoot?
We’ll get straight to it. A 270 rifle will shoot up to around 500 yards. This makes it great for mid to long-range hunting.
Still, a few things will determine how far a 270 will shoot. For instance, the barrel length is something you should consider. A longer barrel allows the rifle to shoot longer distances accurately. Consider a 24-inch barrel when hunting big game.
Aside from barrel length, consider the rifle’s caliber. The muzzle velocity of a 270 Winchester cartridge is 2960 feet per second (fps) and can penetrate a ballistic gel 100 yards away by an inch and a half. This makes it perfect for hunting large animals.
With that said, how far will a 270 shoot? Depending on your rifle’s caliber and the barrel length, a 270 can accurately shoot up to about 500 yards and perhaps even up to 600 yards depending on your shooting skills, as it can still hold a decent fps at that range.
How Far Can a 270 Shoot Flat?
Generally, a 270 cartridge fired from a standard hunting rifle, with a barrel measuring 24 inches, will travel up to about 500 yards before the bullet starts dropping. The best lever action rifles can push this much further.
But we have to mention that several factors can affect this distance. For instance, bullet weight, atmospheric conditions, muzzle velocity, and altitude affect how far the bullet travels flat before it starts dropping.
To shoot over a long distance, you must account for bullet drop caused by wind drift, gravity, and anything else that can affect bullet trajectory.
You can help extend the range of a 270 cartridge through proper bullet selection, using a top-quality scope, and correct range estimation.
Keep in mind that shooting at long distances requires some experience, skills, and practice. You also need to shoot responsibly, considering the terrain and potential hazards. (Reference: How far a .270 shoots)
How Far Can a 270 Kill a Deer?
A 270 will kill a deer at a distance of about 500 yards. While many things can determine if you’ll kill a deer, such as the specific rifle you’re using, expect good results up to about 500 yards.
Most experts believe that a 270 is among our best long-distance calibers. It combines power, accuracy, and versatility to help you take down big game animals at longer distances.
So, if you’re looking for a long-range rifle caliber, consider a 270 for deer hunting.
Most shooters and hunters will either pick the 270 or 308 for hunting as they have outstanding cartridges. But when it comes to the 270 vs 308 for deer hunting, which is better?
Well, in our opinion, both cartridges are a tie.
Some people prefer the 308 ballistics for closer shots because of their higher kinetic energy and the 270 for longer distances because of their flat trajectory. In the right hands, both cartridges are excellent for deer hunting.
308 vs 270 Recoil Chart
Most shooters factor in recoil. After all, a lower recoil means better or improved downrange accuracy. If a rifle keeps hitting your shoulder when you fire, you’re likely to jerk the trigger, sending your shot off target.
Many shooters describe the recoil from both cartridges as manageable and not excessively offensive. Simply put, you won’t be nursing a bruised shoulder after spending an hour hunting with the 270 or the 308.
That said, recoil will depend on several factors, such as the weight of the gun and bullet and the amount of gunpowder in the cartridge. But generally speaking, the 270 has less recoil than the 308.
Take a look at this rough comparison of the recoil between these two cartridges. Here, we assume that the rifles weigh the same, about 8 pounds, and are using bullets with the same weight.
- 270: 15 to 20 ft-lbs
- 308: 20 to 25 ft-lbs
This means the 308 generates more recoil energy than the 270. However, perceived recoil can differ from one shooter to the next depending on the shooter’s stance, body size, and sensitivity to recoil.
So, which is more powerful, 270 vs 308? Regarding muzzle energy, the 308 takes the win as it’s a larger cartridge with a large powder charge allowing it to attain higher velocities.
270 vs 308 vs 6.5 Creedmoor
The 270, 308, and 6.5 are all fantastic cartridges. But how do they compare to each other? Well, it depends on what you’re looking at.
For instance, take a 6.5 Creedmoor vs 270 recoil comparison. The 6.5 Creedmoor has a lighter recoil than the 270, but the 308 has more recoil than the 270 and 6.5 Creedmoor.
Still, shooters can comfortably handle the recoil of all these cartridges.
How about a 6.5 Creedmoor vs 270 at 1,000 yards comparison? The Creedmoor has a slight edge over the 270 when hitting targets at 1,000 yards. That’s because it’ll experience less wind drift and drop than the 270 Winchester.
On the other hand, the 270 has a higher energy transfer, thanks to a larger bullet energy that allows it to take down larger games.
But the 308 has larger bullets among the three, resulting in greater knockdown power.
For more reading like this see our post on what aspects of gunpowder affect the performance of a bullet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a 270 good for long range?
A 270 is good for long range thanks to its flatter trajectory and higher velocity, allowing it to maintain accuracy for long distances.
Is a 270 more powerful than a 308?
A 270 isn’t more powerful than a 308 because the latter fires heavier ammunition at higher muzzle velocity than the 270.
How much does a 270 drop at 200 yards?
At 200 yards (182.8 meters), the 270 will drop by about 3 inches (7.6 cm).
How far will a 270 bullet drop at 300 yards?
At 300 yards (274.3 meters), a 270 will drop a bullet by about 11 inches (27.9 cm).
Is 270 overkill for deer?
270 isn’t overkill for deer as it delivers the right amount of kinetic energy to deliver a humane kill.
Is 270 enough for elk?
The 270 may not be enough for elk, especially at long distances. Elk are larger and tougher than deer and thus need a cartridge with more power and penetration to ensure a humane and clean kill.
- Bryan Hendricks, .270 calibers stand alone among shooting cartridges. Retrieved from https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2006/nov/02/270-calibers-stand-alone-among-shooting-cartridges/
I have been writing firearms and outdoor material for over 50 years to date. I have hunted across the world, including Russia, and a great deal of time professional hunting in Australia. I currently live in the American West and hunt all across the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Big Horn Mountains. I have specialized much of my work as a load developer in shotguns and rifles. I have run a small company that builds suppressor barrels of my design and load tests for writing purposes and consulting. My commercial names include Ballistics Research & Development / Metro Gun Systems TM.
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