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The 270 vs 308 Winchester are both proven performers in most large games. It’s no wonder these rounds left our team in awe after the rifle test shooting. Although we both loved their performance in the shooting range, the question still remains: which one should you be hunting with?
Table of Contents
Primary Differences Between 270 & 308 Winchester
The 270 has a significantly longer case length and overall length, making it a better option in standard long action rifles. In comparison, the 308 is the poster child for short action rifles.
Both cartridges have the same .473 inches rim diameter although the 308 has a slightly steeper shoulder angle of 20 degrees than the270Win’s 17.5 degrees. The 270 has more case capacity and has a slightly higher maximum average pressure authorized by SAAMI cartridges, too.
On the other hand, the 308 can have a shorter barrel, making it handier in unforeseen situations while handling a rifle. A 308 can have a barrel of down to 16.5 inches, whereas a 270 would lose too much velocity. Recoil-wise, the 308 has the edge.
Both cartridges are quite popular in North America, so almost every major style of the bullet is available like the Barnes TTSX, the Hornady ELD-X, Nosler Ballistic Tip, and V-Max, and Partition, the Remington Core Lokt, and the Winchester Super X Power Point. Ammunition selection should not be a problem.
- Brand: Winchester
- Model: 270 Winchester
- Bullet Size: .277 inches
- Bullet Diameter: 0.308 inches
- Shell Case Length: 2.540 inches
- Energy (per 200 yards): 2,228 ft-lbf
- Velocity (per 200 yards): 2,778 ft/s
- Muzzle Energy: 2,898 ft-lbf
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,950 ft/s
- Brand: Winchester
- Model: 308 Winchester
- Bullet Size: 0.3 inches
- Bullet Diameter: 0.277 inches
- Shell Case Length: 2.015 inches
- Energy (per 200 yards): 1,897 ft-lbf
- Velocity (per 200 yards): 2,387 ft/s
- Muzzle Energy: 2,648 ft-lbf
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,820 ft/s
The advantage in the velocity of the Win270 is more pronounced when compared to the 308 because its smaller diameter shoots lighter bullet weights.
The 270 and 308 ammunition have the stopping power to take a big game at under 300 yards. The 308 vs 270 can both take medium-sized games at 500 yards without an issue in regards to energy. As for these cartridges’ penetration potential, the 270Win rounds had slightly better SD. Still, the 308 rounds brought a little more momentum, especially at the more common hunting ranges out to 400 yards.
Get lever-action rifle cartridges in this 30-30 Win vs 45-70 Government article here.
For areas where it might be necessary to take a longer range shot, the 270Win might be the better choice of a hunting rifle for you. It has significantly flatter projectiles and better wind resistance. The cartridge performs well on longer shots.
However, the 308Win is the better choice in hunting larger game animals like the red stag, elk, or moose since it uses larger diameter and heavier bullets that are well suited for very large or tough animals especially with 180-grain ammo.
For small game hunting, the 270Win is a much better option due to lighter grain bullets’ availability. Hitting a small game with a heavy grain 308 will not leave anything behind and overkill and waste money.
Though the 308 Winchester certainly has the edge over the 270Win when shooting 150-grain loads, the 130-grain load of the 270Win cartridge has more energy remaining and shoots flatter with less 15-20 inches bullet drop than the 308 at 500 yards.
When our team tested out both ammo, there was no noticeable difference between the two rounds to the 200-yard mark. When shot from 200 to 400-yard mark, we noticed that the 270Win cartridge showed a flatter projectile even at 500 yards.
More ammo with flatter trajectory in this 38 Super and 9mm Luger comparison here.
The 270 Winchester is quite a flat shooting and a moderately powerful cartridge with moderate recoil, roughly comparable to the 308 Win. Although both cartridges are capable of outstanding accuracy, the 270 Winchester does shoot quite a bit flatter in longer ranges, as mentioned earlier. Since we noticed a lesser recoil and flatter projectile in the 270 Winchester cartridge, we considered it as the definite winner in this category.
Long Distance Shooting
Depending on ammunition loads and brands, the two cartridges showed advantages when we tried them on both long and short-range shooting, not as powerful as the 6 5 Creedmoor, though. We saw that the 308 Winchester load outperformed the 270 Winchester when we used 150gr bullets. However, the 130gr 270Win load has far less wind drift than the 308 load.
After a few more shots with the 270 vs 308, we realized that although both the 150gr loads have the same muzzle velocity, the primary reason the 270Win has more wind drift and has a significantly higher BC. Since the 270Win has higher speeds and a flatter projectile, it gets another point.
270 Winchester Pros & Cons
308 Winchester Pros & Cons
308 Win vs 270 Win - We Choose...
After intensive test shoots with the powerful 308 vs 270 cartridges, our team decided to choose the 270Win for having a flatter projectile and higher sectional density. Its higher ballistic coefficient and better resistance to the wind make it perform better in short and long-range shooting. Its relatively less recoil also makes it easier to handle the rifle for better shot placement, especially when shooting long-range hunting games.
If you’re planning to get extra mags for your rifle, read this Mag577 and Mag292 comparison here.