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.270 Winchester for plains game

This is a discussion on .270 Winchester for plains game within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; I look at it this way, there really isn't enough difference between the .30-06 and the .270 to really matter. ...

  1. #41
    trigger creep is offline AH Enthusiast
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    I look at it this way, there really isn't enough difference between the .30-06 and the .270 to really matter. If I saw a .270 150 gran and a .30-06 180 grain on the floor, a few feet away from me, I bet I couldn't tell you which one is the .270 and which one is the .30-06. If the .270 Win isn't enough for African plainsgame, then the .30-06 is marginal for plainsgame. I don't belive the '06 is marginal so therefore the .270 is not innadequate in my mind. In fact, with the bullet technology we have today, today's .270 150 grain is probably equal (in performance) to the 1940's .30-06 180 grain.


    BTW, nsok, your English is fine. You have better english then some Americans I see on websites.

  2. #42
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    Hi Christian,

    Thank you, you are very kind about my English. It could be better.
    If you have a 270, from my point of view, there is no point in changing it for a 30.06 or 7mm, if you change it it would be for a .300, 338, 375... More important is that you check animals, bullet and area where you are going to hunt

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    Accuracy is the most important thing followed by big enough caliber & bullet!! A 270 is agreat gun & caliber in the hands of a skilled shooter it would be more than enough. I personally believe a 30/06 or 308 with 165 to 180 grain bullets is a much better combination. It will break the shoulder better & have better penetration. The recoil isn't much more than the 270. Bigger hole means bigger blood trail if you don't drop the animal in its tracks!
    Why would anyone want to take the chance of tracking an animal for 3 days when you anly have a few precious days to hunt in Africa!! Use enough gun!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calhoun View Post
    Accuracy is the most important thing followed by big enough caliber & bullet!! A 270 is agreat gun & caliber in the hands of a skilled shooter it would be more than enough. I personally believe a 30/06 or 308 with 165 to 180 grain bullets is a much better combination. It will break the shoulder better & have better penetration. The recoil isn't much more than the 270. Bigger hole means bigger blood trail if you don't drop the animal in its tracks!
    Why would anyone want to take the chance of tracking an animal for 3 days when you anly have a few precious days to hunt in Africa!! Use enough gun!!
    If I am going to go up in caliber, I wouldn't go .308 diameter, I would go .338 or .358 diameter. As far as those 2 diameters, I would go .338-06 or .35 Whelen.

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    Hi Christian,
    It's possible to hunt almost any animal with almost any caliber - but not adviseable. The .270 Win looks great on paper, but in my experience, unless you hand load your ammo, it's a bit light. I've tracked lots of wounded plains game with seemingly well placed .270 shots. With factory ammo, a 30-06 165gr is far better all round caliber. Better stopping power and less meat damage. .308 Win also a great all rounder - but 30-06 has the edge.

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    AlSpeath, I can't argue with you as you have the experience I lack. I do have a question though. What do you think of the 7X57 and 8X57 Mauser? I like both of these cartridges a lot. I used to have a 8X57 Mauser that I loved, but it had issues and I sold it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Snyder View Post
    AlSpeath, I can't argue with you as you have the experience I lack. I do have a question though. What do you think of the 7X57 and 8X57 Mauser? I like both of these cartridges a lot. I used to have a 8X57 Mauser that I loved, but it had issues and I sold it.
    That's the strange part. According to the ballistics charts the 270 should beat the 7X57.
    In reality from John "Pondoro" Taylor to today the 7X57 is legendary as a proven African caliber. I have only had one client with an 8X57 - I loaned him my Win Mod 70 30-06 for his Eastern Cape plains game hunt. More suitable to Europe than Africa.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlSpaeth View Post
    That's the strange part. According to the ballistics charts the 270 should beat the 7X57.
    In reality from John "Pondoro" Taylor to today the 7X57 is legendary as a proven African caliber. I have only had one client with an 8X57 - I loaned him my Win Mod 70 30-06 for his Eastern Cape plains game hunt. More suitable to Europe than Africa.
    What cartridges do you reccomend? If the .270 Win isn't addequate then what is? I understand that the 7X57 has the 175 grain bullet option, but if that is good how is the .270 bad? If the .270 is bad, how is the .30-06 good? The 150 grain .277 diameter actually has a slightly (and I mean slightly) higher SD than the 180 grain .308 diameter. IMO, there is not enough difference between the two to make one adequate and the other not. If the .270 is bad, then you need something bigger than the .30-06 or .300 Win mag.

    BTW, why is the 8X57 more suitable for Europe than Africa? Norma loads its 196 grain Oryx at 2560 fps. That is plenty for Africa. The 8X57 has been used in Africa for a very long time, certainly it didn't stop being useful there.

  9. #49
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    A young man in Wisconsin took a 711 lb. black bear with his 270 Win. on Sept. 9, 2010. The skull green scored 23 1/4. How's that for 270 power!

    Seriously though, I love the 270 Win. ,have no problem with someone hunting with one, as long as they are a good shot and use premiun bullets, Hornady Interbond, SST, Nosler partitions, Accubond, Swift-A, Ultra-Core-lokts, Barnes bullets...etc. I found the 140 grains are usually a good compromise...unless you find some 150 gr. that shoot...real well.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by enysse View Post
    A young man in Wisconsin took a 711 lb. black bear with his 270 Win. on Sept. 9, 2010. The skull green scored 23 1/4. How's that for 270 power!

    Seriously though, I love the 270 Win. ,have no problem with someone hunting with one, as long as they are a good shot and use premiun bullets, Hornady Interbond, SST, Nosler partitions, Accubond, Swift-A, Ultra-Core-lokts, Barnes bullets...etc. I found the 140 grains are usually a good compromise...unless you find some 150 gr. that shoot...real well.
    I have some 130's, but on Monday (our rifle deer opens on Monday) I'm going afield with 150's. Why? Well just because I can. LOL

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    Now here is a tired topic..............for 50 years I have been reading about the .270 debate and what it is good for. In the old days it was just rehashed in magazines over and over again at fairly regular intervals. Now we get to see it rehashed over and over again in magazines AND on every firearms/hunting related internet forum. LOL



    Apologies in advance for those who will no doubt find my comment to be a negative one.

  12. #52
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    I know Skyline....your comments are appropriate.

    I wonder how much game the 270 Win. has taken over the years (lol)? Quite a lot!!!

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    I am by no means an expert on this, but I used my .270 on all my plains game and had no problem. But I credit that to good shot placement. I also took a .30-06 along with me but wanted to use the .270.
    I used it for duiker up to my Kudu.
    My advice, for what it is, I would talk it over with your outfitter/ PH. And decide from there.
    Heath Cline

  14. #54
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    Just remember if you are planning to hunt in Namibia, the legal minimum caliber is a 7mm. But I agree with others that a .270 is sufficient for many plains game species.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Snyder View Post
    What cartridges do you reccomend? If the .270 Win isn't addequate then what is? I understand that the 7X57 has the 175 grain bullet option, but if that is good how is the .270 bad? If the .270 is bad, how is the .30-06 good? The 150 grain .277 diameter actually has a slightly (and I mean slightly) higher SD than the 180 grain .308 diameter. IMO, there is not enough difference between the two to make one adequate and the other not. If the .270 is bad, then you need something bigger than the .30-06 or .300 Win mag.

    BTW, why is the 8X57 more suitable for Europe than Africa? Norma loads its 196 grain Oryx at 2560 fps. That is plenty for Africa. The 8X57 has been used in Africa for a very long time, certainly it didn't stop being useful there.
    Hi Christian,
    I have shot wild oxen on my ranch which weighed over 1000 lbs with a 22LR. Single shot, center forehead, just above the eyes dropped in their tracks, but a 22 wouldn't be my recommended caliber for buffalo even though "it can do the job". I hunted deer in Michigan for years with a 30-30 Marlin lever action. Short range, heavy brush, and "slow" and "heavy" have been proven to work best. I missed a buck one year as the shot deflected off a twig and came back the next year with my Winchester mod 12 and slugs.
    African plains game definately requires flatter shooting calibers. And remember it needs to do the job on everything from our pygmy antelope like steenbuck trouug bigger game like Wildebeest, Zebra, Kudu, Eland etc.. I'm not knocking the 270, as per the comments above it will do the job with "premium grade bullets". When I recommend a caliber for Africa, I assume "average hunter" bringing one rifle and factory ammo. Most gun shops will recommend fast, flat shooting, rifles. For a 270, 130gr ammo is recommended. Yes it looks good on the ballistics charts - close to 3000ft/sec - and that's the whole problem. Speed, muzzle energy, and trajectory are all misleading and too many rifles are are sold on these numbers. Shooting targets, or "varmits", off a deadrest is not hunting. We tracked many wounded animals with well placed shots from 270's and 7mm mags.
    For hunting ignore the ballistics charts and consider the following:
    1) You want a rifle that you can shoot confidently up to 200yds. If you shoot at an animal over 200yds you are taking a chance or your PH is not doing his job. No caliber is going to make you a good shot at 300+yds. And a goo quality 4X scope.
    2) To have a clean kill the bullet has to do it's job. There are three factors here - penetration, mass retention, and expansion. The prefect bullet will be found just under the skin on the far side of the animal with a nice mushroom head and 90% or more of it's original weight. All of the energy has been absorbed.
    3) Penetration is critical. 7X57was particularly favoured by noted ivory hunter W. D. M. Bell, who shot 1,011 elephants using a 7x57mm rifle, when most ivory hunters were using larger-caliber rifles. Shot placement plus penetration works. He was using a 175gr solid at around 2,300ft/sec.. The 7X57 was proven on many thousands of animals across the world. It worked then and still does.
    4) Size matters. Bullet weight and diameter are more important than velocity and muzzle energy. In mathematical terms we use the diameter and weight to calculate the "ballistic coefficient" of a bullet. John "Pondoro" Taylor was an ivory hunter and PH who took thousands of animals in Africa. He hunted over thirty years on the African continent, Taylor is credited with over 1,000 elephant to his bag. He used a variety of calibers and and studied the performance and effectiveness of each. His book "African Rifles ans Cartriges" is the most informative book ever written on the subject. His formula the "Taylor KO Factor" uses bullet speed, weight, and dia. to calculate effectiveness.
    5) Nothing will ruin your safari quicker than excessive recoil. The average hunter will not shoot a 300mag with confidence. They are good calibers but not necessary unless the hunter is alredy used to them. Anything up to 180gr and a 30-06 can do anything the 300mag can. The real advanatge is that a 300mag can handle a 200-220gr bullet just like a 30-06 handles a 165-180gr which can be an advantage in some circumstances but is rarely necessary. Most hunters handle a well built (not too light) 375H&H fine. Here you are talking about a 270-300gr bullet at 30-06 180gr speeds. It "pushes" more than a sharp kick.
    Summary:
    270 with 130gr heads does not work. Bullets break up on bone or sometimes fail to expand and sail straight through. 175 gr will work fine but it's no longer the 2900-3000ft/sec flat shooting rifle it was designed to be. 130gr heads not good under windy conditions either.
    My recommendation for the "average hunter" is 30 cal 165-180gr. That's 30-06 or 308 - both great, proven calibers. If you are hunting dangerous game then 375H&H is the best.

    Apologies - must have been late at night. I misread and was refering to a German client who brought his favorite 9X57 - great for boar and deer in the woods but not for here.

    Regards,
    Al

  16. #56
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    Well Christian I have been researching this exact question for the past year for my first trip to Africa.

    So, what I have found out thus far, after speaking with innumerable people including PH's in South Africa and Namibia: People have personal preferences, some are informed, some are well informed and some are prejudiced. (Not just the PH's, gun store sales people, and various forum participants, etc.)

    I used the caliber question to help screen the outfitters after a while actually. If I got that look that you referred to I moved on.
    There was an article on Africa.com that spoke to PH's fears when they first meet the new hunter. I believe one comment was about someone showing up with a new "ouch and ouch magnum"!

    I shoot my 270 on all typical (large) big game in North America and I have only used 130 grain bullets to this point. They have my confidence. In fact, just like you, the 270 worked fine on all my elk and moose.

    I am going to be focusing on a Nyala, Kudu and Gemsbok. The experienced PH's I have booked with in South Africa and in Namibia both had NO issues with a 270. The warning from both was to have GOOD heavier bullets.

    So my conclusions:
    1. I shoot the 270 extremely well and feel comfortable with it.
    2. EXCELLENT BULLETS are a MUST!, ( I am searching for the one that will work best in my gun still)
    3. GOOD Shot Placement (as with all calibers) is also required.


    People who have encountered problems, as some have shared here, when a shot was misplaced, lost some of my number 1 above.
    So, as everyone has already said, do 1, 2 and 3 and we'll both talk about our africa trophies next year.

  17. #57
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    Brickburn, I have hunted elk with 270 Win too, and have killed them with a 130 grain Barnes X Bullet....one shot kill. You will do fine in Africa...and I agree with all your points to a sucessful hunt.

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    A very good friend and client of mine asked me before his Buffalo hunt a year or 2 ago which rifle he should bring... his .375H&H or his new .458 LOTT? My answer was - bring the rifle you can shoot best as both can get the job done but a miss with a .458 is as bad a one with a .375... As it turned out he spent weeks at the range to get familiar with his .458, he brought it over and his buffalo dropped at the shot. Would the result have been different if he had used his .375? I can categorically state: "NO", because I'd seen him shoot his .375 on a previous hunt and know his performance with that rifle would have been the same...

    The same would apply to using a .270 as opposed to an odd 6 or any other caliber for that matter. There is nothing wrong with a .270. It has killed a helluva lot of African game species and in the right hands will kill any plains game species that I know of.

    Someone I know once told me how tough Eland were to bring down... Aparently this one "beast" he hunted took 5 shots from his .375H&H before it went down... When I asked him about his shot placement on the Eland he became evasive... Turned out 4 of the 5 shots went into the guts, ass... you name it... before he finally made it to the heart / lung area... Now whether he had used a .270 or .416 I doubt that he would have had a different outcome.

    Brickburn summed it up nicely...

    1. Shoot the rifle that you are familiar and feel comfortable with;
    2. Use good heavy bullets and;
    3. Shoot whatever you're hunting in the vitals.

    You can't go wrong...

    Regards,

    Chris
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    www.ct-safaris.com Real Hunts for Real Hunters

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    Quote Originally Posted by CT Safaris View Post
    There is nothing wrong with a .270. It has killed a helluva lot of African game species and in the right hands will kill any plains game species that I know of.
    Chris, you are so very right. A hunter using a rifle they are comfortable with and have confidence in can be a very deadly duo. Although the .270 Win is not my personal choice my daughter has used hers on two plains game hunts with me and dropped a wide variety of game with a single well placed shot. The animals she’s taken include impala, kudu, zebra, two leopards and a variety of other game in between.

    A combination of practice, confidence and a well placed shot is hard to beat.
    There is only one degree of dead . . . there are many degrees of wounded

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    Christian
    Certainly the 270 can do the job on plainsgame up to and including kudu. Truth be told, given that elephants have been killed with a 22 short, it will kill anything that walks with the proper bullet and placement. Having said that, I favor a 3006 for most plainsgame short of eland. The fact is that anyone who can shoot a 270 and also shoot a 3006 and with a 180gr premium bullet you will hit harder, put a bigger hole in the animal and leave a better blood trail. Once you get above impala and brushbuck you are beginning to push it with the 270. Will it work? Sure, but your margin for error is gets smaller as the size of the trophy goes up. The diameter difference between the two isn't huge, but it is enough to make a difference in the field, and the difference between 150 gr and 180 gr is significant. The combination of bigger diameter and heaver bullet puts the 3006 in another category. Given the cost of a safari, picking up a new rifle for it is not that big of an additional expense, hell savages go pretty cheap. Pick up one, get a trigger job and mount some good glass and you are in business for a lot less than you think. The trophy wont care if you use a Holland & Holland or a Kmart special, dead is dead.
    It's your choice, you can make the 270 work, but based on 4 safaris, I wouldn't take anything smaller than a 3006 and 180 gr premium ammo. When I took my Sons on their first African plainsgame hunt they carried 3006s loaded with 180 gr trophy bonded bear claws. Everything went very well.
    As a side issue, I don't believe that a 300 mag is better than a 3006 in the field until you are shooting beyond 300yds. Unless you plan on hunting an area where long shots are to be expected, save the noise and recoil and stick with the 06. If you think you need more rifle go up to 338, 9.3 or 375.
    On my 4 African hunts I have taken game with: 3006, 300 WM, 375 H&H, 404Jeffery and 458WM. At home I have used a 7X57 and a 30-30 as well. This July I'll probably take my 404 and either 375 or 3006 to Zim.
    That's my 2 cents, worth what you paid for it.
    TerryR

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