sheep hunter with .270

The .270 Winchester Was Your Grandpa’s 6.5 Creedmoor Leave a comment

I typically discover myself baffled by the abhorrence that grown adults can harbor for one thing as innocuous as a rifle cartridge. You realize the cartridge I’m speaking about. To be truthful, I get that the annoyance is commonly not with the cartridge itself, however with its recognition—notably the actual or perceived exaggerations of its efficiency traits. The vitriolic response to the mere point out of the phrase “Creedmoor,” and its means to remodel readers into indignant, babbling cartridge philosophers is stunning. Equally stunning is the power of second-shift gun counter attendants to persuade any buyer {that a} 6.5 Creedmoor is all they may ever need. However we most likely shouldn’t be stunned by any of it. We’ve been right here earlier than.

Trying again in historical past gives perspective on many issues—and that features rifle cartridges. Instances could have modified, however individuals haven’t. After I started peeling by means of the paragraphs of considered one of Jack O’Connor’s capturing columns within the November, 1954 situation of Outside Life, it felt oddly acquainted. O’Connor wasn’t round for the web, however it appeared that right here was nonetheless no lack of controversy and opinion on the rifle cartridges he lined. Many who now herald the “previous dependable” .270 Win. right now would possible scoff if I mentioned it was the 6.5 Creedmoor of its day. However studying by means of the blunter factors of O’Connor’s column, you possibly can simply as simply substitute “6.5 CM” for .270, and the story could be simply as related right now because it was when revealed, virtually 70 years in the past (notice that O’Connor wrote this column some 30 years after the cartridge had been launched).

With extra fashionable parts, the .270 continues to be an extremely helpful and related cartridge. I received’t argue that the 6.5 Creedmoor matches it in energy or trajectory, as a result of it doesn’t typically. Nonetheless, there are metrics by which the Creedmoor, and many of the cartridges using Trendy Cartridge Design ideas, are higher. It’s OK to acknowledge that progress with out taking offense. The 6.5 Creedmoor capturing a 143-grain ELDX bullet will lag barely behind the .270 capturing the same 145-grain ELDX bullet at regular looking ranges, however not by a lot. The win for the Creedmoor, if you wish to name it that, is that it does it with round 30 p.c much less powder, and far much less recoil—each components that O’Connor would have appreciated.

One can beat the comb on ballistics and hand load combos to exhaustion, one thing O’Connor liked to do. However the level right here is that even after many years of success, people had been nonetheless arguing concerning the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of the .270 Winchester. Maybe hunters by no means got here to agree on the .270. Perhaps they simply discovered newer cartridges to argue over.

The Controversial .270, by Jack O’Connor

The well-known .270 Winchester cartridge has been in use virtually 30 years, however rifle nuts are nonetheless pulling hair over it. There appears to be no impartial floor the place the .270 is anxious. You both flip inexperienced with nausea on the very identify, otherwise you apply it to every thing from mice to moose and from elk to elephants.

One citizen will testify that the .270 received’t even kill a mule deer, the following will apply it to grizzlies and knock them useless. One will swear that the .270 was by no means constructed that may shoot a 2-in. group at 100 yd., the man down the block will take a .270 to a bench-rest shoot and clear up all of the 200-yd. matches on a windy day. One aficionado considers it one of many most interesting cartridges ever designed, his neighbor will seize an ammunition guide and try to show by the tables that the .270 is inferior to the little .300 Savage.

The .270 is especially on the son-of-a-gun listing with those that love heavy bullets and are fascinated by giant holes within the ends of rifle barrels. They’ll inform you heart-rending tales of bull moose hit so typically with .270 bullets that hunks flew off the poor creatures like particles off of a battleship below bomb assault. But the moose went on chomping on willow leaves, apparently supposing that the rifle fireplace was thunder and that the bullets had been mosquitoes.

One anti-.270 man who does a spot of guiding wrote a narrative during which he informed of chasing a bull elk that “had been solely wounded by a .270” throughout hell’s half acre. The inference was that if the dude had used a musket capturing a heftier bullet all would have been effectively. On the finish of the story it got here out that the elk had a damaged entrance leg.

Now, in my day I’ve shot a number of head of recreation and I’ve seen different residents knock over a number of with assorted calibers. Perhaps I’ve related to the improper individuals and used the improper rifles, however I’ve but to see any cartridge that may constantly knock over recreation by breaking a leg.

However controversy or not, the fast-stepping cartridge has gained an enormous share of the American marketplace for high-powered rifles and has turn out to be a world cartridge just like the 7 x 57 mm., the 8 x 57, the .30/06, and the .300 and .375 Magnums. In america, Winchester has manufactured the Mannequin 54 and Mannequin 70 in .270. Remington has made the bolt-action Fashions 720 and 721 and the slide-action Mannequin 760 for it. Sears, Roebuck & Co.’s Mannequin 50 J. C. Higgins rifle is on the market in .270.

Rifles for the cartridge are inbuilt Sweden by Husqvarna, in Austria by Steyr (Mannlicher-Schoenauer) and in Belgium by the Fabrique Nationale. Varied British gun makers have constructed rifles for the .270 cartridge on Mauser and Mannequin 1917 Enfield actions—and have even turned out a number of double rifles for the cartridge.

The 6.5 Creedmoor isn’t the primary cartridge that many shooters and hunters had been “nauseated” by. Tyler Freel

 On the time it was launched in 1925, the .270 was the flattest-shooting normal big-game cartridge on the earth. With the 130-gr. bullet, which has killed very useless all kinds of huge and ponderous animals, it nonetheless is. With the 100- gr. bullet within the manufacturing facility loading, which is designed for varmints·, the .270 has a trajectory virtually as flat as that of the .220 Swift.

Due to this flat trajectory, excessive velocity, good accuracy, and gentle recoil, the .270 is the best normal cartridge to make well-placed hits on recreation with, at lengthy and unsure ranges, that I’ve ever used. For mountain looking my follow has been to sight in a .270 utilizing 130-gr. manufacturing facility masses to place the bullet 3 in. above line of scope sight at 100 yd. The bullet then lands 4 in. excessive at 200 yd. and on the button at someplace between 275 and 300 yd., relying on the form of the purpose.

Regardless of rumors on the contrary, 300 yd. is a proper fur piece. Allow us to say that we’re on at 275 yd. and solely 2 in. low at 300. Then we’ve got a point-blank vary of about 325 yd., because the bullet is not going to rise or fall greater than 4 in. from line of goal as much as that distance.

 Past that, if our hunter holds on the spine he’ll make a success within the lungs on a big animal like a moose or an elk to effectively over 400 yd. The drop between 275 and 400 yd. with manufacturing facility loaded bullets just like the 130-gr. Silvertip and the 130-gr. pointed soft-point CoreLokt is about 15 in. With some bullets and with particular handloads it’s a whole lot much less.

 Those that wish to disparage the .270 by way of ballistics figures at all times seize on the 150-gr. round-nose manufacturing facility bullet having a muzzle velocity of two,770 foot seconds. They are saying that this load proves the .270 inferior to the .30/06, for the reason that figures present {that a} 150-gr. bullet within the .30/06 leaves the muzzle at 2,980 foot seconds. In addition they level to the place it says within the booklet that the retained velocity of the 150-gr. .300 Savage bullet at 300 yd. is 1,800, whereas that of the 150-gr. round-nose .270 bullet is 1,750. Bingo! This proves, they are saying, that the .300 Savage is superior to the .270 as a long-range cartridge.

 In popping out with such arguments, the boys neglect a very good many issues.

The obvious is that the manufacturing facility 150-gr. .270 load is a special-purpose load to be used on deer in brush and timber. The round-nose bullet is just not designed to retain velocity effectively however as an alternative to get by means of brush with a minimal of deflection. Velocity is held down to provide much less tissue destruction at quick ranges than is the case with the quick stepping 130-gr. bullet. As we will see, a 150-gr. bullet may be pushed alongside in a .270 a very good deal quicker than 2,770.

One other little element is {that a} 150-gr. .30 caliber bullet and a 150-gr. .270 are under no circumstances comparable. A bullet with a diameter of .277 in. and a weight of 150 gr. has a sectional density of .278, or about that of a .308 bullet weighing 190 gr. To match the 150-gr. .30 caliber bullet with a .270, the .270 bullet ought to weigh round 120 gr. Whereas we’re at it, the 130-gr. .270 bullet has a sectional density of .241 or within the neighborhood of a 160-gr. bullet in .30 caliber.

Nonetheless one other little element is that handbook figures on velocity should once in a while be taken with a grain of salt. I’ve but to see any .30/06 manufacturing facility load with the 150-gr. bullet which might flip up in my very own .30/06 rifles fairly as a lot velocity as it’s purported to, when examined on the Potter chronograph to which I’ve entry. Manufacturing facility load A in my very own pet .30/06 gave with the 150-gr. bullet a mean muzzle velocity of two,870 foot seconds-about 100 lower than revealed dope. Manufacturing facility load B gave 2,915.

 However, the .270 stuff I’ve chronographed is seemingly loaded to full marketed velocity. Three manufacturers of manufacturing facility ammunition with 130-gr. bullets chronographed as follows in a .270 with a 22-in. barrel: A, 3,127 foot seconds; B, 3,132; C, 3,185.

An experimenter I do know determined some years in the past to develop the perfect flat-shooting cartridge for mountain recreation. After a few years of necking down and reshaping this case and that he concluded he had discovered no mixture of case, bullet. and powder cost that may beat the usual .270 sufficient to trigger any nice rejoicing.

There are wildcats which give ballistics considerably superior to the .270, however normally at appreciable value. The assorted massive blown-out .300 Magnums are the best long-range cartridges in existence for the shooter who can deal with their very husky recoil. It’s one factor to shoot precisely with a .270 having 15 foot kilos of free recoil, and fairly one other to shoot precisely with a light-weight Magnum rifle that kicks virtually twice that a lot. Irrespective of how flat the trajectory is, it does no good if a rifle recoils so severely that the person behind it can not shoot it precisely. Not many can deal with extra recoil than is given by rifles of the .30/06-.270 class.

The wildcat .270 and 7mm. Magnums give considerably extra velocity than normal .270 manufacturing facility masses; however utilizing handloads with sure slow-burning powders and heavy bullets the usual .270 does about in addition to any of the Magnums. A gun-nut pal of mine had a wildcat .270 primarily based on the necked down .30 Newton case. Lengthy experimenting with a chronograph confirmed him that he may get simply as a lot velocity at apparently the identical strain out of the usual .270 as he may along with his large-capacity wildcat. This settled, he quietly bought the superduper to a personality who was bemused by the wicked-looking cartridge case.

Not too way back I obtained my mitts on a wildcat 7mm. In response to the tales, it shot so flat that you just held proper on ’em to 500 yd., and it went so quick that you just virtually didn’t have to guide a working antelope at 300 yd. Should be the marvel gun! However the previous pickle-puss chronograph informed one other story. With the 140-gr. bullet and a proper husky cost of slow-burning powder. this fancy cartridge turned up a velocity of two,925 foot seconds, and its efficiency with the 156-gr. bullet was virtually equivalent. With this specific wildcat the proprietor knocks himself out making particular instances after which has a cartridge truly inferior to the .270.

With one other wildcat within the .270-7mm. Magnum class I can, by utilizing about 10 to fifteen gr. extra powder, get solely barely larger velocity than I can get within the .270.

I’ve a low-down sneaking suspicion that the .270 case will maintain nearly all of the powder that can burn effectively behind a .277 bullet. Use a bigger case and extra powder, and also you get extra recoil, extra muzzle blast, extra strain, shorter barrel life—however darned little extra velocity. The notion held by newbie ballisticians that every one one has to do to step up velocity is to place extra powder behind the bullet is exceedingly naive. With any caliber, past a sure level, the addition of extra powder merely will increase strain and has little impact on velocity.

As a result of the .270 has a big boiler room for the bore dimension, essentially the most environment friendly powders for it have at all times been pretty slow-burning. The cartridge was initially labored out with No. 15 1/2, which within the early 1920’s was the slowest- burning powder within the du Pont line. Not way back at the very least one manufacturing facility was reaching the usual muzzle velocity of three,140 foot seconds with the 130-gr. bullet with 57 gr. of No. 4350. Really the .270 does higher with a powder that burns extra slowly nonetheless. On this case it’s No. 4831, a du Pont powder which, I perceive, was developed to load into 20 mm. plane cannon over the past conflict. B. E. Hodgdon of Meniam, Kans., purchased lots of it and has been promoting it as “No. 4350 Knowledge Powder,” so known as as a result of if loaded in keeping with knowledge revealed for No. 4350, it received’t blow anyone up. In truth, it’s going to give decrease velocity and fewer strain than with the identical quantity of No. 4350.

Simply who first began experimenting with No. 4831 within the .270 I have no idea. I used to be most likely the primary to chronograph masses with that powder. With my pet .270 with a 23-in. barrel and a 1-10 twist. 60 gr. of No. 4831 offers the 130-gr. Speer bullet a muzzle velocity of a bit over 3,200 foot seconds. Vernon Speer’s .270, with its 24-in. barrel, produces barely larger velocity.

Listed below are the velocities recorded for 10 photographs within the two rifles, every with the 130-gr. bullet in entrance of 60 gr. of No. 4831. O’Connor’s rifle: 3,182, 3,190, 3,224, 3,210, 3,252; Speer’s rifle: 3,258, 3,203, 3,193, 3,211, 3,240.

In some rifles that load is not going to produce greater than a mean of three,140- 3,160, however in others it’s going to produce extra. In Remington instances loaded with 130-gr. Speer bullets the 60-gr. load produces a imply strain of 51,000 lb. per sq. inch. Extra stunning are the outcomes with the 150-gr. Speer bullet and 59 gr. of No. 4831. Relying on the rifle, velocities run all the way in which from 2,925 to three,010-and that, my associates. with a bullet having the sectional density of a .30 caliber bullet weighing virtually 200 gr., is one thing. Equally exceptional, pressures are considerably lower than 50,000 lb.—although imply pressures with .270 manufacturing facility masses run within the neighborhood of 53,500.

However maintain your hat. I labored up these masses. As I’m a conservative, I used to be glad. My amigos Kenny Wyatt and Ronnie King picked up the place I left off. King loaded 63 gr. of No. 4831 (a compressed load) to get 3,350 foot seconds with the 130-gr. bullet, and 61 gr. of No. 4831 to get 3,150 with the 150-gr. bullet, in a rifle with a 26-in. barrel. Velocities with Wyatt’s normal Mannequin 70 Winchester are a bit decrease. What pressures are I wouldn’t know. I believe they’re fairly excessive, however I’d wager a cooky they’re no larger than they’re with sure .270 and seven mm. wildcat Magnums.

So far as masses with heavier bullets go, I can apparently use safely as a lot powder behind the attention-grabbing M.G.S. 140-gr. 2-D bullet as I can behind the 130-gr. (2-D means two-diameter; ahead portion is bore diameter, rear portion is groove diameter.) In a .270 of mine with a 22-in. barrel and a 1-12 twist, 60 gr. of No. 4831 behind the 140-gr. 2-D offers a mean muzzle velocity of three,080 foot seconds. Sort of a Magnum itself!

READ NEXT: What Would Jack O’Connor Say About Lengthy-Vary Looking and the 6.5 Creedmoor? His Work Already Tells Us

The .270 was designed to be a flat-shooting mountain cartridge and thatis the place it shines, but when anybody has a yen to shoot the 180-gr. Barnes bullet within the .270, he can get a velocity of two,600 and apparently regular pressures with 55 gr. of No. 4831. The flat-shooting M.G.S. 150-gr. 2-D bullet in entrance of 59 gr. of No. 4831 in an previous .270 with a 23-in. barrel and a 1-10 twist offers a mean muzzle velocity of three,128 foot seconds. That could be a long-range load!

In a collection of drop checks, the late Al Barr sighted in a regular .270 at 200 yd. with the 140-gr. 2-D bullet in entrance of 57 gr. of No. 4350 powder. At 500 yd. the bullets dropped 42 in. As compared a wildcat .270 Magnum, additionally zeroed for 200 yd. and having a cost of 10 gr. extra of the identical powder, gave a drop at 500 yd. of 40.75 in. when utilizing the 130-gr. M.&G. bullet and of 40.25 in. when utilizing the 140-gr. M.G.S.

For comparability I shot my load of 59 gr. of No. 4831 powder with the 150-gr. M.G.S. 2-D bullet and obtained a drop of 41 in. That load works out considerably flatter than the Western manufacturing facility load with the 130-gr. Silvertip, which gave me a drop of 47 in. in the identical set-up.

With the 140-gr. M.G.S. .270 bullet the drop between 200 and 400 yd., in keeping with Barr’s figures, was 20.35 in. With the Western 150-gr. manufacturing facility .30/06 load with the open-point bullet, drop was 26 in., with the 180-gr. Silvertip 25 in. With considered one of my .270 rifles utilizing the Remington 130-gr. Bronze Level bullet in entrance of 60 gr. of No. 4831, I obtained a drop between 200 and 400 yd. of 17.5 in.

Level of all that is that the .270 is a kind of Magnum in its personal proper. The well-known .275 Holland & Holland Magnum case as manufactured in England is loaded, within the samples I’ve, with 52 gr. of German Rottweil flake powder. It holds 66 1/2 gr. of short-grained du Pont No. 4676 when crammed to the mouth. A very good 7 mm. Magnum case designed by my pal Ross Leonard of Spokane holds 68 1/2 gr. I picked up a regular .270 Winchester case for comparability. It held 64 1/2 gr. of the identical powder. By all rhyme and purpose we should always get a bit extra velocity out of the varied comparable Magnums, however I doubt if we get sufficient extra to make any substantial distinction in both velocity or killing energy.

I’ve used the .270 on and off since 1925—and that’s lots of years. I’ve hunted with it in Mexico, western Canada, most Western states, and Africa. I’ve shot little Southwestern javelinas with it-and they weigh dressed round 35 lb. I’ve no superb notion of what number of white-tail and mule deer I’ve shot with it previously 29 years, however I’ve shot greater than a number of. I’ve knocked over a rating of bears with it, some moose, a number of elk, a substantial variety of caribou, fairly a number of antelope, all 4 kinds of North American wild sheep, a number of African antelope.

Like most hunters I’ve finished some bum capturing with the .270 and a few good. I’ve but to discover a cartridge that may make up for my bum capturing, be it .270, .30/06, or .375 Magnum. With its comparatively gentle recoil, flat trajectory, and good accuracy, the .270 with appropriate bullets is an excellent mountain cartridge. With appropriate bullets it may be utilized in brush, however different cartridges are extra practically supreme.

A really passable cartridge, the .270. Within the palms of a very good shot it’s going to deal with any North American massive recreation, but it’s nice to shoot. One of many miserable info of life is that if a person isn’t a very good shot, there isn’t any cartridge which can flip him into one. Expertise of hundreds of hunters throughout North America reveals that if positioned within the lung space the 130-gr. .270 bullet is sort of at all times immediate demise for an animal the scale of a mule deer or a bighorn ram on down, and fast demise for mountain caribou, elk, moose, and grizzly. With spitzer and spire-point 150-gr. bullets with their good weight and glorious sustained velocity out on the longer ranges, the .270 must be even higher.

READ NEXT: The New 27 Nosler and .277 Sig Fury Are Making a .277 Cartridge Comeback

The .270 isn’t any rhino cartridge, most likely not a sensible choice to cease charging African lions or Alaska brown bears. However for a flat-shooting, light-kicking, hard-wounding cartridge for any soft-skinned recreation within the open, from an antelope 400 yd. away throughout the plains of Wyoming to a marmot-digging grizzly in a Yukon basin above timberline, the usual run-of-the-mill .270 is tough to beat. When anybody assures me that the .270 isn’t even a very good mule-deer rifle and that .270 bullets bounce off of elk. I can not assist marvel how a lot recreation he has shot with .270 rifles, what sort, and the place. —Jack O’Connor

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *