My very first high-power rifle was a custom Mauser 98 built for me at the age of 12. The rifle was in .270 Winchester. Living in Northern California/Southern Oregon, that rifle received a workout on both Blacktail and Mulies as well as doubling as a varmint rifle all year... rock chucks, abundant Jack Rabbit and coyotes.
This load was VERY accurate in my rifle, and harvested many, many 350+ yard blacktail deer in x-canyon shooting and literally thousands of jack rabbits and rock chucks (I shot the barrel out of that rifle, the throat was toast!) It was spectacular on deer... but later experience has shown that it was unneccessarily wasteful of meat!
Although I never lost a deer with that load, I did lose two elk using 150g Nosler Partitions in the 270 Winchester! (another story for another time). The Hornady bullet did ruin LOTS of meat however; if you hit a deer in the shoulders, just consider them coyote food, they will be a jellied mess of bloodshot. If I had the Barnes X bullet available in those years, I'm sure I would have used them. It might make a clean killing load for the .270 that won't ruin as much meat on edible critters. That 270 I used to have ruined more meat in the form of bloodshot than all my other firearms combined since!
Now, with all the 270 bashing over, I'll be fair to say that the load I just gave you shot beautifully in the three different .270 rifles I've owned in my life... the only change to the load necessary to make it shoot sub half-MOA groups was to adjust the C.O.L. for the differences in throat length in each individual rifle! Interesting too, that the 130g Hornady consistently outshot other brands and weights of bullets in all my different .270's!
Marshall: Now you have me worried. I just recently bought a Ruger #1 in .270, and I've been sighting it in using Remington 130gr. factory loads. What bullet should I use to avoid ruining meat? Would your .270 cast bullets be better?
Also, in your notes about the Savage Mod. 42 you show a shotgun slug shaped like an hourglass. Is that 12ga. only, or can Iget it in 20 ga. also (for a Winc. 1300 ranger, which I'll get a 22in. rifled barrel for.) Would that ruin less meat than the .270?
I'm going to tread lightly here but, a friend of mine with a 280 Rem loves to use the heavier jacketed round nose bullets, for the cartridge, on deer sized game. He likes the performance on big game including deer at woods ranges and claims there is less meat destruction and faster anchoring than the higher velocity lighter weight loadings often advocated for the cartridge. I've no reason to argue with him as he definately is successful virtually every year with this combination.
You cannot go wrong with the factory winchester supreme 140gr. failsafe. This bullet is a hollow point which bothers some, but is an amazing shooting factory bullet. For medium sized game this is the only way I would go.
I no longer own a 270, but when I did I had excellent service from Speer's 130gr SPBT over 54gr of IMR4350 (double-check that powder charge). IIRC, it gave me just under 3000fps and 100yard groups that were consistently under 1" out of a Rem. 760 w/ a cheap Tasco 3x9.
I'm not one that would recommend premium grade bullets, if a fellow plans just on shooting deer. I think a man may be better served to spend the difference in more bullets, and practice a little more.
I have ruined my share of meat with a 270, but I have never seen a shoulder, or rump roast that had a bullet of any type/caliber/velocity pass through it that I considered table worthy. If a fellow takes a reasonable amount of care on where he levels his crosshairs, marksmanship could solve your meat destruction problem. I know that sometimes the animal does not cooperate, and provide that perfect broadside angle- then we have to adjust. If conditions prevent a good meat saving clean through and through- reckon a fellow still has enough for the freezer even if a shoulder is sacrificed to the sinkhole. Also, if you get a little meat poor, you can shoot a couple of the billion or so Does that are thick as ticks on a hound's ear. Good herd management, I'm told.
I can't think of a 270 hunting bullet of 130 grains + that is not suitable for deer. I have taken deer with Sierra's, Hornady's, and one several years ago with a Win silvertip. I went after them this year with a 130 Speer Hotcore spitzer. Would not hesitate to use a corelokt, or powerpoint, and any combination currently available. I have had little range success with my current rifle and the Nosler ballistic tip, but after some re-engineering, hope springs eternal. My pet project load right now is a 130 grain Horn SST over some 4831.
The best general use game bullet is the Nosler partition, but unnecessarily engineered for deer, this man's opinion.
I have settled on basically two loads for our .270's in the rack. One being a 130 grain Remington Core-Lokt and the other is a 150 grain Nosler Partition bullet for using on Mulies out West in the mountains. Our home brewed load, is IMR 4350 powder @ 56.5 grains for a velocity of 2950fps with a 150 grain bullet. I have also used the 160 partition bullets, but can't tell any real difference between them and the 150 grainers, as far as penetration goes.
It's true however that for whitetail deer you really don't need a premium bullet for bagging your trophy deer. As was mentioned by another poster, in most cases 85% of the time, the non-premium bullet will get the job done satisfactorily. These non-premium bullets are not meant for the super sonic velocities of the Ultra mags of today, however with the .270 caliber you won't have any problems if you stay off the shoulder and use good common sense as to where to place your shot. I use premium bullets on all my trophy hunts regardless, it is the cheapest thing you will purchase for the hunt.
Go back to LoadSwap and find the "270 Winchester" not the misspelled "270 Winchaester". Then look up the first load listed for 130 grain bullets. That load or variations of it have been around for more than fifty years - Its still one of the best 270 Winchester reloads bar none!
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