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Hello, im thinking about a new rifle for whitetail and mule deer, and i cant decide between 308 and 270. which one would you choose and why. looking for some input.

thanks
 

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Yes.

Really, yes to both. Pick the rifle you like best and get it in either chambering, and you will never have any reason to regret the choice.
 

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As stated above both rounds are good. If you ever need to go with a heavier bullet above 150grs then go with the 308. I think the bullet range for the .277 caliber is from 90-150grs mainly. There might be just a small few that weigh more than the 150grs, but I'm not sure how many. With the 308 there's a huge number of bullet weights and more ammo choices already loaded and on the shelf if you don't load your own. The 270 might be a little faster and flatter over the 308, but not just a whole lot. As Sask's said, pick the one you like the best and feels the best in your hands and you good to go.
 

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Might want to consider how sensitive you are to recoil. The 270 kicks like a mule. Just a few days ago I zero'd the scope on one of these light weight model 70's the guys family gave him for his birthday. He was all over the place with his bullets and asked me to shoot it and see if I thought something might be wrong with it. When he handed me the rifle, he commented "that may be as good as it gets with the flinch, I guess everybody flinches some". I told him I don't flinch and no, you are not suppose to flinch, you should see exactly where the crosshairs are when the rifle goes off. It took five shot for me to place a bullet dead center the bullseye. Then he gets my phone number and asked if I would mind meeting him there one day to setup his 308 Semi, it was way off also.

I also have to comment, that's the first time I've handled and shot and shot a model 70 of any sort in at least 30 years. Yes, it would kick the salt out of a bisquit but was very accurate and a very nice looking rifle and I was very impressed with it . I guess he must have had one of the fancier models because that one had nice stock, with nice checkering and trim pieces. I have a nice pre-64, 270 I don't use and was thinking from that quick look, that one looked better than mine.
 

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Just want to tell the OP that I have used a .270 as my "deer" rifle for many years, and I don't know anyone who would ever suggest that the .270 kicks like a mule. Maybe the light weight rifle BKeith tried was the issue, but the .270 is considered a "mild" recoiling round by most. The .308 and the .270 will have very similar recoil levels.

Here are some numbers to compare.

Rifle Recoil Table
 

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If you could wear a blindfold (and still somehow hit what you were shooting at) you'd never know the difference between the two -- not in recoil, not in trajectory, not in terminal performance. Both are entirely adequate to the task.
 

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Either cartridge will be great for deer. To make distinctions between them, you'd have to look at something other than how well-suited they are to deer hunting. Buy the rifle you fall in love with and just FEELS right, to you.

As for recoil? Well, the conventional wisdom on that is most shooters can learn to tolerate up to ~20 ft/lbs of recoil, while still shooting accurately. Since these two cartridges generate almost IDENTICAL recoil, and both are below that 20 ft/lb threshold, there is really nothing there to persuade you, one way or the other.

For the record: The 270 does NOT "kick like a mule". It doesn't even kick like an alpaca. For most shooters, the recoil of a 270 is a non-issue. My 15 year-old daughter shoots my 270 and does not flinch.

You'll do well with either choice. If you pick one up, be sure to post pictures. :)

Jason
 

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Well, ditto to most of the above comments except I don't agree that the 270 shoots like a mule. I've carried and shot a 270 for 35 years and it does recoil, but not in a punishing way ( just my opinion ).

Both are great choices. If you choose the 308, You'll want to limit your bullet weight to 180 grains or less.

The 130 gr ( or 150 gr ) bullets of the 270 will do whatever you want them to, providing you do your part.....choose the right bullet for the game and practice with it for proficiency. These requirements apply to all calibers and game regardless.

When you shoot a long action caliber in a "light rifle", you will certainly feel more recoil because of the lighter platform. The weight of a rifle does influence "felt recoil" regardless of the caliber. Also - the "light rifles" typically have a light contour barrel ( lighter barrel, thinner diameter, etc. ) and these will heat up much faster when shooting. When this happens, your bullet placement at the target end will wonder around quite a bit unless you allow the barrel to cool down between each shoot.

Regards, Vic
 

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I've shot a friend's model 70 featherweight in .270, and it DID kick like a mule.... but my full sized Savage 110 in .270 does not. Just depends on the weight of the gun and stock design.

"Yes" to the original question. Enjoy!
 

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As already mentioned, either cartridge will work well for your mentioned needs. My suggestion would be to handle some examples of both and decide if the feel is any different between the .270 and .308. In many rifles; Remington M700, Ruger M77, Win M70 newer Savage 110 series rifles, etc., the actions are a different size/weight and that could make one or the other feel better in your hands.

Owning several rifles in both of these cartridges, I've found both to be very moderate recoiling in most all rifle designs. My BAR in .270 does recoil softer to my shoulder than my M77 RSI in .308 (due to a difference in rifle design & weight), but all in all, the rifles are pretty much nearly equal in recoil energy in like rifles. I would absolutely not make that point a deciding factor in which to choose.

You cannot go wrong with either choice, IMHO, and I'd simply choose the one that handles (and looks?) best for you. Good Luck!!
 

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Split the difference and get a 7mm instead. Either a 7-08 or 284 (short action) or a 280 (long action).
Better trajectory than the 308 and more bullet weight than the 270.
 

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I dont know what your budget is ,but I recently picked up a Tikka T3 HB in .308. I LOVE it ! I agree with the guy who commented on the .270 kicking like a mule. I have a weatherby .270 and it is alright to shoot for me ,but most people who have tried it say it is a bit much. Nothing kills a deer better than a bullet placed in the right spot !!! so as someone said pick a gun you like.
cuz.
 

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I dont know what your budget is ,but I recently picked up a Tikka T3 HB in .308. I LOVE it ! I agree with the guy who commented on the .270 kicking like a mule. I have a weatherby .270 and it is alright to shoot for me ,but most people who have tried it say it is a bit much. Nothing kills a deer better than a bullet placed in the right spot !!! so as someone said pick a gun you like.
cuz.
Do you have a rifle chambered in 270 Weatherby? That will kick more than a 270 Winchester. All other things being equal, a 308 and 270 Win will develop nearly identical recoil.
 

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Mike G got there before i could. Stock design and rifle weight combined decide how much recoil the 'nromal' deer rifle will produce. I have shot more 270s and 308s that i can remember. I have been kicked like a mule by many of the so called top european rifles, because the stocks are poorly designed(in my view) with most of the stocks dropped well below the line of the barrel. I don't include Scandinavian rifles in this , as in the main the stocks on Sako and Tikka are well designed.
With regard to choice ...personal.... I have probably shot most of the deer in my life time with a 308Win and would tend to go in that direction. I am more than aware that the 270Win will do the job adequately BUT, I am absolutely sure the deer will not notice the difference. The nearer the top edge of the stock runs through the centre line of the barrel the less felt recoil there will be and I have noticed that almost all of the stocks designed in the US are of this type.
Go buy a T/C Encore and both barrels, then add as many other calibres as you like. That is all I shoot these days with the added initiative that the first shot is the most important.
 

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Hey Broom JM
It is chambered in .270 weatherby. I actually bought it brand new on sale way back when I didn`t even know the difference between a .270 win and a .270 weatherby. I got a shock when I went to buy factory ammo! $70.00 plus for a box of 20. ouch :mad . 20 or so years ago. I reload now ! I actually really like that rifle,shot alot of deer !!!
 

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Split the difference and get a 7mm instead. Either a 7-08 or 284 (short action) or a 280 (long action).
Better trajectory than the 308 and more bullet weight than the 270.
I think that the 270 or 308 are both great choices but don't rule out the 30-06, 7-08, 280 or even the 7x57. All of these fit the bill very well. Like other's have said, recoil is subjective and stock design and shooting position make a big difference. I felt I was kicked harder when shooting a friends 270 Browning A-bolt than I was shooting my brother's Savage 7mm Rem mag. Both had factory stocks and both were scoped. My advice is to shoulder and shoot as many rifle brands as you can before you buy. And remember, if you can get a super good deal on a rifle in one of the above calibers and it kicks you more than you think it should, just get a different stock.
 

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Hey Broom JM
It is chambered in .270 weatherby. I actually bought it brand new on sale way back when I didn`t even know the difference between a .270 win and a .270 weatherby. I got a shock when I went to buy factory ammo! $70.00 plus for a box of 20. ouch :mad . 20 or so years ago. I reload now ! I actually really like that rifle,shot alot of deer !!!
A long-time family friend shoots his Wisconsin deer with a 270 Weatherby. The biggest buck I have personally laid hands on was dropped with a single shot from it. The live weight was estimated at 275 pounds. Even dressed out, it took me and the guy's brother to get the beast on the back of a quad so we could get it out of the swamp where Jerry shot it. Darn good cartridge, but like you said, the factory ammo is awful expensive. :)
 

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If I was choosing between the .270 Win. and the .308, I would probably go for the .270 Win. Flatter shooting, similar recoil, more variety in varmint bullets, if you like to use your deer rifle for off season practice. I prefer a short action, so I went with a .270 WSM, so I have the light weight advantage of the shorter action, and even more velocity flatter trajectory than the standard .270 Win. Nothing wrong with the .308 Win, though.
 
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