With manageable recoil, cheap price, and the ballistic functionality to take all the things from groundhogs to moose–it’s arduous to think about two more practical and standard cartridges than the .270 Winchester and the 7mm-08 Remington.

I’ll say on the outset that this race is a barn burner. It’s like a time-warp basketball recreation between Magic Johnson’s Lakers and MJ’s Bulls, or a karaoke contest between Johnny Money and Colter Wall. You possibly can’t go unsuitable with both cartridge, however if you wish to crown a winner, you’ll should get into the nitty gritty–and it could come right down to the buzzer.


There are two colleges of thought with regards to ballistic comparisons. Some people examine bullets of equal weight whereas others examine every cartridge’s most typical load. I’m going to do each.

Each the .270 Win. and the 7mm-08 (pronounced “seven em em oh eight”) are mostly loaded with bullets within the 120- to 150-grain vary. To check apples to apples, we’ll first take into account two choices from Federal utilizing 140-grain Nosler AccuBond bullets.

The .270 Win. wins the race out of the gate with a 100 feet-per-second benefit over the 7mm-08 (2,950 fps vs. 2,850 fps). That velocity benefit holds at precisely 100 fps out to 500 yards and comes with the ensuing vitality benefit at each level alongside that trajectory.

Talking of trajectory, the .270 Win. Nosler bullet holds a slight ballistic coefficient benefit over the 7mm-08, which implies the .270 drops about three inches much less at 500 yards (39.3” vs. 42.9”) and drifts about an inch much less at that distance with a ten mph crosswind (17.4” vs. 18.7”).

So long as you examine the identical bullet weight and design, the Winchester’s slight benefit in manufacturing unit ammunition holds throughout the board. The 7mm-08 has a tough time competing with the .270’s larger case capability with regards to sheer bullet pace.

However what about when evaluating every cartridge’s mostly loaded bullet weight? Based mostly by myself expertise and a fast survey of Halfway USA’s choices, 130-grain bullets are most steadily loaded within the .270 Win. whereas 140-grain capsules are most frequently discovered within the 7mm-08.

To maintain this comparability as equal as potential, we’ll use Federal’s Trophy Copper choice for every. This 130-grain Trophy Copper .270 Win. screams out of the barrel at 3,060 fps whereas this 140-grain Trophy Copper 7mm-08 leaves the muzzle at 2,800 fps. You’d count on the 7mm-08 to fly slower, given its heavier bullet, however the .270 additionally wins the vitality competitors. The .270 hits tougher at each distance out to 500 yards (a 100-200 ft.-lb. benefit), and it drops much less and drifts much less, in addition.

The race is a detailed one, however the .270 has the sting.


The .270’s ballistic benefit comes with a draw back, in fact. The Winchester produces about 17 foot-pounds (ft.-lbs.) of recoil vitality whereas the 7mm-08 solely produces about 13 ft.-lbs. That’s in keeping with Chuck Hawks’ recoil desk with every cartridge utilizing a 140-grain bullet fired from an eight-pound rifle.

Most hunters aren’t more likely to discover that distinction and felt recoil is so depending on rifle weight that your 7mm-08 may really feel snappier than your buddy’s .270. However all else being equal, the 7mm-08 ought to be a bit extra shootable than its older cousin.

The .270 is extra standard than the 7mm-08, so that you’re extra more likely to discover a larger choice each on-line and in-store. That economic system of scale permits producers to supply the Winchester at a barely lesser worth level. The most affordable .270 normally runs about $1.45 per spherical whereas the most cost effective 7mm-08 is nearer to $1.60 per spherical.

That makes the Winchester a more sensible choice should you’re trying to spend plenty of time on the observe vary (which I like to recommend). However should you’re solely on the lookout for high-quality looking ammunition, neither cartridge has a lot of an edge. Federal, for instance, provides each within the $45 to $65 per field vary.

When you care about recoil, the 7mm-08 is extra shootable. However the Winchester is considerably extra reasonably priced. You’ll have to choose your personal poison on this one.


When you’re a handloader, this class is simply as tight. The vary of projectile weights just about overlaps: 90-150g for the .270 and 100-160g for the 7mm-08. You may say that the .270’s flatter trajectory makes it higher for varmints and the 7mm-08’s heavier bullets make it higher for giant recreation, however that’s a little bit of a stretch. It’s arduous to think about that three fewer inches of drop at 500 yards will make any varmint hunter extra correct, or {that a} moose will discover the distinction between a 150g and 160g bullet.

However with regards to manufacturing unit choices (which most hunters select to make use of), the Winchester provides larger versatility. Halfway USA provides .270 bullets as mild as 96 grains and as heavy as 150 grains. The 7mm-08 could be had with 160-grain bullets, however as we noticed within the “Ballistics” class, the .270 can ship extra vitality even with a lighter bullet.

What’s extra, the .270’s recognition implies that ammo makers provide the Winchester with extra bullet design choices. Halfway sells the .270 with 13 completely different bullet kinds–all the things from bonded polymer tip to stable hole level to spherical nostril tender level. The 7mm-08, then again, can solely be discovered loaded with six completely different bullet kinds. A larger collection of bullet kinds implies that manufacturing unit choices will provide a wider vary of potential goal animals.

Rifle versatility is one other useless warmth. Some boutique corporations chamber each cartridges in semi-automatic and lever-action rifles, however bolt-actions represent the overwhelming majority of rifle choices.

And the Winner Is…

The Winchester wins this Caliber Battle, however not by a lot. Its larger ballistic capabilities and flexibility give it a transparent edge, however should you already personal a 7mm-08, there’s no must exit and purchase a .270 (however let’s be sincere–“want” doesn’t play an enormous function in most gun purchases).

Science and The Individuals demand a winner be topped, however the fact is, most hunters received’t discover a lot distinction between the .270 and the 7mm-08. Animals can be simply as useless, and also you’ll be simply as completely happy along with your venison, bear, or elk.

Total Winner: .270 Winchester

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