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Thread: Why has the performance of the 270 Winchester not been improved?

  1. #1

    Why has the performance of the 270 Winchester not been improved?

    The 270 Winchester introduced back in 1925 seems to have almost the same velocities now as it did back at it's introduction yet powders have come along quite a bit since then. Other cartridges have had their performance levels upped yet the old 270 Winchester still languishes where it came into the world almost as if it's unloved by the various ammunition makers.

    Oh some years back they tried with the WSM to update and make the 270 fashionable as a calibre again but they still left the old original 270 Winchester alone and I have never understood why .

    We know that Winchester was economical with the truth about the velocities actually achieved in rifles with the original loadings. Chronographs were not easily obtained and were difficult to use and very time consuming back then but some labs did do the testing and Winchester was caught out.

    Original claims for velocity of the 130 grain loading was 3,140 fps but if one reads the reports of those who did have access to chronographs actual velocity was more like 3,020 fps . Despite this the cartridge was still hugely popular and successful. At one time it seems it was THE cartridge to use upon the Hill in Scotland before falling out of fashion. I notice it seems to be gaining some ground back in recent years though.

    This brings us back to the question why when other cartridges of similar vintage have had their real world performance improved has the old 270 Winchester been ignored?

    Looking in Hornady's 7th Ed I see in their testing they managed to get 3100 fps with Four powders and Speers 14th lists 3117 fps with their 130 grain bullets but that is still shy of the original velocity claimed by Winchester in 1925.

    Most strange.

  2. #2
    Because it's all you need?

  3. #3
    what is there to improve?

    3000fps
    100-150gr realistic bullet range
    0-6" drop between muzzle and 300yds
    readily available
    suitable for all quarry from hoodie crows to boar.

    why would pumping it up by 100-200fps make it better?
    I would imagine most home loaders keep it around 28-2900 dont they?

  4. #4
    Well let's see:-

    If as you both say there is no need for improving it why did they bother with the WSM? Does this mean that some people really cannot manage the weight of a long action rifle or the bolt travel of the long action?

    Why are people loading the .308 Winchester with 150 grain bullets to 3,000 fps? This of course beats the 270 Winchesters 2,900 fps with 150 grain bullets.

    Back to the .308 Winchester over the 50 or so years since it's introduction they have improved it's performance by 200 fps with 150 grain bullets to bring it level.

    Just checking and Norma at least claim to load the 270 Win and 130 grain bullet to it's original specs of 3140 fps. Their 150 grain load though is at 2854 fps. The Norma 150 grain .308 load however almost equals it at a claimed 2822 fps.

    Now Federal on the other hand their 130 grain Soft Point load only gives a claimed 3060 fps and their 150 grain Sierra G ame King BTSP 2830 fps yet once again their 150 grain loading for the .308 gives 2820 fps.

    So not only has there been no development or improvement in fact it looks like a lot of ammunition makers don't even load it to the original specs and so have dropped it's velocity by about 100 fps.

    Makes no sense to me .

  5. #5
    It's fashionable to have a short action!!!! I thought you knew that Brit. Everybody is developing the inability to cycle a long action because they are couch potatoes!!!!!

    David.

  6. #6
    .277 in 150gr at 2800fps
    or
    .308 in 150gr.... 2800fps

    know which one I would prefer on paper..

    .465 BC in the .277 vs .423 BC in the 308 (and that is with a Boat tail 308 against a flat base Nosler in .277!)

    The WSM was marketing ploy that failed.
    still dont see how bumping MV by 200fps is an improvement! anyone can do that with some hot loads and snappier powder

  7. #7
    Brit: You're looking at this from an emotional view point, not through a business lens.

    Why the WSM? To sell more ammo and rifles. It's "New and Exciting" and Winchester did their best to get everyone to believe that they needed one. Plain and simple.

    As to the 270 performance. Ammo makers improve ballistics of the individual loading as they can BUT, they must stay within SAAMI limits. To change the cartridges upper pressure limits would toss the manufacturing world into a tizzy. Not only would it be expensive change the spec, but it would cause them to need an entirely different cartridge designation. Think of the mess they got into with the 257 Roberts, producing "+P" ammo for it to accommodate weaker rifles. It eventually became a confusing burden that they abandoned.

    Lastly, I agree: Why bother? It's a fine cartridge. Is it being over-shadowed by newer calibers? Sure, but that's the nature of the business.~Muir

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari View Post
    It's fashionable to have a short action!!!! I thought you knew that Brit. Everybody is developing the inability to cycle a long action because they are couch potatoes!!!!!

    David.
    ..you know what they say about people with long actions

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bewsher500 View Post
    what is there to improve?

    3000fps
    100-150gr realistic bullet range
    0-6" drop between muzzle and 300yds
    readily available
    suitable for all quarry from hoodie crows to boar.

    why would pumping it up by 100-200fps make it better?
    I would imagine most home loaders keep it around 28-2900 dont they?
    2850 for me using 130gr SSTs. It's the accurate load (in my rifle) and plenty fast for my needs....

  10. #10
    Funny thing the 270, it was the only calibre I owned for 10 years. I have messed about quite a bit with other rifles over the past five or six years, don't have one now. I shot everything from Muntjac to wild boar, mostly 140gr Hornady Interlocks, laterly with 140 gr Accubonds.

    Been thinking about one again recently, 140gr Accubond or BT at 2925FPS would do just about everything I ever need to do, that, and a 156 gr Norma for pigs.

    The WSM is a nice idea that was born redundant.
    Brian.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

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