I had a customer come in the shop last week to pick up his old Remington 700, which I had rebarreled for him. He told me that he had bought the rifle new 40 years ago. It was the only rifle he owned and had shot everything from Pronghorn Antelope to Elk and even a Moose. The rifle was chambered in 270 Winchester, and the customer has shot the rifle enough to know the gun very well. He said “it was like a part of him.” “I just hope it shoots as well now as it did before.” It’s not often that a hunter will shoot a rifle enough to wear out the barrel, but he did! I thought to myself, “didn’t he know that he needed a bigger caliber for hunting Elk and Moose?” Wouldn’t a smaller caliber like a 25-06 or a 257 Weatherby work better for the long range shots needed for hunting Pronghorn Antelope? Well, I thought about it some and decided the customer with the 270 was right. Yes, a .338 might hold a small advantage for shooting larger Elk and Moose. Or a .257 Weatherby would shoot a little flatter for long range shooting which is needed for the open plains. But (and now comes the big but) there is no replacement for putting the bullet in the right place. I would much prefer to have a shooter know how to shoot his rifle and be able to place the bullet where it needs to be, than a shooter who carries a rifle that is too big for him to shoot well. A 270 Winchester has plenty of foot pounds of energy to kill an Elk at 200 yards. The 270 caliber will also shoot flat enough to handle long 400 or even 500 yard shots. If you use one of the new breed of bullets from Barnes, Swift or Nosler, the 270 Winchester will act like a much bigger or flatter shooting round than it really is. If you hand-load a bullet like the Swift Scirocco, you can make a 270 shoot 2 or 3 inches flatter at 300 yards than you could with a Remington Core-Lock. The Scirocco Bullet is longer than a normal bullet so the ballistic coefficient is way up there when compared to a standard hunting bullet. What all this means is that the Scirocco bullet will cut the air and buck the wind better so it shoots flatter. On the other end, a Barnes Triple Shock will act like a much bigger bullet. The Barnes TSB bullet will expand larger and hold its weight better than any bullet I have ever tested. If a normal bullet in a 270 expands to a 30 caliber and retains 60 % of its weight, it is considered to be a good bullet. Most Barnes TSB bullets will expand to more than twice their original size and will retain 100 % of the original bullet weight.
The other advantage a one rifle shooter has is that he knows his rifle. The trigger pull is the same all the time. The scope is the same and the stock fits right every time. It’s like driving the same pick-up truck, or being married to the same girl for ten years. You know all the good points and all the bad points, and how to make them all work to your advantage. Sure it is fun to have all the new toys and in most cases a shooter needs three rifles to cover all the different types of hunting there is. I know both Bill and Harold are great fans of the 30-06 and I agree with them that this is a wonderful caliber, but I also know that they both have 22-250’s for hunting the little critters and Harold uses a 375 H&H or a 45-70 for the real big animals that can bite or stomp you. But if both of these hunters could only use their 30-06, they would not be under gunned for any type of hunting they are likely to do. The customer who shoots the 270 also does one other thing that I agree with; he only shoots one bullet, a 130 grain Nosler Partition. He could shoot 110 grain bullets for lighter game and 150 grain bullets for heavy game, but he uses the 130 grain bullet and just makes sure that he puts the bullet in the right place and it does the job just fine.