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Interesting conversation last night. A friend stopped by to show me information on a new Beanfield rifle he has ordered. The Browning X-Bolt 6.8 Western. (He has more disposable income than I have)

Seems that everybody and his brother around here has a 270 Winchester as their deer rifle. It has certainly surpassed the old 30-30 Winchester as "the" deer cartridge in these parts. Me? I had a passing interest in the .277 Wolverine, AKA; 6.8x39, but generally my interest in the 27 caliber has been sort of ho-hum. I’ll take 7mm please. Still, the .277 is a popular caliber around here.

Soybean fields are somewhat common around here. Deer love the soybean and hunting over a soybean field can give an eastern hunter the best chance of longer range hunting in these parts. Thus the birth of the Beanfield rifle, a rifle expressly intended for the longer shots that may be afforded. Mine is a 26" barreled 280 Remington.

My buddy’s new Beanfield rifle is chambered in a new cartridge that has recently been released by Browning/Winchester. It’s a pretty interesting cartridge. The parent case is the 270 Winchester Short Magnum. The case has been modified to accept the extra long .277 bullets up to 175 grains in weight. The rifles have a fast twist, 1:7.5.

I have never even heard of this cartridge, but I find it interesting. I am looking forward to getting the opportunity to shoot it. Still, I am not overly enthused about it. I think I will just keep my 280 Remington.

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It’s essentially 6.5 CM (and all of its fellow 6.5’s) pushed up a very large notch, to handle heavier/longer bullets. The Winchester short mags all seemed to get stuck with shorter weight for the length bullets, so it beats them.

But if a guy can’t get his .270 or .280 or .264 or 6.5 to do the job, I doubt this cartridge will increase his odds.

Should be a good cartridge. Shouldn’t burn up barrels, has enough weight to make western hunters happy, has better BC and long range than .308 in that weight range. But 95% of shooters can do just as well, with any of 15 existing cartridges.
 

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It’s essentially 6.5 CM (and all of its fellow 6.5’s) pushed up a very large notch, to handle heavier/longer bullets. The Winchester short mags all seemed to get stuck with shorter weight for the length bullets, so it beats them.

But if a guy can’t get his .270 or .280 or .264 or 6.5 to do the job, I doubt this cartridge will increase his odds.

Should be a good cartridge. Shouldn’t burn up barrels, has enough weight to make western hunters happy, has better BC and long range than .308 in that weight range. But 95% of shooters can do just as well, with any of 15 existing cartridges.
.I see it about the same way. My 280 Remington pushes the 165 Grain Sierra TGK has a BC equal to the bullets used by the 8.8 Western and it's only going 100 fps or so slower. Dont think there would be much difference between it and the new Browning cartridge.

Where it will best cartridges like the 6.5 CM is in performance on big game at long range though. It has the BC of the small and lighter .264 bullet in a larger heavier.277 bullet. It aught to be a better performer on large game, seeing how the 6.8 Western is shooting a bullet that's 20 some grains heavier and 200 fps faster than the typical 142grain 6.5 bullet. And it will beat the lighter but faster .277 bullet out of the 270 Winchester in spades.
 

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Yes, but....those 140 grain .270’s and 6.5’s have been killing the crap out of things like moose and elk for decades, or even over a century in the 6.5 Swede case.

It will beat them on paper. But dead is dead, you don’t get “deader” because the bullet has better numbers.
 
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Yes, but....those 140 grain .270’s and 6.5’s have been killing the crap out of things like moose and elk for decades, or even over a century in the 6.5 Swede case.

It will beat them on paper. But dead is dead, you don’t get “deader” because the bullet has better numbers.
My question is...is the 270 really an elk cartridge? I know they kill them, but is it a good elk cartridge.

The 243 is a popular deer cartridge, but I dont really think it's a good one. Sure, that little 85 to 100 grain 24 caliber bullet will kill a deer like it's been hit by the hammer of Thor, if it goes into the right spot. But if it dosent, or has to go through a bunch of meat and bone...well, I have seen some serious tracking jobs.

Is the 270 the equivalent in the elk hunting world? I do not know, asking because I have never killed an elk??? I do think the 6.8 Western will handle the bullet to get through meat and bones to the vitals.

Should I get the opportunity to go elk hunting, I am pretty sure I would not choose a 6.5 CM or 270 Win. I would likely bring a 7mm Rem Mag or 300 Win Mag.
 
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My question is...is the 270 really an elk cartridge? I know they kill them, but is it a good elk cartridge.

The 243 is a popular deer cartridge, but I dont really think it's a good one. Sure, that little 85 to 100 grain 24 caliber bullet will kill a deer like it's been hit by the hammer of Thor, if it goes into the right spot. But if it dosent, or has to go through a bunch of meat and bone...well, I have seen some serious tracking jobs.

Is the 270 the equivalent in the elk hunting world? I do not know, asking because I have never killed an elk??? I do think the 6.8 Western will handle the bullet to get through meat and bones to the vitals.

Should I get the opportunity to go elk hunting, I am pretty sure I would not choose a 6.5 CM or 270 Win. I would likely bring a 7mm Rem Mag or 300 Win Mag.
Even Alaska Fish and Wildlife says shot placement is more important than caliber because even a lowly .270, .308, 30.06 to the vitals will drop a 1,600 pound Moose or brown bear faster than a gutshot from a 300wm, 338, etc. They even go so far as saying the large caliber magnums are LESS efficient than the smaller calibers because shooters tend to anticipate the pain from the recoil and make bad shots.

I bring my 30.06, .308, and .270 for elk. I carry the .270 unless I know I've got to take a long shot. Then I carry the 30.06. My .308 is the back-up/brush rifle.
 

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Yep. The .270 was the gun of choice for the first elk hunt for young folk around here. Once they get older, most move up to more gun, but not because they need it. It’s just, more recoil must mean more better killing power, ya know?
 

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Yep. The .270 was the gun of choice for the first elk hunt for young folk around here. Once they get older, most move up to more gun, but not because they need it. It’s just, more recoil must mean more better killing power, ya know?
Kind of like the 243 around here. Seems to be the place to be before you move up to the 270. And I am not knocking the 270, I know it’s a good round. It was given a shot in the arm by the late-great Jack O’Connor. (Did you know that Elenor O’Connor, Jacks wife, used a 7mm Mauser and that Jack himself was having a 280 Remington built for him when he passed away?)

shot placement is more important than caliber
Goes without saying.

To elaborate, and to stay where I have experience. Agreed that the 243 in the boiler room and you have a dead deer. Sometimes DRT, but often they run, dead on their feet but running. Not only with the 243, but with any caliber.

The shoulder shot is a viable shot. A shot into the shoulder destroys the means of locomotion, and the bullet, along with bone fragments, continue on into the boiler room. The end result being the animal is anchored right there. The typical "bang flop" shot. The 243 with the 85 and 90 grain bullets so often used in the cartridge just doesn’t handle that shot well.

The 243 just does not have the oomph to consistently make that shot in my experience, except with the good but underused 105 grain round nosed bullet. I am jaundiced I know. Just not a fan of the 24 caliber for deer.

Edit: I believe the 243 Winchester is at least partially responsible for the popularity of the neck and head shots. The 243 in the boiler room is deadly, but if the deer runs, which they often do, it is often lost because the 243 just does not let enough air in and blood out for effective blood trailing. While the neck and head shot are deadly, the target area is small. Miss and you only wound. I have seen too many dead emaciated deer with the esophagus or jaw destroyed to condone that shot.
 
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