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30-06 vs. 270 Win

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#1
30-06 vs. 270 Win

Article Posted: August 29, 2012


Which round is better the 30-06 or the .270 Win? There are slight differences in the 2 cartridges that make a good bit of difference at different ranges and against different game. Both the .270 and the 30-06 are top notch deer hunting rounds that have stocked freezers everywhere with tasty venison. Both the 30-06 and the .270 have decorated many a man cave over the last 50-100 years.


Discussing the 270 and the 30-06 is akin to talking about the Yankees and the Red Sox. You’re bound to step on a few toes in doing so. So I ask you to kindly put down your pitchforks, torches, lynch ropes, lower your guard a bit, and let’s take a subjective look at the external and terminal ballistic data ranges that these 2 rounds create.


What am I personally looking for in a rifle? I need a rifle that will shoot out to 300 yards at most as I live in the foothills/mountains of North Carolina and finding a 300 yard+ flat straight clearing that isn’t a road is rare.


  • Goal 1: Kill deer from 50-300yds
  • Goal 2: Occasionally takedown larger game up to 400 yards away
30-06 vs .270 Win Cartridge Specs and Ballistics at Muzzle


Cartridge Type: Rifle
Height: 2.494"
Width: 0.473"
Average FPS: 2815
Average Energy: 2920
Average Gr: 166
Relative Recoil: 2.19


Cartridge Type: Rifle
Height: 2.54"
Width: 0.473"
Average FPS: 3010
Average Energy: 2874
Average Gr: 136
Relative Recoil: 1.82





You can see from the cartridge specs and artist renderings that the 30-06 cartridge is a hair slower, shorter, has more recoil, and has a bit less energy. So the external ballistics of the 30-06 trajectory put it slightly behind the .270 Win, and we haven't even started looking at the drop charts. However in terms of terminal ballistics (on impact) the 30-06 is the winner at closer ranges (150 yards and under). The larger 166gr bullet will have larger permanent cavitation, and being slower there is less chance of over penetration on larger game.


Average: The averages listed above are averages of all known cartridge variances listed in our bullet database.

30-06 History

The .30-06 Springfield is a very popular deer and medium to large game round that was also used by the US Army before being replaced by the .308 or 7.62x51mm NATO in the 1950's. The .30-06 is a rather old cartridge and has been in use since 1906 (thus the name 06). It replaced the Army 30-03 (made in 1903)


It's the #1 deer round used in the United States, and possibly the world. We say possibly because we really don't have the stats on this round to state it's global appeal.



.270 Winchester History

The .270 Winchester was designed somewhere in the 1920's and was released by Winchester. The round was moderately popular for hunting medium to large game and was based of either the .30-03 Springfield or the .30-06 Springfield depending on your sources. I wasnt alive back then so I have to rely on my sources. Either way the .270 is a modified 30-0? Springfield.


The writer Jack O'Conner a writer for the magazine Outdoor Life was a huge fan, and he was by far the leading voice for this cartridge. So helpful was he in the promotion of this round that Winchester created a wonderful looking mantle gun called the Winchester Model 70 Jack O'Conner that only comes in one round..you guessed it... the 270 Win. See the review of the Winchester Model 70 Jack O'Conner and see the photos.

30-06 vs 270 Relative Recoil

If you had 2 identical rifles one in 30-06 and one in 270 Win the 270 will have slightly less recoil with a relative recoil factor of just 1.82 compared to the relative recoil of the 30-06 at 2.19.


So the 270 is a slightly less punishing round that should allow for faster follow up shots if need be. Now this will not always be the case if the rifles are different. A lighweight rifle with an old wore down pad in 270 win might feel like a sledghammer if compared to a 30-06 in a heavy rifle that has a brand new pachmayr recoil pad.


To help put those numbers in persepctive a .223 Rem has a relative recoil of just 0.95,


30-06 vs 270 Ammo Variances



The 30-06 wins here. The 30-06 has a much larger range of bullet weights than the .270 Win. You can find 30-06 ammo in 130 grain all the way to 220 grain (range of 90). The 270 Win only ranges from 100 gr to 150 gr (range of 50).

Ammo Price and Availability

The 30-06 is also cheaper by a few dollars on the premium boxes of ammo. So the 30-06 wins on price but not by much when talking about purchasing ammo. Since we don't reload we didn't do any research on reload costs, but would assume them to be similarly equal.


The 30-06 is also slightly more available than the 270 win, although both can be found at all major retailers and online ammo shops.



30-06 Trajectory and Drop Chart

Since our goal is 300 yards and less we drew a chart using our ballisitc calc tool. This assumes we are sighted in at 100 yards, and our scope ads 1.5" of height. This is just a random selection of 30-06 rounds.



.270 Trajectory and Drop Chart

Again since our goal is 300 yards and less we drew a chart using our ballisitc calc tool. This assumes we are sighted in at 100 yards, and our scope ads 1.5" of height. This is just a random selection of 270 rounds.



But Wait a Moment

To say that the 270 Winchester has a flatter trajectory than the 30-06 isn't always 100% true in terms of real world performance. It really depends on which rounds your are comparing. Our cartridge database is large enough that we have several instances of the same grain, and same manufactuer for both cartridges. These cartridges perform near identical. The only difference is the ballistic coeficient and the initial muzzle velocity.


An example that favors the 30-06 is the .270 Winchester, Federal Sierra GameKing BTSP, 150gr and the .30-06 Springfield, Federal Sierra GameKing BTSP, 150gr. The difference in drop at 300 yards is 1/10 of one inch. (a tenth of one inch), and at 500 yards the 270 win is sitting just 1.5" (one and a half inches) higher than the 30-06.




You can see in the chart above that the 30-06 and the 270 fly nearly indentical with the same gr, same style, and same manufacturing standards. In fact you might not be able to tell these are in fact 2 seperate trajectory lines until you get to the 420 yd line. What the trajectory chart doesn't show however is the energy. Under 150 yards the 30-06 packs a bigger punch, but after the 100 yard mark the 270 Win has a bigger punch. (at least in this example). At the 500 yard mark the 270 has about 15% more power than the 30-06, but who shoots deer at 500 yards anyway? The drop is something like 54" or 4 and 1/2 feet?


Comparing these 2 cartridges is like splitting hairs. To me it comes down to 2 things


1.) Range


2.) Round Variations


If you want a gun that will kill deer and large game up to 500 yards get the 270 Win. If you want a rifle that has huge round variations then choose the 30-06.




Most Important Lesson Learned?

Both of these rounds are perfect for deer up to 200 yards. You would be better served to just pick one and spend your time at the range improving your shot rather than fretting over the scientific data.


Pick a cartridge, get a rifle, and get out there and shoot something.


We hope this has been of some use, thanks for reading!


http://gundata.org/blog/post/30-06-vs-270/
 

TAEZZAR

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#2
I have 2 each 30-06 Ackley Improved, Remington 700's. Even thou they are "identical", I must keep the ammo rifle specific. I use 168 Gr Sierra Match King & 56 grains of IMR 4320 powder. They are tremendously accurate. I hit bowling pins at 680 to 800 yards.
 

michael59

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#3
Here we go again. Which will hit the ground first? A bowling ball or a bullet?

I love my energy because sometimes you have to reach out and touch something and when you do it needs to die not get pissed off.
 

michael59

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#6
I have 2 each 30-06 Ackley Improved, Remington 700's. Even thou they are "identical", I must keep the ammo rifle specific. I use 168 Gr Sierra Match King & 56 grains of IMR 4320 powder. They are tremendously accurate. I hit bowling pins at 680 to 800 yards.
Thing is people here shoot hill to hill and sometimes them hills have a creek between them that is 1800 food down there. So when that elk is dumped you want him to stay because if he runs down hill, and they always do, you do not want to have to fight the coyotes off of him once you find him which can take a while.
 

Bushpilot

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#7
There is a lot more variety of bullet styles and weights for the .30 cal. My old gunsmith friend always used to say “You can shoot mice to moose with a 30/06. And you can usually find a box of 06 in almost any out of the way store.

BP
 

Lt Dan

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#9
It's not so much the caliber, .270 vs 30-06 as it is the intended purpose together with the person doing the shooting.

Man has to know his limitations.

I kinda like 6.5mm for longer range and .308 for not so long. Got a brother always loved his .270, it worked for him on deer size critters. However, I own more .30 cal arms that 6.5, never know when you might have to go up against a BEAR!
 

stAGgering

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#10
Shot my first deer with Remington 180gr round soft tip, out of 30-06 Remington 742 Woodsmaster.
Brother has it, was dad's. Bro shot his first with it 25 years after me.
The 06 is a great short range cannon for New England woods.
Drops 'em like a brick.
300 yards in New England is down the power lines, or cross the pond.
I still hunt, no stand waiting, stalk those teriyaki treats.
Shot one with 12g 00 buckshot, never use that hamburgler round again.
Moved on to the bolt and will agree, the 30-06 kick always keeps you awake.
 

oldgaranddad

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#11
There is a lot more variety of bullet styles and weights for the .30 cal. My old gunsmith friend always used to say “You can shoot mice to moose with a 30/06. And you can usually find a box of 06 in almost any out of the way store.

BP
This!

As anyone who knows my handle, I am biased but you can go into any place that sells ammunition and find .30-06 but in some places finding .270 Winchester can be a challenge and if you do find it, you could go broke (all depending upon the location)

There are few animals in Africa, Europe, North/South America that can't be hunted with a good rifle chambered in .30-06 Springfield.
 

<SLV>

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#12
Or... .243 (vs. .308).
 

TAEZZAR

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#13
Moved on to the bolt and will agree, the 30-06 kick always keeps you awake.
How many here are willing to admit to a black or bloody eye from a 06 scope ? Or any scope ?
I got one ! :hunt:
 

GOLDBRIX

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#14
There is a lot more variety of bullet styles and weights for the .30 cal. My old gunsmith friend always used to say “You can shoot mice to moose with a 30/06. And you can usually find a box of 06 in almost any out of the way store.BP
Yeah, You might get lucky and find the mouse tail. Jus' Sayin'
 

ttazzman

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#15
I use 30-06...the female unit uses 25-06...when we deer hunt....sometimes (rarely) I will take a ar-10 (308)out but it is a heavy gun in comparison.....hunt long range with 7mm RUM...500+ yds antelope/mule deer...those are my preferences fwiw....thinking of looking for a 7mm rum replacement such as 6.5creed...270 is a good middle rnd but the 30 and the 25 seem to cover the ends of the spectrum better in my opinion for deer sized game at normal ranges...long ranges there are better choices out there
 
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ttazzman

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#16
Shot my first deer with Remington 180gr round soft tip, out of 30-06 Remington 742 Woodsmaster.
Brother has it, was dad's. Bro shot his first with it 25 years after me.
The 06 is a great short range cannon for New England woods.
Drops 'em like a brick.
300 yards in New England is down the power lines, or cross the pond.
I still hunt, no stand waiting, stalk those teriyaki treats.
Shot one with 12g 00 buckshot, never use that hamburgler round again.
Moved on to the bolt and will agree, the 30-06 kick always keeps you awake.
Lol...almost identical..I still have the old 742 in the back of the safe haven't seem it in years
 

Varmint Hunter

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#17
"How many here are willing to admit to a black or bloody eye from a 06 scope ? Or any scope ?" -Taezzar

I vividly remember learning a valuable lesson as a teenager while sighting in my 06.
Never lay on the ground with your rifle directly in line with your body while putting your eye up close to the scope so you could see better.
Ooouucchh!
 

michael59

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#19
How many here are willing to admit to a black or bloody eye from a 06 scope ? Or any scope ?
I got one ! :hunt:
Not me *snickers* but the step brother does. Stupid shit could not hit paper so the dad decided to help which of cours*sorry laughter break here* So, so the daddy unit crowded the shit into the scope and he ringed his eye. So coon eyed gets up with a red ring and mommie dearest goes all grey and I am like "cool*, this bitch is leaving like right now...and, that was the last time we went to the Mojave to kill paper targets.

good times
 

BigJim#1-8

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#20
Both are great classic rounds, I've killed deer with both.
My old reliable "Go To," Pre 64 Winchester 70-.270, 60 Grains H4831, 130 Gr Sierra BT Spitzer.
Shoots 3/4" all day, crono'd @ 3240 FPS sighted 3" High @ 100Yds, point blank to 350+.
 

Son of Gloin

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#21
I use 30-06...the female unit uses 25-06...when we deer hunt....sometimes (rarely) I will take a ar-10 (308)out but it is a heavy gun in comparison.....hunt long range with 7mm RUM...500+ yds antelope/mule deer...those are my preferences fwiw....thinking of looking for a 7mm rum replacement such as 6.5creed...270 is a good middle rnd but the 30 and the 25 seem to cover the ends of the spectrum better in my opinion for deer sized game at normal ranges...long ranges there are better choices out there
I don’t hunt, but a buddy of mine loves 7MM Magnum. He says the best thing about that round is, you can load it down to hunt small game with it, relatively speaking, I don’t think he’s talking squirrels and rabbits here, or load it up, with the appropriate bullets to hunt the biggest game in North America. And he has. He’s hunted about everything that’s legal to hunt in NA and brought home deer, antelope, elk, moose and bear. Probably more that I can’t recall. But, he uses 12 gauge for birds, of course and .223 for groundhogs, one of his favorite pastimes.
 

Unca Walt

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#22
I used my Weatherby 30.06 for thirty-odd years. When I ordered, it came from the company with a signed target with 3 holes in the ten ring. It kept that accuracy over the whole time.

I traded it last year for a NIB Saiga AK-47 and 2000 rounds of Rooshian ammo since I am just too creaky to go hawg, turkey or deer hunting anymore.

I got five turkeylurkeys (head shots only) with it, and a buncha deer and oinks. I missed two turkeys over the years (head shots are HARD) but never missed a deer or hog. Neato record, I thinks.

Oh, wait: Stone luck, but one time I got two large oinks with one shot. :hunt:
 

SilverCity

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#23
My heaviest caliber rifles are in .308/7.62 Nato, but I've owned the '06 in a couple of rifles. I believe the .308 has the edge in accuracy out to 600 yards--at least that is what High Power match shooters tell me.

SC
 
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Bushpilot

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#24
I personally like the 7x57mm Mauser and the 6.5x55 Swede, but the 06 beats them versatility wise. The .308 is almost as good since it uses the same large variety of bullets as the 06, just in a short action and slightly less powder. When I really need stopping power, I break out the .375H&H or the 12 gauge with buckshot and slugs for close in work. But I do honestly think the 30/06 has edge over all calibers as far as availability and bullet variety.
 

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#25
I use 30-06...the female unit uses 25-06...when we deer hunt....sometimes (rarely) I will take a ar-10 (308)out but it is a heavy gun in comparison.....hunt long range with 7mm RUM...500+ yds antelope/mule deer...those are my preferences fwiw....thinking of looking for a 7mm rum replacement such as 6.5creed...270 is a good middle rnd but the 30 and the 25 seem to cover the ends of the spectrum better in my opinion for deer sized game at normal ranges...long ranges there are better choices out there

I like my 25.06
 

Varmint Hunter

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#26
I like my 30-06 but my favorite is a Savage 300 Win Mag.
 

phoneman

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#27
Both are great classic rounds, I've killed deer with both.
My old reliable "Go To," Pre 64 Winchester 70-.270, 60 Grains H4831, 130 Gr Sierra BT Spitzer.
Shoots 3/4" all day, crono'd @ 3240 FPS sighted 3" High @ 100Yds, point blank to 350+.

I have a newer model Winchester model 70 in 30-06. Not as great as the pre 64 but, a keeper. Some 30 plus years ago I bought the gun for deer hunting. After my first 2 trips with a friend to deer hunt {we got nothing} wife and daughter told me don't bring the deer home . They didn't want to see a dead deer nor would they eat deer meat. That was the end of my deer hunting.
 

TAEZZAR

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#29

phoneman

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#30
I am now retired in the country and feeding the deer. 2 hundred lbs of chopped corn a week. My wife and I love to watch them feed. We only started feeding them last year when we had almost no acorns, We also put out a salt block and deer attractant block that they really like. Great entertainment ! Had a sow [bear] and her cub show up several times. I shot a 12 gauge in the ground to scare them off. In the past they have killed neighbors goat and a sheep.
 

ttazzman

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#31
My Savage 300 Win Mag had a kick like a mule, 5 shots & my shoulder said "No Mo".
5 shots???? :secret: (gona leave it alone) ..... i am going to assume it was a range day :hunt:

really like my savage 30-06 for hunting but i can stand the kick for 1 shot :2 thumbs up:
 

TAEZZAR

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#32
5 shots???? :secret: (gona leave it alone) ..... i am going to assume it was a range day :hunt:

really like my savage 30-06 for hunting but i can stand the kick for 1 shot :2 thumbs up:
Yup, range day, I don't hunt, just fish. I do shoot the wild f******g turkeys in my yard (with a 22) & get head shots.
 

Unca Walt

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#34
phoneman said:
They didn't want to see a dead deer nor would they eat deer meat. That was the end of my deer hunting.


Would probably have been the end of me marriage.
Cartoon from 50 years ago:

Guy in a hunting outfit drops a whole (dead) deer on the kitchen table by his wife as he goes by.

Says: "Medium rare."
 

Son of Gloin

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I don’t hunt, because Dad didn’t hunt, as he spent all of his time and energy working to pay bills and feed us. Then, I did the same, when I got to working age. But, unlike Dad, I do collect guns and shoot. Love it!
Not much of a rifle guy, except for a couple of AR’s, one in 556 and one in 22, it’s all pistols and revolvers. But, even though I have absolutely no good use for this thing, I want to buy one; just because of the coolness factor of it. Henry All-Weather lever action carbine in 45-70. I shot my buddy’s 45-70 and I’ve wanted one ever since. What do ya think?
8CFC218A-4309-4C7B-900B-ED450FE17FBB.jpeg
11ADADE2-F3FF-4A99-89B7-841487521851.jpeg
 

Varmint Hunter

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#36
I don’t hunt, because Dad didn’t hunt, as he spent all of his time and energy working to pay bills and feed us. Then, I did the same, when I got to working age. But, unlike Dad, I do collect guns and shoot. Love it!
Not much of a rifle guy, except for a couple of AR’s, one in 556 and one in 22, it’s all pistols and revolvers. But, even though I have absolutely no good use for this thing, I want to buy one; just because of the coolness factor of it. Henry All-Weather lever action carbine in 45-70. I shot my buddy’s 45-70 and I’ve wanted one ever since. What do ya think? View attachment 141778 View attachment 141779
Very nice piece!
GO for IT!
 

oldgaranddad

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#37
I don’t hunt, because Dad didn’t hunt, as he spent all of his time and energy working to pay bills and feed us. Then, I did the same, when I got to working age. But, unlike Dad, I do collect guns and shoot. Love it!
Not much of a rifle guy, except for a couple of AR’s, one in 556 and one in 22, it’s all pistols and revolvers. But, even though I have absolutely no good use for this thing, I want to buy one; just because of the coolness factor of it. Henry All-Weather lever action carbine in 45-70. I shot my buddy’s 45-70 and I’ve wanted one ever since. What do ya think? View attachment 141778 View attachment 141779
After .30-06, .45-70 Government is my favorite caliber.

I remember about 20 or so years ago it wasn't so well loved and was a challenge to find some factory ammunition in places. I snicker at how times have changed.

I have a Marlin 1895GS Guide Gun and a Ruger No. 1 in 45-70 Gov't.

Nothing better to teach someone how to handle recoil than to push a 550gr 45-70 Gov't through the pipe.
 

Son of Gloin

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#38
After .30-06, .45-70 Government is my favorite caliber.

I remember about 20 or so years ago it wasn't so well loved and was a challenge to find some factory ammunition in places. I snicker at how times have changed.

I have a Marlin 1895GS Guide Gun and a Ruger No. 1 in 45-70 Gov't.

Nothing better to teach someone how to handle recoil than to push a 550gr 45-70 Gov't through the pipe.
Yeah, I recall what it was like shooting my friend’s gun. It wasn’t horrible, but you had to respect that cartridge. It was impressive. Eye opening. But, I thought my shoulder would be sore the next day and it wasn’t, but I only put five or six rounds through it. I liked it!
 

Son of Gloin

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#39
Very nice piece!
GO for IT!
Yes, yes, yes! I am going to start saving my pennies. Can’t do it now, because I just bought two Ruger10MM’s, a S&W 686, a S&W M63 and a Sig 938 Spartan. If I buy another gun right now, even my little easy going wife will use it on me.
 

oldgaranddad

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#40
We need a GoldIsMoney2.com range day.

Then again, if all this gloom and doom about civil unrest comes to fruition, the range will come to us.