American Rifleman - July 2019 - 24

Why buy
SnapSafe?

READERS WRITE

Another .270 Reason

The Right Office
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AMMUNITION
May 2019

A New Look At The Old

MODULAR
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With all the attention focused on relatively new cartridges such as
the 6.5 mm Creedmoor, what about the venerable .270 Winchester?
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24

The World's Oldest And Largest Firearm Authority

BY CRAIG BODDINGTON
lmer Keith famously described the .270 Winchester as a "damned adequate
coyote rifle." Much less famously, but only slightly more fairly, a much
younger version of myself identified the .270 Win. as "perfect for pronghorns."
The last was an incomplete thought, but I'll stand by it. The .270 Win.
really is a quintessential pronghorn cartridge because pronghorns are, pound
for pound, extremely tough. More importantly, they are usually hunted on the
windy plains. It's a simple fact that 0.277" bullets hold up far better in the wind
than 0.257" and 6 mm bullets, which, until recently, have been our most common alternatives.
The "new discovery" of the 6.5 mm (0.264") has altered this landscape. Here's
a big surprise: The 6.5 mm is not new. The 6.5 mm Creedmoor is an awesome little
cartridge, and certainly the hottest-selling center-fire phenomenon I've seen,
but ballistically it does little that the 6.5x55 mm Swedish couldn't do back in
1891. Compared to the Creedmoor the .260 Rem. has languished, but the two are
ballistically very similar. Bullets for 6.5 mm cartridges tend to be long for caliber
and, with good aerodynamics, hold their velocity well. Started at moderate speed
with minimal recoil, they remain supersonic to amazing ranges, making them
marvelous for long-range target shooting. In my opinion, however, these three
similar 6.5 mms, despite the magical properties currently attributed to them, do
not equal the 96-year-old .270 Win. as hunting cartridges.

VERSATILE AND POWERFUL

Can I justify this heresy? I think so. Based on the longer .30-'06 Sprg. case
with more powder capacity, the .270 Win. has always been loaded fast, with a
130-gr. bullet exceeding 3000 f.p.s.
The 0.277" bullet was an oddball choice. Winchester's engineers must have
considered the 6.5-'06, perhaps they also considered the 7 mm-'06 (which, in
1957, became the .280 Rem.). Had they gone either direction in 1925, we may not
be having this discussion. However, in xenophobic post-World War I America there
was little chance for a cartridge with a metric designation. The 0.277" bullet has
0.013" greater frontal area than the 6.5 mm (0.264")-and just 0.007" less than
the 7 mm (0.284"). Folks, these diameters are too similar to fight over. The difference lies in case dimensions, which allow the .270 Win. to achieve more velocity
than is possible with our "mild" 6.5 mms-and also more velocity than is possible
with the "mild" 7 mms. These include two of my favorites, the 7x57 mm Mauser
and 7 mm-08 Rem. Ballistically similar, both are awesome, but, lacking the case

The author has found his Winchester Model 70 Classic Featherweight
Jack O'Connor Commemorative in .270 Win. to be one of his most
accurate rifles with a variety of factory loads.

88

MAY 2019

AMERICAN RIFLEMAN

Photos by author

AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

MAY 2019

89

I really enjoyed reading Craig
Boddington's piece "A New Look At
The Old .270 Winchester" (May 2019,
p. 88). I own a Remington Model 700
BDL in .270 Win., as well as rifles
chambered in 6.5 mm Creedmoor,
6.5 mm Grendel and a few others.
Every time a new chambering hits
the market my dad and I talk rifles
and cartridges for almost the entire
four-hour drive to the deer lease. The
one question that we always revert
back to when discussing new rifle
chamberings-even the former wildcat
cartridge .25-'06 Rem.-is this: If you
find yourself in Podunk, West Texas,
on opening weekend and you left the
bag with your ammunition in it at
home on the stairs, what ammunition
is the local gas station/bait shop/
hunting supply store most likely to
have in stock? I'm betting .270 Win.
will be one of the handful.
JAMES LANDER, VIA EMAIL

IN THE COMPANY
OF SOLDIERS

SIG SAUER's M17

CRITICAL
NEWS
REGARDING
NRA's
FUTURE
PLEASE SEE P. 58

MENTOR A NEW SHOOTER, 5TH ANNUAL MENTOR INITIATIVE P. 50

LADIES PISTOL PROJECT 3

*

THE .270 WIN. IN CONTEXT

R1905_COVER.indd 1

*

A GUIDE TO THE UZI
3/19/19 3:35 PM

I quite enjoy your magazine for
its articles on current and historic
military firearms. I similarly enjoyed
Editor In Chief Mark Keefe's recent
article, "In The Company Of Soldiers:
The U.S. M17 & M18 Modular Handgun
Systems" (May 2019, p. 60), except
for one slight factual error. He
referred to GAO as the Government
Accounting Office; this is incorrect.
It is the Government Accountability
Office. You can see this on its website
gao.gov. It is also in the header of
the protest decision he mentions in
the article. I only mention this as I
am sure you value accuracy in your
articles as much as you do in your
firearms. Thank you for continuing to
put out such a great publication.
KRIS KEENER, VIA EMAIL

M9 Flashback
I look forward to my monthly issue
of American Rifleman. The "Opening
Shot" (May 2019, p. 26) about the
Beretta M9 from March 1985 especially
caught my attention. I went to my
filing cabinet and pulled out that very
issue. I saved it because I purchased
the pistol when the Army adopted it. I
have since retired from the military and
won't get to fire the M17, so I will have
to settle for the civilian version. Keep
up the good work.
JOE DEMARCO, VIA EMAIL
"Readers Write" affords members an opportunity to comment on material published in
American Rifleman. Single-topic letters are preferred and may be edited for brevity. Send letters to:
Readers Write, NRA Publications, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030-9400 or email us at
publications@nrahq.org.

JULY 2019

AMERICAN RIFLEMAN


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American Rifleman - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2019

Contents
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover1
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover2
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 1
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Contents
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 3
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 4
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 5
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American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover3
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