When it comes to bullet grain and which is the best, many hunters find the subject confusing if they aren’t knowledgeable in ammunition reloading or the ballistics of their rifle caliber. .270 Winchester is one of the most popular hunting calibers out there, and new hunters or those unfamiliar with the subject might question what the best grain bullet for the .270 Winchester is.
History of the .270 Winchester
The .270 Winchester is probably the most successful offspring of the incredibly popular round that most hunters have used at some point, the .30-’06 Springfield, and was created and released 19 years after the ‘06 Springfield in 1925.
The .270 was pretty revolutionary for its time when compared to the other popular calibers out there like the .30-’06, 7×57 Mauser, and .250/3000 Savage.
The reason you could consider it revolutionary was due to the new mindset that put an emphasis on flat trajectories and higher velocities, and this was done when lever action rifles were still the standard for most hunters.
The .270 quickly proved deadly for game like antelope, deer and wild sheep, with hunters like Jack O’Conner using it regularly while hunting and then writing exploits of his adventures in Outdoor Life magazine.
Different Grains for Different Game
The grain bullet you choose for your .270 depends on what you intend to hunt with it. While some animals may allow you to use several grain types, those heavier grain weights might not be suited for other animals; lets break down what grain is best for what animal or situation.
90 and 100 Grain
90 grains is as low as you go with the .270 Winchester, and grains ranging from 90 to 100 can make the .270 a viable option for a few species.
This ammunition load out turns the .270 into a viable option for small game like coyote or even prairie dogs.
While varmint hunting is an option for ammo in this grain range, it’s definitely not well suited to hunting larger animals like whitetail deer and the like. The round is just too light and doesn’t provide sufficient power to deal with large animals.
130 and 150 Grain
130 and 150 grains are the most commonly used for the .270 Winchester, providing sufficient punch to deal with large game up even for a larger animal like black bear.
There is also a 140 grain offering, giving hunters the option to split the different in grain weight and get a perfect middle ground based on their needs.
If your using the .270 for deer like most hunters, your best option is to choose between 130 and 150 grains.
If for some reason you wanted a bullet that was more than 150 grains for some reason, things are going to get a little tricky for you.
The reason for this trickiness, is that the .270 like other similar calibers such as the .220 swift and the .22-250 caliber is that the common barrels of these calibers have a 1:10” barrel twist rate.
This twist rate wont stabilize heavier grain bullets or perform well for the high ballistic coefficient bullets that are needed for long range shooting, and is the reason the .270 hasn’t been very popular for the long range precision crowd.
While bullets heavier than 150 grains are available, the rifle would have to have a barrel with a 1:8.5” twist rate to properly stabilize the bullet in flight.
The .270 with the right load and grain bullet is a decent flat shooting caliber. If we take a 130 grain bullet like the spitzer, you can expect to hit 6.5 inches low at 300 yards with a 200 yard zero, and around 19 inches low at 400.
Obviously, with a 150 grain load out those drops are going to increase, with around 7.5 inches at 300 and 22 inches at 400, with a muzzle velocity at 2825 fps.
A Viable Round for the Modern Day Hunter
It can be argued that the .270 Winchester is more viable today than it was back in the early to mid 1900’s.
This is mainly due to modern ammunition options like monometal bullets and modern bonded cores. These give the bullets today stellar perfomance than in decades past, especially with the heavier grain bullets of 150 grains or more.
Final Thoughts On Best Grain Bullet For .270 Win
For the vast majority of hunters out there, 130 to 150 grain is going to be the best
choice for the .270 Winchester, with lighter variants being great for any varmint hunting rifles in the caliber. The .270 Winchester in general is a great all-round caliber for most mid-sized game applications, and is the reason for its continued popularity after 95 years even when other options like the .30-’06 are available.