The .270 Winchester: How Does this 100-Year-Old Cartridge Hold Up Today?


In its time, this was a ground-breaking, field-leveling cartridge that would become the sweetheart of more than one Outdoor Life shooting editor and countless big game hunters

By Tyler Freel / Outdoor Life

Of the hundreds of commercial metallic cartridges introduced, the .270 Winchester is one of few that have maintained a century-long tenure of popularity. As a youngster, I remember hearing my first real cartridge debate at the local gun store counter—a couple of hunters hashing out the merits of the .270 Winchester versus those of the .30/06 Springfield. That was after both had been around for over 75 years!

That the .270 Winchester has remained one of America’s most popular big game cartridges for a hundred years lends credit to its effectiveness in the field. It was a sweetheart of hard-hunting gun writers like Jack O’Connor, and favored for its flat trajectory and mild recoil. Though it was often underestimated, the cartridge rivals the performance of some popular magnums. There are ways that modern cartridges have been improved, but the .270 Winchester can still hold its own. Here’s everything you need to know about this classic big game cartridge. 

.270 Winchester Specs

  • Parent Case: .30/06 Springfield
  • Bullet Diameter: .277 inches
  • Max Cartridge Overall Length: 3.340 inches
  • Case Length: 2.540 inches
  • Bullet Weights: 100 to 175 grains
  • Year Developed: 1923 (Introduced in 1925)


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