Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

The 270 and Reloading

The .270 and Reloading

by Charles Smith

Okay, I confess; I have a love affair with the .270 Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) and reloading. This affair with the .270 WSM began when I began my quest for “The Lunchbox Hunter’s Long Range Rifle” or what I term a “Multi-Purpose Hunting Rifle” (MPHR). Currently, my MPHR is a Winchester Model 70 Shadow in .270 WSM. However, the research that led me to this rifle has piqued my awareness in the famous .270 Winchester.

My hunting partner in Montana, Bob Anderson swore by his Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in .270 Winchester. I see .270s everywhere. I recently received the 50th anniversary edition of “Handloader” which contained a reprint of the first edition. What was the Pet Load in that edition? You were right if you said .270 Winchester. While my awareness and interest in the original 27 caliber were piqued, the .270 WSM remained the apple of my eye.

The 270 and Reloading
Montana hunting partner Bob Anderson (right) takes Boone and Crockett Big Horn Sheep with .270 Winchester.

My original love affair with firearms began in 1959 with a .22 rifle I earned for selling Christmas cards, and my second love affair with firearms began in 1966 with reloading. Two significant events happen in 1966. Event number one was I began reloading. Event number two was ”Handloader” began publication. In 1966 I worked at a gas station in Savannah, Georgia for $0.50 an hour. After two weeks of work, I purchased a Lee Loader for $9.95 in 38 special, a half-pound of Bullseye, 100 CCI primers, and a used Lyman bullet mold in .358.

The owner of Mack’s Gun Shop warned me on the use of the dipper in the Lee Loader and told me I needed to buy a scale. However, I was out of the money I had set aside for my new hobby. The owner did give me a copy, well worn, of a new magazine he had called “Handloader,” and told me that they were normally $0.75. He told me to pay attention to the article on “Basic Handloading.” He stated, “It contains instructions on your Lee Loader.”

The 270 and Reloading
Charles’ original reloading equipment which began his reloading hobby as the “Reloading Kid”

In 1966, I was fifteen years old and owned a 38 Special, S&W Victory Model that was payment for cutting grass for a WWII United States Marine veteran for a whole summer. To keep it fed I began reloading. I would melt wheel weights in an old cast iron frying pan and holding my Lyman mold with vice grips mold bullets. I later obtained a Lee lube and sizing kit in .358 for sizing and lubing bullets, because of many hours of scrubbing the bore clean of lead deposits. Several older men at our shooting range, a local sand pit, called me the “Reloading Kid.”

The 270 and Reloading
A 38 Special reloaded by the “Reloading Kid”

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