Since 1944 and Roy Weatherby, wildcatters have collectively tried every imaginable caliber-case-configuration combination in the world at one time or another. Just as the .270 Winchester represented a bold step for the long action in 1925; so does the short-action .270 WSM represent an idea that’s time has come. The generally accepted rule of thumb is that a deer hunting cartridge should provide 1000 foot pounds of energy at a given. The .270 Winchester is a cartridge that has to be listed in a best deer hunting cartridge list. A little less kick and little more flat shooting than the 30-06, though not enough to really get excited about, makes the .270 Winchester quite popular with deer hunters across the country.
The .270 WSM is a cartridge to get excited about. It outshines the .270 Winchester and 30-06 in flat shooting and foot pounds of energy at long ranges. In 1925, the .270 Winchester amazed the world with a 130 grain bullet traveling at 3000 feet per second (fps). Today, that 130 grain bullet is launched at 3275 fps from the .270 WSM. The .270 Winchester launches a Winchester the Super-X category with 150-grain Power-Point bullet at 2850 fps from a 24 inch barrel on a long action. The same bullet is delivered from the .270 WSM at 3150 fps from a 24 inch barrel on a short action, therefore making the .270 WSM flatter shooting and potent medicine for any North American big game.
Savage Model 10 .270 WSM
As I wrote in, “In Search of the Lunch Box Hunter’s All Purpose Rifle”, for years the .30 caliber was my go to caliber. However, while testing rifles for that article I discovered the magic of the .270 caliber. Therefore, because of my quest for a light hunting rifle that can be zeroed at 25 yards and shot into a 10 inch target at 350 yards I discovered the .270 WSM could exceed my requirements with factory ammo by 25 yards. Recently, I took this Missouri eight point at 386 yards with my Winchester Model 70 in 270 WSM.
This shot verified my research into the .270 WSM. I was so pleased with the performance of the .270 WSM that I have acquired another rifle in .270 WSM. The new rifle is a Savage Model 10. Am I still saving my pennies for a custom built rifle? Yes! However, when you ask me “What will your next rifle caliber be?” My answer is a resounding, “.270 WSM!” Whether, I hunt the peanut and soybean fields of Georgia, a ridge or grassland of Beartooth WMA in Montana, or a clear cut on an opposing ridge in the Ozarks of my favorite farm in Missouri, the .270 WSM is my long range choice.
Dr. Charles Watson Smith Jr. is an educator and an avid shooter and hunter. As a retired United States Air Force First Sergeant, he has hunted and shot in competition in Asia, Europe, and North America. Charles has four passions: (a) A passion for introducing hunting and shooting to his special education students and young people, (b) Long range shooting, (c) Reloading, and (d) Hunting and shooting with family and friends.
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