As a bullet designer, I can tell you my problem with the .277 caliber is the prevalence of the relatively slow 1:10" twist rate in most factory barrels. That's quite slow for this caliber, and can't stabilize long high BC bullets. The 150 is about the highest BC bullet you can get for the 270, and it's an underachiever compared to the options in .264 or .284 caliber.
Of course these are just BC considerations which are just about irrelevant at close range as stated above. With the high velocities attainable with the .270 Win case, inside 400 yards, no deer's gonna know the difference. DRT is DRT.
My Pappy shot a .270 for whitetail in PA since my Dad was a kid and I don't remember any stories of deer getting hit and not dying. Granted a long shot where we hunt is 100 yards.
It really is sad that someone didn't twist the 270 in a 1-9 instead of twisting them for the 130's. I suspect if one of the early big names would have done that there maybe different opinions of it now. I do wonder though that at 270 WSM velocities, guys are stabilizing the 169.5 Wildcat in 1-10 twist I would think a 160gr Berger Hybrid would allow piles of 270's to step up!! Is there something with the Wildcat design that is more conducive to stabilizing than a conventional VLD design?
The 270 is a killer that is why it has endured without the masses of target shooters or military supporting it, I've shot a ton of different cals for hunting from way to small to just to much and finally came back around to the 270 WSM and I just can't put it down, everything I put a bullet on dies very clean, very fast. Haven't broken 800yrds with it yet but that's not the because it's a 270!!
The 270 is the town bicycle, everyone rides it but nobody wants to admit it!!!
High Fence, Low Fence, Stuck in the Fence, if I can Tag it and Eat it, it's Hunting!
It's a hunting round, plain and simple. It does a marvelous job in this role, and there just hasn't been much done to expand on this. It's bracketed by two bore sizes (6.5 & 7mm) that are already very well established in the competitive roles and offer a much wider range of bullets. As Bryan points out, the limited twist rates available also limit what bulletmakers are willing to offer, so the selection remains small. And primarily oriented towards the hunting market.
Some years back, the powers that be decided that with all the 270s out there in the hands of hunters, all that was needed was the inclusion of an SMK to the line and each and very hunter would immediately head off to Perry to compete in the National Matches. None of these folks, mind you, had ever been to (much less shot) Camp Perry. Democracy reigned, I was the lone dissenting vote against, and a 135 gr SMK was added to the line. In all the years since, I've never seen one on the line at any match, anywhere. The only time I've ever had a customer ask about them was the year they were introduced, when Mitchell Maxberry came up to me and asked, "Why?"Still haven't been able to come up with a good answer for him.
Great cartridge for the game fields, and that's enough to justify its existence.
I have a Winchester M70 Classic Featherweight .270 and I really like to hunt with it. I bought it in 1995, when I was still in the military. It's very accurate with heavier bullets and I love taking that damn thing hunting. I've killed a lot of deer (west river muley at 625yds), coyotes, skunks and even a lot of prairie dogs with it. These days, I don't shoot it much, and I too have never shot it in a match. I think it's place in history as a medium range big game rifle is solid but I don't really see it taking off and winning any "F" Class events. (Not that it won't shoot 1K, ballistically it kicks the hell out of my .308 sniper rifle. I have other rifles that go to work with me (had an armed stand off out in the country last night by the way, froze my feet half off) I don't choose a .270 for work but I hope I never have to go up against one either.
i have no experience with a .270 . i know the 30-06, 284 and 6.5 do well in f_class. no reason a good .270 with 130 -150 grainers couldn't do well in f-class. i think the twist thing is over rated. i won my first 1000 yard match with 1-12 243 and a mixture of 88 berger and 87 horn bthp . German Salazar on riflemans blog has articles on shooting a 1-13 30-06 with some very heavy bullets. i think he normally shoots a 1-11 with 185 bergers.
the 25, 270, 8mm, 35, and 375 calibers for the most part do not have a readily available supply of really good high BC bullets for them. Custom bullet makers do cover this are, if one has a barrel properly twisted in these calibers, but that leaves you still vulnerable to their ability to supply the bullets when you need them
range it,check the wind, dial in correction, aim and only one shot
JWP475, Thus all my true long range rigs are 264, 284, 308 and 338. I have good rifles in all calibers for 600 yards and closer and the 270 is as good as any there. But for long range the 270 falls short for reasons stated.
Predictions are difficult, especially when they involve the future
I note that the 270 cal discussion has risen to a new level. Very interesting, being one that is addicted to the 270.
Bryan and Kevin represent their backgrounds very well. Logical, experienced, educated and business like.
jwp475 presents a good summary.
As for the SMK. I'm with Kevin on that one. Who's dumb design was that? It has the poorest bc of the bunch......Plus doesn't shoot for squat in any 270 I've tried it.
Bryan and Kevin's post clearly why a company wouldn't spend the resources to develop a higher bc offering in the caliber. The logic is reasonable.
Kevin's closing statement: "Great cartridge for the game fields, and that's enough to justify its existence" Is what jirks my girdle!!!
"..enough JUSTIFY its existence." Where is the drive going to originate to Magnify its its existence.
By magnify I mean achieve maximum performance, as a LR game caliber. I consider 150 grain offerings the beginning of the top end weights for the Winchester and at the bottom end for WSM.
The other posters including the thread starter, bigngreen, BigSkyGP, et al and myself seem to be suggesting, "why not!"
There have been several here who have used the WC 169 in the Win and shot well with it. It should do well in the WSM. But find some!
150 NBT @ 3600 opened its chute beyond 1k. The NBT's bc at 0.496 is dismal.
A 270 cal bullet @ 3300-3400 FPS holding together is going to be a challenge
A decent performing, ballistically and terminally, 0.6xx 277 bullet in the 160 gr class will bring hunting performance to higher level of confidence.
Will a bullet manufacturer jump on it? Probably not in the near future. It just doesn't pencil out business wise.
Here's what I'm betting. Some nondescript, never heard of fella, with drive, commitment, stupidity and little respect for a dollar will come up with something that some, such as the posters on this thread, will develop into small blip on the charts and get some attention.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!