270 vs 308: Which Should You Choose? Comparison, Ballistics, And Recoil

270 vs 308

Most top experts believe 270 vs 308 to be the highest performing ammo types.

Indeed, the amount of consumption of both has ranked first in the United States for many years. While the two have distinct advantages, it’s not easy for a novice shooter to distinguish the 270 Winchester from the 308.

We show the specific pros and cons in the article below for you to pick one easily. Let’s check it out!

What Is 270?

270 ammo
270 ammo

The 270 is a Springfield 30-06 rifle cartridge that can fire 150gr rounds at 2,700 feet per second.

The 270 went public in 1925 and is a shortened version of 30-03 aka 30-06. This ammunition has a 0.277″ bullet diameter and a 0.27 inches barrel diameter.

It was initially compatible with the Model 54 sniper rifle with the ability to fire 130 particle rounds at an initial rate of 3,140 shoot/s.

What Is 308?

308 ammo
308 ammo

308 is the ammunition suitable for rifles with bottlenecks and is of United States origin. In 1952, this design was produced and presented to the public for the first time.

The cartridge capacity of the 308 is 3.64 ml (56.0 grains), which is commonly used in bolt rifles and machine guns. It is one of the most popular hunting magazines in the United States and possibly worldwide.

Considering the construction, the bullet diameter of this product is 0308 inches with a land diameter of 0.3 inches.

270 vs 308: Similarities & Differences

270 vs 308: Similarities & Differences
270 vs 308: Similarities & Differences

Ammo size

When observing the appearance of 270 Winchester and 308 Winchester is entirely different.

The 270 Winchester has a case length of 2.54″ and an overall length of 33.4″. The 308 is smaller with similar parameters of 2015″ and 2.81″, respectively.

With the advantage of length, the 270 Winchester is suitable for standard action and long rifles. The 308 ammo is ideal for short-action rifles. However, their rim diameters are the same at .473 inches.

The next difference is that the 308’s 20-degree shoulder angle is steeper than the opponent’s 17.5-degree.

But 270 ammo has more box capacity to be available for a longer time. Its maximum average pressure is also about 65,000psi higher than 308 Win’s 62,000psi).

The above data may vary depending on different brands. However, the error in product characteristics did not change too much.


With a smaller diameter, the velocity of 270 Winchester is more incredible and flies in the flatter trajectory, and has less twitching than 308 bullets.

Meanwhile, the 308 version is usually designed for hunting using high-weight ammunition from 150 to 180 grains. The 150-grain, 165, 168, or 180-grain are popular designs for that cartridge.

270 Winchester will be available in the 120-150 county range. But, the most common varieties are 130 and 150 grain.

The ballistic coefficients of small bullets like the 270 Winchester will be more impressive than the larger ones like the 308.

When the firing range is short, the two types of ammunition have the same advantage. Yet, as the range increases, the 270 will have an advantage because the light payload allows the user to fire multiple times at a higher velocity.

308 vs 270: Rifle Selection

With both versions, you can choose from many types of guns. They are both familiar and suitable for bolt-action rifles.

However, the 270 is more effective with a standard action and long rifles like the Tikka T3, Browning X-Bolt, Mossberg Patriot, or Weatherby Vanguard.

Meanwhile, the 308 is ideal for short-action rifles like the Ruger American or the Ruger Hawkeye.

Recoil And Muzzle Rise

The two have not too different recoil, respectively, at 21.7 ft/lb with 308 and 19.6ft/lb with 270.

For those with experience in shooting, the full recoil is entirely controllable.

With the increase of the muzzle, these two also have no noticeable difference.

The only caveat is that with the 308 Winchester, you get quite a bit of muzzle gear to reduce recoil.

As for the 270, you have fewer options to reduce recoil and increase the muzzle.


Initially, the 308 was a relatively standard military cartridge. This origin makes the 308 about 50% cheaper than the typical ammo.

In contrast, a box of Federal Premium 270 costs a little more. In return, you get high-quality ammunition suitable for hunting.


The 270 rounds have a higher average muzzle velocity than the 308 rounds.

In particular, they weigh about 130 grams and have a higher speed of 200-300ft/sec than the 308 pellets.

The cause of this difference is that the 270 has a similar powder load but lighter bullets to improve velocity significantly.


When looking at the trajectory for about 200 yards, between 270 and 308 doesn’t represent too much of a difference.

Only to the 200 to 400-yard mark did the 270 demonstrate its superiority on a significantly flatter trajectory.

The difference is most significant with the 500-yard mark or more, and the 270 has a 10” less drop than 308.

Characteristics 270 308
Case length Longer Shorter
Overall length Longer Shorter
Suitable gun type Standard and long action rifles Short Action Rifle
Shoulder angle 17.5 degrees – less steep 20 degrees – More steep
Container capacity Larger Smaller
Maximum average pressure Higher Lower
Speed Higher Lower
Ammo weight 120-150 grains 150-180 grains
Ballistic coefficient More impressive Basic
Large range advantage Larger Smaller

Quick Rundown Of 270 vs 308

All in all, 270 Winchester and 308 Winchester are both long-established in hunting and warfare. Their prices are also not much different.

Let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of each to consider choosing.

270 Winchester


  • Flexible
  • Great speed
  • Stable operation at long range
  • Suitable for hunting smaller animals
  • Less recoil & straight trajectory


  • Small damage

308 Winchester


  • Heavy weight
  • Greater damage power
  • Suitable for taking down large beasts
  • A general-purpose cartridge
  • Fits a variety of semi-automatic rifles


  • Less flexible
  • Not ideal for long-range shooting

Which One Is Better?

If you are looking for a product suitable for medium to large hunting games, both are perfectly suitable.

With this design, you can also take down other animals like javelina dogs, black bear, mule deer, wild boar, and pronghorn or sika.

If you want to shoot at a more extended range, go for the 270 Winchester, as it has a flat trajectory and excellent resistance to wind drift when your target is a pronghorn or mule deer.

If you want to use ammunition with a larger diameter and weight, the 308 Winchester should be the priority for taking down reindeer or elk.

The number of seeds up to 180 allows you to hunt large animals such as kudu, blue wildebeest, and eland.

Final Words

As such, 270 vs 308 are excellent ammunition suitable for hunting medium to large animals. You can entirely base on the characteristics mentioned in the above section to make the most suitable choice.

If you have questions or suggestions, leave us a message to get the most accurate answer. Thank you for reading!

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