270 vs. 30-06: What Are Main Similarities and Differences?

30-06 Springfield and 270 Winchester

The 30-06 Springfield and 270 Winchester are great cartridges but have different weaknesses and strengths. So the central query to the 270 vs. 30-06 debate remains: Which one will win?

It is not an easy question to answer, especially for beginner shooters or hunters.

So we compared these two cartridges to find out the similarities and differences between these two cartridges.

Keep reading to see, “Which one  is the overall winner?”

270 vs. 30-06: Comparison

The 270 Winchester
The 270 Winchester

Similarities

First, let’s start with the aspect where 30-06 Springfield and 270 Winchester are similar.

Both the 30-06 and the 270 are descended from the 30-03 Springfield ammunition.

Under the proper circumstances, these cartridges are ideal for hunting medium to large-sized games worldwide, such as moose and roe deer. Also, they are famous for their performance and accuracy in an extended range.

These cartridges are very popular with shooters and hunters worldwide. For example, they are the most commonly used cartridges in the United States.

That is also why many gun manufacturers market rifles with .30-06 Springfield and .270 Winchester chambers. So no matter which cartridge you use, you will have various choices when talking about choosing good-quality guns.

Differences

In the following, we will discuss the difference between 270 and 30-06 by comparing them in some crucial respects.

Relative Recoil

The case capacity for the 30-06 and the 270 is nearly identical, so felt recoil energy will depend on the following factors: Bullet weight and rifle weight.

A heavier rifle will generally impact less recoil to your shoulder, and the same goes for lighter-weight bullets.

If you use identical rifles, one in 270 and one in 30-06, you’ll notice that the 270 cartridge features slightly less recoil. Its relative recoil is just 1.82, while the 30-06’s relative recoil is 2.19.

As the 270 Winchester features less recoil energy, making it ideal for inexperienced shooters or ones with a smaller frame.

Winner: The 270 Winchester

Trajectory 

The 30-06 Springfield
The 30-06 Springfield

Trajectory refers to the flight path of a bullet to its target. It is measured in inches of ammo drop.

When a bullet flies sideways, gravity will continuously pull it towards the earth.

Therefore, the bullet with a straighter trajectory will always be preferred in long-range firing conditions.

A lighter bullet that flies at a higher velocity is less affected by gravity. It will hit the target faster than a heavier bullet that moves slower.

Availability and Price 

The 30-06 ink cartridge can be a few dollars cheaper, allowing it to win on price but not by much when purchasing ammo.

The 30-06 Springfield ammo is also slightly more available than its 270 Winchester counterpart. But you’ll quickly find both at all major online ammo stores and retailers.

Winner: Draw

Rifle Availability

Rifle Availability is the same for both round types. There are countless rifle options for both 30-06 and 270 Win.

Many big gun manufacturers, such as Winchester, Savage, Remington, Weatherby, and Ruger, produce rifles in both calibers.

But the 30-06 cartridge has been around longer, and it was a military cartridge, so rifle options for it tend to be more.

Here are a few examples of gun selections compatible with 30-06 Springfield and 270 Winchester:

  • Browning X-Bolt
  • Remington Model 700 and 783
  • Mossberg Patriot
  • CZ-550
  • Savage 11/111
  • Ruger American and M77 Hawkeye
  • Thompson Center Compass
  • Winchester Model 70
  • Tikka T3X, Weatherby Mark V, and Vanguard

Winner: Draw

Ammo Variances

The 30-06 cartridge wins this category as it features a much larger range of weights than the 270 Winchester.

Finding 30-06 ammo in 130 to 220 grains is feasible. Trong khi đó, the 270 cartridges only range from 100 to 150 gr.

Winner: The 30-06 Springfield.

Ballistic Coefficient (BC)

BC is a parameter that refers to how well a bullet resists air and wind resistance.

A bullet with a higher BC means it will deal with the wind more easily, making it the preferred choice overall.

Both the 30-06 and 270 Win feature high BC, which means they resist wind exceptionally well. There are no appreciable differences in BC between the two. So this is a draw.

Winner: Draw.

Sectional Density (SD)

This parameter refers to how well the ammo penetrates your target.

It is essential for hunting big game since you need a cartridge that can penetrate thick hide, sinew, and bone.

Similar to BC (ballistic coefficient), few differences exist between the 270 and the 30-06. So, you can expect to get similar penetration for these bullets. We even doubt that few hunters can tell the difference between the two.

Winner: Draw.

Hunting

The 270 cartridges are ideal for varmint hunting and medium-sized game. Meanwhile, the 30-06 one will work well for a medium to larger hunting game.

The 270 Winchester is a very versatile option, but when you need to take down the largest North American hunting game, the 30-06 Springfield will be your best bet.

Comparison Table

The 270  The 30-06
Cartridge Type Rifle Rifle
Width 0.473 0.473″
Height 2.54″ 2.494″
Average FPS 3010 2815
Average Gr 136 166
Average Energy 2874 2920
Relative Recoil 1.82 2.18
Best suited for Varmint hunting and medium-sized game Medium to larger hunting game

270 vs. 30-06: Which Should You Choose?

Both cartridges are great for medium to large-sized hunting games
Both cartridges are great for medium to large-sized hunting games

Both options are great for medium to large-sized hunting games. They are all excellent options for shooters looking for a versatile cartridge.

These cartridges are extremely popular and effective for deer hunting. They also work great for hunting black bears and feral hogs. Exceptions also do not occur with exotic games, such as sika, fallow deer, and axis.

The 270 Win features a more flat trajectory, making it ideal for animals that require you to shoot at long range, like pronghorn and mule deer.

The 270 cartridge also has lighter recoil. Therefore, it is prevalent for mountain hunts where lightweight rifles come into play. For example, it would be great for the Himalayan Tahr, chamois, and mountain goat hunting.

On the other hand, the 30-06 is the larger diameter and sustained bullet, which comes into play when hunting species like elk, moose, and caribou. This cartridge also features a clear advantage for the African plains hunting game.

It does not mean you cannot hunt moose, elk, or plains hunting game with the .270 cartridge. The fact is that various hunters have killed tons of those animals with the 270 Winchester over the years.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand the difference between the 270 Winchester and 30-06 Springfield cartridges.

Through in-depth analysis, you can choose something that works best for you.

Both the 30-06 and the 270 are great cartridges. Each may be more suitable for specific situations than the others, but overall both are solid choices.

The difference between the two isn’t huge, and sometimes, it won’t be easy to spot if your shot is in the right place.

Thank you for reading! Please share this article if it was helpful to you!

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