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 Winchester?
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 Winchester?
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.
The Similarities & Differences Between 270 vs 308 Ammo
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.
|Cartridge||Bullet Weight||Muzzle Velocity||Muzzle Energy||Trajectory (100 yd zero)|
|.270 Winchester||130 grains||3,060 fps||2,799 ft-lbs||+1.7 inches|
|.308 Winchester||150 grains||2,820 fps||2,648 ft-lbs||+1.9 inches|
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.
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 & 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.
The price of ammunition for .270 Winchester and .308 Winchester cartridges can vary depending on several factors, including the brand, bullet weight, bullet type, and quantity purchased.
In general, the cost of .308 Winchester ammunition tends to be slightly higher than .270 Winchester ammunition. This is partly because .308 Winchester is a more popular cartridge and has a larger market demand, leading to a greater variety of available ammunition and higher production costs.
As of my knowledge cutoff date of September 2021, the average price for a box of 20 rounds of .270 Winchester ammunition was around $20-30 USD, while the average price for a box of 20 rounds of .308 Winchester ammunition was around $25-35 USD. However, prices can vary widely depending on the specific brand and type of ammunition.
It’s important to note that ammunition prices can fluctuate over time and may be affected by various factors, including supply and demand, market trends, and production costs. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check current prices before purchasing ammunition.
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.
Here is a comparison of the trajectory data for typical factory loads of .270 Winchester and .308 Winchester cartridges, based on my training data:
- Bullet weight: 130 grains
- Muzzle velocity: 3,060 feet per second
- Ballistic coefficient: 0.435
- Zero range: 200 yards
|Range (yards)||Bullet Drop (inches)||Velocity (feet per second)|
- Bullet weight: 150 grains
- Muzzle velocity: 2,820 feet per second
- Ballistic coefficient: 0.415
- Zero range: 200 yards
|Range (yards)||Bullet Drop (inches)||Velocity (feet per second)|
These trajectory tables are based on typical factory loads and may vary depending on the specific brand, bullet type, and other factors. Additionally, it’s important to note that trajectory data is just one factor to consider when selecting a cartridge for hunting or shooting purposes. Other factors like accuracy, recoil, availability, and cost should also be taken into account when making a decision.
|Suitable gun type||Standard and long action rifles||Short Action Rifle|
|Shoulder angle||17.5 degrees – less steep||20 degrees – More steep|
|Maximum average pressure||Higher||Lower|
|Ammo weight||120-150 grains||150-180 grains|
|Ballistic coefficient||More impressive||Basic|
|Large range advantage||Larger||Smaller|
Is A 308 Winchester Bigger Than A 270 Winchester?
No, a 308 Winchester is not bigger than a 270 Winchester in terms of bullet diameter. The 270 Winchester has a bullet diameter of .277 inches (7.04 mm), while the 308 Winchester has a bullet diameter of .308 inches (7.82 mm).
However, the 308 Winchester is a larger cartridge overall, with a longer case length and a larger powder capacity, which can result in higher muzzle velocity and energy for the bullet.
Is A 270 More Powerful Than A 308?
Both the .308 Winchester and .270 Winchester are popular hunting cartridges with their own unique strengths and characteristics. In terms of power, the .308 Winchester typically has a slightly larger bullet and produces more energy at the muzzle than the .270 Winchester.
Specifically, a typical .308 Winchester cartridge fires a bullet weighing around 150-180 grains at a velocity of around 2,700-2,800 feet per second, producing muzzle energy of around 2,700-2,900 foot-pounds. In contrast, a typical .270 Winchester cartridge fires a bullet weighing around 130-150 grains at a velocity of around 2,900-3,100 feet per second, producing muzzle energy of around 2,500-2,900 foot-pounds.
However, it’s important to note that “power” isn’t the only factor that matters when comparing cartridges. Other factors like accuracy, recoil, availability, and cost should also be considered when choosing a hunting cartridge. Ultimately, the best cartridge for you will depend on your personal preferences and the specific hunting situation.
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!
Shelly Jark Drakny is a retired SF weapons sergeant (E-5 or above) with a military occupational specialty (MOS) code 18B. He served 24 years in the military, including assignments in SF, Infantry, and Special Forces.