Cartridge Fight: .270 Win. vs .280 Rem.

Cartridge Fight: .270 Win. vs .280 Rem.
Illustrations courtesy of Hornady

I can't say anything about the .270 Winchester that hasn't already been written unless I lie. Introduced in 1925, the .270 is a necked-down .30-06 that holds .277 diameter bullets. The darling of the late Jack O'Connor, legions of fans are willing to go to fisticuffs to protect the good name of the .270. Don't believe me? Walk into the Seven Devils Saloon in Riggins, Idaho, and tell the patrons that the .270 isn't worth much as a big game rifle. At the very least no one will buy you a beer.

Unlike the .270 Winchester, the .280 Remington has been struggling almost since its inception in 1957. It also utilizes the .30-06 as a parent case, and as it's necked down to .284, its bullet is exactly .007 inch larger than the .270. But the latter enjoyed a 32-year head start, and the .280 suffered from some bad fortune—one being a name change from .280 to 7mm Express then back to .280, the other being the introduction of the instantly popular 7mm Remington Magnum.

https://files.osgnetworks.tv/10/files/2013/03/270-Win-vs-280-Rem-300x201.jpg

The .280 has spent most of its life pinched between the popular .270 and the 7mm Remington Magnum, and it competes against several other commercial 7mms as well: the blazing fast 7mm STW and 7mm Remington Ultra Mag and the low-recoiling 7mm-08 chief among them.

With all this going against it you'd think the .280 would have shuffled into obscurity, but this hasn't happened. Why? Well, let's remember the .280 is very closely related to the .270, and the .270 formula works well.


Anything that you can do with a 130-grain .270 can be done with a 140-grain .280. The longer, heavier bullets available for the .280 give it a higher ballistic coefficient, and when loaded with 175-grain bullets the cartridge offers a sectional density of .310, meaning it will penetrate in heavy game — although this can be hampered by the .280's velocity.


From a ballistics standpoint this gives the .280 a slight advantage over the .270. Which one you ultimately choose depends on whether you prefer the tried-and-true .270 or you root for the underdog .280.

https://files.osgnetworks.tv/10/files/2013/03/Hits-and-misses.jpg

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

RS Sako Finnlight II

RS Sako Finnlight II

The new Sako Finnlight II sports an innovative stock and Cerakote metal paired with the terrific 85 action.

Delta 5 - Daniel Defense

Delta 5 - Daniel Defense's New Precision Bolt Action Rifle

Those looking to explore precision rifle shooting without going broke will be well served by Daniel Defense's new Delta 5.

Springfield Armory Saint Victor

Springfield Armory Saint Victor

The SAINT' Victor Rifle delivers a lightweight and agile rifle solution while maintaining effectiveness at extended engagement distances.

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

David Fortier talks with Jeff Hoffman of Black Hills Ammunition about the evolution of the .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match bullet.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

If you're a serious shooter with deep pockets, these Leica products are worthy of consideration. Accessories

Three Rangefinder Products from Leica

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

If you're a serious shooter with deep pockets, these Leica products are worthy of...

The new Tromix .375 SOCOM offers great performance with less recoil than its .458 brother. MSR

Review: Tromix .375 SOCOM

David Fortier - March 15, 2019

The new Tromix .375 SOCOM offers great performance with less recoil than its .458 brother.

Wilson Combat's new Ultralight Hunter in .300 Ham'r puts the sport back in modern sporting rifles. MSR

Review: Wilson Combat Ultralight Hunter

Brad Fitzpatrick - March 18, 2019

Wilson Combat's new Ultralight Hunter in .300 Ham'r puts the sport back in modern sporting...

The author takes stock of rimfire rifles he's known and loved. Ammo

.22 Memory Lane

J. Scott Rupp - January 04, 2019

The author takes stock of rimfire rifles he's known and loved.

See More Trending Articles

More Ammo

Berger announces the addition of the new 30 Caliber 205 Grain Elite Hunter projectile to the long range Elite Hunter product line. Ammo

Berger 30 Caliber 205 Grain Elite Hunter Bullet — New for 2020

RifleShooter Digital Staff - April 20, 2020

Berger announces the addition of the new 30 Caliber 205 Grain Elite Hunter projectile to the...

The well-known bullet maker, Berger Bullets, is now loading some terrific deer ammunition. Ammo

Berger Bullets Classic Hunter Ammo

J. Scott Rupp - December 13, 2019

The well-known bullet maker, Berger Bullets, is now loading some terrific deer ammunition.

This cartridge clash between the .45-70 Gov't and .450 Bushmaster is less about the minute details of the cartridge and more about your personal taste in firearms. Ammo

.45-70 vs .450 Bushmaster — Cartridge Clash

Brad Fitzpatrick - May 21, 2020

This cartridge clash between the .45-70 Gov't and .450 Bushmaster is less about the minute...

SIG SAUER adds to its Elite Match ammo line with the 30-06 Springfield. Ammo

New 30-06 Springfield Elite Match Ammo from SIG SAUER

Rifleshooter Online Editors - April 03, 2019

SIG SAUER adds to its Elite Match ammo line with the 30-06 Springfield.

See More Ammo

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Rifle Shooter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now