The .270 Winchester is still a dynamite hunting round.
When it comes to iconic hunting rounds, .270 Winchester is one that often stands out in the crowd. First developed in the early 1920s, the round became a household name, mostly through the praise of legendary outdoor writer Jack O'Connor, who endlessly praised the round in Outdoor Life magazine for years. His writings inspired others to give it a whirl and since then, it has been responsible for countless big game harvests across North America.
The .270 Winchester's parent cartridge was the now-defunct .30-03. The company necked down that case to create the .270. Depending on bullet weight, the result is a round that can deliver a blistering 3,000-3,500 feet per second muzzle velocity.
That makes the .270 Win an incredibly flat shooting and ideal for long range applications. Maybe even more so than newer rounds like the 6.5 Creedmoor. With that in mind, here are some of our top picks for hunting rifles chambered in this caliber. These guns will help you put the largest of North American big game on the ground on a consistent basis season after season.
Browning X-Bolt Composite Stalker
This bolt action rifle offers a ton of great modern features at an affordable price, especially if you catch a sale at the right time. As the name implies, this rifle features a composite stock coated with Dura-Touch Armor and textured grip panels to help with handling in wet conditions. The 22-inch barrel has 10" twist rate, is blued and free floated for excellent accuracy. Browning somehow got the weight of this rifle down to just six pounds, nine ounces. The magazine holds four rounds for less time reloading. The adjustable trigger can be set between three and five pounds simply by turning a screw and the trigger is gold plated. The receiver is already drilled and tapped for mounting your favorite scope.
Winchester Model 70 Featherweight
While the original .270 Winchester bolt-action rifle was the Model 54, it is the Model 70 Winchester rifles that continue to be a favorite of hunters everywhere. As you may have guessed from the name, Featherweight means it is light. This rifle comes in at seven pounds on the dot, which is a perfect weight for most spot and stalk hunting applications. Especially if you are going on a difficult elk or sheep hunt deep in the mountains. It has a great, classic hunting look thanks to the black satin walnut stock and a cold hammer-forged blued steel 22-inch barrel and receiver. The barrel is free floating. The magazine holds five rounds. This is also a very safe gun thanks to a three-position safety. Most user reviews praise this rifle for the crisp trigger and buttery-smooth action that the Model 70s are now known for.
Savage Axis II XP
For hunters on a budget, .270 is a solid choice. The ammo is readily avavailable everywhere and is often cheaper compared to many other centerfire rifle calibers like .30-06 Springfield or .308 Winchester. For hunters counting every penny, there are solid win bolt action rifle packages like the Savage Axis that will give you a ton of bang for your buck. Pun intended. The Savage Axis II XP combo package can be found for under $500 and it comes with a factory bore-sighted Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm scope. You can head right to the range and start sighting it in. This rifle features a 22-inch, carbon steel barrel with a 1:10 rate of twist and it has a matte black synthetic stock. The weight is 7.38 pounds, which is not bad for a budget rifle. This rifle also has the signature Savage Arms AccuTrigger, which allows you to adjust the trigger pull yourself. No gunsmithing tools or experience needed.
Ruger American Rifle Standard
Another great option to consider if you are looking for a budget gun is the Ruger American rifle. These guns have really become popular because they are accurate, light and above all else, extremely affordable. The .270 Winchester version weighs just 6.2 pounds and retails for a little over $400. It can be found for half of that if you happen to catch a sale. At the time I'm writing this, it's going for just $279 at Bass Pro Shops. This gun has a 22-inch barrel length and Ruger's "Power Bedding" block system that free floats the barrel. The bolt has a 70-degree throw which most users praise for making the rifle much easier to operate. The trigger is adjustable, and the rifle already comes with a generous recoil pad. The receiver is also already drilled and tapped for optics. Hunters concerned with cost can get a lot for their money with this rifle.
Tikka T3X SuperLite
As the name implies, this rifle is a joy to pick up and carry on a long hunting expedition deep into the backcountry. This rifle only weighs 6.2 pounds. The Tikka name is known for precision and the single stage trigger gets a lot of praise from users for its crisp, clean break. This gun's 22-inch fluted barrel has a 1:10 rate of twist to help you nail those long distance shots on big game that you previously had to pass up. This gun has either a blued or a stainless steel finish to help stand up whatever mother nature decides to throw at you. Tikka offers this rifle with either a standard black finish or camo patterns like TrueTimber Strata. Other features include an enlarged ejection port, a 75-degree bolt lift and a magazine that holds three rounds.
CZ 557 American
CZ-USA has been pumping out some great hunting rifles in recent years and the CZ 557 is among them. This is the longer-barreled version of their Sporter rifle. This gun features a 24-inch barrel length and a black synthetic stock. If you are looking for a rifle that is light to lug afield, this is it at just 6.83 pounds. This rifle has a 5+1 capacity and uses a unique dovetail system for mounting scopes directly to the action. The trigger is fully adjustable, and the rifle has a two-position safety and hinged floorplate magazine. This rifle is more expensive than some of the others on this list, but it will also be reliable and accurate for years and hunting seasons to come.
Bergara B-14 Hunter
Bergara's extensive line of rifles gets high marks from users for their tight groups and quality finish. No wonder so many hunters have one on their wishlist. These rifles are known for having an extremely smooth action and quality magazines. The B-14 hunter comes with a green synthetic stock and matte blued finish. It has a 5+1 capacity which will be ideal for most usual hunting scenarios. The receiver is drilled and tapped for optics. The 24-inch barrel is going to help give a little extra speed and muzzle velocity to hit those whitetail and mule deer just before they slip into the brush and out of sight forever. At $699, this is a solid buy for anyone looking for something that will last a lifetime.
Remington 700 CDL
The iconic Remington Model 700 is arguably one of the most successful rifles ever, having seen service both in the deer woods and on the battlefield as one of the most reliable sniper rifles ever built. The Model 700 CDL is a great looking rifle thanks to the satin American walnut stock and blued finish. This rifle has a 24-inch carbon steel barrel and a cylindrical receiver. Remington says that receiver design helps make for a more solid bedding and better accuracy. This rifle has Remington's adjustable X-Mark Pro trigger system for hunters who demand a better touch. Overall, this is a solid rifle that will help fill the freezer full of venison season after season.
Mossberg Patriot Synthetic Combo
This one is another solid option for the hunter on a budget. This rifle comes already topped with a Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40mm scope. It has a 22-inch fluted barrel with a 1:10 rate of twist. It weighs in at 7.5 pounds and has a 42-inch overall length. The capacity is 5+1 rounds. This package is nice and simple with a synthetic stock and blued finish. Considering it can be found for under $400, it is a great deal.
Browning BLR Lightweight
While most .270 Win rifles are bolt-actions, Browning has built a fine lever action for hunters looking for more of a brush-type gun. This rifle has a great classic look too with the polished blued finish and black walnut stock and forend. This rifle has a 22-inch barrel with a 1:10 rate of twist, an aluminum alloy receiver, and a polymer recoil pad. The weight is good too at a little over seven pounds. You will probably only need a single shot for most hunting scenarios, but this rifle's setup allows for faster follow-ups if you need them.