|Type Rifle / Hunting|
|Place of origin United States|
The .270 Winchester (or 6.9x64mm) was developed by Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1923 and unveiled in 1925 as a chambering for their bolt-action Model 54. The cartridge is a necked down .30-03, which is the same length as the .280 Remington, both of which are longer than the .30-06 Springfield. The .270, .280, and .30-06 are brothers and the .30-06 is the parent case. When loaded with a bullet that expands rapidly or fragments in tissue, this cartridge delivers devastating terminal performance.
The .270 Winchester became a very popular cartridge due to the widespread praises of gunwriter Jack O'Connor who used the cartridge for 40 years and espoused its merits in the pages of Outdoor Life. It drives an 8.4 grams (130 gr) bullet at approximately 960 m/s (3,140 ft/s), later reduced to 930 m/s (3,060 ft/s). The cartridge demonstrated high performance at the time of its introduction and was marketed as being suitable for big game shooting in the 370 to 910 metres (400 to 1,000 yd) range. Two additional bullet weights were soon introduced: a 6.5 grams (100 gr) hollow-point bullet for varmint shooting, and a 9.7 grams (150 gr) bullet for larger deer, elk, and moose in big-game hunting.
While not an immediate success, over the succeeding decades and especially in the post-World War II period, the .270 Winchester attained great popularity among gun owners and hunters, ranking it among the most popular and widely used cartridges worldwide. Internationally, firearms manufacturers now offer this chambering in all firearm varieties: bolt-actions, single-shots, lever-actions (such as the Browning BLR), pump-actions (such as the Remington 7600), autoloaders (such as the Remington 7400), and even a few double rifles.
Loads are commonly available from 6.5 to 10.4 grams (100 to 160 gr) sizes with 8.4-and-9.7-gram (130 and 150 gr) loads being by far the most popular. Handloaders have a larger range of options with the availability of bullets in a number of weights from 5.8 to 11.7 grams (90 to 180 gr). Common bullet weight recommendations for shooting different game are as follows:
Recent introductions of low-drag bullets suited to the .270 Winchester such as the Nosler Accubond Long-Range and Matrix long range bullets are promoting renewed interest in the cartridge among long range hunters.
While it is true that a .270 Winchester case can be formed from a .30-06 Springfield case, the case length of a .30-06 is 63.3 millimetres (2.494 in) while the case length of a .270 is 64.5 millimetres (2.540 in), the same as a .30-03 Springfield. It is recommended that .270 Winchester brass be formed from .35 Whelen or .280 Remington cases.