What's the best Calibre for Deer Management in the UK?
- Friday, 28 June 2013
Stuart Morrison explains why he considers the .270 Winchester to be the best calibre for deer management in the UK.
Ask a group of deer stalkers what their choice of calibre is and we all know what will happen! Everyone has a favourite rifle calibre, one which they feel most confident and happy with.
Although I use a variety of various rifles and calibres for my deer management duties, if I had to give them all up and keep one, it would be my .270.
(Above: The .270 Calibre, it's a bit like Marmite! To take a look at our Editors pick of the Best calibre for UK Deer Stalking click on the following article: what-is-the-best-calibre-for-deer-stalking)
The .270 Winchester was introduced in 1923 when the military 30-06 cartridge was necked down to produce a flatter shooting cartridge with less recoil. It soon proved to be an extremely popular cartridge. Firing a 130gr or 150 gr bullet the cartridge was widely used on deer and Elk in America and New Zealand.
The Cartridge has an almost marmite like following. You either love it or hate it! Some claim it produces a noisy muzzle blast and is heavy on recoil but I find that this is not really so noticeable when using a moderator, something which is common place amongst most stalkers these days.
The .270 has for many years been the choice of the Forestry Commission in arming their stalkers and has been the estate rifle of choice on Scottish stalking estates for many years. This should tell you something.
Standard factory loads such as the Federal soft point typically drive a 130gr bullet at around the 3060 fps mark and produce 2710 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle. With a 100 yard zero this bullet only drops about 3 inches at 200 yards. This is invaluable when shooting at longer ranges.
Federal's heavier 150 gr offering gives a muzzle velocity of 2842fps and energy at the muzzle of 2690 ft-lbs. Bullet drop for this weight bullet is just over 4 inches at 200 yards.
The .270 Winchester is also great for reloaders and offers a wide choice of bullet weights from 90gr up to 180gr. This versatile cartridge can deal with anything from vermin to moose when loaded correctly. My load of choice is 52 grains of V N160 powder driving a 130 grain Hornady SST bullet.
I have been using my own Winchester Model 70 in .270 for some time now. Every deer I've shot has never gone more than a few yards. It's an old rifle and an old cartridge but this calibre has never let me down yet!
For more information about the .270 and other Popular Rifle Calibres for UK Deer Stalking & Management visit our Rifle Calibres page: rifle-calibres
To take a look at our Editors pick of the Best calibre for UK Deer Stalking click on the following article: what-is-the-best-calibre-for-deer-stalking