270 Win. vs 7mm Rem Mag
Ballistics Performance Comparison of 270 Win. vs 7mm Rem Mag Cartridges
The .270 Winchester and the 7mm Remington Magnum are both high-powered, heavyweight cartridges that can reliably take game up to elk (though some might argue the 7mm Rem Mag can take anything in North America). If you’re looking to take large game over long ranges, the extra power of the 7mm Remington Magnum might be useful; but if you’re targeting medium sized game and don’t need the extra yards, the lighter touch of the .270 Winchester might be all you need to get the job done.
The following ballistics tables show a side by side comparison of the 270 Winchester vs 7mm Remington Magnum based on bullet weight and performance metrics including velocity, energy, usage and recoil.
270 Win 145 gr vs 7mm rem mag 162 gr Cartridge Comparison Table.
|270 Winchester||7MM Remington Magnum|
|Bullet Velocity (Muzzle)||2,970 ft/s||3,030 ft/s|
|Bullet Velocity @ 100 yds||2,796 ft/s||2,856 ft/s|
|Bullet Velocity @ 200 yds||2,627 ft/s||2,689 ft/s|
|Bullet Velocity @ 300 yds||2,465 ft/s||2,527 ft/s|
|Bullet Velocity @ 400 yds||2,308 ft/s||2,372 ft/s|
|Bullet Velocity @ 500 yds||2,157 ft/s||2,222 ft/s|
|Bullet Energy (Muzzle)||2,840 ft⋅lb||3,302 ft⋅lb|
|Bullet Energy @ 100 yds||2,516 ft⋅lb||2,933 ft⋅lb|
|Bullet Energy @ 200 yds||2,222 ft⋅lb||2,600 ft⋅lb|
|Bullet Energy @ 300 yds||1,955 ft⋅lb||2,298 ft⋅lb|
|Bullet Energy @ 400 yds||1,714 ft⋅lb||2,023 ft⋅lb|
|Bullet Energy @ 500 yds||1,497 ft⋅lb||1,775 ft⋅lb|
|Usage @ 0 yds||Toughest Game||Toughest Game|
|Usage @ 100 yds||Toughest Game||Toughest Game|
|Usage @ 200 yds||Toughest Game||Toughest Game|
|Usage @ 300 yds||Large Game||Toughest Game|
|Usage @ 400 yds||Medium Game||Toughest Game|
|Usage @ 500 yds||Medium Game||Large Game|
|Recoil Energy||17 (150gr)||20.3 (160gr)|
|*Cartridge ballistics, usage and recoil figures taken from Sportsman's Warehouse rifle ballistics and rifle recoil tables. Recoil score based on weighted average of recoil energy and recoil velocity normalized between 1 and 10.|
One of the main attractions of the 7mm Remington Magnum over the .270 Winchester (and other comparable cartridges) is its high velocity. Remember, bullet weight does affect velocity: a heavier bullet won’t fly quite as fast as a lighter bullet loaded in the same chambering. Here, we’re comparing a 162 grain 7mm Remington Magnum against a 145 grain .270 Winchester, so that heavier 7mm Rem Mag is going to experience some drag.
Still, the 7mm Rem Mag is flying faster than the .270 Winchester at every distance. Out of the muzzle, it’s moving 60 ft/s faster than the .270. At 300 yards, the 7mm Rem Mag holds that advantage steady with an extra 62 ft/s over the .270. At 500 yards, it’s moving 65 ft/s faster.
While velocity is nice, energy is the biggest factor in giving a cartridge the stopping power needed to take an animal, especially at longer ranges. Here, the extra weight of the 7mm Remington Magnum, in addition to its faster velocity, helps it show up as the more serious cartridge. Right out of the muzzle, the 7mm Rem Mag is already moving with an extra 462 ft-lbs of energy over the .270. At 300 yards, it’s still holding an advantage of 343 ft-lbs. At 500 yards, it has an extra 278 ft-lbs over the .270.
While both of these calibers have plenty of stopping power at closer ranges, their uses start to diverge around the 300 yard mark. If you’re looking for a long range caliber for big game, you’ll want the extra punch of the 7mm Rem Mag.
A bullet’s trajectory has a serious impact on your ability to hit your target accurately, especially over long ranges. A 130-grain .270 Winchester zeroed at 200 yards will see about 7” of drop at the 300 yard mark. At 350 yards, you can expect it to drop about 12”, and at 400 yards, it will drop about 20”. Meanwhile, a 150 grain 7mm Rem Mag zeroed at 200 yards will drop 6.4” at 300 yards and 18.6” at 400 yards. The 7mm Rem Mag is maintaining a slightly flatter trajectory than the .270 Winchester, despite its extra weight pulling it more strongly down to earth.
With its extra velocity and energy, it’s no surprise that the 7mm Remington Magnum offers an extra kick. In addition to this, many hunters consider the .270 Winchester to be on the lighter side for a cartridge that can take large game, and this was one of its primary draws when it was first introduced. Recoil can impact not only our comfort when shooting, but also your ability to fire your gun accurately. Ultimately, shot placement is going to have a much bigger impact on getting a clean, ethical kill than the extra speed, so make sure you understand your limits and are prepared to work with the extra power if you opt for the 7mm Rem Mag.
The 7mm Remington does have a slightly wider variety of weights available: you can generally find .270 Winchester bullets from 130-150 grains, while the 7mm can usually be found in 140-175 grains. Both of these calibers have serious stopping power, and reliably work on game up to the size of elk. The added weight of the 7mm Remington gives it the extra power needed to take larger game over longer distances. However, this means that it can also be overkill on deer and other medium game inside of 200-300 yards. If your primary focus is on deer, and/or you don’t intend to make shots within 300 yards, the extra power is likely not necessary for you. But if you want to make those long-range shots on some of the largest game in North America, you’ll definitely need to opt for the heavier cartridge.
Price & Availability
Both the .270 Winchester and the 7mm Remington Magnum are highly popular rounds. This means that there is plenty of ammunition available for both rounds from a variety of manufacturers – and you should have your pick of rifles, too. The 7mm Rem Mag is a bit more expensive, but since you’re probably not firing off a ton of rounds as target practice with a recoil like that, it may not be too big of a factor. For handloaders, the popular casing of the 7mm will be easier to find than the .277” diameter of the .270.
We’ve already covered that the 7mm Rem Mag can be used with heavier bullets than the .270 Winchester – but how do the bullets differ in size? The 7mm Rem Mag has a bullet diameter of .284”, a rim diameter of .532”, a case length of 2.5”, and an overall length of 3.29”. This is a pretty serious amount of bullet, but the .270 Winchester is very comparable even though it doesn’t have “magnum” in the title. The .270 Winchester offers a bullet diameter of .277”, a rim diameter of .473”, a case length of 2.54”, and an overall length of 3.34”. So, we see that the rim diameter is quite a bit larger on the 7mm Rem Mag, but the two rounds are otherwise very similar sizes, and the overall length of the .270 is actually just a bit longer.
The .270 Winchester and 7mm Remington Magnum are hunting rounds that can most frequently be found in bolt action rifles. The .270 Winchester will shoot well in a rifle with a 22” barrel, while the 7mm Rem Mag needs a 24” barrel in order to perform with its peak velocity. This extra 2” might seem unimportant when you’re trying out different rifles in the shop, but when you’re trekking across the backcountry with your rifle and your supplies for the day, every extra ounce will make itself felt. The 7mm Rem Mag will likely wear out a barrel just a bit faster than the .270 Winchester, but either will be good for several years if you’re using your rifle for hunting.
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