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Thread: How times change...

  1. #1

    Question How times change...

    Me and 2 friends from work are going to the Koyukuk in Sept. to chase the mighty moose. One of them has never shot a moose before. He said he will be bringing his only big rifle, a Mod. 70 Win. in caliber .270 WCF. He wanted to know if it was big enough or if he needed a bigger gun. I imediately thought of all the old timers I met back in the 60's who used the .270 with 150 grain Nosler Partitions. It was well thought of. Also, the other guy going with us mostly uses a Mod. 70 Featherweight in .270 Winchester, with 150 grain Partitions. I told him we will find a moose and the shot behind the shoulder will be under 200 yards and the moose will walk a little ways and die. I am as guilty as the next guy when it comes to bigger being better. Still, it is up to the guy holding the rifle, no matter what your shooting. The .270, when did it stop being enough gun?

  2. #2
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default .270 vs .338

    Hello .338 mag,

    The .270 stopped being enough gun when you and I started shooting the .338 mag.

    dennis
    ak tags

  3. #3
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Enough gun...

    .338,

    Moose are not hard to kill if the shooter does the job properly. But occasionally you get one that just won't give up, and you'll find him difficult to kill even with a larger caliber.

    In my opinion it's about ensuring a quick, humane death for the animal, and the .270 is just not enough to do that consistently. Your friends would be better off with a 30-06 or something larger. You don't need a cannon, but you do need something bigger.

    You also have to consider the possibility of needing to protect yourself from a bear. Though attacks are rare, the possibility does exist. I don't hunt in bear country without something large enough to take one down if I were charged.

    As to what the "old timers" used, this was often driven by economics and cartridge availability. The .338 Win. Mag, a popular moose cartridge, came out in the late 1950's and was not widely available for a while. The .300 Win. Mag, another popular moose cartridge, was not available until 1963. The .270 Winchester, on the other hand, was available in 1925. So part of the issue for "those old guys" was that they were familiar with the .270 and it was readily available. That was not the case with some of the larger calibers that came on later. But it has nothing to do with what works or does not work.

    Finally, I should point out the obvious. Shoot what you can shoot. Obviously you're not going to shoot a rifle well if you are afraid of it. I pad the heck out of my .375 at the range, sight it in, and don't worry about it in the field. How many times am I planning to shoot my moose? Once? Maybe twice? I can handle heavy recoil fine if I'm not shooting two whole boxes of ammunition at the range. Others have different issues, and that's fine. In the end, you need to shoot at least a 150 grain bullet out of a caliber you can shoot well. But a 150 is a minimum!

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  4. #4
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    Default

    When all the gun and hunting magazines jumped on the magnum bandwagon. My first big game rifle was a 7mm rem mag only because someone wanted to get rid of it and gave me a realllllllly good deal. I was looking for a 30.06 at the time.

  5. #5

    Default Just call me a NICE Guy:

    In an effort to foster good feelings, and too help all humanity, I magnanimously will trade your co-worker my .375 OUCH & OUCH for his Ratty Old used up unwanted, spawned-out Pre 64' M-70 chambered in the worthless .270 Winchester cartridge.

  6. #6
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeak View Post
    In an effort to foster good feelings, and too help all humanity, I magnanimously will trade your co-worker my .375 OUCH & OUCH for his Ratty Old used up unwanted, spawned-out Pre 64' M-70 chambered in the worthless .270 Winchester cartridge.
    LOL i half way agree,, except i don't get rid of any i have LOL...

    i fell into that GOTTA have a 338 several years back and Own 2 of them... i rarely take them out of the locker... one is open sights and makes a good camp gun. but it is the 270 of the kids or my 300 that comes out each trip any more.not only do i NOT like shooting them. it is $$$$$$ to do so anymore.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  7. #7
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Smile Just shoot...

    .338 mag,

    Under the shooting conditions you mentioned, those .270s will do fine.

    What is better/best for driving the haul road....a big ford pick-up, or a chevy. (Neither! Dodge RAM.)
    Whats best for 95% of rafting conditions...Cataraft or "round" raft?
    Potato-potato? (not potatoe!)
    Free weights-machine weights? (Both are better than watching TV.)
    Coke, or Pepsi?
    Dog named Gunner, dog named Hunter?
    Whats your favorite color?
    Whach 'em out! Smoke 'em!
    Or arrow 'em, same broadside double lung shot placement as with the .270...and it will be a good death.
    (I would not recommend any rifle smaller than the .270.)

    Just shoot ACCURATELY. Keep within your comfort zone, and within limitations concerning range/distance, weather/wind, ect.

    Don't overthink it, just shoot accurately, and have a great hunt!

    Dennis
    AK TAGS

  8. #8

    Default

    There isn't a moose on this planet that I wouldn't shoot with a 270 Win with confidence. I dont blame the gun writers for magnumitis, it comes from the American mindset (bigger is better) and inexperienced hunters. Cant count how many times I have heard guys spouting muzzle energy estimations, long range trajectories and capabilities, all the while knowing they arent capable of such shots. Those that have killed enough stuff know what works and what works well. I like Vince have a dolled up 338WM that never leaves the safe, it has been dedicated to brown bear hunting down south, if and when I ever draw a Kodiak tag. For everything else, a 257,270,or a 30 of sometype will get the nod for all my Alaska hunting. Having killed moose with many calibers , I cant say that one killed better than the next, I do believe wholeheartedly that shooting skills and bullet selection is first and foremost over caliber and trumps any medium or big bore caliber in generalisms.

  9. #9

    Default

    Also I believe too many people get caught up in the "one shot drop". Granted its good to kill an animal as fast as possible, however, most animals shot in the vitals are not going to do that regardless of caliber size unless hit in the spine or head. I realize that there are times when one shot is all you have. However, I believe that quick follow up shots with a reasonable caliber (I leave that to the individual hunter to decide) to finish the animal off is just as ethical as dropping the hammer with a .375.

    All that said I have a .338, .300, and .308. So I guess I am as guilty as any.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default

    My biggest is a 325wsm, it is going to Kodiak this year after goats but only cause it's Kodiak. All my other mountain hunting is done w/ my 270wsm. My 325 is my favorite gun to carry, my 270 is my favorite gun to shoot, neither of them have killed anything. In fact the only gun to put any meat in the freezer this year was my wife's 308 shooting crummy 180 win silver tips. The moose never took a step, honestly I doubt that I will ever need more than a 308. I am tempted to carry my 30/30 if I could shoot iron sights worth a darn any more (used to be good). Perhaps it will enjoy more time afield after I finally decide to either get my eyes fixed or put on glasses... I know that when I was coming down the mountain after sheep hunting if Mr legal moose had stepped out he would have received a 140grn dose of Accubond from my "sheep gun" right behind the shoulder!

  11. #11

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    270's are good enough. Don't go get another gun, just for a one time moose. My favorite caliber for moose is a 25-06, with 100gr Nozler. Shoot 'em right behing the ear and it is a done deal. Especially on the rivers you're looking at. A shot exceeding a hundred yards is out of the ordinary.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Nothing is wrong with either the 270 or the 338 mags for elk or moose, but there are trade-offs right?

    Accurate shot placement is one essential element of hunting all game, period, but:

    * With good shot placement, a .270 will do about as well as a .338 mag on elk or moose about 75%-85% of the time;

    * The .338 mags will do better than the .270 on the other shots, that involve a difficult presentation or longer ranges;

    * Some people can shoot a .338 mag as accurately as they need to make those long or difficult shots; some canít.

    Thus, the .270 will do very well on most, but not all shots at big game . A .338 or other hot calibers do have some advantage on large game in some situations if you have one and can shoot it well.

    Tests show that most people develop a flinch shooting rifles with more than 20 ft-lbs of recoil energy. Some people practice a lot with the bigger, hotter calibers and learn to shoot them as accurately as necessary. You have to shoot what you have and can shoot well, but if you have a .338 mag and can shoot it well, you might be able to take a shot that would not make good sense with a .270. Thatís a minority of, but not trivial set of, big game hunting circumstances.

    Iíve read a number of books by hunters of have taken a large number of large game over several decades. They generally use cartridges like the .338 or hotter, but only because they have practiced with them a lot and can shoot them as well as needed. They do so because they can and do take large game at longer ranges, especially with a difficult presentation. Others, are better off shooting what they shoot well. I sued to finch when I bought my first 300 Win Mag 21 years ago, but I donít any more. I now have bought a .340 Weatherby and will use it on large game, but only after I prove to myself that I can shoot it well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    270's are good enough. Don't go get another gun, just for a one time moose. My favorite caliber for moose is a 25-06, with 100gr Nozler. Shoot 'em right behing the ear and it is a done deal. Especially on the rivers you're looking at. A shot exceeding a hundred yards is out of the ordinary.
    Akres that's funny. As I was ready this thread from the beginning, I was thinking about all the moose I have shot with my 25-06 with 100gr Nosler right behind the ear and was thinking about posting the same reply. But I also learned that the type of terrain finally determined which caliber I would carry. I passed on a BIG bull because I didn't have a head shot - only a low shoulder to lower chest shot and I was pretty sure that he would run out into a huge adjacent swamp where I couldn't get to him if he wasn't down with one shot. After that I carried my .338 if in doubt but most of those could have been killed with my 25-06. I agree not to buy a new gun just for one moose hunt - .270 will do it with the right bullet and proper shot placement.
    Last edited by bushboy; 03-14-2009 at 19:29. Reason: more info

  14. #14
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    270 is plenty good.

    Moose havent changed, only advertizing campaigns aimed at getting you to buy their crap.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  15. #15
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    .338,

    Moose are not hard to kill if the shooter does the job properly. But occasionally you get one that just won't give up, and you'll find him difficult to kill even with a larger caliber.

    In my opinion it's about ensuring a quick, humane death for the animal, and the .270 is just not enough to do that consistently. Your friends would be better off with a 30-06 or something larger. You don't need a cannon, but you do need something bigger.

    You also have to consider the possibility of needing to protect yourself from a bear. Though attacks are rare, the possibility does exist. I don't hunt in bear country without something large enough to take one down if I were charged.

    As to what the "old timers" used, this was often driven by economics and cartridge availability. The .338 Win. Mag, a popular moose cartridge, came out in the late 1950's and was not widely available for a while. The .300 Win. Mag, another popular moose cartridge, was not available until 1963. The .270 Winchester, on the other hand, was available in 1925. So part of the issue for "those old guys" was that they were familiar with the .270 and it was readily available. That was not the case with some of the larger calibers that came on later. But it has nothing to do with what works or does not work.

    Finally, I should point out the obvious. Shoot what you can shoot. Obviously you're not going to shoot a rifle well if you are afraid of it. I pad the heck out of my .375 at the range, sight it in, and don't worry about it in the field. How many times am I planning to shoot my moose? Once? Maybe twice? I can handle heavy recoil fine if I'm not shooting two whole boxes of ammunition at the range. Others have different issues, and that's fine. In the end, you need to shoot at least a 150 grain bullet out of a caliber you can shoot well. But a 150 is a minimum!

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    strahan me boy; this thread seems to stimulate the age old (and never ending) argument of bullet placement vs caliber, which is sort of like saying one veh is better than another as long as they driven well.

    lots of fun, but rarely illuminating.

    most of the animals shot have reached their evolutionary apex, and haven't changed physically in hundreds (?) of years. rifles that killed them then, will kill them now.

    don't you think it's funny to discount the mighty .270 for a large deer, and "give the nod" to a pistol in bear country??? ha, ha, ha.

    happy st patrick's day!
    happy trails.
    jh

  16. #16
    Member icb12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    The .270, when did it stop being enough gun?
    It didn't.

  17. #17

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    If an arrow will deflate both lungs, I would think a 270 would do the same more efficiently. Lots of people kill moose with archery equipment.

  18. #18
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I believe what folks used in the past depends on what part of the state they live in.In the area I know the 30 cal was king and the newcomer carried a 300H&H. Now days most carry a 338 or 338/06 even though they mostly have lots of guns to chose from and at times do use them. What you shoot depends on where you were when.

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    Have taken 4 moose from the Koyukuk and surrounding area. Wish I brought my bow. All shots 40 yards and under. 3 shot with an .06 and last year with a 7mm. Bulls range from 36 to 63", not one went more than 25 yards. If the .270 is what he likes and shoots it well, I wouldn't give it a second thought. Use it.

  20. #20
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Pistols and such

    Quote Originally Posted by pinehavensredrocket View Post
    ... don't you think it's funny to discount the mighty .270 for a large deer, and "give the nod" to a pistol in bear country??? ha, ha, ha.

    happy st patrick's day!
    Well, I don't favor the pistol (any pistol) in bear country. I know guys who carry them and have used them on bears, but my preference is the rifle in my hand.



    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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