Favorite 270 WSM Handload Data and Ballistics

 

Favorite 270 WSM Handload Bullets
A couple of my favorite 270 WSM loads left to right:
• 130g Barnes Triple Shock
• 140g Nosler AccuBond

Below are my favorite loads for the 270 WSM. To view the loads you will need to read the warning near the bottom of the page, then accept the warning by checking the box inside the warning

My favorite close range load (300 yards and under) is the 130g Barnes Triple Shock. However at longer ranges although very accurate, I just don't get the expansion and performance on elk like I want to see. It's taken one shot kills on cow elk out to 608 yards but it has also required multiple boiler room shots on elk in the 360 to 555 yard range with bullets zipping in one shoulder and out the other, all the way out to 608 yards. I'll bet the MRX and the Tipped Triple Shock expand better at longer ranges. The Tipped Triple shock has done wonders on elk with the 243 WSSM but again, I'm not entirely comfortable with expansion past 350 yards. You can read more about my thoughts on the Triple Shock in my Recovered Triple Shock Bullet journal entry.

At 300 yards and beyond I'm leaning towards the 140g Nosler AccuBond load. These bullets are equally as accurate as the Triple Shocks however, at closer ranges and at the extremely high velocity from my 28" barreled Model 1885, this bullet has disintegrated. You can read about that in my 2009 Cow Elk Hunt journal entry. Since the AccuBond is going a hundred and fifty feet slower in my new X-Bolt it should hold together better at shorter ranges although I still am going to opt for sliding bullets behind the shoulder of elk to be safe. I'm thinking it might be the all-around bullet to drop deer and elk at any reasonable range.

Here are some hunts with the 140g Accubond Handload

Recovered from elk 150 Gr. Accubond LR
Where's the lead? Whats left of a recovered 150 Gr. Accubond Long Range bullet from Dallen's 2013 Utah bull elk. Isn't the lead supposed to be bonded to the copper?

Here's my experiences with the 150 Gr. Accubond Long Range Bullet

I'm probably just a little too demanding. Or... actually, I think that I just like to tinker. If I shot the same bullet and rifle all my life I would miss out on all the fun experimenting with the different flavors of bullets and rifles. Having vanilla ice cream all the time is a little boring for me. I know the old faithful Nolser Partition is probably the best all-around bullet ever made for taking big game at almost any range but, where would the fun be if I didn't get to experiment with Rocky Road or Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough?

With general duplex rifle scopes I like to sight-in my big game rifles two and a half inches high at 100 yards. Depending on the load and rifle listed below, shooting at a 7 inch target I get max-point-blank ranges between 335 and 370 yards. At 600 yards the drop is between 33 and 45 inches low, depending again on the rifle and load. From 0 to 400 yards I can hold on an elk or deer with no hold over required. Now, I do hold on the lower part of the shoulders for basically a heart shot when I am in the 100-200 yard range and I hold for a higher shoulder shot in the 400 yard range.

In 2013 I have been switching my rifle scopes over to Vortex Viper scopes with both hold-over aiming points and target turret elevation turrets. I then sight my rifles in for 100 yards and either use the hold-over aiming marks for quick shots or dial in the exact distance for the conditions using Strelok Android App on my phone. See what my X-Bolt 270 WSM looks like with a 20 MOA rail and a Vortex Viper HS LR rifle scope in 2013.

If you are needing printable targets for sighting in your rifle you can get them here.

WARNING: The load information on this page is for my personal use in my personal firearms and is posted for entertainment purposes only. If you chose to reload the 270 WSM use only data contained in current manufacturer's reloading manuals. Incorrectly reloaded ammunition can cause serious personal injury and damage to the firearm due to excessive pressure. Reload only after proper instruction and in strict compliance with instruction and data contained in current manufacturer's reloading manuals. If you choose to use the load data on theDIYhunter.com • 243wssm.com you are doing so at your own risk. theDIYhunter.com • 243wssm.com is not responsible for injury and/or death resulting from data posted or referred to on this Website. Improper reloading is dangerous. Users assume all risk, responsibility and liability for any and all injuries (including death), losses or damages to persons or property (including consequential damages), arising from the use of any data posted on this site. If you have read and accept this warning check this box to view my 270 WSM load data.

 

Accuracy of my New X-Bolt Stainless Stalker, 270 WSM

Dallen Shooting Remington Fieldmaster Model 572
Dallen came with me and shot his 22 LR, Remington Fieldmaster Model 572 at clay pigeons on the hill while I worked with my rifle.

With drawing the buck/bull combo tag for 2010 I really wanted to get a lighter weight rifle that could pack a real solid punch out to 600 yards. I feel plenty confident with my 243 WSSM A-Bolts out to that range but, with the Triple shocks bullets I'm using I would feel more comfortable if I was shooting 400 yards or less. I would rather have a plain vanilla bullet out past 400 yards with the 243 WSSM to get the bullet expansion I would like to have. I could take my 270 WSM, Model 1885 and I have in the past. It has plenty to offer out to 600 yards and beyond. It fact my 140g Nosler AccuBond handload in this rifle is going 3450 fps. With this rifle and load at 600 yards there would be plenty of bullet penetration and expansion but, this rifle is on the heavy side.

 

View down range from my New 270 WSM X-Bolt
View down range from my New 270 WSM X-Bolt

I have shot the X-Bolt a time or two and have just loved the accuracy. The factory trigger has just been amazing and as I have learned from my A-Bolts and Model 1885s, Miroku knows how to make a barrel. The X-Bolt magazine has a couple of features I really like also. It has shoulder stops that prevent the tips of the bullet from getting smashed into the front of the magazine when the gun recoils. The magazine also aligns the bullet straight with the bore unlike many others that stack bullets in a alternating fashion. The rifle is also very light. Just perfect for the backpacking hunts that I so enjoy taking. I kind of wish it had a 24 or 25 inch barrel. I will admit that I enjoy getting as much velocity as I can and barrel length will give or take away that velocity. However I also understand that this rifle would weigh more because of the length. The barrel would also be less rigid unless the barrel contour were enhanced. Stiffer barrels make for less vibration which equals better accuracy. If the barrel were longer like I would like then it would need a heavier contour to make up for the added vibration to get the same stiffness and accuracy.

 

First shots through my 270 WSM X-Bolt Stainless Stalker
First shots through my 270 WSM X-Bolt Stainless Stalker

This year happens to be my 10th year working for Browning. Human Resources contacted me a month or so ago and informed me of the fact and that I could choose a gift for my service award. There were various prizes like a MAC "i" something or other, jewelery and the like, or...credit towards a Browning purchase. Well, that's a no brainer. I couldn't even argue with myself about getting an X-Bolt, I'll just worry about having money to feed the family later... The planets had aligned and I had to get the X-Bolt, although strangely my wife doesn't see nor understand the alignment thing. Before the end of the next day I had my 270 WSM X-Bolt Stainless Stalker on order.

Two weeks later my rifle came in. I had decided to swap some rifle scopes around on my rifles. I wanted my favorite scope to go on my new rifle. The Bushnell Elite 6500 that I just placed on my 270 WSM Model 1885 for the cow elk hunt. I wanted that scope to be on my new X-Bolt. A Bushnell Elite 4200 would go on my Model 1885.

When I mounted my scopes I bore sighted my rifles a little different than I normally do. You will see in a minute the technique worked great.

Across the hall from my work office is a bathroom of sorts, really only a shower room with a sink and mirror. Anyway, as I mounted the scopes I would look across the hall into this mirror. In the mirror I could see exactly where the barrel was pointing. So I just started adjusting the scope until the barrel was pointing straight in-line with itself and the crosshairs. It worked really good for my Model 1885, because I have to adjust the windage by a fair amount with the rear base, before I lock the base into position.

 

270 WSM X-Bolt, Bushnell Elite 6500, and 140 AccuBond Load
270 WSM X-Bolt, Bushnell Elite 6500, and 140g AccuBond Handload

In case my boss were to ever read this. The scope mounting was of course, all accomplished while on my breaks. I just love working in an environment where firearms are the norm at work!

Next, I spent a couple of hours off and on cleaning the bore by running Bore Tech's Eliminator through the barrel. It took a while to get all the copper fouling out from the proofing rounds that were fired through it at the factory.

Now it was time to get it on the range. I was going to try my 140g Nolser AccuBond loads that I worked up for my Model 1885. The load wasn't hot at all on my Model 1885 so I felt safe in using it in my X-Bolt. It was a windy, partly cloudy day with the temperature right around 50-55 degrees. The wind was blowing left to right across the target.

 

270 WSM, 140 AccuBond Load, First Three Shot Group
270 WSM, 140g AccuBond Handload, First Three Shot Group with a L-R wind.

As the barrel was squeaky clean and still had remnants of Kroil in it, I took three quick shots to get the barrel fouled up good. These shots placed on the target within just a few clicks of being right where I wanted. The mirror bore sighting technique worked very well.

I made a couple adjustments to the scope and then concentrated on being as steady as possible and fired three more shots. As you can see in the photos my first two shot were right on top of one another and the third was just to the side of them. Not too bad, for a magnum rifle, on a windy day. Even though I like longer barrels, I'll take a shorter barrel that shoots this good any day, because when it's all said and done the deer really isn't going to know the difference.

Here are my first hunts with my X-Bolt Stainless Stalker in 270 WSM

Accuracy of Gold Tip Series 22 Arrows with QuikSpin Speed Hunter Vanes

50 yard Robin Hood Shot with Series 22 Shafts and NAP QuikSpin Speed Hunter Vanes
 50 Yard Robin Hood Shot with Series 22 shafts and NAP QuikSpin Speed Hunter Vanes.

For starters I should explain my setup. My bows are the Browning Adrenaline with a few modifications to fit my needs. I have a 32 1/2" draw length although I prefer to shoot at a 32" draw length. This improves my accuracy with a more relaxed left arm holding the bow. To get the additional draw length beyond the stock Adrenaline bow I replaced the 15" limbs for 15 1/2" limbs and then I made some custom strings to fit. The draw weight is set at 75 lbs and with the 32" draw I am pushing my 463g arrows at 290 fps.

I started experimenting with the Gold Tip Big Game shafts, Gold Tip 5575 shafts and Gold Tip's Series 22 shafts (the old heavy Series 22 not the UL version they now make). I also experimented with different vanes. After all the experimenting was done the most accurate shaft was clearly the Series 22.

NAP QuikSpin ST Speed Hunter Arrow Vanes and 5" AAE Arrow VanesI believe the combination of the longer draw length and the heavy draw weight demanded a lot of help from the vanes to keep the arrow on course. I tried a couple of different vanes. At the time almost everyone was shooting 4" Duravanes, Bohning or AAE vanes. Those vanes just didn't produce the accuracy that I demanded. I tried the 5" AAE vanes and that did the trick. The vane is nice and long and has a texture on the vane that provides excellent steering to the arrow. So for the past 7 years I have shot and hunted with the 5" AAE vane and had excellent success with it.

50 yard Robin Hood Shot with Series 22 Shafts and NAP QuikSpin Speed Hunter VanesIn 2008 the tinkering bug got the best of me and I decided to give some of the NAP QuikSpin vanes a try. I fletched a couple of NAP QuikSpin 2.25" vanes and some of the NAP QuikSpin Speed Hunter vanes. The QuikSpin 2.25" vanes would not hold a group at all. On the other hand the QuikSpin Speed Hunters were great. For a period of a couple of weeks on a daily basis I would shoot my old reliable 5" AAE vanes along side of the QuikSpin Speed Hunters. The QuikSpin shot very well indeed. It was hard at first to find any distinguishable difference in the accuracy of one over the other. After shooting them together for a month or so I started to lean towards the Speed Hunter being just a little more accurate. I also liked the QuikSpin Speed Hunter over the 5" AAE vanes for two other reasons...well make that three. First the Speed Hunter would be less susceptible to cross winds blowing the arrow off course at longer ranges.  Second, vane clearance issues with my arrow rest are non-existent. And third, the cool factor. The short stubby vanes do look really cool on the shafts.

I did find some slight negatives to the Speed Hunters. They are difficult to see in flight compared to the large 5" AAE vanes. I also found that at long ranges the Speed Hunters would group lower than the 5" vanes. At 70 yards they hit the target about six inches lower. If I could chronograph the arrow at various ranges I would bet that the Speed Hunter has a little more drag than the 5" AAE vanes causing it to slow down a little quicker. And lastly the QuikSpin Speed Hunters are a more expensive, but I think they are well worth it.

50 yard Robin Hood Shot with Series 22 Shafts and NAP QuikSpin Speed Hunter VanesI have made a handful of Robin Hood shots over the years in the 30 yard range. In fact I rarely practice under 50 yards because I damage far too many shafts from hitting one another, shafts I can't afford to damage because Gold Tip doesn't make them any more. As you can see in the photos using the Speed Hunter I got my first Robin Hood at 50 yards and it also happened to be on my first and second shot of the six arrow group.

If your thinking about using the NAP QuikSpin Speed Hunter vanes I don't think you could go wrong. I would get a bright orange or the like color and consider cresting your shafts so that you can follow the flight of the arrow better. Now, if I only could convince Gold Tip to bring back at least a limited run of the Old Series 22 arrow shaft, I'd be a happy camper. It is a great fat carbon hunting shaft. I need to stock up to last a few more years and pickens have been slim on eBay lately.

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