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Reloading...270 Winchester

24 Oct 2020
@ 02:44 pm (GMT)

Daniel Schindler


I am seeking your experienced opinions here. I already know that some (many?) of you have more reloading experience than I do and why I am posting. FWIW, I’m not a reloading newbie in spite of the fact that I was an English major…as was Mr. O’Connor in my defense. From .375 H&H all the way down to 6mm, I’ve successfully loaded MOA loads with the reasonably frequent 1 hole 3 shot group @ 100 yds. Maybe my handloading skills could be fairly described as intermediate with my triple checking each step at the bench for accuracy and safety.

Moving on to the question…with my Series 2 Vanguard .270 Winchester – 24” barrel – I’d like to explore some loads (slightly) above what I see in the various, recently published manuals I have. A voracious reader, I’ve been Googling a few hundred threads and posts on bullets, powders and LOADS. It seems that many folks – as in a LOT more than a few – are loading anywhere from 2, 3 & 4 grains above the max in the manuals. Yes, I already know the manuals have to be conservative and yes, we should always go up slowly, watching for pressure signs. But 3 or 4 grains above max?

Count on it…I will error on the side of caution. I’d also like to venture up a bit in velocity than what the manuals are saying, if 1) I can safely and 2) not compromise accuracy. A tall order to fill? You tell me. I’m NOT trying to make the rifle a 270 WSM, but would like to know that the load is giving me close to what the .270 will do with a 24” barrel.

I’m basically looking at using IMR 4350; H4831sc and RL 22…in no special order but looking hard at H4831 with a 130 gr BT.

Pls forgive my ignorance here if this question has been asked too many time. Any comments you’d like to share would be very much appreciated. If you’d like to share a load, great. If not, I completely understand that as well.




25 Oct 2020
@ 02:34 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Reloading...270 Winchester
As a mechanic in the trade for too many years, when people asked the "how tight?" question, the answer was "tighten it 'til it spins, then back it off half a turn". Unfortunately, this method won't work here. The bolt, the primer, the brass, the recoil, then the shrapnel. Sh*t! Should have stopped at the bolt, the primer, the brass.

But this is just my opinion.

Ironically, the spam code for this post? mmm
25 Oct 2020
@ 07:30 am (GMT)

Daniel Schindler

Re: Reloading...270 Winchester

As for your "spam" comment, hopefully you're not referring to my post. What I wrote was an honest question...just trying to expand my knowledge and avoid the shrapnel as you so correctly pointed out. There are other forums I could have posted on...but I trust the folks here, like yourself.

25 Oct 2020
@ 08:57 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Reloading...270 Winchester
No, sorry Dan. It was in reference to the "post this message" code, not yours. It actually made me stop and re-read what I posted, and to make sure. Most definitely was not aimed (another bad pun) at you.
25 Oct 2020
@ 06:08 pm (GMT)

Frank Schweininger

Re: Reloading...270 Winchester
I reread Nathan's books and got a gem. Have a 22" barrel Ruger 270. He had mentioned that sometimes the shorter barrels need a faster burn powder than standard 24" and up. What I found is that H4831SC started seeing pressure issues with Barnes-X and Nosler E-tip near the 2990 mark and 59 grains of powder. Where as H4350 had faster speeds at 3100+ but was a little more erratic on paper and no pressure signs. H4350 was near the 54 grains of powder at that speed. It's a chemistry experiment..... Mine happen to be close to book max for what it's worth. Depending on what manual your looking at.
26 Oct 2020
@ 03:26 am (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Reloading...270 Winchester
Hi Daniel.

First, 3-4 grains above book max isn't necessarily that extreme, especially in cartridges typically chambered in older (weaker) firearms, but then used in a modern firearm (6,5x55 for example). But I have learned to not generalize based on cartridge. My current 30-06 barrel for example, hits max velocities and pressures 2-3 grains below any other 30-06 I have loaded for (which also means that it yields the claimed velocities with the 3 types of factory ammo I've tested).

Regardless of cartridge, whenever I start on bare ground, with a new cartridge and/ or bullet/ powder, I start about half way between book min and max (perhaps 3-4 grains below max, slightly higher if on well known territory). Then I load a plain velocity ladder with 1 shot for 1 grain of increments, up to max or just under. From there on I use half grain increments for every shot, and monitor velocity and pressure signs till I hit max. If the powder is a bit fast for the cartridge, I use smaller increments near the top. 0,2-0,3 grains. Do not allways trust the cases/ primers or sticky bolt lift for pressure signs. Also look at velocity in itself. If you are f.eks. already 50-100 fps above estimated/ book max velocity, you might want to call quits. A few years back, when I was still using 1 grain increments all the way to max, I had clocked a very good velocity (about 60 fps above normal max) in a previous 30-06 barrel in the abovementioned rifle, with no signifficant pressure signs to the case, primer or bolt lift. I got greedy, and just had to try that last 1 grain increment, to make sure I had some margin with the load below (I always drop down from established max). Velocity was very high. I believe about 120 fps higher, so about 180 fps above normal max. Bolt was pretty stuck, and I had to slam it open with several hard blows. The case finally showed clear signs of pressure, but not as bad as one would expect, and no blown primer. It all went well, luckily. Small increments and realistic expectations ever since. Point is, always consider high velocity in itself as a pre determined cut of point.

Also, during velocity/ pressure testing, I always use goggles and double ear protection. If I am not one hundred percent confident about the starting load, I load one extra of the first, hold the rifle behind the corner of the car, and fire down into the ground a few meters away. Just to be sure I have a safe starting point. Whenever I test an unlisted powder or custom bullet, or some other factor of great uncertainty, I use procedures similar to those for wild cat cartridges, described in Nathans reloading book.

So, to sum up - establish your absolute max cut of/ goal velocity, but be prepared to stop earlier. Others here can tell you better what that velocity will be for a 24" 270. Then start well under book max, and work upwards with 1 grain increments til near book max, then half grain or quarter grain. Stop shooting at either pressure signs on case/ primer, slightly sticky bolt, or max goal velocity. Whatever comes first. Then after you establish max, drop down a grain or so for margin of error/ temperature fluctuations. I find this important for traveling. From Norway to South Africa in april, I have measured quite signifficant differences in velocity/ pressure within the same batch of loads.

Good luck!
26 Oct 2020
@ 06:21 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Reloading...270 Winchester
Okay, I am going to try this again. The only way you are going to know how much you can up your loads, is to develop them in your own rifle. Your rifle is the only reliable source of information for pressure signs. Imagine, if you will, if someone asked your same question, but about a 308 Norma Magnum, and I sent this to them:

or this one:

Not knowing what I have for a rifle, they took this in good faith and loaded their case TEN grains over book max, because I said it was a good load. Not a good scenario. First, it is over 300fps over book. Second, it is MAX in my rifle, and I seriously doubt any other rifle. DISASTER waiting to happen.

You have to use your brass, your bolt, your powder, your action, your bullet, your primer.


And I'm sure I will still piss someone off.
26 Oct 2020
@ 10:11 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Reloading...270 Winchester
In Nathans Books he notes that 270w factory loads are often under loaded as it was touted for many years as a "low recoiling alternative".

I will not quote my 150 grain deer hunting load (or any other) but with the 270w its over ADI/Thales book max 2209 powder using Fed MG 210 primers & Win brass. It has performed very well in temps from 2-36 degrees C, shooting slow or fast strings.

Using careful reloading techniques you should have no problem finding "your combinations" max charge/node, & this will be yours alone!
Your rifle, brass, powder, projectile, jump, scales, dies etc. etc.
29 Oct 2020
@ 03:28 pm (GMT)

Daniel Schindler

Re: Reloading...270 Winchester
Hey Paul,

Thanks, but No apology necessary - just a small misunderstanding and life's WAY too short to sweat the small stuff - especially at my age!! For me personally, this site is an educational treasure as are the good folks who frequent here.

Thanks all, I hope our paths cross one day and I very much appreciate the responses.


29 Oct 2020
@ 09:28 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Reloading...270 Winchester goes.
have owned my 270 for 30 years
fed it reload for 25 of those.
know my rifle pretty well by now and have fair handle on what works and what doesnt..
MY rifle sits happily 2grns above book max BUT has very long throat....if I try to reach lands with your 130grn BT its still in case but not by a lot and no way will it fit in magazine.
so rifle has almost a Weatherby jump to release pressure.
my mates 270 likes loads 2grns BELOW book max...any hotter and primers start looking worse for wear...
2213 is awesome powder...I dont own a chronicgraph nor give a flying fig how fast or slow my loads are going....they are accurate enough for my hunting and the bog std hornady 140grns tip deer over at 300-350 yards well enough that I wont bother trying to get any fancier.
if my mate happened to pick up and chamber one of my loads in his rifle......results could need the PLB to be activated....
far better to have a safe,accurate load going slower than a hot rod spraying them....unless you using a rangefinder and dialing up..who cares how fast load is going ???? sure added velocity aids in killing but fast enough is good enough.
seems all the modern hype n hooplah tells you THAT YOU must USE 145GRN eld type projectiles going at warp factor 9 or deer will walk away laughing.....
what a crock of poohs.
30 Oct 2020
@ 08:21 am (GMT)

Daniel Schindler

Re: Reloading...270 Winchester

As you said..."fast enough is good enough." Amen.





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