To many hunters, choosing between 308 and 207 is always a tough decision. So to make a right decision, you need to get through a lot of information about these two cartridges. While they have some similar characteristics, there are differences that make them better in certain situations.
We will provide you all the useful information, the specifications of these two fantastic cartridges which help your decision of choosing the best for your hunting. The categories included are the general specifications, recoil, trajectory, accuracy, application, availability, and price.
A brief history
270 has a longer history than 308. 270 was introduced during the hunting world in 1925, that’s why it’s origin started out at a hunting cartridge. And almost 30 years later, 308 made its appearance as a civilian version of the 7.62 x 51 NATO cartridge.
Nowadays, both are two of the greatest cartridges that have been used by a lot of hunters in the field.
The basic difference, as you can tell when looking at the names, between the two cartridges is the bullet diameter. The 308 is fitted with a bullet of 0.308” diameter, when the 207 goes with a 0.277″ diameter bullet. The difference of the bullet diameters also affects other performances of the two cartridges.
We can easily see that the 308 is much shorter and thicker than the 270. In contrast, 270’s case is 0.5 inch longer than 0.308’s. This is the reason why a 207 can withstand 3,000 more units of pressure and can hold more power than a 308 can do.
Recoil is always one of the first things to consider when a shooter chooses a gun or a cartridge, especially one with a little experience of shooting.
The average recoil energy generated by the 270 is 19,6ft.lb, while the 308 produces averagely 21,7ft.lb. So we can say that there is no significant difference to consider between 270 and 308 when it comes to the recoil.
Trajectory is the characteristic that always gains a lot of scrutiny of shooters. The bullet from a good cartridge can make adjustment to shot placement as it loses altitude. Generally, the shooters will want to see a flat trajectory with minimal bullet drop.
At short ranges, the difference between the trajectory of 270 and 308. There are about an inch difference at the range of 200 yards, and 4-5 inches difference at the range of 400 yards.
However, from the range of 500 yards, we can see the distinct more clearly with the 10 inches difference. And it is the 270 that shows a flatter trajectory. As the range is extended, the difference becomes clearer. It is 54 inches at the range of 1000 yards.
When it comes to the accuracy, the experience of the user and the quality of the firearm play are the most important factors. However, the certain ballistic characteristics can help with the basic accuracy level of the cartridge.
The trajectory plays a certain role in the accuracy level. Since the 207’s trajectory is flatter than 308’s, the 207 is more accurate, especially at ranges over 300 yards. At smaller ranges, it’s hard to see the difference between these two cartridges.
In this section, we will figure out if there are situations where one of these two cartridges might be better suited than the other, though both are excellent hunting options.
Hitting small hunting games with light grain 207 is always a better choice. A heavy grain 308 in a small game will just waste your money by overkilling.
When it comes to larger games dealing with deer or elk, at short ranges both 270 and 308 have enough stopping power to stop the animals pretty well. But when the range is over 400 yards, the .207 is the better choice generally.
This fact is based on the ballistics, not the energy or penetration produced by the two cartridges. Because the bullets and trajectory of the 308 is heavier, is harder to put on target in the kill zone.
Availability and Price
Both 207 and 308 are popular in America, although it’s a bit easier to find a 207 in a retail store. There are also a lot of various types of ammunition of these two cartridges available in the market.
The price depends on the type of ammunition. Following is the list of the price (20 pounds) of most popular types of each cartridge.
- 270 Winchester SST Superperformance 130gr_$41.21
- 270 Federal Vital-Shok Nosler Partition 150gr_$20.49
- 270 Remington Core-Lokt PSP 115gr_$15.99
- 270 Winchester Ballistic Silvertip 130gr_$31.99
- 270 Federal Sierra GameKing BTSP 150gr_$30.99
- 308 Hornady BTHP Match 168gr_$22.89
- 308 Winchester Super-X 180gr_$21.99
- 308 Nosler Ballistic Tip 165gr_$30.99
- 308 Federal Vital-Shok Ballistic Tip 150gr_$31.79
- 308 Federal Gold Medal Sierra Matchking 175gr_$25.99
The biggest impact on your decision is the type of the situation on which you want to use the cartridge. You should consider that you want to use the cartridge for hunting or defense, in a small or big game, with the long or short distance. We can’t tell you that which is the better, 308 or 270 cartridge. However, we believe that our information can tell you which is better suited for specific hunting situations and you can break down your decision more easily.