The .270 Winchester was developed by Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1923 and unveiled in 1925 as a chambering for their bolt action Model 54. The cartridge is based upon the .30-06 Springfield, and the case is slightly longer due to the necking down process.
Driving a 130-grain (8.4 g) bullet at approximately 3140 ft/s (957 m/s), (later reduced to 3060 ft/s (933 m/s)) the cartridge demonstrated high performance at the time of its introduction and was marketed as being suitable for long range shooting on most big game. Two additional bullet weights were soon introduced: a 100-grain (6.5 g) hollow point bullet for Varmint shooting, and a 150-grain (9.7 g) bullet for larger deer, elk and moose in Big-game hunting. While not an immediate success, over the succeeding decades and especially in the post WW2 period, the .270 Winchester has attained great popularity among gun owners and hunters, ranking it among the most popular and widely used cartridges worldwide. Internationally, firearms manufacturers now offer this chambering in all firearm varieties: bolt actions, single-shots, lever-actions (such as Browning BLR), Pump-actions (such as Remington 7600), autoloaders (such as Remington 7400) and even a few double rifles.
The .270 Winchester offers superb accuracy in good bolt action rifles, an extremely flat trajectory, and good long range punch, all at a level of recoil tolerable to most shooters. The .270 has been used at one point or another to take all North American large game, but is probably not a good choice of caliber for large dangerous game such as brown or polar bears. Although some argue that a 110-grain (7.1 g) bullet should only be used on smaller game, the velocity achieved when using a 110-grain (7.1 g) bullet will take a white tail. Jack O'Connor, writer for and then Shooting Editor of Outdoor Life magazine from 1939 to 1972, strongly promoted the .270 Winchester for many hunting applications in North America and Africa undoubtedly increasing its appeal to hunters and gun enthusiasts. O'Connor remains the most passionate and influential single advocate in the cartridge's long history. The .270 is the leading rifle for Whitetail deer.
Many non-American riflemen, and ballisticians in general, have been mildly surprised by the massive success of the .270 with its "oddball" .277in bullet, and feel that the .280 Remington/7mm Express Remington, firing a "true" 7mm/.284in bullet from what is effectively a similarly necked-down .30-'06 case, could have cornered a similarly large market, had it been released in time. But the US market may have perceived the 7 mm diameter bullet as essentially European in origin and pedigree, and thus "not made here", while the .270 was aggressively and most successfully marketed as a new, all-American caliber. The more likely reason is that the .280 Remington was introduced in a semi-automatic rifle and the cartridge was not loaded to the same pressure and velocity levels as the .270 Winchester (with a velocity of 200-300 ft/s less). It should be pointed out that the 7mm Remington Magnum introduced just 4 years after the .280 has been wildly popular with American shooters. The .270 Winchester has never made much headway as an African plains game caliber, with hunters preferring the parent (and even more internationally successful) .30-06 cartridge with its wider choice of bullets, especially in the heavier weights. United Kingdom red deer stalkers have been sharply divided over the .270. Some swear by it for its flat trajectory and long-range punch, while others swear at it for its noise and harsh recoil.Peter Carne -"Woodland Stalking"1999 It is undoubtedly an abrupt-shooting cartridge by comparison with the UK's long-time benchmarks, the 7x57 Mauser/.275 Rigby and 6.5 mm × 54 Mannlicher-Schönauer, or the newer 7mm-08 Remington, although it has less recoil than the .30-06. UK market interest in the .270 has, however, revived somewhat since the 1990s with the widespread police approval of sound moderators (a.k.a. suppressors) for civilian-owned centerfire rifles, since a moderator noticeably attenuates the .270's loud report. The relatively strong recoil of this cartridge can be mitigated with the addition of a reliable recoil pad on the rifle buttstock.
The .270 has never been a military caliber. This is a useful fact which means it can be and is used as a "substitute" for the 30-06 in countries where military calibre rifles are prohibited such as France. Additionally, while Sierra Bullets does manufacture a 135-grain (8.7 g) MatchKing bullet for target applications, it is rarely found in benchrest or other target competitions. Even so, today the .270 is one of the 5 most popular rifle calibers in the world, following closely behind the .30-06 Springfield in terms of firearms and ammunition sold.