Best Scope For 270 | Guide To Top Rated .270 Scopes
The .270 Winchester is one of the iconic rifle cartridges in the US. Created directly from the .30-06 by Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1923, the .270 has grown to be one of the most widely used hunting cartridges in use today. Let this serve as your guide to the best scope for .270.
With slow beginnings in the 20’s and 30’s, the cartridge began to build steam in the 60’s and 70’s. Of all the praise that the .270 has been given by notable writers over the years, few come close to the famous affliction that Jack O’Connor had with the round. O’Connor used the .270 to hunt all across the world and then touted about it in the pages of Outdoor Life Magazine.
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Able to take game ranging from a coyote to moose and bear, the .270 is one of the most versatile chamberings available to hunters. Bullets are available from 90 to 180 grains, and almost all manufacturers of ammo produce a .270 variant. The same is also true for gun manufacturers, as almost any rifle on the market today can be purchased chambered in .270 Winchester.
When the military created the .30-06 for use in the 1903 Springfield Rifle, it was revolutionary. Designed as a significant improvement on the .30-03 that was the original round for the 1903 Springfields, the .30-06 was more powerful, had more range, flatter trajectories, and displayed better accuracy. The new .30-06 round was immediately adopted by the civilian market, especially since it was one of the most, if not the most, advanced centerfire cartridge available at that time.
As soon as the .30-06 cartridge hit the shelves, wildcatters were making changes to improve the new round. There were a host of wildcat rounds that came out of that era, but it was Winchester Repeating Arms Company’s .277 bullet variant that won the most praise, and they named it .270 Winchester. Marketed as a cartridge that could hunt game all over the country with lighter recoil and flatter trajectories, the .270 was a hunting round from birth.
Ammunition that was initially designed for the .270 was sporadic at best with varying velocities observed not only from brand to brand but frequently even within the same box. This lack of consistency caused a lot of hunters to steer away from the .270 as they were afraid they could not depend on the accuracy to be there when it was needed.
As ammunition manufactures worked to solve the problem, they discovered that most rifles on the market chambered in .270 had barrels between 18 and 22 inches. The lab testing performed on most factory ammunition loads were done with a 24-inch barrel. After discovering this, manufacturers quickly re-worked their loads, and consistency issue was overcome.
Choosing the Best Scope for .270
When choosing a scope, you want to make sure that the scope can outperform the round. You don’t want to invest money in a scope for a gun that can’t function to the gun’s full capabilities.
The first thing that needs to be decided is what the gun will be used for. While most .270 rifles are used for hunting, they can make for accurate range guns as well. If the gun will be used for hunting, then you will also need to determine what species you are after, and what conditions you expect to be shooting in. This will tell you the distance you will be shooting, as well as how large of an objective you will need.
There are several factors to compare when choosing the best scope for your .270…
The magnification of a particular scope can be a primary determining factor when choosing the best scope for .270. There are two options when selecting magnification of a scope, either fixed or variable. Both have their advantages. With a variable magnification, you can adjust it to fit whatever circumstances and shooting conditions are present. The fixed power scopes are generally considered to be “tougher” and can handle more abuse since there are fewer moving parts. It’s also important to make sure that the field of view of a specific scope is not too narrow for your shooting conditions. If you choose a higher-powered scope, it may be very difficult to shoot at or below 100 yards.
You want a reticle that is clear and easy for you to use and maintain a good picture. Several manufacturers have designed reticles that are intended to help the shooter with things like bullet drop compensation, windage, ranging, etc. Regardless of which you choose, make sure you are comfortable with the reticle and understand its specifics.
The construction of a scope impacts durability and its ability to maintain an accurate zero. Most hunters prefer a scope that is built from a single piece of aluminum. The single piece adds strength to the tube that can help it stave off damage from the vibrations of heavy recoil. You also want to look at the waterproofing methods used. Most common on higher end optics is O-rings and gas purging.
The lens quality is one of the most critical factors when shopping for the best scope for .270. The quality of the glass is what determines how clear your view is, especially under magnification. Low-quality lenses will produce a cloudy or blurry image, which will become more apparent as you increase magnification. All lenses will have coatings applied to them. These coatings help prevent different things such as fog, glare, or damage. Some can be very beneficial to hunters and should be considered.
Another critical factor is accuracy. While the gun has to do its job, the scope needs to be able to adjust to zero, and then maintain that zero through the season. If you zero your rifle and fire a few rounds before packing up, you have to be able to depend on that zero being true when you pull it out to hunt.
Best Scope for .270: What’s the difference between high and low-quality scopes?
Optics has long been known as an area where “you get what you pay for”. This is true for a number of reasons. These days every scope has the same basic components (lens coatings, metal tubes, focusing rings), as well as the same basic features (sealed, waterproofing, fog proofing). The difference is in the details. A lower quality scope may have an anti-fog lens coating. A high-quality scope may have two different coatings, on each side of each lens, plus coatings to help with clarity and to help gather light.
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Another difference is quality control. When you buy low-quality optics, they are built by a machine and may have never been manually checked to make sure everything works. If you buy a high-quality scope from a company like Vortex, you can rest assured that the scope was manually checked, possibly twice, before leaving the factory. This means you shouldn’t have to worry if something is off, or there are some other manufacturer defects.
All of the extra features and extra time and care performed by actual humans means it costs a lot more to produce those scopes. Therefore, the better the scope, the more it costs to build it, and the more it costs to buy it.
The Importance of Proper Mounting
When it comes to finding the best scope for .270 and then attaching the scope to your gun, your choice of equipment and method can have a tremendous impact on your success with the scope. Mounting is one of the primary reasons people have difficulty sighting in their rifles. People will bring their guns into a gunsmith saying that they can’t get their scope zeroed, and often the gunsmith can pull the scope off with their hands.
You need to make sure that you are using a good quality, heavy-duty set of scope rings. It is essential to check and make sure that the rings have a sound bite onto the scope rail, and that the teeth are fitting snugly in the groves. You also want to make sure that the rings fit the gun and scope properly, and that everything lines up without having to be forced into place.
When you are tightening the screw down, you need to run both until finger tight, and they turn each no more than three to four turns, before moving over to the other side. Tightening in this manner allows both rings to tighten at approximately the same time, and ensures the scope is not being torqued in one direction or the other.
It is widely recommended by gunsmiths to use a locking compound on the screws of the scope rings. This compound fills the spaces that remain in the threads and helps ensure a secure hold and prevents the screws from loosening and backing out from the vibrations during recoil.
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Once completed, the scope should be firmly attached to the gun, and you should not be able to wiggle or move it in any way with your hands. Making sure your scope is appropriately mounted will allow you to zero the scope. That way, you know that it is going to be accurate when you need it to be.
In addition, the scope must be level. When mounting the scope, imperfections in the rings or the gun’s rail, as well as any foreign objects that get between the two can put the scope in one way or another. Using a button level, you can make sure everything stays square as you tighten the mounts down.
The 6 Best Scopes for .270 on the Market
The Nikon Buckmasters series has been around for many years and has earned a solid reputation amongst hunters. If you had to pick a scope based solely on the name, anything Buckmasters would be a fair choice.
Nikon improved on the original with the Buckmasters II series. With extensive improvements made through new technology and lessons learned over the years from the original series and listening to their customers, the Buckmasters II series riflescope is a perfect companion to any rifle and for any hunt.
Likewise, the same can be said about the 3-9X40mm configuration. Other configurations can work better for particular species or in certain conditions, but when it comes to an all-around general riflescope, the variable power of the 3-9 and the 40mm objective size is as good as it gets.
Naturally, when you look at a Bushmasters II 3-9X40, considering everything above, you have the perfect solution for a general riflescope for hunting. This feature heavy and yet straightforward riflescope can be used on anything from a .22lr for plinking at 20 yards to a 7mm mag taking shots at 300 yards. Let’s look at some of the main features.
Built from a single piece of machined aluminum, the scope uses fully multicoated lenses consisting of multiple layers of anti-reflective compounds on every glass surface. The turrets have precise hand-turn 1/4-inch at 100 yards click adjustments.
The scope also uses Nikon’s BDC reticle, which according to Nikon, “The BDC reticle allows hunters to hold ‘dead-on’ at ranges exceeding those previously thought possible. The BDC’s unique see-through ballistic circles offer an incredible advantage for long range shooting, yet allow a normal sight picture for shorter-range shots where the crosshair itself is the aiming point.”
Another fantastic feature is Nikon’s Limited Lifetime Warranty which is combined with Nikon’s No-Fault Repair/Replacement policy. Nikon riflescopes are covered by Nikon’s Limited Lifetime Warranty, which states that if any Nikon riflescope is found to have defects in workmanship or materials, they will either repair or replace it at no charge. On top of that, the No-Fault Repair/Replacement policy covers just about any damage that may happen to the scope. Note though that it does exclude lost or stolen products and intentionally caused damage.
When it’s all said and done, it would be challenging to find a better scope for use on a centerfire rifle for hunting than the Nikon Buckmasters II in 3-9X40, which is why this scope takes the top spot on our list.
A company that has a long history of providing high-quality optics, Leupold scope have been on top of hunter’s rifles as long as the company has been in business. The Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x50mm is no exception to their reputable line.
Crafted from 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum, the tube on this scope is tough as it gets. The scope sports a 3:1 zoom ratio erector system which is virtually perfect for almost any situation. The erector system also has dual springs which give it more holding force, and therefore eliminates backlash from the system and helps prolong the life of the scope. Hence, why this is one of the best scopes for .270.
The scope is fully sealed and purged with a blend of argon and krypton gases, which is a proprietary component for Leupold. It sports fully multi-coated lenses, which include a new coating from Leupold called DiamondCoat 2. This coating is an ion-assist lens coating, which allows for increased light transmission and provides the greatest level of abrasion resistance ever offered.
This scope features the Duplex reticle which was introduced in 1962 by Leupold. It is designed to allow quick target acquisition and still allow for accuracy by using the bolder lines on the outer edges with thinner lines in the middle. The scope measures 3 x 3.2 x 14 inches and weighs in at 14.7 oz/417 g.
Overall the Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x50mm would make a fine addition to any hunting rifle and will provide years of high-performance service.
Next, we have another Nikon Buckmasters II series scope. The Buckmasters II series is an improvement to their original Buckmasters line with extensive improvements made through new technology and lessons learned over the years from the original series and listening to their customers, the Buckmasters II series riflescope is a perfect companion to any rifle and for any hunt.
This scope is another extremely popular configuration used by hunters for years, the 4-12x40mm. While the 4X magnification can be used for all but the shortest shots, the 12X allows you to reach out a little further than the 9X, increasing your shot possibilities.
Like the 3-9X40mm configuration, this scope is built from a single piece of machined aluminum. The scope uses fully multicoated lenses consisting of multiple layers of anti-reflective compounds on every glass surface. The turrets have precise hand-turn 1/4-inch at 100 yards click adjustments.
This scope also utilizes Nikon’s BDC reticle, which according to Nikon, “The BDC reticle allows hunters to hold ‘dead-on’ at ranges exceeding those previously thought possible. The BDC’s unique see-through ballistic circles offer an incredible advantage for long range shooting, yet allow a normal sight picture for shorter-range shots where the crosshair itself is the aiming point.”
Another fantastic feature is Nikon’s Limited Lifetime Warranty which is combined with Nikon’s No-Fault Repair/Replacement policy. Nikon riflescopes are covered by Nikon’s Limited Lifetime Warranty, which states that if any Nikon riflescope is found to have defects in workmanship or materials, they will either repair or replace it at no charge. On top of that, the No-Fault Repair/Replacement policy cover just about any damage that may happen to the scope. Note though that it does exclude lost or stolen products and intentionally caused damage.
The Burris Fullfield II in a 4.5-14X x 42mm configuration is part of Burris’s hunting line of riflescopes. With an overall length of 13.8 inches and a weight of 18 ounces, this is one of the most compact scopes in the list. Burris has over 40 years of experience in optical engineering, and they offer scopes that sport extreme clarity and reliability.
The Fullfield II has a 1-inch solid tube construction with reinforced quad-seal gas seals and Hi-Lume Multi-coated lenses. Guaranteed to be waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. It features Burris’s Ballistic Plex reticle. According to their website, “The Ballistic Plex reticle has a lower vertical crosshair with small ballistic lines that automatically compensate for bullet drop from 100 to 500 yards for many common cartridges.”
One of the most significant advantages this scope has over its competition is that it is covered under the Burris “Forever Warranty.” Simply put, if something goes wrong with the scope, Burris will fix it or replace it, pretty much forever.
This Burris scope was designed to take a beating in the hunting woods, and still perform when the time comes. Then they added on their “Forever Warranty” just in case something does go wrong. When combined with high-performance lenses, a small compact size, and lightweight design, this scope becomes hard to beat for any .270 used for hunting.
The next scope on our list is the Razor HD LH 3-15×42 by Vortex. The Razor HD LH is a lightweight and sleek riflescope that is at home in the woods or on the range. This scope is feature heavy and was designed to perform and impress no matter what conditions it is used under.
With a 3-15X variable magnification, the scope can handle shots up close in thick brush or out past 300 yards. The eyebox on this scope is very forgiving, giving it generous eye relief. This is an advantage when hunting since your shots are not from a bench and it’s hard to always get in a perfect position.
The HD stands for (High Density) extra-low dispersion glass. To simplify, this glass is designed to transmit as much light as possible to your eye so that you have a bright sight picture even if lighting conditions are not the best. Vortex also adds premium XR coatings which help create razor-sharp resolution from edge to edge. The last coating is Armortek, which protects exterior lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt.
This scope has Vortex’s G4 BDC reticle. This reticle combines a target dot, BDC hash-marks for longer range shots, and hints of the classic German Number 4 reticle. This design allows for pinpoint accuracy, fast target acquisition, and fast bullet drop compensation.
The Razor HD LH is made from a single piece of hard anodized aluminum which enhances strength and durability. It is 100% sealed with O-rings and argon purging which guarantee water- and fog-proof performance. The Razor HD LH gives hunters and shooters a high-performance scope while still having a low profile and being lightweight. Easily one of the best scopes for .270, whether hunting or range shooting.
If you use your .270 for target shooting, then the Vortex Golden Eagle HD 15-60×52 Second Focal Plane Riflescope is for you.
Designed explicitly by Vortex for competitive shooters in F-Class, Bench Rest and other shooting disciplines with targets at a known distance, the Golden Eagle is a top of the line optic. This scope is packed with features to help you attain your best accuracy possible.
The Golden Eagle is built from a 30mm tube of aircraft grade aluminum. It weighs 29.5 ounces and measures 16.1 inches tip to tip. The scope is O-ring sealed and argon purged, giving you waterproof and fog-proof performance. The lenses are high density, and apochromatic elements are index matched. Plus, the scope includes Armortek coatings, which protect the lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt.
Built with target style turrets, the Golden Eagle’s 1/8 MOA clicks help you make subtle adjustments and maximize accuracy downrange. Parallax can be adjusted with the side focus adjustment to make sure you have crystal clear sight picture. This scope also comes with an aperture stop ring which broadens your depth field. This has many advantages for long range shooting including allowing you to more easily observe mirage and wind indicators while keeping your target in focus.
The Golden Eagle comes from the factory with an extra windage turret that has alternative laser markings, aluminum objective, and eyepiece lens covers. Plus, a 3-inch sunshade to help you customize your scope to fit your exact shooting conditions. The reticle is Vortex’s ECR-1 (Enhanced Crosshair Reticle). This reticle is a hash-marked reticle that uses a MOA-based subtension line system for holdover and windage corrections. The floating center dot subtends 0.095 MOA at 40X.
Overall, the Vortex Golden Eagle is as good as it gets for target shooting. This scope is extremely high performance and would be best at home on the range used for competition shooting. If you shoot for competition, this is definitely the best scope for your .270.