The .270 will do all you want.
Bitterroot is correct. I have never (in my experience) seen a rifle that couldn't be made to shoot well. I'm sure there are plenty out there tho. Bedding, barrel fit and reloading can all help. I'll bet there are literally a million or more of them out there and I have yet to find one during our clubs hunter sight in days that was a problem rifle....owners yes, rifles no I had one on a custom mauser action that I let my Brother inlaw talk me out of. Still shoots great 40 years later!
Cowboy Action Shooter; Endowment Life Member-NRA
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"My Father always considered a walk in the mountains as the equivalent of church going."
The .270 will do all you want.
And for long range uses, .270wsm is great. I was assuming he reloads, since it seems like everyone does on here. The 7mm drops slightly more down range, but nothing too drastic. The short action would be a plus (in my mind) if he is "hunting off his back", in a mountain rifle setup.
If a guy reloads, the bullet selection isn't that small. But still gotta stay 130-150 grain, matrix etc. But you may need a different barrel twist with those bullets. I'm sure you have more to play with in a 7mm.
I do think both cals in a 24 inch barrel setup, the wsm takes it. It's ballistics will be equal, if not a bit better in usually a smaller rifle.
Now if you are talking 26" barrel or more, that's another story. 7mm would beat it at the range.
Like I said, I prefer my 300 win mag. But with either of these cals, the elk/deer/hog/lion etc etc will all be dead the same and not know the small differences.
.300 mag for antelope? I guess if you're a trophy hunter.
I don't mind recoil. I use a 300 RUM often, but I have grown extra fond of my lightweight Savage 7RM.
There aren't any pills available for a factory-twist .270 WSM that can keep up with the 7 way out there with a slick bullet like the 168 Berger VLD. Then if we allow for faster twist barrels, the 7 mag will really start to shine with the 190 VLD.
Like I said, I liked the cartridge, it just isn't as good all around as the 7RM. It is shorter though, as you mentioned.
There are plenty of bullets available for the 300 winny that won't tear apart an antelope. I have knocked them down with the 300 RUM (Barnes TSX), and you could "eat up to the hole" as you old-timers say.
Yeah I love the RUMs. They're barrel burners, but I think by the time im 20 (I'm 17) I'll own one of each haha. And yes, after 50 rounds of my light 300 WM, shooting a light 223 felt nice haha.
And yes I plan on shooting some pronghorn with my 300, 168gr barnes tripple tipped shock with reloader 22 powder. That'll scream through the poor goat 3300 fps haha.
And I forgot to add that a 270 wsm does only have roughly 18 lbs felt recoil where the 7mm is more 21ish and a 300 is 26 pounds. (I believe these are all in 8 pound rifles)Not a big difference but I had forgot to mention it in my rant about the .270 wsm. haha. I'm done now with this debate, both are great cals.
I vote 7 mag! Got one, love it. I also shoot a 25-06 for antelope & have killed several deer with it. But don't feel comfortable hunting elk with it.
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So does anyone have any opinions on what rifles would be best to pack in with. I have a rifle carrier on my pack so I can trade a little weight for more accuracy.
I do handload for my rifles so I can try to get the best group out of the rifle possible.
I've never hunted elk, but if I were in your shoes I'd try a H.S. Precision or a Cooper in .280AI or 7mag., for no other reason than I seem to covet having one.
I'm sure loving the Cooper 338-06 I have!