.270 Winchester

Best zero for a .270 Winchester

Q: I just bought a new rifle in .270 Winchester and on your recommendation mounted a Meopta Optika5 2-10×42 scope. Now I want to know the best method to use for sighting it in.

I’ve been told to zero it at 100yd but I want to take advantage of my rifle’s long-range capability. Can you tell me how to go about zeroing my outfit?

I have access to a mate’s range which has target frames set up at 25, 50, 100, 200 and 300 yards.

Joe Lewis

A: I use a collimator to get the scope’s reticle centred and then drop it down one line. Then I get the bullets hitting dead-on at 25yd before shooting at the 100yd target.

For mountain hunting, my practice has been to sight in a .270 Winchester with 130gn factory loads to put the bullet 3″ high at 100yd (or 8.5cm at 100m). The bullet then lands 4in high at 200yd, and depending on the shape of the point and its ballistic coefficient, on point of aim at around 275yd (251m) and 2in low at 300. Despite what many like to think, that is a fair way away.

This gives me a point blank range of almost 350yd (320m), as the bullet will not rise or fall more than 4in (10cm) from line of aim up to that distance.

If an animal is well over 300yd away and you hold on its backbone you’ll make a chest hit on a large animal like a red stag to well over 400yd.

The drop between 275 and 400yd with bullets like the 130gn Partition and the Hornady 130gn Interlock is 15 inches. With some longer, slimmer bullets with a higher BC it is a good deal less.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.