Deer, pigs, the .270 and the Hornady SST

Q: Firstly, I wish to thank you for years of service to Sporting Shooter and the hunting fraternity. I have been an avid reader of your writings since childhood. My mother, an English teacher, bought a subscription for me after realising it was the only thing I read during my school years. I can attribute a solid B+ in year 12 to your articles!

I last wrote you a letter in 1990 as a 14 year-old boy after I traded my SKS rifle for a lovely Parker-Hale in .243 Win. Your suggested load of 90gn Speer spitzer and 44gn of AR2209 served me well for years, including working as a ringer in the Gulf of Carpentaria. It was amazing how that little pill rolled those big pigs with a well-placed shot in the boiler room.

Recently, I purchased a Winchester Model 70A with blind magazine in .270 Win. It was made in 1976 and has a G serial number. Can you please recommend one good 130gn load using a standard projectile and AR2209 powder for pigs and the odd red stag? Is the Hornady SST too fragile for deer? I don’t wish to go up in weight as I already have a .30-06 and .358 Win for bigger game.

Also, I am thinking of loading the 87gn V-Max in my .243 for pigs. I notice OutBack is loading it in their .243 ammo. Is it a good thing or better left for smaller game?

– Simon Cusack

A: In the .270 Win I have been using the same load for a number of years. Any good 130gn bullet such as the 130gn Hornady SST or Interlock and 55gn of AR2209 generates 3040fps in a 24-inch barrel. I found the 130gn SST deadly on red stag. It is flat shooting and expands quickly and reliably even on smaller fallow bucks. The Interlock ring ensures the SST’s jacket and core hold together at high impact velocities to retain a high percentage of its original weight. The same comments apply to the 87gn SST in the .243 for pigs.




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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.