I love the 270. It’s cheap, fast, accurate enough, comes in all sorts of rifles, carries enough to kill a deer at distance, and recoils well within reason. Out of my “popular hunting rounds” article, it’s easily my favorite. So when an opportunity to get a boxing sale Savage Axis came up, I got one and my buddy did too. Mine was in stainless, his blued steel, both in 270. When it came time to sight them in, we thought that we should buy a pile of factory ammo and see what these rifles can do. We chose 6 different factory 270 cartridges, all with 130 grain bullets, took some pictures of them and took them out to the range. We fired at least (3) 4 shot groups of every type, and shot more of the ones that looked better. So, the groups that appear the best were also tested the most.
Test notes: Both rifles were shot off lead sleds, on a calm day, with cleaning rods pulled through after each group and a fowling shot fired at a separate target, 4 shots per target, and I used “on target” software to measure spreads. That said, we’re human, and some of the inaccuracy is ours alone. Also, these test results may be completely different on longer barrel or different make/model rifles. The Axis is a bit short at 22″, so don’t read these results and automatically dismiss what didn’t work for us.
Let’s get straight to the point, which one shot the best?
Remington Core Lokt 2.10 1.69
Winchester Grey Box 2.10 2.1
Winchester Silver Tip 0.94 0.82
Federal Blue Box 1.3 1.9
Federal Fusion 2.5 0.74
Hornady Superformance 2.05 1.355
In short order, both Axi (plural for Axis’?) loved the Winchester Silver Tips. Both fired (2) 4 shot groups under 1″, with mostly horizontal spread, which is supposed to be better than ugly vertical spread that can hurt over longer distances. Let me tell you, I hate that my rifles love expensive ammo, but groups are groups.
The second place bullet is a bit debatable. The Fusions are the clear
second first for the stainless Axis, which punched an average beautiful 0.74″ groups, but those Fusions turned in a less defensible 2.5″ group on the blued rifle. The blued Axis #2 would be the Federal blue box, with a 1.3″ group. We’ll call it a tie for 2nd.
Third place was the round I really wanted to win, the Hornady Superformance. It turned in 1.5″ groups on the stainless, and 2″ groups on the blued sample. If you really feel the need for speed, this bullet’s got it but it wasn’t as accurate as the others in our test. I’d love to say it was the most accurate and the super-speed demon that I could use in my rifle, but I’d rather use the stuff that turned in groups half the size.
Finally, which bullets did our rifles hate? Well, the Winchester grey box came out last in both rifles, averaging out 2.1″ groups. The Remington Core Lokt gave a poor showing of 1.9″ as well. To be honest, the Core Lokt’s that I pulled out of that box looked a bit nasty. Going off the reddish corrosion/crap, they may have been on the shelf for a loooong time. Maybe newer/better samples would perform better?
In any case, if you buy a Savage Axis in 270, look to the Winchester Silver Tips, Federal Fusion, Federal Blue Box, and Hornady Superformance as your top choices for accuracy.