The 270 WSM – The best of the WSMs?



I am pretty sure that life is lived on a sliding scale of intensity. On one side is tranquillity, as in parents/grandparents who live in Maine and do not answer the phone or doorbell. On the other side is controlled chaos, as in an eldest son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter who live in Texas. The existence of both extremes is to be expected.

The first group lives in a predictable environment, with a good deal of latitude in determine areas of participation. Activities are generally introduced through necessities; food shopping, home maintenance, landscaping, auto repair, sitting on our respective asses watching Sea Patrol on streaming TV. The second group, corporate career tending and raising a very talented, very active teenage daughter who is entering high school, keeps life at a dead run.

What I find so amazing is how both life styles can coexist. Effortlessly, adapting, conforming and modifying routine to accommodate one another while spending time together. With tomorrow visiting family departure day to Texas, it will be difficult to retreat to a routine that does not include them.

Winchester XPR Renegade Long Range SR

Manufactured Viana, Portugal
Item # 535732264
Type Bolt Action – Short
Caliber 270 WSM
Mag Capacity 3 Round Detachable
Barrel Length 24″  5/8″-24 Threaded Muzzle
Rifling 1:10″
Weight – Actual 8 Lbs 8 Oz
Overall Length 44″
Stock Grayboe Renegade Composite
Hardware Finish
Perma-Cote Matte Black
Length of Pull 13 1/4″
Drop at comb 3/4″
Drop at heel 3/4“
Sights Clean
Scope Drilled and Tapped
Trigger – M.O.A. Adjustable 3.5 Lbs Nominal
Safety Thumb 2 Position
MSRP $1,099.99
Available in: 243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Rem, 308 Win, 270 WSM, 300 WSM, 6.5 PRC

A long range firearm reflects  a combination of mechanical accuracy and shooter accommodations. In the case of the Winchester XPR product line, mechanical accuracy is achieved through the combination of quality design, quality materials and quality manufacturing process.Yes, that is a lot of quality. Shooter accommodations, both application suitability and aesthetic preference, are packaged in twenty different models of XPR. The XPR Renegade Long Range SR is one model within this product line up, tailored to the long range shooter.

A purpose made stock

The Grayboe Renegade stock is designed for shooting from rifle rested or prone positions typical of long range shooting. The comb is high to support a noggin positioned to look down a scope’s optical centerline. The palm swell, near vertical pistol grip provides stability of hold and offers maximum leverage and control for a trigger squeeze. The low cut neck allows the thumb to be an active participant in the hold. The undercut buttstock allows a shooter’s free hand to micro adjust and steady elevation and duplicating the function of a bench shooter’s use of a bunny bag and hand squeeze.

The wide, shallow beavertail forearm is an ideal support surface when shooting from prone and it provides a stable surface when shooting from a rest, backpack or similar. The two swivel studs accommodate both shooting sling and bipod. The Inflex recoil pad deflects recoil motion away from the face and comes with additional spacers to adjust length of pull.


The stock provides aluminum pillar bedding for the action and an integrated recoil lug locks into the XPR action, preventing longitudinal movement and the barrel free floats. The Grayboe stock is a fiber filled, solid epoxy composite, but still scale checks at only 3 lbs 8 oz. There is no foam core or aluminum frame. Subsequently, the stock can be modified to accept things like an adjustable comb, flush cups for QD sling mounts. The barrel channel can be modified to suit a change in barrel contour or to glass bed. The stock works as is, but some folks like to tune to an individual preference.

Details matter

Long range rifles tend to have large and relatively heavy optics. Under recoil, a rifle moves back quickly, but the scope wants to remain where it is. In that millisecond before the scope accepts it is going along for the ride, the scope mount, rings and a collective of fasteners are place under a good deal of stress. The XPR receiver is tapped for large 8-40 size fasteners rather than the more common 6-48 fasteners. The Winchester ejection port is open top, however, a Picatinny rail to allow flexible scope positioning did not interfere with single round feeding or ejecting fat WSM cartridges.

Controls are convenient, beginning with the slide safety and bolt unlock, which parallel the bolt shroud. The two position safety indirectly blocks trigger movement and locks the bolt closed when the safety is engaged. The bolt release allows the bolt to be open to clear the rifle’s chamber with the safety engaged. The oversize bolt knob is handy; no fishing for a tucked in bolt handle/knob that is made for hiking through brush. However, the bolt knob is screwed in place and can be changed.

The Winchester M.O.A. trigger is a good one for precision shooting, which coincides with long range shooting. A third lever, an actuator, provides component geometry that doubles mechanical advantage of the trigger piece , shortens travel to half the distance of a conventional trigger and preloads the trigger components. The result is no pretravel, no creep and no overtravel. Pull is preset at the factory to 3.5 lbs, however, there is an adjustment range of 3 to 5 lbs. Two set screws at the front of the trigger housing set trigger pull and overtravel.

The bolt, like the receiver, is machined from bar stock and through hardened. When surface hardening was state of the art, a little use would wear through and friction was handled by base metal. The three lobe design results in a brief 60° lift, the full diameter body adds to the bolt’s rigidity and flutes prevents binding gunk build up in heavy use. The slick, corrosion resistant coating is nickel Teflon. Again, details, but the bolt can be disassembled without special tools…. that I have a tool box full of. The sliding extractor grips firmly and reliably. The ejector plops empties out without launching them into the next county.

A little better view of the stock contours from the bottom side.

The trigger guard and magazine are polymer, will not rust and will no doubt feed more reliably than metal pieces over the long haul. The magazine stacks cartridges straight up and down and serves them up from the center. The magazine holds 3 WSM rounds and magazines can be preloaded and stowed in jacket pockets… or shirt pockets… pants pockets work also.

The 24″ barrel has a sporter contour, rather than a boat anchor weight some manufacturers insist on hanging on anything listed as “long range”. The barrel, like the receiver and bolt handle are finished in Perma-Cote; high abrasion and corrosion resistance and non glare. The barrel has a target crown and 5/8-24 threads to accommodate a variety of muzzle devices. In this case a SilencerCo Omega 36M modular silencer.


The silencer was invented to curb firearm report, at a time when population density was increasing. I use them all of the time these days. My ears love them, my distant neighbors love them and active area hunters love them. In this case, the Omega 36M went from 300 Winchester Magnum to this 270 WSM application and seriously dampened noise without shedding velocity.

Pictured left, L-R, 270 Winchester, 270 Winchester Short Magnum and 270 Weatherby Magnum.The 270 WSM is one of my favorite high velocity big game cartridges. It is flat shooting, moderate recoiling and lethal on even large bodied game. Compared to the also excellent 270 Weatherby, the average price of WSM ammo, in comparison to the average price of Weatherby ammunition, makes WSM almost a budget round to shoot.

Factory ammunition bullet weight distribution between the 270 WSM and 270 Winchester is currently about the same; 120 grains to 150 grains. Same ammo type and weight typically gives the WSM a 260 to 300 fps edge. For the handloader, setting aside bullets intended for the 6.8 SPC, bullet weights range from 90 grains to 180 grains.

270 Weatherby brand ammunition, bullet weight for bullet weight, shows a 100 to 250 fps advantage over the 270 WSM. However, while all three noted 270 cartridge have a SAAMI homologation calling out a 24″ test barrel, Weatherby ammunition ballistics are based on a 26″ test barrel consistent with their Weatherby Mark V firearms.

Factory ammo or handloads…

I don’t shoot very much factory ammunition these days. Ammo is over prices, availability is not great, so I would rather handload for my purposes with components of choice. I this case, a selection of bullets and loads I often use for 270 WSM firearms.

Warning: Bullet selections are specific, and loads are not valid with substitutions of different bullets of the same weight. Variations in bullet length will alter net case capacity,  pressure and velocity. Primer selection is specific and primer types are not interchangeable. These are maximum loads in my firearms and may be excessive in others. All loads should be reduced by 5% as a starting point for development where cartridges have greater than 40 grains in capacity and 10% for cartridges with less than 40 grain capacity following safe handloading practices as represented in established mainstream reloading manuals. Presentation of these loads does not constitute a solicitation for their use, nor a recommendation.


Cartridge – 270 Winchester Short Magnum
Firearm Winchester XPR
Barrel Length 24″
Min – Max Case Length 2.100″ +0.000″/-0.020″
Min – Max COL 2.560″ – 2.860″
Primer CCI 250
Bullet Diameter 0.2780″ +0.000″/-0.0030″
Reloading Dies Hornady
Bullet Type  Bullet
Net H2O
COL” Powder
100 Yard
3 Shot
Group ”
Barnes Triple Shock
130 71.2 2.830 Re23 66.5 3275 3097 0.7
Barnes Triple Shock 130 71.2 2.830 Mag Pro 74.0 3293 3131 0.8
Hornady Interlock SP 130 73.2 2.785 Win 760 61.0 3252 3054 0.6
Hornady Interlock SP 130 73.2 2.785 Hybrid 100V 63.0 3267 3082 0.4
Sierra GameKing 140 71.5 2.800 Re17 61.0 3212 3208 0.5
Sierra GameKing 140 71.5 2.800 Re23 64.0 3197 3178 0.8
Nosler Partition 150 72.0 2.850 Re23 63.0 3013 3024 0.6
Nosler Partition 150 72.0 2.850 Mag Pro 69.0 3049 3097 0.7


No surprises, and that is a good thing. Every Winchester XPR I’ve shot has pretty much felt the same, shot the same and performed admirably. The Renegade in 270 WSM is more of the same.