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Looking at Obscure Cartridges: The .270 R.E.N.

making 72Wildcatting on the .22 Hornet usually involves changing the shoulder and neck dimension. The excellent .22 K-Hornet adds a sharper shoulder angle for positive headspacing making it easier to obtain better accuracy. The .17 caliber wildcats on the hornet are stepped down and then fireformed. They can be a bit of work to make, but are fun little hunting cartridges that perform better than their case capacity might indicate. The .270 R.E.N. is a different duck altogether.  Click here for data and a cartridge diagram:   270 REN

tcc72Like all good wildcats, the .270 R.E.N. was created for a reason. In this case, it was made to give an unfair advantage, which is something that every competitive shooter likes to gain. NRA Hunter Pistol Silhouette competition rules stipulate that cartridges must be straight walled (no bottlenecks allowed). When Charles Rensing and Jim Rock looked at this rule, they saw opportunity.

ram72The .277 caliber bullet offers good ballistic coefficients and high sectional density; two very desirable traits when it comes to metallic silhouette shooting. The targets are heavy and distant and a hit doesn’t count unless they topple or are at least moved off their bases. Rensing and Rock also noted that .22 Hornet usually measures around .293″ at the web. A .270 bullet at the other end would measure about the same. Viola, a low-recoiling, high BC, high SD little cheater was born.

book72The .270 R.E.N. is a flat-out neat little cartridge that has a place outside competition circles. With velocities running above 1,800 fps from a ten-inch barreled T/C Contender, it is an excellent little varmint hunter. On rabbit size game, it strikes hard without being overly hard on meat. With good range estimation, it is a prairie dog hunting machine out to 200 yards and does the work with about 14-grains of powder. Best of all, it isn’t hard to make.

270RENforming72Forming a .270 R.E.N. takes a single pass through its full-length sizing die. This step forms a wasp-waisted oddball that looks like you made a mistake. Fireforming with a 10-percent reduction on the starting load will fireform the case, leaving it straight-walled measuring about .295″.fireforming72

If you have a T/C lying around in the bottom of your safe, like I do, this is a fun, odd little number that is worth the cost of a new barrel. Its low recoil make it kid friendly and its muzzle blast is mild. Here in Montana, where you most often have to make your own fun, the .270 R.E.N. fills a lot of niches.