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Shooting & Reloading - Mausers, Big Bores and others >> Rifles

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Ripp
.500 member


Reged: 19/02/07
Posts: 10151
Loc: Montana, USA
Behind the bullet----.257-Weatherby Magnum
      #310800 - 22/01/18 09:54 AM

https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/2018/1/19/behind-the-bullet-257-weatherby-magnum/


When you hear the word ‘Weatherby,’ speed immediately comes to mind. The signature double-radius shoulder, the belt of brass which hearkens back to its roots in the Holland & Holland cartridges, and huge case capacity are all attributes of the Weatherby series of cartridges. Roy Weatherby began developing the line of cartridges that would bear his surname during the latter part of the World War II, using the .300 H&H Magnum as a basis for his designs.

Weatherby initially shortened the case length to roughly 2.5 inches—allowing them to function perfectly in a standard long-action receiver—for his cartridges below .30 caliber. While the .270 Weatherby Magnum is believed to be the first of the line, the .257 was one of the earlier developments, bettering the ballistics of the .257 Roberts, .250/3000 Savage and then-wildcat .25-06 Remington, by a considerable amount.

The desire to drive a .25 caliber bullet as fast as possible is rather evident throughout cartridge history. The sedate .25-20 Winchester came to light in the mid-1890s, and that bore diameter got a serious facelift in 1915 with the release of the .250/3000 Savage—it was the first commercial cartridge to break the 3,000 fps barrier (albeit with a light-for-caliber 87-grain bullet), and its effectiveness on deer and similar-sized game remains evident to this day. The .257 Roberts—a necked down 7x57mm Mauser case—gave even more case capacity, and corresponding higher velocities. Both are classics, and both are sound designs.

However, the .257 Weatherby Magnum took things to an entirely different place. It will drive even the heaviest .25 caliber bullets—the 117- and 120-grain slugs—to a muzzle velocity of between 3,300 and 3,400 fps, depending on barrel length and manufacturer. This results in a cartridge with a very flat trajectory, and all sorts of kinetic energy for its bore diameter. The belt on the .257 Weatherby serves no purpose whatsoever—it is nothing more than a carryover from the H&H parent case. The double radius shoulder handles all the headspace duties, so that brass belt is for looks alone.

While all that velocity is a benefit for the trajectory, the case capacity of the .257 Weatherby does come with some issues. One, the huge powder charges—often approaching 75 grains of powder—and high velocity will raise hell with the throat of your barrel. The best option to extend barrel life is to do your best to keep that barrel cool—give it some time between shots from the bench. Two, the cartridge is seriously overbore, in fact it’s one of the most overbore on the market. During load development with my buddy’s .257 Weatherby, we could see a bright flame, even under the noon sun, with every shot. A long barrel, say 26 inches or so, will help to get that huge powder column burned within its confines, so you can maximize the capabilities of Roy’s design.

Weatherby ammunition has been, for decades, made by Norma of Sweden, and that’s a good thing. High quality, uniform brass aids in accuracy, and the tolerances that Norma adheres to means very, very few cartridges will fail to function properly—I’ve never had a single misfire from a Norma cartridge. You’ll want a premium bullet for anything larger than a deer, as the high velocities will definitely put a strain on your projectile, especially on the closer shots.

Factory ammunition is available from Weatherby, Nosler, Hornady and Norma, and bullet weights run from 90 grains up to 120 grains, with all sorts of choices for the hunter. The Hornady 90-grain GMX is a sweet monometal affair, fully capable of withstanding the high impact velocities this cartridge can generate. Cruising at 3,550 fps, this should settle the score pretty quickly, and as there’s no jacket or core to separate, penetration will be guaranteed. Hornady also offers the 110-grain ELD-X bullet, which has proven to be ridiculously accurate in many of my rifles (albeit in different calibers), and should be the same in this caliber. Nosler offers the AccuBond, Ballistic Tip and Partition, so you can have a choice of performance suited to the game you’re after. Weatherby lists, among others such as the Nosler projectiles, the Barnes TTSX bullet at 80 and 100 grains; not only are these bullets strong, but the lighter weight will allow for an increase in velocity.



Should you choose to handload the .257 Weatherby, you’re definitely going to want to choose the slowest burning powders, and spark it with a good large rifle magnum primer. RL-25, IMR7828, and other slow burners have all given good results in the .257, though I will note that bullet seating depth can play an important role in finding the best accuracy.

The limits of the .257 Weatherby are essentially up to the shooter. Roy Weatherby used this cartridge to kill a rhinoceros—though I would highly advise against such utter foolishness—but I feel that elk and perhaps moose represent a better top end of game animals, again, when mated with premium bullets. Nonetheless, if you’re a fan of the quarter-bores, the .257 Weatherby Magnum will perform above and beyond what you’d normally expect from this bore diameter.

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ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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Homer
.400 member


Reged: 07/04/09
Posts: 2272
Loc: Canberra, Australia
Re: Behind the bullet----.257-Weatherby Magnum [Re: Ripp]
      #310852 - 23/01/18 07:54 AM

But I like their cartridges....... especially the .257.

Doh!
Homer

--------------------
"Beware the Lolly Pop of Mediocrity,
Lick it Once and You Will Suck Forever"


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Daryl_S
.577 member


Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 17991
Loc: Beautiful British Columbia, Ca...
Re: Behind the bullet----.257-Weatherby Magnum [Re: Homer]
      #310855 - 23/01/18 08:30 AM

Roy Weatherby claimed to have killed a Cape Buffalo with a single shot of his .257 WTBY, by merely making a glancing blow to the buff's hip. The picture of this kill, was used in his adds for years - I saw a blown up add and studied it, back in 1975. The camera was a good one, for detail. The (WTBY) should have "re-touched" the photo.

I'm not sure who the PH was in the picture with Roy, but the PH's SXS .470, along with Roy's .257 MK5(I think) were in the picture, with Roy pointing at the splash wound on the buff's rear leg. The bullet blew up on the surface. He claimed " the .257 WTBY's incredible hydrostatic shock killed this buffalo".

Evident in the picture, below where the PH was standing, were 2 holes in the hide of the front leg/shoulder, obviously from the .470 with a trickle of blood coming out of one of the holes - the rear-most hole, iirc. There was perhaps 1 to 1 1/2" of hide between the holes. They were obvious and just left of the rifle's muzzle, when leaning up against the buff.

That kind of soured me on WTBY and is rifles.

BTW - John Buhmiller was the originator of what became the .460 WTBY. Roy was in John's shop and took one of John's cases that he had made up for the wildcat .458 he was working on. Lester H. Hawkes, close friend and mentor to me in those days, was in John's shop that particular day. Les related this story to me back in 1976, in Smithers.

I hate to be a spoil-sport, but that is my 'history' with wtby.

I, ahh, do own a Vangard today, in .243 Win. They also had it in .257, but I chose the 6mm instead.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Ripp
.500 member


Reged: 19/02/07
Posts: 10151
Loc: Montana, USA
Re: Behind the bullet----.257-Weatherby Magnum [Re: Homer]
      #310906 - 24/01/18 07:51 AM

Quote:

But I like their cartridges....... especially the .257.

Doh!
Homer




ME TOO...
As I have stated on here many times, the .257 Weatherby is HELL ON WHEELS.. my first experience ever seeing one used was when I first moved to Montana almost 30 years ago..guy smacked a pronghorn at over 600 yards..

I tried numerous factory Weatherby rifles however none ever shot well enough so I built my own..built 2 actually ..both with Hart barrels..they shoot very very well...use them still for deer and antelope..would not hesitate in the least to shoot an elk, caribou or black bear with one...using 100gr Barnes Triple Shocks..3675-3700fps...what's not to love...have used Nosler ballistic tips before on pronghorn...well enough for them but too much speed to use them on anything much bigger...

Ripp

--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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MagnumHunter
.275 member


Reged: 06/07/04
Posts: 52
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Re: Behind the bullet----.257-Weatherby Magnum [Re: Ripp]
      #319000 - 11/08/18 12:49 PM

I have a Vanguard that is incredibly accurate with factory ammo. I'm sure I could not beat it with handloads. Its the 100 grain Norma bullet. Just bought some of the factor stuff to build a stockpile of brass. Found it liked it. But, I have never shot a game animal with it....yet.

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Ripp
.500 member


Reged: 19/02/07
Posts: 10151
Loc: Montana, USA
Re: Behind the bullet----.257-Weatherby Magnum [Re: MagnumHunter]
      #319129 - 17/08/18 10:51 PM

25-06 vs 257 Weatherby..head to head comparison..

https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/...atherby-magnum/

--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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Postman
.375 member


Reged: 25/09/13
Posts: 581
Loc: Canada
Re: Behind the bullet----.257-Weatherby Magnum [Re: Ripp]
      #319133 - 17/08/18 11:41 PM

The .257 Bee is a wonderful overbore cartridge. It’s a pity that Weatherby rifles are generally not so accurate. The Accumark is the exception with a free float Krieger button rifled barrel - maybe not a true match grade barrel like a cut rifled and hand lapped barrel, but a good barrel none the less.

I have a .257 Ultramark with incredibly pretty wood. It shoots ok but I wouldn't dare call it a tack driver. As an experiment I got an Accumak stock and swapped out the Ultramark fancy pimp wood in order to do a quick free float to see if the .257 would shoot better when free floated. Much to my suprise, th gun went from ho hum accuracy to absolutely abysmal!!!!!

I’ve never before seen a situation where forend pressure actually was required to make a rifle shoot with acceptable hunting accuracy. Original stock = 1.5 MOA; Free float = 6+ MOA.

I put the original wood stock back on the rifle and called it a day. It is again an absolutely beautiful rifle with ho hum accuracy by today’s standards. Give me a good Sako any day of the week if I want incredibly stellar accuracy and good build quality, all for a reasonable price.

Edited by Postman (17/08/18 11:47 PM)


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