Hell’s Personal Cartridge: My Protracted Affair With The .257 Weatherby Magnum

The longest distance I’ve ever pushed in sooner or later—656 miles—I drove as a way to get my palms on a .257 Weatherby Magnum. It was at Creekside Gun Store close to Rochester, NY, and the great man mentioned on the phone that this one had some piece of wooden, and that I actually had higher seize it quick earlier than another person did. That was all I wanted to listen to. It was 1966, and I used to be as poor as owl dung, however I scraped collectively each cent I had and off I went to Creekside.

The inventory was as marketed. Within the 1960s, Weatherby Mark V shares might be useless plain, or have a little bit determine, or be fancy sufficient to induce glaucoma; it was all luck of the draw. Being a woodchuck hunter on the time, I proceeded to place collectively some handloads with 87-grain Hornady Spire Level bullets and a munificent cost of the outdated H4831, and was astonished when the .257 put 5 photographs into an inch. Again then, you didn’t see minute-of-angle teams from big-game rifles.

I discovered, nonetheless, that as a woodchuck rifle for farmland, it was method an excessive amount of—an excessive amount of energy, and particularly, an excessive amount of noise. One farmer, who was used to me popping away in his pasture with a .222, got here out in a terrific sweat once I fired the .257 to ask if my rifle had exploded.

So I bought it. As John Barsness has identified, the gun-writing enterprise is a merciless mistress that permits us to maintain only a few rifles, except we’ve tons and many cash. It’s a must to preserve turning them over as a way to acquire the mandatory expertise.

After that, I had at the very least two extra Mark Vs in .257 Weatherby, they usually left, too, and now I’ve acquired my fourth or fifth, as a result of when the Nice Vary Officer within the Sky says that I’ve accomplished my final leg, I’d wish to have one readily available. This one is even prettier than the 1966 rifle.

Roy Weatherby launched the .257 into his household of cartridges in 1948. The opposite .25s available on the market then had been the .250/3000 Savage, which was the primary spherical to crack the three,000 fps barrier, the .257 Roberts, which was dreadfully underloaded then as it’s now, and the .25/06, which was strictly a handloading proposition. Ballistically, the Weatherby spherical was mild years forward of the opposite three. It was like dropping a Corvette Z06 in amongst a pack of Hupmobiles.

The .257 was Roy Weatherby’s favourite. In the present day, it’s both the second or third hottest cartridge within the lineup. It’s an exceedingly flat shooter, however with out the recoil of the larger-caliber magnums. Should you can deal with a .30/06, you’ll be able to deal with this spherical (the muzzle blast, nonetheless, tends to be ferocious). After I accepted that it was a lot too highly effective for varmints (apart from coyotes, on which it excels) I restricted myself to 120-grain Nosler Partitions and located lasting nirvana.

Weatherby says its manufacturing unit ammo propels this bullet at three,300 fps, and I recall that the purpose clean vary is one thing like 350 yards. Weatherby, by the way, has all the time been useless sincere about their velocities, in all probability as a result of they’ve by no means had something to cover. If you wish to do the range-compensating-scope dance, you’ll be able to far exceed that.

How does the .257 stack up towards its new small-diameter cousin, the 6.5/300? On the one hand, the latter spherical will significantly outrange the previous one; the bullets are heavier, of far increased ballistic coefficient, and go significantly sooner. Then again, the 6.5/300 isn’t any delight to shoot. Its whopping powder cost produces a cataclysmic report and a good quantity of recoil. Additionally, the ammo prices much more.

And, does one purchase the standard wood-stocked Mark V or the synthetic-stocked Accu-Mark? Should you’re taking a look at it from a sensible standpoint, the Accu-Mark is the way in which to go. When Weatherby says “Accu” they don’t seem to be kidding. These heavy, synthetic-stocked, fluted- stainless-steel-barreled tackdrivers are the final phrase in lethality. However I bought a conventional Mark V Deluxe with a really fairly inventory and French, or skipline, checkering. It’s a lot too shiny to be a sensible searching rifle. So what? I’ve sufficient sensible searching rifles.

Sensible isn’t all the things.

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