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Your opinions on the 257 Weatherby Magnum

9783 Views 24 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Mike 257
Just picked this gun up. It is slightly used, however, there is not a scratch anywhere on it and the blueing is in 100% condition. I can't tell by just looking that the gun has ever been fired. This one will fit in with my 340 Weatherby very nicely.

It is topped with a Swarovski Scope which is a very nice but extremely pricy scope. I knew nothing about this particular cartridge before I bought it but I have since done some reading.
It appears to be a pretty flat shooting gun, flatter than the 25-06 and has much more down range energy and velocity. This is a hard hitting quarter bore if what I have read thus far is correct.

I would like to hear opinions from those of you that have experience with this caliber.
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The 257 Weatherby Mag just never got off of the ground. While it's numbers look fine, even very good on paper few ever bought the thing.

In achuality the 25/06, the 257 Roberts Akly improved or even the .257 Roberts (my fav) do just fine. And the feed that you have to stuff into that Weatherby is expensive and hard to find. You'll have to either reload or get a second on your house to shoot the thing.

Weatherby rifles, however are pretty things and they do shoot well. You used to be able to buy Lee Loaders in all of their calibers, but not now. When I had a Weatherby 7mm mag I loaded for it with a Lee Loader. It was a pretty gun too, but I hated that trickle of blood that ran from my forehead and down my nose after each shot.

When I got married I sold it and bought a roll top desk....I've since given the desk away. I sorta wish I'd kept the gun.
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The ammo for this gun is high. It doesn't appear that I will have to much trouble finding it though. I found some on the shelf in Dallas at two different gun shops. I talked with one of the owners and he said he sells enough of it to keep a good selection in stock. He said that the gun has a pretty good following but not nearly as good as the Weatherby 300 mag. I gave less per box than I do for the Ultra mags that I have. I am looking forward to shooting this gun this weekend. I am impressed with what I have read so far about it.
I have read that reloading for this cartridge gives very good results but it is hard to get velocities in the reloads that you can get from factory laded ammo. I doubt I will reload for this gun anyway, I have other rifles to shoot and I will save this one most likely.
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870: I'm glad that you like your quarter inch Weatherby. I do think that it's a fine gun. Weatherby's are always fun to own and shoot. They are like custom guns.

I think that in the final analysis it shoots kind of like the 264 Winchester.

Anyway, I'd load for it. You can push out a 115 grain pill pretty hot.

Rell back in after you've shot it and describe how it shoots.
I think it is a good rifle.

The Weatherby 257 is a hoot to shoot. As mentioned before, not a pleasure to buy ammo for though. It's kind of a 25-06 on steroids. A little faster,a lot louder and expensive. A friend has one that's built for a lefty. While I've never shot it,I've been ther when he's sighting it in and it'll print.25 size holes real close together. It'll kill a deer pretty dead but no deader than my 243. In the mountains down here,this gun is out of place. I believe it's made with wide open spaces in mind and some long shots. He loads Ballistic tips for his.

There are two reasons why the 257 WBY and 264 WIN never caught on and survived well.

1. The 257 WBY is far too overbore
2. The 264 Win is far too overbore

Both are good for deer on down, IMHO, but are just a tad too small for anything up from there.

My biggest objection with the Weatherby is that they are so darned freebored that you have to push the pz out of them to get the velocity they were intended to achieve. This burns throats...

As a sheep caliber, and when used with a good 120 gr Partition so the bullet holds together sufficiently, the 257 WBY is hard to beat!! :D I used a hotrod 25/270 ICL for my Desert Bighorn, loaded with 115 Noslers at 3,300 FPS...just a bit under the WBY max ballistics. The ICLs were developed at the same time as Roy Weatherby brought out his calibers. The ICLs were chambered in custom FN action Saturn Rifles, made in Reno, NV by our neighbor across the back fence. Weatherby was a better salesman, otherwise we might just now be writing about the 257 Saturn instead of the 257 WBY. :wink: The Saturns used a sharp 45 degree shoulder. I still use a 7x57 ICL Tortilla at times. 8)

Now, realize that this opinion comes from someone who shoots coyotes with his 416 Rigby... :lol:

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The .257 Weatherby shoots about 400 fps faster than does the .257 Roberts.....But why? That's the question.
Logjam said:
The .257 Weatherby shoots about 400 fps faster than does the .257 Roberts.....But why? That's the question.
Makes it a real good open country caliber. Antelope and sheep hunting seldom afford much, if any cover for a stalk.

I was able to get to 330 yards to my antelope this year and needed the extra bit of oomph that the AKLY IMP version of the 7X57 I was shooting afforded to make a good neck shot. That extra 200 FPS gave me a slight bit of help that was necessary to keep me feeling right about trying the neck shot. A little flatter shooting caliber sometimes makes a big difference...if only adding to one's confidence level.

I absolutely love the Roberts. It is a perfect caliber for a young hunter or a woman, as it is mild to shoot and kills better than the 24s do IMHO. I got one in a Ruger 77 years ago for my son's first deer/antelope rifle...he was 12 and got both that year. As he got older I offered him a bigger caliber, but he loved his rifle and decided it was all he would ever need. We did have it re-chambered to the AKLY version, however. Guess what...? The group size shrunk by about 1/3!

For deer, antelope, and black bear the Roberts is a good choice for anyone. The WBY adds that extra reach for sheep hunting...
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Safari Guy: You sound like a much more experienced big game hunter than am I. For most of my life I've only hunted birds and varmints.

I will, therefore; defer to your opinion in the big game arena.

That being said, I too bought one of those Ruger 77's in .257 Roberts. It was one of that short run they made in 1972. Bran new it cost me $129. It's a sweet shooter. I still use it from time to time. I have the original Leopold 4 power scope on it and it's still as bright as it was 33 years ago.

What's your opinion of which power scope to use for big game hunting? Do you always use one?
What a sweet set-up you have, LJ! Those early Rugers were finished much nicer than the newer ones. If yours is a tight group shooter hang on to it for sure. The 4X Leupold is a true classic, also. I tend to use the 2X7 and 3X9 Loopys and use the 1.5X5 and 1X4 on my heavy rifles. I just sold my Sako Safari Grade 375 H& had a 1.5X5 VariXIII and a backup 3X Weaver K3 60-B.

I tend to scope almost all my rifles with something appropriate for their special uses. For hunting I have never liked anything more than a 3X9 for the most part. The exception was a nice 12ga/12ga/9,3X74r Simson drilling I had for African hunting. I had a 3X12x56 Docter Optics on that gun for shooting Leopard at night. It was a highly specialized gun, designed for hide (raised blind) hunting in Europe that was perfect for the same application in Africa. I let it go recently, also. Can't keep-em all on my wages...

I use fixed 4x and 6x scopes on all my drillings and combo guns except for a great old sidelock Charles Daley J.P. Sauer made 12/12/30-30 drilling I got a few years ago at The Big Reno Show...a fantastic gun show held twice a year here in Reno. It was a lucky find at a good price, so the budget went out the window... :oops: It didn't have a scope or claw mounts, and I have left it that way, given the limited effective range of the 30-30. Besides, it looks so nice without claw mount bases.

Your Roberts with that 4x Leupold is about as good as it gets at any price, my friend. Treasure it. As I say at times...I wish I had it and you had a better one... :D

By the way...if you reload, try 115 gr Nosler Partitions in that Ruger 257. I sold about a dozen of them to customers, and urged them to use the 115s. Those who did all came back in and thanked me. The 115 Ballistic Tip running out at 2,800 FPS is a real fine loading, also. 8)
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By the way, I like QD mounts for most all hunting rifles...and a set of sights on the rifle! I've had more than one tough hunt rescued by iron sights when the scope got buggered up... :idea:

Not all mine are that way, but the ones I take on a far away and remote hunt always are..... :idea: :idea:
By the way...if you reload, try 115 gr Nosler Partitions in that Ruger 257. I sold about a dozen of them to customers, and urged them to use the 115s. Those who did all came back in and thanked me. The 115 Ballistic Tip running out at 2,800 FPS is a real fine loading, also. 8)[/quote]

Thank you for your kind words.

I went to the Reno gun show in 2001. Pretty good show.

I live about a mile from the Nosler factory. I've met John Nosler a couple of times around town. You can buy Nosler seconds at the factory. I can get 50 for about $8.

I bought that Mod.77 .257 at Martin Rettings gun store in Culver City, CA. They couldn't sell them. I got mine at a discount. In those days the Loopy 4X scope cost $88. The gun cost $129.

I have a very nice Styer carbine that I recently bought at a local pawn shop. It's a .243; has the double triggers. It's absolutely new, cost $800. You know the gun? Has that twisty barrel. I'm not going to scope it. For one thing it's hard to get the mounts, and for another it's just so fast with the open sights.

I haven't even shot it yet.

So, you shoot double rifles? What a deal. I've never been to Africa, but I've read everythig that Robert Ruark wrote about it. Hemingway too. Sameo, sameo Peter Hathaway Capstick. All three of the guys drank themselves to death.....except for Papa of course; who bagged himself with his fav 20 gauge double while standing in his front doorway.

Made quite a mess.
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I believe it was a Spanish double...Papa was no stranger to his cups, either. His liver was shot when he shot himself. His ultimate demise is one that too often befalls those who have lead such adventurous more lost cities to more lost gold more tigers to shoot as you fall to your back with the charging tiger flying over the top of more civil wars...No more reason to live... :(
Shot the gun today. It is SWEEEET. The scope is Swarovski so ya know its good. The rifle shoots really small groups at 100 yds, shoots 1.5" groups at 200 and 2 to 2.5 groups at 300. I can't believe this rifle. It is SWWEEEETTTTT. The recoil is almost non existent but it is loud and has no muzzle brake. This thing shoots under 2.5" groups at 300 yards with factory loaded ammo. There is little to no drop from 2 to 300 yards. This is a shooter and will not be put up like the other Weatherby's I have.
The Scope is simply awesome, you really do get what you pay for with this line of optics. Roll all the scopes I have up into one and it wouldn't compare to the Swarovski's.
Now, I need to reload for this gun. I did find 2 shops in the Dallas area that carries the ammo but they aint cheap. I guess I need to get on line and get some dies.
OK, all in all, I have an unbelieveable shooter, this thing is accurate.
If I do start reloading for this:
1. Can I get the velocities out of the reloads that I can out of the factory offerings?
2. Can I get the trajectory?
Guys out at the gun club say I can't but none of them have ever shot a rifle in this caliber much less reloaded for one.
Give me your input.

I wish I could get the targets in a format so I could post them on here. I know it is hard to believe this gun shoots like it does and none of ya'll know me but this gun shoots like the devil. I am pleased.
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Hey, thats me in the above post. I forgot to log in.
Well...get it right next time!!! :evil:

OOOPS :oops:


They were probably right about getting PUBLISHED factory ballistics from your reloads...or even factory loads with the Weatherby. Wby has always been known as a bit "optomistic" regarding their published ballistics. They probably use 26" test barrels to get their velocities. :idea:

I have owned a German MKV in 300 Wby since 1969 or so and have never, ever been able to chronograph anything close to their published velocities...with my hand loads or with their factory ammo. :(

Still, you got a nice rifle at a good price in a fun caliber. You did OK, buddy. :wink: :D
Hey Luv2,
I am astonished at the groups this rifle shoots. A couple of the guys at my gun club were equally astonished but some of the others were not. They said that this particular caliber is extremely accurate and that I should be able to tighten up the 300 yard groups with practice and with the right load for that gun. I am thinking that the groups I was getting is good enough. I have had the opportunity to shoot at 300+ yards but passed on it simply because I was afraid it would run onto the adjoining property and either get away or someone else get it. I feel much more confident in taking a long shot like that with this gun. I have made shots like that on guided hunts but even the guides have wanted to close on those distances. I did take an exceptionally long shot on a pronghorn but we had been stalking it most of the day and the guide was more confident in me than I was. I put it down in its tracks but I was surprised. I am going on another pronghorn hunt next year and this 257 will be the gun I take, with a 7mmSTW as a back up gun in case something happens, you know how things can happen. The 7mmSTW is wearing a Leupold now but I am thinking I might change that out with one of the Trijicon scopes. Do you have any experience with these scopes. I like the reticle, really a lighted post. The 7mm is a custom built gun and I have really enjoyed it.
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luv2safari said:
I believe it was a Spanish double...Papa was no stranger to his cups, either. His liver was shot when he shot himself. His ultimate demise is one that too often befalls those who have lead such adventurous more lost cities to more lost gold more tigers to shoot as you fall to your back with the charging tiger flying over the top of more civil wars...No more reason to live... :(
Papa's weak spot was his hebris; his ego, if you will. He had this image of himself as being the great boxer, wonderful fisherman, hunter and lady killer. As he aged his self image began to fade and he couldn't stand it.

I've met people who knew Mary Hemingway, after Papa kicked, but I've never met anyone who met Ernest. I have sat on his bar stool at his favorite bar in Key West....can't recall it's name was in 1971. Was the bar Sloppy Joes?

I must admit that I'm fasinated by Hemingstein (as he called himself; he was very anti-semetic.) I've read Carlos Baker's bio of Hem several times. Mary, btw is still alive; at least last time I checked. She must be 100 by now. One of Hem's granddaughters killed herself a couple of years ago. Must run in the family; as Hem's dad and sister bagged themselves.
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