257 Roberts vs 25-06

curtism1234

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I'm looking at buying a Kimber select grade rifle and thought a nice wood stock ought to be chambered in a classic round. In looking at the available choices, I have narrowed it down to the 257 roberts, 25-06, and 30-06. The 06 is not my question however.

The 257 roberts has always intrigued me. However, it always suffered from its competition like the 25-06. I assume comparing the two would be like comparing the 308 to the 30-06.

Rifle weight wise, the 257 is 5 pounds 12 ounces, a little light and hopefully not a problem shooting with the forearm unsupported. The 25-06 is 6 pounds 3 ounces and is probably just a perfect weight scoped.

Do you think the 25-06 offers a significant enough advantage over the 257 on game up to 300 pounds that one should just go with the faster more powerful cartridge? Or does the 257 still hold a special place in your heart and gets the job done?

Finally an odd question. If a rifle is marked 257 roberts and your ammo is marked 257 roberts +p, does that pose any problems for international travel - particularly Africa?

Thanks all
 

375 Ruger Fan

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Divernhunter

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If you hand load then get the 257R. I have both and get within 100-150FPS of my 25-06 using the same 100-120gr bullets. The 257R will work well on game over 300lbs as my daughter has taken Kudu, Blue Wildebeest and Red Hartebeest with hers and all were no tracking one shot kills at ranges from about 100 to 325 yards. She has also taken deer, hogs, warthogs with it. I load 100gr Swift Scirroco, 120gr A-Frames and sometimes 100gr Nosler PAR bullets for her.
The lighter rifle will be more of a joy to carry and it will shoot well also
You will have not trouble with the +P headstamp on your ammo. We did not.
I have shot both on game and the 257R does everything my 25-06 does with less recoil, noise.
I would like to find 2 more Ruger Tang Safety rifles in 257R to set up for my 2 grandchildren. If not I probably will get a couple of Tikka T-3 Lites in 6.5. I still have time since they are 3 years and 6 months old.
 

008

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B379C93C-2CA7-4C40-B1AA-24C8433A42FF.jpeg
I really wanted a quarter bore and debated between these two as well as the weatherby. After tons of reading and analysis of rifles available, I went with the Roberts in a repeater action from Cooper. I couldn’t be happier, though I’m sure the others would be just as grand.
 
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rookhawk

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The .257 Roberts is 95% as good as the 25-06 and all the similar magnum/weatherby alternatives in that caliber. It is a great, low recoil, smooth option.

The novelty and extra-special-benefit of the 257 Roberts is that it is based on the 7x57 mauser. All you need to do is take a Mauser and rebarrel it and you have a correctly feeding 257 roberts. Thus, the huge, huge benefit is that you can score a vintage custom 257 roberts that would take $4000-$10,000 to create for peanuts, because someone else paid for the mega-custom mauser. A bit of poking around would find you an incredibly superb mauser actioned gun in 257 Roberts.
 

flatwater bill

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I have owned two 257 Robts and two 25-06's. I had problems with both Roberts, and this is rarely discussed, even in the good articles, like the one noted by Chuck Hawks. The Roberts that I owned, like most, were on the same action length as the 25-06. One of them had no magazine block, and cartridges often tipped in the magazine, or worked their way forward in the mag. Cartridges usually feed best when the case head is pushed back in the magazine, and so it was with this rifle.....not feeding well at times. The Win 70, also on an 06 length action, had a magazine block so short that even 100 grain bullets required such deep seating that accuracy was effected. I solved my problem by getting a short action 250 Savage, and a Ruger 77 in 25-06. I have no specific knowledge of the Kimber 257 Roberts. I know it is sacrilege.... but I could not appreciate the difference between any of them in the field.......FWB
 

Divernhunter

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The 257R I had(my daughter has it now) was a tang safety Ruger and I (or her) have never had any feeding problems with it using Nolser Swift or Barnes bullets. I also loaded sper, hornady and rem bullets for her to shoot at the range. Bullet weights were from 60grs to 120 grains.

I really like the 257R in my Encore pistol.

That all said Of the 257R, 25-06 and 257W I like my 257W the most in a rifle. For beginners I really like the 257R and even for most hunting by anyone the 257R works just fine.
 

flatwater bill

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I also had a tang safety Ruger in the 25-06, and foolishly traded it away for one of the wing safety models.....77R...Yeah it was one custom and one Win push feed that gave the feed problems............FWB
 

Divernhunter

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My 25-06 as well as the 257R and 300win mag, 7rem mag which I rebarreled to 264win mag, 30-06Ultra Lite, 338win mag and a 6mm Rem all are tang safety M77 rifles. I recently sold the 6mm.
I really like the tang safety M77 rifles.
I also like the Ruger American rifles for a cheaper rifle. Shot a bunch of them at the range and no a single one that was not accurate.
The Tikka T-3 Lites are also excellent I have one in 7-08 and 6.5X55 and my daughter has one in 308win. Shot a number of them and not a dog in the bunch.
 

Edge

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Have both, it’s a .308 (or 300 savage) vs 30-06 argument.

My first whitetail buck was with a 25-06, that Sako won’t leave my safe until I’m 6 feet under.

For 25-06 recommend premium bullets due to the velocity. You can use standard cup and core for 257 Roberts in the heavier weights.
 

meigsbucks

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I have a Kimber Montana in .257 Roberts. I wanted to use bullets heavier than 100 gr as in my opinion, that is why you choose the .257 over a .243. However, I had a heck of a time getting it to shoot. The 115 Nosler Partition does about two inches at best. Same for the 110 Nosler Accubond. The Sierra 120 HPBT is about 1.5". Then I read about a guy using the 115gr Barnes TSX with H Hybrid 100V. Bingo! .94" and 2920 fps. Now this rifle was pre-minute of angle guarantee.
I've also taken a few head with a .25/06. To get a real advantage over the Roberts you need a 24 or 26" barrel.
Both would be good for game up to 300#. The real question is at what ranges will you be shooting? 300 yds and under, take your pick (my vote: .257). Over 300 yds.: .25/06.
 

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I am a die hard 25-06 fan. I got one when they 1st came out and the 257 Rbts was already an old caliber. I burnt the pipe out of my 1st 25-06 and am now on my 3rd. I have killed 9 Elk with this caliber as well as a ton of Deer and Black Bear. Then I picked up a 257 Rbts for nostalgia. Have only killed a few Deer and Black Bear with it but has worked great. Handloads for the Rem are 120 Nos Part and for the Rbts are 100 Nos Part. Not much diff. and both are great calibers. When I really want to shoot long range I use my 257 Weatherby.
 

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I used a .257 Roberts win M70 push feed featherweight for many years, shot a bunch of deer and a bear with it. Accuracy was temperamental to say the least. It was very fussy with loads and didn't like any factory loads. Was mostly satisfied with the results on game. Then I got a .25-06 Sako AV. The 25-06 is easier to load for, faster, no more recoil, slightly but not noticeable more muzzle blast, easier to buy good factory ammo for, and is more accurate. Seems to kill deer just a teeny bit faster, but that may be my imagination. I won't buy another Roberts.
 

BWH

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There was an interesting article years ago on the .25 calibers..... actually it was an study done on about 1000 deer harvested in Texas. Of all the deer shot, with calibers ranging from 223-300+.... the average recovery distance was significantly less with the .25’s than all the rest. I’m sure that it had to do with animal, distances & performance of that medicine. Works magically. Sorry for going of topic a bit. Great calibers.
 

rookhawk

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There was an interesting article years ago on the .25 calibers..... actually it was an study done on about 1000 deer harvested in Texas. Of all the deer shot, with calibers ranging from 223-300+.... the average recovery distance was significantly less with the .25’s than all the rest. I’m sure that it had to do with animal, distances & performance of that medicine. Works magically. Sorry for going of topic a bit. Great calibers.

I hate to give any evidence or ground to Roy Weatherby's philosphy (above all, speed kills) because I'm of the 7x57/6.5x55 philosophy (heavy for caliber bullets with long hang time kills animals). However, if the data you are sharing is true and complete, it would suggest that at least for .25 caliber bullets that are moving in a STABLE manner are definitely moving at higher velocity, therefore it is the impact sheer and hyrdostatic shock that is contributing to the higher efficacy of the .25s over the larger calibers.

Again, I don't like the ideology of Roy Weatherby that would be supported by the above defense, so I'd have to question whether there is a bias towards poorer shot placement by those that buy and use larger caliber rifles than there are towards the smaller "surgical" calibers like .25s. Entirely possible.
 

BWH

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Agree.... no bias here.... just stating results of study. As I’m sure there were many factors. However, in the end.... dead is dead... and the .25’s won that study hands down. Bear in mind I do not own one. Would love too.... however, between 223s, 6.5, 270, 3006, 308, etc. already in safe.... no significant need.
 

Nosler guy

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we have both and they are both great cartridges - the .257 we currently have will shoot 115 gr Nosler Partitions into a ragged hole all day long at a bit over 3000 fps , struggle to get the same accuracy out of our 25-06

I use the Roberts as my varmint rig with 87 gr bullets - a bit on the heavy side, but extremely accurate and fun to shoot
 

Ray B

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I've read the reason 257 were underloaded; it seems to me that the reason was that the rifles rebarrelled to it originally were pre-98 Mausers; which is a problem not faced by any modern rifle; so P+ ammo is perfectly suitable.

I have the choice of five rifles in 257 caliber. Three are Roberts, one each Ackley Improved and Weatherby. the Weatherby is a completely different breed, not because of the cartridge but due to the rifle- It has a 28" heavy taper barrel and other stuff so it's not your everyday hunting rifle. The Ackley was built from the ground-up using an FN Commercial 98 action. It's is very competitive to any of those lightweight super featherweight rifles. It has added velocity over the Roberts, but I don't hear any complaints from the deer that were shot with it about the difference between it and the Roberts. the three Roberts are old and heavy by present day expectations. One is a Remington 30-S and the other two are original Model 70s. they have 24" barrels so the velocity nearly matches the Ackleys 21". Having hunted the steep mountains with the Ackley I would have difficulty justifying leaving it home for one of the Roberts, but that choice is a function of the rifle, not the cartridge. At times I think I'd have been better off to have the chamber cut as a Roberts, but both perform flawlessly.

With regard to the hydrostatic shock- it needs a little explanation. One claim is that the impact of the high velocity bullet pushes against the blood, causing it to push like water through a pipe from the impact site to the various organs in the circulatory system, mainly the brain and heart. The theory being that the shooter could put the bullet far from any vital organs and the impulse transmitted from the impact site through the blood veins and arteries caused fatal injuries to the brain, heart and lungs. I have seen no evidence that would support this theory.

The second aspect is that the bullet kills by shock transmitted in the form of energy from the bullet to the tissue of the game animal. The bullet strikes and meets resistance thus transferring it's energy as it is slowed. this transfer causes a shockwave generally spherical in shape that radiates from the point of impact. the tissue is stretched away from the impact point until the energy passes through the animal, at which time the tissue springs back to somewhat its original shape; however the tissue and organs affected by the process have been ripped apart- this is the part when you open the deer up and see the front should completely bloodshot. the 257 Weatherby was so effective at this because it was the optimum amount of bullet and velocity. It provided sufficient mass that it was able to proceed beyond the outer flesh, but it was light enough that animals the size of deer provided sufficient resistance to stop the bullet at a rate that resulted in the tissue tearing shockwave. Differing from the first aspect is that the shockwave needed to include the vital organs rather than relying on the circulatory system to transport it.

I don't have any problem with the 25-06 but I see no real advantage to it compared to either the Roberts or the Ackley. Deer that I have shot with it that were undisturbed prior to the hit would go down so fast that their feet were pointed into the air as their body slammed to the ground. Due to the .257" optimum diameter and bullet weight plus the Roberts velocity level that provides for sufficient force on target, reasonable trajectory and recoil, that is the reason I consider it the best cartridge available for game animal less than 300 pounds live weight and distances of 3-400 yards (depending on weather conditions).
 

GeoffB

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I have three 25 cals - .257 Roberts, .25-06 and .257 Weatherby. Out of the three I prefer the .257 Rob.
The Roberts is a classic cartridge that has mild recoil but punches well above its weight.
I have used it mostly on feral pigs, fallow and red deer over the last 30 years and have not noticed much difference in killing power between the Roberts and the .25-06 with well placed shots out to 200 yards.
My bias towards the .257 Rob is probably because I was looking for a cartridge milder than the .270 to handle pigs and fallow deer in the areas I was hunting.
It was a perfect fit for small to medium size deer then as it is today.
My favorite bullets in the Rob are the 115gr Nosler Partition and 117gr Sierra BTSP.
But if you are not a hand loader then the .25-06 has a much larger range of factory loads to choose from.
 

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