.257 Weatherby Magnum on 300 to 500 lbs antelopes - opinions please

One Day...

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Pascal, I don't know if you know this or not, but Roy Weatherby shot a bunch of game to include a Cape Buff with a 257 Wby. This was done way before we had the quality of the bullets we currently have. I've only killed deer & hogs with my 257, and it kills like the hammer of Thor. I have several friends who hunt Elk, and they use 270, 25-06 & 30-06 successfully every year. IMO, shot placement is the key here.
Yep, I am aware of Roy killing a buff with a behind the shoulder double-lung shot once with it, but he reportedly admitted freely that it was just to verify that it could be done, and he did not recommend it. No kidding !?!!? LOL
Shot placement Amen! But sometimes one catches the shoulder instead of slipping between two ribs just behind it, and this is why I will limit myself to the smaller stuff with the .257. My big bone crusher will remain the .340 ;-)
 
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One Day...

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... Sighting will be +3" @ 100 yd; +3.7" @ 200 yd (horizontal cross hair a bit above the belly line between 50 and 200 yd); zero @ 300 yd; -8.9" @ 400 yd (horizontal cross hair a bit above the shoulder line a 400 yd)... Pascal

Correction! I just ran the numbers in my Shooter app. If the velocity advertised by Choice Ammunition holds, it will shoot even a bit flatter: +2.6" @ 100 yd; +3.3" @ 200 yd; zero @ 300 yd; -8.0" @ 400 yd.

Not that it really matters, but just for the sake of quoting the right numbers.

This comes from the fact that Choice Ammunition advertises a higher velocity (3,387 fps) for its 120 gr A Frame load, despite its lower 0.382 BC, than Weatherby advertises for its 120 gr Partition factory load (3,305 fps) despite its higher 0.391 BC.
I will clock the load in my gun of course, and we shall know for sure ;-)
 
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Lee M

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Your set! But let’s be honest, you never intended to take only one gun. Lol. You, like many of us, enjoy talking about bullets, velocity, rifles, game, etc. and I’m glad you do as I got to enjoy this post.
 

One Day...

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Your set! But let’s be honest, you never intended to take only one gun. Lol. You, like many of us, enjoy talking about bullets, velocity, rifles, game, etc. and I’m glad you do as I got to enjoy this post.
Busted! LOL
 

cls

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Good decision, enjoy the new acquisition. My son in-law uses a 257W for critters here in northern Canada. Almost lost a moose when he had a bullet deflect off a rib and we had to track for half a day and finish the deal with my 300 H&H. He now has a 7MM Mag.
Nothing better than taking 2 guns to Africa to cover all eventualities. Good luck
 

One Day...

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... BTW, congrats on the purchase of the 257, you stole that rifle!

It was initially listed for Opening Bid at $1,000, No Reserve (hence the real expectation was known), and Buy Now at $1,600 (sure, one can always hope for a bid war). I had no use for the scope and bipod, so I asked for the naked gun. They were OK with that. I verified with them that the serial number starts with SS (that is the fail-safe test to get the true earlier US made stainless steel Mark V produced by Saco Defense, and they are just plain good, never mind the Tupperware stock easily replaced with a top notch Bell & Carlson - who actually make the stocks coming on the factory range-certified guns); I verified that the throat and barrel look good (they say they do, and a 3 day inspection period will confirm this); and I made them a reasonable offer (no point insulting people with low balling). They took it :)

GunBroker .257 Wby.JPG


PS: I have had good luck buying used guns from pawnshops. In my experience, so far, the guns are either completely trashed (easy to weed them out), or barely used. And the business model is to recover money promptly on a generally low cash investment by the shop. Mutually satisfying deals can be made :)
 
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Von S.

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All right.....look at you!

Fantastic gun at a reasonable price. Now, if you can, tell me what load and bullets you will be using and why for what game?

Why? Cause I trust your judgement and experience.

Thank you.
 

One Day...

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Good decision, enjoy the new acquisition. My son in-law uses a 257W for critters here in northern Canada. Almost lost a moose when he had a bullet deflect off a rib and we had to track for half a day and finish the deal with my 300 H&H. He now has a 7MM Mag.
Nothing better than taking 2 guns to Africa to cover all eventualities. Good luck
Yep, this episode, and postmortem reasoning, are in complete alignment with our discussions in this thread.

All right.....look at you!

Fantastic gun at a reasonable price. Now, if you can, tell me what load and bullets you will be using and why for what game?

Why? Cause I trust your judgement and experience.

Thank you.
See lengthy post:
And the verdict is...
on previous page @Von S. ;-) Short answer: 120 gr Swift A Frame on antelope less than 250 lbs.
 
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PARA45

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Wow, what a great deal, and nothing beats a great deal. Again congrats. I have a stainless 7mm Wby with a fluted barrel, and it still has the topper ware stock, but she shoots so good I don't want to mess with it. I also like how lite the rifle is. I think it would be an excellent choice for a mountain rifle.

BTW, can't wait for your hunt report. Good luck!
 

One Day...

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Wow, what a great deal, and nothing beats a great deal. Again congrats. I have a stainless 7mm Wby with a fluted barrel, and it still has the topper ware stock, but she shoots so good I don't want to mess with it. I also like how lite the rifle is. I think it would be an excellent choice for a mountain rifle.

BTW, can't wait for your hunt report. Good luck!
Thank you. It will be next year, but bizarrely, I seem to slowly reach that stage in life when next year comes almost as fast as tomorrow :(

7 mm Wby is a great caliber. This was the third option in my mind (with .270 Wby the other one), but I did not want too much cross-over with the .340 so I ended up going for the two extremes (.257 & .340). This facilitates choosing which gun to take on which hunt :)

A #3 contour fluted barrel might be in this .257's future. It comes with the original #2 contour plain stainless barrel. I want to see how it shoots first. Maybe I got lucky again, as I was with the .340...

For the longest time I wanted to put a fluted barrel on the .340, I like the added cooling potential of the fluted barrel, especially on these calibers. They get hot quick... But my .340, as is, honestly shoots clover leaves at 100 yd with the .250 gr Partition (see toward middle of the page https://www.africahunting.com/threa...august-2018-plains-game-paradise.45017/page-2) so I prudently left it alone. Now that I have exhausted my stock of factory ammo with 250 gr Partition and I am restocking on factory ammo with 225 gr TTSX, we shall see how it shoots these ones.

Re. the Tupperware stock , my .340 came with it too and shot 0.75" to 1" groups with it. I put the Bell & Carlson Medalist Kevlar & Aramid stock with full length aluminum bedding block and pillars more for looks than function, and I figured that it would not break the bank ($272) if I ended discarding it because it affected accuracy. It did affect accuracy: groups shrunk to .5" to 0.75" :)
 
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Tom Leoni

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Thank you. It will be next year, but bizarrely, I seem to slowly reach that stage in life when next year comes almost as fast as tomorrow :(

Heh. We humans seem to perceive time relatively rather than absolutely. I remember my elementary school time when 1 year (1/7th of my life back then) seemed to last an eternity. Now, at 1/50th+, I barely have time to remember how old I've turned, that I need to add another year. Suddenly, though, a hunt scheduled 1 & 1/2 years away seems just around the corner.
 

Lee M

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Lee M,

I am happy that you got your cripple and who would have ever thought that could happen with a 7mm Mag at 100 yards without the bullet having blown up to cease penatration?

If the 264 Win Mag that I use on speed goats, Mulies and white tails in Texas that nicely takes these 100 to 200 pound + animals then my thought is how can a 7mm mag be so much more powerful as to warrant a clean kill of an animal 5 times heavier simply because of a .5 mm diameter raise? BUT it does every year many thousands of times over as the 7mm is one hell of a reliable elk , moose ,and bear round.

My guess is that you couldn't duplicate that again in 1000 years and like they say in baseball when a gust of wind blows a ball headed for a home run back into the field and is caught, "You was robbed".

I have 7's and use them often on smaller big game at long distance where I can go on the bipod.

I really liked your adventure and your telling of it.

Thanks.

That elk is hanging on the wall at my neighbors house next door to me. He allows to come over to see it often. . In all honesty I’m glad he got it. I had a sick feeling in my stomach knowing it was wounded.

I agree it would be hard to duplicate that result of that shot. Just bad luck.
 

One Day...

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Update - Project complete!

With no more than the usual expected setbacks, the project is now complete. The .257 Wby (bottom with tan stock) is complete and has joined its bigger .340 Wby sister (top with green stock) to materialize my idea of the near ideal "anything, anywhere, any-weather, hit-them-far, hit-them-hard, world-wide, non-dangerous game, matched-pair" battery.

Both are Weatherby Mark V true stainless earlier models (not the current silver coated carbon steel Weathermark); 26" #2 contour barrels; earlier stainless steel bottoms (not the current pot-metal cast bottoms); Bell & Carlson Medalist kevlar & aramid stocks with full length aluminum bedding block and pillars (not the original 'Tupperware' injection molded stocks); drilled & tapped for 8x40 base screws; and both have Zeiss Diavari Z 2.5-10x48 30 mm tube scopes in Talley bases and Screw Lock Detachable rings.

Both share what are practically the same ballistics:
.257 Wby with 120 gr A Frame sighted +2.6" @ 100 yd; +3.3" @ 200 yd ; zero @ 300 yd; -8" @ 400 yd.
.340 Wby with 225 gr TTSX sighted +3.4" @ 100 yd; +4.2" @ 200 yd ; zero @ 300 yd; -9.8" @ 400 yd.

In both case: .257 Wby for game below 300 lbs, and .340 Wby for game above 300 lbs, the hunting application is the same: from 50 to 250 yd, horizontal cross hair on the belly line and let the bullet climb into the heart area; in the 300 yd range, dead center; and in the 400 yd range horizontal cross hair on the shoulder line and let the bullet drop into the lungs.

.257 & .340 Wby.JPG


Yeah, I too prefer linseed oil hand-rubbed walnut and rust-blue custom guns, but I had French walnut turn into a warped, gray plank, and rust-blue turn into plain rust after 3 days of uninterrupted rain in a fly camp in Newfoundland; and I had a $10,000 custom Griffin & Howe rifle turn into a stack of kindle wood and scrap metal during airport handling. So, relatively inexpensive stainless and Kevlar it is for me, when commercial flying and distant destinations and rains are involved. Some say the high comb stock is ugly and its design accentuates recoil. I have not found it so.

You could have a similar matched pair of Rem 700 Stainless rifles in Remington Ultra Mag cartridges but I dislike the fact that the Rem 700 does NOT have a true firing-pin-locking safety. You could also go with a pair of Win 70 Classic Stainless or Savage 110 Storm rifles, but neither chamber the fast Wby/RUM/Nosler/etc. class of high velocity cartridges. Truth be told, there really is no fly on the Mark V, horror stories of hard recoil and home-gunsmithing trigger and safety butchering notwithstanding. Actually, I hope the Weatherby haters continue their rant; it makes the used Mark V really affordable ;-)

The much feared (hence maligned) .340 Wby does not recoil any harder than the currently fashionable .338 RUM, 33 Nosler or .338 Lapua, and I am just fine with it. These fast .33s are truly 'go-anywhere, do anything' calibers, if you practice enough to shoot them well. Were it not for the regulations is some African countries they would do just fine with 300 gr slugs on dangerous game too. As to the legendary .257 Wby, it needs no introduction. It flies flat enough to shoot into next county and with the right bullet it hits way out of its weight class. For hunting applications, it runs circles around the latest small-caliber fashion darling, the 6.5 Creedmoor 1,000 yd paper-puncher king. Nonetheless, like many others, I would consider it unwise to use it out of its weight class, which, in my mind goes to about 250/300 lbs.

Yep, a single .300 Wby could do it all, and it has with folks as experienced as Elgin Gates who put 152 African, 54 Asian and 26 North American (i.e. a total of 232) trophies in the books, but I like the idea of traveling with two guns - therefore having a back-up. Besides, the .340 works on Steenbok or Duiker, I know, I recently did it, but why not shoot something that recoils 70% less on these ;-)

Next step. Let's see how the .257 shoots and what load it likes. To be continued...
 
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One Day...

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I have not received yet the two loads that I am most interested in (Weatherby factory ammo 100 gr TTSX and Choice Ammunition 120 gr A Frame), but I picked up a box of the 'cheap' Weatherby factory ammo Select 100 gr Norma Spitzer at the local Sportsman Warehouse, and I could not resist doing a quick check.

A fast approaching storm front only allowed me to quickly shoot a grand total of 5 shots, 2 to sight in and 3 for a basic first group, but I think this .257 Wby is going to be a good one...

.257 Wby Select 100 gr Norma Spitzer 1st group.jpg
 

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It’s been a mighty long time since I used a 257 Weatherby. Excellent caliber and shoots like a laser.
But if you’re going to invest in a hunt particularly if it’s likely to be a once in a lifetime hunt, I really suggest a bigger caliber. Honestly why take a chance in losing an animal?
A hit at a least than perfect placement for whatever reason may be the regret of a lifetime.
 

One Day...

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It’s been a mighty long time since I used a 257 Weatherby. Excellent caliber and shoots like a laser.
But if you’re going to invest in a hunt particularly if it’s likely to be a once in a lifetime hunt, I really suggest a bigger caliber. Honestly why take a chance in losing an animal?
A hit at a least than perfect placement for whatever reason may be the regret of a lifetime.
Agreed 100% @Dr Ray. I think you may have missed the fact that the context for my view of the .257 Wby is that of a "second gun" in a plains game safari where the other gun is a .340 Wby ;-) Hence the development of a matched-pair plains-game battery as outlined in the above post :)

Should I ever be fortunate enough to consider a traditional safari of old (one can dream, right? LOL) my battery would be .257 Wby, .340 Wby, .416 Rigby, and .470 NE.
 
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rookhawk

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I think of all the weatherby calibers, you’ve found the demonstrably best. 257 and 270 present the biggest benefit and most lethality for their size. Recoil is managable. Either would be fine globally on animals up to Kudu/Elk and smaller at reasonable distances.
 
 

 

 

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