Q: What is your honest opinion of the .257 Weatherby Magnum? How does its performance compare with the .25-06 and .257 Ackley Improved? Is the added cost of Weahterby brass worth the .257’s superiority over the smaller .25 calibre cartridges? I own a Remington Model 700 in 6mm Remington. Can it be rebarrelled and converted to .257 Weatherby?
A: In my opinion the .257 Wby is one of the finest cartridges ever designed for shooting deer such as fallow, red and rusa at long range. Len Richardson once told me that he was mighty impressed when he saw a
sambar stag shot with the .257 Wby Magnum drop on the spot as if struck by lightning. Today, the .257 Wby is not legal for sambar in Victoria. When the .257 Wby, .25-06 and .257 Improved are loaded to safe maximum pressures with 100gn bullets and fired in 600mm barrels, respective muzzle velocities will average 3500, 3300 and 3200fps. Probably more important to the deer hunter, the .257 Weatherby will boost out a 120gn bullet as fast as it is possible to drive a 100gn bullet in the .25-06. Is the extra performance worth the higher cost of the brass? Only you can answer that question. If barrel life is a worry, the .257 Wby has an average life of 1500 rounds against about 3000 for the others. The .257 also generates more recoil than the other two .25s and muzzle blast is a bit louder, but unless you are extremely sensitive to recoil that shouldn’t bother you. The action of your Remington rifle in .308 is too short to be rebarrelled to .257 Wby Magnum.