The .257 Weatherby cartridge is a flat shooter with energy to burn at long range.

The .257 Weatherby Is A Speed King


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The .257 Weatherby cartridge is a flat shooter with energy to burn at long range.

The .257 Weatherby cartridge is a flat shooter with energy to burn at long range.


Q

I bought a Weatherby Vanguard in .257 Weatherby Magnum, attached a Kahles 2.5-10×42 scope and went deer hunting with the factory load of a 80gn Barnes TTSX which I chronographed as having a muzzle velocity of a 3860fps. The first shot I took was at a red stag standing side-on at over 300 metres. I placed the shot behind the deer’s shoulder and he dropped as if he’d been struck by lightning. The same thing happened with a fallow buck at a laser-measured 400 metres. I am overjoyed by the performance and accuracy of this oufit; 3-shot groups average 3/4 MoA and I have it sighted for a 300 metre zero. Shooting goats in open mountain country I’ve found that the bullet lands within 3 inches of where I aim out to 350 yards, and a backline hold is enough to hit at 450. That is what I’d call a real flat shooter! My next hunt is for sambar deer in southen NSW and I think that a heavier bullet would be called for. Can you suggest a better load with a heavier bullet that will guarantee deeper penetration? What distance should I zero your load for?
– Charles Whittingham

Nick’s .257 Weatherby Handloads

A
The .257 Wby Magnum is a remarkable cartridge which has an incredibly flat trajectory with enough bullet weight and retained velocity to hit hard way out yonder. And it is not unpleasant to shoot. Despite the cartridge dating back to 1945, it has few peers in the smallbore category. The Vanguard is well-made, very accurate and affordable. For sambar I’d load Weatherby’s quarter- bore magnum with with Barnes 115gn TSX FB bullet over a stiff charge of AR 2217 (try to work up to 72 grains for close to 3300fps) and see how that goes. The .257 Wby outdoes the .25-06 by 150 fps and that oldtimer is no slouch on deer. Sight in 76mm high at 100 metres for a 275m zero. The bullet is still 89mm high at 200, drops 50mm at 300, 380mm at 400 where it delivers a striking energy of 1143 ft/lbs. With the flat-shooting, super- accurate Vanguard rifle and the 115gn Barnes, the .257 Wby should handle a sambar all right as long as you take care to place the bullet in a vital area. (Note: if you intend hunting sambar in Victoria in the future, they legally mandate a minimum .270 calibre and bullet weight of 130 grains.)


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