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257 Ideas please !!!

257 Ideas please !!!
« on: June 18, 2019, 01:44:44 AM »
Hey guys,

Please be gentle with me this is my first post !

I have been working with my .257 Mark V for about 12 months and today received the news that the barrel is indeed dead. A sad day as I bought the rifle second hand ,I have therefore not had the joy of this high performance calibre.

I live at the end of the world as far as shooting is concerned  - Western Australia, where most firearms parts almost impossible to get !.

I have found a smith that will replace the barrel in 257, but advised that barrel life would probably only be around 600 rounds, before accuracy would be affected.

As a re barrel is required, I am considering what other calibres I could easily convert this rifle to that would have a better barrel life expectation. An easy conversion needs to involve a bit of machining but no parts. Has anyone re-calibred a 257 WM ?? If so to what calibre ?

The 6.5/300 is interesting, but the smith does not have a reamer! If i change calibre. I am probably looking at a more traditional calibre - 300 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag, 300 H&H.

I have a 308 and 22.250, so somewhere to 6.5 to 7 mm is of most interest.

Just putting it out there - what are your thoughts.



Ben 257

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Re: 257 Ideas please !!!
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2019, 03:17:12 AM »
Tell the gunsmith to mind his own business and go back with 25 cal barrel and chamber in 257 Weatherby mag.You won't regret it.
Remember 10534

Sorry... Yesterday was the last and final day for any and all complaints whatsoever.

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Re: 257 Ideas please !!!
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2019, 05:14:26 AM »
I think your new barrel would last longer than 600 rounds. Regardless...you could easily go with a 7mm Weatherby Mag or 7mm Remington Mag.

In theory, both would have longer barrel life than the 257 Weatherby Mag. You can generally get less expensive ammunition for a 7mm Remington Mag.
JK

danno50

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Re: 257 Ideas please !!!
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2019, 07:39:50 AM »
I'm sure someone will chime in with a lengthy and detailed explanation on barrel burnout and the whole complex story, but here's what I know. Some overbore are hotter than others, but life expectancy of any barrel depends largely on a few different factors. You pay a price for the ultra high velocity and high powder charges of a large case with small, so to speak bullets. Throat erosion most times will happen first as that's the area that gets the most heat. Anyway, things that will prolong barrel life are allowing a proper length of time between shots at the range (cooling) not always using the hottest loads (using them on hunts rather than at the range) and using a good cleaning regiment, not over cleaning or improper cleaning will also help to extend the life of the barrel greatly.( use BTE as a copper cleaner ) I would think 600 rounds might get you burn out if you abuse your rifle. A closer estimate for a overbore burnout as a hunting rifle, (257 is not a target rifle) I would think would be closer to 1200+ rounds. Accuracy loss doesn't come overnight, if you take good care of your rifle. I would definitely stay with the 257 Wby caliber and you'll enjoy everything the 257 is capable of, and enjoy your rifle for a long time.
BTW, Welcome to the Nation!
« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 07:56:42 AM by danno50 »
DosEquisShooter

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Re: 257 Ideas please !!!
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2019, 10:09:33 AM »
I echo what everyone else is saying. Just take extra care to treat her right once she is back from the Smith but other than that, full speed ahead with the .257WBY re-barrel!
You cant catch a fish without a hook in the water....

zonie

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Re: 257 Ideas please !!!
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2019, 10:53:53 AM »
6.5 x 300 and other high performance over bore cartridges  will most likely burn a barrel just as fast as the 257.   personally I would leave it a 257 and when the barrel starts showing accuracy loss from higher round count I'd put another 257 barrel on.  You can burn a high performance caliber barrel in as little as 200 rounds if you tried to by rapid firing,  and not letting it cool down,  basically abusing the barrel,  if you take care of it and clean it correctly it will last.  I've got well over 1000 rounds in mine and still shoots good,  It's not a match barrel so I'm not comparing  the accuracy to a bench rest rifle but rather a normal hunting rifle,  it still shoots 1/2 " @ 100 yds. 

Re: 257 Ideas please !!!
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2019, 12:28:23 PM »
Welcome to the Nation Ben. Yep, leave her as a 257 Weatherby.
Roger
Faster horses,younger women,older whiskey,and more money.

.257

Re: 257 Ideas please !!!
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2019, 05:24:17 PM »
.257

eford

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Re: 257 Ideas please !!!
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2019, 05:35:18 PM »
.257 Wby in my opinion is the way to go. If you think you must get a larger caliber, then the 7mm Weatherby is the #2.
Opinions will vary. Access to brass can be a serious issue, and in that regard the 257 Wby is the one I would get.
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Every man needs to know his limits.

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Re: 257 Ideas please !!!
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2019, 06:58:53 PM »

I agree . .257 and 7 Bee are my favorites.

Best Regards, Mike

.257 Wby in my opinion is the way to go. If you think you must get a larger caliber, then the 7mm Weatherby is the #2.
Opinions will vary. Access to brass can be a serious issue, and in that regard the 257 Wby is the one I would get.
Best Regards, Mike

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Re: 257 Ideas please !!!
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2019, 07:25:48 PM »
Oh Ben you poor soul! I pity you living in WA. That is THE worst state to live in if your a firearms enthusiast. I am not that much better as I am in NSW. But it is still a hell of a lot better than WA.
Anyway onto your dilemma, Tell that gunsmith he is talking out of his arse! You will get at least double that round count out of a new .257 Wby barrel. But you must not abuse it. Sure you can burn the barrel out in a very short time, but if you are to use this rifle just for hunting then that barrel will last for years. So yep I agree with all the others that say wack a new .257 Wby barrel on her and enjoy the flat trajectory and plenty of down range power of Roy's favourite caliber.

But in saying that, I could only imagine how hard it would be to get .257 Wby ammo over there. Do you reload?
If you don't then maybe you should rebarrel to a standard caliber like the 7mm Rem Mag or 30-06.
Then you could use it for a bit of target shooting as well. Something I wouldn't do a lot of with a .257 Wby.
What are you planning on hunting with this rifle? 
Aussie gun nut.

Re: 257 Ideas please !!!
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2019, 09:00:33 PM »

One thing to think about is that you are not going to get a new barrel from Weatherby unless you send it to them and have them remove the old and install the new. However, if your gunsmith has the correct (and sharp) reamers (primary and final) then you can get a Lilja barrel that would be every bit as good as an original Weatherby.

That said, given the comments from your gunsmith, I would probably choose to have Weatherby rebarrel it. Don't quote me on this but I think it's about 450.00 for a new barrel and I'm not sure how back logged they are now so it might take a few months.

If you were to decide to change to a different cartridge just remember that the bolt face is for a 375 H&H case head so whatever you choose will need to use that same case head diameter.

Just so you know, I went through a similar problem a while back with a 1960's era .257. I already had way too much money in it and was really frustrated when I found bad cracks in the throat. I removed the barrel and then started watching Gunbroker.com for Weatherby barrels. I finally found one in 300 Weatherby that had been shortened to 22" and had an accubrake installed. I think I paid 150.00 for it and I consider myself very lucky to find that it was in like new condition. I also got very lucky when I installed it and the headspace was within specs.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 09:03:02 PM by HighDesertHunter »
Mark V Deluxe .257,6.5-300,300
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WASR-10/63 AK47 7.62x57
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UZI Mini Pistol 9mm
Barrett M82A1 50BMG

Re: 257 Ideas please !!!
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2019, 09:56:07 PM »
I agree with everyone else, put another 257 Weatherby barrel on it. And Welcome to the Nation!!!
Doug

Re: 257 Ideas please !!!
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2019, 11:13:42 PM »
Hey Guys,

Really appreciate the quick replies, I wasn't expecting so much support ! Some really useful opinions here.

I would love the opportunity to send it back to Weatherby for a re-barrel, however the freight and import / export issues take this option off the table. Second hand Weatherby parts - like a good barrel do not exist here, and are a big problem to import.

As far as legal requirements are concerned here, leaving it in .257 WM is the easiest path.

The smith has quoted $1050 AUS (about $750 USD) for a Stainless barrel (fitted) with a 1 in 9 twist, he also has a carbon steel 25 cal barrel in 1 in 10 twist, but this will be dearer as it will need to be blued.
Both options were a profile or 2 heavier than the standard Weatherby barrel - not sure if that helps with heat dissipation ?
I need to check what brand barrels these 2 options are ! PS - I love the bluing on the old barrel !

As the barrel was shot out before I got it, I cant comment on how it was treated or how many rounds it may have seen.
The smith advised that the first approx 6"of rifling were basically gone, and there were large pits and copper fouling issues. The current accuracy is approx 6"groups at 100 yards. Occasionally it shoots an ok group, 1.5" but this is not repeatable.

Going by the serial number it is a mid 1980's Japanese made rifle.

After understanding the issues with this barrel, and having done some load testing, I can see how important heat management and copper removal are in this calibre.

I am reloading, and have invested in 257 dies and brass, with this calibre in WA there is no factory load option.

You are giving me some more confidence in the .257 decision (there is a lot of love out there for the .257 roy), comments like this are the real world info i was looking for -

"I've got well over 1000 rounds in mine and still shoots good,  It's not a match barrel so I'm not comparing  the accuracy to a bench rest rifle but rather a normal hunting rifle,  it still shoots 1/2 " @ 100 yds" :)

As for game here - it is normally on the smaller side - Goats, Pigs small deer etc. But occasionally we may get onto Donkeys and Camels - that is where a flat shooting hard hitting calibre is really handy.

I do take your point - I am not looking for a range rifle. The range is just a good place to get a hunting rifle zeroed !

Keen for comments on the barrels - stainless or carbon steel - twist rate - profile ????
Ben 257

Re: 257 Ideas please !!!
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2019, 12:41:12 AM »
Absolutely I would blue it and match the  factory contour so that the wooden stock fits properly and so that the rifle looks as you would like it to. There is no real reason to assume that a well treated CM barrel will not last.

These days if you have good gunsmith he can Cerakote, or have this done, on a SS barrel and get a pretty good colour, but it is never like a bright blue finish. I like SS for target rifles and don't really care on a hunting rifle unless it is going to see use in horrible weather, which is uncommon here.

What barrel options to you have in Australia? I know Maddco was popular at one time and I heard guys were importing Tru Flite from NZ for F-Class. Are all Us brands available? We use a lot of Lothar Walther and they seem excellent. What are you going for?

Twist.... hmmm I do like faster twists to stabilise higher BC bullets sometimes, but the 257 was not based on this and even the Berger VLD 115gr runs in a standard twist. The .25 bore diameter, much like a favourite of mine, the .270, has not been well served by a range of high BC bullets over the years, although that is changing. At most regular hunting ranges this makes little practical difference.

I shoot cases with a belt because I feel the other cartridges need to pull their trousers up.