New Barrel for Weatherby 257 Magnum

Discussion in '6mm, 6.5mm, and .25 Cal (Not 6BR)' started by RickKr, Apr 7, 2020.

  1. RickKr

    RickKr

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    I have a Wby 257 Mag, Mark V, 1-12 twist, 24" rifle that I inherited from my late father-in-law. I had my gunsmith go through it and some other guns, also inherited. He tells me the Wby barrel is shot out - burned up. He has also said I should shoot it to see how it is.

    I am considering having him make a new barrel for it. What we have looked at so far is nominally what is available stock, Brownell's. 1-10 twist, either #3 or #4 taper. I understand the #4 would be more stiff (if I have the right) and about 1/2 pound heavier. It is already a heavy gun. I don't recall length of the barrel blank, but I didn't know at the time to consider it.

    He wants me to make him a custom bamboo fly rod. We are discussing a direct trade. It will take me some time to make the rod he wants and he some time for the barrel, as at least, the barrels are not currently in stock and the reamer has to be custom made.

    I'd like to hear thoughts and experiences with the tapers. I've read the 1-10 twist is better than the original 1-12, for heavier bullets but also that 1-9 may be even better, as well as 26" over 24". I am a rank beginner, so super accuracy is not an immediate concern, but I also don't want to needlessly constrain it since I'm going to the trouble.

    Thanks,

    Rick
     
  2. 86alaskan

    86alaskan

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    Ok rick, here's the way to go since you want to be able to do everything. go to the blackjackbullets website, order up a 1-8" twist in your desired length, and let the 257 eat. with the 1-8", you can accurately run any available 257 bullet at just about any speed you want. even if you're just going to hunt with it, that twist opens up the area of heavy copper solids, along with the excellent 131gr blackjack bullet. they have barrels in stock and ready to ship. I can speak from experience, the 131 257 bullet is no joke. It kills and is exceptionally accurate and easy to load for. even if you don't want that, you can easily load some off the shelf 115gr barnes copper bullets to some pretty flat speeds and have a nice laser beam low recoil rifle.

    best stick with a 26" for the WBY, and decide if you're going to be carrying the rifle a lot, then decide teh contour. a good light palma, sendero contour would give you decent weight without being overly heavy. or go 24" #4 and it'll be that much lighter. just know that the 257WBY will heat a thin barrel very quickly.
     
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  3. Ironworker

    Ironworker Silver $$ Contributor

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    I re-barreled my 257 Weatherby with a 10" twist Bartlein 26" . But I went with a Rem Varmint contour,its a 1/2 MOA shooter.
     
  4. RickKr

    RickKr

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    Thanks. That is some really good information. You've given me stuff to think about way beyond what I knew to consider. I'll likely have to pay the difference over the Shilen. To that, just how different would the Shilen barrels be, compared to those seemingly higher end/accuracy ones you guys mention (Bartlein/X-Caliber, etc.)? Looking at machining tolerances/specs, it is hard to tell the difference, but that is not the whole story I'm sure. I have not looked to see how what my GS was looking in the way of a Shilen barrel from Brownells compares. All I know is that he was referencing #3 vs #4 tapers, but now I know a lot more about what that means and can have a much more informed conversation with him.

    Rick
     
  5. RickKr

    RickKr

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    Looking at the Bartlein contour diagrams, the barrel currently on this Wby looks to be somewhere between the Sporter Featherweight #2 and WIN Featherweight. Very light, 2-2.6# and thin.
     
  6. Gary in MD

    Gary in MD Gold $$ Contributor

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    Don’t over think it. Get a contour that closely matches the original or a little heavier. 10” twist @ 26” long.
    Pick any of the brands mentioned, they are all quality barrels.
     
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  7. RickKr

    RickKr

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    Yes, I was coming to that conclusion. I am a bit surprised the existing barrel is so light/thin.
     
  8. FrankG

    FrankG

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    We do duplicate contours as well.

    I/we could’ve made the contour page on our website like 10 pages long. What’s listed is the most popular.

    We’ve done pre64 model 70 Winchester contours with that hump for the rear sight dovetail, Browning Safari contours, Sako contours etc...and yes we have done the WBY contours.

    So we can duplicate that contour if you need it but the contour is pretty small. So it would be in cm steel and it would need to get blued if you want the finish to match. If you have some room in the barrel channel of your stock we could probably make it a little bigger and do it in ss. That’s a possibility. Kind of comes down to what you want and how you want it to look.

    Later, Frank
    Bartlein Barrels
     
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  9. 86alaskan

    86alaskan

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    for the value, the X-calibers seem to get really good results when put together correctly. there is no reason not to put in the faster twist. If you stuck with the 10" twist, all you're doing is spending the same amount of money and not maximizing the performance potential of the round. The guys at Blackjack did a 25-06 test with a 7.5 twist barrel, and all the factory loadings they could get a hold of held up at the fast twist. get a decent barrel with the 8" twist and enjoy what modern advances have done for bullets.
     
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  10. murray brook

    murray brook Silver $$ Contributor

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    I would say go with the barrel maker of your choice, but as @86alaskan pointed out go with the 8 twist. These 131 Black Jacks take this round to the next level. JMO
     
  11. Breakshunter

    Breakshunter

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    Good bamboo fly rods are expensive, I don't know what you get for yours but you should get a top of the line barrel out of the deal if your quality is good on the flyrod.
     
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  12. RickKr

    RickKr

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    After I've made a few, I'll know better. I've only made one, in 2012, but I've been hanging out with some of the best rodmakers I know of ever since (at 1-3 annual rodmakers gatherings each year) and they all thought it was very good. Some of those guys sell theirs for $2-3K and a few for more. My best rodmaking friend, who is a good rodmaker sells his for under $2K and I think my one rod is as good as the ones of his I've seen. I've learned a lot since that first rod and know of a number of things I want to do better on future rods.

    I do metal machining, woodworking and tool sharpening as hobbies. Everyone has been telling me for years I ought to sell stuff, but I've avoided that because I don't want to spoil my fun. So, generally, I don't do these things for pay. I've made about 15 fly tying vises and given them to friends. I do make and sell a couple of tools, one for making the reel seat filler on rods and another as an accessory for knife sharpening on Tormek systems. Once I've designed and produced working prototypes, I had a CNC shop make the parts and I just assemble, package and ship. I do not want to stand in front of machines making parts. Likewise, I don't really want to get into making rods for pay. I had requests from about eight of my fly fishing buddies once they saw the rod I made. For whatever reason, by GS's request is different. I want to make one for him.

    I got stalled in making more rods when I retired in 2013 and my granddaughter was born. I have been gathering information, learning, tools/jigs and some very good cane culms all this time and my GS's request has spurred me on to start again, as I hoped I would some day.

    But, having inherited a bit of a range of guns in the past year, both rifles and pistols, I've started being drawn into shooting and reloading. I hunted small animals with a 22 for years, as a teenager in SoCal, and have had a Ruger Blackhawk 357 mag for 50 yrs and a S&W AirLite PD 44 mag. for 16 yrs., so I've always enjoyed shooting. But only recently have I taken an interest in learning to shoot well. In 2016, I moved to be near my granddaughter, to far NE Oregon, where the hunting is excellent, particularly for elk. I am interested in hunting elk, but not much else at this point.

    Sorry for the long ramble.

    Rick
     

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  13. Ironworker

    Ironworker Silver $$ Contributor

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    Bartlien bbls are "Cut rifled" They last 20% more. Shilen bbls are Button rifled . 257 Bee is a fire breathing dragon when it comes to barrel life. #3 contour will get really hot after 2-3 shots.
     
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  14. MikeT49

    MikeT49 Gold $$ Contributor

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    I recently put together my first ever 257 Bee. I waffled my ass off before final barrel selection. Standard chamber and twist as Mr. Weatherby designed it or? I am kind of a speed freak, so the zero freebore, IIRC 12 twist, shoot 100s and lean on it was appealing. Then shooting the new BJ 131 type bullets in a 7 twist was considered. Had their been more direct report from a watch stander info on BJ 131 bullet hunting terminal performance, might have gone that route. Then when I realized this cartridge is freakin way overbore and knowing how I am, the barrel probably won't last long before replacement. I figured, for my first one, might as well do one as the designer intended. Standard SAAMI chamber. I did go with a 9 twist so I can stabilize 115 Berger length bullets. My factory stock was inletted for a pencil barrel. Went with a bull sporter and opened up the barrel channel a smidge. I'll try one of the two other options next.
     

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  15. slm9s

    slm9s Gold $$ Contributor

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    I see you're from Oregon. If elk might be on the menu, I would order the new barrel in 270 or 7mm weatherby.
    Otherwise, good luck!
     
  16. RickKr

    RickKr

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    If you are referring to me, yes, I am in Oregon and as mentioned, I live in prime elk region with excellent hunting. Two other options I have are a Ruger M77 270 and a Win 100 308 and I kinda want to keep the Wby as a 257.
     
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  17. Beeman

    Beeman

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    I agree with others in doing a fast twist. Why not be able to shoot long high BC bullets? Look on Hammer Bullets site as they make a 128 gr Hammer Hunter that would also be awesome. Would probably work on elk if you keep the range within reason. These are all copper and are LONG requiring a fast twist barrel.
     
  18. RickKr

    RickKr

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    I am quite on board with going with the faster twist barrel, thanks to the great feedback here. And single-point cut rifling. I will likely go with a #4 contour, definitely much heavier than what was on it originally, but I don't want to add too much weight, as if I were to hunt with it, it is already a heavy gun.

    I really appreciate the feedback you have all given. Thanks,

    Rick
     
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  19. tirednlost

    tirednlost

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    I agree with the other posters of running the faster twist. Opens up so many more options. If your into the history of weatherby and want to keep it as original as possible, completely understandable. But when the rifle came to life it didn’t have the diet options of the heavier bullets built today. I’m getting ready for a re barrel and will definitely be getting aggressive with the twist. 131 BJs are in the near future!!!
     
  20. RickKr

    RickKr

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    Been a bit since getting all the great feedback and recommendations. I discussed things with my gunsmith, among things the 1-8 twist barrel. He expressed great caution about that rapid of a twist, saying that with lighter bullets, they could become unstable in the sense that they would disintegrate and saying that I might have to go to custom made bullets and high end cases.

    I need some feedback on this question. Most of the comments on bullets have been about what I believe are higher end, heavier bullets. I would appreciate information on how lighter bullets hold up. In accumulating components for reloading, I have been getting Hornady bullets and have avoided no-name ones that I see packaged just in plastic bags, etc. I also would normally go with Nosler bullets as well.

    Because I am a beginner I do not know what types and weights of bullets I want or need to be shooting. I like the notion of being able to shoot the heavier bullets, primarily for hunting, but probably would normally shoot medium or lighter bullets.

    Once I get to reloading and shooting, I have several choices of rifles to shoot on a regular basis, recreationally and hunting. Unless I fall in love with the Wby, I probably would not be shooting it a lot.

    Rick
     

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