240 Weatherby Magnum


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popeyespappy
December 4, 2008, 11:47 PM
Back in the early 80s I spent a couple of years stationed at McGregor Range in the New Mexico desert between El Paso and White Sands. While there I took a few pronghorn with old 30-30. It was the only rifle I had and I missed out on more than a few antelope because they were way out past the 100 or so yards I was comfortable shooting at.

From McGregor Uncle Sam sent me to Germany where I spent more time than I should have drinking beer at the Karlsruhe Rod and Gun Club. I was there one day when the guy that ran the gun shop, as opposed to the guy that ran the bar, was unpacking a shipment of new rifles. One of them was a beautiful new Mark V Deluxe in 240 Weatherby Magnum. On the receiver just in front of the port it had a large spot of rust. It looked someone had put their sweaty thumb on it before they put it in the box. After discussing the ballistics of the 240 and what a fine long range prong horn rifle it would make he told me he would let me have it for $150. That was probably less than he had in it even back then and needless to say I jumped on it. Even though that $150 would have bought a lot of beers.

Well I never made it back to Bliss again to hunt pronghorn and much to my regret I eventually sold the little used Mark V to my Dadís boss. I now find myself thinking about that flat shooting 240 again as a long range paper puncher. The Weatherby 240 Magnum fires a factory loaded 100 grain bullet at greater than 3400 fps. Thatís better than a 6mmBR and almost up there with a 6x284 so I was just wondering if any of you are using the 240 Weatherby for varmints, deer, or even just long rang paper punching. I was also wondering about the Mark V synthetic as that seems to be the cheapest thing chambered for the 240. How is the quality and accuracy on those now days?

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Kind of Blued
December 5, 2008, 01:21 AM
Wow. To be honest, I had never even heard of the cartridge. 3400fps is pretty impressive. It sounds like something that might qualify as a "barrel burner". It also sounds like the military treated you well. Thanks for your service (I'm assuming you didn't drink beer the whole time). ;)

Sinixstar
December 5, 2008, 02:14 AM
Wow. To be honest, I had never even heard of the cartridge. 3400fps is pretty impressive. It sounds like something that might qualify as a "barrel burner". It also sounds like the military treated you well. Thanks for your service (I'm assuming you didn't drink beer the whole time).


It's basically a 30-06 cartridge brought down to .243. Definitely has some zip.
The .257 Wby puts out 3900+ fps at 75gr, but is a necked down .300 H&H casing.

Seems Roy Weatherby's idea of ballistics was take a large shell, and make it fit a small bullet. :D

Twud
December 5, 2008, 04:17 AM
What load were you planning on using to get 3,400 fps? Your going so have to smoke them to get that kind of velocity. 257 will do it but I doubt a 240 will.

Shawnee
December 5, 2008, 05:06 AM
According to Hornady's Vol. II, the 75gr. HP on top of 52.2grs. of IMR #4350 will depart at 3600fps. If all you want is 3400fps. you have to cut it back to 49.4gr.

:cool:

Twud
December 5, 2008, 07:14 AM
Shawnee,
I think he was talking about 100 grain bullets not 75s.
mark

popeyespappy
December 5, 2008, 08:05 AM
What load were you planning on using to get 3,400 fps? Your going so have to smoke them to get that kind of velocity.

Weatherby lists their own factory loaded 100 grain cartridge at 3400+

I'm assuming you didn't drink beer the whole time

Not the whole time. I did take the opportunity to do a little hunting too....

Shawnee
December 5, 2008, 08:16 AM
Oooops. You're right. The 100-grainers loaf a long at only 3300fps.

However - Back in the day - all that speed was great with the varmint weight bullets, especially the 87gr. BTHP. But back then I don't think there were many, if any, 100-grainers that could perform correctly against deer at that velocity. More often the 'zines would talk about it being used on antelope where longer distances gave the bullet a chance to slow up a bit.

I suspect today's botique bullets really bring the .240 Weatherby to a new level - not a necessary one, but a new one.


:cool:

popeyespappy
December 5, 2008, 10:04 AM
More often the 'zines would talk about it being used on antelope where longer distances gave the bullet a chance to slow up a bit.

When I originally bought my 240 the idea was to use it for pronghorn. Now Iím more interested in the cartridge as an alternative to the 6mmBR and 6x284 for 600 and 1000 yard targets. I donít think a Mark V would be the right platform for that kind of shooting but I could probably find someone to chamber a barrel for a Savage Model 12 action without having to mortgage the house to pay for it if I decided to be different and go that route.

I just donít know if anyone has ever tried it before and found it to be lacking in some important quality to make it good for what Iím thinking about. On paper the ballistics look great for that kind of thing.

Olympus
December 5, 2008, 10:06 AM
I almost traded a while back for a rifle exactly like what you explained. It was a Mark V Deluxe with the most beautiful stock I've seen on a Weatherby. It was the dark walnut that you expect from Weatherby with some swirls of blonde color in it. I can't believe I didn't get it. It was in .240 WBY too. .240 is one of the biggest "sleeper" calibers out there in my opinion. You'll have a hard time finding many people that shoot it except in certain Weatherby circles and the occassional eccentric like myself. It's a 6mm on steroids! Many people seem to overlook it in favor of the .257 WBY which is a brilliant cartridge as well. But if I were going for some long range shoots on coyotes, ground hogs, prongs, and deer, a .240 is definitely what I'd want. I guess I can't give any first hand knowledge since I pass on one. But it's at the top of my wishlist right now and I might even do another custom build and make it into a .240. We'll have to wait and see.

c.latrans
December 5, 2008, 10:26 AM
I had one built on a 700 action 12 years ago, and have loved it since the first day. I built mine without the typical Weatherby freebore, so the loads I have worked up will likely produce much different results in a proper Weatherby rifle. I have taken everything from jack rabbits to elk with it, although I pick my shots on the larger stuff just as with any 6mm. With a 100 grain ballistic tip hrough the rib cage antelope just fold up on themselves. If you hit big bones, though, the results are predictable. A shot through the shoulders usually renders both unsalvageable. I dont post much reloading data on line, but if you find yourself in the .240 business PM me and I will send along some recepies that serve me well.

Twud
December 5, 2008, 11:27 AM
I sure would like to see some of that 240 factory ammo shot over a chrono.
I load my 257 very hot to get to 3,550. In fact it's with the gunsmith right now being rebarreled. Shot the factory barrel out in 400 rounds. When shooting 3 shot groups the barrel gets very hot.
I love Wbys. I own a 257 and a 300, which cover all my big game needs. I have my grandfathers' 300 and my fathers' 340 and 257. I don't shoot them for fear of losing, or having them damaged some how.
I have never considered Wbys particulary accurate guns, but they both have served me well over the years.
You need to shoot a 6BR. I had one built as a varminter on a bat action with a Kreiger barrel. It's amazing. The first 3 shot group I fired measured .210. this was with no load development at all. The charge and seating depth came from the man who built the gun. He's shooting 600 yard groups in the 7's. Can't wait 'til spring so I can blow ghogs into hyper space.http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r60/Twud/groups.jpg
1st Group

NCsmitty
December 5, 2008, 12:10 PM
The 240 Weatherby was always the epitome for a long range 6mm. It's only drawback is the damn belted case and their availability and cost and it's a barrel burner.
I have my own barrel burner project in line for the near future. I have a new 6MM-284 reamer waiting to be used. It's a real good long range cartridge, about the equal of the Weatherby, and Lee makes dies for it, so no custom dies required.
Right now, I'm still tuning my 6.5x55 98 Mauser, but the colder weather has slowed things down a bit.

NCsmitty

popeyespappy
December 5, 2008, 12:29 PM
I load my 257 very hot to get to 3,550. In fact it's with the gunsmith right now being rebarreled. Shot the factory barrel out in 400 rounds. When shooting 3 shot groups the barrel gets very hot.

The 240 Weatherby was always the epitome for a long range 6mm. It's only drawback is the damn belted case and their availability and cost and it's a barrel burner.

400 rounds! Wow! I figure the 240 should fall somewhere in between the 4000-5000 rounds per barrel of a 6BR and the 1200-1500 for a 6x284. At least I assume that 400 number is from a factory barrel. I would hazard a guess that a heavy barrel configuration that doesn’t heat up nearly as fast would last a good bit longer. Of course I have nothing to base that on other than sounds right to me.

OK, that’s the kind of info I was looking for. Eats barrels, brass might as well be made of gold. All good reasons not to go all exotic and stick with main stream. Costs less that way.

Twud
December 5, 2008, 04:35 PM
The heat inside the bore is the same it just takes longer to reach the surface and longer to cool down.

Twud
December 5, 2008, 04:40 PM
If you push a 100 grain bullet to 3,400 fps out of a 240 you will not get to 500. Your only hope is to wait between shots for the barrel to cool, which I don't have the patience for.

moooose102
December 5, 2008, 06:33 PM
seems Roy Weatherby's idea of ballistics was take a large shell, and make it fit a small bullet.
and it worked VERY WELL! good ol Rapid Roy! anybody know how to neck down a .50BMG to 30 caliber???

Twud
December 5, 2008, 06:52 PM
My gunsmith made a dummy round out of a 20mm casing necked down to 338.
Told his buddies he was waiting on a 40" bbl for it.

moosehunt
December 6, 2008, 04:56 PM
.50BMG to .30 cal? That's nothing! Purely kids stuff! I remember an article about a guy necking a .50BMG down to .223. He never got any velocity readings because the bullets were desintigrating (?? that ain't spelled right!). Also, he obviously never ascertained the accuracy! He gave up after 25 rounds because the barrel was burned out! I can't vouch for the truth of all the above, but I definitly did read the article and that's what it said!

popeyespappy
December 6, 2008, 05:16 PM
a .50BMG down to .223. He never got any velocity readings because the bullets were desintigrating

Guess he should have been shooting ceramic slugs

moooose102
December 8, 2008, 09:37 PM
necking a .50BMG down to .223
he should have been using steel core bullets!

gvnwst
December 8, 2008, 09:41 PM
Nolo once suggested necking down the 20mm vulcan to .17cal.* Can anyone here beat that?:p:D

On the 240, it is a good cartridge, but a barrel burner, in the same class as the 6mm-06 and 6/284.

*He called it the "Eargenblastenmuchloudenerboomer"....:D:D:D Seems to fit...

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