The .257 Roberts


Dave Workman
March 22, 2011, 03:11 PM
Years ago, I swapped a .38 Special J-Frame Smith for a .257 Roberts on a Mauser '98 action with a 4X Weaver scope (yep I already KNOW I got the better end of that deal! :evil:) and have shot a few deer with it that stayed shot.

A lot of other cartridges have come along, but I still believe the .257 Roberts remains one of the best cartridges for deer...especially mule deer...that was ever cooked up.

It's got a Douglas barrel, I added a Ramline synthetic stock many years ago, and I shoot 100-grain Speer boattails and Nosler Ballistic Tips exclusively over a charge of IMR 4895.

Flat shooter.

Anyone else have a rifle in this caliber?
What do you use it for?

If you enjoyed reading about "The .257 Roberts" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 22, 2011, 03:39 PM

About 20 years ago, my brother bought his wife a Browning BLR in 257 Roberts. This is the lever rifle which is excellent for "lefty's" as well as rest of us. She shot many mulies and 'lopes with this rifle. She killed a couple elk, too.

But last elk with this rifle didn't go well. So my brother got her another Browning BLR but chambered in 7mm-08. This cartridge is better for elk but the old Roberts always got the job done when mulies were hunted.

Some modern gun writers seem to despise the 257 Roberts. They complain about idiosyncrasies that have nothing to do with accurate shooting nor lethality of one shot kills. Its an oldy but a goody!!


Dave Workman
March 22, 2011, 05:35 PM
Gunwriters are the scourge of humankind! Those who have no affection for the .257 Roberts ought to be sterilized.

But since my byline appears in Gun Week, Gun Digest, Gun World, Northwest Sportsman and the Seattle Gun Rights Examiner, I better keep the .257!!!


March 22, 2011, 05:41 PM
one of the better coyote guns as well.

March 22, 2011, 05:41 PM
Yes, early 50's Remington 722 in .257 Roberts. Used on whitetail and occasional coyote for 35+ years. Only 2 deer took a step after being shot and they were both recovered within 50 yards. No long shots - maybe 175 max and most under 100.

Ole Humpback
March 22, 2011, 07:23 PM
The Browning BLR in 257 Roberts is probably the most under rated rifle in the world. I've got a BLR in 257 and its every bit the gun my dads per-64 Model 94 is and more. Plus, it can field anything from varmints at 500yds to small elk inside of 150yds. And it has very light recoil, far less than my Gold Fusion 12ga with slugs.

March 22, 2011, 09:30 PM
It's essentially a 6.5 bullet in a x57 Mauser case. There's no reason that a round between the 6.5x55 and 7x57 would be bad.

March 22, 2011, 09:40 PM
6.5mm (as commonly referred in to shooting i.e 6.5x55 and .260 Remington) is .264", not .257" although the .257 is actually 6.5mm in bullet diameter.

There is a 6.5x57 Mauser though

March 22, 2011, 09:42 PM
Hi All,

I've got a 257 Roberts but I had to work for it a little bit.

I found a good deal on a Savage 14 Classic (the kind with the pretty walnut stock) in 250 Savage. I bought it and sent it to a gunsmith and had it rechambered to 257 Roberts. Since the Roberts has the same or larger dimensions compared to the 250 Savage it was a good candidate for conversion.

That project was completed just before the real cold weather set in so I haven't shot it much but spring will come. I'm looking forward to shooting and working up handloads for my "custom" rifle.


March 22, 2011, 10:02 PM
I have a Ruger 77 in .257 Roberts that is deadly on Whitetail and Mulies. I am shooting the Sierra 117g game king bullet and it has dropped them in their tracks. IF I ever get drawn for Elk here in Arizona I know at under 200 yards I should be able to take one with the .257 Bob.

Still Shooting
March 22, 2011, 10:23 PM
I bought my .257 Roberts back in the mid-80's. Walked into a gun shop, saw a Ruger M77 (early, tang safety) on the rack and asked about it. The owner said he'd taken a $50 deposit on it over a year before, ordered the gun, and the guy never came back! We hemmed and hawed, and I walked out with the rifle, a Leupold 3-9 X40, sling, and a set of RCBS dies for $500.

It's my favorite hunting rifle. First 2 animals were in MT, antelope at 100yds and muley at 200+, one day apart. Both DRT, one shot each. What more can I say? I like Nosler 115gr. partitions in front of 37.5gr. of H380 and a CCI primer, 'cause that's what the rifle likes!

After fussing with the trigger forever, I finally put a Timney in it last year, and now it's not just great - it's perfect!:D

Dave Workman
March 23, 2011, 07:26 AM
Ah yes the Timney trigger. I have one for my .257 and have yet to install it.

I'm not certain it would improve the overall operation and add anything to the accuracy of this rifle.

If you can punch deer through the ticker consistently, what else is there, eh?

Zak Smith
March 24, 2011, 02:05 AM
My first deer rifle was a Ruger in .257 Roberts +P. Great cartridge!

March 24, 2011, 02:53 PM
Years ago I found a Ruger 77RL Ultralight in .257 Roberts and killed my first buck with it. I use a 120 gr Partition in it, and although I have not hunted with it for a few years it remains firmly in the collection because it's so light, handy and comfortable to shoot. Certainly seems preferable to the .243, although perhaps not the equal to the .25-06 or .257 Weatherby.

March 24, 2011, 05:16 PM
I picked up a semi-custom left hand 257AI in a pawn shop. I really like that gun. It's like it was made for me and not some random other guy who sold it.

Pistol Ranch
March 24, 2011, 07:46 PM
Warren Page and other gun writers helped the demise of the .257 Roberts with the intro of the 6mm Remington and the .243 Winchester.
My favorite hunting rifle is a Winchester Mod. 70 Featherweight in .257 Roberts with a 6X Zeiss scope.
It is a "no fail" deer killer..


March 24, 2011, 08:00 PM
yep - great deer cartridge and responsible for many bang-flops! Mine is an extremely customized '95 Mauser I started on 30 some years ago during a dry spell when no one was selling a rifle chambered for it. Having said that, I wish I'd just saved the money and bought a Rem. 722 in that caliber.

March 25, 2011, 12:41 PM
Recently traded a S&W 617 (partial trade) for a Browning A-bolt micro featherweight in 257 Roberts. After the range partially melted, sighted it in with a old 1-4.5 x Weaver scope and Hdy 117 grain plus p's. Very good accuracy so took the old weaver off and replaced it with Nikon 1.5x4.5 x20. Rig is just over 7 pounds with scope, weaver bases and rings.

Had previously sold off a BLR in 257 Roberts, as it didn't "fit" and didn't want to cut down the stock on a "semi rare" rifle.

The new A-bolt is short action, and ground out the front insert in an extra mag to allow the max COL to be close to the rifling. Have to wait to zero in the new scope, and try some reloads in it. Had the dies, bullets and brass left over from owning the BLR.

While the barrel "lifts" when fired, the recoil is pretty mild. Will probably end up shortening LOP on this one down to about 12.5 inches.

March 26, 2011, 04:22 AM
Well, you just had to go and get me started........

You could say I'm partial to the 'Roberts. I've got two. Almost three, but the third one is a .257WbyMag. But it "thinks" it's a 'Roberts too....just a tad bit of an over-achiever, though.....But because of the "disrespect" it gets, it compensates with 1/2" groups at 3,600fps with a 100gr bullet. But, it does loose a bit of penetration from the "excessive" velocity.

My first one is a Custom M98 Mauser with a 1983 E.R.Shaw barrel. It has the so called 3.0" chamber. I've hunted it hard and put it up wet a few too many times. The barrel has a healthy dose of pitting (I suspect from poor metalurgy rather than improper cleaning...its confined to a 5-6" mid section of the 22" barrel; another story for another day).

In it's day, it would shoot sub-moa for 5-shots with most any Sierra, Hornady, or Nosler bullet. Now days, it'll still shoot moa for the first 20 or so shots, and then it starts fouling badly an accuracy will fall off badly. But, it's still beautiful to look at with it's fancy grade Bishop walnut stock and deep polished blueing. It's always been about deer hunting though, so it does yeoman duty for the "Lady folks". It's had the stock shorted to a 12.5" lenght of pull for my wife and daughters. They all have killed their first deer with it. One shot kills, all !!! Rifle weighs a dimutive 7.0lbs with the Leupold scope, sling and 5rd of ammo.... I can hold it out and shoot it one-handed.

The second is a garden variety Ruger M77MkII. Nothing fancy, and had to be glass bedded, and trigger stoned to 3.5lbs to get it to shoot ~1.25-1.5moa. But like the first, it's a deer destroyer. I've taken 11 deer with it, 11 shots. It's favorite load is 38.0gr of IMR3031 @ 3,000fps under a 100gr bullet. (go figure! a warmer version of the original factory load, about 36.5gr IRCC).

Of the ~400 deer I've taken, only one mule deer, rest are white-tails; over 100 have been with the 'Roberts. Any deer that have "escaped" an encounter with the 'Bob, it's been my fault. With anything resembling decent shot placement, it's absolutely fatal. I can't explain how much better it's been for me than the .243. No comparison in the field.....

My favorite load is 45.0gr of IMR4350 under either the 100gr Hornady flat-based Interlok, or the Sierra 100gr Pro-Hunter. The Sierra GameKing is no slouch either, but under 300yds the flat based bullets are more accurate IMO.
My second favorite load is the Berger 115gr VLD over 45.0gr of IMR4831. This is a real "sleeper" powder for the 'Bob. It took me nearly 30yrs to get around to trying it, but if I could only have one powder for the 'Bob, this would be it. This load gets just under 3,000fps from my 22" bbls. Unbelievable devastating on the three white-tails I've killed with it. The closest thing I've ever seen was/is my .338/06 with a 210gr Nosler Partition. Be sure to hit them in the lungs broadside with this load. It's too destructive for shoulder hits.....

A friend has a .25/06 and uses exclusively the Sierra 120gr BTHP GameKing, over 43.0gr of IMR4320. It gets 2,850fps, but shoots 1/2" groups from his Interarms MkX. I've teased him for the 'Roberts equivalent load... He counters with "Whats wrong with that, it WORKS, DOSENT' IT, HUH ??????
(three years ago, he took a 230lb 10pt buck at 430yds (lased) on a power line on the PA/WV border while hunting with a friend- witnessed!
Yes it does !!!!!!

March 26, 2011, 04:29 AM
Alot of people also complain about the .270. Both the Roberts and the .270 are fantastic deer cartridges and I'm not afraid to take a .270 after elk with the right bullets. But most of these people, as Jack O'Connor said, haven't even shot a .270 I get so sick of this. just leave me alone with my .270 and I'll get my deer. And I usually do. But I have heard these same mindless arguments about a Roberts. I think some people just like to hear themselves talk.

March 26, 2011, 04:37 AM
No It's not a 6.5. A 6.5 is a .264 bullet, and a Roberts is what it says, a .257. A .260 Remington is a 6.5 as is a 264 Win Mag and a 6.5x55 Swede.

March 26, 2011, 04:48 AM
I have a .257 AI on order to be built. I took a Yugo Mauser action to my gun smith and he's going to bend the bolt and drill and tap the receiver for scope mount, order and install a Timney Sporter Trigger, and a Winchester Model 70 Style 3 position Swing Safety. Then he's going to screw in a 26 inch Shilen Stainless Medium Sporter .257 barrel and ream the chamber to .257 AI. I also ask him to bead blast it, not only for extra cooling, but so the coating I put on will stick better. Then I already have a Boyd's Classic laminate stock here for it I'll bed it into. This is what I have wanted for over 20 years.

March 26, 2011, 10:54 AM
No It's not a 6.5. A 6.5 is a .264 bullet, and a Roberts is what it says, a .257. A .260 Remington is a 6.5 as is a 264 Win Mag and a 6.5x55 Swede.

Right, as used in the shooting community the 6.5mm bullets are .264" in diameter, which is 6.7mm.

The .257" bullets are 6.52mm in diameter.

The .257 calibers are measured by bullet diameter, the 6.5mm calibers are measured by diameter of the barrel from the lands.

March 26, 2011, 03:12 PM
My favorite cartridge for whitetails is the 250/3000 of which I have two but I also have a .257 Roberts. Actually I've owned two Roberts and the one I have now is a Rem. 700 limited edition from the 1980s when the .257 had it's turn. I've taken several one shot deer with this fine rifle. The factory trigger pull is right up there with custom jobs.

The only fly in the ointment is that (in both rifles) I've never been able to get gilt edged accuracy. Sub moa groups have been easy with the little Savage round but have always escaped me with the Roberts. 1.5" average for 5 shots is about what I've come to expect from the .257. So it is plenty accurate for what it does best but I just wish it was on the same level as the Savage.

March 26, 2011, 09:03 PM
I have a Kimber 84M in .257 Roberts which has quickly become one of my favorite hunting rifles. Its light and handy, accurate and looks beautiful! :) Recoil is very managable for such a light rifle. I think mine is right at 7 lbs all up including scope, mounts and sling. I've killed two deer with is so far, both died quick. One DRT, the other made it about 10 yards before falling over and sliding another 10 yards downhill. I'm very happy with the .257 Roberts for deer. I'd use my 30-06 for elk though.

Trad Archer
March 27, 2011, 10:27 AM
I have a Remington Mountain Rifle in 257 Roberts. It's accurate and very easy to shoot, light recoil. I've killed deer and pronghorns as far out as 400 yards with this gun. It's the only rifle I own (wife has a Model 7 243).

At one time, I also had Remington Mountain Rifle in the 280. I decided I didn't need both, so it was the 257 Roberts I decided to keep, and the 280 to trade. Never regreted that decision.

March 27, 2011, 10:31 AM
I grew up shooting my dad's Remington 760 in .257. It's beat to snot, he still says it makes him look like a really good shot. It's still his go-to brush gun, knocked over a three-point at 300 yards with it a couple of years ago.

March 27, 2011, 11:47 AM
Rem 700 Classic .257Bob.
New to me, one range session. shoots prety well.
Will be using 75/80-ish gr bullets for Coyotes, and a Hog hunting trip or two.
Dont deer hunt. for 100 up gr I have a 6.5swede. the old rational thing.

March 27, 2011, 01:35 PM
I just love taking my little .257 to the gun range. The younger kids just go goo-goo about it. The question I hear the most from the young folks is, "sir, what caliber did you say it is"?? I always take plenty of ammo with me because they all want to shoot it. I've owned it for 35 years and expect the nephews will fight over it when I die.

March 27, 2011, 02:27 PM
I had very high hopes for my .257 build on an M98 receiver. I made a BIG mistake that i won't repeat. I bought a used unproven barrel off of The build looked great on the refinished Interarms stock with the Nikon Buckmaster scope. The problem was at the range it keyholed very badly with 117 grain bullets! I did the dry patch-rotating cleaning rod method measurement of the rifling twist rate and found it to be a 1:10" twist. I have reluctantly moved this project onto the back burner for the time being but hope to revive it soon. This thread makes me want "soon" to hurry up!

October 6, 2011, 12:03 AM
I hope you guys don't mine me digging this thread up. I've got dad's '50s era Remmy 722 in Bob and I'm looking forward to shooting it. He used to use it for woodchuck and I think deer hunting back when he was a teenager. I forget what was his max range with it, but it was pretty damned far. It has a Lyman peep sight on it and that's it. Bore is pristine, stock has some dings and dents, bluing is good. I'm going to add a sling to it and leave it alone. I've been looking into some ammo for it, and from what I read it seems that the 1:10 twist rate likes the 110 grain bullets over the 117/120. Does this sound right?

I'm going hog hunting in a few weeks and I'm seriously thinking of taking this out with me.

October 6, 2011, 01:22 AM
No dust on the old 257, when I went shopping for my all around rifle I was looking at the 257 and the 6.5x55, I ended up getting the Sweed because I found a great deal on a Tikka rifle, but I have no doubt the 257 would perform just as well on deer.

Lloyd Smale
October 6, 2011, 07:10 AM
Ive had at least on 257 for as long as i can remember. Right now a #1a ruger. Hard to beat in the whitetail woods.

Dave Workman
October 6, 2011, 03:49 PM
I had very high hopes for my .257 build on an M98 receiver. I made a BIG mistake that i won't repeat. I bought a used unproven barrel off of The build looked great on the refinished Interarms stock with the Nikon Buckmaster scope. The problem was at the range it keyholed very badly with 117 grain bullets! I did the dry patch-rotating cleaning rod method measurement of the rifling twist rate and found it to be a 1:10" twist. I have reluctantly moved this project onto the back burner for the time being but hope to revive it soon. This thread makes me want "soon" to hurry up!

Whatsamadda with a 1:10 twist in a .257 Roberts barrel?
My .257 is built on a Mauser '98 action with a Douglas bbl. I shoot 100-grainers through it (Speer, Nosler) exclusively. Thumb tack accurate. Deer I plugged dropped pretty much where they were shot, unless they rolled down hill.

October 6, 2011, 04:50 PM
Whatsamadda with a 1:10 twist in a .257 Roberts barrel?
Fact#1: my barrel has a 1:10 twist rate. Fact #2: 117 grain bullets keyhole badly from my rifle. Fact #3:bullets that keyhole aren't being stablized in flight. Bore looks brand new. I haven't had the bore diameter mic'ed to be absolutely certain that it is a .25(bought as a pull off,may have just bought a "bad" barrel). As said though, this project has been moved to the back of the priority list. BTW,I don't hand load and cannot find ANYTHING other than 117 grain and the rarer 120 grain commercially loaded ammo.

October 6, 2011, 05:04 PM
The bad news is that you lost a lot of concealability when you traded the J-Frame Smith for the .257 R, but the good news is you gained lots of accuracy and range.

Don't bother looking for a holster, though.


October 6, 2011, 10:39 PM
midwayusa has 100-110-115 grain 257 bob ammo in stock.

October 7, 2011, 07:33 AM
Thanks stsimons. Midway had no .257 Roberts ammo in stock (nor did hardly ANYONE,of any bullet weight,when I was looking). The rifle has since be cannabilized for other builds.

October 7, 2011, 12:02 PM
Previously reading this thread a day or so ago, got me sore for shooting my "Bob" again. I've recently sold off my Ruger 77MKII. It was a "lackluster" shooter and I wanted to capitalize it to buy another Ruger.

The old M98 has a 1983 mfg'd ER Shaw barrel. It has always been a good shooter (sub moa), but following a rain drenched hunt in Dec. of 1993, and spending 5weeks in a case in the attic the following summer, developed some pitting in the mid barrel area ~5" ahead of the throat, and spotted for about 7" thereafter. Last 12" of barrel is sharp and bright.

I put a fairly new Nikon 2x-7x ProHunter on it as I'd taken the Leupold off of it and put on another aquisition.

After sighting in, I tried a 3-shot group that I extended to 5-shots after I saw the result. With the first three 100gr Sierra GameKings over 45.0gr of IMR4350, I had a neat 1/2" group centered 2.5" over the bull. I couldn't stand it. I flung two more at it and resulted in a ~0.75" group with 3 touching a fourth close and the 5 just a tad below the other 4.

I shot another ~30rds through it "shooting up" some of the ammo I'd developed for the "other" Roberts. I then went back and shot a three shot group with some Hornady 110gr Accubonds over 45.0gr of IMR4831. The Ruger refused to shoot these into anything resembling a "group". The M98 Sporter threw two touching and the third 1/2" below them in the same POI as the 100gr load.......
I guess the "old barrel" isn't shot-out as bad as I thought......
Now I'm in the quandry of which rifle to take to the airport to "control" the deer........ Longest shot on game I've ever made was with the "Old Roberts" in Montana in 1993. Took a Muley doe at 378yds (measured). And the next day shot over 50 prarie dogs, a few at over 400yds with the "Old Roberts" and some 85gr Nosler Ballistic Tips......
It is now solidly back in 2nd place for the most accurate rifle I own...... The first is a Rem. 700 in .22-250, that's a tad better, but only a tad!

If you enjoyed reading about "The .257 Roberts" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!