1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

257 Roberts

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by hughie, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. hughie

    hughie Well-Known Member

    Where the heck is all the 257 Roberts ammo?
  2. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    Where are you used to finding it? It's not exactly common in the stores--hasn't been in years.
  3. hughie

    hughie Well-Known Member

    cabela's. Winchester makes these high end guns that you can get ammo for, kinda frustrating.
  4. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    My problem is, most of the commercial Bob I come across is +P. (apparently there's a prevailing attitude that standard-pressure loads are somehow inferior, and it is necessary to drive it harder to make it competitive with other cartridges.) Mine is a Remington 760 pump, and I don't want to shoot +P ammo through it. I have a lot of cases sized and primed, I haven't gotten around to loading them yet.
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    There are a lot of strange ideas about the .257 Roberts, few of which make sense to me.

    Note that .257 Roberts +P SAAMI chamber pressure is 50,000 CUP, which is THE SAME as .30-06 and LESS THAN .270, both of which were standard catalog rounds in the Rem 760.
  6. gspn

    gspn Well-Known Member

    It's gonna be funny if we find that he just awoke from a 50 year coma. :D
  7. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    (Never mind, I missed your point while typing during time I should have been sleeping. :)
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  8. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    The 257 Roberts was cursed by being introduced as a wildcat in an era in which conversions of M1895’s, M96’s, and old M98’s was common. So the ammunition factories load it very light so that one remaining custom 257 Roberts Mauser 1895 rifle from the 20’s does not blow up.

    When loaded at the top of the pressure data, I don’t see why anyone needs a 243 Win, because a 257 will do it all.

    I got my brass from a wonderful forum member who offered me a great price on almost 100 once fired 257 brass. I am grateful. :D


    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  9. Lj1941

    Lj1941 Well-Known Member

    Sort of the same animal as the 7MM Mauser from which it was derived.:evil:
  10. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Well-Known Member

    You're probably not going to find it at places like Wal Mart but I've had little trouble locating it at reasonable prices from my lg stores nor at any of the bigger sporting good retail outlets.
  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    That is the usual story.
    The .257 Roberts was not introduced as a wildcat to later be picked up by the factories.
    It was introduced as the .25 Remington Roberts in the Model 30 (1917 action) which is amply strong enough for .270 at 54,000 CUP. The name was soon changed to avoid confusion with the entirely different .25 Roberts.

    The original wildcat was the .25 Roberts, sometimes called .25 Neidner Roberts to identify the shop best known for chambering it. It is a 7mm Mauser case necked down to .25 with the shoulder set back at a shallower angle and the neck trimmed a bit. The object was to match the wildcat but well known .25 Krag in a rimless case suitable for bolt actions.

    When Griffin & Howe started making .25 caliber rifles they found it simpler just to neck down 7mm to .25 without setting the shoulder way back or shortening. They kept the 15 deg shoulder angle and a long neck. This variant distinguished as .25 G&H Roberts.

    When Remington commercialized it, they just necked 7mm straight down to .25 with no change in shoulder angle or position.

    This meant there were three cartridges arising out of Ned Roberts' interest in the .25 caliber, not interchangeable. You could not put a .257 Remington Roberts in a .25 Roberts wildcat.
    There was no need to load light on that account.

    There is a post with pictures of the three different rounds, and some discussion of nomenclature at:

    I had picked out the true history before, but this is the first picture of the different versions I have seen. But it shows why one need not worry about getting .257 Remington Roberts in his .25 Roberts on a weak action.

    Of course there are some far fetched ways to get a .257 Remington Roberts in a sporterized Spanish Mauser.
    You could rechamber a .25 Roberts, or you could sporterize a Spanish Mauser after the factory gun and load came out and go with factory ammo.
    Maybe even Joe Blow Gunsmithing thought of the straight neckdown to save case forming labor versus the famous brands before Remington did.

    The question then becomes, was Remington in 1934 enough worried about liability to load the .257 light enough to protect a rifle arising like that? Lighter even than the parent 7mm Mauser! Not much lighter, 45000 CUP vs 46000 cup, but still very soft, same as the .250 Savage meant for a lever action.

    Winchester sure didn't worry about anybody putting a .270 barrel on a low number Springfield or WW I Mauser, and that was the hottest loaded factory round for some time, at 54000 CUP.
  12. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    That was an interesting link.

    It would be interesting to know why the pressures were set as they were. A Remington M30 was a very strong action so that would not have been the limiting factor.

    The lower pressures the 257 Roberts is loaded to in factory ammunition has always hobbled the cartridge. Another issue is the chamber throats. The pre 64 I have had a short action magazine but the throat is about 2 tenths of an inch further out than the short action magazine would allow you to load the bullet. Expecting a bullet to jump a quarter of an inch is not good for accuracy.

    Anyway, I can load mine to the lands if I wanted, but I backed off about 20 thousandths. I don't like jamming bullets in the throat, because sometimes, you don't shoot the round and the bullet stays in the throat when you extract the case.
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    The ugly blunt bullet the .257 started out with was in answer to Roberts' insistence on inch groups at 100 yds. And they measured ten shot groups in those days. Apparently the long bearing surface was needed to get that level of accuracy at the time. Phil Sharpe quoted Roberts as saying he would like to have a spitzer bullet... if an accurate one could be made.

    That is likely behind the long throat in period rifles, to handle the long bearing surface.

    At one time it was popular to put in a .30-06 magazine follower and bolt stop to allow bullets to be seated out farther in the Model 70. You could get a 117 gr spitzer close to the lands at an OAL of 3 inches.
    There was even a more intrepid group who lengthened the throat and loaded the 3.3" Roberts.
    Velocities were high, attributed at the time to the lack of bullet intrusion into powder space. But that did not add much real volume and they were undoubtedly due to higher pressures but well within the capacity of the Winchester and the brass.

    I think the light loads were also in search of accuracy. How many old gunzine articles insist on light loads for best accuracy? Nowadays we can shoot screamers into bugholes, but not then.

    Don Zutz, better known for shotgunning, once wrote that his prewar Model 70 .250 was much more accurate with modern bullets than any period shooter dared claim. His position was that the barrels were plenty good by the thirties, but the bullets weren't.
  14. headoftheholler

    headoftheholler Well-Known Member

    My newest toy was rebarelled to 257 bob before spitzers were common in this caliber. It refused to feed the spitzers but fed the Rem. round nose like a dream. With an 1894 manufacture date I am a little uneasy feeding it +P 257, so the Rem round still has its uses.
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Probably smart. 45000 CUP is enough for that action.

    For all the tenderfeet out there with Remingtons and Winchesters and '98 Mausers, the mighty .257 Roberts +P is 50000 CUP, same as .30-06.
  16. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Well-Known Member

    i love the 257 but if i wasnt a handloader i probably would pass on it in favor of a 2506. Ammo is much easier to come accross. Usually cheaper when you do and the 257 factory ammo for the most part is pretty lame.
  17. John3921

    John3921 Well-Known Member

Share This Page