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Weatherby Vanguard .257 Magnum Questions

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SwampWolf, Jan 12, 2011.

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  1. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    I'm thinking about buying one of these rifles and would appreciate any input concerning it and the .257 Weatherby cartridge. Also, what would be a good price for one? Thanks for any and all inputs.
     
  2. nathan

    nathan Member

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    I can only imagine they give a big wallop when fired. i would love to have one though.
     
  3. GuysModel94

    GuysModel94 Member

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    The .257 and .240 Wby. are both excellent Elk and above calibers, check out Bud's online gun store, i was looking at the Vanguard in 7mm-08 and i believe it was priced at $540.-; a great deal is the Syn. Package at around $700.00, includes gun, boresighted scope and case.
     
  4. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Member

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    ive got one and its very accurate and recoil is simular to say a 270. Bit more muzzle blast though
     
  5. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    I've got one and I really like it. However, there are some considerations.

    One, I don't really consider it an Elk rifle. The 115 and 120gr bullets for the most part are adequate to kill an elk, but at the speeds of the .257wby, the penetration at shorter ranges will be inadequate except with the Nosler Partitions or the Swift A-frame bullets.

    If you don't reload, the Ammo is VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE !!!!! AND HARD TO FIND EXCEPT FROM INTERNET SALES.
    The least expensive load iS the Norma 100gr SoftPoint. It runs ~$35.00 a box. FWIW, new unprimed brass runs $33.00-$35.00 a box of 20, so the Norma load is a bargain. The aforementioned loads suitable for elk (if they can really be considered such) run $55-60.00 a box of 20.

    My primary load is the 100gr Hornady Interlok soft point over 80.0gr of WC-860 with a reformed Remington 7mmMag case.(EASILY DONE WITH A SINGLE PASS THROUGH THE SIZER DIE). It gets the factory equivalent velocity of 3,550fps. My cost is nearly nothing. My prefered "deer" load is the same bullet from a .257Wby case (Norma makes the brass and ammo for Weatherby) over 73.0gr of RL25 for 3,710fps @25'.

    This load is like the proverbial "Laser Beam" to 350yds. (2.5" high at 100yds, 3.2"high at 200yds, "0" at 300yds, 7.6" low at 400yds).

    It's not for everyone. I "rescued" the rifle from a pawn shop for $250.00. No one wanted it because of the high cost of ammo. If you're going to shoot factory ammo, get a .25/06 or a .270. Walmart sells ammo for either of those two, and the .270 is suitable (barely) for Elk.

    I also need to mention that I completely missed the first deer I shot at with it due to a 7lb "creepy, scratchy" trigger adjusted to the lowest possible setting. And, that before I free floated the synthetic stock, it threw the first shot into orbit (about 4" high of subsequent shots). After free-floating the stock, and replacing the horrid Weatherby trigger with a Timney trigger, now adjusted to 3.5lb "crisp", the rifle is sub-moa. All deer I've since fired at have been bang-flops, DRT. However, the bullet will not completely penetrate a deer at the high velocities of this cartridge. All three of the 100gr Hornady's I recovered have weighed between 63.5 and 67.0gr. The Interlok feature of this bullet does work! Bullets are always just under the hide on the far side.

    The rifle is in the truck as I write this, and will see duty this evening on the deer stand.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  6. Finprof

    Finprof Member

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    I have a friend in Idaho who used to have one of these. He got tired of carrying it around over mountains and sold it for something lighter. I would have bought it from him. It is an outstanding beanfield gun from a blind. When I'm not out west, I walk little and sit a lot so weight doesn't matter for my Eastern hunting.

    The answer is, it depends on its intended purpose. That's why they make a lot of different guns and I buy a lot of different guns.
     
  7. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    My local candy shop was closing out the Vanguards chambered in .257 Weatherby Magnum so, needing little other encouragement than a good price for another gun, I went ahead and got it. Lord knows, the last thing I need is yet another rifle, but need has never been an obstacle for me when it comes to buying guns :eek:.
    But, as GooseGestapo warned, ye gods is this ammunition expensive! I've never had to put a box of ammo in lay-away before...:) However, doing a little rationalization, I have plenty of other rifles that I shoot regularly (including an older Ruger chambered in .257 Roberts) and I don't see me shooting the Vanguard a lot after it gets sighted-in. I envision it as being mostly an antelope/mule deer rifle and I live in the East. And most importantly, I am a reloader and can buy a set of dies for about the price of a box of ammunition for this prima donna, should I find myself shooting more than I anticipate.
    Though the rifle seems well put together and finished, it is, after all, just a plainish-looking Howa wearing a Weatherby logo and certainly lacks the panache of its Mark V big brother, the real Weatherby. But the Vanguard promises the same 1 1/2" @ 100 yards group as the Mark V at a fraction of the price.
    Now that I have the rifle, I would appreciate suggestions and advice as to which scope and mount to buy in terms of power and brand. I'm a believer in good optics and will pay accordingly but I don't have the means to spring for really exotic glass (in my world, that caveat would necessarily preclude scopes by Swarovski, Zeiss, Schmidt & Bender, etc.). I'm thinking in terms of something in the neighborhood of a 3x10X. Thanks again.
     
  8. pbrktrt

    pbrktrt Member

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    A Zeiss Conquest or Leupold VX-3 will run about $ 400.00. I don't think you could go wrong with either one. The mounts are the same as the Rem 700 and the choices are many. I like the one piece DNZ on mine. You might even consider a little more magnification because of the capabilities of this round.
     
  9. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Member

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    Or a Nikon Monarch - if you are willing to 30mm tube, a Bushnell elite 4200 is a fine piece of glass and RainGuard does work on high humidity days :)
     
  10. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

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    you checked out the price of .257 weatherby ammo??
     
  11. GuysModel94

    GuysModel94 Member

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    Goose: Nice post and very accurate in most respects, i would beg to differ on a couple of your points. Either of those calibers is fully capable of elk and here is why; it's not the gun, it is the shooter, the model 94 has killed more whitetail and elk than all others combined because back in the day it was usually in the hands of riflelman. Jack O'Conner killed every thing on this continent and all the grazers in Africa with a Win. Model 70 in 270 Win. and Elmer Keith, who gave us the .357mag and the .44mag, among many others, once shot a whitetail at "600 yards" with long barreled .44mag pistol (yes that is what i said). They both did these things just to prove they could be done. If more of the young guys today were woodsman and rifleman there be no need for these 300plus mags. Just my opinon of course!
    By the way what is your opinon of the Lee Breech Lock Challengar Kit?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  12. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    I just bought one of these in stainless synthetic this summer. So far I have sighted it in and taken 3 shots at a 200 yard 1/2" steel plate turned sideways. I have yet to miss. I took down a buck at close to 300 yds this year. Great rifle. I have mine wearing a Warne tactical base, QRW rings and a Leupold VX1 4X12 LRD scope. Its the nicest modern bolt action I have owned. The Japs sure know how to make a slick action. The trigger on mine breaks clean and light. There is no discernable take-up or creep and only a small amount of over travel. I traded an older Weatherby vanguard for this one and it was definitely a step up.

    By the way a great many of those "Real" Weatherbys are made in Japan too.
     
  13. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    I'll not argue what is, or isn't a qualified elk rifle.
    I will debate the practicality of the .257WbyMag as a viable elk rifle.

    Having seen the bullet performance on a number of deer (over 100 that I've shot with both the Roberts and Wby), I will stand by my assement of the 115gr, and 120gr Partitions, and 120gr Swift as being the only suitable factory offerings suitable for elk. And neither ideal, at that. (I haven't tried the any of the Barnes X, TSX, or TTSX or MRX to offer an opinon.)

    The Nosler 115gr Ballistic Tip: I've used this from both the .257Roberts at 2,850-3,000fps m/v, and from the .257WbyMag at 3,300fps m/v.

    At ranges beyond 150yds, from the "Roberts" it's a "usable" deer bullet. I have gotten complete penetration with a launch speed of 2,850fps. One I shot into a large doe (150lbs) at ~160yds with an angling frontal shot lodged in the paunch, and I didn't attempt to recover.

    One deer shot with the 115gr B.T. into the shoulder from the .257wby resulted in a doe that dropped to the shot, and then about 7-10sec. later jumped up and ran off. Attempting to track the deer resulted in an amazing scene of carnage at the impact location. Large amounts of hair and shreds of flesh like what you'd use to make jerky were lying on the ground, and even hanging from limbs of nearby brush and overhanging dogwood tree limb. No blood trail was present, and tracking was not possible due to proliferation of deer tracks (there were at least 3 other does in the group of deer). I located the deer carcass several days later after the coyotes and 'possums had done their thing. The bullet struck the shoulder blade adjacent to the spine and fragmented with no significant damage to the spine. Penetration was perhaps 3" deep at best. There was a 3" diameter hole in the shoulder blade where the bullet impacted.

    I've had similar results from the .257Roberts with the 100gr Ballistic Tip under simular field conditions. Ditto the 110gr Hornady InterBond.

    Also, I've seen several of the 100gr and lighter bullets from the Roberts fail to completlely penetrate deer, so I can only extrapolate similar performance from the .257Wby. (read -100gr Sierra BTSP, Old discontinued 100gr Nosler Solid-base, 90gr Sierra BTHP, Speer 87gr PtSpt., 75gr Hornady HP)

    Since I posted the previous posting, yesterday evening I took my first armadillo with the .257wby. It was a 115yd shot to the mid-spine as he was waddling up a logging road-going away from me (yeah, suprised me too, to see him out and the air temp was 30degF at the time!). Except for some shreds of flesh holding the rear portion of the 'diller, to the front half, the 100gr Hornady PtSpt essentially blew the 'diller in half. About 1/4 of the mid-section of the 'diller was missing! He essentially blew up on impact like a small explosive device exploded in his guts. Much more impressive than a similar hit with a .223, and noticeably more than from a .22-250 w/55gr bullet at similar speed. The bullet remnants dug a 3"wide-8" deep divot in the hard clay traffic pan.

    Yes, a patient marksman, and suitable shot placement, with a suitable bullet; the .257wby will take elk. And........ I do the same with a .22cf on our smallish deer.

    But...... if I'm spending $$$$ to go to Wyoming or other far distant location to hunt elk, I'm not going to hang my success on being able to pass up on otherwise reasonable shots providing if I'm carrying "enough" gun. I'll take the .338/06 or .338ME, or at the least the 7mm08 and a 140gr Nosler Partition;not to mention the .300RUM or either of the .30/06's with a 180gr or heavier bullet...... or even the .45/70.... I can't see myself going to such distant destinations with either my .30/30 or .35Rem.........though given the oportunity to down an elk with either, I wouldn't hesitate..... given the proper bullets and sufficiently close range.

    FWIW: My .257wby Vanguard is wearing a Nikon "Buckmaster" 3x-9x in "cheapo" aluminum rings (Simmons?) on Weaver bases. Seems like a nice match to me.... Works for me. $200 in bases, rings, and scope. Good clarity, focus, and holds zero very well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  14. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    I had an eerily similar event with my Weatherby 257 mag to what GG describes above. Same impact, same carnage, same lost deer. After reading his write up I am really wondering about trying some new solids. Might be the way to fix this.
     
  15. 1948CJ2A

    1948CJ2A Member

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    Vanguard Info

    You can get the cheap Vanguards for right at $400 here in the DFW area from this company: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ItemListing.aspx?sort=priceLow&catid=2312. The 257 Weatherby is one of the available chamberings for that price point.

    If it were me, I would spend a little extra on the wood-stock version. I bought a Vanguard in 7mm Rem Mag last year with a wood stock from Sports Authority here in Dallas. It was $499 plus tax.

    I saw one post about trigger creep and pull weight. All Vanguards come with an adjustable trigger that you can adjust yourself. If you're not comfortable doing so, you can take it to a gunsmith but the end point is that you don't need to buy anything to adjust the trigger. All you need to really watch for is the rear sear adjustment. If you take it too far out, you can accidentally disable the safety. If that happens, just adjust the sear back in. The instructions should be pretty clear on this topic.

    The 257 Weatherby is a fantastic cartridge. It's the "baddest" of the commercial 25 calibers, in terms of velocity and energy. The ammo is expensive and I would highly recommend hand-loading this cartridge for economy and efficiency. I own a 240 Weatherby and have run into the same issue with brass. Cabelas was selling most Weatherby brass for around $30 per 20. That's not too bad if you're just hunting with the rifle and not shooting it every weekend.

    A couple of more notes on the Vanguards, just in case you aren't already aware. They are built in Japan by Howa. They are good seemingly high quality rifles. As with all Weatherby products, Weatherby guarantees 1 1/2 inch or better 3-shot groups at 100 yds. They used to send targets with their rifles (I know because my 7mm Mag came with one); however, I recently read that they are discontinuing this due to cost-reductions. They do still stand by the guarantee.

    Good luck!

    JW
     
  16. pikid89

    pikid89 Member

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    get a 270 or a 25-06...the ballistics are very close and you can find ammo just about everywhere...especially if you forgot yours
     
  17. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    To me the report and recoil of a 257 Weatherby are very different than the 25-06. I am led to believe the pressure curve when plotted against time would be very different between the two cartridges. The 25-06 has a sharp CRACK while the 257 Weatherby Magnum is more of a BOOM. Don't get me wrong there is a place for the former but I like to take the latter into the field.
     
  18. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    I guess I did...:rolleyes: :eek: :(
     
  19. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Thanks for the heads up, 1948CJ2A, but, as you can see, I've already bought the rifle. The local GS was selling them for $299.99, which, from all that I can tell, seemed like a pretty good price. The same dealer is selling Redfield "Revolution" scopes (4-12X40) for $189.99 and, after examining it and talking to two other shooters I know who own them (though their's are both in the 3X9 power), I'm considering buying one. I realize this scope is not in the "Monarch" class, for instance, but it seems like a decent scope for the money. Made by Leupold and carrying their lifetime warranty, the specifications are nearly identical to their low-end "Rifleman" line and I suspect it's the same scope wearing a Redfield logo.
    Your comment re the trigger is interesting because I've noticed that several posters in earlier threads have disparaged the Vanguard's trigger. I don't doubt their experiences at all but I am very pleased with the trigger pull on the Vanguard I purchased and see no need for an after-market upgrade at this point in time. Maybe Weatherby (Howa) has improved the trigger over time?
    GooseGestapo, before I read your last post, I ordered a box of 115 grain Nosler "BallisticTip" Weatherby ammunition from Cabela's and I'm wondering if, in your experience, this bullet is appropriate for deer and antelope (if I'm ever lucky enough to go on an elk hunting trip, as you suggested, I'll be armed with a "proper" elk killing rifle). I've "harvested" more than a few whitetails in Michigan and Pennsylvania with 120 grain "Core-Lokt" bullets from a Roberts chambered Ruger Model 77 and have seen no need to use anything more "exotic" for deer than that. After reading your comments, I'm concerned that at the relatively short ranges I encounter deer in the venues I hunt (rarely exceeding 125 to 150 yards and sometimes much shorter), the fast moving BallisticTips might open too quickly on impact and fail to penetrate. Your thoughts?
    As an aside, I'm thinking my favorite whitetail cartridge (.358 Winchester with 200 grain SilverTips from a Savage Model 99) might be just the ticket for elk.
     
  20. Steve Marshall

    Steve Marshall Member

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    7 Remington Magnum brass is cheap.
     
  21. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Member

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    my vangurad 257 had an absoulely terrible trigger and wouldnt adjust down much better then it came from the factory. A timney replacement trigger cured all of that though.
     
  22. zeke

    zeke Member

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    Hunted deer with a 257 wby for years. The factory 100 gn spire points worked fine, but could not reprduce their accuracy handloading the Hdy 100 sp. Eventually measured the bullet dia and the factory rounds used a full diam bullet in their cartridge, and the boxes of bullets (several) bought for handloading had a measurably smaller dia.

    Handloaded 100 grin partitions were extremely accurate and effective, but produced massive meat damage below 100 -150 yards. Completely blood shot near shoulder.

    Settled on loading the 100 grain Barnes (older plain,blue coated), which were very accurate and could fully penetrate deer from any angle.

    The rifle used is a Mark V with 26 in medium heavy barrel, wearing a 4.5-14 leupold. Very good for hunting from a stand, too heavy for walking very far. Most shots were at 200 to 300 yards and never used above 4 power in the scope for actual hunting.

    Use RL-22 powder and Fed 215 primers almost excluisively. When bought, there was no 257 wby brass to be had. Had to wait almost a year for the "boat to come in"

    The rifle is not as accuratre with boat tails, as it is with flat based bullets. The ballistic tips tried were not accurate.
     
  23. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    What's your favorite load for hunting and accuracy (powder charge/bullet weight and type)? Thanks.
     
  24. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    just looked at the Barnes TTSX Ouch 35 dollars for 50 bullets. I want to find a good uncoated bullet for this cartridge that will perform inside of 150 yds with good penetration.
     
  25. 1948CJ2A

    1948CJ2A Member

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    SwampWolf - That's the best deal I've heard about for a NIB Vanguard. Congrats on the purchase. They really are high quality rifles. I'm glad you're looking into the Revolution scope. I couldn't be happier with mine in 3x9x40. Great optic.

    Enjoy!
     
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