Q. I’m in the market for a quality mountain rifle. Being lefthanded I’ve narrowed my choices down to the H-S Precision in .270 WSM or Weatherby Mark V Ultralight .257 WM. I am leaning more to the Weatherby as it’s little more than half the price of the H-S Precision. Why isn’t the Weatherby more popular in Australia? At my time of life, I don’t want to hunt with budget- priced rifles and want quality. What’s your opinion of both rifles and using the .257 Weatherby for game up to the size of moose?
I already own a Tikka .270 WSM, but it has a heavy barrel and is a pig to carry in the field. I also have a Ruger M77 MK II in .300 Win. Mag. but the barrel is worn so I’m selling it. Can the .257 WM with 100 and 115gn Barnes bullets equal the performance of the .300 Win.Mag? My mate Doug Scotthorn who you met in Fiordland years ago swears by his .257 WM and has killed everything with it using 120gn Nosler Partitions. What loads would you recommend for the .257 WM using 100 and 115gn Barnes TTSX or Nosler AccuBonds? It’s going to be my trophy rifle for everything from African plains game to elk and moose. What’s the limitation if I place a .257 bullet in the vitals, or should I get the Ultralight .300 WM. But this is a light rifle and I don’t want to develop a flinch. The more I read about the .257 WM the more it intrigues me. Why did Roy Weatherby design his cases with double-radius shoulders? I have a Montana 1999 in .375 Ruger for moose if the .257 proves too small. What load would you suggest with the 235gn bullet for a flat trajectory and .270gn Barnes for heavy big game? How should I sight in the .257 and .375 Ruger? Should I crimp bullets in the .375?
– Mark Duong
A. Weatherby rifles are very popular in Australia, particularly the Vanguard series. The Mark V UltraLight is a fine rifle and very flat shooting in .257 WM. I think the H-S Precision errs by being too expensive” for most shooters. I’ve used the .375 Ruger on buffaloes with good effect. You won’t go wrong with the Ruger. You are asking me to compare apples and pineapples. With cartridges, there are horses for courses, and the .257 W.M is not in the class of the .300 Win. Mag. for big game. How can you compare bullets weighing
100 and 115gn with bullets weighing 165 to 200 grains?
I certainly wouldn’t recommend using the .257 WM for elk and moose, and doubt if any responsible outfitter would allow it.
I prefer the .300 Weatherby over the .300 Win. Mag. for its longer neck. The double radius shoulder was Roy Weatherby’s idea to make his cartridges look different and it’s become a trademark. It offers no advantage over a 40-degree shoulder which is what P.O Ackley favoured. I published loads for the .257 WM in Sporting Shooter a couple of months ago. With the 100gn TSX I load 70gn of Reloder 22 for 3500fps and 66gn behind the 115gn TTSX for 3290 fps. In the .375 Ruger for moose and bear I’d load the 270gn Barnes TSX over 81gn of W-760 for 2815fps. You should definitely crimp the case mouth into the front cannelure groove. However, the .300 WM with 180gn Barnes TSX is plenty of gun for moose.