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Old March 20, 2009, 07:25 PM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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257 magnum revival... anyone have one??? ( no it's not a typo )

quite a while back, I had been interested in building a 25 acp revolver ( I know... I'm more than just a little whacked )... well I reciently got the oportunity to buy the base revolver needed, & my local builder / friend & mentor has been working on me, ( he didn't really want to do the 25 acp... but was humoring me ) I think we finally have an acceptable cartridge replacement for the lil acp... a 257 "25 special"... we were looking at the wildcat 257 magnum, at the same time I was talking about doing something unique with my Taurus Raging Hornet... so right now we are thinking a "25 special" on the little Single Six Magnum gun, & a 257 magnum on the Raging Hornet gun...

anyone else ever play with the 257 magnum ???
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Old March 20, 2009, 09:36 PM   #2
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Seems like a reinvention of the old 25-20 Winchester.
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Old March 20, 2009, 10:04 PM   #3
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it's actually a 22 Hornet case, blown out straight, trimmed to match 357 mag cartridge length, & uses 25 caliber ( .257 ) rifle bullets...

my old 25 acp revolver project was intended to have something strong enough for rabbits & squirrels yet very efficient on powder, & of low noise & recoil... the 257 Magnum is likely pretty loud in a revolver, but shortening the case to the "special" length would likely make it even more efficient, & lower noise, & both should be easy to reload for...
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Old March 20, 2009, 10:06 PM   #4
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I've been really tempted to have a Single Six built in the wildcat .25Flea. Basically the Hornet case blown straight and trimmed to length. Fits into a standard six shot frame without opening up the frame window or a five shot cylinder, unlike the .25-20.
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Old March 20, 2009, 10:18 PM   #5
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I see reference to the 25 Hornet with .257" bullets, but I've also seen it with .251" bullets... when I search for 257 magnum... almost all turn up the Weatherby... but I can find load data for the 257 Hornet anyway...

the flea... sounds like what I'm calling the "special"... I'll have to dig around a little... I have a stainless single six in 32 H&R mag coming... I may decide to keep it as is, but when I begain looking, it was for a project like this...
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Old March 21, 2009, 05:34 PM   #6
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CRAIG... do you have any links showing the flea ??? no sense starting from scratch
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Old March 21, 2009, 10:47 PM   #7
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I've only even seen reference to it in Hamilton Bowen's book. No data on LoadData.com (Wolfe Publishing) and I've never seen an article on it.
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Old March 22, 2009, 12:41 PM   #8
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A straight-walled .22 Hornet gives you .270 Renn.

To achieve an interior neck dimension of .257"; you would need just slightly less than the original (basic) body taper of the Hornet. But, it would still need to be a tapered cartridge.
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Old March 22, 2009, 03:07 PM   #9
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Yes, the .22Hornet can be blown out to become either a .270Ren, .25Hornet or the .25Flea. There 'may' be a slight taper but it is not apparent and there certainly is no bottleneck. A LOT less taper than the .22Hornet. Doesn't really matter either way. The Flea looks like a slightly enlarged .22Mag.

Bowen's book reports 60-70gr .257" bullets at 1300-1500fps. Pretty impressive. He cites the .32H&R Single Six as the best platform for conversion but I'd rather have an Old Model, even though it costs about $200 more to have it converted to centerfire.
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Old March 22, 2009, 03:30 PM   #10
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I'm hoping... I also thought about my 8 shot Taurus raging hornet... * I had been thinking about the 270 REN, & am in the middle of building a 270 REN Contender barrel...
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Old March 23, 2009, 12:19 AM   #11
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I mentioned some interest in .270 ren on this forum once, and was rudely shouted down. I was looking at ballistics data on this cartridge, it has some very interesting numbers.
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Old March 23, 2009, 08:38 AM   #12
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It is indeed an interesting cartridge but is it short enough to fit into any existing standard length revolver cylinder? The Hornet is pushing it and uses a much lighter and thus, shorter bullet.
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Old March 23, 2009, 09:06 AM   #13
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I measured my cylinder on my Raging Hornet this weekend, it's a bit short & I'd have to seat my bullets a little deeper than the spec for ( sorry was looking at a lot of different stuff this weekend ) the 22 Hornet with heavier spitzers, the 25 Hornet or the 270 REN ( using spitzer bullets ) flat nose bullets would have been fine, but I'd prefer to load lighter weight spitzers... but I'd have no problem trimming the length of the case as needed... if I remember correctly, I thought the 25 Hornet, used a shortened Hornet case ???, allowing light weight spitzers to fit in that cylinder... I'm not sure how long the cylinder is on the single six 32 Mag... but I'd guess it's shorter than the raging hornet cylinder
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Old March 23, 2009, 09:11 AM   #14
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25 Hornet...



270 REN




I'm ok really with either cartridge, & like I said earlier, am currently building a Contender barrel in 270 REN... but was thinking a 25 caliber for the revolvers, & could shorten the case as much as necessary to allow fitment in the cylinder of the gun with the shorter cylinder ( likely the Single Six )... this is an improvement on doing up a revolver in 25acp ( except for factory ammo availability ) in that a 257 bore barrel is much easier to come by than a .251 barrel, & the longer case ( even if trimmed to 357 mag length ) offers more power / versatility than the short 25 acp case...
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Old March 23, 2009, 12:15 PM   #15
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I would love a .25 ACP revolver

I want one! I want one! Either a single action, or a double action that uses little tiny moon clips. That would be a really fun little revolver. I can see how it would be easy to bore out the cylinder and barrel, but how much hassle is it going to be to change the firing pin setup from rimfire to centerfire? If it's easy, I'm gonna do it (as soon as I find a gunsmith that doesn't laugh me out of his shop).

I also have always wanted a lever action rifle that was chambered for the .25 ACP.
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Old March 23, 2009, 01:03 PM   #16
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Last I priced it was only about $200 to convert from rimfire to centerfire or vice versa. Not a huge sum in the context of building a custom sixgun. Personally, I still think I'd rather do the .25Flea for the added benefit of a rim and greater versatility.

PS, I forgot to add before that the Flea is cut to .38Spl length.

Another interesting conversion I've heard of secondhand was a Single Six to .380ACP. I seem to recall that it was a tackdriver and deadly as lightning on small game.
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Old March 23, 2009, 01:09 PM   #17
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.25-06 expander

i wonder if using a .25-06 expander would get you the right .251" that you are desiring?
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Old March 23, 2009, 02:08 PM   #18
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not familiar with the expander bullet, but 25-06 would be .257 bore, & that type of bullet would give the Hornet case a gradual taper that should work easier in a revolver than the 22 Hornet, which does work, but is a bit touchy

BTW... 270 REN is trimmed to 357 mag case length of 1.290, but the longer bullet would keep if from being chambered in a "normal" length cylinder...

I should have written down the length of the cylinder on my Raging Hornet, when I measured it this last weekend... ( it must have been 1.75" or so ) which would handle the normal 22 Hornet cartridge max length of 1.723, but would need the bullets seated a touch deeper to fit a 25 Hornet at 1.815... as for the Single Six ??? no clue how big the cylinder could be...
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Old March 26, 2009, 07:15 AM   #19
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the problem I'm wrestling with here, is two original build ideas that are inherintly different... ( Like Ernest ) I've always wanted a low power but reloadable revolver, I'd prefer a set of target sights, & maybe a 6" barrel on that revolver, & that was what I was originally wanting to do with the stainless Single Six Magnum ( that I finally found after about a year of looking ) but the realitive rarity of the base gun has me wondering if I should keep it as a 32 H&R magnum, the gun could also easily shoot 32 S&W longs, which could be reloaded similarly to the 25 acp as far as efficency & low noise... In still thinking about 25 caliber, the 25 Hornet would be a better option from the standpoint of barrel availability finding a chunk of .251 barrel ( 25 cailiber pistol barrel ) is both hard to get & expensive, the .257 ( 25 cailiber rifle barrel ) is much more common & cheaper to come by... yes it would be nice to be able to shoot factory 25 acp cartridges, but my local builder is concerned that a 25 acp jacketed bullet might not have enough power to exit 6" of barrel, after bridging a barrel cylinder gap... ( I'd hate to go through all the work of building this, only to have a gun that drops the bullets at your feet )... so a shortened 25 Hornet seems more practical, as would leaving the gun 32 H&R, & develope a low power / low noise load using the 32 S&W Long

the other side of the coin, is the more modern style double action gun, like my stainless Taurus Raging Hornet, which is an 8 shot 22 Hornet built on the Raging Bull frame... shooting the 22 Hornet in the revolver "works" & it's an accurate "big" revolver... ( mines like an 8.5" barrel, & scoped ) I just have never gotten into the gun, & would like to drop the barrel length to 6" at least & remove the scope, if I were going to keep it as a squirrel gun( it's very muzzle heavy )... but also I am interested in dropping the barrel to 3" - 4" & making it more of a "combat style" revolver but the cartridge set back possibility of the 22 Hornet, coupled with the 22 caliber bullet not being a great "man stopper" makes the gun less practical for that use... the less taper of the 25 Hornet, or the 270 REN seem much better as cartridges for that type of use... an 8 shot 25 Hornet or 270 REN shooting a .257 or .270 HP rifle bullet sounds interesting, though you'd likely get no bullet expansion at 4" revolver barrel velocities... but case length could be trimmed to fit in the cylinder for either cartridge. & since "bad guys" have started wearin body armor, the spitzer bullets would have the penitration needed if "combatting" someone behind cover, or wearing body armor, the gun might offer some options not available with your normal 357 ???
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Old March 26, 2009, 08:34 AM   #20
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One downside that I see is in taking a case that is already fairly thin walled and blowing it out even more. Might make for a lot of discards when reloading. jd
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Old March 26, 2009, 08:51 AM   #21
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I'm getting pretty good with the Hornet cases now, as I've reloaded for the 22 Hornet for a while, & I just started doing my 1st 17 K Hornets for my 10" Contender... & yes, I get quite a bit of waste in sizing down, but so far, blowing out the shoulders in the 17 K Hornet has not resulted in any scrap, & the cases seem solid... I'm sure case life will be much much shorter than a 38 special or 357 mag, but maybe not once it becomes similar in shape, & if I can get by with a tight taper crimp
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