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Old June 9, 2011, 10:15 AM   #1
PDW292
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264 win mag or 257 Roberts

Recently I found a deal on a Leupold VX-III 4.5-14x/BC reticle, to good to pass on. Now I need a rifle for it. One of my local firearm dealers has some good prices on Ruger No1's. I am interested in either the 264 win mag, or the 257 Roberts, I do not have any experience with either of these cartridges. I do hand load, so components and options are a factor. I have heard that the 264 is a barrel burner, any insight or experience you guys have with either round would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks Paul
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Old June 9, 2011, 10:21 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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I've never found the .264 to be partcularly accurate. It burns way too much powder for the performance levels it gives back, and it can be VERY hard on barrels.

The .257 Roberts, on the other hand, is one of those truly great cartridges that has just never quite gotten the recognition that it so richly deserves.

It gives performance that seems all out of proportion with the size of the case, and it's very mild mannered. I've also found the two .257s I've worked with in years past, both Winchesters, to be EXTREMELY accurate.

Given the choice between a .257 and a .264? No contest. .257 Roberts every day of the week and four times on Sunday.
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Old June 9, 2011, 11:00 AM   #3
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I agree with avoiding the .264. Unless you handload, the .264 mag is way too expensive to shoot, burns barrels, recoils too much, and give questionable accuracy.

However, since you said you don't handload I would also recommend against the .257 Roberts. It is a great cartridge but ammo availability is spotty and limited. For the same performance and recoil, you would do much better with some of the more available calibers like .260REM, 7mm-08, or even the 6.5x55.
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Old June 9, 2011, 11:16 AM   #4
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Wow! Talk about two extremes! The 264 Win Mag is classic 1960s case design: a large case launching a small bullet in front of a pile of powder, the 257 Roberts is a pipsqueak case that uses finesse and delivers the goods (like all of the 57mm cased cartridges). I have seen the 264WM deliver well as far as accuracy, but it takes a lot of load tuning to get there. In contrast, it's simple to get good accuracy out of the 257 Roberts.

The Ruger #1 is a good rifle with a fanatic following. The accuracy issues with Ruger #1s are discussed like the rifles were demon-possessed: some are amazingly accurate right out of the box, others need voodoo or exorcism and tuning techniques that would make the folks at NASA proud in order to get them to deliver acceptable accuracy. Not my favorite rifle (as you can probably tell), but a good rifle none the less.

Considering the schizophrenic accuracy reputations of the 264 and the Ruger #1, given those chambering choices I would choose the 257 Roberts. Reloading components are available for either one, but find a good source of powder if you choose the 264.
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Old June 9, 2011, 03:27 PM   #5
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split the difference and get a 25-06!
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Old June 9, 2011, 05:15 PM   #6
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PDW, what are you going to do with this rifle, hunt or just target shoot? If hunting what type of distances are normal?
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Old June 9, 2011, 08:16 PM   #7
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+ 1 for the 25-06
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Old June 9, 2011, 08:54 PM   #8
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The .264 could be interesting but it would have to be a handload job for sure. Even with loading your own there would be a bit of work I suspect in finding good loads. Lyman 49th edition only lists one 140 grn projectile with loads at approx. 2900 fps. Those ballistics aren't an improvement on .270 Win loads.

Either round could be fun to work with a mild versatile .25 or a .264 a whopping 7 thousandths bigger that goes faster and shots flatter. I'd work with the Roberts before I'd go for the .264
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Old June 9, 2011, 10:00 PM   #9
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.257 Roberts is best choice. .264 mags burn out barrels really quickly.

And if you get a custom barrel and handload the .257 Roberts Ackley Improved is really sexy.

Last edited by warbirdlover; June 9, 2011 at 10:06 PM.
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Old June 9, 2011, 10:26 PM   #10
Art Eatman
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My usual question is, "Whatcha gonna do with the rifle?" For the most common deer hunting distances, the scope is nice but way more than necessary, particularly with the Roberts.

Open country or bean field? No flies on a .264. I've only messed with one of them, in a 1966 variety Model 70; with handloads it was a tack driver. "Barrel burner" is no handicap for a mostly-hunting rifle, since they're not shot all that much. But, a handloader doesn't HAVE to load to max. In that cartridge, I'd bet that around 25 to 30 grains of 2400 would put a bullet out at somewhere around 2,000 to 2,300 ft/sec, and that won't burn the leade.

(My '06 plinker load is 20 grains of 2400 with a 169-grain lead gas-check bullet; about 1,800 ft/sec.)
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Old June 9, 2011, 10:35 PM   #11
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I see it the way mike sees it. While i love the idea of a magnum 6.5, the .264 win mag is a definite barrel burner.
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Old June 9, 2011, 10:52 PM   #12
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It really depends on what you plan to do with it.
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Old June 10, 2011, 07:08 AM   #13
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ruger # 1

I was at a gun show where a gent had several #1s in a variety of calibers. He had a .260 and 6.5x55 swede that would be my first choices. But if you are picking from the .264 mag and the bob I would go with the bob.
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Old June 10, 2011, 08:00 AM   #14
Lloyd Smale
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I chuckle at guys who badmouth the .264 mag when in all reality its so close to a 7mag that there about indentical. Its no more of a barrel burner then a 7mag or 300 mag. IF you get them hot by shooting so fast the barrel doesnt get a chance to cool your will get throat errosion faster then say a 257 roberts but if you take care to avoid overheating your gun a 264 will last long enough that your great grandchliden will be still shooting it accurately.
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Old June 10, 2011, 08:31 AM   #15
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The two cartridges are so different in capabilities that I am not sure why one would be wondering. However, I have known several people who had .264s with no barrel burn out.

Yes, I suspect that the barrel life is relatively short compared to some other cartridges , like the 30-06 or .270, but I suspect that the average hunter and shooter will never have to re-barrel in his lifetime.

Regards,
Jerry
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Old June 10, 2011, 09:10 AM   #16
Art Eatman
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Blackops_2, most of these maggies are used in hunting. Deer, elk, suchlike. Please name for me anybody you know who has shot enough critters plus sight-in such that he burned the leade beyond accuracy.
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Old June 10, 2011, 10:17 AM   #17
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Haha yeah you got me on that, I guess I was thinking of what I would do with it rather than using it as a regular hunting rifle. If I had one and a decent amount of time on my hands it would burn up pretty fast
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Old June 10, 2011, 10:28 AM   #18
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No particular purpose.

I'm not looking for a firearm to fill any certain need or use. I will take it out and take at least one deer with it, just so I can say I did. Most of my reloading consists of hunting load that I have found to work for me, not much experimenting.
That's why I'm thinking of getting something a little different to try working up different loads for, not necessarily full power rounds. So if I'm putting say a box of ammo once a month thru the 264 i'm I ever going to burn out the barrel?
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Old June 10, 2011, 11:18 AM   #19
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It will still take a couple of years if not more and that's if you consistently shoot those 20 rounds every month. Where its really a barrel burner is for comp use or target shooting where some would put 300-500 rounds through it a month while trying to get the best performance for long range.
The only part about the .264 win mag that puzzles me is bullet weight, the common bullets in the 6.5 are 120-140grs I haven't seen many 160gr and I don't know if the 6.5 goes to 180gr.
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Last edited by Blackops_2; June 10, 2011 at 11:27 AM.
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Old June 10, 2011, 12:17 PM   #20
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New Plan

Thanks for your input Guys, but I just found a No. 1 chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.
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Old June 10, 2011, 12:51 PM   #21
Blackops_2
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Also a good choice I was going suggest a 6.5-284 if you didn't want to burn all that powder with the win mag.
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Old June 10, 2011, 02:15 PM   #22
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Excellent choice, I know you'll enjoy that round
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Old June 10, 2011, 02:18 PM   #23
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The 6.5 C should be a great choice.What I wanted to suggest about the original question:Consider percentages.
I am going to make some rash seat of the pants statements about ranges.They are for visualization purposes only.If you don't agree with them,fine,change them.The number does not matter.
Suppose the 257 R is a 300 yd clean kill cartridge on a deer.Suppose the .264 stretches that to as far as the shooter can gage wind,range,mirage,etc.Call it 600 yds.
What percentage of real world deer hunting shots will be between 300 and 600 yds?What percentage will be 300 yds or less?
The 264 has advantage on the over 300 yd shots.
At 200 yds,a more common hunting shot,the 257 shooter has been practicing with a mild rifle.It is easy to shoot well.Bang,thud,dead deer.
At 200 yds,if a magnum shooter keeps his eyes open,Bang,Whap!Dead deer.
Now,go dress it and cut it up.You will get more good table meat with the 257.
IMHO,there is a value in the 90% shot rifle.Sometimes,you may have to get closer or pass the shot.If you carry the 10% specialized rifle,it still does not guarantee shot placement at 600 yds,but its always heavier,messes up more meat,kicks harder,makes more noise,and burns bbls faster.
A long time ago,I bought an old round,40's Ford sedan looking 63 Volvo 544 for $400.I drove it 13 years before I gave it away,still running.It got 30 mpg on the road,was dependable,would break any speed limit,etc.The 257 Roberts is kind of like that old Volvo.
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Old June 11, 2011, 06:29 PM   #24
Clifford L. Hughes
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PDW292:

When I researched the ballistics through the Ohler ballistics computer program for my M-70 264, I found that the the 270 Winchester's ballistics and the 264Winchester magnum's ballistics almost identical and that the 270 used less powder. The advantage that the 264 is it superior ballistis coefficient bullets resulting in better long range performance. However, the 257 is a power house in a small package, a little less powerful than the 270 Winchester. The 257 is under rated and is a fine deer caliber.. On the other hand, the 264 is more powerful than the 257 Roberts. As far as I know, Remington is the only supplier of .264 ammo.

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Last edited by Clifford L. Hughes; June 11, 2011 at 06:31 PM. Reason: left out word
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Old June 11, 2011, 07:15 PM   #25
Mike Irwin
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Every 7mm Magnum I've ever worked with has had far better base accuracy than the two .264 Mags I've worked with.

As far as burning the barrel out on a .264, no, if you download it some you won't toast the barrel nearly as quickly, if it all. That's a known.

But, if you do that, then you're not really getting the Magnum in the .264 Magnum.

And, if you start downloading it, you might as well go with a .25-06 and save about 20 grains of powder and get very close to the same performance.

That said, I've often suspected that the accuracy issues I've seen with the .264 had a lot more to do with the build of the Winchester rifles that were available at the time.

I suspect that a heavier barrel, a somewhat heavier stock, and possibly a BOSS would do wonders for it.
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