View Full Version : Small rifle Big results

November 26, 2004, 11:04 AM
Reading riddleofsteel’s post about his (and his son’s) 6.5 I felt compelled to write about my own remarkable little rifle

This season I took five deer with a Remington model 722 .257 Roberts shooting factory 117grain core-lokt soft points. The shots ranged from 120yards to 170 yards and each deer fell from one round and the largest of the three bucks was nine points and 218lb field dressed. Of the five four had one collapsed lung plus major shock trauma, two were hit in the heart or the aorta and in one the heart was laying lose in the chest cavity! I like aim small hit small also ;)
Two remarkable things about this little rifle. One is that I purchased it for $25.00 at a garage sale. When I asked about what the old boy wanted for that old rifle in the corner he said “what that old .22? Oh, 25 bucks should do.” I never considered haggling over the price of “that old .22) and nearly hurt myself getting to my wallet fast enough!
The other things is, that in nearly 20 years this weapon’s scope has never been adjusted! It has Weaver rings which hold and old Weaver K-4 scope, and each year I pull it out and shoot a three leafed clover at 100 yards and forget about touching that scope again for a year. Now if it were a larger caliber rifle, say 30.06 or larger I am sure the shock from discharging the firearm would be cause to adjust the scope from time to time. However with the .257s near non-existent recoil is what I assume is the case for about twenty years of tack driving with this rifle.
I will someday need to replace my stolen .300WM because I will not use the .257 on large white tails over 200yards nor will I be able to use it for elk or muley hunting. But for now I will brag day in and out about the clean killing power of my little rifle.

Long Path
November 26, 2004, 03:18 PM
I've shot a good-sized (150+ lb) whitetail at 300 yards with a .257 Rbts shooting 100gr Sierra spitzers, and though the shot was too far back, made a one-shot kill. A year later I watched my hunting buddy shoot a large (175+ lb) doe at about 320 yds at dusk with another .257 Rbts, his loaded with 100grn Nosler Ballistic Tips to only medium velocities. While mine, hit a little far back, ran a little before expiring, his, hit perfectly, just rolled over and died. Both of us got through-and-through penetration-- his expanded nicely, based on the exit hole. My exit wound was in the .40 cal range.

While I wouldn't recommend .257 Rbts for beyond about 300 yds for large deer, I can say without qualification that with 100g bullets, it's absolutely good out to 300. I've since moved to the 117g and 120 bullets for the better sectional density and slightly better wind-bucking ability, as I've found that I can load them to within about 120 to 150 fps of the 100g loads. (Velocity is about the same at 350, fwiw.)

The .257 was largely supplanted by the .243 and 6mms. While there's an overlap of abilities, the .257 Rbts can do things that the .243 can't really be relied upon to do. In the 120g loads, I would feel perfectly fine taking elk or even black bear with a .257 Rbts, and I wouldn't EVER feel appropriate with a .243 doing that. While the .243 is adequate for deer, the .257 is more than adequate for deer, but without the unnecessary recoil or blast of a big .30 or a .270 or a 7mm. My wife took her first two deer with a .257 Rbts, and refuses to consider using anything else. :) I would have to agree with Frank Barnes [Cartridges Of The World] that it's not far off from being the "most useful rifle cartridge ever developed".

The .257 is particularly handy in a light handy rifle like the 722, as the recoil's still not too bad.

I will someday need to replace my stolen .300WM...One is that I purchased it for $25.00 at a garage sale. When I asked about what the old boy wanted for that old rifle in the corner he said “what that old .22? Oh, 25 bucks should do.” I never considered haggling over the price of “that old .22) and nearly hurt myself getting to my wallet fast enough!Heh. Sounds like you're even-up. You had one rifle stolen, then you just about stole another! :)

November 26, 2004, 03:20 PM
In the days before the .243 was lauded by the gun scribes as the ultimate small bore deer rifle the .257 Roberts and the 250 Savage, and the 25-06 were the primary choices of the recoil wary deer hunter. I owned a rebarreled Mexican Mauser that was chambered in .257 Roberts and "sporterized." It took many, many, white tails and varmits until I picked up a Model 99 Savage in 250 Savage at a gun show. With a low mount 4X scope I carried it for almost a decade until I retired it for a Remington Sendero in 25-06. You see my love affair with the quarter bore rifle is decades old and still going strong. It is only in the last 10 to 12 years I have come to view the 6.5 or .26 as the "ultimate" deer caliber.
I built my son a 6.5-284 and I use a 6.5x55 for general all around woods hunting.

Long Path
November 26, 2004, 03:36 PM
riddleofsteel, you've certainly run the gamut of quarter bores! That sporterized Mexican Mauser in .257 Rbts sounds like a nifty conversion (I have a love of the old 7mm cartridge and its varients), but is about as different as possible from the Savage 99 in .250 (another GREAT cartridge!), which is handy and neat, but then to go to the hot, heavy Sendero in .25-'06?!? Talk about a change of pace!

I've got a Sendero in .300 Win Mag, and have hunted hard with my father's semi-varminter-profile-barrel .257 Rbts Ruger 77. As they both are rather heavy rifles and both turn in nice tight sub-m.o.a. groups with hot loads, we've just taken to calling the .257 the "Mini Sendero." I have to admit, as my knees get older and the hills get steeper, I do start now to think fondly of the lightweight qualilties of my Featherweight M70 .243. I've gotta find me a lightweight .257, one of these days.

November 26, 2004, 09:17 PM
I'd never seen a .257 until I started hunting down in the swamp with one of my friends a few years ago. His father had more than one and reloaded his own ammo about one batch every ten years. He had the same sort of remarkably consistant patterns with it as you have CJ, although I attributed them to his military training and over 50 years of shooting experiance. As far as I know he continued to use the same batch of ammo year after year, shooting just enough to harvest deer. The story was the same, each deer came in with a 1/2 inch hole blown through its ribs just behind its front legs.

Before I got my .243 I looked up the reloading tables for the .257 and must say I'm more favorably impressed by its flexibility than the .243. (It would appear nearly perfect as it its but even so I have heard of .257 Roberts Improved, which is one of those guns you just can't find. I forget exactly the difference between the two but if my memory serves me correctly Ackley toyed with the shoulder angles like he did with so many other calibers.)

Long Path
November 26, 2004, 09:46 PM
The .257 Improved is a pretty nifty deal: By blowing out the shoulder angle, the powder capacity is increased, so that another 100 to 150 fps is gained. The neat thing about it is that it still accepts factory .257 Rbts ammo, and the brass is fire-formed to the Improved chamber upon shooting the regular ammo.

November 27, 2004, 09:30 PM
CJ, looking at your post again I've been wondering does your rifle have a youth stock and a lightweight barrel? How big is it, both in pounds and inches?

November 28, 2004, 01:52 AM
You know M&M you may have something witht he youth model idea. I'll need to do some measuring and a bit more research because when I did a Google search on Remington 722 all the pics I found had checkering on the stock. Mine has no checkering, it's smooth. :cool:

January 9, 2005, 02:09 PM
I ran into a fellow I worked with 20 years ago and while waiting for some car repairs he told me he had his dad's 760 Remington in 257 Roberts and did I want to buy it. Well, it's got light rust overall and dust build-up you wouldn't believe but for $120 it found a new home. He said his dad always used it for groundhogs with light bullets but I'm anxious to see what I can do with it. I only got one magazine with it and don't know if any of the new 7600 mags will fit.

I've been thinking seriously about hunting feral hogs if I can find somewhere good to go. Also, with some of the postings I've seen about Big, Mean 300-350 lb. hogs I don't know if the 257 would be big enough. I could use a 44 Mag. Handi-Rifle or step up to a 30-06 Springfield if needed.

January 10, 2005, 11:34 PM
That is quite an excellent impressive l'il rifle, CJ - thanks for the story. Good all-around caliber indeed. And what a steal - $25 - tell me, did that include the Weaver scope and rings? I envy you on that deal. They don't make em like they used to - I understand that those old steel weavers were quite the scopes...

January 11, 2005, 05:07 PM
I like hearing stories like that. The .257 Roberts at one time was very popular. Ruger still makes their M77 in that caliber. I think they even chamber their Ultralight in it, which would be a nice, carryable deer gun.

About the Weaver K4...those scopes are indeed very tough. Dad has one on his sporterized Enfield 1917 30-06. I think it's a late '60's model, and he's only adjusted it maybe once. It's been through lots of hunts, and is still holding up.

January 11, 2005, 07:41 PM
Got to start going to garage sales again. :D

January 18, 2005, 06:59 PM
my "little gun" was a remington 742 in .243 and boy oh boy did it do a sweet job on deer and i got a coyote at 250 with no holdover i love that little .243

January 21, 2005, 11:34 PM
My little gun was a 222 Remington BDL. Damn I wish I never sold that gun. out to 250 yards a clean deer kill was easy. Quarter size groups easy at 200 yards. At 100 yards you could put five shots inside a dime. Shot placement is everything when hunting. One reason I never got off into mag guns. I could do everything with a smaller cal that is very accurate

January 28, 2005, 09:01 PM
i have to agree with you on all but one thing i know its possible but i just think that .22 cal is too small for deer

N.H. Yankee
February 2, 2005, 07:56 AM
I have a limited run Savage 110 in 257 Roberts as well as a ruger 77. I cant say enough good about this little powerhouse, it is the reloaders caliber as some of the factory ammo rem. in particular are loaded way down due to older guns and I imagine some weaker Mauser conversions. I use Win.+p brass and load the 120gr Speer Grandslam using H4831 to just above 2800fps chronographed. I can enjoy shooting the Roberts as I have 4 bad discs in my back and 2 in my neck as well as arthritus, I shoot my 308 and after 10 rounds its all over. The 257 Bob has been a savior for me and I by no means feel undergunned even in black bear country. With the right bullets its like death by lightning for deer.