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Old September 7, 1999, 12:56 AM   #14
Rocky Road
Retired Screen Name
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 167

I was three paragraphs into a masterful reply to Ivanhoe's comments on accuracy of the .257 Robts and it all went away!

In brief---.257 REMINGTON Roberts (the current version--there were others, varying mainly in shoulder angle) is the 7x57 Mauser service cartridge necked down to take the same bullets as the .250-3000 Savage. There were a LOT of 1893 and 1895 Mauser rifles sold cheap after The Great War, many chambered for 7x57. Bolt face was right, magazine was right. Never mind that the steel in some of those rifles didn't take top-end wildcat pressures very well. Not that they'd blow up, but it was not unusual for them to elongate just a bit.

Ned Roberts was one of the great wildcatters and ballistic experimenters of the 1930s, and he did wonderful stuff with the cartridge. Lotsa people wanted one. As ever, a lot of furearms enthusiasts /"gun nuts"/ didn't have a lot of money. There is a bit more to a successful conversion than screwing in a new barrel, but short cuts DO happen.

Also, even up into the 1950s, there were a lot of corrosive primers being loaded.

Now, figure, a poorly done conversion, improper headspace, rough barrel, perhaps chambered for an earlier version of the .257 ctg, maybe shot with hot loads to the point of stretching out, and it is QUITE possible to see some poor accuracy in a given rifle.

But, with a professional grade conversion of a Mauser '98, with ammo matched to the chamber, or, better still, a Remington Express or 1917 Enfield, Remington 721 or 700, an old style Winchester Model 70 or a Ruger 77, and you have quite a different story.

The only really inaccurate .257 I've seen in recent years--like, the last 25 years--has been a Ruger 77 lightweight with short barrel. It is at Southport, CT, right now, being refurbished.

Sometime back--over 20 years ago, Ruger did a short run of the 77S with open sights, round receiver, and a medium-heavy sporter (or was it a light varmint) barrel.

I was crowded into trading for one of these, as a favor to a friend, who REALLY wanted a pistol I had and couldn't aford to buy it outright. I wasn't really interested, but made the deal. I am tempted to kiss that man every time I see him now. In short, I had to WORK to make it shoot much over an inch, even when VERY dirty. After I realized the treasure I had, I have carefully loaded for it and cherished it properly.

I have loaded sub-MOA ammo in old brass and new, R-P, REM-UMC, Winchester, Super Speed, Super-X, and W-W headstamp, and I'm probably missing some. All I have to do is trim cases occasionally, and I like to match them up by head stamp and keep all in a lot within a half-grain in weight of each other. I do NOT believe that any manufacturer puts any less quality control into .257 brass than .25-06, .30-06, or any other standard sporting cartridge.

My rifle likes IMR 4350 powder and 100 grain Sierra Spitzer, flat base bullets. On a calm day, I will shoot 3/4 inch groups for you on demand. My eyes are just not good enough to do better. I THINK the rifle will, because my elder son and I have both shot half-inch groups with it. I just can't do that on demand. I imagine that if I changed out the old Weaver steel-tube 3-9X scope, it would do better, too.

I'd hate to have to load a truck with all the game, deer, hogs and assorted varmints, that's fallen to that rifle since I've had it. Both my sons, my daughter-in-law, and at least one ex-neighbor all took their first deer with it. I used to loan it out to people who were recoil shy but wanted to shoot a deer. No more. I'll let others shoot it now, but ONLY when my eldest son or I am along on the hunt.

I disdain those who anthromorphosize firearms. It is only a step from there to granting the anti-gunners the stupid thought that there's something inherently EVIL about (certain) firearms. They are just tools, some more finely wrought than others. And, that said, my .257 is a fine, FINE tool.

Enough of this. Best regards to all.


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