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Old February 19, 2013, 10:39 PM   #1
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257 Roberts, 6.5x55 Swede, or 7x57 mauser

these are your choices; which one and why?
for what? mostly deer & black bear, coyotes and maybe an elk or cougar
this is a lightweight mountain rifle on a Spanish mauser action
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Old February 19, 2013, 11:43 PM   #2
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My vote is for the 6.5x55, lighter for some game, heavier for something like an elk. That cartridge seems to be very versatile, and my father-in-law's sporterized Swedish Mauser doesn't kick very hard.
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Old February 20, 2013, 12:10 AM   #3
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7x57 Mauser one of the greatest all-around big game cartridges ever, no question. 7 mm has one of the best projectile selections of any caliber too. 120, 139/140, 160, 175 are the main ones I like and use in 7 mm. I've owned 7x57, 7x57R and the 7mm-08 Remington which is nearly a ballistic twin of the 7x57. It takes down deer and hogs very, very well. I'd almost go so far as to say, the 140 grain 7mm does a better job than the 150 grain .308 projectiles at the same velocities.

The .257 Roberts is of course the 7x57 Mauser necked down to .25 caliber. Its a good cartridge but more limited in projectile selection. The 100 grain .25 and 115/117 grain are my choice in the .257 caliber. Although most of my quarter bore killing experience comes from the 117 grain bullet out of the .25-06, I can say for certain, that it is not as good a killer and dosen't make as wide a wound channel as the 140 grain 7mm does and is.

The 6.5x55 is a good cartridge, I don't believe I've ever killed anything with one though, mostly because of rifle selection. I'm not that big a fan of the '96 Mauser and I've just not boght anything else chambered in 6.5x55. I have killed with the .264 Win Mag out of a pre-64 Model 70 Westerner and 6.5-06 out of a custom rifle built on a 1909 Argentine Mauser action though and the 120 grain .264 bullet is a pretty good killer, but, in my opinion, dosen't make as nice a wound as the 140 grain 7mm does.

Bottom line, out of those three, with elk, moose, etc possibly on the table, I'd pick 7x57 Mauser for myself and you should too.
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Last edited by nate45; February 20, 2013 at 06:34 AM. Reason: spelling, I never heard of a projrcyiles before. :)
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Old February 20, 2013, 12:58 AM   #4
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I'd chose 7x57 from that group.
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Old February 20, 2013, 01:28 AM   #5
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I have hunted the western states for the past 30+ years with every imaginable cartridge from 243 to 375 H&H, and I keep coming back to the 7X57. Every animal I ever shot with it just laid down and died. Doesn't beat you up or ruin your hearing, but it kills things dead right there. Never had a 6.5X55, but I have owned a 6.5-06, and it was pretty good but nowhere near the 7X57. Also never owned a 257 Roberts, I have never been a big fan of the 25 caliber cartridges.
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Old February 20, 2013, 08:44 AM   #6
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For the action you listed, I'd choose the 7x57. I have rifles in all the cartridges listed and although I like the 257 for deer, I don't feel it's enough gun from a bullet diameter/weight viewpoint. I've used the 7x57 on deer and coyotes(incidental to deer hunting) for over 20 years and consider it the equal of the 30/06 for medium game.
The 257 is adequate for deer and coyote and bigger game IF the shooter is careful of the application. Unfortunately, many hunters don't possess the skill or self control required to exercise this amount of care so I simply don't recommend such use.
The 6.5x55 is a good round but ammo supply is iffy unless you're a handloader and plan to buy all the brass and bullets you might ever need.
I have one that's currently in pieces awaiting an industrious period to complete the rebarrel project.
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Old February 20, 2013, 08:58 AM   #7
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The 6.5x55 really only shines when you have two things that come together - a modern rifle that can handle higher pressures and the ability to handload. Factory rounds are soft because of the number of older rifles floating around. However, when handloaded, that round really shines.
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Old February 20, 2013, 09:39 AM   #8
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Don't hunt, but do reload for all three cartridges and own maybe 9 rifles with them. Some of my favorite cartridges to shoot at range. All shoot quite well in my rifles.

I'd go with the 7x57 for your hunting needs. Also, since your action was probably chambered originally in 7x57, I'd eliminate the 6.5x55 just to avoid any possible feed problems using this round. Wouldn't be any potential feed problems with a 257R since its just a necked down 7x57.
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Old February 20, 2013, 12:05 PM   #9
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I'm a big fan of 7mm caliber rifles, I own a 280 and love it.
For your needs, like many of the others I would choose the 7x57.

Best Regards
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Old February 20, 2013, 12:11 PM   #10
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Those are three great rounds. No bad choices there.

If it was me... I prefer the Bob. Part of that is nostalgia I'm sure since I read a lot of hunting publications when I was growing up. But I've had such good luck reloading it that I keep coming back to it.

And it is much more than the factory ballistics tables. They are almost always too conservative for a modern rifle. When I had my last custom rifle barreled, I had them go ahead and chamber it for .257 Roberts AI. So I can load and shoot any factory ammo. But when I'm reloading I go with the fireformed AI brass. Which can be loaded at factory conservative levels. Or up to what would be a +P in a standard Bob. Or take full advantage and push it to AI levels. Which is about 150 fps faster. In that case, you are talking about a cartridge using a lot less powder and moving up into the 25-06 class. Not quite full 25-06 but close. Less powder, less blast, and longer barrel life.

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Old February 20, 2013, 12:26 PM   #11
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After owning/shooting/hunting a few 7x57's over the years (Ruger 77RS & #1RSI, & a '93 Mauser), I was attracted to the 6.5x55, since I knew the cartridge is regularly used effectively by Scandinavians on their Elg (our Moose).

Soooooo, I got myself a modern 6.5x55 - a Winchester M70 Featherweight - which turned out to be the most accurate of the bunch, and dropped everything I shot at, here in the US, tuit' suite.

I found the recoil to be somewhat less (160gr 6.5 boolits vs the 175's I was using in my 7x57's), which doesn't make a whole lot of difference to me, but YMMV (of course).

FWIW, I don't believe your Spanish Mauser (M93) to be appropriate for the 6.5x55, since it's use would require the bolt face be opened up/enlarged for the larger rim (larger than the 7x57), and "might" also need feeding work on the magazine throat area of the action underrails (again, due to the different case shape.

OTOH, if you can obtain a 94/96/38 Mauser (Swedish Mausers), you'd be Golden, since the bolt face & throat were made for the 6.5x55.


Last edited by PetahW; February 20, 2013 at 12:32 PM.
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Old February 20, 2013, 12:30 PM   #12
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Old February 21, 2013, 01:03 AM   #13
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thanks for all the thoughts & observations, the chamber in the original barrel (7x57) is splitting cases(5 out of 20), so it's time for a re-barrel.
Even though I keep pressures down (44,000 CUP and below) in my handloads, this one is done.
I have been shooting it for two years and this is the first sign of trouble, so I think I will just stick with the 7mm mauser, even with a new barrel I will keep it in the original pressure levels.
If I need more power I have others in the safe.
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Old February 21, 2013, 09:20 AM   #14
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If the chamber is splitting cases but the bore is in good shape, maybe you could save yourself some money by having the barrel set back quite a bit and the chamber re-reamed to the correct size.
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Old February 21, 2013, 10:00 PM   #15
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If the only centerfire cartridge ever invented was the 7X57, we would not have been any poorer off for that...
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Old February 21, 2013, 10:05 PM   #16
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I also vote for the 7x57, but am curious as to what is meant by "splitting cases". If you mean case separation due to excess headspace, then you need to look at the receiver and/or bolt, not the chamber. A new barrel might or might not correct the problem.

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Old February 21, 2013, 10:34 PM   #17
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I vote 6.5x55. But no bad choice in those three
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Old February 21, 2013, 10:50 PM   #18
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Love .257 Roberts but not for anything bigger than pronghorn or deer but not bear. Might be okay for Elk but would prefer something a little stouter same for cougar. 6.5 would work and I want one in the worst way but my vote would go all the way to 7.57 for a lot of reasons mainly the 130 gr to 175 gr bullet range.
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Old February 21, 2013, 11:15 PM   #19
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split cases = split necks about 1/8" and the case body is oversized about .010", making resizing a real chore and the cases over worked.
So the barrel has served it's time and will be replaced. I do appreciate all the input though. I could just go buy another rifle, but I would rather bring this one back to life.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:04 AM   #20
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I also think 7x57 is the best choice.

That being said, I wonder if neck sizing your reloads will get some more life out of the rifle? Aside from the split cases, how does it shoot?
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Old February 22, 2013, 04:31 AM   #21
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For all but the black bear and elk, the 6mm remington would be my go to round. Its a necked down 7x57/.257 bob
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:12 AM   #22
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Keep in mind that you 93 does not have a safety lug recess on the action so be sure to keep the pressures low. You might have a good smith retemper the action and bolt while you are replacing the barrel.
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:28 AM   #23
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I did start neck sizing about 150 or so rounds ago and it groups about 3-1/2" @100 (open sights) but the receiver has been scrubbed so I am going to D&T it,
as I have a fixed 4.75 power Weaver in the safe looking for a home.
I already put a Boyd's laminate on it a few years ago,(original stock already bubba'd when I got it) and the Adams & Bennett barrel will lighten it up even more, it will be a great stalking rifle.


yeah thanks , I keep pressures low in both of my Spaniards as I have other guns for the high pressure stuff,
I'm going to stick with the 7x57 mauser since I have the dies and all the components, but need to p/u some more brass.

Last edited by tahoe2; February 22, 2013 at 10:38 PM.
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Old February 26, 2013, 08:13 PM   #24
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the 6.5 Swede has really become popular out west for deer and even elk. It is inherently accurate and penetrates very well due to the sectional density of the long for caliber bullets.
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Old February 26, 2013, 08:54 PM   #25
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The Swedes use the 6.5 to hunt elk - their elk is what we call moose. Either that or the 7x57 will do the job.

The modern versions of each - the 260 and 7-08 are also more than capable
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