I'd like your input on these two rounds. I'm looking to buy/build a varmint/deer rifle and I can't decide between the two. The 25-06 being cheaper to shoot(practice makes perfect)is a big plus. But at the same time, I've had a 257 Wby and REALLY liked how it performed on deer.
I don't want to go with a 25-06 and always be wishing I had a 257 Wby because I wanted to save a few bucks on ammo. Will I be disappointed with a 25-06 after having a 257 Wby? Is the 25-06 easier to load for than the 257 Wby due to the belt and double radius shoulder on the Wby? Which one has longer brass life? I'm not crazy about owning a wildcat but another thought would be to split the difference and go with a 25-06 AI. What do you think???
I recently has similar thoughts as I am having my 25/06 tuned and re-barrelled with a 27" Lilja #8.
I studied Ackley's old writings and talked with a number of shooters, both local and online.
My decision was still uncertain, but when I sat down and put pencil to paper regarding fire forming costs, the AI cartridge just did not justify itself for my purposes.
I decided against the Weatherby as I wanted to be able to buy bulk brass reasonably, both locally and online.
All in all, the 25/06 has done everything I have asked of it. Keep in mind, my rifle is primarily a varmint rig and sees at least 100 rounds down the tube weekly, therefore, cost of components and barrel life are a prime consideration for me.
Which ever way you go, I think you'll enjoy the calibre. Damned impressive bullets that seem to exhibit terminal ballistics well out of proportion from what would be expected.
You may want to look at the 25 Gibbs or 25-06 improved if you want to stay on the '06 case. My gibbs will virtually duplicate the 257 wby. If you want a magnum then look at the STW case and go with it in 257 or better the 264. 7 STW brass is easily necked down, easy to get and fairly cheap next to the weatherby with more firepower. 25-06 brass is cheap and easy to make the gibbs or improved. In the class cartridge you are looking at the 25 gibbs would be the best answer. Cheap brass and about the same velocity as the 257 wby.
I have all of these rifles and some other 25's and can tell you like it is from personal experience. I have all the gibbs from 243 to 358 and they are all exceptional shooters that will come close enough to there standard magnum counterpart to not make any difference in a hunting situation. 243 gibbs beats the 240 wby, the 257, 264, 7mm, 30, 338, and 358 gibbs are very close to the 257 wby, 264 winchester, 7mm rem mag, 300 win mag, 30-338 and 308 norma, 338 win mag, and 358 norma. Less recoil, noise, cheaper to load and they do well in the shorter lighter hunting rifles than the big mags. Just food for thought.
Predictions are difficult, especially when they involve the future
I too shoot the Gibbs line and have for many years. My 25 Gibbs will stay with any 257 Weatherby and as a matter of fact with my 34" barrel, I doubt if any 257 Weatherby will keep up with it at all.
If someone wants a fine 6.5 Cartidge that will stay with and beat the 264 Mag with less powder, try the 6.5 Gibbs on a 270 Case.
Ray Romain (Gunsmith friend in PA) has ALL the Gibbs reamers if anyone is interested.
If you want a great 30 Caliber that will stick with a 300 Win mag up to 180 Gr bullets, try the 30 Gibbs.
That entire line was way ahead of their time and if Rocky was alive today with all the powders and bullets available, he would be out shooting everyday and winning many records like he did when he was with us.
I would pick the 25/06 or the 25 Gibbs anyday over the 257 Weatherby.
One of the reasons you don't hear too much about them are that you must fireform the cases first and many shooters don't like to do this. They think it's unnessary barrel wear and I agree.
There are other ways to fireform with out sending a bullet down the bore though.
You can also load to the specs of the case or caliber that you are starting with say the 25/06 and go woodchuck hunting that day.
Hence, no wasted barrel steel.
Another reason you don't hear too much about them is, Rocky has been dead a long time now and took much of his chambering tecniques withhim. It has been copied by chamber prints and many gunsmiths are doing a fine job of duplicating. Some are using the 270 case instead of the 30/06 and find a longer neck is produced and a better case. A 270 case for example when necked down to a 6.5 diameter,makes a fine cartridge that will stick with any 264 mag out there with the 140 gr bullets and an 8 twist.
The 25 Gibbs I have when shooting the 100 Gr Ballistic tip is something to see when shooting 1000 to 1100 yards. Don't blink your eyes or you will miss the hit. It gets there in a hurry.
Rocky died many years ago and people jumped over to the Ackley line at that time. Big problem was,Rocky Gibbs found the 35 degree shoulder of his line better then 40degree of the Ackley, he got longer brass life and still had a wildcat round that would duplicate magnums that were beginning life for the sportsman.
If you get a chance, get the book called---A man and his Cartriges-- It is all about Rocky Gibbs and his entire line of calibers.
If you interested in knowing more about the line, call Ray Romain at Romains Custom Guns in Pennsylvania (814-265-1948) and he will tell you a bit about all of them. He and I have been friends along time now.
I know of no website concerning the Gibbs Line at this time.
Every Gibbs I have ever had over the years shoot well and reached out,especially with at least 30" barrels on them. I have the 25 Gibbs, the 6.5 Gibbs and two 30 Gibbs at present.
Several years ago I wrote an article in the Varmint Hunter Magazine called --The amazing 6.5 Gibbs-- Ray Romain has built 40 6.5 Gibbs rifles off that article.
The 6.5 will outperform the 25 Calibers because of the better bullets with higher BC ratings. The 25 calibers are still good though. I'm talking about longrange shooting or hunting.