I have owned my Winchester pre-64 Model 70 Westerner since 1996. I still wears the original barrel 26" with a "saturn" muzzle brake
on it. I use Barnes bullets, first 130 grain "X", now 120 grain TSX. I have taken many elk, mule deer, blacktail deer, wild hogs and coyotes with it. One bullet per critter is enough, if I do my part.
Recoil on my rifle is like a 243. My nephew just built a .264 on a newer control feed Model 70, it has a 26" Lilja barrel with no break, recoil is slightly more than my rifle, but still quit easy on the shooter.
Perhaps it was a good thing the .264 got a bad rap, if more folks had it, there my be less game around?