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.257 STW Project

 
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  #8  
Old 03-06-2006, 05:06 AM
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Re: .257 STW Project

I have a 257 STW being built by Kevin Weaver on a 700 acon and a McMillian stock with a 27" Pacnor #3 Fluted.
I first read about the 257 STW in the articles about 2j outfitters. I gave them a call but his prices were way higher than I wanted to go. He does get more velocity out of the 257 STW than most people can, but he won't tell you how other than he has built a bunch of them and he works up the load for each rifle, he uses RL 25.

Anyway Kevin Weaver builds great rifles and his prices are the best value that I have seen. Take a look at his web site.

Weaver Rifles
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  #9  
Old 03-06-2006, 10:54 AM
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Re: .257 STW Project

BLAS 93,

Holding information until a rifle is ordered is insane, DRIVES ME CRAZY!!! A gunsmiths job is to answer questions freely and not play these games.

I talked with many smiths before I built my very first 257 STW. All were local small smiths, like myself and all told me that in a 28" pipe you would get 4100 fps with a 100 gr class bullet.

Thinking I would soon have the ultimate laser beam rifle I ordered in a Lilja 3 groove 30" #6 barrel. Same barrel Hvyw8t has on his rifle only not fluted.

After 8 weeks the barrel arrived and I started making chips on my first STW project rifle. Got her finished and headed to the range. Started load development using data from the many smiths I talked to and basically loaded up until I was getting near their velocities.

I new I would be well under pressure as I had 2" more barrel to use. Well, at 4000 fps I was decapping my cases while I shot them [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]!!!

Not total blow outs but very loose primers. I could not figure out what was going on. Called some of the smiths up and they said I must have a very slow barrel as they were getting exactly what they said they were.

Well my rifle was shooting very well, under 1/2 moa so I was happy. Settled on a load that produced 3950 fps which was about a grain less then primer loosening loads in 60 degree weather.

Over the last several years I have built a dozen more 257 STWs with barrel lengths form 26 to 30" and I can tell you for a fact, 4000 fps is not a practical load in a 257 STW with a 30" Lilja barrel at least. Most will average 3950 to 3975 fps in a full 30" barrel.

In a 28" pipe, you will be looking at the high 3800 fps range. around 3880 fps on average from what I have seen.

In a 26" pipe you will be around 3800 fps even with a 100 gr bullet. These are averages, you could swing 50 fps either way from these numbers but these are what I consider average velocities with this bullet weight.

On an interesting note. I was able to test one of the rifle built from one of the other smiths I had spoken to earlier that said he was getting legit 4100 fps velocities with the 100 gr bullets. THe rifle was having an extraction problem and the owner was not happy with the smith that built the rifle so he came to me.

I told him to bring a supply of his loads which were loaded to the specs given to him by the rifles builder, remember these were supposed to be getting 4100 fps in the 28" NWPrecision barrel. The customer said the rifle shot well but extraction was tight. I asked how many rounds were down the barrel and he said what was shot in the box. It was a 50 round ammo box with 13 round left so there had been 37 rounds down the bore.

Well, with the rifle in my grubby little hands I had to try it out over the chrono graph.

In a 65 degree day, the rifle was producing 3865 fps on average for five shots using a top listed load of Rl-25!!!

Seems most of these smiths are using inflated velocities as a sales gimick to get the orders.

I have always found the STW performed much better with heavy bullets in fact my favorite 257 STW bullet is the 130 gr BCFBHP from Wildcat Bullets. In a 30" pipe this bullet can be driven to 3450 fps easily and often pushed near 3500 fps. THe weight of this bullet just really helps tame the personality of this large cased 257 magnum. They even work a bit better in shorter length barrels.

As far as recommendations for your rifle, I would also agree that 28" is a minimum length barrel. A 26" or 27" barrel will work but you really start taking the legs out from under the round. In this barrel length, a round such as the 257-300 Win Mag will match it performance wise and the 257 Wby will not be far off. With a longer barrel though you will get the velocity gains to make the added case capacity worth while.

Bullet weights, I recommend 100 gr bullets as a minimum but will admit that in some cases, the 85 gr Ballistic Tips are very impressive for varmint hunting. Not every rifle will shoot a 100 gr bullet, have to feed the beasts what they like [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]!!

Powders to choose from, My personal favorite is Retumbo for the 100 gr bullet weights as well as any bullet weight up to 130 gr. That said, I have witnessed in more then one rifle some powder bridging issues using Retumbo, H-1000 and Rl-25.

Because of this, I have recommended that customers try Ramshots Magnum powder which is very similiar in burn rate and has solved these issues when they are occuring with basically identical performnace levels. Magnum may be one of the best powder choices for bullets in the 100-130 gr range.

Also remember the heavies as well. A 142 or 156 gr ULD RBBT in an STW is a serious extreme range choice!!! These were designed for my larger 257 AM but work equally well in the STW chambering as well as my 257 Allen Xpress which is a ballistic twin to the STW but in the shorter fatter, non belted 300 Dakota parent case.

Finally, if a smith will not give you information, move on, there are alot of top quality smiths out there, find one that will offer the answers to the questions you have and then decide who you want to build your rifle.

This is not a sales pitch to get a rifle order, not looking for that at all. Just that any smith that does not feely offer advice and answers to questions is letting all shooters down, thats our jobs to offer information is we have the answers to them. If not, do our best to find out.

THe STW is a great round, just give her a bit of barrel to run in.

Kirby Allen(50)
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Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

allenmagnum@gmail.com
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  #10  
Old 03-06-2006, 12:51 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 147
Re: .257 STW Project

FiftyDriver, I did a little checking 2joutfiters uses a custom chamber simular to what weatherby does to get the higher velocities. He claims .5 MOA accuracy even with the freebore. I don't know when I talked to him my BS alarm was going off. Which is why I got Kevin Waver to build my rifle.

I also have heard that Ramshot Magnum is a better powder than RL 25 in the 257 stw.

We see what she will do in a few weeks. I will post the chrono results and targets.

Has anyone tried he GS-Custom HV bullets for any of the high velocity rounds.
DR B
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Three rules of Life: If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. Don't worry about what people think; they don't do it very often. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
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  #11  
Old 03-06-2006, 01:06 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 147
Re: .257 STW Project

FiftyDriver, The reason I'm building a 257 stw is I want a hunting rifle that preformes like my 223wssm and 22-250.ie: over 4000 fps with a hunting bullet. I get 4400 fps with .3" groups out of my 223wssm with a 26" barrel. Why can't we just increase the case volume as we increase the caliber, and get porprtional results.
I would love to have a 30 cal rifle that would exceed 4000fps with good accuracy and barrel life.
I hope that I'm not rambling, but what are the road blocks to this kind of preformance.
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Three rules of Life: If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. Don't worry about what people think; they don't do it very often. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
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  #12  
Old 03-06-2006, 06:34 PM
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Re: .257 STW Project

BjLooper,

No road blocks at all except that barrel life will be shorter with a 30 cal reaching this level of velocity.

Also remember, a give size cartridge will stress a rifle system a certain amount. The larger the cartridge grows in size, the more stress is imposed on the receiver, barrel, bedding and stock.

With smaller calibers that reach 4K in velocity, they really do not stress a rifle all that much. A 30 cal that drives a big game bullet to 4000 fps will generate serious stress on a rifle. Any minute flaws in the rifle are magnified several times over with the large chambering.

Also, remember that smaller caliber bullets have been tested and retested and tested some more to produce fine accuracy and consistancy because they are used on very small targets most of the time. most 30 cal bullets that will handle a 4000 fps launch speed are not known for their accuracy qualities on average.

And the 30 cal bullets that are designed for accuracy are not designed to be shot at velocities much over 3200 fps at most. That is a hell of a jump to 4K.

When you think of accuracy rounds in 30 cal you think of 308 Wins and 300 WSMs and 300 Win Mags. Yes we make the 300 RUMS and 30-378 Wbys shoot very well but it is a much more detailed process to accomplish this goal.

On top of that, touching off a 22 cal round that uses 45 to 50 grains of powder is alot different then shooting a 30 cal that burns anywhere from 100 to 120 grains of powder!!

SO to answer your question, there are no reasons this can not be done. It sounds like you think along the lines or Mr. Weatherby and Mr. Lazzeroni with the theory that velocity is the key. Thats fine for at ranges past 700 yards that theory looses alot of steam compared to a high BC bullet at moderate to high speed.

Good Shooting!!

Kirby Allen(50)
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Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

allenmagnum@gmail.com
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  #13  
Old 03-07-2006, 06:03 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 234
Re: .257 STW Project

Where do I get shells for the 257 STW.
Do I make them or What.
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  #14  
Old 03-07-2006, 06:24 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 630
Re: .257 STW Project

you can neck down 7mm stw brass in a die, or I saw midway carried already necked down brass, it was costly though.

Rcbs makes dies as well as getting some custom ones made

d-a
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