.257 stw

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by slickyboyboo, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. slickyboyboo

    slickyboyboo Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    I am looking into building a .257 STW, and wondering what kind of life expectancy I can look at getting from a single barrel, if i'm looking to shoot a 100 gr bullet at around 4000 fps? I have heard anywhere from 600 rnds to 1800 rnds, just trying to narrow it down a little more.

    I heard that Kirby Allen on here could tell me a bit about them, as he has built a few of these.

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009

  2. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2002
    I have done several of these through the years. They will get about 3800 fps out of the 100 grain barnes max with a 28" barrel and any brass life. I have 300-400 rounds on my two personal rifles and they still shoot great. I have two 264 stw's and like them much better because of the good quality high BC bullets not available to the 25's. I carried the 264 on a caribou hunt when the 120 ballistic tip came out and it was sheer terror on caribou at over 3600 fps.

  3. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Jun 12, 2004
    I would fully agree with LTLR on this one. There were many claims that the 257 STW was a 4K round with a 100 gr bullet in a 28" barrel. While I am not saying this is not possible, I am saying its not possible with anything remotely close to good brass life.

    In my testing, mainly with Lilja 1-10 twist barrels of 28-30" in length, the 257 STW will get you 3800-3825 fps in a 28" pipe and 3875-3900 fps in a full 30" barrel and those are full tilt loads.

    I read some wild claims from a smith with the last name of Ferguson who supposedly made the first wildcat called the 257 Hot Tamale. Unfortunately, the 257 STW was already around at this time and there were no differences of any kind between the two.

    He made some claims of 4100 fps with the 100 gr XLC Barnes bullet in 28" barrels. I contacted him and asked him how he was getting this performance and he said it was his chamber and throat design.

    Well, I knew he was full of something but could not prove it as he said he was using special barrels to get this velocity as well.

    A few years later, as luck would have it, I ran into a guy on-line that had one of these wonder guns. I asked him what velocity he was getting and he said 4100 fps with the 100 gr XLC..... I asked him what his actual velocity strings were over the chrono.. His reply was that he never had chronoed the rifle but it was dead on the money out to 300 yards so the velocity had to be on the money.............

    That must have put a bug in his mind though because about a week later I got an e-mail from him, he was not overly happy with his chrono results, 3810 fps I believe it was!!! Over 300 yards or even 500 yards it was close enough at those velocities that be never could tell a difference.

    I had to contact Mr. Ferguson after that, there was no reply about his snow job on his customers.

    Anyway, if your expecting 4K with a 100 gr bullet, 9 times out of 10, you will be VERY unhappy unless you are using a 33-34" barrel length.

    Barrel life, all depends on how you treat the barrel. If you really baby it NEVER overheating it, you will likely see 800 rounds of useful big game accuracy. If you heat the barrel up, you will see half that.

    I have never seen an STW get much over 1000 rounds without some serious velocity loss and noticable accuracy drop off as well.
  4. Mtwoodson

    Mtwoodson Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2007
    I know this is a long dead thread, but it piqued my interest. I was wondering if barrel life would increase significantly by stepping down to medium loads rather than barn burning loads. I was thinking about 120-grains at 3400 and 100-grains at 3600-ish. And while it might loose a little of the laser like trajectory, those would still work for 95% of my needs.
  5. Cheyenne 1

    Cheyenne 1 Well-Known Member

    Dec 9, 2007
    I have a couple of these, one is a regular 257 STW and the other is a 257 STW ackley.
    I dont shoot them much anymore. I was into the fast 25's for a while. They can be finicky to load for, I had them stoked up to 3900 at one time. That was hard on the brass. Then I settled on around 3700 with a 110gr nosler.
    The furthest deer I shot was 598 with the Nosler accubond.

    If you are going to load them to 3400 with a 120 I would just get a 257 wby magnum. Way less powder and less finicky to load. My 257 WBY shoots a 117 hornady at 3450 fps.
  6. Rich Coyle

    Rich Coyle Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2013
    There is a way to get an extra 1% increase in velocity and longer barrel life. It is salt bath nitride treating the barrel. The barrel has to be chambered and threaded because the finish is too hard to do more work later.
  7. oldfamily

    oldfamily Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Just get a 257 Weatherby, if you are wanting something like that.
  8. Rich Coyle

    Rich Coyle Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2013
    Even with the .257 Weatherby you get the improvement. I had a Mark V 26" barrel and a Savage with a .257 on a 24" barrel. The 100 grain Barnes TTSX velocity from the Mark V was 3,709. The Savage barely trailed at 3,695 feet per second. Not only that the barrel lasted longer with the salt bath nitride coating.
  9. tanner o

    tanner o Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2012
    Call Dave at young's guns, he has built a ton of 257 stw's and he has a bunch of info on that caliber