.257Wby Ultra Light Report

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by victor, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. victor

    victor Well-Known Member

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    Here is Report on the .257Wby.

    Bought this rifle in 2000'. Broke in the barrel per Lilja instructions on his website. Was accurate when it was new.

    Shot 5/8" 5 shot groups @ 100yds. After approx. 60 rounds it started to get finicky. Sometimes it shot great, sometimes it sprayed fliers, 2" off course.

    It used to shoot MRP-70.9 with 117 Hornady SPTBT into 3/8" groups. Now it sprays them into 2.5" groups.

    It still likes the MRP-70.5 with 115 Barnes TSX though. Just shot a group today into .7grp.

    I just gave it the David Tubbs abrasive bullet treatment to try and smooth out the bore and get it to shoot better. No such luck. In fact I think I screwed up. When I look into the barrel, from the action, I see very faint evidence of rifling. It did not look so worn before the treatment. When I look down the bore of my newer .300Wby, I see substantial rifling. On the bright side, it does clean up easier. Would I do the treatment again, No!
    [image]http://[/image] [image][​IMG][/image] Pic of first group when gun was new and barrel broke in.
    [image][​IMG][/image] Pic of group it shot with MRP-70.9 & 117 SPTBT that it just won't group anymore.
    [image][​IMG][/image] Pic of group shot earlier today. Still seems to shoot the Barnes Triple Shock bullets ok.
    [image][​IMG][/image]
    Regardless, I think a new barrel will be getting ordered soon.

    Other than the stated problems with this rifle I love it and the caliber. It weighs in at 6.7 lbs without scope and is perfect for hunting deer in steep country. I also love the Weatherby stocks. The angle on the cheek piece goes down so when it kicks it goes down and away from your face. The comb lines my eye up perfectly with the scope. I guess I might as well throw in the fact that I really like the Zeiss conquest scopes as well. Very sharp and clear, not too heavy and bulky and competitively priced with Leupolds. The only thing I regret is not getting the turret knobs on the 3 - 9 x 40. I did get them on my 4.5 - 14 x 44 for my 300Wby and I love it.

    End of Report,
    Vic
     

  2. craigp40

    craigp40 Well-Known Member

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    Vic,

    I fought the same battle with my 257 Wby for 2 years. Mine is an Ultra Light as well, but has a wood stock. I couldn't get anything to shoot through it. I changed powders, primers, bullets, etc, and although some combos were a little better than others, but 2MOA was the norm on just about all of them. I sent it back to Weatherby twice, but that didn't help. I have since given up on it and it now sits in the safe until I am ready to have Chris rebarrel it.

    I have the same likes and dislikes as you, but because of the sentimental value this rifle has to me, I will never get rid of it. Won't buy another one though. Way overpriced for what you get.

    Your decision to rebarrel now is the best route. The route I should have taken a long time ago.
     

  3. Coues100

    Coues100 Member

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    May 10, 2005
    Very interesting. And I thought I was the only one!!! I could tell the exact same story as you two, virtually word for word. Same gun, only in 7mm-08. Loved the gun but absolutely would not consistantly shoot well. I just decided that Weatherby sucks and was right. I did rebarrel to a .257 Roberts AI and it's great now. Mark H.
     
  4. bigbearhunter

    bigbearhunter Well-Known Member

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    Nov 21, 2004
    I have the 257 ultra light and love it. I have been shooting it for about 5yrs and have yet to have a single problem with the gun. It is a tack driver. Although I shoot only factory ammo. I shoot the 120gr NP from Weatherby. This last year my daughter learned that the gun didn't kick when she shot her first deer with it and so I lost it to her. I couldn't afford a new one so had to go with the Vanguard Sub MOA. I would have bought the gun again in a heart beat. I hunt all over the US and Canada with the 257 and have taken deer at over 500yds with it with no problems.
    I also love the weatherby stocks and all that you guys mentioned. I also shoot the 30-378 in the accumark and feel the same about it.
    Good luck with your guns and hope it all works out.
     
  5. bigbearhunter

    bigbearhunter Well-Known Member

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    here is a pic of the gun with a MuleDeer in 2000 in Colorado
    Mule Deer picture

    Here is a Texas Hog and Whitetail

    hog
    whitetail

    Sorry guys pics wouldn't post so here is a link to the pics

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Freebore

    Freebore Well-Known Member

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    victor,
    I have 2 .257. One is in the Lazermark w/24" barrel built in Japan, it has the lightweight buggy whip barrel. It will out shoot my newer lightweight by over 150fps. I had accuracy problems w/ both of them until I rebedded using the correct pressure points on the barrels. (The factory spent alot of time on developing that point but production injected stocks just miss it sometime)They both shoot 1st and 2nd shot touching with the third about 1/2 out 10:00 leaving me with a 3/4" group at 200 yrds. They both shoot the 115 Balitic tip. The Lightweight uses H-1000. The Lazermark IMR-7828.
    They were both bear to get clean until there was more than 200 rounds down the tube. Now they are a breeze to clean.
    If I was to buy another I would look for the one made in Japan. Others I've spoke to owning them had the same comment, they shoot!
     
  7. craigp40

    craigp40 Well-Known Member

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    Freebore, good to hear someone is having good success with them. I took out the pressure point on mine and bedded the action. Didn't help. I would tend to agree that the pressure point is key, but with a wood stock, consistency is hard to come by. I have over 200 rounds through mine, but the barrel still becomes a copper mine after I shoot. It is one of the roughest bores I own.

    On the flip side I love the cartridge and the feel of the rifle. Once I'm ready to rebarrel, I plan to stick with the 257 WBY chamber, but put just a little heavier barrel on it and extend it to 26".
     
  8. Freebore

    Freebore Well-Known Member

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    CraigP40,
    The wood stocked Lazermark had the barrel channel opened slightly and the pressure point reinstalled. As I too also went the route of freefloating the barrel. It was a mistake on that buggywhip barrel.
    I have no issue with the wood stock changing POI on me. When I spoke to a factory rep guy he told me they use flooruathane?? It is used to coat the lanes in bowling alleys. I used regular off the shelf uerathane to reseal the barrel channel. I did use his suggestion of using a light bulb in a big box to maintain a temp to 'bake it' on. It seemed to work for me.
     
  9. craigp40

    craigp40 Well-Known Member

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    Freebore, can you outline the process you used to reinstall the pressure point? Maybe this is a good topic to start as a separate thread so that some of the experienced smiths can pipe in as well. I often thought of trying to put it back in myself, but it really seems like a guessing game to determine where it should be located and how much pressure should be applied. I imagine that it would take a considerable amount of time and ammo to do it properly, with much work and rework to get you there.
     
  10. Freebore

    Freebore Well-Known Member

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    Craigp40,
    First off let me say that I am by no means a 'smith. This is the knowledge and learning I have had with Weatherby's.
    I had removed the pressure point as ealier stated trying to get better groups and it failed on my rifle. (I have only heard of it working for some guys never seen). I sent it back to factory for reinstalling the pressure point, they sent a test target to verify w/factory ammo. I do not shoot factory in anything I own. It would not shoot the bullet I wanted at the velocity I wanted at least to my standards <1/2 at 100 for 3 shot. (this is sorta backwards approach in someway). I removed the pressure point (after I measure the height of factory). I had a load that cronographed at the velocity I wanted with the standard deviation <15 fps. I then started to apply shims from that point on until I had it shooting. I kept just backed off of the rosewood tip. I took a torque wrench/shims to the range with me along with my loads until I got my groups. That Lazermark shoot 5/8" at 200 yrds w/ the first 2 rounds touching. It is the 115 Baltip over H1000 >3500fps.
    I then took it to my bedding guy (he does all the bedding for the custom 'smiths around here as they don't have time and he is the best around here and cheap.) He knew what I was doing as I had previously talked to him about his Weatherby experience's. He miked the shims to aquire the height for the pressure point. He rebedded the rifle opened the channel slightly (no it does not have that tight metal to wood fit anymore but it still looks great as Davey is good) and it was perfect when I got it back and shot it. He may have taken barrel deflection readings during disassembly, I was not there. I would think he had to get the bedding correct to aquire the pressure I had on it. He has since done my lightweight and every time I got to the range and somebody sees my targets they want to buy my rifle, not for sale.
    The lightweight has a pressure point too. If you look at the factory molded point it is sad to say the least. I had it rebed that rifle too with full contact point by filling in the flutes with clay.
    My Lazermark load is tooo hot for the newer Lightweight which shoots the 115's at 3450 fps. The Lazermark is the older Japan manufactured w/24" barrel.
    By the way the 100 Sierra's are just insane out of the old Lazermark w/Rl-22
    I hope this can help in someway. I think that all you need is a little time and patience to make a Weatherby shoot. I learned this the hard way. They shoot better after they have many rounds thru them. One of the shooters at the club swore I was going to wear the barrel out on that Lazermark. I bought tha tot make one shot kills long ways and look good. I have achieved that with that rifle and I have not had to touch the zero on that thing in over 6 years. 2" high at 100 yards.
    I've only killed deer and antelope with both. Maybe going to try the Lghtwght on caribou this year, like next week.
     
  11. victor

    victor Well-Known Member

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    So,

    You guys had to go and play around with the barrel's pressure point, Huh?

    Ummm, yeah, I did the same thing in my .257Wby Ultralight. It didn't like it one bit. Bullets sprayed erraticly up to 3" apart @ 100yds.

    Here is how I put the pressure point back in. This procedure is not as good as Freebore's but it should get you back in the ballpark.

    I heard somewhere that the Weatherby's use 14.5lbs of pressure pushing up from the fore end at appox. 1.5 to 2" back from the tip of the fore end.

    I took an old grocery scale that my wife bought for decoration at the local good will store for $5.The scale is flat on top and the range is from 0 to 20lbs. I placed the barrel of my rifle on the scale. Held the buttstock under my armpit. Pulled down on the fore end until the scale registers 14.5lbs. Then a buddy can take a measurement of the deflection at the tip of the fore end. You will be measuring between the bottom channel in the fore end and the barrel.

    I then bought some silly puddy (kid stuff, its cheap) and make a mote to contain some betting compound. Pour the bedding compound into the mold and let it dry.

    The next day, file the hump down until you have the barrel sitting the previously measured distance away from the fore end channel. This may take some trial and error to get it just right.

    In addition, after I got the hump to the right height I then make a bigger mote with the silly putty that encompassed the hump. Poured in more bedding compound and placed the action and barrel into the stock and tightend down the screws. This displaced the bedding compound aroud the hump area so the barrel rests on the hump. So now the barrel is captivated on all sides for about a 1.5" length in the area of the pressure hump. I'm not sure if this is the best way to go, but i figured with the synthetic stock, there will be no swelling or shrinkage of any kind so why not freeze the barrel and forend together to make things a tad more rigid. It seems to shoot ok. Ok, its not really frozen, as the barrel heats up it can move longitudenally.

    However my new barrel will be slightly thicker and free floated.

    Hey freebore, I see you have a good recipe: 115Btip with H1000 that shoots 3,500 fps. How about throwing us a bone letting us know how many grains your using.

    Thanks,
    Vic
     
  12. victor

    victor Well-Known Member

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    Hey Bigbearhunter,

    That's a tasty lookin pig you got there.

    And that whitetail deer, man that's a beauty!
    Those .257Wby's sure can kill.

    Thanks for the pics,
    And take care,
    Vic
     
  13. Freebore

    Freebore Well-Known Member

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    victor,
    The load for the 115 that is 3500 is for my Lazermark, which is a Japan manufatured. Weatherby had contracted previously with that country, I use to know the name of the company, hell getting old. When they moved back into the states and created the lightweight I knew I NEEDED another rifle that wasn't so fancy for the field (high gloss stock, beautiful wood, monte carlo check piece, rosewood tips, I think the deer and antelope see that and really want a closer look ya know.)
    I was disappointed with the velocity of the Lightweight compared to the Lazermark and the Lazer is only a 24" barrel. I had expected the USA steel barrels to shoot better than what I can do with the Japanese Lazermark.
    The load is 76 grains of H-1000 for my Lightweight with an OAL of 3.305. This is MAX in my rifle and what it want to shoot. I caution everyone to start from at least 10% less and work from there. My Lazermark load is above that charge same OAL and is over the top in my Lightweight. I did alot of OAL variety and this is what works in my rifles for this bullet.
    The Weatherby's were designed with alot of velocity in mind, hence copious amount of 'Freebore' in the chambers. I think every Weatherby will shoot, they just require patience and more rounds down the tube to come in. All of a sudden they were there after 200+ rounds. Do not shoot more than 3 rounds at time in those light barrels and let them go COLD before starting to shoot again. I clean after every 15 rounds. They were designed as 1 shot rifles and none of my kills have been more than that with these rifles on deer and antelope.