Awkward question with 257 WBY

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by thatguyshm, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. thatguyshm

    thatguyshm Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2013
    When I was on my second deployment overseas in 2008, I purchased a Weatherby Vangard Sub-MOA in 257 Weatherby Mag with a few boxes of fresh brass to work some loads up on. It got shelved after my leave was finished for about a year. Then I started to get into trying new things.

    So heres where it gets different. I didn't want to use my new factory brass as much as I wanted to shoot, so I did the 7mm RM to 257 WM. Any finished product that had any kind of neck crease got tossed. It actually formed a pretty good double radius. After cleaning up some, I then ran my 25 cal inside neck reamer down to get rid of some thickness. This was all done well over five years ago. I was experimenting with different bullets wanting to test accuracy with fireformed brass. All loads were reduced by 5% from normal Lyman 48 suggestions and then shelved. Most of all the 7mm brass is formed and loaded. There are 85gr Nos BT's, 100gr Sierra MK, 100gr Barnes ttx, 110gr Accubond and 120gr Partitions. There was rl22 and rl25 powder used.

    So the hard part is now, so many years later, I have this loaded ammo with which I can't pull apart for powder, since there was two different types used. Is it worth it to shoot them up to get my new scope on target, pull and dump the powder, reuse the projectiles, or what. I plan on pulling atleast one of each bullet type, to atleast measure the powders and use an educated guess. It will not mean much, but I will simply have the data to know about velocities vs pressure signs.

    I just don't want to have to go to the range three different times to dump 100 rounds through the gun, since I don't want to eat the barrel up, but components are hard to find..

    That being said, after pulling out my 25 cal bag, I have 200 85gr Nos BT's. A handful of the other projectiles that I won't load on until I can get it relatively close. Somehow under the range bag for my 257 there was two jugs of fresh Rx17, which google searches seem to say works well with light for caliber bullets.

    I know that was alot of finger tip diarrhea, but any thoughts would be great. Oh and to muddy the waters even more, I found a box of .30-06 with accubonds, and just pulling them out and inspecting them, three of the polymer tips broke off...

    Thanks guys

    Edit note: I reloaded for 100 yrds back then. I was low 20's in age, not paying alot of attention to detail, hence no load cards in the ammo boxes. I do have an empty formed 257 that started life as a 7mm. Last night, I filled it with water and weighed it with primer @ 320.4, then I dumped it, put it in the oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes to get the excess water out. It weighed in at 238.3, for a difference of 82.1gr water. The factory brass is 84gr. Not a heck of alot of difference.

    Figured I would put that out there.
  2. Gene R.

    Gene R. Well-Known Member

    Jul 9, 2011
    If I understand your question correctly I say shoot them up. You have to fire form anyway to take one variable out of equation. But I haven't seen much difference in accuracy when I do the same for 7rm to 270wby. Great Caliber by the way. My buddy shoots one and its a whitetail slayer.

    Gene R.

  3. lloydsmale

    lloydsmale Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2012
    only advice ill give you is to shelf the re17. its not the ticket for the 257. I tried some last summer and never found one bullet that shot well with it.
  4. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2005
    Are you saying you don't know which powder is in the loads? What would be the point in shooting them? If you found an accurate load you wouldn't be certain which powder was used so you couldn't duplicate it.

    I'd say pull all bullets resize necks and load with good record keeping. If any loads have brass that were not fireformed shoot them.

    So you loose some powder, I'd say that was better than sending mystery loads down the barrel moving it closer to its death.

    FYI my lilja 3 groove has just over 900 rounds through it. It is a rear chore to clean and looks like hell when viewed with a borescope. I know it will loose accuracy eventually but so far it is shooting great. This chambering is hard on barrels and that is the reason I thought you would be best served not shooting those mystery loads.

    As for using RL-17: Alliant doesn't show RL-17 being used in the 257 in their loading guide. They list RL-19 which is just a bit slower than IMR 4350. Doubt it would be best for the heavier bullets but I would think 100 gr and under it would work. Most agree that load data for IMR 4305 is a good place to start when using RL-17.

    I used to use RL-25 with the 115 VLD. I am currently using RL-33 with some 110 accubonds.

  5. mustang58

    mustang58 Well-Known Member

    May 22, 2010
    I too have a Lilja 3 groove and it cleans like a dream. I am shooting 69 gr Retumbo with a 115 VLD. I wouldn't shoot that ammo just to get rid of it. If you need to fire form that is different. Weigh each charge if you pull the bullets and maybe you can figure out which powder it is. It is difficult to waste components with things the way they are.

    LONGSHOOTER Well-Known Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    I would use the loads, when afield, on targets of opportunity. It might pay to know the scope setting for each group of loads.
  7. thatguyshm

    thatguyshm Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2013
    I don't think I've fired more than 60-70 rounds through this rifle. I'm thinking just fire them to get my new scope close to zero. It will also help the 7mm RM's stretch a little more. Most have shorter necks so thats probably what I will do. Shoot them and trim.

    So now I've just got to find a project for the re17 I picked up. Hmm...
  8. Armored Transport

    Armored Transport Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2011
    I use an impact type bullet puller myself. When I have to pull plastic tipped ones I have kept a piece of scotchbrite pad in the bottom of the hammer to cussion the blow and have not broken any since.
  9. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    3 sessions for 100 rounds? I think 2 sessions at most. I put 50 (per rifle...Which I usually take 3 with me) through my rifles in an afternoon when I'm fire-forming. But I also use very light loads, and shoot 5, let it cool completely, repeat. Plus, we have a rack setup on a huge box fan so it helps cool them down alot quicker.