Need help 257 wby berger vld

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by gilbertc, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. gilbertc

    gilbertc Member

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    So I have been reading here for a while now and finally joined up because of the valuable resource this site is. I am looking for an answer to a problem I ran into while developing a load for my 257 wby mag using a berger 115 and ran into a stumbling block.

    Rifle: Remington 700 cdl sf 26"
    Nosler brass
    Berger 115 vld

    So after reading the article on obtaining accuracy with berger by finding the correct OAL; starting at .010 from rifling and moving back .010 until the sweet spot is found. (Quick interpretation)

    Here is my issue: after finding the OAL needed to touch rifling using the Sinclair method I measured 3.65". If you are not familiar with Sinclair method it uses a tool to measure the distance from the rear of an action insert to the back of a bullet that has gently been pushed to touch rifling with a rod. Then after removing the bullet insert a once fired case into chamber and measure from rear of the action insert to head of the case, with these two measurements the difference between them plus the length of the bullet is OAL.

    So here are measurements
    Difference between case and rear of bullet: 2.449
    Bullet length: 1.201
    Total: 3.65"

    But with overall brass length of 2.55 and bullet length of 1.201 this is a maximum of 3.75" when added together, so my problem is only .100" of bullet is seated into neck of case when touching the rifling, and the berger has a .130" boat tail so my maximum length to have bearing surface contacting the neck of the case is 3.62" or .003" from the rifling.

    How far into the neck do I need to seat the actual bearing surface of the bullet? Obviously I cannot start at .010" from rifling so where should I start? I have been reloading for some time and never had any issue like this. I know the weatherby's are long throated but this is just crazy. I triple checked all measurements to be sure I was not off. I tried to use the bolt closure to seat a bullet at the rifling (my old method of finding rifling) but never got one long enough to have it seated deep enough to stay in the neck.

    Sorry for the lengthy post but any opinion on this would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    Hi Gilbert,

    There should be an accurate seating depth that has the bullet seated properly in the case yet jumping to the rifling. I suppose you could try seating the bullet partially into the neck but it would have to withstand feeding from a magazine and it could cause excessive runout with bullet barely supported. Try feeding a dummy round and see what happens.

    An alternative to starting at the lands and working your way back in .010" increments is to follow Berger's suggestion but skipping #1. You could make an additional increment 160" off lands.

    Load 24 rounds at the following COAL:
    1. .010″ into (touching) the lands (jam) 6 rounds
    2. .040″ off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
    3. .080″ off the lands (jump) 6 rounds
    4. .120″ off the lands (jump) 6 rounds

    See which seating depth works best and then tweak it in .010" increments if necessary. I have a friend that is a wizard at finding accurate loads with VLDs. The rifles he loads are all hunting rifles. They require seating so they fit and feed the magazine. The bullets are not close to lands and he gets some very accurate loads.

    Dan and I had a 257 weatherby reamer made for us with less freebore. We used the 115 VLD seated out .100" (his) and .070" (mine) and have had excellent accuracy.

    You should be able to find something with a jump to the rifling that works. Just takes time.

    Keep us informed with your results.

    Ross
     

  3. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

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    Gilbert, the Weatherby rifles have freebore which does not allow a bullet to touch the lands without falling out the neck. AZShooter's process should work for you. My .257 Wby shoots tightest groups farther off the lands, due to the freebore I can't get near them. Sounds like your chamber has a fair amount of freebore also. The long Weatherby freebore is designed to increase pressure thus greater velocity. The 115 gr. Berger VLD took a lot of test loads to get it right. Hope yours produces great groups for you.
     
  4. gilbertc

    gilbertc Member

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    Thanks for the info guys I will start as close as I can to land and work back to hopefully find accuracy. I would like that bullet to work with high BC and good results from bergers in other rifles.
    However after shooting a ladder test at 500 yards today I have another good option. I started load development with a swift siricco 100 grain that I picked up and just ran with standard book OAL that should be a good option at short to medium ranges, maybe further. At 500 yards my charges of 76.7, 77.0, and 77.3 of RL-25 were within 2.5" vertically, (these charges are over any book max and should be worked up to in your rifle they re safe in mine only) I have some horizontal to work out with seating depth hopefully and wind was starting to gust a little. My charge of 77.0 had just under half inch of vertical spread between two rounds of ladder tested, I didn't make it through third as wind came up so I stopped. This looks promising and I will probably use this for antelope season two weeks from now unless I get time to work on berger load, hopefully I get it done by third deer season.

    I will post updates to what I find when wind quits blowing and I can shoot some more!
     
  5. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    You should have a minimum of .130" of the bearing surface in the neck, and when it erodes the throat dn NOT chase it in more than .030", switch bullets, try .080, .100, .120, and .140" off load 5 of each without any other change, pick the tightest group, then go .015" in each direction in .005" increments. Might not shoot but 5/8 moa but that's minute of whitetail to the end of the 257s capabilities.
     
  6. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    THIS,THIS,THIS its the bible for shooting Bergers!
     
  7. 65WSM

    65WSM Well-Known Member

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    You are learning about Weatherby chambers. They are famous for 5/8 inch of "Freebore". Older Weatherbys from the 50s and 60s had 7/8 inch of freebore.

    Most custom makers avoid the Weatherby chambers because bullets will never see the lands.

    I am comtemplating a 7mm Weatherby to shoot the 180 Berger VLDs. I like the long neck of the Weatherby case. If I get it done, I will have a custom reamer made with a throat that will allow seating the bullets to the lands and working through the magazine.

    If you are attached to your .257 Weatherby, I would suggest seating some bullets where you want them and sending the cartridges to JGS or PTG and having a reamer made. Then rechamber your barrel.
     
  8. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    Be sure to retain some freebore if you do have your own weatherby reamer made. If you make it short enough to be able to put a bullet into the rifling you had better label the barrel just in case some tries to put factory ammo into it. Could build high pressure.

    Here is a chart I got from weatherby's website:


    What is the throat length (free bore) on your Weatherby® rifles chambered for Weatherby® magnum calibers?




    Cartridge Throat length (free bore)
    .224 Weatherby Magnum .162
    .240 Weatherby Magnum .169
    .257 Weatherby Magnum .378
    .270 Weatherby Magnum .378
    7MM Weatherby Magnum .378
    .300 Weatherby Magnum .361
    .340 Weatherby Magnum .373
    .375 Weatherby Magnum .373
    .378 Weatherby Magnum .756
    .416 Weatherby Magnum .239
    .460 Weatherby Magnum .756
    .30-378 Weatherby Magnum .361
    .338-378 Weatherby Magnum .361


    link: What is the throat length (free bore) on your Weatherby® rifles chambered for Weatherby® magnum calibers? | Weatherby.com
     
  9. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    Kiff (ptg) makes 257, 270, 7mm, and 300 wby mag match reamers with the vlds in mind but enough freebore to shoot weatherby factory ammo 257 .198", 270 .198", 7mm .248", 300 .176"
     
  10. Freebore

    Freebore Well-Known Member

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    Or you could just load up some 115 Nosler BT over a full charge of H-1000 to 3.330 or 3.305 OAL. It will shoot 3 shot groups into 5/8" at 200 if I do my part.

    I have used this combo for years and killed alot of critters way out there. I have even shot whitetails in the woods at 50 yrds with this load as they came in behind me while covering a field. I was surprised it didn't 'blow it up'. Nosler redid the jackets on BT's years ago and got it right. I have taken big bull caribou with this load at 350+ broke both shoulders and spine the bullet was under skin off shoulder separated. That's through 2 shoulders and spine a fair amount of bone. So the bullet didn't 'fail' or I wouldn't have been able to recover it, just very lethal.

    Everything I have shot with this load died with one shot. I shoot a Wthrby rifle actually a few of 'em.

    Sorry I have never tried the VLD's figured I would just share what works for me.
     
  11. gilbertc

    gilbertc Member

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    Thanks guys there is a lot of good info here. I finally got my 100 gr swift load fine tuned today. Now I will start in on the bergers to see if they are any better but they're gonna have to shoot pretty good to best the swifts. I will post a new thread to not get this one off track but 3700 ave with .75" groups and under at 100 has me smilin. I will update again when I get berger data.

    Thanks
     
  12. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    I don't remember what powder you said if you said you were using, but I know that 75.5grns of RL25 will get em over 3800fps in a 26" barrel, its a good 30-50* load but don't shoot varmints with it when its 90*, that's for 100grn pills, not 115s.