.257 WBY Project


Feb 22, 2012
I am new to the forum and would like to ask a few questions.

Seems like this place is full of information.

I ran across a Back Country .257 Wby the other day and was considering the possibility of making it my go to gun for coyotes, deer and antelope.

I know there has been alot of conversation on barrel length and velocity between a 24 inch and 26 inch tube.
Any knowledge and actual data that shows a considerable difference?

If so, would you consider replacing a barrel and what would be recommendations?


My overall goal would be to set this gun up with a Leupold VX-III 8.5X25 LR scope that could be dialed to yardage of 500 to 600 yards on antelope and also have the capability of messing around shooting targets of 800 to 900 yards.

What bullets would be of recomendation?

I have reloaded a friends .257 for a little while and have had success with RL22 and 110gr accubonds.

I am thinking about the possibility of using Berger 115gr VLDs and RL25 or IMR7828. They seem to have the highest BC for .25 cal.
Anyone have experience with Bergers in a .257 WBY?
Or has anyone played around with nosler BT 115gr?

I know seating depth can be an issue with Bergers and WBY's in general. What would be a recommened seating depth for a WBY with Berger's. Maximum length that fits into the magazine.
The Back Country is generally considered a very nice rifle. As it is a Vanguard built on a metric-threaded Howa action I would not recommend swapping barrels just to gain 2 inches. The factory built Vanguards are generally extemely accurate and given the hassle and expense to rebarrel this action I don't think it would be worth it. If you really are interested in a 26 inch barrel I'd look at a Mark V. I suspect that you'd see no more than a 75-150 fps change in velocity between the two. Since you already reload this caliber you can probably work on your own to make up the difference.

Here are a couple of references on velocity vs barrel length:
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Barrel Length and Velocity — Barrel Cut-Down Tests « Daily Bulletin

Lilja Precision Rifle Barrels - Articles: Barrel Lenghts and Velocities in the 338/378 Weatherby Magnum

The Effects Of Reducing The Barrel Length On Velocity And Accuracy In The 223 Remington

I'd look at the Accubond or even Nosler Ballistic Tip for the game you're referencing.
I agree, I wouldn't rebarrel. I have both the 24 and 26 inch 257 wby's. Either has no problem doing what you ask for varmints, deer and antelope. The accuracy loads are different in each rifle so I can't tell you the velocity difference apples to apples. My accuracy loads are about 70 fps difference I think but different loads so it doesn't matter. I am shooting the 100 grain barnes ttsx at over 3700 fps and it is a great deer/ antelope rifle. The barnes will not tear up the coyote hides.
Regarding the 115 Berger VLDs: Four of my friends and myself all built 257 Weatherbys a few years ago. Pacific Tool and Gauge made the reamer to our specs. We had the freebore reduced to .100". The throat is 1 degree 30 minute angle. All five rifles shoot the 115 VLD with great accuracy. We chose RL-25 as the powder.

I have no idea if your rifle will shoot the VLDs. All you can do is try. If you cannot get them to shoot there are other bullets available. Eventually Berger they will have hybrids available. They are not sensitive to seating depth. It could be a long wait.

The big game count for the five of us using 115 VLDs:

1 antelope
16 coues wt
3 mule deer
5 elk

If you can get the 115 VLDs to shoot you will be very happy with their killing abilities.
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