New .264 WM owner has questions...


Well-Known Member
Dec 18, 2009
I am the proud owner of a new Winchester Model 70 Sporter in .264 Winchester Magnum. While I wait to take posession of the rifle, I am gathering dies and components to load for it.

The only.264 WM brass that midway has in stock is Nosler Custom. It is more expensive than either Winchester or Norma and I am not sure that the quality of the brass is good enough to justify the cost.

I have read that 7mm RM brass can be easily necked down and used in a .264 WM. If I do that, would I need to trim the brass after necking down? Is necking down 7mm RM brass a good way to go or would I be better off waiting for Winchester or Norma .264 brass to be in stock?

I load for 6.5x55 and 6.5-284 using Berger VLD's and Hornady AMAX's. It is my understanding that top loads in the .264 WM produce too much velocity for reliable flight/terminal performance from thin jacketed bullets like these.

For use on antelope, deer, and the occasional elk, what type and weight of bullet should I be considering for optimum performance?

Should I be considering a bonded bullet of some kind or would a monometal bullet be a better choice?

I have primarily used the 140's in my smaller cased 6.5's. With what bullet weight does the .264 WM do its best work and what should my expectations be for velocity in that weight?

Finally, I am planning to start load development/break-in using Retumbo. What other powders should I consider?

I look forward to sorting out my new rifle. Thanks in advance for any advice from my fellow .264 WM shooters.
I use 7mm remington brass in mine. Same thing after you run it through a 264 die. My best killer load is with the 129 SST which has a much higher BC than Hornady lists. It will wallop deer size animals. I will check and give you my load data. I know the powder was Magpro but can't remember the charge. Several powders work well with it. 7828 is very good. The extreme powders like 4831 SC and H1000 will work also if you want an extreme. H1000 does well with the heavy 140 grain bullets.
I use the Nosler brass in my 264.. haven't had any complains yet

Mine are loaded with Berger 140's... 3133fps avg (26" barrel) 69gr Retumbo, federal 215 Match primers.. ES of 12fps... shoots very consistently thru mine & haven't seen any signs of tumbling or lack of stability from the 140's either... have shot to 723 yards so far testing the load... very happy with it

BUT... be careful copying ANYONE elses loads in your rifle** ...load "up" to them, watching for pressure signs! Every rifle handles EVERY load very differently! Mine pressures-up with some factory-loaded ammo (believe it or not) ..yet 69gr of Retumbo (hotter than reccomended*) shoots perfectly :rolleyes: yah.. figure that one*

...I forgot to mention:

Far as the "too much velocity for thin-jacketed bullets" goes.. NO - you'll have a hard time getting that fast outta your 70 unless you're loading very-very hot!! ...and not safe

I started to see 168's (Bergers) fly apart for me through my 7mm Lazzeroni last winter.. couldn't figure out *** was going on. I had them up over 3300 fps and at 100 yards would get one, sometimes two outta three to even reach the paper!!! I started looking into it, and later through Kirby actually (Allen Magnums) finally realized what was happening with my missing bullets!! ..needless to say, dropped to 3200 +/- & now they're fine...

264 won't (or shouldn't anyway) safely shoot a 140gr bullet over 3300fps.. not that I have seen or tried** 3300 is right about where that thin-jacketing/velocity issue comes into play

fwiw.. I have started wondering whether a 5-R barrel might possibly solve that problem** (lapped/smoothed rifling of the 5-R MAY possibly reduce the friction enough to increase a higher velocity "limit" from the 3300 to..????) But I haven't YET (myself) tried.. no 5-R barrel!! ...that's still to come**

Anyhow, again.. Goodluck
I recdently loaded the 140 gr Berger bullet
77 grains
winchester brass
remington 9 1/2M
COL 3.300
velocity 3,100fps
group .456
I tried all powders and in my set up H4831 got highest velocity using 130 gr bullets IMR 7828 seems to work good all around.
The world record mulie thinks the 264 winny is pretty bad medicine with nosler partitions. Just some trivia. I hunted with that group of guys where they took the world record typical mulie down in Colorado. The old 8mm movies they played at camp from the late 60's early 70's in that area were amazing with so many 30"+ mulies running around.

I will look for some of my loads and get them up.
Thanks for the responses, fellas. A lot of useful information there.

I have my rifle in hand along with reloading dies, brass, and bullets. I went with the Nosler Custom brass, because it was available. For break in, I have a box of Berger 130's that I just want to shoot up. For load development, I have 140g Partitions and 140g AMAX's. Haven't decided what powders to go with for sure yet. Leaning toward Retumbo, H1000, IMR 7828, or Ramshot Magnum.

I saw a thread awhile back where someone suggested dual loading for the faster 6.5's. That is to say, using a controlled expansion bullet for closer range shots (or heavier game) and a Berger or AMAX for longer range shots. That idea makes sense to me, so I intend to try that.

I have also considered doing such a dual load arrangement with 129g SST's and 129g Interbonds, thinking the respective points of impact might be closer and more practical for a dual load type setup. I may go that route if I am unhappy with the Partition/AMAX combo.

LTLR, I would be very interested in your load data when you have the time to post it.

Thanks to all for your insights on the .264WM!
I'm shooting a 130 grain Nosler Accubond thru Winchester brass. (In stock now at Cabelas as I just received some in the mail.) I'm using RL 19 at .5 grains below max, in the Nosler manual, for groups of just over .5 MOA. Haven't chron'd yet but should be around 3100 fps +/-. Potent deer load for sure.
I too use nosler brass and 140 vld's. H1000 proved to be slightly more accurate than retumbo with a little better ES in my rifle. So, far it's maintained .5 moa during testing and right at 3100 fps in my 27" lilja.
some may not agree on my choise but i know theres at least 30 deer in deer heaven that were put there by my 264 using 120 ballistic tips. Except in rare cases ive got exit wounds on about all of them and havent had one that was shot that i didnt eat.
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