Short barreled 257 Wby


Sep 25, 2022
Yukon, OK
I’m looking to rebarrel my .257 Weatherby and was wondering if there’s a good reason, other than loss of velocity, why a 22” barrel would be a bad idea. I figure that the gun has velocity to spare, and it’s just going to be a hunting rig so compact size would be more beneficial. Additionally, I’m planning to get a very slim barrel profile, so I figured that a bit shorter would result in a little stiffer barrel, thereby increasing accuracy. Any thoughts?
Been shooting the 257 Weatherby for about 30 years, I can't imagine putting a short barrel on one. Kind of makes my head hurt a little bit. It reminds me of buying a hot rod and opting for the 6-cylinder motor.
Loss of velocity is probably the main reason, also the muzzle blast will be ridiculous. It's not meant to be a short barreled, "nice little handy rifle".
But in the end...... To each his own.
Go for it. You will lose 100-125 fps over a 26” but will still be able to shoot 133-135 bergers at 3225-3275fps with top end loads. As a hunting rifle it will be much handier and at those speeds still very potent at 1000 yards for deer sized game or shooting steel, and super sonic out past a mile. I run quite a few short barreled hunting rigs from 16-22” and have no regrets. Also have rifles with 26-32” barrels for LR/ELR that are mostly shot prone and not carried far.
For my 25cal magnum I just decided im going to build 2 rifles, one heavy with a 26” barrel and one light with a 20” barrel.
I have a 20" NULA in 308. It will spit 130 TTSX out at 3150 FPS using 47 grains of powder. I cannot imagine using my 257 BEE with a 20-22" barrel burning 50% more powder to get the same velocity. I love my 257 but the muzzle blast at 20" would be horrendous.
Inches aren't the principle number to count. It's what the reduction represents as a portion of total barrel length. 2" off of a 26" barrel is not so much of a loss of total barrel by percentage. However 6" off of 26" represents a significant portion of total barrel length. Each family of cartridges has associated with it a traditional barrel length. What we once called "short action" cartridges. The .308 winchester length rounds generally sported a 22" barrel. Standard cartridges, the 30-06 family a 24" barrel. Magnum length, cartridges based on the .375 H&H hull wore a 26" tube. These lengths were based on case powder volume for propellant burn rates at the time. You can hack your barrel to any length you desire. There will be intended consequences and unintended consequences. It's your call if it is all worth it or not. Why not just build a .257 Bob to get that level of performance in a short handy rifle?
I guess I'd like to ask a question myself. Where has one found need of a rifle that short in an "open country" chambering?" When I hunt the west slope of the Cascades, aspen mazes of the southern Rockys, or the Palmetto country of Florida's panhandle I too like a carbine length hunting arm. But, I generally also want that arm in an "anchoring" caliber like .35 Whelan or .350 Remington Magnum using a 250 grain partition or similar bullet. Small, light, fast bullets don't fare well in the tangle. For elk, et al, in the vast open country I hunt light and fast out of a long weapon system is fine as long as one can dope the wind well. Pictured is a Weatherby MK V Backcountry in 6.5 RPM. Screwed to the 24" barrel is a 9" Banish 30. No problem at all getting around in this habitat. Dumped that cow the 23rd of September.


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Shot the bear 13 May this Spring. Pictured is my "thick stuff" rig. A Remington M600 in .350 Remington Magnum. An "anchoring cartridge." Traditional choices? Sure. They're traditional for a reason. Long and well proven over time.
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I'm sorry, but I just don't see "why" you would want to do wreck a perfectly fine, Super Flat Shooting, High Velocity Cartridge that has the incredible reputation as a Long Range Killer, and make it shoot like a 25-06 . Have you considered finding some used model 700 , and re barrel it and make it a short barreled 25-05, or 308, or 30-06?? Just a thought.