Anyone have any experience reloading the "Bob". I bought a nice Kimber this summer and haven't fired it yet. I will be using it for whitetails and just for fun. Has anyone use Varget for the caliber? Thanks for any advice.
Kimber makes a sweet rifle. I really like mine in .223 Rem.I have two rifles chambered to the .257 Bob. A Ruger #1B that has so far only had Norma 100 gr. loads through it and a Winchester M70 Featherweight that is so far a decent shooter but needs more load work. So far I've only run 100 g. Sierra Pro-Hunters and the the 100 gr. Barnes TSX through it Groups run in the 1.25" range so far with 44.5 gr. of IMR-4350. I use that load for both bullets. CAUTION: max load. Start at least 2.0 full gr. below that level and work up.
On that .257 Bob Norma ammo, it's been discontinued for a long time now. When I bought the Ruger #1B, 5 boxes of that ammo came with the gun. It was good stuff and an accurate load but it's no more.
I haven't shot any game with the rifles yet. I'd planned on trying it out on deer this year but I didn't draw a tag.
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Loaded it for my FIL for years. The single best load according to my records is 36.0 grains of IMR 4064 in Winchester brass, WLR primers, behind a Hornady or Sierra 117 grain SPBT seated 0.020" off the lands. My FIL could drive nails with that load; I saw him kill a standing coyote at just over 300 yards with it while leaning on a fence post. He also killed his last deer with it. Great round!
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Shot a lot of 117 Sierra SBT in mine, used 35.5 of IMR4064 nothing seemed to do the job as well. Then Varget may. I did shoot it in hunter bench rest competition at 200yds. That was in a 722 Rem. Bought a Ruger round top in the same cal and it liked 87gn spire pts the best, and IMR4320.
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Brother in law had 2 of them and shot rem 117 gr. factory. Was a deer killin machine.
I have reloaded the 257 Roberts for almost 40 years. My Dad has a custom Mauser that is a tack driver with 4064 and either the Speer 100gr Spitzer or the Rem 100gr Core-Lokt. I know my Dad has killed at least 50 deer and a load of coyotes with the .257. I killed my first deer at the age of 8 with the old Bob. I used to load the 87 gr bullets for coyotes, but the rifle always liked the 100 gr bullets better. With my Dad behind the trigger, no varmint or deer within 300 yds was safe.
The Robert's case capacity versus the size of the hole in the end of the barrel means that it achieves its highest velocities with the heavier 117 and 120 grain bullets using slow powders favored by the 270, such as Reloder 22, H4831, IMR 4831, Reloder 19, and the various 4350's. 2900 should be quite safe with 120's and 3200 with 100 grain bullets given a reasonable barrel length. Varget won't quite get you there.
I have a 22 inch barreled Ruger Mk II. 3500 fps is not terribly difficult to obtain with a 75 grain bullet, and Varget and IMR 4064 work just great for that. As long as bullet weights are not too dissimilar, point of impact is close enough that some load switching may be done without rezeroing the rifle.
It has been said in various places that the Roberts has a tendency to favor 100's over 117's and 120's due to the normal 1-10 twist being just a tad too slow for best accuracy with the heavier bullets. Of course you'll find out if that's true for yourself, and I note that Hornady has a 110 grain bullet now that should be easy to get 3000 fps or a bit more with reasonable loading. This caliber has a lot of available bullet weights and is a real sweetheart to load for, and to shoot.
Both of mine are Remington 722's. One came to me in 1973 when my Grandfather passed away. The other came in 2008 when Dad "retired" from hunting at 81 years old. Grandfather's was a used 1949 purchased in 1953 and Dad's was new in 1952. The 257Roberts was king in our house. IMR4350 was THE powder when Dad started handloading in 1957. Bullets were 117gr Hornady and 120gr Sierra. I found a box of 125gr Barnes and hoarded them for years. I have about 6 left.
+1 what 35Remington posted. My records closely parallel his posted results.
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There are a lot more 257 shooters/fans here than I expected! Not much I can add to what's already been posted, their powder recommendations mirror mine, though I'm still trying to figure out what my M-77 Ruger likes best. I've gotten groups a shade under an inch, but I think it will do better. Keep us posted when you get a chance to shoot it, and as always, please feel obligated to post pictures for all the gunporn junkies among us.
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