Forgotten Speed Demon
The .264 Winchester Magnum Has Many Attributes Today’s Shooters Demand.
The .257 Weatherby Magnum and .264 Winchester Magnum are remarkable cartridges. They deliver very high velocity with ballistically efficient bullets, with tolerable recoil.
Many shooters were intrigued by the .257’s ballistics, but not enough to lay out the bucks for a Mk V. When Weatherby began offering the Vanguard in .257 Weatherby, demand exceeded all expectations. The Weatherby Vanguard is one of the best sporting rifles available and, at current prices, a fantastic value. The popularity of the .257 is probably higher now than it has ever been.
Other factors include increased interest in long-range shooting; more choices in slow-burning powders, slippery low-drag bullets, monometal bullets which maintain their integrity even at high impact velocity. The increased popularity of the .257 seems to have renewed interest in the .264.
They are about as alike as two cartridges can get. My fired W-W .264 cases averaged 86-grain water capacity, compared to an 87.5-grain average for fired Weatherby/Norma .257 cases, an insignificant difference.
Bullet diameter difference is just .007″, really not very much. Mind you—the same .007″ difference between the .270 Win and .280 Rem has fueled many an argument.
Originally it appeared the .264 Mag would be a solid success. In addition to the Winchester 70, Remington, Savage, Sako and Browning offered rifles in .264 Mag.
By Dave Anderson
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