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The Firing Line
Has anyone have any good/bad experiences with a 257 weatherby and elk? It looks good on paper but paper isn't quite as tasty as elk. Any input would be great!
I never went elk hunting, but I can tell you that it is illegal to shoot an elk with a .257 Weatherby in Pennsylvania. I believe the current regulation is the bullet must be larger than a .277 caliber.
I havd a .257 Weatherby and I have a lot of faith in the rifle and it is a tack driver, but my elk rifle is a Sako A7 300WSM shooting 165 grain Nosler Accubonds or 180 grain Hornady Interbonds.
If I were hunting elk on a once in a lifetime hunt, I would go for something bigger like a 300 or 338 of some sort. That said, the 257 would be enough if you used a good premium bullet like a 120gr Swift A Frame, or Barnes X Bullet. I would have to say its marginal, but if your picky about your shots and keep them under 200 yards I think it would kill an elk just as fast as my ol 270 would.
I can't think of one good reason to take any .25 caliber rifle on an elk hunt. I think elk bullets start at 140+ grain bonded or copper expanding bullets driven real fast. I know people who say they have killed elk with a .257 Wby, but I never saw anyone in the field using one. Aboutthe lightest caliber any of our bunch has used was a .270 WSM with 150's. Most shoot 7mm and .300 magnums, .338/06, or .35 Whelen with the occasional .30-06 Springfield.
I've shot a pile of elk, calibers have ranged form .243 win, 7mm-08, .308 winchester, .30-06 and .300 win mag. All have been effective but I agree with WA Mtn, about the smallest caliber I recommend for elk anymore is a .270 and I feel a 7mm or .30 caliber is better. The smallest caliber I've used in the last 5-6 years has been a .308 Win with a 165 grain TSX, and anymore my brother, father and I have all used my .300 with 210 Berger's for elk. As my Dad told me,
"Elk calibers start with the number 3 or bigger and poke two holes. One in, and one out."
Elk are a big, incredibly durable animal. I have stated many times, anything is possible. I don't own a .243 but I have read much on the caliber and it's capabilities on deer, antelope, and such sized game. I personally feel that if for no other reason, a larger and harder hitting caliber, for humane reasons, should be used to take the elk. I Roosevelt elk hunt in western Oregon and use a Remington .270. I use Winchester XP-3 loads, but 75 yds. in these west side, brushy canyons is a long shot. Hitting the vitals is key to any shot and my .270 has been very effective. If I were to go to the east side to hunt, I would step my caliber choice up a notch or two.
i've never even heard of anyone using that caliber for elk!
It could be used having said that it is on the light side. A follow up shot would most likely be required. I know my dad took his first elk with a .243 but shot placement is key. He uses a .300 win mag now. I have taken one with the .25-06, .280, 7 mag, and 300 win. I prefer the 300 only because I do not have to track the elk over a ridge or down to the meadow. I have taken 2 with the 300 and have not tracked yet. I had tracking with all the other calibers which was not bad other than the mountain terrain where we hunt is rather rugid even for horses, so I prefer not tracking in this region.
A 257 WBY with 110 AB will smack the snot out of coyotes, antelope and deer. I have heard tell of guys using 25-06 and other 1/4 bores on elk.
In theory if you seek out a good broadside shot and keep it under 250-275 yds, then yes.
I for one want to hit the animal that I hunt hard and accurately. I am tempted to use my 257 wby on elk but common sense takes over.
In the real world for the average hunter if you have to ask is it big enough for____......it aint!
Hengst, Your last sentence sums it up nicely. "If you have to ask..." I never have to ask is my .30-06, .35 Whelen, 7mm Wby, or .300 Roy big enough! LOL!
257wby for Elk? Well keep in mind that it takes about 1500 lbs of energy to drop an elk when shot in the boiler room. If you shoot a 50bmg at 50yards in the gut its going to blow right thru and you will have to try again with another round. Elk are tough animals but when hit in the right spot they will drop with a 257. If you are still thinking about using it, make sure you buy premium rounds like the 110gr accubond or the 115 BST from Weatherby. Either of these would be fine up to about 400 yards. Both rounds have plenty of energy to do the job. Look at the ballistics on weatherby.com
I have a 257wby and it is my backup/hiking gun for Elk. Its much lighter than my 300 and I have faith in using it out to 400 yards.
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