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257 weatherby vs 7mm mag vs 300 mag for antelope, mule deer & cow elk combo hunt (38 posts)

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Posted 09/13/201206:27 PM

...7mag, best all-around choice when it comes down to comparing SD, BC, exterior/ terminal ballistics, manageable recoil. If you take a closer look, you'll probably find that when comparing similar bullets of different weights, the heavier bullets will retain more velocity & deliver more energy @ "long range" (400yds+) w/ less wind drift, & very little additional bullet drop over their lighter cousins, even w/ the lower MV. If I was using my 7mag for elk, deer, bear, or moose, & I've killed a couple moose, 14 or 15 bear, over 2 doz. elk, & I dunno how many deer w/ a 7mm RM, I'd choose a good, accurate 175gr. bullet...

...the exception would be antelope. Please don't ask how I know this, but a good 175gr. "elk" bullet probably won't expand on an antelope. I would use a lighter 130-150gr. load, then re-zero my rifle for the 175gr. load...Gene- 37
Joined: 03/10/09
Posts: 288

Posted 09/13/201207:33 PM


See that Black bear in my avatar photo, 7mmwby 160g bullet heart lung and smashed shoulder on exit side.

Jamesexhale and squeeze
Joined: 04/23/09
Posts: 2455

Posted 09/14/201209:48 AM

About a thousand years back when I was a boy learning to shoot, I asked my Dad what it meant to be a good deer rifle or an elk rifle. Dad didn't have any scientific answer, so he told me a good deer rifle would shoot a bullet completely through a deer from chest to butt. An elk rifle would shoot a bullet through an elk that way, and an elephant rifle would shoot through an elephant from end to end. I do not know if there is a better definition, nor do I know if this is even close to being a serious answer, but I have remembered his words ever since because it does make sense. Dad was correct in my opinion because he was in his own way trying to explain bullet energy.

So, when I consider which caliber is best I do not pay as much attention to the ballistic flight of my bullet, but instead focus upon the down range impact and bullet performance. There must be adequate velocity to make the bullet expand properly and energy enough to reach the vitals from any angle I may shoot. When this is decided I am free to look at the ballistic flight of the bullet, and then decide whch is best suited for my hunt.We cannot improve our government by electing people that hate our government...
Joined: 09/07/07
Posts: 1872
Oregon Jim

Posted 09/14/201210:55 AM


Thanks for all of your advice. I am going to go with my 300 magnum over my 7mm & 257mag for this years combo hunt. The main reason is my my 300 mag is about a 1 1/2 lbs lighter than the 257 &7mm. Accuracy for all calibers is about the same; less than 1" at 100yds. I will be shooting 180 grain Nosler solid base bullets, these are the most accurate of the bullets I have tried. Anybody have input on the Nosler solid base bullet & effectiveness on cow elk or large deer? J W W
Joined: 09/06/10
Posts: 15

Posted 09/14/201211:50 AM

I am a little confused about your "Nosler solid base" bullets. Are you shooting the SOLIDS intended for dangerous game, or one of the others like Partitions or Accubond bullets? We cannot improve our government by electing people that hate our government...
Joined: 09/07/07
Posts: 1872
Oregon Jim

Posted 09/14/201212:17 PM

Jim Nosler solid base bullets were around before the ballistic tips so there the same thing with A lead more rounded tip.Mark
Joined: 10/24/11
Posts: 1009

Posted 09/16/201210:24 PM

Your .300 should do fine for both.  I'm not familiar with Nosler solid base bullets but I would sure avoid any quick opening bullet like Ballistic Tips on elk.  They need a controlled expansion bullet like a Nosler Partition.  These would also be an excellent choice in a .300 for antelope where they won't cause the meat diistruction on such a small animal.

Have fun on your hunt..... Smiley
Joined: 11/22/08
Posts: 42

Posted 09/17/201204:17 PM must be in shock, you dangled the carrot in front of James but he did not take the bait Shocked
James.........well played my friend Wink

Terryguns have two enemies.......rust and government.
Joined: 09/22/09
Posts: 622

Posted 09/18/201209:11 AM

I remember reading an article by John Barsness or it may have been Layne Simpson that mentioned Nosler solid base bullets. As I recall the solid base was the predecessor to the ballistic tip. It was described as tougher bullet with a pointed lead nose. The article also mentioned that the 180grain 30 caliber bullet was appropriate for game up to 500-600lbs.   "Trident rules sea, air & land"
Joined: 09/06/07
Posts: 47

Posted 09/18/201210:32 AM

I still think the 7mm with the 140 grain Accubond is your best option but I would not hesitate to suggest the 300 if you were using a tougher bullet like the Accubond or Partition. I'm weary of how the "solid base" bullet will act if you have a close range shot on a larger cow elk or bear. Isaac
Joined: 08/17/08
Posts: 1152

Posted 09/18/201210:58 AM

I don't think it'll be a problem.  The 180gr Solid Base is the precursor to the 180gr Ballistic Tip, and prior to the Accubond, from .308cal and up, anything 180gr and larger had a heavier jacket and was actually rated for elk, according to Nosler CS.  I called them about using the 180gr BT in my 8x57 as a combo deer/elk bullet.  I was told it would be fine for elk and would be more controlled for deer than a 165gr BT in a 30-06.  Having shot deer with both bullets last season (actually a 168gr BT from a 30-06) I can tell you the 180gr BT in my 8x57 was far more controlled in its expansion.  Without the polymer tip to help initiate expansion, the Solid Base is going to be more controlled than the BT.  Now, for sure it's going to be moving faster, but even up close it's likely to hold together better than you might think.  The jacket on the bigger SBs and BTs is pretty thick.

Oh, and you can take Justin's word for the performance of Nosler bullets.  He spent a good bit of time working for them prior to coming to Weatherby.  He's the real deal, for sure.I believe this is a practical world, and in it I can count only on what I can earn.  Therefore I believe in work, hard work. - The Auburn Creed
The older I get, the less stock I place in what men say, and the more I place in what men do.
Andrew Carnegie
Joined: 09/09/07
Posts: 3684

Posted 09/18/201211:16 AM

I use to used the 180gr nosler solid base for years, loaded hot in a 300 win mag, and never had a problem on antelope, deer, bear, moose or elk.
Joined: 08/03/08
Posts: 255

Posted 09/20/201206:02 AM

Thanks for all the input. I am going for a short day hunt for antelope next Tuesday. For traditions sake I will use my Weatherby S2 Vanguard in .257 Weatherby Magnum. I picked up 3 boxes of Nosler Custom Trophy Grade ammo with 110 grain Accubonds. That should work on the antelope. J W W
Joined: 09/06/10
Posts: 15

Posted 09/20/201208:08 AM

257 excellent choice for Antelope
257 is fine for muleys too. Will also work on cow elk.  However, I've learned through personal experience on
larger game, move up in caliber (7 mm) is good. One thing you want when you shoot elk, is to "drop
em" with one shot.  No one likes tracking an animal that was hit and ran.  For large elk I shoot (usually) at
distances 350 - 400+ yds, I use 300 wby magnum.  One shot drop.


"Weatherby.  When one shot matters".
Joined: 06/14/08
Posts: 7

Posted 09/20/201203:29 PM

This was an interesting thread to find and read opinions on. I've been tinkering with the idea of swinging by Montana for a big game hunt, and then proceed to my original destination, South Dakota, for some pheasant hunting this year. I have a friend who recently moved to the high country of Deer Lodge County, NW of Anaconda, MT. He's been putting a lot of pressure on me to come visit his game oasis, so maybe this is the time. He doesn't talk much about deer, if at all. So I guess Elk is the primary target of opportunity, and a big black bear.

I'm not sure of the shot distances that will be presented, but he said he shot an elk at 650 yds last year. I could never see myself attempting a shot that far, but might attempt something out to 300-400 yards if the wind is calm and I have a steady rest.

I have a Wby Mk V .257 with a Zeiss Diavari 3-12X56 that shoots 100gr Barnes TSX very well and 117gr Nosler Partition well in Wby ammo.

I have a NIKKO Golden Eagle .300 Win Mag with a Zeiss Conquest 3-9X40 that shoots 180gr Nosler Partition well in Fed Premium ammo.

Even though I like shooting and feel more comfortable with my ability with the .257, I think I'll take the .300 on the trip. Elk are tough animals!

Since my zeroing opportunities might be limited when I get there, any suggestions on how to zero my rifle at home with an elevation of 200' at 200yds, to get me close at 7,000' elevation. I seem to remember when I moved from PA to CO in 1978, my zero at 100yds in SW PA was around 12" high at 7,000' in CO. Hopefully, I'll be able to fine tune at 200yds when I get there.

Joined: 11/11/08
Posts: 22

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