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.257 Weatherby magnum distances & scope

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.257 Weatherby magnum distances & scope

Old 03-08-2015, 02:38 PM
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Putting my moderator hat aside for a post, I'm intrigued by your opinion and crunched some of the #'s. While I don't wish to discount your 40+ years of experience and absolutely do not doubt that you have witnessed various hunters missing or wounding animals at longer distances (and likely shorter distances also), I was curious about how much of a factor bullet travel time would play at increased distances.

Just for argument's sake, I used a medium muzzle velocity of 3,000 FPS for a 180 grain bullet (BC of .250) to see what would happen. I used "rough" #'s to calculate the distances and travel time but came up with these generalized #'s (I'm sure somebody with Chairgun or other ballistics program could fine-tune these #'s a bit).

1000 yards--Approximately 1.66 seconds of travel to the target
700 yards--A little over 1 second.
300 yards--About 1/2 a second.
100 yards--A little over an 1/8th of a second.

Shot opportunities at any animal can be fleeting. (More to come--mini date with the wife).
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:05 PM
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Back again from a lot of fun. To continue, any animal movement is of course possible, even at less than 100 yards (well below 300 yards). You could be 10 feet from the deer and it could still move while you're pulling the trigger/releasing the arrow, etc. I have not deer hunted with anybody that tried shots over 300-400 yards so it has been my experience that most hunters don't attempt those kind of shots.

I think everybody agrees that a good shot is capable of hitting a target at 1,000 yards or more so it isn't an issue of being beyond a rifle's capability. Since many competition shooters and some plain ole long range hunters hit animals at longer ranges up to 1,000 yards, it isn't a question of if some talented hunters/shooters can make those kinds of shots (they can). Like any kind of shooting, the individual hunter/shooter has to know his/her limitations and not try to exceed them on an animal while hunting.

What is left is the vagaries of things that can go wrong, like the animal moving, spooking or the wind changing, etc. An animal can move at any range and is honestly more likely to move when yuou're closer to it than further away. An animal can get spooked by just about anything but the farther away the animal, the less likely it is that the hunter will be the one spooking the animal. The wind can change at any range but it does tend to have more cumulative effect at longer range.

So in the end, it comes down to that single question any ethical hunter has to ask and answer themself--Can they reasonably make the shot? If they can, take the shot. If they can't, they shouldn't take the shot, regardless of what distance it's at. It's a question that none of us can answer for another hunter while sitting at a computer keyboard as we honestly can't know that other hunter's capabilities.
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:17 AM
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well said Cal, to clarify how I avoid the animals moving at the shot here is a copy/paste I took from one of my posts
I glass the wooded ridges here in eastern wv, once I spot a potential target, the wind has been measured and entered, bar pressure entered I then range the target, and set the rifle up about 1/2 the time finding the target in the scope just never happens before it moves a good distance and then it must be found again in the binocs, marked, then ranged then reset the rifle up. about 50% of the game I would take is never seen again, they walk behind a tree and never come out.
one the instance I find the game in the scope I again range it, check the charts, verify my drop/drift, then settle down on the rifle, and watch, watch for that 1/2second window, when by watching the targets body language and demeaner I know they will not take a step during the TOF. all the while watching through the bullet path and take note of any variences in the wind in the bullet path, usually I make a minute wind adjustment as I see the window start to develop, by this time I have determined if I have a 90% or greater chance of making the shot, if so I check the level, hold low on the target and load the pod (lean into the rifle with about the rifles weigh of pressure) this brings the crosshair up on the target and takes the spring and flex out of the pod, then take the shot during the window, if not I abort the shot, and many times the window never appears and the target just walks out of site, when the trigger breaks its like that old ketchup commercial waiting to see the impact.

one of my favorite glassing spots, have taken a couple dozen deer from here, couple fall turkeys shots run to around 750 yds.

another, killed 19 bucks and a bear here

this spot max's out at 550'ish

now if someone just can't believe that you can actualy tell when a deer is gonna move a second before he does, then it doesn't end the debate, I do however know for a fact that you can read a deer's body language.
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Old 03-09-2015, 12:30 PM
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That's a very precise and detailed methodology used to determine if a long range shot is taken. Coupled with your 2 years of weekly practice to build up that level of skill, I could see why you feel comfortable in taking such a shot and that it is an ethical shot (reasonable chance of hitting the animal and killing it).

Now compare your training regimen with a lot of hunters who probably shoot less than a box full of rounds per year out of their favorite deer rifle. Big difference. Many outfitters state their clients needs to shoot a few "sight-in" shots before going on a guided hunt. It does verify that the scope is properly sighted in but it also enables the outfitter/guide to determine how well that hunter can shoot or not. I don't have any statistics one way or another (not sure you could develop accurate ones anyway) but I'd guess that most guides/outfitters have found over the years that most of their clients probably shouldn't shoot past 200 yards if that to have a reasonable chance of hitting and killing their animal. Seeing so many hunters that haven't practiced their shooting skills for longer ranges would certain color a guide's/outfitter's perception of the average hunter's ability to shoot game at long range as not being advisable.

That's a fair enough determination for any outfitter/guide to make regarding the average client hunter. Obviously, they would make adjustments if the client proves they can shoot well at longer distances. In short, hunting distance limitations should be limited by the individual hunter's capabilities at distance shooting.

Now if you want to argue from a philosophical standpoint about how shooting an animal at 500 or 700 yards is somehow not hunting because of your own personal viewpoint/preference, that would be different as it would only be your personal opinion and you're entitled to that.

Such a personal preference is kind of like the numerous high fence hunting discussions we've had before where you run into logic and common sense after a while. Nobody thinks shooting an animal in a pen or small enclosure is hunting--it's not. But defining whether hunting inside a high fence operation is hunting or not is harder to do as the enclosed area increases in size.

100 acres, not really hunting. 1,000 acres, maybe or not. 10,000 acres is over 15 square miles and is a lot harder to say it isn't hunting. Some ranches (they usually have low fences) are over 100,000 acres (156+ square miles) and several national forests (they're not generally fenced at all) contain millions of acres (100's of square miles or more). At some point, that fence (either high or low) becomes irrelevant as it's not going to have any effect upon the hunt at all.

So I would expect people are gonna disagree about hunting distance limitations. Frankly, most of us do not have the opportunity to shoot on a weekly, let alone daily, basis. Some people only have access to a rifle range for longer distances and those ranges limit the dates/times they can shoot at longer distances. Those hunters/shooters simply aren't going to get enough practice to reach RidgeRunner's ability or even that of noMercy448 who has a ranch/farm and plenty of coyotes to shoot at longer distances. Even an outfitter or guide isn't going to have the time or schedule to shoot that often as both jobs are one heck of a lot of work. I didn't mention Jeepkid since I don't know how frequently he shoots and didn't want to mess up my stump speech while I was on a roll.
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:01 PM
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Thanks for all the info guys! I've got 2 friends that .257s Wbys & swear by them. I'm thinking a Leupold VX3 4.5x14-40, just not sure which reticle or if there's a better (clearer & tougher) scope out there w/in my budget of $750.
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:59 PM
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My father's 257 wby is the most accurate rifle we own. It's a mark v synthic it shoots like a ladder with 117 Sierras and IMR 4831. Drops the deer quickly. The longest shot we have is about 600 yards and the leupold 3-9 on it has not let my dad down. Most of the time I would say 80 percent my scope is on 4x. Like I said earlier if I was shooting long range all the time are at opportunities at longer rang then 600 yards I would get a high magnification scope. But for the occasional 600 yard shot I am happy with my 3-9. I almost all ways but leupold scopes. I got a leupold 4-12 with drop dots in it. But never used them, it's on a 35 Whelan not really a long range gun. Just wanted a 4-12 to try and it happened to have those dots in it.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:55 AM
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Default scope

Originally Posted by flags
The effective range of any modern firearm probably exceeds the skill of the person squeezing the trigger. Unless you spend a lot of time practicing, even a 500-600 yard shot is beyond the ability of most hunters. I've never understood why anyone would want to shoot at game at those distances. I grew up in the wide open spaces of the west and the number of times I couldn't get closer that 300 yards could be counted on the fingers of one hand.
I have been told for years by very good shooters that u can not shoot what u can not see. very powerful optics r a must when shooting long range. I favor the Nikon Monarch 6.5x20x44. I bought 6 of these scopes and one time. very very reliable optics. buy what u want, but the optics have to be very reliable. eliminate parallax.
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