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Thread: The 256 Winchester Magnum

  1. #1

    Default The 256 Winchester Magnum

    My number one huntable critter is the little wolf. Our states pheasant population is about wiped out. The deer herd has dwindled by 50%. I think the coyote is to blame as much as anything. So I would estimate that 80% of my hunting revolves around trying to make dead coyotes out of live ones. It only makes sense then that rifle battery lines up along those lines. I have an AR15, I have a couple 223 bolt guns and a 243 for the cagey ones. In our part of the world coyote hunting is most profitable if done from a truck using FM radios. Yes fellers this is 100% legal as long as you have a weapons permit and permission from the land owner.

    Why a 256 Winchester? Well, I would hate to try to recount all of the times that I've been running across an open bean field with a coyote running along side of me almost close enough to touch but almost impossible to get lined up in a scope. I have killed a few of these coyotes with my old 30-30. The 30-30 doesn't even figure into the equation but the handiness of the lever action which the 30-30 happens to be does. If the 94 in 30-30 is good in this situation then a little Rossi in 256 Winchester would be perfect!

    If you really do apples to apples my 16 inch AR15 running a 55 grain bullet at 2800 has absolutely nothing over the Rossi in 256 running a 60 grain pill at the same speed. I am talking about shots that never exceed 100 yards so BC and down range performance mean nothing.

    Now if only someone would do a Rossi 92 in 264 Winchester? I know of a fella on our very own forum who has been doing it and doing it right! What say Andy are you up to putting one of these together for to kill iowa coyotes with?

  2. #2

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    [QUOTE=elmerkeithclone;1347529)

    Now if only someone would do a Rossi 92 in 264 Winchester? I know of a fella on our very own forum who has been doing it and doing it right! What say Andy are you up to putting one of these together for to kill iowa coyotes with?[/QUOTE]

    I hate to burst your bubble BUT a Rossi 92 is incapable of holding the pressurses of a 264 Win. It will however hold the pressures of a 256 Win.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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  3. #3

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    Here's another angle for you, without trying to deflect you from a 256 project. A few years back, Winchester (in one of it's recent guises) turned out a run of 94's in 25-35. I don't know how many or what they're selling for now, and yeah, they're the ones with that blooming tang safety. Not a big deal to me, but some guys hate em and that might hold the price down on the used market.

    In any case, that little rifle is as handy as you might guess, and really sets the world on fire with the 75 grain Speer flat point. Haven't tried any of the 60's and probably won't with a big store of the 75's which I also use in 25-20. Mine is flat enough and accurate enough to tempt me to pop at a yodel pup way past 100 yards, which I probably wouldn't try with a 256. Kinda the best of both worlds with handy for close, but flat an accurate enough for longer shots.

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    I'm not knockin the 25-20. I usta own one once, a long time ago. I never shot anything but cans etc. with FLs. It was an original, and antiquey so I traded it and another in 38-40 for a whole passel of other guns.

    IIRC, the ballistics of a 256 Win Mag. (357 Mag. case necked down to 25 cal.) is more than the equal of a 25-20. The 25-20 is kind of a modern version of the 25-20, only better IMO.

    25-20s are scarce but a 92 Winchester, replica like the Rossi in 357 can be rebarreled to 25-20, and it'll work fine. Andy proved that in at least 2 of'em I know of.

    Brass is easier and cheaper too. Just resize, Brass 357 brass.

    I know an old guy, who had a Marlin Levermatic in 256 Win. for his wife. She shot Caribou with it. (In the Neck)

    Smitty of the North
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    You might also look around for a Marlin in 218 BeeÖ they've made them off and on and might be easier to feed than the .256 Win.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    A Rossi will easily hold the pressure of a 264 win but the length is a bit much. I believe the OP made a mistake typing 264 rather than 256. The 256 shooting 60gr jacketed bullets at 2700+ is easily a 200yd gun not that the OP has intent for shooting that far. Cases are easily made from 357mag cases which are easier to find than 25/35, 218 or 25/20. I think the Rossi in 256 is an excellent choice for what the OP has suggested and probably cheaper than anything similar in a Win rifle. A Win 92 in 218 or 25/20 would also work very well but what is the price on those now days.

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    Sure EKC Iíll make ya one. I have built 9 so far and am building more 2 right now. The two Smitty saw were my own guns (both sold now) and all the others built on customers guns. They must work for the coyote issues down there cuz I sold the first to a predator caller in Wisconsin and ALL his buddies started sending me rifles to convert.
     
    256wm is a very easy feeder!
    I trim 357 brass first because I load it on a progressive, you can do it after necking if ya want. Needs to be a little shorter because it out grows the length of my PTG reamer in necking down then shears off funny little whiskers at the case mouth on the first firing.

    Then I anneal the necks in a pan, heat and knock over into the water. You donít need to but without annealing you kill about 8 or 10% of your 357 brass.

    Then I put my 256wm dies (I highley reckomend the Redding dies for the 256) in my Hornady progressive, brass goes on as 357mag with a little Imperial wax on it and 256wm loaded ammo falls into the tray. One step neck down right there on the press, just as easy as loading a batch of 45acp. No need to change any of the setup to reload the next time, in fact I sometimes run necked cases right with the un-necked 357 brass that Iím necking and loading.
     
    256wm book velocity is just under 223, 100-150fps less with same bullet weight but a caliber advantage goes to the .257Ē bullet so power is a dead heat in my view. I had one max LilGun load that was pushing a Speer 75g spfn to just over 2600fps from a 20Ē barrel but it wasnít accurate till I dropped it to about 2500fps. Still a smoking little flat point and Iíd try to poke a coyote with it at 200 yards with it, it was accurate enough to get it done.
    Andy
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  8. #8

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    Yup rbuck,my brain was thing 256 and my fingers went 264. It happens when you get old and have been put through the mill. Your right the 92 action handles the 63,000 psi put out from the 454 and thats about 10k more than 264mag barrel burning piece of crap puts out.

    Speaking of the 264mag....back when they first came out about a dozen old guys that learned me about yoties and stuff(all dead and gone now) bought into the gun rag hype and bought them. Wow geezy willakers them things run factory 100 grainers at 3600+ fps. Then old Roger got the first fps machine in these parts and we found out that gun rags is liars. We also found out that 600-1000 rounds later that either you needed to get rid of your 264 to some unsuspecting gun rag reading feller with no first hand experience in regards to the 264 magnoose or rebarrel it to 7mm Rem mag which is 10 times the cartridge the 264 ever was or ever will be. Rant over now! Oops maybe not over...something else popped into my head. A short while ago I looked down the bore of one of the new super duper 223WSSM rifles after a thousand rounds in prairie dog towns and it was the worstest shot out barrel that I've ever seen. Now I'm done!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Here's another angle for you, without trying to deflect you from a 256 project. A few years back, Winchester (in one of it's recent guises) turned out a run of 94's in 25-35. I don't know how many or what they're selling for now, and yeah, they're the ones with that blooming tang safety. Not a big deal to me, but some guys hate em and that might hold the price down on the used market.

    In any case, that little rifle is as handy as you might guess, and really sets the world on fire with the 75 grain Speer flat point. Haven't tried any of the 60's and probably won't with a big store of the 75's which I also use in 25-20. Mine is flat enough and accurate enough to tempt me to pop at a yodel pup way past 100 yards, which I probably wouldn't try with a 256. Kinda the best of both worlds with handy for close, but flat an accurate enough for longer shots.
    BB, I had a dandy little Marlin in 25-20 and liked the heck out of it. I loned it to a good friend who loaned it to his absent minded son. It got all dinged up and the kid managed to scatter all 300 rounds of brass all over their farm. He tried to set that stupid kid up with my youngest daughter and we ain't friends no more. He got to keep the rifle and I took $500 and never looked back. I told my daughter that she wasn't interested and it stuck!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Here's another angle for you, without trying to deflect you from a 256 project. A few years back, Winchester (in one of it's recent guises) turned out a run of 94's in 25-35. I don't know how many or what they're selling for now, and yeah, they're the ones with that blooming tang safety. Not a big deal to me, but some guys hate em and that might hold the price down on the used market.

    In any case, that little rifle is as handy as you might guess, and really sets the world on fire with the 75 grain Speer flat point. Haven't tried any of the 60's and probably won't with a big store of the 75's which I also use in 25-20. Mine is flat enough and accurate enough to tempt me to pop at a yodel pup way past 100 yards, which I probably wouldn't try with a 256. Kinda the best of both worlds with handy for close, but flat an accurate enough for longer shots.
    BB, I had a dandy little Marlin in 25-20 and liked the heck out of it. I loned it to a good friend who loaned it to his absent minded son. It got all dinged up and the kid managed to scatter all 300 rounds of brass all over their farm. He tried to set that stupid kid up with my youngest daughter and we ain't friends no more. He got to keep the rifle and I took $500 and never looked back. I told my daughter that she wasn't interested and it stuck!

    OK AD, I'll be on the look out for a 92 in 357. I might try to find one of the older ones thats minus the toggle switch safety up on top that reminds me of the ignition switch on our old 77 Oliver tractor. Why in the heck did they go and do that anyway?

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    I have 3 of the M92s, a Win 25/20 a Win 32/20 and a Rossi 454. I am very fond of the 92 action but the 32/20 in a rifle doesn't do much fo me so one of these days the 32/20 is going to be a 256Win. I have always thought Rossi should make a limited run in 256W. The added cost to make a 256W version from their 357M would be very little. Caliber specific tools for the barrel would be about it.
    Yeah, it's amazing what a gun rag writer can do with a typewriter, a little imagination, and the newest whiz bang cartridge. I have been wondering about some of the newer short mags and barrel life. I guess most hunters probably wouldn't burn out a barrel in 2 lifetimes. My Rem 700V in 223 has somewhere around 8000 rounds through it and although it won't shoot like it once did, it will still shoot a little under 1" at 100yds. Thankfully the 264W is not one of those guns I just had to have. Anyway enough babbeling at this time of morning.
    BTW that silly safety on the new Rossi makes a great spot for a replacement rear peep sight. Steves Guns makes a peep sight that replaces the safety.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    ...a dandy little Marlin in 25-20 and liked the heck out of it
    Yeah, got one myself and love the heck out of it.

    Just to be clear though, in my post I was talking about my Winnie Model 94 in 25-35. A horse of a different color with lots more range potential than the 25-20, even as it's equally handy for the closer work. A few years back I stumbled on a whole case of 30-30 brass at a ridiculous price in a failing sporting goods store, so there's been no issue on coming up with brass. It's sure a shooter, and reaches a whole lot further than my geezer eyes can do the job on little critters.

  13. #13

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    Here ya go: Winchester Model 94 25-35

    Mine has a round barrel, but otherwise this looks like the same gun I bought a few years back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I'm not knockin the 25-20. I usta own one once, a long time ago. I never shot anything but cans etc. with FLs. It was an original, and antiquey so I traded it and another in 38-40 for a whole passel of other guns.

    IIRC, the ballistics of a 256 Win Mag. (357 Mag. case necked down to 25 cal.) is more than the equal of a 25-20. The 25-20 is kind of a modern version of the 25-20, only better IMO.

    25-20s are scarce but a 92 Winchester, replica like the Rossi in 357 can be rebarreled to 25-20, and it'll work fine. Andy proved that in at least 2 of'em I know of.

    Brass is easier and cheaper too. Just resize, Brass 357 brass.

    I know an old guy, who had a Marlin Levermatic in 256 Win. for his wife. She shot Caribou with it. (In the Neck)

    Smitty of the North
    I meant to say...... 25-20s are scarce but a 92 Winchester, replica like the Rossi in 357 can be rebarreled to (((256 WM))), and it'll work fine. Andy proved that in at least 2 of'em I know of.

    Andy, yew is amazin, with your Dillion, Lathes, and Mills, and other machinery.

    SOTN
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    OK AD, I'll be on the look out for a 92 in 357. I might try to find one of the older ones thats minus the toggle switch safety up on top that reminds me of the ignition switch on our old 77 Oliver tractor. Why in the heck did they go and do that anyway?
    EKC I think I have a line on a builder gun for you for very cheap so give me a couple weeks before you spend any money.
     
    I also hate that stupid safety on the Rossi bolt and the one Winchester puts on the tang but at least they can be removed and the hole hidden by a sight. Really HATE the cross bolt ones used by both Winchester and Marlin with a passion, not very much you can do to hide those stupid unnecessary things and if you leave them in sooner or later they will ruin a fine day for you. Guns with a hammer only need a deep safety notch on the hammer, if you want to be extra diligent weaken the hammer spur like on the Win 94s but there is no need of adding stupid switches to these well designed rifles.
     
    I will say the Rossi safety on the bolt is the best of the bunch in terms of acutely being a safety device, itís the only one that acts directly on the firing pin itself, it works where the rubber meats the road. The Winchester tang safety just blocks the trigger so it prevents nothing but an accidental trigger pull, itís a false sense of safety that I think tempts the unknowing to do unsafe things like carry it calked and locked. Rossi 92s are more like Brownianís Winchester 92s than the ones marked Winchester, the Japanese 92s are better more quality built but the Rossiís are better designed inside and more true to the guns history.
     
    Only three design differences between a Rossi 92 and an 1890s Winchester 92;
    1>Metric threads but this makes most of the tooling cheaper than the oddball propriety threads Winchester used on them, I wish they were standard inch but Iíll take cheap standard metric I can buy over oddball inch I need to custom order.
    2>Cartage carrier detent cuts are in the Rossi receiver wall not a left side rail apron like Winchester. This leaves more steel in the Rossi receiver making it stronger as well as cheaper to make. I suspect Browning only did them on an apron due to 1890s tooling limitations.
    3>Safety on the top of the bolt.
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  16. #16

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    Well AD, I found a dandy older one. It's one of the ones that are imported by Interarms and are called a Puma. It is minus the toggle switch, has the very dark looking walnut that doesn't really look like Brazilian walnut. I never looked to see if it could have been made anywhere other than Brazil. It had a real deep blue finish as most of the older ones did. It's clean as a whistle. I already made the guy an offer and he said he wanted to sleep on it. So I'll let you know real soon so you know what to do about the one you may have lined up.

    Do you have the ability to post pictures of one set up with the scout scope? My old eyes aren't apt to get a whole lot better and thats sorta how I'm leaning right now.

    I was out in the garage last night in the zero degree temp(I know that's balmy to Alaskan's) Looking through my pile of gadgets and crap that's to good to throw away trying to figure out how to fashion a holder that will fasten to the top side of the dashboard in my coyotie chasing truck to clamp the little gun into. I sometimes have a rider and I will not bail out of the truck with the gun going butt first and at the same time letting my rider look down the bore. I might add that I do not put a round in the chamber until outside the truck. It takes a split second to cycle a bolt, pull back on a charging handle or to cycle a lever. It would be real slick to pluck the little gun off the dash barrel first and just slide it out the window and start banging away.

    A couple of things that I need to say since I know some of you are raising your eyebrows concerning this method of hunting. Since 1976 our group has been hunting together and we pretty much have it figured out. We have never had an injury of any kind and the few close calls that we have had had all to do with driving and nothing to do with firearms. When my son is not home then I am the youngest in the group and I'm 55. Jimmy is in his mid 60's, Denny is 73 and killed 40 coyotes last year, Steve is 56 and Perry is around 60. We have a younger guy Andy that is 6'6" and strong as an ox and a very good guy that we have decided to bring into the group this year. I hope this eases some minds concerning our reckless hunting style!

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    EKC
    Some folks just don't know how to have fun. Being a right side door gunner in your pickup would put a grin on my face you couldn't wipe off. As much as I like the idea of a 92 in 256W, I would probably use a short Rem870 with #4 buckshot.

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    I posted them before but canít find the thread handy.
    IMG_0203.jpgIMG_0202.jpg
     
     
    I got your PM that your guy didnít work out, Iíll let you know soon as I can on the donor gun.
     
     
    We used to night hunt rabbit from a pickup with a roll bar when I was a kid, not for sport but for rabbit control . . . They are hard very on crops! Full crew was two shooters in back, a driver, and a bunny fetcher . . . Rotating everyone through all the position. We used shotguns and semi auto 22s. Got pretty wild at times running 35mph over a hay field after bunnies standing in a truck bed shooting over the hood. Much fun was always had by all and we filled the truck near heaping many times, Dead bunnies went to the hog farm, yup pigs will eat bunnies hide and all! I did that for years, it still goes on during rabbit years and worst thing ever happened was lots of tires got ruined . . . Perfectly safe if you follow the rules and use common sense.
    Andy
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    Couple more after done.
    DSC_0001.jpgDSC_0006.JPG
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Yup rbuck,my brain was thing 256 and my fingers went 264. It happens when you get old and have been put through the mill. Your right the 92 action handles the 63,000 psi put out from the 454 and thats about 10k more than 264mag barrel burning piece of crap puts out.

    Speaking of the 264mag....back when they first came out about a dozen old guys that learned me about yoties and stuff(all dead and gone now) bought into the gun rag hype and bought them. Wow geezy willakers them things run factory 100 grainers at 3600+ fps. Then old Roger got the first fps machine in these parts and we found out that gun rags is liars. We also found out that 600-1000 rounds later that either you needed to get rid of your 264 to some unsuspecting gun rag reading feller with no first hand experience in regards to the 264 magnoose or rebarrel it to 7mm Rem mag which is 10 times the cartridge the 264 ever was or ever will be. Rant over now! Oops maybe not over...something else popped into my head. A short while ago I looked down the bore of one of the new super duper 223WSSM rifles after a thousand rounds in prairie dog towns and it was the worstest shot out barrel that I've ever seen. Now I'm done!
    What 223 WSSM? I own a Coyote and load to .22-250 levels and am getting terrific bore life.

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