.450 Marlin or .257 Roberts

filmjunkie4ever

Handloader
May 4, 2011
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I am probably getting addle-brained in this summer heat but, I have an old 1903 Springfield that was rechambered to .257 Weatherby Magnum. Its a beautiful rifle, but needs a new barrel. Perhaps you good fellows would weigh in on my conundrum.

Option A-
My original thoughts were to have my smith buy a standard .473” bolt and fit it with a .257 Roberts barrel. I REALLY want a .257 Roberts. But after reflection I think I will spend $1000-1200 and end up with a $500 rifle. I doubt I would ever sell it and would likely get more use from the Roberts than any other chambering. Although I already have a nice Remington .25-06 too!

Option B-
The second thought I have had was to retain the .532” bolt it currently has but to go with something belted. I thought maybe a 7mm Rem Mag, or perhaps a .338 Win Mag. Maybe a .30-.338 or .308 Norma Mag?

What about the .450 Marlin? The 03 action is certainly strong enough. And the .450 is so uncommon in a bolt gun so as to be very unique. A brush gun for elk and bear out to say 200 yds with a 2.5 or 3x (or a 1-4x variable) scope on top. A 350-400 grain bullet at 2000-2100 fps would be formidable. Of the belted choices this one is definitely in the lead. 50 pieces of brass would probably last me a lifetime.

Not having to modify and fit a different bolt makes the .450 option about $300-400 cheaper than the Roberts.

Your thoughts?
 

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Yes, a disparity in choice to be sure! LOL

From a use standpoint, the 257 Bob sounds like fun for you...and the investment is for you and not someone else...so only you can decide if this is what you would get the most use out of and thus, better return on investment for you.

The 450 does make sense as the easier option as you do not need a new bolt...and will use factory ammo (whereas a 458 x 2" would be a handloading only option)...but even if you went with the Bob, you would still have the magnum bolt for whatever you decide to do...and a switch barrel rifle may be the best of both worlds!!! One rifle, 2 cartridge choices!:cool:

There...just to satisfy the enabling crowd and throw another decision at you to make! :devilish:
 
The 458 2” is a pretty cool little cartridge. And you will never run out of brass options. I had one in a rem 600. It was a serious little thumper.
 

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If you can find brass and ammo the 450 Marlin would be an interesting choice. I thought about the 458 2" as well, could cut down pretty much any belted magnum case I would think. Since everyone on here lately is going for 416's how about a 416 Taylor? Lol.
 
If you can find brass and ammo the 450 Marlin would be an interesting choice. I thought about the 458 2" as well, could cut down pretty much any belted magnum case I would think. Since everyone on here lately is going for 416's how about a 416 Taylor? Lol.
Nothing against the .416’s per se just didn’t envision this as a Safari-type rifle. A ~200 yard rifle for elk or black bear. If I do go with the .450 I’m thinking no more than a 22” barrel. Around here at least .458 caliber components are easier to acquire due to the popularity of the .45-70.
 
The 450 Marlin would be a thumper and 458 bullets should be easy to find. With a bolt gun you could also use spitzer bullets too which is a plus compared to a lever gun. Since you have dies already all you need to find now is brass or ammo. Should make a cool project. If your current barrel is meaty enough I wonder if you could get it rebored and rechambered to 450 Marlin?
 
Nothing against the .416’s per se just didn’t envision this as a Safari-type rifle. A ~200 yard rifle for elk or black bear. If I do go with the .450 I’m thinking no more than a 22” barrel. Around here at least .458 caliber components are easier to acquire due to the popularity of the .45-70.
416 is an excellent deer rifle😁. 450 would be a great choice.
 
The 450 Marlin would be a thumper and 458 bullets should be easy to find. With a bolt gun you could also use spitzer bullets too which is a plus compared to a lever gun. Since you have dies already all you need to find now is brass or ammo. Should make a cool project. If your current barrel is meaty enough I wonder if you could get it rebored and rechambered to 450 Marlin?
I don’t already have .450 dies and no the barrel is not meaty enough for a rebore. Its a new barrel no matter what route we choose.
 
Odd that a 257 Weatherby needs a new barrel... Ha! I think mine (built on a Mauser 98) does also. :)

If I was to go with a 45 cal option in my own old Springfield... I'd just go big, 458 Win Mag. Load it down to 45-70/450 Marlin level or load it up to hurl 500 grainers. :)

It seems like the 450 Marlin is barely hanging on. There haven't been any Marlins made for that cartridge in years. I haven't seen ammo or brass available very often either.

With that magnum bolt face, consider something like the 338 Win mag, 7mm Rem mag, maybe a wildcat 338 necked up to 358 or even 375...

I'd keep the magnum bolt face and find some cartridge that made me grin. On my own old Springfield, I want to keep the standard bolt face so if it changes bore size it will likely be to 338-06, 35 Whelen or 9.3x62... All good elk & bear rounds I'd think.

Have fun! :)

Regards, Guy
 
I guess posting when tired isn't always the best, I misread that. I like Guy's idea of a 458 WM or a 35 or 375 wildcat based on the 458 case. Could even add a 9.3mm-338 into the mix too.
No worries friend. Happens to everyone. You all have given me a lot to think on. Keep it coming!
 
I'd go for the 450M as you have the room to load longer for heavy hardcast and dangerous game bullets. Almost make a guide gun by having barrel lengths from 16-20" and still thump what you shoot hard!
 
Unless you have brass available for the 450 Marlin, I would go with the 257 Roberts.

I have an old laminate H&R Handi 450 Marlin and probably 200rds of factory FN 350gr Hornady factory ammo. It would flat put the hurt on big pigs and deer, hole the size of your middle finger in and out. That rifle has broke more than a couple of "quality" scopes available around 20yrs ago.

If there was a way to make brass from another source, I would be all over the 450 Marlin.
 
Odd that a 257 Weatherby needs a new barrel... Ha! I think mine (built on a Mauser 98) does also. :)

If I was to go with a 45 cal option in my own old Springfield... I'd just go big, 458 Win Mag. Load it down to 45-70/450 Marlin level or load it up to hurl 500 grainers. :)

It seems like the 450 Marlin is barely hanging on. There haven't been any Marlins made for that cartridge in years. I haven't seen ammo or brass available very often either.

With that magnum bolt face, consider something like the 338 Win mag, 7mm Rem mag, maybe a wildcat 338 necked up to 358 or even 375...

I'd keep the magnum bolt face and find some cartridge that made me grin. On my own old Springfield, I want to keep the standard bolt face so if it changes bore size it will likely be to 338-06, 35 Whelen or 9.3x62... All good elk & bear rounds I'd think.

Have fun! :)

Regards, Guy

Guy beat me to it, if you want 450 Marlin, get it done as a 458 Win and load it however you want and not deal with magazine or feeding issues.

If you decided to stick with the others, the 338 Win or 358 Norma might be worth building around. You get your 0-200 yard elk blaster, plus a couple hundred yards on the backside too... :cool:
 
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