The .264 Magnum win is a belted, bottlenecked rifle cartridge. Except for the .244 H&H Magnum and .257 Weatherby Magnum, it is the smallest caliber factory cartridge derived from the 2.85 in (72 mm) Holland & Holland belted magnum case. It was introduced in the late 1950s and early 1960s with the .338 Winchester Magnum and the .458 Winchester Magnum as one of a family of short-cased 2.5 in (64 mm) belted magnum cartridges developed by Winchester based on the .375 Holland & Holland parent case. It was officially introduced to the public by Winchester in 1959. After many years of dwindling use it began enjoying a mild resurgence in popularity in the mid-2000s among long range rifle enthusiasts and reloaders due to the high ballistic coefficient of the heavier 6.5mm bullets and increasing popularity of cartridges such as 6.5mm Creedmoor, .260 Remington, 6.5 Grendel, benchrest and wildcat cartridges in 6.5mm.
Winchester had been manufacturing the shortened Holland & Holland cases under a contract for Weatherby for use in their .257 Weatherby Magnum, .270 Weatherby Magnum and 7mm Weatherby Magnum cartridges. The Weatherby cases had been based on Winchester’s .30 Super cartridge. This new series of shortened Holland & Holland cases was based on the .375 Holland & Holland case. The advantages of the shortened case were twofold: the cartridge could function through the standard length rifle action as used by the popular .30-06 Springfield and .270 Winchester. It was also close to the efficiency limitations of powders available at the time given the case capacity of the cartridge. The longer, full length .375 H&H case would not have resulted in a great performance improvement due to the powders available at that time. It was similar to the reasoning behind the shortened cases used by Weatherby as DuPont’s IMR 4350 was the slowest burning powder available then.
The .264 Winchester Magnum is a cartridge which was standardized by SAAMI, which published recommended specifications for the cartridge. SAAMI recommends a six groove barrel with a rate of twist of one revolution in 9 in (230 mm), a bore diameter of .256 in (6.5 mm) and a groove diameter of .264 in (6.7 mm) with each groove having a width of 0.090 in (2.3 mm). The recommended maximum pressure for the cartridge (piezo) is 64,000 psi (4,400 bar).
The .264 Winchester Magnum gained a reputation as a very flat shooting cartridge. When introduced, it was first chambered in the Winchester Model 70 Westerner rifle, which was intended for longer range shooting more common in the Western United States.
At present Remington, Winchester, HSM, and DoubleTap Ammunition produce ammunition for this cartridge. Manufacturers offer a 140 gr (9.1 g) bullet at 3,030 ft/s (920 m/s). This ammunition has a maximum point blank range of 300 yd (270 m) when sighted in at 250 yd (230 m). Some ammunition offers premium 140 gr (9.1 g) Nosler Partition and 125 gr (8.1 g) Accubond bullets driven at 3,100 ft/s (940 m/s) and 3,250 ft/s (990 m/s) through a 24-inch (610 mm) barrel.
While readily available factory ammunition for the cartridge is for the most part fairly basic, handloaders can gain a step up in performance with bullets with better ballistic coefficients and weights to extend the performance of the cartridge. For this reason, this cartridge is better suited for shooters who are willing to make their own ammunition rather than those who purchase over the counter ammunition.
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PRVI PARTIZAN 264 winchester magnum 140 Grain Pointed Soft Point (1000)