History of the 264 Winchester Magnum:
The 264 Winchester Magnum was introduced in 1958 by Winchester Repeating Arms Company. It was developed to provide hunters with a cartridge that had a flat trajectory, high velocity, and long-range accuracy. The cartridge was based on the 300 H&H Magnum case, but with a necked-down design to accept .264-inch bullets.
The 264 Winchester Magnum was the first commercial cartridge to exceed 3,000 feet per second (fps) muzzle velocity, making it the fastest commercially available cartridge of its time. It was also the first cartridge to use a .264-inch diameter bullet, which was optimized for long-range accuracy and penetration.
Despite its impressive ballistics, the 264 Winchester Magnum faced some challenges in the market. The cartridge was expensive to produce, and its recoil was considered too much for some hunters. As a result, it never gained the popularity of some of its contemporaries, such as the 270 Winchester and 7mm Remington Magnum.
Ballistics of the 264 Winchester Magnum:
The 264 Winchester Magnum is known for its impressive ballistics, which make it a favorite among hunters and long-range shooters. With a muzzle velocity of around 3,100 fps and a muzzle energy of approximately 2,500 ft-lbs, this cartridge has a flat trajectory and excellent downrange energy.
The 264 Winchester Magnum is also known for its accuracy, thanks to its long, streamlined bullets that are designed for maximum stability in flight. The bullet weights typically range from 100 to 140 grains, with the heavier bullets providing greater penetration and knockdown power.
The 264 Winchester Magnum has a maximum effective range of around 500 yards, making it an excellent choice for long-range shooting. However, its high velocity and flat trajectory make it suitable for hunting game at closer ranges as well.
Performance of the 264 Winchester Magnum:
The 264 Winchester Magnum is a versatile cartridge that is suitable for a wide range of hunting and shooting applications. Its high velocity and flat trajectory make it an excellent choice for varmint control and long-range target shooting, while its impressive energy and penetration make it a formidable cartridge for big game hunting.
When used for hunting, the 264 Winchester Magnum is effective on a wide range of game, from small varmints to large deer and elk. Its high velocity and flat trajectory make it ideal for shots at longer ranges, while its excellent energy and penetration ensure a clean kill.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Q: What is the maximum effective range of the 264 Winchester Magnum? A: The maximum effective range of the 264 Winchester Magnum is around 500 yards.
Q: What is the recoil of the 264 Winchester Magnum? A: The recoil of the 264 Winchester Magnum can be significant, depending on the weight of the rifle and the load of the cartridge. However, many shooters However, many shooters find that the recoil of the 264 Winchester Magnum is manageable with proper shooting technique and a properly fitted rifle.
Q: What types of game are suitable for hunting with the 264 Winchester Magnum? A: The 264 Winchester Magnum is effective on a wide range of game, including small varmints, medium-sized game such as deer and antelope, and even larger game such as elk and moose.
Q: Is the 264 Winchester Magnum still popular today? A: While it may not be as popular as some other cartridges, the 264 Winchester Magnum still has a loyal following among hunters and long-range shooters who appreciate its ballistics and performance.
The 264 Winchester Magnum is a powerful and versatile cartridge that has been a favorite among hunters and long-range shooters for over half a century. Its impressive ballistics and performance make it suitable for a wide range of hunting and shooting applications, from varmint control to big game hunting.
While it may not be as well-known as some other cartridges, the 264 Winchester Magnum remains a popular choice among those who demand accuracy, speed, and knockdown power. Whether you’re a seasoned shooter or a beginner, the 264 Winchester Magnum is a cartridge worth considering for your next hunting or shooting adventure.
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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