.240 Weatherby Ammo

A table showing .240 Weatherby Ammo specs at a glance.

.240 Weatherby: In Depth

If you wanted a 6mm cartridge that went fast in the 1960s, there were already two fantastic American options from the nation’s premier ammunition manufacturers–.243 Winchester and 6mm Remington. The problem was, neither one of them had the word “magnum” in their name. And, seeing as this period of time was known as the “magnum craze”, you can appreciate that a branding oversight like this presented a real opportunity for a third cartridge to waltz in and sweep this untapped market off its feet.

So it was that professional wildcatter, rifle builder, and king of speed Roy Weatherby decided to give the 6mm market the Weatherby treatment late in that decade. Starting back in the 40s, Weatherby had been making magnum cartridges boasting tip-top speeds and also featuring distinctive radiused shoulders and belts near the case head. So far, speed demons such as the .257, .270, and .300 Weatherby Magnums–and many others–had won the hearts of hunters around the country, in spite of the fact that only Weatherby’s company made compatible factory-built rifles. This practice, though common at the time, would continue until the present day–if you want a factory gun that shoots a Weatherby cartridge, it’s going to be a Weatherby-made gun.

When it debuted in 1968, the .240 Weatherby Magnum was the fastest commercially-produced 6mm cartridge available. According to the round’s producer, it still is, on average. A loaded cartridge is right around the size of a .30-06 Springfield, and both share the same case head diameter. However, despite the similarities, it wasn’t based directly on the .30-06, nor does it have a parent case at all. It does have the trademark Weatherby radiused shoulder/neck junctions and belt down near the case head. Despite the .240 designation, it actually uses .243 diameter bullets, just like .243 Winchester and 6mm Remington. The difference is, average velocities are almost 300/fps faster for the Weatherby. A popular .240 Weatherby deer-hunting round, for instance, sends a 100-gr. Soft Point forth at a searing 3,200/fps, vs. the high 2,900s for a comparable 100-gr. .243 Winchester load. This extra velocity means a much flatter trajectory for long-range shots on game, leading .240 Weatherby to gain popularity as a distance cartridge for deer, sheep and other similar-sized animals. Along with the other Weatherby cartridges, .240 Weatherby continues to have a relatively small but devoted following among hunters all over the world.

.240 Weatherby: Guns

Rifles that shoot this cartridge are either made by Weatherby, or are custom built. Luckily, there are a few different price points for these factory guns. Laminate rifles tend to represent the lower end of the budget range, while wood-stocked options hang out near the upper end. Polymer stocked guns are found throughout the range. That being said, the biggest expense will likely be feeding the rifle, as ammunition is not cheap. Fortunately, this isn’t one that you’ll be blasting away with continuously–and probably shouldn’t be, since it’s a known barrel burner when pushed. To assist with more reasonable low-round-count activities, like deer or sheep hunting, most of today’s Weatherby rifles come preinstalled with a muzzle brake to tame the substantial recoil impulse.

Bolt-Action Rifles by Weatherby

  • Vanguard
  • Mark V
  • 307 Range (Mag-fed)

Why Choose .240 Weatherby?

Whether you grew up shooting Weatherby rifles, or just heard about these guns in passing over the years, you might already know they have a certain mystique about them. From the unique, almost antique-looking shape of a loaded round to the many examples of finely-crafted rifles over the past six decades, .240 Weatherby is brimming with nostalgia. These days, due to the reasonably-priced rifle options from Weatherby, you won’t have to save up all that long to afford a piece of that nostalgia, and with how much you’ll likely be shooting, you won’t need to worry about affording the ammo, either. All that aside, this is a hunting cartridge through-and-through, and a powerful, flat-shooting one, at that. By Weatherby’s own account, it’s also the fastest commercial 6mm cartridge out there, even to this day. Just be prepared for a hefty dose of recoil, and quite a bit of noise to go along with it!


  • Extreme velocity cartridge for larger varmint and predator animals, sheep, antelope, and deer. Basically, it works on anything you’d normally hunt with a 6mm cartridge, but with a ton more velocity.
  • Especially flat-shooting within about 400-yds with commercially available hunting loads.
  • Handloaders can use light-for-caliber projectiles under 75-gr. for even more velocity on varmint hunts.

.240 Weatherby: Ammo Brands and Loadings

Weatherby is the main source for .240 Weatherby ammunition, and they make a premium product, so expect to pay accordingly. Occasionally, smaller outfits such as HSM will also produce ammo. For a while now, Weatherby has offered three main loads, which are all designed for hunting: a 72-gr, an 80-gr, and a 100-gr. Both the 72 and 80-gr. loadings are now lead free, as well, which make them great options for hunting in restrictive environments. Regardless of which load you choose, the common thread is speed. These rounds incapacitate and kill with pure speed, which, due to the bullet technology of the late 60s, was especially critical back when the cartridge was first introduced. Improved projectile tech has only increased the effectiveness of .240 Weatherby since those early days. Side note: handloaders can also take advantage of the extremely light-for-caliber 6mm hunting projectiles like Barnes’ 62-gr. Varmint Grenade, which is commonly pushed to 4,000/fps by this cartridge.

Standard Loading

  • 100-gr. SP @ 3,200/fps

Bullet Types

  • SP (Soft Point)
  • Polymer Tip
  • HP (Hollow Point)

Bullet Weights and Velocities

  • 72-gr. - 3,700/fps
  • 80-gr. - 3,500/fps
  • 100-gr. - 3,200/fps

.240 Weatherby: Frequently Asked Questions

Almost all of it is, though other manufacturers offer loads occasionally.
The slightly-more popular .300 Weatherby is loaded by Remington, Hornady, Nosler, and others.

According to Weatherby, it is. 
Phil Massaro, writing for American Hunter, suggests that certain .243 WSSM factory loads might equal or exceed .240 Weatherby velocities.

Anything you can hunt with a .243 Winchester or 6mm Remington, with the added benefit of a few hundred more fps.
Large varmints, predators, sheep, pigs, deer, antelope and more are within the reach of this round, especially within 400-yds or so while its trajectory remains flat. As always, you can take it out a lot further with proper shot placement.