The .256 Winchester was announced in 1960 as new handgun cartridge for Ruger's "Hawkeye" single-shot handgun. It is based on the .357 Magnum pistol cartridge, but includes a bottle-neck due to being sized down. Factory loads states that it fired a 60 grain projectile at 2,760 ft/s with an ME of 1,015 ft-lbs. The .256 Winchester was also chambered in the Marlin lever-action Model 62 rifles as well as the semi-auto "Ferret" by Universal Firearms. Winchester eventually dropped production of the .256 Winchester in the early 1990s. It is an excellent cartridge for shooting varmints and small game up to 200 yards.
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