Need Old Data


December 31, 2008, 01:14 PM
Greetings all,

I am trying to work up a load for my 256win mag. I have a 117g round nose that I hope to work up a load for deer.
The only data I can find is limited to 60g, 75g and 87g bullets.

If someone out there has some old reloading manuals from the 60's I am hoping they would have more data.
If not, where would be a good place to locate some of the old manuals?


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10 Spot Terminator
December 31, 2008, 02:06 PM
256 Win Mag ????

I have several old reload manuals as well as a Parker Ackley vintage manual and a Wilcat manual and can only find the 256 Winchester , no reference to any Magnums by this name. Is it formed on a belted magnum case or does it tend to resemble a necked down 357 Magnum pistol cartridge ??? If in fact it is a 256 Winchester and not a magnum as stated it was a pistol cartridge first and then later on chambered in some rifles. The largest bullet that I have found was for a 90gr bullet with 10.1 gr of SR4759,,, this was from P.O.Ackleys manual with no minimum or maximum load for this powder and was the only load listed. He showed it with speed rating of 1700 fps which was a heavy drop from the avg 2175 fps loads listed for the 87gr. bullets. I tend to think the cartridge is too weak to push a 117gr. bullet down the barrel without creating high pressures the case will not be able to handle. For the 87gr. bullets listed the max load listed by the 2 manuals I have using IMR4227 is 15.5 grs for a top speed of 2360 fps fired from a marlin Model 62 Magnum ( here is where the magnum confusion may come in, the guns were called magnums not the cartridges ) with a 24" barrel and a twist rate of 1 in 14 inches. Starting load is 14.0gr for 2160 fps. Ackley also lists IMR4198 from 15.0 to 18.0 grs with the speeds running from 2075 fps to 2122 fps repectively. Hope this helps,,, 10 Spot

December 31, 2008, 02:12 PM
Thanks 10 spot,

Yea, it is a necked down 357mag case. The loading data I have found lists it as 256 Winchester Magnum.

Would using nickel cases help with the pressure issues?

Thanks again,

Mal H
December 31, 2008, 02:45 PM
"Cartridges of the World" does list it as the 256 Win Magnum. However, their loading data only lists 60 through 87 grain bullets.

My earliest reloading manuals are from the 60's and do include the round listed as ".256 Winchester" (Speer #7 and Hodgdon #20). However, again, they only list loads for 60 and 87 gr bullets. Looking at the 117 gr bullet on my Hornady Bullet Board, I would think it would be too long to work in that case. Too much of it would be inside the case which can/will affect pressure, and at the same time, too much would be outside the case which could affect chambering, magazine usage, etc.

In short, the .256 WM wasn't designed for longer bullets than the 87 gr. Trying to make a longer bullet fit is probably doable, but you are on your own as far as available data for loading. If you try it, please start below min for the 87 gr, work up slowly, and use a slow powder such as 4227. In this case, I think a chronograph is a must.

No, nickel plated cases don't substantially alleviate any pressure problems.

Speer data for 87 gr Spitzer using a magnum primer:

Powder Min Max
4198 16.5 18.0
IMR4227 14.0 15.5
H4227 13.2 14.7
2400 12.0 13.5

December 31, 2008, 02:51 PM

I have pretty much resigned myself that this is not going to happen. I want to thank you guys for your advice.

Do any of you need 200rds of 117gr Hornady RN bullets? :(


December 31, 2008, 04:23 PM
The oldest manual I have was published in 1961 and list 87gr. as the largest bullet.

December 31, 2008, 05:17 PM
I believe it's a rifling twist issue.

Marlin for one, used 1/14 rifling, and there is no way possible to get a heavier .257 bullet going fast enough to stabilize.

But I'm just guessing.


dagger dog
December 31, 2008, 05:37 PM
Found this in Accurate Arms Manual

65gr lead flatnose gas checked Lyman mould #257420

AA1680 start 13.5 gr 2034 fps
Max15 gr @2311 fps
C.U.P. 29,3000 C.O.L. 1.585"

AA2015 start 16.2 gr @ 1952fps
Max 18gr @2218fps
C.U.P.27,000 C.O.L. same

Not anywhere near the 117gr laod data you're looking for but might make some decent cast your owns.

10 Spot Terminator
December 31, 2008, 08:52 PM
Put your 117 RNs in the Reloading components for sale or trade thread. You should be able to sell or trade them. I saw you post for help on this on another forum as well . They too have a thread for trading/selling firearms related stuff. Those bullets would be great for a 25-35 Win.

January 1, 2009, 07:25 AM
My manual states that the 87gr is the largest bullet listed because the bullets must be deeply seated in order to be used in the only rifle (at that time) that was designed to use the cartridge (Marlin Model 62 lever).

Here's what the manual says:

"Reduced powder capacity requires the use of a selected number of powders. Because of the overall length restrictions, bullets must be seated rather deep in order to work in the magazine of the Marlin rifle. Consequently, we have only listed the Sierra 75 gr. Hollw Point and 87 gr. Spitzer"


Peter M. Eick
January 1, 2009, 08:45 AM
Lots of information on the 256 Winchester in the old Handloader DVD.

In the 1967 issue #5 they have from page 15 to 19 a whole discussion on how you can work up loads for the 256 winchester. They show loads for 60 grn bullets and give the math to work up others.

In 1969 on issue 20, they have a lead article on the 256 mag pg 36 to 39.

They make a comment on page 58 that the heavier bullets "lack muzzle velocity, are too heavily constructed and must be seated too deeply in the case to be good choices for handguns."

I could go on and there are maybe 50 hits on the 256 winchester in the search function. You may want to buy the DVD set of Handloader to help out your search.

January 1, 2009, 09:46 AM
I will be starting to reload this round starting in about 2 weeks. Still trying to get a set of dies for it. But the 117gr bullet is too heavy for it. But like the other guys said, put the bullets in the WTS ads. Good luck!!

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