"Heavy" .250 Savage


January 2, 2012, 03:11 PM
Is anyone loading 117 gr or 120 gr bullets in the .250 Savage?

Just kicking around the idea of a minimum power, relatively quiet, accurate, close/medium range bolt gun for whitetail in populated areas.

I like the heavy/slow aspect for the meat damage factor. I process my own meat, and 2,700 fps seems to be the threshhold between clean holes and really big messes, of course depending on the projectile. I like not having to deal with bruising and bloodshot even in a ribcage shot.

My state requires .24 caliber or larger for big game.

I've been kicking around others such as .243, 7.62x39, 30-30, etc., but I'm not looking to discuss other potential calibers at this time. Just curious about the .250-3000. Accuracy, bullet, velocity, etc...?

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January 2, 2012, 04:22 PM
The 250 Savage/250-3000 is a great round and rarely chambered in rifles today. Early Savage M99 lever actions were usually 1in14" twist and most likely will not stabilize those heavier bullets. 100gr bullets are about the limit for them. The barrels were changed to a 1in10" twist after the early 60's and they reportedly will handle up to the 120gr bullet, if driven fast enough to stabilize.
In a strong bolt action, it can be loaded to it's true potential and is a sweet round.


January 2, 2012, 11:24 PM
Ruger M77 in 250 Savage can be found. Twist= 1-10" should handle heavier bullets.

I recently traded for a RSI in that round but haven't checked out 120 grs yet.

Seem to remember Savage is going to chamber a model of their bolt gun in that cartridge.

January 3, 2012, 10:03 PM
I have a Sav99 250 Sav with slow twist and rotten barrel.
I have a Shilen select match stainless #3 taper 10" twist barrel blank lying around.

But why put a 250 Sav reamer in it?
I think I will put the 257RAI reamer in that barrel and put it on a bolt action.
The 250 Sav is just not enough for the really long range hunting.

January 5, 2012, 04:53 AM
Your idea is a good one. However, due to the bullet twist issue, even the 1/10" .250's are more accurate with the 100gr bullets.
I have a .257Robt with 1/10" twist, and it's always been more accurate with the 100gr bullets than the 115-120gr bullets. Not "inaccurate" but not in the 1/2" range either.

However, the concept is taken to it's fullest with the 6.5's. The 140gr flat-base bullets are fully stabilized with a 1/9" twist and the .260Rem does just that. However, to get decent results with the "plastic tipped" 140's, a 1/8 is much better, and 1/7.7" is ideal.

My .260Rem fully fills the criteria you have. I've got a Remington Mod-7 in .260. With 140gr bullets it's very accurate at 2,650fps and does blood-shot some tissue such as any expanding bullet will. I expect that those who buy/use the new Ruger "Hawkeye" rifles in 6.5Creedmoor will find that it is exceptional. It is essentially a 6.5/.250Savage-Ackley Improved. FWIW, my .260 is amazingly accurate with the discontinued Sierra 160gr RN at 2,400fps. I intend to get around to shooting some deer with this, but this bullet would do even for "thick timber" elk.

The very best of your concept is the .30/30 with cast bullets. This is in fact the reason I believe that the .30/30 is still as popular as it is, especially with the 170gr bullets.

But, shot placement is just as important to meat loss as caliber/bullet selection. Just yesterday morning, I took a 135lb, 8pt buck with my .257WbyMag and 100gr bullet at 3,600fps m/v. The 100gr Hornady "Interlok" Spt, took him mid-rib cage -broadside hit, punching a 1/4" entry hole and a 2" exit wound. There was a bit of "blood-shotting", but no more than I see with the .260 and 120-140gr bullets. Impact velocity was "up there" as it was a ~170yd shot. I intentionally shot the deer "back" a little just to avoid meat loss. None was (unless you consider some of the rib's a "loss". I don't mess with the ribs as there isn't enough meat to bother with, as I make "hamburger", sausage, or cubed steak from my deer and discard the ribs.).

A .257Roberts is a better choice than the .250Savage IMO. But, If you have located a good .250Sav. I wouldn't turn it down.
FWIW, the best .25cal bullet for what you intend to do is the Hornady 117gr Round Nose. There is a reason that it is still with us in 2012 and is loaded in even the mighty .257WbyMag factory ammo.. It's a incredibly efficient killer, and is accurate, and within 300yds isn't hampered by the low ballistic coefficient in the least... And a 300yd shot on a deer is a "furr piece" to shoot. Condering how much can happen between the time you pull the trigger and the bullet "gets there".
My "close range" "woods" load for my .257wby is 74.0gr of WC860 in a reformed Rem. 7mmRemMag case, and the Hornady 117gr RN. This load is very temp sensitive and at typical hunting temps in my part of the world runs about 3,050-3,200fps. It kills deer like lightning but is cheaper than reloading for a .30/30.
But, just like the .30/30; a poorly place shot will either ruin a lot of meat or result in a lost animal.
Just like any other "adequate" big-game cartridge/bullet.....

January 5, 2012, 01:02 PM
I've not used the heavier weighted bullets you've suggested, I've used 87 grain and 100 grain Hornady SP's only. The .250 I have, is an Savage '99, 1 - 14" twist barrel, the 100 grain bullets are total devastation on deer, my meaning is hit properly, they won't get up. Getting away from blood shot, or bruising the meat, is something you'll have to live with if shot by a modern firearm, even the ribs, thats just something that goes along with introducing a high speed metal projectile into a living being. I think I understand what you're asking, large exit wounds, like an 30 -06 vs the 250 Sav., but there is still going to be some tissue damage no matter the bullet caliber or weight.

January 21, 2012, 01:39 PM
Good stuff here guys. Thanks for the input. It seems that barrel twist always becomes the issue when trying to stretch a cartridge's range of usages. I had overlooked that once again.

January 21, 2012, 02:16 PM
With all the excellent .257" big game bullets available today, there is no reason you need a 117 or 120 grain bullet to kill a whitetail deer.

Just load a good 87 grain and gofer it.

You shoot the deer in the right place with it, the deer will die.

Maybe quicker in fact then if shot with a heavier slower bullet that didn't expand as fast or as much.


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