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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • reloading manual
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
  • bullet reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hodgdon load data

.250-3000 Savage (using Hornady bullets)

Author: Brian Pearce / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Mar 03 2020

The .250-3000 Savage (aka .250 Savage) was first offered around 1915 in the Savage Model 99 lever-action rifle. It was a significant development and is commonly recognized as the first sporting rifle cartridge to reach 3,000 fps. It was designed by Charles Newton (Newton Rifle Company) to be used in conjunction with 100-grain bullets; however, Savage wanted the new cartridge to reach the magical 3,000 fps mark (thus the "3000" in its name). Newton determined that the heaviest bullet that could reach that velocity was 87 grains, which explains the unusual bullet weight of early loads. Around 1920 Western Cartridge Company added a 100 grain bullet, making it better suited to deer sized game. The .250 became widely popular during the heyday of the Savage Model 99 rifle. The cartridge produces low extreme spreads, is accurate and yields mild recoil.

Cases should be full-length sized, which usually allows easy chambering of loaded cartridges. If sized cases are difficult to chamber (which should be checked using an empty case and before seating bullets), or even offers slight resistance, a small base sizer die is suggested. A crimp is optional; however, if loading bullets without a cannelure, only a light crimp should be applied.

To duplicate the early 87 grain factory loads, the Hornady SP bullet pushed with 36.3 grains of Alliant Reloder 15 reached 3,000 fps and gave outstanding accuracy. To duplicate today’s factory loads from Winchester and Remington containing 100-grain bullets at an advertised 2,820 fps, try the Hornady SP with 39.9 grains of Winchester 760. The 87- and 100-grain bullet weights gave the best overall accuracy.

Industry maximum average pressure for the .250 Savage is 45,000 CUP, with all load data herein being within that limit.