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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 Sierra bullets)

Author: Brian Pearce / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Apr 05 2016

The .250-3000 Savage (aka .250 Savage) was first offered around 1915 in the Savage Model 99 (aka Model 1899) lever action rifle.  It was a significant development and is commonly recognized as the first sporting rifle cartridge to reach the magical 3,000 fps mark.  It was designed by Charles Newton (Newton Rifle Company) to be used primarily with 100-grain bullets, however, Savage wanted the new cartridge to reach the 3,000 fps mark (thus the “3000” in its early name).  Newton determined that the heaviest bullet that could reach that velocity was 87 grains, an unusual bullet weight.  Around 1920 Western Cartridge Company added the 100-grain bullet, which made the cartridge better for hunting deer-sized game.  The .250 Savage became widely popular during the heyday of the Savage Model 99 rifle.  Today rifles so chambered are difficult to find and command something of a premium.  The .250 Savage is of modern design and can be housed in short-action rifles (.308 Winchester length), is accurate and yields mild recoil.  It was a cartridge that was ahead of its time.

When handloading this cartridge, particularly in Savage Model 99s, cases should be full-length sized, which usually permits easy re-chambering of loaded cartridges.  If sized cases are difficult to chamber (normally checked by chambering an empty case before bullets are seated) or even offer modest resistance, a small base sizer die is suggested.  A crimp is optional; however, if loading bullets without a cannelure, only a light roll crimp should be applied.  If greater bullet pull is desired, the Lee Factory crimp die is an excellent option.

Using 87-grain Sierra SPT bullets, several powders duplicate early factory load velocities, including IMR-3031, IMR-4895, IMR-4064, IMR-4320 and Hodgdon H-335.  Switching to various 100-grain Sierra bullets, top performing powders (accuracy and velocity) include IMR-4895, IMR-4064 and H-335.

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