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Old 01-26-2012, 02:48 PM   #1
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New Rifle Project: .250 Savage AI

Gents,

I've been wanting a dedicated "walking around" varmint rifle with more "hootus" than the .223, but less than the .308. After much looking, comparing ballistics, etc., I've settled on the .250 Savage Ackley Improved as the cartridge of choice.

I love the .25/06, but it has to much capacity and requires a long action. Something more "balanced" in a .25 was needed. A look at the .25 Souper (.25/08) didn't do much for me. Escpecially when the .250 Savage seem to equal it ballistically.

Also, Sierra uses the .250 Savage for all it's .25 caliber accuracy testing. That says something.

So....I sent a new stainless steel Montana 1991 action to Pac-Nor for a new .25 caliber super match barrel, chambered and fitted to the action. Barrel profile is the Remington Varmint Special taper(heavy, but not to much for packin' around) and will be 24" with a 11 degree target crown.

Haven't decided on a stock yet. I have a dynamite stick of Circassian Walnut I can inlet, finish, and checker and may go that route. Sort of a "high grade" varmint rifle.

Any other 250 Savage lovers out there?

Luckily, I was able to purchase two Montana actions when they started up productioin for $350 each. They're $800 now...

For those not familiar with the Montana action they're a hybrid using the Mauser breaching system and controlled round feed, but the action, safety, and trigger are pure Model 70 Winchester. The best of both worlds.

The barreled action will be back around the end of March, so I can start working on the stock then.

Any thoughts, recommedations or information pertinent would be appreciated.

Now, the waiting...

Wes
(The Rifle Looney)
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:57 PM   #2
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I liked the 300 Savage but have never actually seen a 250. How about a 22 - 3000?
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:47 PM   #3
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Oberstlt,

The .22-3000 is actually the .22-250 Remington. Remington just necked the 250 Savage down to .22 caliber and gave us one of the best varmint rounds ever created.

The 250 Savage has less capacity than the .308, but when blown out it maxes out the case capacity and is perfect for high density accuracy loads.

The 250 Savage is sometimes referred to as the 250-3000 as it was the first factory catridge to break 3,000 FPS using a 87 grain bullet. Big news back in the day...

The project is going to be fun, after all, that's what it's all about. I suspect the critters are not going to like it one bit...

Wes
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:26 AM   #4
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Wes - I know that the 25 caliber has always had quite a following in certain circles. Are you planning on using a Savage action?
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:56 PM   #5
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I've shot both of the "child" cartridges of the 250 Savage and like them both, but never the 250 itself. Out of curiosity, why are you using the Ackley Improved chambering? I mean, more capacity, obviously, but if you like the 250 Savage, why go with the AI chambering? I know you are going to be handloading anyways.

Sounds like a great rifle. That Circassian Walnut stock sounds like it might be too pretty for a walking around rifle though. ;-)
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:27 PM   #6
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Gents,

Oberstlt, I'll be using a Montana 1991 action. I described it in the opening post.

Why the 250 AI rather than just the 250 Savage? The 250 Savage is a great round in it's own right. It's also one of the better Ackley Improved versions that improves performance by about 13-14% over the parent cartridge. The beauty is that the standard 250 Savage cartidge will chamber and fire in the 250 AI chamber.

Also, it is about a perfect marriage of case capacity to bore diameter and has a near perfect expansion ratio.

A lot of research was completed prior to settling on the 250 Savage AI. Well see if it was worth it this spring...

Wes
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:19 PM   #7
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I am not familiar with that particular product. But now that I think of it, you did.

The current Savage actions allow for nearly a removable barrel and multi-caliber (same CTG length) actions. I have thought it a nifty (old word) system myself. Then again, I also liked the Dan Wesson revolver barrel system as well.

If that is one of those classic WIN 70 type custom things you will have to go with a walnut stock! It is only money.

STA
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Old 01-27-2012, 04:54 PM   #8
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Oberstlt,

I've had that Circasian blank for a number of years...just tucked away for a project. Figured I'd put it on a .404 Jefferies, but nixed that project. I paid about $150 then the blanks like that are going in the $600-700 range now.

I'll probably send the blank out and have it rough shaped to the action and shape of my pattern stocks. It makes life easier not having to hog out all that wood, by hand. There's still A LOT of work to do. The last one I inletted and fitted took 40 hours of work, but was worth it. Pillar bedding and glassing will take additional time.

I'll probably use a Luppie 3.5 X 10 power on it. No target turrets or adjustable paralax. You just don't have time for adjustments on most live varmint rifles. I may get a custom retical put in it, made to my trajectories, but time will tell on that one. I do have a dandy Luppie MK IV M1 3.5 X 10 that could go on it, too.

Does it shoot flat...well my .308 with 175 Gr. SMK's requires 15 MOA at 600 yards.

The 250 Savage AI with 100 Gr. SMK's will require 11.5 MOA...almost identical to my 6.5 X .284. THAT is flat shooting.

Don't think mister coyote is going to like it at all.

Also, the rifle is all stainless. I'm going to have it refinished in black to cut the glare. Plus, it'll look way better in that walnut stock!

Wes
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:02 PM   #9
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I've never owned a .250 Savage (standard or improved), but would like own one (standard or improved). There were some articles in Handloader magazine in the late 80s-mid 90s on the .250 AI, and it did sound interesting. I think Layne Simpson was big on taking Weatherby Varmintmaster actions and rebarreling to .250 AI since the action was practically the perfect length, but could be mistaken.

The old Savage Model 1920 was a smallish bolt action, that resembles a reduced size 1903 Springfield to me. I would love one in .250 Sav, as that seems to be a cute and handy combo.

I'm thinking one of the reloading manuals (Nosler?) had data for the .250AI at one time, but maybe not.
I do remember from looking before, that the regular .250 Sav data tended to be all across the board, with pressure and velocity ranges running pretty different from one manual to the next.

I have a Savage 99 Takedown (99G) in .300, and I'd like to scare up another barrel in .250. I know feeding might not be the smoothest since the cases are shaped differently, but I suspect it would be good enough for a walking varminter.

I have a small ring Mauser that I've been kicking out of the way for a dozen years. Every time I see the short-chambered barrels in Brownells or Midway, I pause to look, thinking I'll do something with that old Mauser. The .250 Savage is a standard offering for SR Mausers, and it always catches my eye. Somehow the .35 Remington in a bolt action carbine calls me more, though.

So yeah, I have given the 250 Savage some thought.
I just never did anything about it.

Congrats to you on doing something about it!
And for doing it right instead of fooling around like my plan of using a $50 action.

Another .250 Sav wildcat that has interested me at times is the 6mm-250 (aka 6-250, aka 6mm International), supposedly developed for international 300 Meter competition. Remington listed it for the 40X rifle for a long time. I thought it would have been a great Highpower cartridge, and still might be.
But since it isn't shaped like a PPC or used by the cool people like the 6XC, it will probably never see use there now.
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:01 AM   #10
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Great project Wes.
I'm a fan of the .25 cal. (although my experience is with the '06 variety) AND the Mauser action.
I've three Mauser actions on hunting rifles (all are Kimbers that have been "tweaked"). All three are great "spot and stalk/still hunting" rifles due to their lightweight and accuracy.
PacNor does a fantastic barrel, I think you shall be well pleased.
Looking forward to your report once you receive (and shoot) the rifle.
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