Written by Sierra Ballistic Technician Paul Box
Back long ago and far away in my gun shop days a man walked into my shop that I knew well. Neil mentioned that a guy he worked with had a rifle for sale and he wondered if I’d be interested. What is it was my reply and Neil said it was a 6mm. Well, that covered too much ground, so I asked if he could get this rifle from his friend and bring it by the shop.
Two days later Neil stopped by with the 6mm of his friends. It turned out being a Remington 700 Varminter barreled action setting in one of the old Fajen walnut and maple laminated stocks. The scope was a Redfield 12x Varminter master. I gave a whooping $285.00 for the whole rig.
Through the years this rifle has wore several barrels in various calibers, but I finally settled on a caliber that I’m sure I’ll always stick with.
I got interested in a 250/3000 Ackley Improved after a lot of digging and finding very little info, I finally just took a leap of faith.
After getting this rifle back from Truman Wilson, I loaded some fireforming loads and to my surprise it shot under a half inch with these.
Since some calibers “improve” more than others due to body taper and the shoulder angle, the little 250 Savage was a perfect candidate. It had a lot of body taper along with a gentle shoulder no doubt to help feed in the original 99 Savages.
My biggest surprise came with some load development in the fireformed brass along with the help of an Oehler 35 chronograph. I was able to hit just over 3700 FPS with 75 gr. bullets with no pressure signs. With 87’s velocity came in at 3350 FPS to an honest 3400 FPS. This was coming close to the heels of a 25-06, but with a lot less powder. I had just had a good lesson in the value of case efficiency, or as I tell people on our 800 line, gas mileage.
Truman had installed a Hart stainless barrel 26 inches long to maximize the velocity potential and somewhere along the line, I sold the old Redfield 12x Varmint master and replaced it with a Leupold 16x like they offered back in the 70’s. After a trip to Chris Thomas to have three dots installed on the vertical wire, this rig was ready for some serious varmint shooting.
One day the words from a movie called “Little Big Man” rang in my ears. It was the part where grandfather said, “His size is small, but his heart is big. He shall be called little big man.” I thought this was a perfect name for this little cartridge. I now had a girlfriend I was willing to marry. I doubt I’ll ever break up with little big man.