Winchester Model 88 250 Savage Build

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
2,538
1,882
Finally done!
(CL...better get a rag for all that drool!!! :LOL: )

Winchester post-64 Model 88 (one of the later models with the most improved trigger produced by Winchester; and the crispest Model 88 trigger I have found to date!).
22" Wilson barrel
Winchester open sights
Boyd's nutmeg laminated stock
Black Cerakote
Pachmayer recoil pad
Weaver base
Leupold 1" QWR rings
Leupold VX-3 2.5-8x36 B&C w/ Alumina caps
Total package weight including magazine 9 lbs 6 oz.
(Note this only 3 oz heavier than my LH Rem 700 CDL rebarreled to 250 AI with Talley 1 pc bases/rings and Leupold VX-3 LR 4.5-14x40 VR scope w/ Alumina caps, and 7 oz heavier than my Model 77 RSI w/ Ruger rings and Swarovski Z3 3-9x36, but 1 lb 4 oz heavier than my wife's Ruger No.1 w/ Ruger rings and Leupold VX-3 2.5-8x36 B&C w/ Alumina caps )

Looking forward to shooting it...hopefully Sunday or Monday!
Have the HSM ammo with the 100gr SGK to shoot in this rifle.
(In order to keep loads/brass separated amongst the 4 rifles, Susan shoots Remington in her rifle, and I shoot Winchester in my 250AI, Hornady in the RSI and as stated will shoot the HSM in the Model 88.)

Model 88 250 Savage 1.jpg
Model 88 250 Savage 2.jpg
Model 88 250 Savage 3.jpg
 
Holy smokes Gil, she's a beauty!
If it only shoots half as good as she looks, you would still have a winner.
Good show.

JD338
 
They sent it out to a guy to sand polish and fill the stock before rubbing in the oil finish.
Turned out beautiful, and very smooth! Worth the extra $$$!

I should also note that the gunsmith stoned the action and trigger using the method that Joe Balickie told me he used on John Wooter's Model 88's for for John and his wife. (Was a very interesting conversation with the retired gunsmith! What a gentleman and a real pleasure to talk to!)
Turned out very smooth at 3 lbs with no creep or overtravel, and slicked up the action very nicely! The Cerakote also adds lubricity to the action internals that will keep it smooth and slick.
 
Very handsome, Gil. My, my, my, you're quickly being transformed into a true Winchester fanatic!:cool:
 
Very handsome, Gil. My, my, my, you're quickly being transformed into a true Winchester fanatic!:cool:
Leverguns! Mike; Leverguns!
3 Model 88's (250 Savage, 7mm-08 and 338 Federal), and 2 Model 94 Big Bores (356 Win and 375 Win).

Although I do admit that I would be awfully tempted by a LH Model 70 built by FN when they were producing rifles with that beautiful wood, fit and finish...but there weren't a lot of those seen in that short production run...

Other than that I still do not own a Model 70...and have only ever owned 2 over the years...an XTR in 270 Wby, and that beautiful pre-64 custom 338-06 I had for a short while...never should have sold that one...that guy beat the crap out of it! (such a shame!:cry:)

I guess I shouldn't forget the ol' Model 69A! Will always have a spot for these fine old 22s, as it was what I grew up shooting as a kid on the farm. (on my 4th now - gifted one to my Mom and her husband). Nor the Model 37A in 28 gauge (also had the same in .410 on the farm as a kid).
 
I like it, probably one of those rifles that should have been more popular. What will be your first hunt with that beauty?
 
The nice thing about the pre-64 88's was the checkered stocks...but they had the worst triggers.
While the post-64's had the impressed patterned stocks, they benefited from having the improved triggers, with the latter ones having the best triggers after a couple of improvements.
After talking to Rogue Rover Rifleworks when they were still on Paso Robles (and had built Craig Boddington a beautiful custom Model 88 in 358 Win) they recommended looking for Model 88s after s/n 186,000 to get the better triggers for best performance in these rifles.
Have always wanted a 358 Win...just never saw one...and apparently most were remanufactured into other calibers...and then I rebarreled one to 338 Federal, which I am really enjoying. Took a beautiful woodland caribou with it after getting it completed.
As per Joe Balickie, the key was stoning the lever action and trigger parts with a flat stone to smoothen things up and make them perform better.

First hunt with this rifle will be for deer in the coming weeks. Whitetail is open now, and mule deer opens in November.
 
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Wow, does she ever shoot sweet!
The trigger is set at 3 lbs and has no creep or over travel.
After sighting in today and getting chrony data on the HSM ammunition, she produced a three shot 100 yard group that went into .209"!
I look forward to seeing if it will consistently perform with this accuracy!
The 100 gr SGK is coming out of that 22" Wilson barrel @ 2694 fps with an ES of 55.27 and a SD of 27.92.
Model 88 250 Savage 4.jpg

I turned out to be a Savage day!
I also took and shot the other 250 Savage rifles.
My Lipsey's Ruger M77 RSI shot the Hornady Custom 100 gr Interlock ammo @ 2517 fps out of the 18 1/2" barrel (ES of 63.98 and SD of 32.32) into a three shot group 100 yard group of 0.421".
Susan's Lipsey's Ruger No. 1 shot the Remington 100 gr Corelokt ammo @ 2698 fps out its 22" barrel (ES of 48.04 and ES of 24.33) into a three shot 100 yard group of 1.383". (I have seen Susan shoot groups of 1" and slightly better, so I know it can produce better than this.)
My LH Rem 700 CDL in 250 AI shot the Winchester Super X 100 gr SilverTip ammo @ 2671 fps out of its 24" barrel (ES of 99.78 and SD 50.29) and produced a three shot 100 yard group of 0.481".

After that I had some fun ringing steel with all 4 rifles at 200 and 300 yards.
And then played with the new lever action and the LH Rem out to 500 yards, making consistent hits on the steel.
Sure is gratifying to hit these targets consistently...and have I mentioned lately how much I like using the Leupold B&C reticle! :cool:

This is definitely the sweetest shooting Model 88 I have played with to date!
Puts a big grin on my chin!

And over 100 rounds of 250 Savage fired...such a great time!
More people need to enjoy this great little cartridge!
If you have not shot one, I highly recommend you do!

Now, it's time to go hunting with this gem!
 
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Next step will be trying some handloads...
Picked up some Big Game and Hunter powder to try respectively with the 100 gr Ballistic Tips, and 110 gr AccuBonds and 115 gr Ballistic Tips as recently recommended!
Then I will be trying Re-26 and CFE-223 with the 110 gr ABs and 115 gr BTs in the 250 AI.
 
Always nice to be able to produce good groups!
And so much easier with a gentle recoiling round such as the 250 Savage!
You get to even watch bullet strikes on steel at 400 and 500 yards through the scope, and call your own shots! :cool:
 
The nice thing about the pre-64 88's was the checkered stocks...but they had the worst triggers.
While the post-64's had the impressed patterned stocks, they benefited from having the improved triggers, with the latter ones having the best triggers after a couple of improvements.
After talking to Rogue Rover Rifleworks when they were still on Paso Robles (and had built Craig Boddington a beautiful custom Model 88 in 358 Win) they recommended looking for Model 88s after s/n 186,000 to get the better triggers for best performance in these rifles.
Have always wanted a 358 Win...just never saw one...and apparently most were remanufactured into other calibers...and then I rebarreled one to 338 Federal, which I am really enjoying. Took a beautiful woodland caribou with it after getting it completed.
As per Joe Balickie, the key was stoning the lever action and trigger parts with a flat stone to smoothen things up and make them perform better.

First hunt with this rifle will be for deer in the coming weeks. Whitetail is open now, and mule deer opens in November.
Winchester M88's in 358 are an incredible combination of rifle and cartridge. The only 358 downside is that all M88 barrels share the same contour, so the barrel heats up rapidly when you're at the range testing loads. I have a hunting grade M88 in 308 that I plan to have re-bored to 338-08/338 Federal, as JES is just down the road from me.
 
Gil, you did well with the build and the shooting. Congratulations on both.

Looks like you are really going to enjoy it.

Dan
 
Beautiful rifle! I’d imagine your accuracy will remain if not get better. Quality barrel and the Model 88 is essentially a bolt action with a lever. Great rifles.
 
Found a lower set of Leupold QRW rings and remounted the scope. Better cheek weld now!
Sighted it in again today and shot a 0.371" group, and then proceeded to ring the steel out to 400 yards again.
This rifle is so much fun to shoot!!!
 
Gil,

Your M88 250 Is a sweetheart rifle. Glad to hear that it's shooting so well for you.

JD338
 
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