This is a wildcat developed by L. R. Wallack.
Wallack was a precision gunsmith who was a champion benchrest shooter. Wallack also became an advertising man and I believe he ran the advertising for at least Marlin firearms through his advertising agency. Wallack wrote quite a bit for the gun magazines in the 1950's and '60's. His loading review of the 256 Win Mag and the Marlin Model 62 is good reading today.
The 250 Helldiver is one of his wildcats and is described in several books of the late 1950’s. I believe it is pictured in Townsend Whelens book: “The Ultimate in Rifle Precision.” There are a number of printings of this book and all are different. I know I have a picture of it. I’ll scan it for you.
Well, it is not often I get skunked for a picture. The Helldiver is not mentioned in Wallack’s gun design book or in his Deer Rifles book. It is not in Whelen’s books or Dunlap’s Gunsmithing book.
The Speer Wildcat reloading book does not have it or Ackley’s books.
A look at the Gun Digest Treasury does not show an article which would have it.
Even Greg Mushial does not have it in the RCBS Load data base – and he has the 250 Myra for me and guyt1.
I am going to think about this over a big cup of tea. I am certain it will come to me but it may take a minute or two!
Overall length of case 2.321
Overall length of cartridge 3.00
Case- 30-40 Krag left full length, neck to .25 cal
In a letter from Wallack dated July, 6th 1954, he states use of 48 grains of #4350 powder with 100 grain bullet. He further states it would be wise to start with a lesser charge of powder of about 46 grains and work up the load for best results.
Wallack mentions never having used any bullet in .25 cal under 100 grain weight and his having no use for any .25 caliber bullet under that weight.
Test fired four (4) 30-40 Krag cases necked down to .250 ****-diver and fired same in gun on 12/8/1956. Used forty eight (48) grains of #4350 powder with 100 grain weight Remington Core-Lokt bullet.
After test firing - cases extracted very easily for m chamber of gun and priers showed no flattening beyond normal found in use of 46 grains #4350 with 100 grain bullet. Indications are that use of 48 grains #4350 perfectly safe.
My disclaimer: Use of the above info is at your own risk!
Although I haven't shot my rifle in over 30 years, it was a hoot to shoot. My cousin and his friend have been working on fire forming cases and reloading some for me. I'm hoping they'll put there escapades in an article format as there is a lot of history to this caliber and rifle.
thanks Briank1, interesting cartridge, with historical parent and neat name. i am guessing Wallack, would have found a few sub 100 grain bullets in todays inventory that he would have liked. making this round more versitile.
I'm new here so please bear with me. I'm in the process of purchssing a LH Mauser action custom made rifle. The barrel is stamped ".250 Helldiver". The gunsmith fire formed some .257 Roberts cases and the round appears to be the .257 Roberts (non-rimmed) with the wall blown out a little. It appears the shoulder angle and shoulder location asre same as Roberts only the shoulder extends to the new wall diameter.
I've been working with this gunshop off and on for about a year trying to buy this Wallack and Holmes LH Mauser bolt action with double set triggers and all the bells and whistles. I kind of got uninterested and now they are saying 'let's do it'. Well now I'm getting energized again. My first investigation into what a .250 Hellfire was was a modified Krag. I'm assuming the info stamped on the barrel is correct and the bolt and barrel chambering haven't been changed. Well it's no modified Krag since it's a rimless cartridge. The gunshop blew out some .257 Roberts cases and it's very close to the .257 Roberts. Cartridge case length appears the same after and before blow out. Shoulder angle and location seem the same before and after. The only difference seems to be the diameter at the neck. It's (I can't remember the exact dimension.) a bit larger. They are so similar that I was going to shoot (blow out) .257 Roberts and reload them without full length sizing - neck only if possible. Does this seem doable without supporting the cartridge walls. Well i'll have to bite the bullit and buy new dies. Any recommendations GREATLY accepted. CH4D lists .250 Helldiver dies but doesn't have them. RCBS indicated they would make them up for me.
I just remembered. I don't think the rifle is stamped with the word 'Helldiver'. I think it's just stamped .250. Boy the mind is such a terrible thing to lose. I think I got confused because some people were telling me it had to be a .250 Helldiver.
My rifle, picked it up yesterday, is stamped .250 W & H. It is a .257 Roberts with a modified shoulder. I'm sure it's a Roberts/P. O. Ackley improved with different shoulder angle. The wall is moved out and the shoulder angle is changed but the neck length seems to be unchanged. The .250 Helldiver appears to be a different set-up completely.
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