Popularity of the .25/06


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Shawnee
October 23, 2008, 08:53 PM
"qajaq59 " has a thread going about the .25/06 and I didn't want to hijack it so this is a new thread specifically to ask why the .25/06 doesn't enjoy the widespread popularity it deserves ?

Like quite a few people I've met - I had a couple .25/06s - liked them a lot - and then seemed to "turn off" on them. And that hardly makes any sense because the .25/06 is likely the one true "varmint-to-elk" caliber we have.

I don't know the answer. My best guess as to why the .25/06 isn't more popular is that it seems even since it was commercialized the ammo-makers short-changed it by producing just a tiny few factory ammo offerings and for the most part the .25/06 has remained primarily a handloader proposition and that plays to an audiance that is actually a pretty small percentage of American shooters. Or maybe the timing of its' commercialization was just star-crossed. :confused:

How 'bout Y'All ??? Why do you think the .25/06 seems to stay always in the background ?

:confused::cool:

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BigBuckMaster
October 23, 2008, 08:59 PM
cause it aint as good as others, ie .270, .308, ect. sorry, truth hurts.

(add-on):
what i ment is i hunt elk, moose, elephant, cape buffalo, rhino, springbok, kudu, ect, that the .25-06 would not make a clean kill. hell, it took 5 shots from a .416 Rigby (all vital hits/it was my guides gun; were were hunting duiker at the time) to drop a cape buffalo. he had a bad day.

look, the cartrige i use the most WAS the .22 (when i had to put food on thetable), now it is my .300 Win Mag, then a .470 NE double rifle.

Shawnee
October 23, 2008, 09:09 PM
"cause it aint as good as others, ie .270, .308, ect."


Sorta the "Jack of all trades/Master of none" syndrome ???

Like perhaps it isn't as sweet on varmints as the .22/250 and isn't as robust for elk as the .270 or 7mm/08 - and the fact that it is devastating on deer just makes it "one of several" deer-demolishing calibers ??


:cool:

Cypress
October 23, 2008, 09:29 PM
The hunting world is not like it used to be. It seems that many people these days are a little on the extreme side. On one end you have varmint hunters where you'll find the Speed Freaks who want the 2 ton Swift launching a bullet that disintegrates before reaching the P-dog at 723 yards. On the other end you have the T-Rex hunters with Magnumitis who will take nothing less than ole T doing multiple back flips even after they jerked the trigger in anticipation of the insane recoil. There just doesn't seem to be many good ol' boys left that have a good do it all gun. Hmmmmm.... I think I may actually fit into all three of those categories.

longdayjake
October 23, 2008, 09:30 PM
25-06 was actually the very first gun I ever owned. I had no clue what it was other than it was a rifle for hunting and I wanted one. I traded it in 2001 for my 1983 buick rivera with no reverse and it even had a sweet $20 bushnell scope. I shot about 60 rounds through it to try and sight it in but could never get a very good group. I just couldn't figure it out. What was I doing wrong? Anyway, I put it away until just recently. From 2001 to 2008 I have learned quite a bit more about shooting and about optics. I pulled it out of the safe and looked it over. My first thoughts were that it was a piece of junk and I wen't to sell it at a pawn shop. The dude said he would give me a whopping $200 for it. Luckily that was no where near enough for me to buy another gun so I said I would just keep it and try and make it work. I found a good deal on ar15 for a used leupold VXIII and took off the $20 bushnell and put new mounts and rings on. I bought some dies for the bench and some 90 grain game kings. Then I looked in the reloading books and found that I could push 90 grainers 3500 feet per second. So I thought, "hey I'll just make a few that go 3,300 feet per second and see how they shoot." After one trip to the range it is now my new baby. I have just been bitten by a caliber that I have had for 7 years. I now understand the "hype" that I have heard about it. I think the biggest reason that it has not gotten as popular as the .270 or the .308 is mostly because people are more addicted to size of the package rather than the speed. I don't know about how it performs on elk, but it is every bit as good on varmints as the 22-250.

JImbothefiveth
October 23, 2008, 09:34 PM
Hey, what's the 25-06's recoil like? I may need to pick one up, in the future.

Olympus
October 23, 2008, 09:50 PM
I think most everyone will agree with this reason why the .25-06 has become overlooked. It's not the "do-all" gun anymore because frankly we gun owners don't just want just ONE gun that will do everything. Guns are kind of addicting and once you buy one then you're thinking about what your next one will be. The old hunters of yore couldn't really afford a new gun for every type of sport hunting that existed, so they gravitated towards gun that would do most everything. Now people have more disposable income and they can "specialize". They can have a .22-250 for pdogs, a .243 for coyotes and groundhogs, a 30-30 for brush hunting, a .270 for long range whitetails, a 7mm Mag for Elk, a .300 Win for hogs, and well you get my drift. And it doesn't help that there seems to be an "ultra magnum" fad right now either. Bigger is better...the American way I guess.

I like to have a good caliber spread as well. For no particular reason other than I just like the variety. To me, if a .25-06 will kill a coyote just as dead as a .243, then what's the arguement? Who cares if one has 100 fps more velocity? Can a dead deer tell if it was hit with a .270 or a .308?

If you're someone who truly wants a "do-all" caliber and doesn't have the bug to "specialize", then the .25-06 is great. I own one of them as well.

Art Eatman
October 23, 2008, 09:54 PM
The .25-'06 is sorta betwixt and between. It's a bit big for most dedicated varmint usage. It's not regarded as a good bullet for big deer or elk.

Even for handloaders, the range of bullet selection is rather limited, similar to the .270's problem.

The generality of opinion is that it's best selected where longer shots are to be commonplace for antelope and for smaller deer.

I used a buddy's to kill a couple of big feral hounds from a pack. Worked well, around some 125 yards or so.

MachIVshooter
October 23, 2008, 10:24 PM
The .25-06 is more popular than you might think. It just doesn't get the attention that some of the others do. It is far and away the #1 quarterbore, and it's common enough that any gunshop or sporting goods store I've ever been to had ammunition in that chambering. Every major riflemaker and ammunition company offers it.

Those of us who hunt with it know it's attributes well. It is a flat-shooting, hard-hitting cartridge that will kill any game in the lower 48 (save Montana Grizzly bears) with proper bullet selection and shot placement. It's a bit noisy and heavy in the recoil department for varmint use, but the results of drilling a praire dog with it are nothing short of spectacular. It truly is the perfect deer rifle, IMO. It won't give you the shoulder-crushing ability of a .338 Ultra on a big elk or moose, but a 117 grain spitzer to the heart/lungs will bring down a 1/2 ton animal easily.

I own quite a few rifles, But my .25-06 is my primary game getter.

NCsmitty
October 23, 2008, 10:29 PM
Like perhaps it isn't as sweet on varmints as the .22/250 and isn't as robust for elk as the .270 or 7mm/08 - and the fact that it is devastating on deer just makes it "one of several" deer-demolishing calibers ??

I think your question shows that you know the answer Shawnee. The 25-06 is a "good enough" round. It's good enough to take varmints and good enough certainly to smite whitetails. It will work on elk in the hands of a good hunter. But in this age of owning several rifles in the various calibers more specialized for the different game species, at least in some people's judgement, the 1/4 bore is often overlooked. Hunters are more inclined to select heavier hitting rounds for the deer-elk scenario and a flat shooting, lower recoiling, 22 centerfire for varmints.
For a one rifle hunter the 25-06 makes sense. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes what a fine cartridge it is for all seasons.

NCsmitty

stolivar
October 23, 2008, 10:50 PM
First it is an expensive round to buy compared to others.

Second I have never been inspired by its killing ability. I have one, my FIL has one, and my nephew has one. None of us have been thrilled with it. Leaves no blood trail. I get tired of having to shoot the animal again. or I have to trail it all over GGE.

All have been shot through the lung heart area.

We all have sold them off.

I will keep my 30-06, 7mm-08 and 6.5 swede.


steve

ArmedBear
October 24, 2008, 02:06 AM
There just doesn't seem to be many good ol' boys left that have a good do it all gun.

I don't think that's true. When I go to a larger local store that focuses on hunting and fishing, they have a lot of rifles in multipurpose calibers.

.308, .270, .243, and .30-06 rifles are common. So's the ammo.

It's the .25-06 that isn't popular, not the idea of a versatile hunting rifle.

Al Thompson
October 24, 2008, 04:12 AM
All due respect, that's a bullet problem (too fragile a bullet), not a caliber problem. :)

stolivar
October 24, 2008, 06:05 AM
I have used a lot of different bullets with this gun from corelocks to BT's. 100 to 120 grainers. Even hand loading did not help. Shoots great groups and all.

Nothing seem to do a good job. I have hunted for over 30 years and this is the only caliber I have that sucks......


I shoot an average from 7 to 10 deer a year when I go hunting. Every other cal I use they never go over about 30 to 50 yards at most. Most of them go down on the spot. Not with the 25-06.

Most of them have gone on for over 100 or more yards. With very little if any blood trails. I have watched the same with my FIL and nephew. Not impress in the least with the caliber:banghead:.


steve

Al Thompson
October 24, 2008, 06:59 AM
Well, your experience is yours. Mine is that with good bullets, it's a deer lazer. All my buddies love theirs. :) My next build will be a 700 chambered for .25-06.

R.W.Dale
October 24, 2008, 07:42 AM
in terms of velocity vs powder burned the 25-06 is horribly inefficient, couple that with factory loads that fail to meet velocity claims and you have a real recipe for shooter apathy.

and when you get right down to the crux of the matter there isn't anything 25-06 dose that 270 doesn't do better for less $$$

MachIVshooter
October 24, 2008, 09:54 AM
Second I have never been inspired by its killing ability. I have one, my FIL has one, and my nephew has one. None of us have been thrilled with it. Leaves no blood trail. I get tired of having to shoot the animal again. or I have to trail it all over GGE.

Hmmm. No animal I've shot with it has traveled further than 20 yards. Most have done little more than hop or turn before crumpling to the ground. Of course, this is anecdotal too.

Fact is the .25-06 is well known as a first-rate deer slayer for a reason. Anyone who needs a larger round to kill Bambi is making errors that more ooomph isn't likely to compensate for.

armoredman
October 24, 2008, 11:49 AM
Well, as the newest newcomer to the caliber, (haven't even shot the thing yet!), I would have to put myself squarely in that small category of lookingfor a do-all hunting rifle. Why? I am not a hunter primarily, nor a bolt action nut, but having such a rifle around that can take a large variety of game is a plus, and only one more caliber to handload for. Ammo prices don't really freak me out, as I handload for everything I have, and cast bullets for most of them. Yes, I am told there are some cast loads for 25-06, too. :neener:
So for me, as the casual bolt action guy, this maybe the best jack of all trades rifle I could have. We'll see. :)

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b13/armoredman/longdistance.jpg

rbernie
October 24, 2008, 11:55 AM
I sold my 25-06s and replaced them with 270s. The bullet selection in 25-06 is not large and the emphasis seems to be on middlin'-light-n-fast. It lacks both the bottom end light varmint bullets (something in the 75gr or less area) and the top end serious duty bullets (something in the 130gr area).

I would suggest that a 117gr/120gr out of a 25-06 is not nearly the elk medicine of a 150gr .277 out of a 270 Winchester, and yet I can get 90gr .277 varmint bullets that are equal to the 87gr .257 varmint bullets.

Shawnee
October 24, 2008, 12:06 PM
Armoredman...

Looks like a High-5 to me !


;)

Sniper X
October 24, 2008, 12:11 PM
I think it is because anyone who has or had a 25.06 and shot a 22.250 decided to buy a 22.250. Now I can say 22.25o has a hell of a following allbeit small they are rabid in love with the fast little round.

Eb1
October 24, 2008, 12:18 PM
I would say that the 25-06 isn't as popular because there is still a 30-06. :)

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 24, 2008, 12:36 PM
The round is extraordinarily popular, and is becoming increasingly more so. Great all-purpose round. So it's no mistake to get one. But what Art said about kinda betwixt and between.... Nice rig, A.M.! :)

El General
October 24, 2008, 06:47 PM
I know several professional cullers that shoot .25-06 because it'll do what a .270 does at the business end with a .243's recoil. These guys shoot more than one hundred deer a year.

I think the main problem is the small range of bullet's made. Everything is basically between 100-120 grains. There needs to be more over 120 and more in the varmint range also. Just look at the 6.5mm stuff, there is a much larger range of bullets, even the .270 has more of a choice.

longdayjake
October 24, 2008, 09:06 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First it is an expensive round to buy compared to others.

Second I have never been inspired by its killing ability. I have one, my FIL has one, and my nephew has one. None of us have been thrilled with it. Leaves no blood trail. I get tired of having to shoot the animal again. or I have to trail it all over GGE.

All have been shot through the lung heart area.

We all have sold them off.

I will keep my 30-06, 7mm-08 and 6.5 swede.


steve

So which is it? You all have one or you all sold yours? Sounds to me like you can't get a story straight and probably should not be taken seriously. Please don't waste our time with made up stories.

longdayjake
October 24, 2008, 09:15 PM
The bullet selection in 25-06 is not large and the emphasis seems to be on middlin'-light-n-fast. It lacks both the bottom end light varmint bullets (something in the 75gr or less area) and the top end serious duty bullets (something in the 130gr area).


They have 75 grain bullets that you can push up to 3,800fps reliably. But I have never seen any 130 grainers.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 24, 2008, 09:18 PM
90, 100, 117, and 120 are the common weights. I think someone makes an 87 grainer, too. It's very hard to find bullets less than 87 or more than 120. Oddly enough, there does not seem to be many (any?) 110 grainers made. The "standard" seems to be the 100 grainer - it goes as fast as an 85 grainer from a .243, and IIRC about as fast as a 130 from a .270 win.

longdayjake
October 24, 2008, 09:30 PM
A quick trip to Sportsman's Wharehouse I found some of 75 grains 85, 87, 90, 100, 110, 120. I bet that the reason 130's arent made is a barrel twist issue. Also, it is supposed to be a wildcat cartride. It may not shoot a 130 very fast or as well as a .30-06 can shoot. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't love to try to.

Shawnee
October 24, 2008, 09:46 PM
The 25/06 is sorta wasteful of powder but I don't know how many people would think that so important - maybe a few, maybe a lot.

I'm more inclined to think it's reputation has been hurt by the bullets commonly recommended for it.... another victim of Gunzine Lore.

Always when the scribes address the .25/06 they rush like lemmings to the 117-gr. and (later) the 120gr. Perhaps they do that to emphasize that the .25/06 offers a lot more than the .250 Savage or the .257 Roberts (or the .243/6mms) and also that maybe it can crowd into coveted .257 Weatherby territory.

Predictably - many new owners of the .25/06 probably shunned the excellent 87-gr. and 100-gr. bullets and decided they would use the 117/120 pills for deer - after all - more is always better - right ? I'd be willing to bet the .25 caliber 87-grainers are miserably slow-movers in the bullet/ammo world.

But maybe that approach fixed something that wasn't broken. Even the .250 Savage can toss the 87-grainer at 3000fps - that's how it got the "3000" in its' name - and it was a major favorite because doing so proved very lethal to deer. The .257 Roberts will do a smidgeon or two better and it, too, has a well-deserved reputation for great results in the deer parlors.

Of course no gun scribbler could ever wax praiseful of the use of the 87-grainer in the .25/06 because hunters would have just (rightfully) asked "WHY" - the .250 Savage and the Quarter-Bob aren't broken - who needs more thunder ?" And today with the eloquent .243 available to everyone - trying to justify the .25/06 with just deer hunting is a lost cause for sure.

So the .25/06 (and its' heavier-weight bullets) must be heralded as a "bigger-than-deer" caliber. Unfortunately - as others have pointed out - the .25/06 has to do all its' upward stretching in the shadows of the 7mm/08, the .270, the .260, the Swede and the 7x57 - and that puts it in a one-caliber race for 6th place.

Also as others have mentioned - for all the silly, mindless yapping about the "one caliber that does it all" - almost no one really wants that. So even though the .25/06 really is a viable "varmints-to-elk" caliber - that simply isn't what most hunters/shooters want.

As good as it is - or can be - it may be the .25/06 will always be a step-child - one of those cartridges that has sort of a "cult" following but never reaches the Kentucky Derby.

:confused:

:cool:

longdayjake
October 24, 2008, 11:18 PM
Shawnee, good post. However, I personally have seen quite the surge of the .25-06 in popularity. When I first got mine everyone that I ever talked to about it squinted their eyes and said "whats a .25-06?" More recently almost everyone I talk to about it says, "hey, thats a great gun!" I have seen several articles in the various gun mags that praise it. Almost everyone I talk to these days can only base their opinion of the gun on what they read in a magazine though. I personally think that the popularity of the .25-06 depends on the "gun media" just as it seems our politics do. Though as a gun culture we often use the term "sheeple" to refer to those that flock to the lies and ideology of the mainstream media and whatever the most popular celebrity says, I have seen the same "flocking" of gun enthusiasts toward calibers and various firearm models simply because of all of the things said in gun mags. I know this isn't true of everyone, but there must be a reason for everyone's opinion when many have no actual experience at all.

brasskeeper
October 24, 2008, 11:24 PM
Bullet selection and 120gr is the max

30-06 starts at 120 and goes up to 220

BigBuckMaster
October 24, 2008, 11:31 PM
what i mean by it aint good nuff, is i cant use it for elk or mooses or (the name gives me chills) my fav place, AFRICA

stolivar
October 25, 2008, 12:54 AM
Are you satisfied now.....


:uhoh:


steve

MachIVshooter
October 25, 2008, 05:01 AM
It lacks both the bottom end light varmint bullets (something in the 75gr or less area) and the top end serious duty bullets (something in the 130gr area).

Available .257" bullet weights are 75, 80, 85, 87, 90, 100, 110, 115, 117 & 120. Everything from basic spitzers to Bergerr VLD, CT Failsafe, and the classic Sierra Gameking. The 115''s, 117's & 120's have higher B.C. and S.D than a 130 gr. .277".

Lighter .257" bullets are available, but they were designed for the .25-20 & .25-35, and will blow up at .25-06 velocities.

I see no reason why one must omit the .25-06 from their collection just because they want more than one "do-it-all" rifle. What's wrong with a .22-250 for varmints, a .25-06 for Antelope & deer and a .30-06 or 7mm RM for Elk/Moose? I guess I'm just missing something here where it makes more sense to have a less powerful deer rifle (.243, etc) just because you have a larger gun (7mm/.30/.338) for elk.

I dunno. I guess I just like a supreme deer slayer that has a super-flat trajectory with minimal recoil.

Ridgerunner665
October 25, 2008, 06:14 AM
Why do you think the .25/06 seems to stay always in the background ?

The 270 Winchester...

qajaq59
October 25, 2008, 06:29 AM
Thanks Shawnee. It will give me a bit more to read.

Shawnee
October 25, 2008, 09:51 AM
Hi MachIV...

I'm not sayin the .25/06 is a poor caliber - it's a fine one. It's popularity is what sags and I think it could well be because people who don't handload are faced with a very disappointing selection of bullets and if they go for any of the 80gr. - 100gr. loads they are looking at over $30/box even at places like Midway. I don't know what WallyWorld charges but I bet they carry mostly 117/120-grainers and those aren't varmint bullets.

:(

stolivar
October 25, 2008, 11:45 AM
Not only that, when you have other calibers such as 30-06, 7 mag, 223. It just doesn't fit in. Besides the 30-06 and the 7 mag does a better job on deer. the 223 does just fine on varmints.

The 25-06 is more expensive then the 7 mag on bullets unless you hand load.


steve

TCB in TN
October 25, 2008, 12:44 PM
Picking a hunting cal is about the trade offs. With the 25-06 it just has to many things going against it. For deer hunting the .243 is more common, has cheaper ammo, with a greater over the counter variety, and the performance is fairly close, for bullets in the same size range. Further more (and this is for you Shawnee) the .243 has a lesser recoil, not a lot but a noticeable amount.

Then when you compare it to the 30-06 (its daddy) it has lesser recoil, but again the ammo is less common and more expensive, it is not capable of handling the same range of bullets (commercially from 110's up to 220's) meaning that it is less likely to be good for as many applications.

In general I like the 25-06 and if I find a real good deal on another one I would gladly pick it up, but to go out and specifically buy one over the 30-06, .308, .243, or .270 just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

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