good 25 cal catridge for hunting deer and maybe elk


December 27, 2008, 03:59 AM
Hi, its me again with a new rilfe question: In the meantime I have saved enough money to buy an hunting rilfe for deer and elk very soon. I would like to use an .25 cal catridge . which are comon here in austria. But is there an .25 cal catridge powerfull enough to hunt deer and elk? I would be pleased hearing a few tipps.

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December 27, 2008, 05:06 AM
I don't see why you couldn't take an elk with a .25-06.

December 27, 2008, 05:16 AM
25-06 or 257 weatherby mag are the only two that come to mind.

the 25-06 will send a 120 grainer ~ 3000 fps.

the weatherby mag will be in the 3100 fps with a 120 grainer.

you most likly could add another 100-150 fps with hand loads in a modern rifle.

December 27, 2008, 05:23 AM
I'd trust my little 6.5 Carcano to knock over a deer,but I wouldn't even try it on an elk.Not the ones we have around here anyways,it'd just piss them off.

December 27, 2008, 06:00 AM
Why would you limit yourself with a .25 cal in a new rifle when so many better cartridges are available?

December 27, 2008, 06:50 AM
There was a pretty good article by John Barsness in Handloader Magazine some years back about using a .257 Roberts for elk. He's done it for years. I guess the main idea was that too many guys think they have to use the new super magnums.

Problem is, they get the snot kicked out of them every time they pull the trigger. End up not being able to hit a barn from the inside. The smaller the rifle, the more important it is to use better bullets that plow deep and hold together. You probably need to be more selective about shot placement.

FWIW....IIRC, the animal that was the world record for something like ninety years was killed with a .30-30. Guess nobody told that elk it wasn't supposed to die.

Lloyd Smale
December 27, 2008, 08:01 AM
i wouldnt be a bit afraid to hunt elk with a 257 roberts or even a 250 savage loaded with 120 grain bullets. the only thing the others do is give you a tad more range. But out to 200 yards both of these rounds will take care of any elk.

Jim Watson
December 27, 2008, 08:20 AM
The elk in Austria are related to the North American moose, not the Wapiti that we call elk. I think a .25-06 with a controlled expansion bullet should do the job. Many are shot in Sweden with the 6.5x55.

December 27, 2008, 08:37 AM
@woof I want to buy an 25 cal rifle because I am intersted in reloading und .25 cal bullets are very common here in austria. Thx for your your tipps. I will check the prices of the 25-06 und the 257 wheatherby rounds.

December 27, 2008, 08:41 AM
The .25-06 is the premier quarterbore, and an excellent multi-purpose cartridge. I use mine on everything from praire dogs to elk. Handloading will narrow the gap between the .25-06 and .257 weatherby to less than 100 FPS.

My hunting handloads are:

75 gr. V-max @ 3670 FPS for varmints

100 gr. Barnes TSX boattail at 3560 FPS for antelope and deer

117 gr. Sierra BTSP @ 3220 FPS for elk

December 27, 2008, 11:49 AM
@MachIVshooter thx for your answer. I think I will buy an mannlicher rilfe in 25-06 remington. the 257 wheatherby would also be avialable but the factory rounds are too expensive for my budget. the 250 savage would also be quit cheap, but in my opinineon the 25-06 would be the better choice..

Al Thompson
December 27, 2008, 11:52 AM
I agree on the .25-06. Good luck with that Hirsh! :)

December 27, 2008, 06:09 PM
@Al Thompson Thx.:)

ps: What do you think about the 260 remington? Is that an good catridge for my needs. It would be possible for me to get an used 260 rem rifle at a good price.

December 27, 2008, 06:13 PM
The .260rem is a ballistic twin of the 6.5X55. It will do anything the metric round will do, in a short-action rifle.

December 27, 2008, 06:15 PM
@Clipper I see. Well, the 6,5 swedish mauser would also no bad choice, but it is not very eay to get an new hunting rilfe in that caliber. I can get an military surplus rilfe, at a very good price, but I am not sure if such an old rifle can handle current hunting loads.

December 27, 2008, 06:27 PM
The .25 caliber is plenty adequate for deer, but certainly on the weak side for elk (moose)--not saying it won't work if conditions are correct, but more than a bit light.

December 27, 2008, 07:17 PM
Having two .257Robt. and a .257wbymag, the WbyMag is going to be your best bet. The "Bobs" are much better when reloaded and within 250yds close enough to the .25/06 and .257wbymag, that the difference isn't significant.

Nothing against the .25/06, it's just not much different from the "bobs". I've loaded for friends .25/06's and shot several. One was particularily accurate, too. (a "re-worked" Cooper would shoot sub 0.5moa with 100 and 117gr GameKings and H4831, but needed to be "blue-printed" and re-chambered and re-crowned. Long story, but Cooper wouldn't "warranty" the accuracy as it would shoot 1.5" with verticle went back twice before owner had David Sams "re-work" it.)

If you don't reload, (you really should), the .25/06 is your best bet for deer.

If you reload, go with the Wby. Vanguard in .257mag. Yes ammo IS expensive. However, I don't own a single piece of Weatherby brass for my .257wbymag. I've formed all from 7mmRemMag. Just a single pass through the die and "voila", I've got a .257wby case, though be it about .050" shorter than factory. I then slightly trim the cases to uniform them and chamfer and de-burr the case mouths.

Loaded with WC-860 powder, I get 3,325fps with 115-120gr bullets. Trajectory is about like a .22-250 with 60-64gr bullets!
Deer are mostly bang-flops, or very short runs. Recoil is about like a .270wcf or a 7mm-08. Not bad at all.

For elk they will be a tad light, but then again, anything is a tad light on elk. Shot placement with a decent bullet is imperative. The .25's offer light recoil, good trajectorys, and adequate "splat". Use a Nosler 115 or 120gr Partition, a Barnes 115 TSX, or Swift 120gr A-frame.

However, since I have a number of better elk rifles, I'd opt for something heavier;
For high mountain hike-in hunting, I'd take my Rem. M7 in 7mm-08. If paying for a "money hunt", I'd take the Colt LtRifle in .30/06, for a little more insurance. If hunting an area for "trophy" elk, from horse-back, of if late in the season after they've been "poked" a bit, perhaps my .300RemUltMag. If hunting in dense cover, perhaps the .338/06 with 250gr Nosler Part. for end-to-end penetration. Especially if bears could be expected, (the big ones, not blacks.......).

You really can't have too many rifles, but the decisions become harder! Trust Me!

Now, what do I take to hunt that powerline Monday AM ????

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 27, 2008, 07:55 PM
Do you mean red deer or wapiti? Either way, if I were you, I'd get something a little bigger - either a .270 win, .280 rem, or larger. But a .25-'06 (preferably with a 1 in 9" twist) with heavy 117-120 grain bullet (preferably bonded) will do if you do. So will other .25s with less powder (.257 Robt's, etc.).

December 27, 2008, 08:03 PM
"Now, what do I take to hunt that powerline Monday AM ????"

Your .243, of course.


December 28, 2008, 03:58 AM
@GooseGestapo Thx for the answer. And you are right, maybe it would be better to buy at first only an deer rilfe, (an 25-06 or an 257 roberts) and than later when I am more experiecend an second larger caliber rilfe for elk. mannlicher rifle in 30-06 springfield would be a good choice. Another option would be to get one of the 300 mags.

December 28, 2008, 11:54 AM
I would go with a 25-06 myself.

December 28, 2008, 12:21 PM
Why not compromise and get a .270 win. Great all around cartridge.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 28, 2008, 12:22 PM
@GooseGestapo Thx for the answer. And you are right, maybe it would be better to buy at first only an deer rilfe, (an 25-06 or an 257 roberts) and than later when I am more experiecend an second larger caliber rilfe for elk. mannlicher rifle in 30-06 springfield would be a good choice

Ding, ding, ding - BINGO! :)

December 28, 2008, 02:11 PM
oregonhunter Yes byuing an rifle in 270 winchester wouldn't be a bad idea. But I have to check the prices of the 270 winchester mag factory rounds. Which factory load in 270 win would be suitable for elk?

December 28, 2008, 02:32 PM
any 150gr load will work
I was talking about the 270 winchester not 270 wsm

December 28, 2008, 02:43 PM
I would earnestly agree with buying the deer rifle now and waiting to get a more powerful rifle when you actually need it. In that scenario I would say get a .243 now and either a .270 or a 7mm/08 later for bigger game. The .243 will cover you nicely from varmints and targets to even the biggest deer.

If you have decided to buy just one rifle to use for everything from deer to moose then the two calibers that unquestionably stand miles above all others - bar none - are the .270 Winchester and the 7mm/08 Remington. The .270 and the 7mm/08 are the only two calibers ever invented anywhere, anytime that are truly "all-around" hunting calibers capable of bridging the entire gap between deer and moose with authority... at least for "all-around" hunters/riflemen. The more robust calibers are just for the lads who think gunpowder and Viagra are the same thing and need a quart of each for every shot.;)

Ballisitcs and field performance for the .270 and 7mm/08 are actually quite similar so deciding between them is close to being a coin toss. One way is to decide if you want a "short action" caliber (the 7mm/08) or a "long action" (the .270).

That issue doesn't matter much to many folks though, so if you don't particularly care about "short vs long action" then you could decide on the basis of which make/model rifle you really like and which of those two calibers does it come in.... OR... could just look around and buy the rifle you find the best deal on as long as it is either a .270 or a 7mm/08.

Don't worry about ammo cost because compared to all the money you spend hunting, the difference in ammo cost between the .25/06 and .270 and 7mm/08 isn't enough to worry about.

There's my 50 cents wurff. :)


December 28, 2008, 05:15 PM
@Shawnee Thx for your detailed answer. I think I will start with an 243 winchester for hunting deer and then in 2 years I will buy an another rilfe for ellk hunting. The 7mm-08 is an very intersting catridge, but it is not very common here in austria. The 270 winchester would be a better choice.

@oregonhunter I know that you were talking about the "normal" 270 winchester. The new wsm and ultra mag catridges ,are not very common here in austria and even if they were available the price would be way to much for my budget.

December 29, 2008, 08:03 AM
I have checked the prices of a few rifles know, and I like the remington model 700 and the savage model 11 bestt. The mannlicher rifles would also be great, but they are too expensiv for my buget. Mayby my futer elk rilfe in 270 win or in 7mm-08 remington will be an mannlicher. But at first I will start with an remington or savage rifle.
What do you think about the two mentioned rifles. Am talkling about the 243 win models.

December 29, 2008, 01:16 PM
Both rifles are very good, and both have many trim levels. Whichever you go with, you will behappy, but remember, the savages have the accutrigger:D

December 29, 2008, 01:38 PM
Hi Agent...

I would choose a Remington. That's because I've owned several and shot several dozen more, and they have all ranged from very good to fantastic.
I bought a BDL in 7mm/08 for one of my sons and he is firmly convinced that it is impossible to miss with that rifle.

Here is an SPS that you can "buy now" NIB on Gunbroker for $480 AND I think Remington is still offering a $40 rebate on them (check their site for their coupon deal).

I know a couple people with Savage 110s and have shot (years ago) perhaps twenty in an assortment of calibers. As best I can recall, they have all been very good, or better. My neighbor has a Varminter model in .22/250 and of course it is really accurate.

I cannot imagine you could go wrong with either choice.

So the obvious answer is to buy one of each. :D


December 29, 2008, 03:30 PM
I read your comment about Viagra and magnums. I am still chuckling. It is nice to see that not everyone thinks you need large calibers and gobbs of powder to kill something. One gunsmith I know wonders if Elk and Deer have started wearing Kevlar to protect themselves hence the need for the big mags.
I personally have met few factory rifles that I wanted to own. I build my own. With that said, I have the luxury to shoot any cartridge/rifle I want.
I have numerous rifles in my collection, including the 25-06. the largest caliber modern rifle I own is a 270. I have killed elk at amazing distances with this rifle. I have never felt the need to go bigger.
You really can't go wrong with either caliber. For that matter, there are quite a few calibers available between the 25-06 and 270 that would be up to the task. If it were me and at least for now I would own just one rifle for the job, I would lean toward the 270. Recoil of the 25-06 and 270 is not significantly different.

December 29, 2008, 05:19 PM
I agree that this is a toss up. i use 7mm08 and both are really excellant rounds as shawnee has mentioned.

A fact we have over looked is that the original poster is in Austria. In Europe there are other rounds in common use. How about the classic 7 x 57 mauser or 8 x 57 mauser. or for a bit more speed a 7 x 68 brenneke. A 7mm mauser is a great round that will do for just about all uses. It is not quite as quick as 7mm08 however it is excellant.


December 29, 2008, 06:01 PM
I load a Hornady interlock to 3050 fps from my old Remington M722 .257 Roberts. That bullet is a penetrating SOB. That load would do the job with proper placement out to a few hundred yards, easily. That said, when I was planning an elk hunt years ago, I felt the need for more and bought a 7 Rem Mag. It's a sweet shootin' gun with a lot more umph. And, hey, I wanted a belted magnum. I guess I'm the only one here that thinks they're neat, too. :rolleyes:

December 29, 2008, 07:12 PM
@interlock Thx for your answer. I have allready considered buying an hunting rilfe chambered for an "european" catridge, but there is only one poblem. I have only found na few factory rilfes chambered in 8x57 mauser, but they are very expensive. The 7x57 mm mauser would be a great catridge but I it is not easy to find an brandew factory rifle in that caliber. It would be no problem to get an old military bolt action rilfe in 7mm mauser, but I don't know if such an an old rifle is capable to handle modern hunting loads. The 7mm brenneke would also be a good chocie, but I have to check the availability of the rifles first, but It should be no problem to get an mauser type rilfe in that caliber.

December 29, 2008, 08:12 PM
how about CZ? they are a good make and are european they make thier 55o in 7 x 64.

Tikka make rifles in 7 x 64 and 8 x 57.

both are reasonably priced


December 30, 2008, 03:41 AM
interlock Thx for your tipp. I must admit that I haven't cosidered cz and tikka rifles yet. I will check if they are available at my local gunstore immediately:)

ps: Which factory load in 7x64 brenneke would be the best choice for deer?

December 30, 2008, 08:09 AM

I heartell the box clips for the Tikka are retailed at $100 and, for me with my talent for losing things, that's pretty scary.

Would suggest you confirm that price before making your decision.

Good Luck !

December 30, 2008, 11:46 AM
Shawnee Thx for the warning. Maybe the prices of the clips are cheaper here in austria, but I have to check it first before I 'll buy new new rifle. Another intersting rifle would be an wichester model 70. I have seen an used 243 win. model at my local gunstore at a very good price.

December 30, 2008, 12:06 PM
If the model 70 in 243 is in good shape, I say pick it up asap.
Great rifle and deer caliber.

December 30, 2008, 02:10 PM
Hi Agent...

The Winchester model 70 went through a time period when they were much lower quality than they had been. That time period started in 1964.

At some point,I'm told the quality was greatly improved again but I don't really know when the improvement happened. Several others on here could probably tell you.

It woulld be great if you could get the serial number and check it to determine the year it was made. Then the Winchester gurus here could give good advice about buying that particular rifle.

If it is one of the high-quality model 70s and, as Oregonhunter said - if it is in good shape - it will very likely be an excellent rifle.

Good Luck !

December 30, 2008, 03:57 PM
Some people do say the late 64's through 68's I believe? had lower quality standards. I have owned a late 64 300 win mag and it is a great rifle, but I cant say that other mid 60's examples are as well made. As Shawnee said can you give us the serial number, manufacture dates can be looked up rather quickly on the internet.

December 30, 2008, 08:49 PM
Hi agent,
Norma do a really good range of 7 x 64 ammunition. thier 156 gr oryx would be an excellant round for everything. The controlled expansion bullet will not give huge damage in smaller deer (roe etc)and will penetrate deeply for bigger game and boar etc.

Thier componants are excellant quality although they will not be the cheapest.

It will also allow you to travel and hunt in france as it is not a military round.

I use a 7mm08 and find it an excellant all rounder.


have a look at Steyr- Mannlicher.


(these american fellows would have us believe that they have the monopoly on rifles!)

December 31, 2008, 04:29 AM
oregonhunter Yes, the winchester is acording to the gunsmith in a good condition.

@Interlock Yes, the mannlicher and sauer rifles are great, but there are are a bit too expensive for my budget, CZ rifles would be a good choice.

Und I will also consider to buy an rilfe in 7-08 remington. According to an buddy, this would be a great catridge allround catridge. He says also the same thing about the 270 win.

December 31, 2008, 08:57 AM
I agree with him, .270 is a true great and the 7mm08 is also excellant

December 31, 2008, 09:08 AM
agent, the steyr prohunter is pretty cheap in the uk.... althouh admitedly more than others. Howa are also available. or that second hand winchester. Is there much hunting in austria?

December 31, 2008, 09:16 AM
Austrian game link below:

December 31, 2008, 02:46 PM
nice to see Shawnee convincing another new member to go for the boring .243 over the sweet .25-06.

December 31, 2008, 10:02 PM

I would strongly suggest you seriously consider the 6.5x55 excellent cartridge for the game you are seeking. We have taken Yukon moose with it.

CZ makes a beautiful full stock version, Tikka make various hunting styles.

January 1, 2009, 12:56 PM
@Interlock yes it would be also possible to get an howa rilfe, but I haven't herad much about that rifle brand.

@daroccot Thx for your tipp.

h d hawg'r
January 1, 2009, 01:55 PM
Going on Agent's first options, I would pick the 25-06, and be a little picky on my shots at elk. But I have to wonder, what would be wrong with a 270, 308, or 30-06 as an all around "one gun" battery to start with? Then when the chance/opportunity comes he can add whatever strikes his fancy. My personal opinions only, your mileage may vary.:D

January 1, 2009, 02:16 PM
I have a question for the original poster

Why are the 25 caliber bullets so readily available in austria? What chamberings are the austrian reloaders buying them in?

What other calibers are also popular there, and common in new hunting rifles?

How likely are you to really start reloading in the next say 3 years?

January 1, 2009, 03:34 PM
@akado I want to learn reloading some day, but it is not very likley that I will start reloading in the next years. Und .25 bullets, are qutie cheap here in austria because there are fw 6,5 mm loads are very popular here in my country. Eg. the 6,5 mm swedish mauser, and the 6,5 mm x 65 rws. Other quite pupular loads, are 308 winchester, 30-06 sprinfield, 243 winchester, 270 winchester, 8x57 mauser. I also know some shooters how are found of the 25-06 remington,but they are no hunters, they are target shooters.

January 1, 2009, 06:50 PM
I have killed several elk with a 25-06.
One shot kills. 120 Grain loads.
I'm not the only one around here, either.

January 4, 2009, 03:22 PM

I reask my question "why do you think 25 caliber bullets (.257) are common? What common chamberings in your country use .257. Also, please note that the 6.5x55 uses .264, and is NOT a 25 caliber.

I think you may have gotten your wires crossed and you should be asking about 6.5mm chambeirngs, or .264 caliber.

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