.260 rem Vs. .25-06 with 120 grain bullets?


February 1, 2009, 10:32 AM
Heres the deal, I am looking for a third deer rifle that is light kicking and is flat shooting, I am really ONLY interested in these two calibers.

While the 120 grain bullet is the upper limit with regards to the .25-06, I would like opinions of it compared to the .260 and a 120 bullet.

Long action vs. short action is a non issue. thanks

If you enjoyed reading about ".260 rem Vs. .25-06 with 120 grain bullets?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
February 1, 2009, 11:18 AM
6.5(260 remington) is going to have alot better choices higher BC being the biggest advantage..which is increased accuracy downrange over that of the .257 caliber.

Get the 260.

February 1, 2009, 12:05 PM
It's a hard call as they are so close in performance. For a deer only situation, I would choose the 260 for it's ability to handle heavier bullets. 129-130gr bullets are a better choice in the 6.5.
If you had any inclination of possible long range varmint hunting too, then the 25-06 would be the choice.
Either caliber would be fine however.


February 1, 2009, 12:15 PM
There is a reason the 25-06 has been around as long as it has. All things considered (availability, reloadability, effeciency, performance) it has no equal as a long range deer rifle.

February 1, 2009, 01:09 PM
I never understood why everyone says the 6.5 has such great BC over anything else. I mean highest BC I have seen in a sub 30 caliber gun is a 7mm yet you never hear people boasting how high the 7mm's bc is.

As far as the question at hand I would go with the 25-06. I think it has a little edge in velocity especially if you go below 120. The 260 will do almost as good with less powder. It just depends on you. Either would be a good deer gun.

February 1, 2009, 01:27 PM
I never understood why everyone says the 6.5 has such great BC over anything else. I mean highest BC I have seen in a sub 30 caliber gun is a 7mm yet you never hear people boasting how high the 7mm's bc is.

Actually, the highest 7mm bullets BARELY beat the highest bc 6.5mm bullets, by like .040 or something. (.640 compared to .678) People talk all the time about the high BCs of the 7mms, but they require bigger cartridges to be able to make good use of them.

In this case, i would go with the .260, it can do everything the 25-06 can, and then some, due to bullet selection.

Oh, do you reload? That is a consideration.

Float Pilot
February 1, 2009, 04:33 PM
I had a 25-06 with a 26 inch barrel. I was able to push 117 grain Sierra Boat tails or 120 grain Speer Boat-Tails at 3,100 fps. (50 grains of H-4831 and a mag primer)
The SPEER has a Ballistic Coefficient of: .435

I foolishly cut the barrel down to 20 inch for an old girlfriend and the velocity drop off was severe. I believe that the 25-06 does much better as a flat shooter with a longer barrel. It was super loud after I cut it down as well.

I have experimented with a couple 260 Remingtons that belong to friends of mine. One of them has a 26 inch custom barrel that he had installed for reasons only he knows.

In his long barrel we were pushing a 120 grain Sierra Matchking to right at 3,200 fs with 48 grains of H414 and a standard primer.

The other 260 I have loaded for has a 22 inch barrel. We were able to push a 120 grain Sierra Matchking (BC- .421) or a Nolser Ballistic tip boat-tail (BC-.449) at 3,000 fps from the 22 inch barrel by using 47.2 grains of H4350 and a magnum primer.
50.2 grains of H4831 and a Fed 215 mag primer gave 2,950 fps and a super tight group. If you back this load of to 48.0 grains you get a nice 2,800 fps from a 22 inch barrel and a one hole group.

Basically I think the 260 is better for shorter hunting barrels.
It may even be easier to find ammo currently. Who knows how it will be in five years.
The 260 gives you the chance to use heavier bullets in case you want to go after something larger one day. And it can be had in a short action if that spins your prop.

The Ballistic Coefficient of both the .257 caliber and .264 caliber bullets in boat-tail form are very close.
The velocity of the two rounds are also very close with longer barrels. The edge going to the 260 when shorter barrels are used.
The 260 has a bullet that is slightly larger in diameter and may have some better damaging effects...

NO game animal within 400 yards is going to be able to tell the difference.

February 1, 2009, 04:47 PM
First, define LONG RANGE. If we are talking about 400 yards at the outside, the ballistic charts show no practical difference on deer sized game. If we are talking about ranges beyond this, you might consider something that packs a little more punch. As a certified quarter bore fanatic I would choose the .25-06. There is a .260 in my near future however, as I am also a general rifleaholic.:evil:

February 1, 2009, 05:07 PM
The short action of the .260 is what I like and since the critter at the other end really can't tell the difference between projectiles properly placed of either the .260 or .257 variety I go with what I like.
Good shooting....

February 1, 2009, 08:28 PM
I already have a savage 99 in .300, which really is a medium range rifle (although its great for woods to field hunting). I am not trying to make a 500 yd shot, I guess what I am looking for is a flat shooting medium caliber, light recoil, that is ideal for deer.

Are they really pretty much to the same with the following criteria ?

120 grain bullet, out to 400 yds?

Does anyone have a ballistics chart that compares both these rounds with a 120 bullet?

February 1, 2009, 08:30 PM
They are pretty much tied, although with different bullets.


Float Pilot
February 2, 2009, 12:05 AM
257 caliber , 120 grain Speer Boat-Tail with a BC of .435 loaded to 3,000 fps from a 25-06 ZEROED AT 250 yards. 49 degrees F, at 1,000 feet elevation.

Range...drop... velocity
Muzzle... -1.5 3000fps
50...+ 1.1 ......2891
100.... 2.6.... 2784
150... 2.9.... 2680
200.... 2.1... 2578
250... 0.0.... 2479
300 ..-3.6.... 2382
350... -8.6.... 2288
400... -15.4... 2196
450... -23.9.... 2105
500...-34.4.... 2017

A .264 caliber Nosler 120 grain Boat-tail; at 2,900 fps from a slightly shorter barrel (BC 449) Zeroed for 250 yards.


Muzzle -1.5.... ..2900 fps
50.... 1.2....... 2796
100..... 2.8.......2695
150.... 3.2.......2596
350... -9.2.......2224


February 4, 2009, 01:27 AM
Lastly, is the .260 fading in terms of rifle selection and ammo?

February 4, 2009, 02:09 AM
Its gunna stick around for some time considering it is a benchrest cartridge.. anywho if your not gunna reload.. get the 25-06 much better potential in the manufactured ammo available today.

Brad Clodfelter
February 4, 2009, 06:48 AM
I would go with the 25-06. I have one, and really like what it can do. I shoot the Federal Premium 117gr Sierra Boattails through it.

Brad Clodfelter
February 4, 2009, 06:49 AM
I would go with the 25-06. I have one, and really like what it can do. I shoot the Federal Premium 117gr Sierra BTSP through it.

February 4, 2009, 10:43 AM
IMO both have pros and cons. On the plus side just about anything that has ever been done with a .308 case has yielded cartridges that were highly accurate. No one really knows why. The best explanation I have heard from the ballistic experts has to do with the optimal height of the powder column in relation to the diameter of the case. From a practical prospective, it just works wonderfully well. On the minus side case capacity can sometimes be an issue. Our 308 class cases are highly efficient. (Definition of an efficient cartridge: A cartridge you canít quite get enough powder in) On top of that, the case neck is relatively shortÖsomething those of us that reload sometimes find disfavor with. While the .260 has a fairly high ballistic coefficient the price we pay for that with the heavier rounds (140 & 160 grain) is reduced case capacity, as the bullets end up being seated very deeply with (perhaps) higher pressures given some combinations of powder and primers. Reduced case capacity offers reduced velocities in some instances. This difference probably exists more on paper than anywhere else, as all of us have been conditioned (brain washed by sharp advertising tactics) to worship the Gods of velocity to some extentÖsome of us more than others. One of the largest advantages offered by the 6.5MM bullets is the high sectional density that promotes penetration well beyond of what some would expect given what many would view as somewhat anemic velocity. The bottom line is that this round kills way better than you think it will. All of this taken into account my preference is the 6.5 X 55 Swedish Mauser. Yep, Iím a bit of a traditionalist. I find the larger case capacity and longer case neck a convenience as respects reloading and Iím able to get close enough to the performance of the .260 to render the difference of little practical value. I promise you that the deer Iíve pointed my 6.5 at did not know the difference!

I also own several .25-06 rifles that Iíve hunted with for a number of years. Iíve lost track of the number of deer Iíve killed with a .25-06. My bullet of choice is the 115 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip loaded to approximately 3100 fps. The fact that the .25-06 shoots flatter than the .260, when loaded with the heavier rounds, is admittedly more theoretical than practical in value. Like the .260 the .25-06 just kills better than anyone thinks it should. In terms of their actual use on deer with 120 bullets either cartridge seems to have a track record of killing deer efficiently. The practical difference is so small that it can be ignored.

February 4, 2009, 10:47 AM
I reload like many others here and have read that the .260 basically mimics the 6.5x55 MM Swedish Mauser in a short action. I think the Swede is one of the best, most verstatile cartridges around. Its a tough choice between that and the 7MM-08 which is essentially the performance of the 7x57 Mauser. I like them both!

If you enjoyed reading about ".260 rem Vs. .25-06 with 120 grain bullets?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!