25-06 vs. .260: What are the benefits of each?


January 20, 2003, 07:19 PM
So I decided to keep the Remington Model 7 in .308, and am going to have to just buy another rifle in a medium caliber.

I've currently got bolt actions in .22lr, .223, .303 British and .308(Model 7 and Savage 10FP). I think that I'm needing something in the 6mm to 6.5mm range.

Looking for something that will be versatile enough to handle things from varmints to coyotes and mule deer out to 300-400 yards.

I've narrowed my choices down to the 25-06 or the .260 remington.

I wouldn't mind either of them (but don't plan on buying both). The .260 kind of intrigues me.

I've recently took up reloading, and am now hooked, so factory ammo is not a big concern to me.

So what would you choose and why?

Thanks in advance,


If you enjoyed reading about "25-06 vs. .260: What are the benefits of each?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Peter M. Eick
January 20, 2003, 09:08 PM
I do not have a 260, but I have a 7-08 (its cousin) and a 25-06.

I find the 25-06 a lot of fun to shoot. It is a rem-700 sendero and it is very accurate. The 25-06 can be loaded for varmits and with some of the new powders it can really toss a nice long bullet down range pretty quick.

The 7-08 is a rem 700 bdl so it is my hunting gun. I wanted the versitility of 7mm bullets yet did not want a bigger cartraige (I am not hunting elk, only deer).

All in all I think if I had bought the 25-06 first I would not have bought the 7-08 but the weight of the sendero is an issue.

I probably just muddied the waters a bit didn't I.

January 21, 2003, 01:16 AM
i know little about the 260 except that it is derived from the 308... i have a 25-06, and what i do like about it is its ability to launch 100 grain bullets at 3400 f/s accurately (holdover? what's that??).

the advantage, to you, for the 260 is it's short-action will be familiar to you. the 25-06 is a long action and capable of producing very high velocities, which will make it shine for longish shots on whatever.

January 21, 2003, 05:40 AM
I have a 25-06 in a Browning A Bolt Medallion W/ BOSS and it is killer accurate I got lucky once and shot a dime sized group at 100 yards, plus you can go from varments to deer and pronghorn with it, good bullet selection good powder choices

Art Eatman
January 21, 2003, 10:14 AM
I wouldn't deliberately plan on mule deer at 400 yards with less than the performance of at least a .308. In my own experience, mulies don't go Flop! as easy as whitetails--dunno why...

A .25-'06 finds a lot of favor with open-country hunters, although most seem to limit it to antelope-sized critters or smaller. Heckuva coyote gun...

Relatively close range, plenty of time to settle in for a neck shot, I'd use my .243 on a mule deer. I wouldn't shoot one that's running, like I would with my '06.

One of the reasons I like the Sierra reloading handbook is the amount of info they contain about exterior ballistics. You can compare cartridges' performance and the trajectory tables are quite comprehensive.


January 21, 2003, 11:39 PM
Does everything the classic 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser did, albeit in a smaller package, both in the cartridge itself, and in the shorter action built around it, hence the short-action Remington Model 700, and Remington Model 7. Accuracy, flat trajectory, light recoil, great bullet selection for handloading, what more could one ask for? :)

January 24, 2003, 02:00 PM
I know times change and maybe hunting ethics change a bit for the better but I was just reading an article in the 1973 Gun Digest on ideal rifles for mule deer and the author, Norman E Nelson, says his two ideal rifles are a lightweight 257 Roberts and a heavier 25-06 for hunting in more open areas.

Also highly recommended were the 270 and 6.5x55. In general, he recommended the heavier bullets in each cartridge and he noted that the 257 Roberts were most appropriate when handloaded.

Art Eatman
January 24, 2003, 04:13 PM
cratz2, this just circles back to skill level and shot placement. I freely admit--once again--that I'm a bit on the conservative side about "Use enough gun."

Dunno if it makes sense: I wouldn't buy a .25'06 for mulies, but if that's what I had I wouldn't hesitate to use it. (I'd be a bit picky about my shots, though.)

I disremember why, but the .257 Roberts has always worked better for handloaders than with factory loads. Maybeso it was the choice of bullets. This is a bit more of an "old days" thing.


January 24, 2003, 05:19 PM
One man's opinion. With the selection of bullets for the .308 I believe that weapon would handle the game you want to 400 Yards. If you can shoot a .308 will shoot 10's at 500 and 600 yards on the National Match Rifle course. I suspect with the proper bullets, (Nosler, etc), you could kill Mule deer to 400 also. I agree with Art on the difficulty of mulies vs. Whitetails. I have shot a few of both and a mule can take a pretty good load. However 400 yards is not TOO far for the cartridge in my opinion.

January 24, 2003, 05:28 PM
Many years ago on a West Texas Ranch my wonderful wife killed her first deer with a Ruger .257 Roberts and a B&L Scope with a tapered cross hair (2 and 1/2 to 8). The Mule was running a pretty good clip, left to right, not wide open but pretty good. The range was about 85 yards or so. We were hunting in wide open country. She had time to sit down and shoot. I was watching the Mule with glasses to see the bullet impact. When she shot he flinched, and I knew she had her first one. Lung shot with a 117 Grain factory bullet. He went about 30 yards or so from impact. It was the prettiest running shot I ever saw. It can be done but you have to be able to shoot. She was a little lucky but boy did I have bragging rights for awhile.

January 24, 2003, 05:42 PM
I disremember why, but the .257 Roberts has always worked better for handloaders than with factory loads.

I think it was a combination of underloading the 257 Roberts, pressure-wise and the fact that on and off for several years, some of the ammo companies would only load round nose bullets in the 257 Roberts. Since the case was based on the 7x57 Mauser necked down to .257, they didn't want rebarreled 100 year old guns shooting high pressure loadings. End result: the 257 Roberts had excellent possibilities but when loaded to 40,000 cup with a round nose, flat base bullet, results were less than spectacular. Esp compared to the .25-06, .243 Win or 6mm Rem.

January 24, 2003, 05:47 PM
Another thing about 'using enough gun' is the same author said in the article that 'the 243 or 6mm would be plenty and to just hope you didn't take a hind quartering shot' or something to that effect. In my opinion, you don't hope you don't take a certain shot, you just don't take it! You may hope you don't have to take a certain shot, but not hope you don't take a certain shot.

Anyway, back to the original topic, 308 should be plenty good for most shooters. A 270 is probably a little more ideal, but the 308 should serve most shooters just fine.

January 24, 2003, 07:33 PM
Both cartridges are so close in accuracy that it is difficult to say which is better but here are my opinions.

The .260 is the better big game cartridge but only very slightly not enough to argue about. You can shoot heavier bullets in it than you can the 25-06.

The 25-06 is the better varmit cartridge and has a high velocity due to the bigger case capacity. Expect shorter barrel life if light bullets at high velocity are used as compared to some of the .22 centerfires.

In short there is no all round rifle. If you want something for varmits only I would choose one of the hot .22's like the 22-250 or the .220 swift.

If I wanted a mule deer cartridge its hard to beat the original .270 winchester, 280 remington or 7x57 mauser. The newer 270 short magnum is nothing more than a few fps faster than the commonly found .270 winchester and can be bought second hand for a lot less money.

Art Eatman
January 24, 2003, 07:55 PM
cratz2, I didn't go hunt up what I said, but I reckon it was along the line of meaning that if I was carrying my .243, I'd hope that whatever shot was offered was not a quartering shot from the rear. Such a problem would mean I most likely didn't have a shot that I'd take with a .243.

180-grain '06, no qualms. Doesn't mean I wouldn't try for the neck as the target of choice, though...

Me sitting and Ol' Bucky just standing around, it doesn't matter which way he's pointed. The Lord gave him that long neck so you'd have something to break.

:), Art

January 24, 2003, 08:05 PM
cratz2, I didn't go hunt up what I said, but I reckon it was along the line of meaning that if I was carrying my .243, I'd hope that whatever shot was offered was not a quartering shot from the rear. Such a problem would mean I most likely didn't have a shot that I'd take with a .243.

Oh no no no no no... Not you. My reference was in regards to Norman Nelson, the author that recommended the 257 Roberts and the 25-06 in the article back in '73. Not you.

Take care now. ;)

Ever respectful of Mr Eatman,


January 24, 2003, 08:08 PM

I think that I have seen the light, and realized that with the vast variety of bullets available, the .308 will do what I need.

With 125gr ballistic tips, I should have a gun that can kill coyotes and the like, with 150-165gr should be great for deer sized game, as well as, elk.

Now I've got to figure out what I need to put my new 5-15x50 Bushnell Elite 3200 on.

Maybe a heavy barrel .223?


Art Eatman
January 24, 2003, 11:51 PM
Like I say, GunNut, I'm getting 1/2 MOA from a 77 Mk II sporter. You oughta be able to do that with what you already have.

Try the 110-grain Hornady Spire Points for a .308 varmint load. Dunno if they're too short for the twist rate of your rifle, but they tend to be ruinacious on coyotes and such, and there's hardly any noticeable recoil.

:), Art

January 25, 2003, 12:28 AM

Thanks for the patience in dealing with my ever changing plans.

I've decided for financial reasons to lay off making too many gun purchases for the next two years. So, I am trying to make sure I've got what I want/need for the time being.

I think that I have settled on owning a Ruger M77 and Savage 10FP in .223 and a Remington Model 7 and Savage 10FP in .308.
Along, with .22lr CZ452 Style(with the Swift 4X12 that i got from you) and a 1895GS in 45/70.

Should be able to hunt damn near everything with those five. Plus I've got a few others, just in case.

Trying to keep it simple, and have as few calibers to feed as possible. CCI Small/Rifle Magnum primers, Winchester 748 and what ever bullets I want, and I can feed all three calibers..


Art Eatman
January 25, 2003, 01:51 PM

I've always called it, "Thinking out loud." I walk around and mumble and ask questions of folks. The deal is, you get viewpoints from different angles, and often some stray comment will be just the thing to clarify your thinking.

Back when I was around six years old, I tagged along behind my grandfather, "helping". This was right before WW II. He had a bunch of little sayings, starting out from "Well, like the Old Darky said..." I always thought that Old Darky was the world's smartest gentleman. One saying which has held through the years is, "...if you don't know, ask."

:), Art

If you enjoyed reading about "25-06 vs. .260: What are the benefits of each?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!