Does anyone load a 25-06 Ackley?


December 13, 2011, 02:22 PM
I have a 25-06AI being made which I will get in about 2-3 months. It's being made on a Rem 700 trued action and I ordered a 26" Shilen barrel. The barrel will have a 10" twist. Shillen recommends that twist up to and including 100 gr heads and says that a 9" would be better for anything heavier. I think that the 1 in 10" will work for 115's and so does my smith. If it won't, I will stick with the 100s. Personally I think Shilen is being overcautious and covering their butt by saying that. Before placing the order I called Hart and they said a 10" twist is fine.

I have 3 25-06s and a .257 Wby mag in a Vangard Sub minute of angle (hence the name quartermaster), which I think was a big waste of money to get, but that's another story.

I have had very good luck with my 25s using IMR 4831 and 100 gr Nosler BTs, but I have a huge selection of other heads as well as a ton of different powders to play with.

I have some ideas as to what I'll try for my first loads after fire forming the brass, but am certainly open to any data which others have had success with. I found Ackley data online from Load Data and as well as a couple of other sights, but frankly, out of all of them, the only one that I have faith in is Load Data. I think I may start with what I use in one of my 25-06s and work up from there.

I am hoping to pudh 3500'/second with 100s or 3300' plus with 115s and still have an extremely accurate load. I don't think this will be a problem, but only time will tell.

I would appreciate any info on data from someone who loads for it.

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December 13, 2011, 04:12 PM
Check out Reloder 17 for 100 gr... no I don't have the Ackley, but a regular 25/06...

December 13, 2011, 09:58 PM
Don't sweat the 1in10" twist as it's been used by most manufacturer's 25 caliber chamberings from 250 Savage up through 25-06, and with the Ackley's velocity advantage, stabilizing up to 120gr shouldn't be a problem, if you chose to use them.

There's a bunch of powders that will give you top velocity, but my bet would be Rel-22 or IMR7828, but the accuracy will be on you.

Here's a link to reloadersnest site and 6 loads for the 25-06 Ackley Improved.


December 14, 2011, 12:04 PM
Thanks Jim and NC for the posts. I have RE 22 and the 7828 and last week ordered some RE 17. It looks like a handy powder to try for a few guns.

I have a bunch of brass sorted and ready to fire form. This gun is being built by a guy who builds a lot of bench rest guns. His reamer is going to cut a tight chamber, so I'm 99% sure I'll have to turn the necks. I asked him if he could measure the reamer so I could start the process, but he recommends that I wait until he has it done. I guess that would be the safest way to do it in order to get the coorect neck clearance. I feel like a little kid waiting for Christmas.

I have been wanting to get a custom rifle for a few years now. What stemmed me to go ahead and order it was a video on the 6mmbr site. Check it out some time when you get a moment. Go on the site and click on barrels. Click on the factory vs. custom barrel link.

Thanks again for your responses

December 14, 2011, 05:30 PM
I use IMR 7828 for the 115/120 gr bullets in my 25/06 also... RL 22 & RL 25 works well too... I usually just use 7828 because the LGS has it on the shelf all the time, RL 19 works well with the 100 gr also...

December 14, 2011, 08:37 PM
quartermaster, the 40 degree shoulder in a 25-06 is a bad idea. I would call the maker and have them use a standard 25-06 chamber. I used to own one and since then I have owned two standard 25-06s and they will do anything the improved version will do. My rifle had a 26 inch medium weight Douglas air guaged barrel comparable to the one you are describing. There is no practical advantage to the improved version and you will take a beating if you put it up for sale. If you don't think you have enough knockdown power with a standard 25-06 go to a 270. BW

December 14, 2011, 09:39 PM
quartermastr, I didn't answer your original question. The 1-10 twist for the improved version is fine, the rifle I had shot like a dream. The problem I had with the improved version is that you think that if you blow the shoulder out and add 3 or 4 grains of powder you would get improved performance. What you're forgetting is that if you blow the shoulder bigger you're putting more space in the chamber so it takes more powder to get the same velocity. A 25-06 standard version already has a case that is too large for the bore so you will still be bumping up against excessive pressure in the larger chamber to get the higher velocities. If you're going to add a bigger chamber and more powder to get higher velocity with maximum pressure, why not add more powder to the standard chamber and shoot it at maximum pressure. Unless you just have big bucks to spend on a rifle that doesn't perform much better than the standard version. BW

December 15, 2011, 12:58 AM
shooter5907, I apprecate you input, even though it's not what I want to hear. I'm hoping with some slow burning powders I will surpass the performance of a normal 25-06. As I mentioned above, I have 3 25-06s, all remingtons in different models. All shoot very accurately. I load 100 gr Nosler BTs in all of them and what I really like about this caliber and head combination is that I can shoot chucks as well as deer with the same cartridge load and it is devastating on both.

My BDL is loaded to around 3375 FPS which is a little on the hot side, but shows no significant signs of over pressure, I have had it for around 20 years and it has always been the most accurate out of the 3. I will have to get it rebarreled at some point when the accuracy drops off which is just a matter of time. I load 100 rounds at a time and find myself having to seat the bullets out a touch farther with every loading session. If I had to shoot a knat of of a fly's butt, out of all my rifles, this would be the one I would grab. The other 2 are a mountain rifle and a 700 SPS. Both are good shooters also, so I really don't need another rifle in this caliber even though it is my favorite.

I have shot hundred plus shots through that stupid .257 wby vanguard sub minute of angle trying to work up a load that would consistanly group an inch or better. I figured that if if shoots under an inch with factory loads, that I could find a load that would make it shoot really good. I'm still working on it! Besides all the variables you deal with on a regular caliber, you have all the freebore to deal with. I'll keep trying. It shows you how bad it is if I would settle for an inch group.

To get back to the subject of this thread, the Ackley I, If I can't get more performance out of it than it's parent cartrige, then so be it. I won't be too disappointed. I'm hoping and thinking I can. I wouldn't ever think about selling it anyhow. I've never had a custom gun and I know I can work up something that will make it shoot like a bandit. I see some data is listed in the sierra manual. That, coupled with the data given above will be a good starting point and I'll see where things go. I will take my time and be very meticulous in my loading procedures, which I always do anyway and get what I can get. It will be fun to do, knowing that some combination will make for a very accurate shooter with having a good barrel and a trued action. I do understand where you are coming from. P.O. wasn't enthused either. I'm confident that I can make it work out. You gotta love the 25s.

Thanks for taking the time to write your post. What I like about this forum is that there are a lot of members that are very knowledable reloaders and give some very good input, instead of just posting to hear themselves talk.

Thanks again

December 15, 2011, 07:47 AM
Terry, thanks for the great reply and I appreciate your enthusiasm. I once bought a 270 Weatherby Magnum and was really disappointed with the cartridge because a standard 270 Winchester is much better because it does everything better. Good luck with your project. BW

December 15, 2011, 09:04 AM
Reloader25 is going to be your friend.
I've not dealt with the .25/06 AI, but have loaded for .257Robt, .25/06, and .257Wby.

With the .257wby, the deal is not to try to seat th bullet out to the throat, but seat the bullet with at least .250" of bearing surface within the neck. Then, try different bullets.
Also, use only Norma/Wby brass......

My .257wby Vanguard isn't an "MOA" version, but it is sub-moa nevertheless.
However, it is bullet "picky".
Not so accurate bullets are:
1. Anything with a cannulure. (PrviParitsan 100gr Spts' w/o cannulure out-shoot 100gr- 117gr Hornady 'anything' with a cannulure, or Remington Corlokts for that matter).
2. Loads need to be within a narrow envelope for pressure/consistency. I've found that to be -5% to max powder charges.
3. Use Norma/Weatherby brass. The Federal and Remington brass I've tried was nowhere as accurate as the Wby/Norma brass. Even after being neck-turned and reamed )primer pockets and flash-holes. Must be weight sorted also...)
Also, max loads with the Federal/Remington brass is ~5% below that for Wby brass as is total powder capacity.
4. Use Federal #215 primers with powders IMR4831 and slower. (I've used CCI magnum and Winchester LR and Federal #210 with IMR/H4350 with good results.)
5. The Extruded powders uniformly give better accuracy than the spherical powders.

Try these loads for the .257wby.
100gr Sierra Prohunter, GameKing, or Nosler 100 BallisticTip, or Speer HotCor (flat-base only). Use 63.0gr of IMR4350, or 73.5gr of RL25. The IMR runs 3,450fps from my 24" bbl, which duplicates Norma/Wby factory ammo. At 74.0gr of RL25 (max my rifle, but nearly as accurate as 73.5gr) runs 3,675fps! Hornady 100gr Spt Interloks perform as well as Nosler Partitions both in accuracy and on-game performance but accuracy is about 1.25moa (3-shots) from my rifle.

117gr Sierra ProHunter, GameKing, or Speer 120gr HotCor, or 115gr Nosler BT;
RL25- Use 69.0gr with the 120gr's and 70.0gr with the 115-117's.
Velocity is over 3,200fps from my 24" bbl. Accuracy is excellent with non-cannulure. (sub-moa, usually 0.6-0.8" 3-shots). Cannulured or Partiton type bullets (Nosler/Swift A-frame) usually runs 1.0-1.5moa.

December 15, 2011, 11:44 AM
GooseGestapo, My rifle is also a sub moa model. I will look hard and long at your post when I get a bit more time. I probably have tried most of your suggestions. I know I have tried seating the head out and am aware that the freebore won't allow what I would normally do. I do know that the last couple of sessions I did, I measured a factory load for coal at a gun shop in my area and tried that length, also to no avail. I kind of felt stupid walking in with a set of calibers and measuring it there, but I guess everyone got over it. I also use Norma brass and I also have about 40 or so weatherby brass which I believe is made by Norma

I haven't worked on that rifle in a while, but I believe that I was running into pressure signs on whatever powders I was using before getting up to a good velocity load. If my memory serves me correctly my last session was with 115's or 117s (don't recall the mfg at this point) but my chrony showed 3250 fps when i felt I had to stop. I guess I'm just blowing smoke now. I'll have to go and review my loading data sheets.

I have a range set up where I can shoot off my deck with a 1x4 sticking out to set my chrony on. My wife loves the looks of that. So it's a good set up where I can load a few rounds, and come up and shoot. My neighbors think that I am nuts, but I live quite a ways away from all them so no one complains and if they do, I'll have to stop my free snowplowing all winter for them.

I don't recall fighting a rifle as much as I am this one, but patience and persistancy will pay off eventually. It's still muzzleloader season here so I won't be trying anything until after Christmas. Possibly after reviewing my data and yur advise, I may start a new thread. I feel like I am deviating pretty good from my start of this one. Keep your eye out.


41 Mag
December 16, 2011, 05:34 AM

Since back in the mid 80's I have owned a Remington 700 in 25-06. It has the standard 1-10 twist and has for the most part always shot the 115gr Partition's as my go to bullet. Loaded with a charge of RL-22 and lit off with a Win-WLR primer, it has consistently grouped around an inch, if I did my part, at 200yds.

About three years ago I presented my daughter with that rifle as I also had the itch and built me an AI version. This one I built more or less for a LR rig and as such I wanted to use the heaviest bullets, and still get what I could form it. I ordered a Broughton 5C Heavy Sporter in a Magnum contour and the finished lenght is 28". It easily will drive a 120gr bullet to 3350fps, and if I REALLY want to I can bump it up another 150fps and still get acceptable accuracy, but it does start to iron out the primers.

As for powders, I would highly suggest you trying some Ramshot Magnum. The Reloader line is fine in the standard chambering, but I have found that with RL-25 with the added case capacity, you will get pressure spikes, once temps get over the mid 80 degree area. This said, if you work up in hotter temps to a max load, once it cools down your going to notice some pretty significant drops in velocity with it as well. Just my experience, take it at what it cost.

I also tried out a couple of other powders as well which gave pretty decent performance, but nothing as good as with the Ramshot. THe load I am using right now still needs to be tweaked a bit as I know it will deliver better accuracy, but it will still easily drive 5 shots into less and 2" at 300yds using some old Remington 120gr CL's or the 120gr Hornady HP's. IF you can find some of the CL's they are great bullets for these velocities as well. The Hornady one is also pretty decent but I haven't had the chance to use it on anything other than paper yet. It is however a heavy jacketed bullet designed for hunting. The 120gr Partition might also be a good one if you figure on having an up close shot.

So far I have only used mine on two hogs, one hog at 275yds and the other at about 110yds, and an armadillo at 295yds. I DO however plan on calling in a few yotes right after deer season and putting it to good use on them at what ever range they come in at.

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