25-20 Handgun Loads


February 28, 2013, 03:20 PM
I just bought a 25-20 barrel for my Contender and I'm looking for loading data. I bought the barrel because I also have a '92 Win in that caliber and have the brass and dies.

I've been all over the web looking for data, but I can only find loads using rifle powder.

Can anyone here help me out?

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February 28, 2013, 04:23 PM
Just use the rifle data.

In general, data you find for the 25-20 WCF will be using meduim to slow pistol powders anyway.

Lyman #49 lists a 86 grain jacketed bullet using Unique, 2400, IMR-4227, IMR-4198, and H-110.

It lists 65 grain cast bullets using Red Dot, 700x, Green Dot, PB, Unique, and SR-7625.


March 1, 2013, 01:47 PM
I went through my old reloads (since I haven't shot the '92 in ages) and found some 86gr bullets and 4.5gr of Unique. That's the fastest powder. Another reload has IMR 4227 and 60gr bullets.

I always thought faster powders were used for handguns.

March 1, 2013, 01:50 PM
No not always.

Especially since the 25-20 WCF was never a handgun cartridge and always a rifle cartridge.
That is why handgun data for it is hard to find.

Anyway, if you want good performance?
Whatever powder gives the highest velocity in a long barrel, will also give the highest velocity in a short barrel.


March 1, 2013, 04:14 PM
The 4227 is faster over the Unique with the 60gr bullet. But there's minimal difference with the 86gr. I have both powders, but I've grown to really dislike Unique.

Missouri Bullet was some 85gr cast bullets with a brinnell of 18 especially for the 25-20. Any thoughts?

March 1, 2013, 07:54 PM
I have used H-110 with the Remington 86 grain jacketed bullet in a pair of old '92's for years without any issues; it meters easily, burns clean, and gives reasonable accuracy. I'd leave well enough alone if I had a Contender for that caliber.

March 3, 2013, 10:03 PM
I have used 2400 in my rifle with 60 gr flat points. Hodgdon lists h-110 h4198 and h4227 for a 10" contender bbl in their # 25 manual. With an 87 gr bullet, 15.0gr. h4198 max, 13.0- 14.0 h4227 and 12.5-13.5 h-110. all with sr primers. You could use a pointy bullet in the contender though......

March 5, 2013, 11:30 AM
Thanks Witchhunter. I needed some recipes.

Jim Watson
March 5, 2013, 11:35 AM
I'd start with 2400.
Might be because that is the only reasonably suitable powder I actually have on hand.

March 5, 2013, 01:50 PM
I was just experimenting with a 113 year old Win 92 25-20 yesterday.... after I put it all back together.
The firing pin to firing pin hole fit is terrible.
The cartridge is SAAMI registered at 28kcup, which is somewhere near 35kpsi.

To get up around 35kpsi 2600 fps with 14 gr H110 and HNDY 60 gr 1.545", I used a CCI450 magnum small rifle primer.
Before that I had tried a magnum small pistol primer, but the primer cup was too thin.
You can see the cratering on the primer is not even symmetrical.

March 5, 2013, 07:03 PM
I want a gun in that caliber. I think it would be a blast! pun intended

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