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What's the deal with the 25-06?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Kachok, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    OK I am a bit confused, since I am looking for a new long range gun people have highly recomended the 25-06 and many have quoted loads with fps dramaticly higher then factory and even my reloading manual, especaly in the 100gr loads many people quoting 3500+fps (and a few over 3600) without pressure signs. This is about 300+fps faster then factory and about 200fps faster then the hottest loads listed in my nosler manual, while I have seen fps increases over published data before in nearly every cartrage, I have never seen so many people claiming such dramatic differences in any other caliber, what is so different about the 25-06?
  2. rg1

    rg1 Well-Known Member

    To get top velocities in 25-06 it does require at least a 26" barrel. My 24" barreled Rem 700 seems to match velocities in some manuals and I don't load maximum or above. I too see some reported velocity numbers that seem high. Depends on what you want to do with a long range rifle as to whether the 25-06 would be the best choice.
  3. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    300-500 yd beanfield whietail deer (120-200lbs southern deer). I was using a 270WSM but I let a friend borrow it and he feel in love with it, so I am selling it to him, I was thinking about getting another one but I was told a 25-06 would be all I needed within 500 yd (my personal limit when shooting at living things). I noticed that the 25-06 has a cult like following amongst handloads much like the 6.5x55 so I am thinking of giving it a shot. Many of the people who quoted 3500fps+ loads listed 24" barrels though a few had 26s and 28s
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  4. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Well-Known Member

    rg1 has it right. 26" is the way to go. My Sendero is a 26 and when my 24" Ruger #1 burns out I will actually go for a 28".

    I am torn between just getting a 257 Weatherby or 257 STW and really burning the barrel quick.

    25/06 fans are a cult like, but we find the quarter bores are more fun to shoot and don't beat you up as much as the 7mm's or 30 cal magnums can.
  5. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    I am a long time 6.5 guy, I love the utter lack of recoil, but of the two calibers in 6.5s that can keep up with the WSM in trajectory one is a near dead (6.5 rem mag) and the other is amongst the worlds worst barrel burners ever (264 win mag) So I see the 25-06 being the best available option to match WSM trajectory with much less recoil. I don't think the deer will miss the extra .2mm :D
  6. bangaway

    bangaway Well-Known Member

    My 28 inch custom 25-06 chrono.s 3502 fps with 100 gr. sierra flatbase bullets. IMR 4831 powder. No pressure sighns and will shoot faster. But why. Shot 30 deer with 28 shots. None took a step. H&R makes a stainless heavy barrel 26 inch 25-06. Should be a shooter and cheap to try out. have fun and bangaway.
  7. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    My problem with the H&R is the very mixed accuracy reports. I would love a 42" rifle with a 26" barrel if it were a shooter, all I need is one shot anyway. I am spoiled in the accuracy department, I have been shooting nothing but Savages and Tikkas for the past few years so anything shy of sub moa would be a letdown.
  8. sage5907

    sage5907 Well-Known Member

    kachok, a rifle with a 25-06 Remington chamber is great for hunting anything up to and including deer. I have been shooting them since 1965 and I currently own two of them. I went down the list of things such as improved chambers and longer barrels but have found that a 24 inch barrel is the most practical length for a hunter. They make a great lighweight scouting rifle. It is true that a handloader can get some fantastic velocities by loading to the top of the chart but I don't do that anymore. One problem with extreme velocities is that bullet performance is unpredictable. Some bullets open to fast and blow up on impact and some don't open at all and shoot a small hole through the intended target. Some of the worst performing bullets come from the most reputable companies. I finally settled on 100 grain bullets at about 3400 fps from my 24 inch barrels. Actually, the best all around load for a 25-06 is a 120 grain bullets at about 2900 fps. My 2 cents. BW
  9. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    I am not worried about bullet blow ups for two reasons, first of all I plan on using a 25-06 for my long range hunting seeing as I already have the perfect deer hunting rifle for the woods, secondly I have alot of faith in ballistic tips, they expand perfectly at mild 6.5x55 speeds and stay together at close rage max power 270 WSM speeds even striking bone!! Every single time they have turned lungs into bloody soup and passed through leaving a free bleeding golfball-softball sized exit wound. I don't think you could ever ask a bullet to perform better then that. You can bet the first batch of 25-06 I load will be 100 and 115gr BTs :)
    I am not 100% sure yet but I think I am going to go with the X-Bolt Hunter, 24" barrel, solid reputation for accuracy, and wounderful egronomics for a small person like me.
  10. Striker Fired

    Striker Fired Well-Known Member

    I had a Sendero and it shot great.I had several mule deer kills at 400yrds+ in Wyoming using 85gr Barnes. Switched to 270WSM for elk also,I can't go back to that looooong action anymore though. Ever look into the .25WSSM ?
  11. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    My gunsmith swears by his 25 WSSM but heck they are hard as heck to find anything chamberd in it anymore. My little 6.5x55 has every possable advantage over the WSSM except for the mauser length action of course.
    My only concern with the 25-06 is that if it does not like 100gr pills it would have only a VERY slight edge over the 6.5x55, I can load 115gr BT 25-06 to about 3170fps and the 120gr BT 6.5x55 to only about a hundred fps below that, and they have nearly the same BC (slight edge to the 6.5) Now with hot 100s (and 85s) the smaller bore walks all over the 6.5 and pretty much everything else shy of the belted magnums.
  12. Nullcone

    Nullcone Well-Known Member

    Kachok said:

    If you're a reloader, this is meaningless... get one if you like the caliber.

    Says who? With what powder loaded to what pressure in what barrel with what kind of maintenance/cleaning? Control the variables and you will find no statistical difference among similar cartridges.

    Umm... what about the two flavors of 6.5x284? The many variations of 6.5-06?

    I don't know how much variation from 270 WSM you are allowing for (or which bullet/load in particular), but if you're being reasonable add:

    260 Rem
    6.5 Creedmoor

    And many others I'm sure exist.

    It's just not "that" hard.
  13. dsm

    dsm Well-Known Member

    Case design on 25-06 is old and dated. Go with a short and fat case design for long range accuracy. The WSM's are the ticket or the 6.5x47, 6/6.5x284 etc.
  14. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    I would not have a problem reloading 6.5 Rem mag, but finding one other then the darn flame thrower (600 Carbine) is a pain in the butt, and finding one in good condition is a tall order. I have thought about building one on a savage short action and just swapping out the bolt face with one from a 7mm/300mag, but to be honest I have never built a rifle before and custom rifles cost big money.
    6.5-06/6.5-284 are fantastic, but they are also custom setups except for the very long and heavy 6.5-284 111 Long Range Hunter. The 6.5-06 actualy has better ballistics then either the 25-06, 6.5-284, or 270win, shame nobody chambers it. This might suprise you but the 120 year old 6.5x55 can match everything the 260rem/6.5x47/6.5 Creedmoore can do, so they would be highly redundent. A few people have built 6.5 WSMs, but much like the .264 Win mag it would be highly overbore, and I am afraid it would also be a bad barrel burner, and yes the 264 is a scorcher, if I remember correctly the Nosler lab had to change barrels 4 times on their 264 devloping loads for their manual...YIKES They did not mention if they were chrome lined barrels or not but still yikes. The 6.5 Rem mag can match the performance of the 264 in shorter barrels burning less powder making for less throat errosion.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  15. Striker Fired

    Striker Fired Well-Known Member

    the only other solution would be to get a gun that you like with a 26"barrel that comes chambered in a caliber that would allow you to rechamber it in say 25WSSM,or one of the others.Even if you have to cut an inch or two(preferably not if it is 24") you could then have the calib er of your choice but not be into a "custom" gun territory,though I don't know exactly how much it costs to rechaber such a gun.
    Or find a good used gun and buy a replacement barrel made by Shilen or any of the other barrel makers.They would be more able to chamber it in whatever caliber desired plus length.
  16. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    It is easy enough to change out calibers on a savage because of the way they do their headspaceing (barrel nut) remove old barrel, insert new barrel, tighten barrel nut to 50lbs, but good replacement barrels cost around $300, more then what entry level savages cost LOL Now if I wanted to build a 6.5-284 or 6.5 Rem mag I would have to change the bolt face too. That is why I am looking at a 25-06 getting exactly what you want is never easy or cheap :( The 6.5s do make sence though, they have the best ballistics in the small caliber world by a good margin.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  17. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    Here is the basics of what I am saying. max loads of each from Noslers manual #6, all using Ballistic Tips of similar SD. All with 200yd zero. All messured with a 24" barrel
    25-06 115gr@3170fps 500yd impact -35" 500yd energy 1202 ft/lbs
    6.5-06 120gr@3294fps 500yd impact -32" 500yd energy 1382 ft/lbs
    270win 130gr@3158fps 500yd impact -36" 500yd energy 1297 ft/lbs
    Careful review of the science has shown that the 6.5mm bore is "ideal" for the 06 case volume, funny how marketing makes for gun sales not actual ballistics. Now to be fair that is with moden powders, I am sure in the 1920s when the 25-06 was invented that was very different with the old IMR powders.
  18. joed

    joed Well-Known Member

    I've owned a .25-06 for 34 years, great caliber in my opinion. Mine has the 24" barrel which I feel is more practical for hunting. I use mine for varmint hunting shooting 85 gr bullets but have also used it for deer and even bear in Canada. If you like the lack of recoil in the .6.5 you'll love the .257 bore.

    Some will say the .25 is to small for Elk. I never tried mine on anything that large. But if Bob Milek were still around I'm sure he'd disagree, he was a very big fan of the .25-06 for Elk.

    The .25-06 is a dual purpose cartridge which can be used for varmints and medium sized game. Once you get one you start to see how versatile it really is.

    Doesn't bother me that it's a long action. I own several rifles in short and long action, and I prefer the long action over short. Seems like any short action cartridges I own there is always a problem with length when using long bullets. I'll also disagree that the .25-06 case is old and dated, it's been around long enough that you have to say it has proven itself. If the WSM cartridges are still around in 90 years then I'll say they've proven themselves too. The WSM cartridges came out in 2001 I believe, a mere 11 years ago.

    Using a chronograph I can tell you what I get for velocity from my 24" barrel. I've never pushed the 100 gr or 120 gr bullets to see how high a velocity I can get but do on the 85 gr.

    85 gr 3600 fps
    100 gr 3350 fps
    120 gr 3100 fps

    I looked at the 6.5mm years ago and am glad I went with the .257 bore instead. In fact 5 years ago I had the rifle rebarreled with a Krieger. When I was told I could get the new barrel in any chambering I wanted I thought about it for 2 seconds. Yep, the new barrel is .25-06.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  19. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    Yeah I don't have any plans on trying a 25cal of any variety on elk, some people swear by 120gr partitions for them, but I would load up some 140gr Partition or 160gr Weldcore in my 6.5x55 for them minimum, or mabey just get a bigger gun for that. The appeal to me of the 25-06 is it's super flat trajectory with 85-100gr bullets, which is ideal for varmint/yotes and our southern whitetails. As I said with 115-120gr it has only a slight ballistic advantage over a 6.5x55 in the same weight class because that is where the .25 cals limit out their 1:10 twist and where the 6.5s start to really shine with their 1:8 twist
  20. Striker Fired

    Striker Fired Well-Known Member

    Isn't there an Ackley Improved for the 25-06? they usually up the potential from the parent case.

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