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Old August 27, 2014, 08:05 PM   #1
Lennyjoe
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Thoughts of another rifle for hunting

So I have my beloved 30-06 (Savage 110) and use it for both deer and Elk, but with 2 different loads. I'm using 165gr Gameking for deer and 180gr Nosler Partitions for elk and really want to use the -06 for elk only.

So, I am thinking of another rifle in a different, flatter shooting caliber for Coues Whitetails here in Arizona where shots out to 500 yards are not uncommon. Should I even think about another rifle or stick with my -06?

I'm pretty confident in the 165gr Gameking load and IMR 4350 out to 300 yards but beyond that, I dunno. As much as I'd like to stick to 1 load for that rifle, the 180s are too much for the Coues in my mind so should I get a 25-06 or something flat shooting?

Convince me that I'm fine with my current beloved -06 and stop worrying please......
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Old August 27, 2014, 08:46 PM   #2
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JMHO.

For the little Coues I would find another Savage in a 25-06 or a Weatherby Vanguard in 257 mag. The Weatherby's pretty heavy though and the Savage in 25-06 is almost up to the Mags level of performance.
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Old August 27, 2014, 08:48 PM   #3
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Please explain why "180s are too much for the Coues."

What you ought to do, is compare the ballistics of your 30/06 with your allegedly flat shooting 25/06. I think you'll find that with practice, either will do to 500 yards. The thing that will matter most is accuracy at your intended range. If from a decent rest, you can keep on a deer sized target with the 30/06 at 500 yards, then you don't need anything else.
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Old August 27, 2014, 08:58 PM   #4
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I shot a 25/06 for over 30 years, rebarreled it to .257 WM and picked up 300 fps. Same bullet, 115 Nosler Partition. That makes a difference at longer yardage, trust me.
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Old August 27, 2014, 09:20 PM   #5
elkhunterCO
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I give a vote for the 25-06. If you handload, you could look into a 264 win mag. 140 grain bullet at about 3400 if I remember correctly. Factory loads for the 264 are right at about 3,000, so the 25-06 would make more sense if you don't reload in my mind.

A 25-06, 264, 7 mag, etc, also make a decent buddy elk gun if the need ever arises.
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Old August 27, 2014, 09:47 PM   #6
Art Eatman
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If you're just bound and determined to get another rifle, a .25-'06 will do as well as most anything.

Odds are that at 400 or 500 yards, a laser range finder helps avoid crippling. If you know the distance and know the trajectory of the cartridge, the .30-'06 works just as well as a .25-'06.
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Old August 27, 2014, 10:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumulkin View Post
Please explain why "180s are too much for the Coues."

What you ought to do, is compare the ballistics of your 30/06 with your allegedly flat shooting 25/06. I think you'll find that with practice, either will do to 500 yards. The thing that will matter most is accuracy at your intended range. If from a decent rest, you can keep on a deer sized target with the 30/06 at 500 yards, then you don't need anything else.

Correct

The differences in trajectory for the flattest shooting loads suitable for the intended game between 30-06 or any of the cartridges based off it are UTTERLY insignificant compared to the factors that must be mastered to effectively hunt game at those ranges.
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Old August 27, 2014, 10:36 PM   #8
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I have a 30-06 savage bolt action and a 25-06 H&R Handi with a heavy barrel. I haven't hunted with the 30 for quite some time. I get all the accuracy and elk-stopping power out of the .25 with Barnes bullets. So a second from here on that caliber.
Maybe try to get a little closer for a more ethical shot. JMHO.
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Old August 28, 2014, 08:40 AM   #9
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Most calibers shoot very similar with identical sight-ins. Take a 30-06 with 165 gr, 270 with 130gr, 260 with 120gr and sight them in 3" high at 100 yes. You should be 4" high at 200 yds, on at 275, and at 400yards about 12-14" low. With the Weatherby and a 100 gr you are looking a 7". Pretty impressive.
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Old August 28, 2014, 09:51 AM   #10
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500 yards for a .30-06 is not that calibers limit by a long shot. See what I did there.

I shoot a .25-06, but would take a .30-06 just the same. Either 180 grain or 150 grain. Both would drop a deer at 500 yards before you heard the crack of the bullet.
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Old August 28, 2014, 11:42 AM   #11
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I shoot both the 30-06 and the 25-06 all year long. I especially like a 25-06 during the summer months when I am shooting in short sleeve shirts. I have found that in most rifles a 25-06 is inherently more accurate at long range than a 30-06. If you haven't owned a 25-06 you won't believe how fast it can be. I have one 25-06 that will shoot 4 inch groups at 500 yards with a Leupold M3 scope. Don't buy a 25-06 unless it has at least a 24 inch barrel. When you shoot a deer with a 25-06 it will usually run a few yards before it falls, while a 30-06 will drop them in their tracks. If I had just one rifle it would be a 30-06 but a 25-06 is a great 2nd rifle. Two of my biggest whitetails were taken with a 25-06.
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Old August 28, 2014, 01:09 PM   #12
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With comparable loads the difference in bullet drop at 500 yards between 30-06, 270, 25-06, and 280 can often be covered by the cross hairs at that range.

If I wanted to shoot at 500 yards I'd stick with the 30-06 and load up some 150 gr bullets with a better BC. Nosler Accubonds, Berger Hunting bullets etc. With the best loads you are only talking about 3-4"more bullet drop at 500 yards. If you can figure out how to make hits with 38" of drop with a 25-06, then 42" with the 30-06 just isn't that much harder. Like I said earlier. Your cross hairs on the scope will just about cover that much at 500 yards.

The heavier 30-06 bullets will also be less effected by wind too.
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Old August 28, 2014, 01:51 PM   #13
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my 22" barrel .25-06 has never had a deer take a step after being shot with it.
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Old August 28, 2014, 03:14 PM   #14
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Eb1, the reason I suggested a 25-06 with a 24 inch barrel is that the go to powder for a 25-06 is IMR 4831. It is slow burning and the 24 inch barrel gets the muzzle blast further from your face. Not only that, the 25-06 is considered a long range rifle and the longer 24 inch barrel may be easier to hold still for a long range shot. I have never owned a 25-06 with a 22 inch barrel so I can't comment on their performance. I do have some 30-06 rifles with 22 inch barrels and they are a lot louder than my 25-06.
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Old August 28, 2014, 06:15 PM   #15
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I understand that you get 140 fps average more velocity. Trust me, I have had the thoughts of replacing my barrel from 22" to 24", but in the end I didn't find it made much difference at distances up to the largest pasture I'd hunt. Which is 350 yards.

I shoot the Combined Tech 115 grain silver tip coated bullet, and at 200 yards can nearly put a mag full in the same hole. I get around 2980 from that load with IMR 4350. I have some 100 grain ballistic tips with RL19 that might get me more velocity, but I doubt that it will have anymore killing power.

But, I do understand what you are saying, but in my experience I don't know if that 2" is really needed anymore. I have been talked out of a barrel swap, and thinking back on the results I've had on fairly large whitetails. Which looked like a bolt of lightning just struck the life out of the animal. I don't see a need in a 24" barrel.
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Old August 28, 2014, 06:25 PM   #16
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257 wby

I would not worry about the 30-06 its been shooting deer from 500 for years. If you are worried about hold over guess work get a scope with target turrets and practice at 4-500 yards.

IMO the 257 wby is an awesome cartridge its like the vulcan death ray to a 100 pound whitetail.

Good luck and shoot straight

Bob
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Old August 28, 2014, 06:36 PM   #17
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I won a Remington BDL in .25-06 once in a door prize raffle at a little gun show in Victoria, Texas. I traded it for a .308 stainless M7. Reason I traded is I wanted that rifle and the difference in ballistics from my old .257 Roberts handloaded and the factory .25/05 was negligible. The .25-06 offers a bit more range/velocity handloaded, but not that much over my Roberts loads and I SURE ain't sellin' grandpa's old gun. Besides, it's a 1/2 MOA shooter. I don't sell accurate rifles.

The .25-06 is a flat shooting round that is a long range deer collector, but the ballistic coefficients aren't that impressive vs 7mm or .264"/6.5mm bullets. The .260 Remington is a short action. Best long range ballistics would probably go to the old .264 Win Mag that's about dead, now. Of COURSE there are the Weatherby rounds, but the old 7mm Rem Mag still holds its own. The 7mm STW never really made a hit, though it has a bit more pop than the 7 mag. With the right bullet, the old 7 mag, still popular after all these years, can deliver the goods WAY out there. I hardly ever use mine anymore. I don't hunt open country and the thing is kind of a cannon on woods deer. I really like that little .308, enough range in most terrain for ME, light and compact gun, and a 3/4 MOA shooter. It's a lot easier on my shoulder than that big, heavy 7 and it'll kill anything I need killin'. It's very similar in ballistics to your .30-06, actually. But, if I still stumbled around out in the open desert or the mountains of the Guadelupes, well, I can see why you want a flat shooting rifle. I agree with Art, though, a range finder is valuable out there, especially across an open canyon where range estimation is REALLY tough. My personal limit with any rifle is 400 yards and I took a coyote once at 370 with my .308. I don't really see it as all that limited.

IOW, your .30-06 is plenty capable. Get a range finder and study your drop tables. Set the thing for max point blank range zero and LEARN that one gun, probably better than trying to fix your 500 yard range shots with another gun. But, if you have to get another gun, between the 25s and the 7 mag, only the 7 mag is going to be able to deliver more energy significantly farther with a flatter trajectory, IMHO.
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Last edited by MCgunner; August 28, 2014 at 06:44 PM.
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Old August 29, 2014, 12:07 AM   #18
Lennyjoe
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I'm a pretty darn good shot with my -06 and I'm sure I can load 1 bullet for both deer and elk and just be happy. Then again, maybe I'm trying to talk myself into another rifle just because....
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Old August 29, 2014, 04:58 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Lennyjoe View Post
Then again, maybe I'm trying to talk myself into another rifle just because....
That's what I thought you were trying to do all along.

It's not a bad thing. I have a 30/06. And a 25/06. And a 257 Weatherby. And a...

I've been trying to think which of my holdings I'm going to eliminate and it's hard!
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Old August 29, 2014, 05:47 AM   #20
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i like the 7mm-mag rem., plenty of power out to 500yds for deer and elk with the 139gr hornady and the 162gr hornady and flat shooting too. eastbank. i just received the tds turret from leupold for my 4.5x14 scope that is for the 139gr bullet. 200yd-0,300yd-6,400yd-17,500yd-35. with the 162gr bullet at 3000fps i can use the same turret as that bullet is within 1-1/2 inches of the 139gr at thoese ranges. eastbank.
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Old August 29, 2014, 07:42 AM   #21
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Have you considered 7mm-08 for your deer rifle?
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Old August 29, 2014, 01:23 PM   #22
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Have you considered 7mm-08 for your deer rifle?
I like the way you think, but I was going to recommend a .260 Rem. 7mm-08 ammo might be easier to come by, though.
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Old August 29, 2014, 02:03 PM   #23
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If it were Whitetails I would suggest the 7MM Rem mag. It will deliver deer killing energy to 1000 yards. But Coues are so small that the 25-06 would be great or even 22-250 if legal. I also agree that a rangefinder is key to long range accuracy. As other said the 30-06 has a history of success at long range.
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Old August 29, 2014, 03:33 PM   #24
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Since you reload, another option to think about is loading a Barnes 130 grain Tipped TSX. You can load that up to 3200 FPS in your 30/06 for a flat shooting bullet. That bullet would be fine for the Coues Deer. As long as you can get minute of angle accuracy out of that bullet, it might be worth trying.
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Old August 29, 2014, 10:06 PM   #25
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Then again, maybe I'm trying to talk myself into another rifle just because....
Well, yeah, but there's nothing wrong with that and I think we've all done this, or most of us. Truth be told, for what I've hunted in my life and what I'm likely to hunt in the future, I never needed more'n my grandpa's .257 Roberts. But, how dull is THAT, anyway.
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