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25.06 vs. .257 Roberts

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by biblefreak, Jul 29, 2009.

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  1. biblefreak

    biblefreak Member

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    Ok, from my previous thread I have narrowed down my search to these two calibers. I have read alot of the Bob threads and the merits of the 25.06 and its advantages over the .257 Roberts. I have never really gotten into rifles, before and have a couple of questions to help me decide.

    The Bob is often referenced as very mild recoil and not as noisy as the 25.06, is that simply because of the lower velocity of a given .257 round vs the generally hotter 25.06 round? Or is there something in the make up of the cartridge/chamber that would cause this? If it is simply a difference in velocities and if one were to slightly download the 25.06 would it not effectively mimic all the nice things that are attributed to the Bob?

    Is there any real perceptible difference amongst the mid-range rifles? For instance two rifles I have looked at in my search that look pretty nice are the Ruger Hawkeye in .257 Roberts and the Weatherby Vanguard in 25.06. The Weatherby has a claim of 1.5 MOA where the Ruger makes no claim. Is it safe to assume they would be comparable with one another as well as others in their class, and also that the MOA could be improved by handloading?

    Sorry if the questions seem silly or basic, just trying to gather all the info I can!
     
  2. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    The Ruger should shoot fine. I have a buddy with a .22-250 that shoots 1/2 MOA with factory ammo.

    The Roberts is a handloader's dream. Not too much factory ammo available for it, but you can really improve it with the reloading press. The factory ammo is light recoil and low noise because it's loaded to PATHETIC pressures. It always has been loaded low, not sure why, but the fact that it uses less powder than the .25-06 means that in a gun of equal weight, it is going to have less recoil. Mine was my grandpa's old Remington 722, a compact short action gun, but sports a 24" barrel. I still use it, it still shoots 3/4 moa.

    My favorite handload uses a compressed load of H4831 and pushes a 100 grain Sierra game king to 3150 fps. A handloaded .25-06 can push a 100 grain bullet to around 3300 fps, but the factory stuff is pretty comparable to my .257 handload. I can also push a Hornady 117 interlock to 3050 fps with H4831. The hornady is a deep penetrator, the game king is a little more appropriate for whitetail in my experience. The Sierra bullet is the 3/4 MOA bullet. The Hornady shoots about 1 moa.

    If I didn't handload, I wouldn't love the Roberts such as I do, but handloading makes all the difference in this little quarter bore. Even the "+P" Winchester loads only push a 100 grain silvertip to a winchester claimed 2900 fps. Now, that load kills whitetail as dead as my handloads, but my handloads are capable of more range as they also have a GREAT BC compared to the Winchester silvertip which is almost a round nose.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with the .25-06 and the factory loads are hotter and better performers and there's a bit more variety to chose from. If you don't handload, you'll probably be better served with the 06 quarter bore. But, the little short action is a sweet handling rifle and I love the little cartridge. I've got history with it, shot my first buck at age 11 with that gun and have killed in the dozens with it. I kinda set it aside about a dozen years ago when I acquired a little M7 in .308. I was .308 infatuated for a while and last year I took the ol' Roberts out. I hadn't fired it in 10 years, but bought 50 rounds of brass to load and took it out to the range. It put 3 into 3/4" dead bull just the way I'd put it up. So, if I use a rifle this year (I'm a handgun hunter), I'm probably going to break out paw paw's old iron. :D

    Oh, you can almost ALWAYS improve accuracy by judicious handloading.
     
  3. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    If you reload, the 25-06 has about 100fps over the 257 Roberts with 120gr bullets.
    Both are accurate and flat shooting and deer cannot tell the difference between the two.


    Ncsmitty
     
  4. bpl

    bpl Member

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    MCgunner,

    I would surmise that the reason the .257 Roberts is loaded light by the factory is the existence of rifles rebarreled from old 7x57 Mauser actions and their fear of a lawsuit after a kaboom! Anyway, I'm excited about the .257 Roberts as well, as I bought a Kimber 84M in .257R last year, just got it scoped and boresighted and plan to hunt with it this season. I would like to load for it eventually. I notice your loads are over max in the manuals I have available to me. Do you use the +P brass when you load them? My barrel is 22", so I can't expect to achieve the velocities you do with your 24" R722.

    For the OP, the .256Bob is a more efficient cartridge, so it uses less powder to drive the same weight bullet at the same velocity as the 25-06. This also means the 25-06 will have slightly more recoil in the same weight rifle when shooting the same weight bullet at the same velocity. The larger 25-06 case allows for more powder, so it is capable of driving the same weight bullet 100-200fps faster (roughly). So, if you hunt in an area where long distance shots (say 300 yards or more) are very common, the 25-06 may offer you a slight advantage due to slightly flatter trajectory. I know the 25-06 is very popular in TX, as I used to live there. However, here in PA, I don't think its very popular and in fact, don't know anyone who hunts with a 25-06. 270, 30-06, 308 and 30-30 are much more popular here. On the other hand, 257Bob, 6.5x55, 260Rem are all available at Walmart, at least during hunting season.

    The .257 Roberts is a classic and that interests me. When I look at the 25-06, I think that for that niche (fast, flat, low-moderate recoil) I might as well use a .270! Just my opinion, of course!
     
  5. jmabbott888@aol.com

    jmabbott888@aol.com Member

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    If you want accuracy & efficency in a 25 try the 250 Sav, great little cartridge. If recoil is an issue, out of the 2 you are looking at go with the roberts, if a little more recoil is ok & you want the farther shots go with the 06.
     
  6. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    I don't know why recoil is a big deal with either one. The 25-06 is not exactly a shoulder bruiser. I use a .25-06 because it offers a TON of handload options. It has kept me busier than any other bullet I handload for. The case capacity of the roberts limits your options.
     
  7. biblefreak

    biblefreak Member

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    I do handload, so that should be taken into consideration. The reason I am concerned with recoil is I have a couple of female shooters in the house that will want to shoot it. If it is a shoulder bruiser they are likely to not want to play anymore. If it is tame and "fun" and they enjoy it then hey, we have more women shooters in the rifle scene! My oldest daughter and wife are proficient and enjoy centerfire handguns, and everybody likes the rimfires. If I can download the 25.06 to .257 Roberts recoil levels and maintain accuracy then that simply opens my options as I am rifle shopping. I don't know how much .257 Roberts rifle shopping anybody has done, but the choices are quite limited! However, I am not against buying used, so now I guess we just wait and see what turns up!
     
  8. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Member

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    I can't seem to tell much difference in recoil between the 2. I wouldn't call either one shoulder bruisers.

    I have noticed that the +P brass fits tighter in the chambers of the 257's I have.

    Since you reload, there are good loads for both, I think the 25-06 compliments and overlaps the 257, and puts a bit further range in the equasion.

    257's aren't as limited as you would think. Old and new Remington's, old and new Rugers, old Winchesters, new Kimbers, new Coopers, old Mausers. I seem to think I've seen another 1 or 2 I can't recall.
     
  9. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    Biblefreak
    If you get a 25/06 try IMR 7828 with a Nosler 115 BT. My Browning ABolt in 25/06 with 22" barrel will get right at 3100 FPS Chronoed. Because it has a light weight barrel it will shoot a 3 shot cloverleaf of 1/2", but then opens up as the barrel get warmer. So far I've only had to shoot once before, most deer will be DRT or run < 50 yards. Loaded with 100 BT it makes a heck of a good varmit gun. It also like the Hornady 120gr HP. The 87 gr BT shoots good too running around 3500 FPS, but I like the 100gr better.
    I don't own a 257 Roberts but I like you studied it well before I got the 25/06. From what I understood the 257 Rob needs a long action to be loaded like it should, with a short action you are limited by having to seat the longer bullets deeper in the case to fit the magazine. If you have to have a long action you would be better served with the 25/06 which you could down load for the kids and ladies IF they can take it away from you.

    Jimmy K
     
  10. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    Here is some action at just over 200 yards with my .25-06 model 70. Loaded with 87 grain soft points it is much nicer on the shoulder than any long action I have shot.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSwMQltnoZI
     
  11. dodge

    dodge Member

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    You can think of the recoil from a 257 Rob. as being on par with a 243 Win. I have both and I can't tell the difference between the two.
     
  12. biblefreak

    biblefreak Member

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    Thanks for all the answers. I think I am going to keep my eyes open for either caliber and whichever one I cross paths with that has that "right feel" is the one I will go with. Just out of curiosity, since so much of this discussion has revolved around recoil, how much more recoil is the Roberts or the .06 going to have over say a .223?
     
  13. jimbob86

    jimbob86 Member

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    Recoil is mostly subjective...... It mostly depends on the person experiencing it. The biggest part of that is expectation: If you think its going to kick hard, it will. As far as the objective part, TANSTAAFL, at least in physics. Newton's laws of motion are not guidelines.

    Generally, you have 4 variables: weight of gun, weight of projectile, force imparted on projectile and action/stock design.

    Will a 120 grain bullet pushed out of a 7 lb bolt action rifle at 3100 f/sec recoil more than a 55 grain bullet pushed out of a 7 lb semi-auto at 3100 f/sec? Certainly, and probably more than twice as much. The real question is, do you FEAR it? Or can you manage it? Hold onto the rifle, concentrate on what it is you are supposed to be doing (sight picture, breath control, triggersqueeze, reaquiring sight picture while working he bolt) and you will be too busy manipulating the rifle to notice recoil.
     
  14. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Though I'm a fan of the Roberts (it'll do about what a 25-06 will do but with less noise, recoil and wear and tear on the barrel), what you propose makes a lot of sense. You can always load a 25-06 down to anywhere the Roberts can go but the Roberts can never go as high as the 25-06 can be loaded to.
     
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    This is the conventional wisdom but I doubt it. Winchester sure didn't worry about somebody putting a .270 barrel on a weak action and the .270 was the hottest factory load until the Weatherby magnums got standardized.
    The .257 Remington Roberts is distinctly different from the wildcat .25 Roberts or the .25 G&H Roberts, and would not chamber in some old rifle barreled for one of them.

    I think the reason the .257 was loaded lightly is that the powders and bullets in those days were widely thought (and often rightly so) to give best accuracy at well below maximum pressure and velocity. And they were selling the Roberts as a combination deer and varmint round as they later did with .243 and .244, so accurate factory loads were a must. I have read that .257 Roberts was the first use of IMR 3031 powder, which most sources now would consider too fast for best results.
     
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    bpl, the load I'm shooting came from an article by John Barsness, "Defending the .257 Roberts" in the Feb, 1987 issue of "American Hunter". His load was 51.0 grains H4831 behind the 100 grain Game King in +P brass. The powder nearly fills the case and you have to tap it down. it's a compressed load, of course. I could not manage the velocities I'm getting with H4831 using IMR 4350 which is a recommended powder in most manuals. I got no signs of pressure working up from 10% below recommended maximum.

    You might lose close to 100 fps in the 22" barrel, but your're still over 3000 fps if so. .
     
  17. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I've read that, but I have not found it true of my Remington 722. Like I say above, I'm loading a compressed load that totally fills the case almost to the top and it feeds just fine in the short action. I've been told such is the case with the Browning BLR, though, but I've never worked with the Browning.
     
  18. kludge

    kludge Member

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    Just curious as to why what was .25-06 vs. .243 turned into .25-06 vs. .257 Roberts?

    I would just take the .243 and never look back... based on you usage posted in the previous thread... not that there's anything wrong with the .257 Roberts.
     
  19. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Member

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    "I don't own a 257 Roberts but I like you studied it well before I got the 25/06. From what I understood the 257 Rob needs a long action to be loaded like it should, with a short action you are limited by having to seat the longer bullets deeper in the case to fit the magazine."

    I just calipered a 120gr +P .257 at 2.75 COL and in comparison, an LR118 7.62 (.308) at 2.807 COL. I don't why it wouldn't work in a short action, as it is shorter than a .308. The max cartridge length is spec'd at 2.780. :rolleyes:
     
  20. ColeK

    ColeK Member

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    Biblefreak, I don't own a Hawkeye or a Vanguard. But in the last 5 years I have bought 2 #1's and M77. All 3 rifles shot 1.25” with factory ammo, one of the #1's was a .257 Roberts NIB and the M77 was a .25-06 NIB. I can only think a Hawkeye would do well or better.

    In this day and age, IMO 1.5 MOA is nothing to brag about.
     
  21. _N4Z_

    _N4Z_ Member

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    It is if you pass on the glass and use stock irons only. :neener:
     
  22. ColeK

    ColeK Member

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    Quote:
    In this day and age, IMO 1.5 MOA is nothing to brag about.

    It is if you pass on the glass and use stock irons only.


    With irons I'm happy with 2".
     
  23. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    Dryhumor
    Maybe I should have said "to use the most of the case volume". The length of the 257 Roberts case is 2.2330 v 2.0150 for the 308 Win. No one said it would not work, only that it would be closer to the 25/06 in a long action. Which defeats the purpose of the short action. In the early 70's Ruger made a run of 257s in long action, maybe they had the same idea.
    Jimmy K
     
  24. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Member

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    JimKirk, Yes, that would have been a better way to have stated it.

    As to the rifles built around the caliber with long actions. I have a M70 257 with a long action. It has a block in the rear of the magazine to allow for the catridge size. As to loading using more of the case, I may see some degree of benefit, but the chamber size/length limits what I could see.

    And for a 22" barrel, non bedded, free floated hunting rifle, 1" groups are fine.

    My M700 257 on the other hand is a tackdriver with factory ammo. As long as I do my part.
     
  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    If you're going to go long action and you really want a zippy quarter bore, get the .257 Weatherby. Of course, recoil goes up. My .257 is in a short action and it pushes that 117 grain pill to 3050 fps. That's so close to the .25-06 that I doubt the shooter or the game is going to know the difference. That and the fact that the gun is an heirloom is why when I won a .25-06 BDL at a gun show door prize, I traded it for the gun I'd really been wanting, a M7 stainless in .308. Now, I might have sold the 722 to buy the M7, but for the fact that the 722 isn't worth enough to defray much cost on that M7 and, well, like I said, the gun is an heirloom and ain't goin' nowhere. :D But, I was really wanting that .308 and don't regret that trade at all, thought the BDL is a pretty gun.
     
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