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Starting .25-06 reloading. Have questions.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Eb1, Aug 8, 2011.

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  1. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    Instead of spending the money on a new press right now. I figure I will give reloading for my XL7 in .25-06 a go.
    I have collected 140 nickle Winchester cases. I have Winchester LR primers, WMLR primers, CCI LR and Mag Primers.
    The powders I have on hand are H4895, IMR4895, Win760, H335, and BLC-2. I only see loading data from Hodgdon for the H4895. On Nosler's site they list the Partition and Ballistic Tip in the same category so I figure that since H4895 is listed for the Partition it should be good for the BT as well.

    I specifically really like the Winchester Supreme Silver BT in 115 grain with the Lubalox coating. Shoots very well in my rifle, but I think I am going to give the non-coated 100 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips a chance. It is possible that since the XL7 has a 22" barrel. I could possibly benefit with a little extra speed from the 100 grain bullet.
    I know that H4895 probably isn't the best powder for the .25-06, but I think I am going to load up a ladder run to see what the gun is capable of.

    What die set do you suggest. I have about $70 to spend on dies. I have always used RCBS dies, and really like them, but I only want to neck size for the most part, but will also need a full size die later.


    TIA.


    P.S. Also if anyone has had luck with H4895 and .25-06. I would like to hear your stories.
     
  2. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I like the Lee dies myself but most peoples options are based on more then just its capability.
     
  3. Huckelberry75

    Huckelberry75 Member

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    My rifle likes 51gn of IMR 4350 and a 100gn NOs BT.
     
  4. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    I load with lee dies as well. They are not off the list.
     
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I'm another Lee die fan. They are nothing fancy but they do load accurate ammo, for me at least. (and the price is right)

    As for powders, I'm guessing 4895 will work but like you already said, probably isn't the best powder for the .25-06. Most who reload for the 25-06 use a slower powder than 4895. For the most part 4831 is a good choice and even slower. A friend is loading for the 25-06 and has been using Hybrid 100V. He gets stellar accuracy and high velocities with a 100gr bullet. (I think a Nosler)
     
  6. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    Hey Eb,

    First off don't underestimate that H4895, it can deliver some stellar accuracy, even though you might not be breaking any speed records. For the jest of my loads in the 25-06 I have used IMR-4831 for the bullets up to 100grs, and RL-22 for anything 110grs and heavier.

    As for the bullets, if you want to get the velocity up, I would suggest a compromise of weight, and go the 110gr Accubond. Personally I wished this was in a bit heavier weight as I believe it would be an awesome medium to big game bullet for this caliber, in the 115 or 120gr weights. The other bullet I have used most often is the 115gr Partition. I like it over most of the others simply due to the fact it does the same thing at 20yds as it does at 300yds, hits hard, penetrates, and don't leave a bloodshot mess to clean up. I have shot deer with every brand and every weight through my older 25-06 in the 100 - 120gr range, and even a few with some custom 130gr bullets. All in all I still stuck with the 115gr PT.

    As for dies, I don't put much in thought in colored boxes, I use them in all brands. If I were shooting BR or LR Comp, I might look elsewhere, but I have loaded 1/2 MOA ammo from them all, in standard factory rifles. This said, the majority of my sets are Hornady New Dimension, simply due to the fact I purchased several sets years ago for a darn good price. I like the seater which has the floating collar, but other than that, like mentioned, I also use Lee quite often as well as RCBS, Herters, Pacific, and a couple of others.

    With the shorter barrel your not likely to hit the upper end of the velocity spectrum as you might could with the slower powders, but I would wring out what I could starting with the H-4895 you already have, and go from there looking for accuracy first. IT won't matter one ioda, if your bullet is going 3200fps or 2650fps when it hits just where you want it to, it is going to do the job its supposed to. One thing you will have going for you is less trimming with the lighter bullets.
     
  7. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    Don't overlook the Reloder powders ... RL 17, RL 19, RL 22 and even RL 25.

    I also use IMR 7828, 4831 and 4350 in my 25/06...

    My A-Bolt 25/06 is a 22" barrel that gives more (safe)velocity than did my older Model 70 in a 24" barrel .... so it really depends on the gun. I've been reloading for the 25/06 since 1969.

    Jimmy K
     
  8. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    I think that if I go with a 100 grain bullet in the XL7 it will be a Nosler Partition instead of a Nosler Ballistic tip. I think the 115 grain in a BT is a wonderful bullet, and the extra 15 grains would make a difference after much thought and research.
    Being that I only have H4895 the load density is going to be in the 60% range. Something like RL22 or 4831 would fill the case better, and probably give better accuracy and consistency.

    I am actually astounded by the accuracy of the Win. Supreme ammo in 115 grain out of my rifle, but cannot afford to shoot the rifle accept during hunts, and I would like to shoot the rifle more, but @ $40+/20 including tax and gas it just doesn't compute. LOL

    I am hoping to keep the penetration and knock down power, and by going with a Partition instead of BT in 100 grain I might be able to do just that.
    I don't think H4895 with a 115 grain bullet out of my 22" barrel will give me what I am looking for. I might be wrong though.

    Do you all think I should invest in some Nosler 100 grain Partitions factory ammo before I venture off into reloading for this rifle? When I say that my rifle shoot the 115 grain Winny Supreme good..Well I have a target with 10 shots into a .75" @ 200 yards, and can put 3 rounds @ 100 yards into a .308 size hole pretty much at will. That is the reserve I have in starting to reload for this rifle. If I was getting 1" @ 100 yards with the Factory Winchester ammo it would not be an issue, but to have a factory rifle that shoots that good with factory ammo is great. The only problem is the cost.

    So do I drop $40 for some Nosler factory ammo in 100 grain loaded with the Partition before buying dies, or do I just dive in head first, and try to improve/match the ammo the gun likes?
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  9. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    The 25-06 thrives on slow burning powders, and I can appreciate your choice of the Partition bullets as they have been old reliable for many years.
    I know that I'm beginning to sound like a commercial, but Hornady and Nosler both have great bonded bullets now and would be my choice for hunting large game. A few years ago, bonded bullets were $3-$5 each and up, and were a custom deal. The Nosler Accubond and Hornady Interbond run about .50-.60 cents each, and are cheaper than Partitions and have a better BC.
    IMO, you are wise not to consider standard ballistic tips because the 25-06 is a sassy round and the velocity can sometimes fragment the BT at closer ranges on game.

    You can decide on the powder choice, as others have given you good information on that.

    Buy the Lee dies and a box of 110gr Nosler Accubonds (50) that are on sale at MidwayUSA right now, and give them a try .

    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=514895


    NCsmitty
     
  10. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    Thanks, NCsmitty.

    I will probably take that advice. Gonna be hard to let those 115 grain BT go. LOL. I swear it is like someone is holding a laser on the target for me. I can't miss, but I can't afford the $40/20 anymore.

    So 110 grain Accubond and some Lee dies. Then go with the H4895 and see if I can get a decent load out of the rifle.
     
  11. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    I don't think you will be to awfully disappointed in your choices at all.

    Be sure to give us an update on how it's working. I just love playing with a 25, something about them just jives with me.
     
  12. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    I got an email back from a Winchester Tech. He mentioned the reason they load the Combined Technologies bullet in the Supreme ammo is because of all the 22" .25-06 guns being sold. They said that the friction reduced by the lubalox coating allows the full 3060 fps from the bullet out of 22" barrel .25-06 rifles.
    I am super impressed with the performance of the 115 grain Combined Technologies bullet which is in fact a 115 grain Nosler BT bullet coated in lubalox.

    I am going to Chronograph this bullet from my XL7 in the coming week to verify if the tech gave me the truth, or if it is marketing ploy. I do know that it very accurate, and I have not shot any other bullet from the rifle because of its accuracy. Seriously. I will post up a target from 200 yards I shot about a year ago. It is 10 rounds after sight in that can be covered with a quarter. The wind was blowing left to right about about 15 mph.
    Once the Chronograph data is in, and if it comes back correct that I am getting over 3000 fps from a 115 grain bullet with a 22" barrel. I will probably stick with that bullet when the reloading starts. On longer shots you get rapid expansion, and the base will continue to penetrate deep. I know this for a fact as I have a recovered bullet I posted on another thread that proves this.

    Let me see what the Chrony says on a factory 115 grain CT Silver Tip, and I will post back the results, and we can go from there.

    Thank you for the reply everyone.
     
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Why not buy the same Combined Technologies bullet your rifle likes and try to duplicate the factory ammo? From what I'm told Winchester actually used to use the same powders in their ammo they were marketing to reloaders. I don't know if that's still true since they are no longer connected. (the ammo and powders companies that is)

    You might want to try using that Winchester brass with a WLR primer and either Winchester 760 to try and duplicate the factory load. (although you might have to use Winchester Supreme 780 instead)

    You could also try using the load data provided on the Nosler Site. They list that 115gr bullet with 4 different powders.
     
  14. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    I hadn't thought of WW780. I have some WW760 on hand actually.
    I will go today after work, and buy some WW780 along with the 115 CT Bullets. I will pull the bullet of a factory load, and compare visually the powder with 760 and 780. I don't know if I will be able to tell, but it is worth a look.
    I will weigh the powder from the pulled bullet, and reference load manuals for both 760 and 780 just as a reference.

    Good thoughts, AACD. Don't know why it slipped my mind. I guess cause I was thinking of using the powder on hand. Thanks.
     
  15. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    Update:

    I went today after work to the locals, and could not find Winchester 780 anywhere. I use to see it all the time. Either it is the greatest thing since smokeless powder, or it is a niche powder that might be fading out. It seems that Winchester does this sometimes.

    So I got the Nosler manual out again, and looked at the 115 grain Nosler section for .25-06. It listed their most accurate loading with the 115 grain series (BT, CT, and Partition) to be IMR 4350 @ 49.0 grains with 87% load density. Now I don't have the Rem brass or Primer, but I have Win brass and primer so I will work up to 49.0 grains.

    None of the store has the CT in 115 grain, but had the 115 BT. I decided that I am going to place an order online for the bullets, and I might have found a person that is selling some dies with a Sinclair neck sizer die that are used.

    It looks like my first go round with .25-06 is going to be with IMR 4350, Winchester Nickel brass shot from my rifle and neck sized, Winchester primers, and the Combined Technologies 115 grain BT.

    Does anyone have comments on the IMR 4350 with .25-06? I am still looking for the Winchester 780, but if it going to be this hard to find then I sure hope the IMR 4350 will gimme what good results.

    Hoping for the best.
     
  16. BoxC

    BoxC Member

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    I shoot the 115 Ballistic Silvertips in my 25-06 and get very good accuracy. With 49 gr of IMR 4350 and with 53 gr of IMR 4831 I get groups of 3/4 MOA or better. I currently use the 4831 load as it gives slightly better accuracy.

    Caution-the 53gr of IMR 4831 is above the max load as stated in the Nosler manual. This load should be started at the recommended Nosler loads and worked up to gradually; stopping at the first sign of excessive pressure. My rifle is a Remington 700 Classic with a 24" barrel and your rifle may react differently.
     
  17. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    It was a toss up between IMR 4831 and IMR 4350. The locals have both regularly, and tons of it.
    I went with IMR 4350 because it showed *best accuracy load tested. I can only hope. 1/2 or better out of my pencil barrel hunting rifle, and I'll be pretty satisfied. I'd like to match the factory of 1/2" to 1" @ 200 yards.

    If all else fails with the 115 CT then I'll give the 110 Accubond a good try. ;)
     
  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    That's a much better choice than 4895 and a powder usually associated with the 25-06.

    Did you pull a bullet form the factory load and compare the powder to W760? (or are you going to wait until you find some W780?)
     
  19. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    @AACD, I didn't. I didn't find any 760 at the lgs either. Which made me rethink going with the Winchester Powders at this time. I didn't want to get into having to search for powder locally.
    I have some good impressions of IMR 4350 from what I have read. Seems to be the original powder for .25-06 from back in the 40s, and if it has worked for that long then why change it. JK I know that there might be better, but I have to start somewhere. Why not at the beginning.

    I have my bullets on order, and I am deciding which die set to purchase.
     
  20. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    Hey Eb1, I have been shooting a 25-06 for over 46 years and It's a great rifle. I've made mistakes along the way and learned a lot. My favorite hunting load is 49 grains of IMR 4831 with a Speer 120 grain flat base hot core bullet. A 120 grain bullet at 2900 fps is a great hunting load and with that load I have shot 25 consecutive shots in a 1 inch group at 100 yards. I also like RCBS reloading dies but you also need an RCBS precision case length micrometer. They sell on eBay for $58. I prefer to set you sizing die so the case chamber length is sized to the zero line on the SAAMI guage. If you don't want to set the case shoulder back you can check a fired case and it will show the distance over the SAAMI length which is usually from .002 to .004 and you can set your sizing die accordingly. The guage also measures overall cartridge length and I like a set-up where the bullet is .020 from the lands on the SAAMI guage. BW
     
  21. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    Update:

    I haven't gotten a chance to reload for the .25-06 yet, but I did buy some Remington Core-Lokt 100 grain factory rounds to give the lighter bullets a chance.
    Went to the range today.
    I shot a box of my beloved Win Silver Tips today, and they were scattered everywhere. I think that since I haven't been shooting regularly that my technique is off. I caught myself pushing down left in my practice firing.

    When I came home I looked over the gun really well, and found that the stock was touching the barrel at the very end of the forearm. I did not do that before. I never noticed it anyway. I did take the stock off due to an issue with the magazine spring catching. I resolved that issue, but I might have altered the stock somehow as well. Nevertheless I took a file and some fine sand paper, and made the barrel float now. At least to the point where it goes into the slot on the stock. It seemed to help with the groups.

    I went back to the range, and I would say that the Core-Lokt gave decent hunting accuracy. @ 100 yards I was averaging 1" to 1.25" with 5 shot groups. That is good enough for a 200 yard kill in a bean field, or an accurate kill in the woods.

    I am thinking of trying the 110 grain Accu-bond as well. If I don't get a chance to try any .25-06 loading of mine until deer season. I think I will just use the 100 grain Core-Lokt for this years hunt.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  22. Sidewinder72

    Sidewinder72 Member

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    Give H 4831sc a try. Its my go to powder for 25-06. Very accurate and much faster than your 4895.
     
  23. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    @ Sidewinder72, I have IMR4350 to try. I can't afford to jump into H4831SC until I give IMR 4350 a good try with a few different bullets and primers, but we see.. I heard it was a good one for sure.

    What grain and model bullet are you shooting in you hand loads, SW72?
     
  24. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    Update:

    Finally I had a chance to load up some test rounds.

    Components:
    Winchester Nickle Cases
    115 gr. CT Ballistic Tip
    49.0 gr. IMR 4350

    I have loaded 2x 5 shots each totaling 30 rounds.

    10 with Federal Match LR Primers
    10 with CCI 200 Primers
    10 with Winchester LR Primers

    I will shoot 2x 5 shot groups of each loading @ 100 yards.

    OAL for all 30 rounds are 3.260. I neck sized the brass only. Each round loads fine in my rifle.

    I have to wait for a chance to get to the range to complete the report.
     
  25. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    Eb1, that sounds like a hot load to me but maybe the bullet coating will knock the pressure down. I know when I tried the uncoated version of the bullet it was easy to flirt with high pressure. If you shoot a round and it flattens your primer you may want to back off a couple of grains of powder when you reload again. BW
     
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