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Thread: 25-06 or .243?

  1. #1
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default 25-06 or .243?

    Im thinking of getting a new medium caliber bolt rifle and I am contemplating a .243 or a 25-06. Im thinking about shooting Cape buffalo, Rino and Kodiak browns..... Ok just kidding... clean the coffee off you screen.

    This will be a fun shooter for stuff in the range of blacktail, predators, and possibly sheep. Maybe on occasion a caribou. And some lower 48 deer. Im looking at something with good balistics, lower recoil so my girlfriend can shoot it without that evil look in her eye after that first shot. I am also planning on reloading to optimize accuracy and familiarity with the cartridge. Anyone have any opinions on the two? Or an alternative?

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Years ago I had two 25-06s, one that I made up for my girlfriend. I got rid of all three soon after. While the 25-06 is OK, I found that it needed a longer barrel to really make the most out of all the powder the case could hold.
    I also found out that it is REALLY loud. I always wondered why.
    It was capable of good accuracy but was pretty picky on how it went about doing it.


    The 243 was lighter in recoil, less blast and factory ammo was easier to find. Plus it took less powder to load. All the 243s I have fired seem to be prettty accurate.

    The 6.5 Swede is another low-recoil cartridge that is super accurate with pretty of punch.
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  3. #3

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    I'd choose the 06 over the 243 but both are great calibers. another option is the 270. Lets you shoot a little heavier bullet and a flat shooter. Mild recoil and could also take moose.

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    Just to keep it interesting, how about the 7-08?
    Vance in AK.

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    Talking Another option...

    I realize that it’s pretty light, but you might consider a .22-250. I have a #1 and its one of my favorite shooters. If you load, you can get a wide variety of bullets, but the real beauty of this caliber is the amazing speed you can get them pumped up to. 4000fps is not uncommon. I don’t care what anyone says – that kind of speed will knock the crap out of varmints and small animals. It works like a champ on coyotes…
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  6. #6

    Default 243

    With all the capability of the 30-06, if you have one, the 25-06 is just too close. When you consider that you can shoot a 235 grain all the way down to the 22 caliber accelerators, 25-06 just doesn't make alot of sense to me. Of course I also own a 30 06.

    I say all that to say, that I bought a 243.

    Jdub

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TMA View Post
    I realize that it’s pretty light, but you might consider a .22-250. I have a #1 and its one of my favorite shooters. If you load, you can get a wide variety of bullets, but the real beauty of this caliber is the amazing speed you can get them pumped up to. 4000fps is not uncommon. I don’t care what anyone says – that kind of speed will knock the crap out of varmints and small animals. It works like a champ on coyotes…
    While the 22-250 is a great varmit round it is lacking for medium game. I owned several but they are usually 1500 round guns then the barrel is shot out. I switched to the 204 for varmits and speed is over 4200 but I would never hunt deer size game with it. Not knocking 22-250 but more of a strickly varmit caliber. I think he was looking for medium calliber.

  8. #8
    Member bgreen's Avatar
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    243 for a shorter action
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  9. #9

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    I just bought a .243 this year to use for the same purpose you are considering. With an 80grn round it has been extremely effective on black tail, wolf and fox. I own a 25-06 and bought the Remington 700 sps .243 to get a short light handy rifle which my 25-06 is not.
    I have been pleased with the .243.

  10. #10

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    I say go 25-06, the 243 is just not all that flat for the longer shots. The 25 is suitable to kill just about anything we have here in the interior with the exception of crawling in the alders for a wounded griz with it. I whacked a Caribou on the Steese hunt last week at 415 yards wth my 257 Roy. Them fast flying 25's kill quite well, when you use good bullets. My father in law hunts elk and mule deer religously with a 25-06, and for years he has succesfully killed truck loads of them.

  11. #11
    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    Of the two, I'd probably go with the .25-06. For your purposes, though, I'd probably also consider .257 Roberts, .260 Rem, 6.5 Swede, .250 Savage (if you can find one); or my # 1 and 2 recommendations for this purpose would be 7 x57 and 7mm-08 (whichever you find in a rifle you like, they're dang near identical ballistically).

  12. #12
    Member Eastwoods's Avatar
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    Default 25-06

    When you add Caribou, I would stick with the 25-06 with 120 grainers.

    However, once upon a time my rifleless brother came to me to borrow a rifle for his first Caribou hunt. He was eyeing my brand new 300 WM when I quickly told him to go pound salt and buy his own. He said he could barrow a friends 30-06, I said good idea. He went to the range with his buddys beat up rifle and made 9" groups at one hundred yards and then came back to me whining what to do. I told him to start scrubbing with copper solvent. He returned again whining with 4" groups. By this time I was feeling a little sorry for him, but, I was not willing to give in with my new 300 WM, or my favorite at the time, a Brown Precision stocked Ruger 77 MK I 30-06.

    My brother is 5 time NY state archery champ, he likes accuracy. So I told him my most accurate rifle was a Rem 788 .243. I instructed him to shoot as if he were bowhunting with this rifle. Only broadside shots, and they better be spot on. He took it to the range and had no problem making 3" groups at 300 yards. When one of the other guys found out that he had a "pea shooter" he ribbed him to no end, telling him he would wound a Caribou at best. Of course this guy had a 300 WM.(which I do think is more appropriate)

    As it went, my brother got his two bou, one at 300 yards and the other at 180 yards. The guy with the 300 wounded one, unable to recover it.

    So, if you decide on the .243 the above advice works. Although, my brother did'nt pay mind to the 200 yard max I suggested.

  13. #13
    New member Jerry Lancaster's Avatar
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    Have you thought about the 243 winchester super short magnum?,I think?

    I've heard very good things about that caliber.

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    Default Another option

    I thought I might offer another option. This past summer I picked up a Ruger compact in 260 Remington.

    After reading up on the caliber, and making ballistic comparisons, I frankly could not find another rifle that can do what this one does, and only weighs about 6 pounds. Living in the lower 48, it is really a great all around rifle. Short 18" barrel is very handy in some of the jungle brush we hunt in. Great ladies or young hunters rifle in blue or stainless.

    Long range? Read what they are writing about in the long range rifle matches. Less powder, less recoil, a bullet (6.5=.284) that is more ballistically coefficient than a 30 cal bullet. Comparible ballistics to 300WM. Don't take my word for it, do an internet search and check out Hornady and/or Remington ballistics charts.

    No blood yet, but it is a fun one to shoot!

  15. #15
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    Default

    Caught my first moose with a 243. One shot.
    It is a dandy caribou,deer and antelope calibur.
    The ammo is everywhere for it.
    Handy in all the different rifles.
    Would like to get one in stainless.

  16. #16
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    As floatpilot noted 25-06's can be loud. I'd stick with a short/medium action like 257 Roberts if you handload or 260 rem if you dont. Recoil is nill in both and can be had in compact packages that dont need a 24" barrel for optimum performance.

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    Default 25-06 Gets my nod

    If that really matters to anyone but me.
    Anyy way where I grew up down south the whitetails are thick and we have a pretty liberal season.I saw alot of guys around town that would by a 243 for a combo deer/coyote gun, which according to the folks at Winchester when they brought it out is what its for.But the big problem I saw was the limited selection of well constucted factory bullets for the 243,now I know that bullet placement is everything,and that a 22short will take deer cleanly if the circumstances are ideal, but Ive also saw 120lb whitetails take a 90 or so gr. Core-lokt in the shoulder and have complete bullet disentigration and need to be shot again to end their suffering.I know that you are going to handload and that helps alot but if your going to hunt game thats over 100lbs what is it going to hurt to be shooting 120gr bullets instead of 90s.Also for the 25-06 you can get bullets in the 75 gr range for varmints. Ive shot alot of deer both muleys and whitetails with calibers ranging from 22-250 all the way to 457wwmag and in my opinion the 25 is minimal cal for deer,just in case something goes wrong you have a little extra wiggle room. the 260 rem is also a great cal by the way those 140s penetrate like crazy. and sorry for ranting just my humble opinion.

  18. #18
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default options

    Ive thought about the .270, but its a little on larger side than Id like to be. More on a light heavy weight in my opinion and I have .300 WM for that range. My girlfriend shot the .300 once and then I got the look. Ive thought about the 6.8, 257 roberts. etc and they are all fine rounds. Im still stuck on the .243 and .25-06. It interesting that some have stated the the .25-06 is loud. This doesn't bother me, but my gf is sensitive to loud. Does a longer barrel help or do you think its all .25-06? Ive looked at the ballistics of the .243 wssm and that may be an idea but at least on my quick intenet search the increased powder and cost doesn't equal all that much more performance. Right now Im leaning towards a .25-06.

  19. #19

    Default useful

    For a medium to light rifle with an availability of quality bullets at low recoil the 6.5 Swede is a hard round to beat. With bullets available from 85 grains to 160 it covers a lot of animals. If you wish to load it to modern pressures in a quality firearm, it's capable of nearly 6.5-284 performance. It's available in short light rifles, which would make it desireable for a lady to shoot. The accuracy of the Swede is beyond reproach.
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  20. #20

    Default No question

    Having seen a substantial number of animails shot with both, the 25-06 is by far a better cartidge. You will need a 26" barrel to acheive it's maximum effeciency, but it seems to "kill" with more authority. I have 3-25-06's and 1-243. The 243 is only used varmints, whereas the 25-06 is used for big game. I know a number of animals have been harvested with the 243, but the the 25-06 does it with less tracking situations on wounded animals. This is only an observation after 100+ animal seen harvested with both calibers, deer, hogs and antelope.

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