Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: 25-06... how useful as a winter rifle?

  1. #1
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction AK
    Posts
    4,055

    Default 25-06... how useful as a winter rifle?

    I've been thinking about burning up some OT money on my annual rifle buy and I'm thinking about the 25-06.

    I've got a .308 and a .300 WSM so the .30s are well covered despite not having an '06 at the moment.

    The .375 Ruger is everything I need in a bigger than .30 cal.

    I've got a nice rimfire so I'm covered there as well as shotguns and such.

    Don't really have a good winter predator gun right now for coyotes and wolves and I've been looking at the .223, .243 and I ran across a pretty nice 25-06 I'm considering.

    What do folks think about it for winter use (no bear concerns) for wolves and such up to carribou. I gonna assume it's too much for a fox unless I loaded solids and even then it might be too much. Looking for some input from folks who've used one...

  2. #2

    Default

    I think the 25-06 is a great cartridge and sweet to shoot and potentially very accurate. I love mine.

    Another great cartridge you might think about is the 6.5x284. It's gained a lot of popularity in recent years and is a very accurate cartridge in the 25-06, class and offer a lot of high BC 140 g bullets to choose from.


    I dont think you can go wrong with a 25-06. What make and model are you looking at?

    Mark

  3. #3
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dillingham, AK
    Posts
    2,482

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I've been thinking about burning up some OT money on my annual rifle buy and I'm thinking about the 25-06.

    What do folks think about it for winter use (no bear concerns) for wolves and such up to carribou. I gonna assume it's too much for a fox unless I loaded solids and even then it might be too much. Looking for some input from folks who've used one...
    I love the 25/06. Been using the big 25 for years on critters like you are describing and it's about perfect. There are a couple of caveats I would add.

    First--being a handloader is necessary to really make the 25/06 shine. You will find significantly more velocity in handloads and component bullets exist for everything that the 25/06 is suitable to hunt; IMO factory ammo is not up to snuff in the 25/06.

    Second--choose your bullets carefully; on small animals it can be devastating and on larger animals disappointing. I once shot a fox with a 75 Hornady HP that literally vaporized. I caught it in the last rib and everything behind that rib just kind of disappeared into a red mist. I've seen smaller animals do this, but never a 12-15 pound fox. Larger animals can test bullet integrity as well. IME if you choose wisely you'll have wonderful results, choose poorly and you will blame the 25/06 for something that was your fault (poor bullet performance).

    Third--IMO a 25/06 should have at least a 24 inch barrel and a 26 will frequently show 75-100 fps advantage. You don't have to have the speed, but it's a bit like a 'Vette. They are beautiful and fun to drive, even with a governor, but who in their right mind would slow a 'Vette down? I feel the same way with a 25/06. If highest practical velocity is not your goal, then the Roberts works as well with less noise, recoil and fuss. JMHO

  4. #4
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction AK
    Posts
    4,055

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    I dont think you can go wrong with a 25-06. What make and model are you looking at?
    Mark
    I found one of the new Hawkeyes up here and it seems OK. Decent trigger and the price is right- the gun buying piggybank will even have a little left rattling around for a scope if I don't go crazy. My last Hawkeye shoots pretty darn good. Not a real fan of the new Ruger matte stainless as I don't think the gun looks quite finished- probaby have Hunt-Ak put one of his winter camo duracoat jobs on it and at any rate it will likely see lots of snowmachine time so the finish is pretty well gonna end badly anyway.

    What is a good bullet for coyote and wolves? 87gr BTs or a good heavy big game bullet and just use it for everything?

    Kinda making assumptions the Partition or some other heavier 115/117gr controlled expansion bullet is the best for carribou.

  5. #5
    Member Toklat3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mat-Su
    Posts
    67

    Default

    I have a Ruger No. 1 in 25-06 and love it!! Loading options are vast. Ruger No. 1's are not known for accuracy but this rifle is a tack driver with handloads. A bolt gun in this caliber can be loaded for all game in Alaska except the big Bears. Awesom cartridge, flat shooting and powerful with 120 gr. nosler's.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I found one of the new Hawkeyes up here and it seems OK. Decent trigger and the price is right- the gun buying piggybank will even have a little left rattling around for a scope if I don't go crazy. My last Hawkeye shoots pretty darn good. Not a real fan of the new Ruger matte stainless as I don't think the gun looks quite finished- probaby have Hunt-Ak put one of his winter camo duracoat jobs on it and at any rate it will likely see lots of snowmachine time so the finish is pretty well gonna end badly anyway.

    What is a good bullet for coyote and wolves? 87gr BTs or a good heavy big game bullet and just use it for everything?

    Kinda making assumptions the Partition or some other heavier 115/117gr controlled expansion bullet is the best for carribou.
    1Cor made a lot of good points. handloads will get you a lot more out of it than factory... i.e 3500 fps vs 3000 fps. I like heavier high BC bullets to buck wind and for LR. The two I tried this year were the 110 AB and 115 Ballisitic Silvertip (same as a BT with a lubalox coating) I used RL17 and got 200 fps more than Retumbo and H1000 which gave me good velocities as well. 3500 for the 110 AB's and 3400 for the 115 BST's. I went with the BST's because they seemed to shoot a little better. When the bore isn't fouled up in my Sendero I can get half inch groups at 200 yds. I shot an antelpoe buck (about 110 lbs) with the BST at 280 yds with rifle zeroed @ 300 yds. Dead on hold. The bullet struck just behind the shoulder, in the seam, hit a rib and put about a 1 1/2" exit hole on the otherside after hitting another rib. It did a lot of damage but the buck took off running and then made a death circle and piled up about the spot where I shot it. The AB's are a bonded bullet with a little thicker jacket, but at those velocities I would expect them to hold up much better than the BST. In fact, I was surpised the BST held up as well as it did. Very happy with it. At 3400 fps and a BC of over .44, it has expanding velocity past 700 yds, past 800 yds at my hunting elevations.

    The 120 Partiton would hold up well, but the BC isn't great and wont be as flat shooting. The 100 TTSX would be a zipper, but the BC is in the toilet but should be fairly flat to 500 yds.

    Get soem RL17 and make it work.

  7. #7
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dillingham, AK
    Posts
    2,482

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    What is a good bullet for coyote and wolves? 87gr BTs or a good heavy big game bullet and just use it for everything?

    Kinda making assumptions the Partition or some other heavier 115/117gr controlled expansion bullet is the best for carribou.
    I've played with a bunch of 25/06 rifles. I've never shot one that did not like IMR 4350. I've never gotten high velocity with it but you can expect 2950 or so with 120 grain bullets and maybe 3200 with 100 grain bullets (24 inch barrel) with good accuracy. What seems like eons ago I would load different bullets for different animals and different terrain; seemed I was always trying to find or learn about the next great bullet for the 25/06. I killed my first deer at maybe 25 paces with a 120 Partition and found that load was deadly on whitetails. I've never had a deer go anywhere but down with that combo. I killed my first pronghorn with a 100 grain Ballistic Tip, it ran maybe 40-50 yards and collapsed dead. I used 75, 87 & 100 grain bullets for groundhogs, coyotes & foxes, but I was never hide hunting (good thing too). They all work for their intended purpose, but about 10 years ago I tried the 115 grain Ballistic Tips and Reloader 25. I do not get 3400 fps, but I get great groups for a sporter and a tad over 3200 fps. If I zero at 300 that gives me about 360 yards of point blank shooting allowing an 8 inch target. I've used this bullet at ranges inside 25 yards and over 350 and it has performed admirably. I've no reservations about using it on anything I might choose the 25/06 to hunt. They are cheap enough to shoot a lot without breaking the bank and I recommend them as an all around load for the 25/06. There are no doubt other bullets that work; however after years of training myself with the 25/06 the 115 BTs and RL 25 is all I need to know now.

  8. #8

    Default

    Edit:

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    I would NOT expect them to hold up much better than the BST.
    BTW, my velocoties are out of a 26 barrel and my 300 RUM Sendero shoots about as well as my 25-06 Sendero. They aren't real fussy about what you shoot through them or seating depth. They seen to shoot everything well and some combos really well.

    But I have heard a lot of good reports on accuracy with the 25-06 in general. And it is fairly cheap to load for, brass is cheap, not much powder and bullets are a little cheaper than the 308's etc.

    I highly, highly recommend RL17, the 25-06 case seems to love it. I'm using 55 g for both the 110's and 115's. would recommend starting at 50.

    Mark

  9. #9

    Default

    Looking at the spread of calibers you already own, a 25-06 is a fine addition. It's a little hotter than I would prefer for a hide gun, but that can be adjusted by choosing the right bullet and velocity.

    It's really a versatile round. I've owned half a dozen or so over the years, mostly because I have been repeatedly foolish and let one go, then replaced it. Never popped anything bigger than deer with them myself, but saw it done. With the right bullet it certainly does the job on larger game. As others report here, the 115 Nosler is my pick for deer and was the fine performer I watched on elk.

    I will toss up one thing though---

    The most accurate I've ever seen was my old Ruger #1. I did an accuracy job on it, and it would consistently break an inch at 200 YARDS!!!! My prairie dog shooting pardner talked me out of it, and it's simply unbelievable on small targets way out there, and is always top gun in our group on windy days. Right out of the box #1's may not be the best performers, but they respond really well to a little TLC in the stock bedding.

  10. #10
    Member Toklat3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mat-Su
    Posts
    67

    Default

    BrownBear, could you expand a little on the work you did to your Ruger # 1. I have one in 25-06 and have read some articals about accurizing these but haven't as yet done anything except load development.

  11. #11
    Member Matt M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    189

    Wink 25-06 in Ruger No 1

    BrownBear,

    I was interested in what you did for accurizing the Ruger no 1 as well. I have read it all from full bedding on the forestock, accurizers, rubber washers and free floating. What is the most direct way to wring out some accuracy in your opinion?

    Cheers,

    Matt M

  12. #12
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    4,837

    Default #1

    I have a stainless No. 1 in 25.06 with a syn stock and a leupold vx3 4.5x10 on it. It is a pretty rifle. I bought it for my son when he was 12. Too heavy for him to carry really. When he got big enough to carry it on his own - he preferred my Abolt in .300 winnie.....So I am trading him this year the .300 for his 25.

    The little no. 1 is a great shooter - I never really tried to paper train it - but on lope, dogs, p-dogs, and jackrabbits it is deadly out past 500 yards with the ballistic tips in 120 and some 4350. The boy shot one elk with it and they don't seem to know the difference between the .25 and my .300...in/out and dead shortly thereafter.

    The rifle is one of my nicest to shoot because it has almost no kick to it - and is a pleasure to shoot.

    Once you get the hang of it - the single shot loads pretty quick also.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt M View Post
    BrownBear,

    I was interested in what you did for accurizing the Ruger no 1 as well. I have read it all from full bedding on the forestock, accurizers, rubber washers and free floating. What is the most direct way to wring out some accuracy in your opinion?

    Cheers,

    Matt M
    There are basically 4 points to consider Matt, all on the forend.

    1. You don't want the back of the forend touching the front edge of the action. A paper thin gap is enough, but you need it.

    2. Now the bedding (all three points rolled into one). You need to bed the end of the forend hanger out by the retaining screw, then the flats on either side of the ejection spring housing at the back of the forend.

    3. Once the bedding is set, recheck that the back of the forend is not touching the front of the action.

    4. Now free-float the barrel. Shouldn't take much because that forend isn't going to move at all due to the bedding.

    Once that is done you can forget about rubber washers and all the other falderol. Just crank the screw down tight and forget about it. The forend isn't going to shift around due to the bedding, and because it's not touching the action or the barrel, there's no changing pressure or anything else forevermore.

    The gunsmith I used to work for showed me this, and one of his clients used to win a whole lot of 200 yard benchrest matches with a factory heavy barrel #1 in 308. Can't remember his group sizes, but they were small enough they looked like a single shot from a larger caliber gun. Every one I've bedded this way becomes a really stable, reliable hole puncher.

  14. #14
    Member Toklat3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mat-Su
    Posts
    67

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    There are basically 4 points to consider Matt, all on the forend.

    1. You don't want the back of the forend touching the front edge of the action. A paper thin gap is enough, but you need it.

    2. Now the bedding (all three points rolled into one). You need to bed the end of the forend hanger out by the retaining screw, then the flats on either side of the ejection spring housing at the back of the forend.

    3. Once the bedding is set, recheck that the back of the forend is not touching the front of the action.

    4. Now free-float the barrel. Shouldn't take much because that forend isn't going to move at all due to the bedding.

    Once that is done you can forget about rubber washers and all the other falderol. Just crank the screw down tight and forget about it. The forend isn't going to shift around due to the bedding, and because it's not touching the action or the barrel, there's no changing pressure or anything else forevermore.

    The gunsmith I used to work for showed me this, and one of his clients used to win a whole lot of 200 yard benchrest matches with a factory heavy barrel #1 in 308. Can't remember his group sizes, but they were small enough they looked like a single shot from a larger caliber gun. Every one I've bedded this way becomes a really stable, reliable hole puncher.
    BrownBear, Thanks for the info! I've read all the same stuff but I'm going try some of your suggestions. I really like this gun. I do have one question about it , how strong is this action? as falling blocks go??

  15. #15

    Default

    Strong as any bolt, according to the pundits. I've never pushed beyond normal "max" pressures to test it though. I care too much for my brass, as well as my eyes and fingers.

  16. #16
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    Posts
    4,218

    Default

    25-06...

    Good for winter caribou, wolf, coyotes.....
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  17. #17
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    If you don't have a .223, you really, really need to get one.

    I played the big and bigger bore game for a long time, but none of that really improved my shooting to the next level. A good .223 did that, and I'm on the path to buying/building several more.

    After you get a good 223 and put several thousand rounds through it, then consider the 25-06.

  18. #18

    Default

    Here is a good article that covers the 25-06. http://www.chuckhawks.com/why_25-06.htm
    I bought my first 25-06 in 1972 while stationed in Montana, can't tell you how many rounds have gone down the tube but it has accounted for one ellva lot of deer and yotes.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •