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Handloading for the 25-06

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by tgene, Oct 5, 2009.

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  1. tgene

    tgene Member

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    I'm finding it too costly to continue purchasing Federal factory ammo. I have all the necessary equipment for handloading. I'm looking for powder and bullet recomdation/selection for handloading for my Sako 25-06 for primarily deer and antelope. What are you using with good accuracy seccess?
     
  2. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    I loaded this round back in the stone age.

    For 100 gr bullets, IMR 4350 works well. For the 115 gr bullet, IMR 4831 does wonders.

    Which bullet will work best for you depends on the size and range of your game.

    For the trophy shot at 300+ yards, I prefer the 115 gr Nosler Hunting Ballistic Tip Boat Tail with three tablespoons of IMR 4831. It will do about all a 25/06 can do.
     
  3. tom-n8ies

    tom-n8ies Member

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    Two good powders for the 25-06 are H 4831 and H 4350. You need to stay on the slow end of the powder chart.

    Best place to start is powder manufactures web sites. Or:

    Do a google search for "25-06 reloading data" you will find more info than you can read.

    Handloads.com is good place to get favorite loads that worked best for people.

    Always verify data with powder manufactures web sites.


    tom
     
  4. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Naturally, a thread on my favorite caliber caught my attention! I have owned numerous .25-06s over the years and my main rifle currently is a stainless Remington Model 700BDL in a Bell & Carlson Medalist stock with a Leupold VX-3 4.5-14x 40mm A.O. scope, Timney trigger and Callahan lightweight firing pin. It's hard to find a better cartridge for anything from woodchucks to deer that also is pleasant and economical to shoot.

    My varmint load for this rifle is a 75-grain Hornady V-Max over 55.0 grains of H414 sparked by a CCI BR-2 primer in neck-sized Remington brass. Five-shot 100-yard groups average 0.813" at 3,605fps.

    The deer load that works best is a 100-grain Sierra BTSP over 52.0 grains of IMR4350 with a BR-2 in Remington brass. It shoots into 0.635" at 3,284fps. However, some time I have nothing better to do, I'm going to try some Berger VLD bullets in this rifle. Every rifle in which I've tried them has shot tighter groups with them and their performance on game is lengendary. I've read on a rifle site that the Sierra 100-grain bullet tends to expand too violently on deer-size game, but I don't know how fast those hunters were driving it. I'd think it might be too fragile for a .257 Weatherby, for instance - I use 115-grain Bergers in my .257WM.

    I could not get a 115 or 117-grain bullet to shoot accurately in this .25-06 and a Remington management employee with whom I communicate a lot who also is a .25-06 fan tells me that their .25-06 barrels usually do not stabalize the heavier bullets well. I had a tough time finding acceptable accuracy with this rifle until I discovered that it is a rare Remington that prefers its barrel be bedded for its full length and I didn't try any 115s or 117s after doing that. It shot no better than 1.5" groups with any bullet or powder full-floated and 1.25" in the factory stock with its two pressure points near the forend tip. But with the entire barrel bedded, it shoots pretty well.

    Both loads shoot to within 1/2" of each other, so sighting in each season is not necessary. I have a 75-grain load that prints better groups but its POI is almost two inches away from the deer load, so I use the slightly less accurate load for the few times I hunt groundhogs when the hay or alphafa is high enough that a heavier rifle cannot be shot off a rest. The better accuracy of the other load would be lost when shooting offhand, anyway.

    Good luck with yours!

    Ed
     
  5. PerazziBigBore

    PerazziBigBore TS Member

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    Ed.. The twist of a barrel will go a long way in telling you what weight bullets will shoot best out of your barrel. In the days of McGowen Rifle barrels.. I built two.. One set up for under 90 grain bullets.. and one set up for over 100 grain bullets.. up to custom Barnes 150 grain.. Both easily shot MOA.. but ammo was NOT interchangable..as it quickly went to 2" groups or more..
     
  6. Andy44

    Andy44 Active Member

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    Most any bullet with a boattail over 100 grains will probably shoot much better if your barrel twist is faster than 1 in 10. A relative of mine has a custom 25/06 Ackley with a 1 in 8 twist barrel that shoots 115 Noslers into 1/2" all day long. Great cartridge for all but the "dangerous" game!

    AndyH ;-)
     
  7. short shucker

    short shucker TS Member

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    Ahhhh, the great 25/06. I killed my first pronghorn with a Ruger #1 chambered in that round. I always kept one or two in the safe because of their vesatility. Then a new mistress crept into my life about 10 years ago, the 260 Remington.

    I still have a 25/06, but it hasn't left the safe, except for an occasional wipe down, for quite some time.

    I've never handloaded for any of my rifles(I've never shot enough to warrent it), but may get all set up for it when the current demand gets back to normal.

    ss
     
  8. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I understand the relationship of rifling twist to bullet weight but what was puzzling to me with this .25-06 was the fact that my other two Model 700s in this cartridge (one BDL sporter, one Varmint Special) shoot 115s and 117s as accurately as 75s and 100s. But this two year-old stainless rifle just doesn't like the heavier bullets and my guy at Remington tells me that's pretty much normal. It also doesn't like to be floated and he was shocked to hear that.

    My other two .25-06s are 12 and 30 years old but I don't see that mattering - the twist rate is 1-10" on all three. Just shows to go ya that every rifle is a law unto itself.

    Shucker, I'm a new .260 devotee. I recently bought an oddball near-new stainless Model 700 in .260 Rem with the "enhanced" (engraved) receiver, a factory detachable box magazine and a factory 24" barrel from a collector in Florida. I put it in a Hogue Overmolded stock and mounted a Leupold VX-3 in 3.5-10x on it. I've been waiting for Berger to make some 130-grain VLDs (been on back-order since July) and hope to take this mild-shooting little jewel for a walk in the woods this November.

    Ed
     
  9. Old Cowboy

    Old Cowboy Active Member

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    My Remington 700 25-06 easily shoots sub-moa with 100 gr Hornadys and H4831. It don't shoot 120 gr bullets very accuratly tho'.

    John C. Saubak
     
  10. Pocatello

    Pocatello Active Member

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    I bought a Ruger 77 from a friend, but have not shot it much and have not hunted with it at all. From the bench it looks as if it should do all right. For deer and antelope on up I use Nosler Partitions exclusively. They have never let me down. I'd suggest getting their latest loading manual and starting with 4831, 4350, or RL 19.
     
  11. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    great round-

    lots of great suggestions above

    regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  12. Paladin

    Paladin Well-Known Member

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    If good accuracy is important, use one of the Hodgdon Extreme powders. They perform just as they advertise; "developed to give shooters consistent performance, load after load, in even the most extreme heat and cold".


    If you want that accurate load that you worked up at 75 degrees to perform the same at 30 degrees, try the Extreme line.


    Rifle accuracy is mostly about the bullets time in the barrel, and harmonics (among 100 or so other variables). A reasonably temperature stable powder will make it much easier to maintain accuracy over a wider range of temperatures.


    Ball powders, on the other hand, are the worst temperature sensitive propellants I've ever worked with.
     
  13. Old Cowboy

    Old Cowboy Active Member

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    Can a bullet be spun too fast? Let's say we have a barrel with a fast enuf' twist to stabilize the heaviest for caliber bullets, then will accuracy with the light for caliber bullets suffer?

    Examples;

    My Remington .25-06 shoots 100 gr bullets to MOA, 120 gr pills shoot more like 2 to 3 inches.

    My Ruger .35 Whelen shoots 200 gr bullets to about MOA, 250 gr bullets are shall we say "minute of Moose"?

    OTOH my new .375 Ruger shoots 300 gr RN to nice little groups, developing an accurate load with 270 gr SP was a challenge & with 225 gr bullets it's hopeless.

    John C. Saubak
     
  14. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    I have seen only a couple of cases of overstabilization of light bullets. In each case a change of powder made the problem go away.

    That said, there are optimum spin rates for all bullets. Data on the subject is hard to find. I have to give credit to Bart Bobbit for the following:

    "Spinning a bullet too fast as it leaves the muzzle
    will reduce its accuracy.

    It's the same physics thing as a wheel on a car being a bit out of
    balance. When it spins at lower speeds, no thumping is felt. As its
    spin rate increases with increased vehicle speed, there's a point where
    its out of balance can be felt by the thumps it makes on the road.
    Bullets behave the same way; the more unbalanced they are, the more
    forces there are as their spin rate increases to move them at right
    angles to their flight path as they are no longer restrained by the
    barrel upon exiting its muzzle.

    : Will a fast twist open up the light bullet
    : groups just a few thou', or will it turn a tack-driver into a scatter-gun?

    It all depends on how well balanced the bullet is when it leaves the
    muzzle and how fast it's spun. Groups can open up anywhere from 1/8th
    1/2 MOA at one hundered yards; sometimes more at longer ranges. Whether
    or not someone can observe this with their rifle and ammo is something
    else.

    : Also, what twist would I need to stabilise say an 80 gr VLD at swift
    : velocities?

    80-grain VLD 22 caliber bullets probably need to be spun at least
    270,000 RPM at the muzzle velocity a .220 Swift will shoot them. Either
    a 1:9 or 1:10 twist may work well. As 50-grain 22 caliber bullets need
    to be spun in a spin bandwidth at Swift muzzle velocities of about
    165,000 to 185,000 RPM for best accuracy, they'll spin over 280,000 RPM
    at 3900 fps from a 1:10 twist barrel; too fast for best accuracy.

    If one wants to shoot a wide range of bullet weights from a given barrel
    with maximum loads, like 50, 52, 55, 60, 63, 68 and 80 grains from a
    .220 Swift, best accuracy will be attained with those whose weight varies
    no more than about 15 percent; i.e., the 50 through 55 grain bullets will
    shoot most accurate from a 1:16 twist. Or the 68 and 80 grain ones will
    probably shoot most accurate from a 1:9 or 1:10 twist.

    The same thing happens in other calibers when bullet weight varies from
    light to heavy by 160%. For example, 30 caliber bullets from a .308 Win.
    ranging from 155 to 250 grains. The 155-gr. bullet leaving at 3000 fps
    requires a 1:13.5 twist for best accuracy. A 250-grain bullet at a
    muzzle velocity of 2200 fps needs a 1:8 twist for best accuracy. When
    the 155-gr. bullet came out a few years ago, folks tried maximum loads
    with it in typical 1:11 or 1:12 twist barrels; it wasn't as accurate as
    when used in 1:13 to 1:14 twist barrels.

    You can use the formula:

    (velocity in fps) X 720
    ----------------------- = spin in RPM
    twist in inches

    to find out how fast a bullet will spin with a given muzzle velocity and
    twist.

    You'll probably get the best accuracy with a wide range of bullet weights
    by using a twist that's correct for the heavy ones, then use the best
    quality lighter-weight bullets when those are desired. You could use
    the lighter bullets at reduced velocities and their accuracy may well
    improve. But some compromises are needed when bullet weight range is
    great for a given rifling twist. You get to decide which bullet you
    want the best accuracy with, then pick a twist to produce it. "

    I must add on the wheel balance theory the fact that the wheel sometimes ceases to vibrate as you go faster. (in case more confusion on this subject is desired)


    HM
     
  15. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    I never owned a 25-06..buy I loaded for a friend who did..his was a Savage and with a 100gr Sierra it loved 55gr of H4831SC(shortcut)..sub half in. all the time and very fast..with 120's it shot nearly as well but prefered RL22 with Magnum primers and would put them in a 1" group.....I never bought one because I had a 6mmRem as my dual purpose smallbore and jumped up to a 270..with a 130gr and 59.5gr of H4831, my old pre64 Winchester with a 3x9 Redfield will shoot 3/8" groups like clockwork and is scooting them out at nearly 3200fps and is a whole lot less wind sensitive than my buds 25-06
     
  16. Paladin

    Paladin Well-Known Member

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    Can bullets be over stabilized, certainly. The 'super explosive' bullets with a thin jacket simply can not withstand excessive RPM's that are attainable with a fast twist and high velocity. They disintegrate in flight. Some manufacturers list a maximum velocity recommendation, but should also list a maximum twist rate or RPM as well.


    Also, what's been missing in the discussion here is that the bullet weight isn't the only factor that determines the required twist rate. Bullet length, diameter and shape are important. Bullet length more than anything. They often go hand in hand, but not always. Each bullet is it's own configuration.


    Greenhills Formula gives a crude estimation of the required twist rate, with emphasis on crude. Google it.


    There are three ways to determine your bullet RPM. They all do the same thing.

    FPS times 12, divided by twist, times 60 = RPM

    FPS divided by twist, times 12, times 60 = RPM

    FPS times 720, divided by twist = RPM


    Regarding bullet quality, other than the design of a bullet, an extremely important factor in determining if a batch of bullets will print tiny groups, is the quality of the bullet jacket. My bullet maker specified jackets with no more than .00015 of an inch wall thickness variation. Less than two ten-thousandths of an inch.


    As a bullet exits the muzzle, the bullet immediately wants to spin around its center of mass, instead of being made to spin around its dimensional center while in the bore. Now you can see why jacket quality is of utmost importance.


    Excessive spin magnifies the problems that occur with poor quality jackets, causing excessive bullet upset during the transition.


    The bullet exit is an extremely critical process. The quality of the muzzle crown is extremely important.
     
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