25-06 calibre


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After all I am a novice and at the moment spending a lot of time researching as much info as I can .I have been hearing alot about .243
.270 .308 and 30-06 but not a great deal about 25-06 why is this ,is it not a popular deer round if not why and can anyone tell me a little about it .
thanks Brough

Heym SR20

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25-06 a very nice flat shooting calibre developed in the US for shooting across large distances at smallish game such as Pronghorm etc. My first deer were taken with a Sako TRGs in 25-06.

25-06 will do everything the 243 will do, but does have a bit more recoil, muzzle blast etc - not that the recoil is an issue.

270 - will shoot a bigger bullet - 25-06 standard is 120 grain, 270 will go up to 130 or 150 grain and is also flat shooting but a bit more versitile if wanting to shoot bigger stuff.

30-06 / 308 - bigger bullets, slightly less flat shooting.

25-06 is not as popular as the 243 / 270 / 308 so ammo will be a bit harder to find.

But to be honest if you put identical rifles together that are of a reasonable weight (say 8 1/2 lbs ll up) and just of different calibre I think most of us would struggle to tell to the difference from behind the rifle and nor would the beast at the recieving end.

But I would add if you ever are thinking of taking the rifle overseas I would ere towards the slightly larger calibre,

But then for a novice the 243 is lovely and mild and easy to shoot and learn on.

Key is to have a rifel that fits and you know you can hit what you aim at - confidence is everything.


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Thanks for your time guys ,very interesting,I,m no where near yet to purchasing a rifle but I want to find out what you guys use ,So it looks like the .243 is a fairly common round does what it says on the tin and a good choice of ammo. The deer down this way are mainly roe and muntjac unless you get onto one of the parks and then fallow etc. Thanks Brough.


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If I was you, I would look at the 6.5x55. It is more versatile than the .243, harder hitting than the 25-06, mild recoil and inherently accurate. This calibre will drop any species in this country.



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Yeah, I agree. Look at the bullet weight in grains that you can use in the calibre you are going to choose.
If you were to choose 6.5 or 7mm then you could shoot 130-150 gn bullets, which would be preferable for a whole range of species in comparison to the .243's 100gn max bullet weight. Mind you, I was keen to get the right rifle from the word go,so didn't want to loose money on having what was referred to earlier as a beginers calibre.


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I have owned and shot the 25-06. It's not a very effecient cartridge and somewhat of a barrel burner. It does kill deer sized game well when mated with the proper loads. I have seen elk killed with it. (Oddly, the worst kill I ever saw was made with a 25-06. Took 7 shots to down a mule deer doe weighing 90 pounds and then she got finished off with a knife.)

I would recommend a 30-06, myself. It's accurate, powerful, legal everywhere for big game and (if my 1903 Service Rifles are any gauge) very good on barrel life. Bullet weights can be had between 55 grain sabotted .224 bullets to 220 grain torpedoes for the largest game. ~Muir


New Member

i have and do use a 25-06 for deer here in the uk shooting 100grn bullets iv killed red stags/does ,fallow bucks/does with it all have died with one shot ..nothing wrong with the cal at all if people cant shot then they will wound animals no matter what cal they are useing ..i find it a very good round to use ..i dont feel no kick off the rifle but it dont half get there and does its job with out makeing a mess like a .243 will make ..


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I have a Sako finnlite 25,06 and only had it for a few months. I have shot Roe Fallow and Munti with it and killed all with one shot. I use 115gr ballistick home loads. I have been taking my level one this week and two or more people have said these rounds are not very good on bigger Deer as you don't get an exit from them I should be using soft nose. I questioned them and they said on long shot's. Is this true has anyone else found this problem.


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Finnish, there are two ways to look at bullet pass through.
1 if the bullet passes clean through there will be two possible places for a blood trail to follow, but, the bullet has not expended all its energy on the target.
2 if the bullet has not passed through then all the available energy has been absorbed by the target animal and there will of course only be one blood source.
Each to their own, but my own view is that I like to have all the energy contained within the beast.
My own experience with the 25-06 on some large woodland red stags is that with a well placed chest shot taking the top of the heart and shocking the vital nerves in that region that the beasts have dropped to the shot and while a few have made it back to their feet for a couple of seconds I have not had a runner. I used 115g Nos' Bal' tips. Bullets are often found just under the skin on the far side. The same round exits roe but is not too damaging for meat.
I personally favour the 25-06 over the 6mms due to the extra energy available and the fact that there are very few rifling twist issues with the comonly available bullets. Recoil in average weight rifles is not punishing and is most certainly less than 30-06.
Just my own thoughts. Anyone who buys a mainstream rifle in a mainstream calibre will get on better with it if it is bought with their own opinion rather than picking against their will a calibre recommended by another person.


Distinguished Member
Like LLD, I have used 25-06 extensively on deer of all sized in the wintery north where the yew grows with abandon;)

Nothing has got up.

It is and remains one of the calibres I will never get rid of as a deer round - along with 6.5x284...

The 25-05 using 100 - 120 g bullets will level anything within sensible stalking ranges.

Easy to reload, accurate and light recoil- every ones a winner :lol:


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May I just thank you all for your opinions and observations. I am currently reading all I can find on the 25-06 having acquired one a couple of weeks ago. It didn't shoot the three boxes of factory ammunition I brought and tried as well as I would have liked so I am playing with handloads. At the suggestions of "friends" on another forum I brought a box of 85 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips and have been playing with loads using them. I will next try some 100 grain or 115 grain ones and see how they do.

Howevr I am still trying to find the elusive "best" load with the 85 grainers:-


That's the best so far :oops: POI moved considerably with a loding recipe change :eek: something to watch in future as before it was zeroed 1" high and this group is over 2 1/2" low let alone the move of 1 1/2" to teh right :confused:

This is the rifle I am working with:-

Although it has a different scope on it now as that one belongs on a .22 Rimfire and I nicked it off the .22 L/R to try the rifle out .

Oh I almost forgot it's a heavy beast weighing 9 1/4lbs scoped but without the Moderator as I don't have one as yet. Have not made up my mind what to get :confused:


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I too am reloading for a 25-06 which I bought off here a while back. Shot my best group with the first load I tried. 42 Grains of Varget under a 100Grn Nosler BT. Shot three rounds in .5 inch.

This is near the bottom of the loading data for this bullet, but looking at some of the data on accurate reloading, they seem to achieve their best groups at medium charged loads.

Not had it long, but I think it is a keeper :)

Stand Buck

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Try 49.0grs of IMR4350 with the 115gr BT's and different seating depths, a lot of 25-06's that I loaded for like a big jump to the rifling many of the 90thou plus.


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Stand Buck,

Thank you but I have tried a 52.0 grain charge of H4350 with the 85 grain bullet at a shorter COL of 2.165" it too showed promise but a low "flier" kept showing up. The search continues. I shall be visiting the range tomorrow for the next session with it.

Locally I can only get the 115 grain weight is the Combined Tech Ballistic Silver Tip. Otherwise it's the normal 100 grain Ballistic Tip :( next choices are the 120 grain bullets by either Hornady or Speer or the 117 BTSP Hornady. The choice in .25 cal is limited locally at least.

Once I find a good accurate bullet/load combination I will get a bulk order of the bullets to save having to search for them. It would be nice to faid an accurate factory load in the rifle as well just in case ;)

Stand Buck

Well-Known Member
The 115gr Nosler and 115gr Combined Tech are the same bullet less the coating, I have found them to shoot to the same POI with the same load out to 300m without seeing any difference what so ever.


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Hmmm that's interesting :) thank you again. I have shot the black coloured Comb tech bullets in .30 cal through a 30-06 and they shot quite well. I only had about 10 that a friend gave me to try. I will check the price at Forrest Lodge later on the way to or from the range. Yeah I know it's good that they open on Sunday's :)

I must admit I am wary of some of these coated bullets. I won't use the moly coated ones at all. The 85 grain Ballistic Tips that I have been playing with seem very slippery to the touch and I have dropped more than one getting them out of the box when reloading. I am getting low on H4350 now as well ............ Oh well :rolleyes:


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115grn comb tech driven by RL19 I dont have the amount to hand work very well in my Rem Sendero on Fox, Roe, Sika and Red. I have some 110 grn nosler's to try.
120grn factory winchester were a good cheap load before I started the home brew.


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Well as I starting to run low of H4350 so stopped by the shop to pick up some more but with my luck of course they didn't have any so I picked up a tub of Reloader 19, and now see you mentioning it :eek: . Instead of buying a box of 50 Ballistic Tips I brougth a box of 100 Speer 120 grain bullets so I will try them and see how we do.

I also brought a Wildcat moderator now just have to sort it all out ............. Ho hum ;)


Well-Known Member
Why this "seeking the Holy Grail" of flat shooting?

It doesn't exist.

All bullets and trajectories are LOOPY.

Understand what your rifle does and get on with it!