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Discussion Starter #1
opinions on a 25-06 for deer

over the years shot alot of deer with 30-06, 7mm mag and 300 win mag..obviously all plenty for deer and probably overkill. one year i decided to use my 25-06. i reloaded some 100 grain sierra boatails..hot loads that really smoked. i used it to shoot a nice deer right behind the shoulder at a range of 75 yards. at the shot, he took off like he was never hit i found him 75 to 100 yards away shot straight through the shoulder. being used to bang and down, with the other calibers i put the 25 away for a few years, about 5 years ago i thought i'd give it a try again , this time with different bullets, so far with 120 grain partitions and 117 grain hornady's. i haven't had one bit of trouble. but that first deer with it, still is in the back of my mind. has anyone else had any bad experiences with the 25-06 ? ive shot 6 total with it so far and all have been bang flop. except for that first one.
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

I use a .243 with no problems, so the .25-06 should be good to go.
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

Deer don't always drop in their tracks. Could be the
first one had a little more will to live. I doubt it's any fault of the caliber, just one of those things.
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

I'm sure DennyF will weigh in on this thread. He's the guy to ask as he has a load of experience with the "twenty five aught six".
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

My dad had trouble with heavy bullets giving a "pencil" wound. I would try 100 Hornady flat base bullets; Weatherby loads this bullet in their 257 loads. Sierra boattails are noted for erratic performance at high velocity impacts. You should have plenty of power. I also recommend 110 Nos Accubond, 115 Nos Balistic Tip, 100 Nos Partition, and 100 Sierra flat base prohunter; I have heard good on these.
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

I use 115gr. Winchester Supreme Ballistic Silver tip for deer and have killed 16 buck in Pa and 4 in Maine in the 200lb. range with this caliber. All have dropped in there tracks. Some will say to use others but find out what and how many they have killed with it.
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

I have shot two deer with the 25-06, using 100 gr. Nasler Partitions...One was standing at over 400 yards..Using my bipod I dropped her with a hefty hold over the back..the other one was running through a field at 110 yards, I didn't lead her enough and shot her square through the hams..By the time I walked out to her she was dead.I think that this 100gr. Partition makes a good combo groundhog/deer load.
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

When you look at the generalizations, the 25-06 is in the same class power wise as the 30-06 because it shares the same parent case.

I have experience with a 25-06, a friend of mine had one that his dad bought new back around 1970 when the round first came out and he took many deer with that round.

Technically a 100 grain bullet such as a Sierra 1625 SBT - is a good choice when used with about 51 grains of IMR 4350 powder.

The goal is not always to make it as fast as possible, but to make it augment the bullets characteristics.
Most people I know that uses a 25-06 makes neck shots.

Since the gun is very accurate - the neck is one of those places where even a marginal shot is usually fatal.

Trying to shoot a deer through the front shoulders with a 100 grain bullet is not always the best option.
There is a lot of bone structure and a lot of mass in the front shoulders and many times even a 30-06 with a 150 gr bullet will not make a entrance and exit wound.
I have found many 150 gr bullets against the cape on the far side of the shot on many whitetail deer from a 30-06 round.

So what I am saying is that it is not as important to make the bullet scream out of the barrel as it is to have a round that shoots good and opens up when it hits something.

In my opinion, there is rounds such as the 220 Swift, which should never be used for hunting deer - just because of the fact that the bullets are too small and the bullet travels so fast that it does not have time to open up when it hits the deer and many times it fragments when it hits something and does not kill the deer even if you do hit it.
A good groundhog round - but poor for deer hunting.

If I was you and you really wanted to give it a fair shake, I would buy a box of 100 gr Remington Core Lockts shells and take it hunting.

In my opinion - the Remington Core Lockts bullets has killed more deer then all the hand loads in the world, simply due to the fact that more hunters carries the Remington / Winchester / Federal factory load shells then anything else.
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

The furthest I ever had a deer run after being shot with a rifle was over 100 yards or so. That was with a 300 WSM with complete devistation to the inerds. I've shot several deer with 100 gran 243, and they all went between 10 and 30 yards.

I've made similar shots on deer with a bow, and had varying results. Anywhere from 3 steps to 100 yards throught the lungs. Last year I hit a deer in the shoulder, and it dropped like a bad habit. This year I shot a deer through the heart, and it ran way over 100 ards across a field.

Don't know what makes the difference, but I wouldn't worry about the thing you have in the back of your mind. It is very likely you would have had the same result with a much larger gun.
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

No two deer react the same unless the spine or brain is hit and they are immediately immobilized. It is just to difficult to place a bullet exactly in the same spot on every deer to get an accurate repeatable assessment of what is going to happen. You would have to shoot at least 10 deer that weighed about the same, at roughly the same distance and in almost exactly the same spot to get some sort of baseline. And even if all that could take place, there is no way of factoring in just how some deer are so strong willed to live even with damage that would and has dropped other deer. I have seen deer go a LONG ways with damage that had to be seen to be believed. Stevie Wonder could follow the blood trail and ya couldn't think there was THAT much of it in the deer in the first place! Some deer are dead but forgot to get the memo.
What I do know is is that some bullets work wonderfully well for deer and some do not. I could never imagine watching a deer take a double lung shot from a high powered rifle and act like it was never hit. I saw it happen twice with a certain bullet and because of no fault of the cartridge another bullet had devastating results. Basically I use Hornady SP Interlocks in just about every caliber I shoot. My Son liked the new Hornady SST bullets when they came out so we loaded some up in his .308win. They were very accurate and he was lucky enough to shoot 2 buck with them in a few seasons. Neither deer was impressed with a first well placed shot and a follow up was needed, then a fairly lengthy track job. The bullets broke apart, shed their jackets and just did not perform like we were used to. He doubted the ""power"" of the .308 until I convinced him to use the SP's again and a series of one shot hop and flops on a few more deer had erased his doubts.
If I were you I'd use nothing but those 117gr Hornady or 120gr Partitions and never look back.
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

i have been using a .25-06 almost exclusively the last 9 years and have taken 14 deer with it. ive taken them with 120 gr core-lokts with less than 30 yard recoveries and complete pass thus, 115 gr ballistic silvertips (factory and handloads)with the majority of those deer traveling 10 yards or less and had pass thrus on all but two deer (bullets recovered under the skin on the off side), but the last 4 years i have used 115 gr partitions handloaded at near max levels and have had 30 yard or less recoveries, complete pass thrus and great blood trails. flat shooting, light recoiling, quick kills. whats not to love?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

i'm thinking it was more of a bullet problem...someone here mentioned eratic performance from some sierra bullets..seems like it just didn't expand much..neat little hole straight through...every other deer didn't make 20 yards all complete pass through. one was facing me.. 120 grain nosler partition..in the front chest..exited out the right ham..ugly... thanks for the reassurance, sure like that rifle
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

Use barnes 100 grain triple shock they work great. the 25 calibers are the ultimate deer rifle.
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

I hunt mostly steep areas and try very hard to miss the shoulder bones to save meat damage. Even with 130-150gr from my .270, every deer will stumble 20-30 yds downhill and some will run downhill 100+ yds.
If you want to "drop 'em in their tracks" shoot the shoulders, or head if close.
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

taken many deer with .257 Roberts and the 25-06 smokes that, I wouldn't hesitate using it. Maybe a nosler bullet in my opinion.
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

Stick with a good bullet and you'll be in good shape. I won't ever shoot Sierra's at deer again....I've recovered a few jackets without the core and decided I didn't like that kind of performance from my 257 so I switched to a 117gr Hornady RN and now experience more bang-flops than ever before and not just from spine/shoulder hits either. During the testing phase of my switch I also used Nosler Accubonds and was quite happy with them. I only settled on the Hornady's because they are cheaper and shot more accurately(handloads) in the end.
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

I use it almost exclusively for deer, and I get a lot of bang flops...........I would say only 1 out of the last 10 deer I shot with it took another step.........I use 115 gr. Nosler BT's
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

guess i should clarify, i have no doubt whatsoever the 25-06 is plenty of gun, what i'm not sure of is bullet performance..it almost seemed like they beef up the sierra 100 grainers , fearing bullet fragmenting apart at 25-06 velocity's...iv'e shot 3 deer with 100 grain 243 and none went as far as that first deer i mentioned with the 25-06 i was just curious if others had similiar experiences....i'm not sure how many deer i shot over the years, couldn't begin to recall them all. but i've NEVER had one go that far i'll be using the 25 again this year, but i'll stick to nosler partitions or hornady interlock bullets.
 

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Re: opinions on a 25-06 for deer

Been killing deer with a 25-06 for many years, mostly with a 100gr bullet. Originally loaded 100gr Sierras, but switched to the 100gr Btip when they came out.

Never any problems. The first 400+ yard kill was with a 100gr Sierra, have done a few others since with the Btips and a bunch at shorter ranges. All of the Btip kills were one and done, nearly zero steps taken after they were hit and I generally go for the boiler room, regardless of distance.

Been my favorite deer cartridge since 1978 when I bought my first one. Just popped a couple rounds offhand @ 100 yards with my M700 last week. It's on da money.
 
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