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Old December 15, 2012, 08:43 PM   #1
steveNChunter
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Howa .25-06 accuracy

Hey I'm new to the forum so please bear with me. I have a Howa 1500 .25-06 that I ordered as a barreled action, it has a hogue synthetic stock w/ the full length aluminum bedding block. Should be a pretty accurate combo for the money from everything I've read and heard. My results so far arent terrible, around 2" @ 100 yards shooting off a bag. I've free-floated the barrel. I did the barrel break-in just like howa says to do it. The only ammo I've tried so far is 100gr Rem. core-lokts. I want to know if anyone can give me some good advice on what other factory loads may shoot better out of this gun? It has a 22" barrel (I know thats a tad short for a 25-06) and a 1:10 twist. Could it be that a slightly heavier bullet be more accurate through a 1:10? It will be used to hunt 100-200lb whitetails in NC, so anything 100-120gr should be sufficient... I think.
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Old December 15, 2012, 08:56 PM   #2
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You'll just have to try differen't ammunition until you find out what your rifle likes. My .25-06 has shot both the 100 grain Remington and 120 grain Federal Fusion well well enough I'd hunt with either. I reload for it now so I haven't bought ammunition for a quite a few years for the .25-06.

I like to glass bed all of my rifles even if it has the aluminim bedding block. Glass bedding takes out all the imperfections in the bedding if done properly. I'm not 100% sold on the bedding blocks without glass bedding. I feel that the bedding blocks make for a more rigid stock vs. the cheap synthetics out there. They do improve accuracy vs. the tupperwares but I don't think it is a superior system to pillars and glass bedding in wood and laid up fiberglass stocks.
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Old December 15, 2012, 08:59 PM   #3
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That REm 100 CoreLokt shoots good. In my Savage 110FP 25/06, it shoots cloverleaf groups. It seems adequate for deer although I'd shy away from hitting a big buck on the point of the shoulder. Another bullet that has done well for me is the Sierra 100 BTSP. It has killed a bunch of deer out of my 25/06's.
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Old December 15, 2012, 09:28 PM   #4
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My next 20 rounds will probably be the 120gr fusions. I have heard alot of good things about them and I want to see if my gun will like a little heavier bullet. I have considered glass bedding but I want to see if I can get 1 MOA without having to mess with it. I'm sure it would help but I've never done it before and it looks messy. Part of my problem could also lie with my scope. Its a newer Chinese Tasco World Class 3-9x50. I bought it awhile back to replace an older tasco that could no longer be warranted. Well Ive learned first hand that tascos arent what they used to be. Blurry, awful glare, and POI changes slightly with magnification. But not to worry, there was a Burris Fullfield II ordered yesterday that should fix that.
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Old December 15, 2012, 09:43 PM   #5
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If your rifle shoots 2" groups at roughly the same point of aim every time then it isn't your scope. If your scope changes POI with power changes that is generally a parallax issue. However, that doesn't mean the scope is incapable of producing good groups if left on the same power setting when shooting. I think you did the right thing by upgrading to the Burris scope in the long run.

Do you have any pictures of your groups you've been shooting to post?
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Last edited by taylorce1; December 16, 2012 at 03:00 PM.
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Old December 15, 2012, 10:07 PM   #6
Steel Talon
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Try These ... 100gr Nosler Partitions trophy grade ammo..
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/970...tion-box-of-20
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Old December 16, 2012, 02:32 AM   #7
oldandslow
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snc, 12/16/12

I bought a new Howa 30-06 about a year and a half ago. I couldn't get it to shoot groups less than 2.5 inches despite loading close to the lands and with different bullets and powder. I looked at the crown and it looked good but as I was running out of options I recrowned with the Brownell's recrowning tool that I had used to good effect on my Rem 700. The groups magically dropped to half of what they were before- 1.25". Since I use it for hunting the 1.25" is acceptable to me, the 2.5" was not. If all else fails try a simple recrowning of the barrel- it's simple and quick and may help. Good luck.

Merry Christmas- oldandslow
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Old December 16, 2012, 08:46 AM   #8
steveNChunter
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I will put the noslers on my list to try as well, although I hope my gun will like something a little cheaper. Mobuck- is there any factory ammo that uses the 100gr sierras? oldandslow- thanks for the recrowning tip, i havent thought of that. If I dont find more accurate ammo i will give that a try. It makes me wonder if the Howa barreled actions arent up to the same QC standards as what gets shipped to weatherby for the vanguards. If im not mistaken they have a 1 moa guarantee. But I wont make an assumption until I shoot some premium stuff through mine and see if theres any improvement. Also with my shooting and just using a single bull's bag for a rest, i probably wont see better than 1 moa out of a rifle that would shoot the same hole in someone else's hands. But Im workin on it.
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Old December 16, 2012, 11:15 AM   #9
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Howa 1500?

The accuracy potential for your rifle is excellent. You must find the load it likes.
I bought one of the early Vanguard Synthetic ( which is essentially the same rifle). I know nothing about factory ammo. Among the rifles I own only one has ever fired a factory round. Since I found the load my rifle likes it has been "lights out". My experience with both of my 25/06's has led me to 100gr bullets for whitetails; one likes Partitions the other(a Savage 110fp) likes SMK's. If you don't handload the best I can suggest is to try a variety of ammo.
I am sure that you will find what your rifle likes.
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Old December 16, 2012, 07:52 PM   #10
steveNChunter
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taylorce- that makes since what youre saying about the scope, and no I dont have any pictures but I will try to take some next time I shoot. Thanks everyone for all the good advice. Im probably going to try the partitions and the fusions and possibly federal premiums or winchester BSTs or hornady custom sst's and see what happens. This experience may lead to me learning to handload, especially since my father has all the stuff to do it with that he no longer uses since he doesnt shoot much anymore in his old age. Ill keep yall posted on my results

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Old December 17, 2012, 09:24 AM   #11
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To check your bedding on a bolt-action, remove all stock screws, then raise the barrel about 1/8" to 1/4" and wiggle it side to side. If you can move it around easily, bedding may not be adequate.

Short of bedding, the excess space can be taken up temporarily by layering electrical tape along the sides of the action to tighten the wood to metal fit. It won't take the place of good bedding, but might improve accuracy sufficiently, so you can determine that glassbedding and/or pillar bedding is needed.
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Old December 17, 2012, 10:15 PM   #12
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Picher Im using a synthetic stock with an aluminum bedding block. Not saying that glass bedding wont help, it probably would, but it does sit pretty tight in the stock even with the action screws loosened. Speaking of those screws, is action screw torque a big deal when you have a bedding block? Seems to me that it wouldnt matter as much as it would on a wood stock. I just got mine good and tight with a 1/4" ratchet and called it good. Should I have been more precise? Also the main reason that I posted this thread was just to see what kind of factory loads were giving the best accuracy in a .25-06 with a 1:10 twist and would especially like to hear from someone with a Howa/Vanguard in this caliber that has found their most accurate factory load. I realize each rifle is different but im trying to develop a general consensus of what to try next since I cant afford to just go out and buy every brand in every bullet weight to try all at once. But if after Ive tried every factory load I can get my hands on and I still havent seen 1 moa, then I will definitely be considering muzzle recrowning, glass bedding, and handloading. For a hunting rifle shooting 300 yards and under, I think if I can reach the 1 moa mark I will be satisfied and confident enough with it to let it be. Hopefully just switching brands of ammo will get me there, but with my track record of luck it wont be that easy.

Last edited by steveNChunter; December 18, 2012 at 05:49 AM.
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Old December 20, 2012, 10:45 AM   #13
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If you want to see how your action is bedded in the stock, you can coat it with (cheap) lipstick and place it in the stock, being careful to not have it rub on anything until it's seated and tightened down. Be particularly careful to put lipstick on the bottom and rear of the recoil shield and areas around the screw holes. Tighten the action down normally.

When the action is removed from the stock, check the areas where the lipstick was transferred to the bedding. You'll probably be surprised at how few places the action actually rests on the bedding block. If it's not more than, say 20% of the area, you may want to do an epoxy bedding shim coat on the bedding block. The areas around the stock screws are the most important. If there's uneven, or little contact there, it's a problem.

The recoil shield area is also very important. Be sure the shield not contacting the bottom of the slot, but bears fully at the rear.
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Old December 20, 2012, 02:06 PM   #14
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Be careful with the lipstick. You come back in the house with lipstick on you and you just try to explain to the wife how you got it off your rifle. Good luck with that.
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Old December 20, 2012, 08:32 PM   #15
reynolds357
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I bed everything. I have actually begun experimenting with industrial epoxy that has a tensile strength of almost 400K psi. So far, I like it better than glass.
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Old December 23, 2012, 08:25 PM   #16
steveNChunter
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Got the new Burris scope lined up today. (which was a VAST improvement in clarity and brightness over the tasco that it replaced) I bought a box of 115gr winchester ballistic silvertips to experiment with. Ive read alot of good reviews on these and I like the nosler ballistic tip bullets, which is what these bullets essentially are. Just a different color tip and some kind of lulabox or whatever coating that I dont really know anything about. Right after i got the scope semi lined up, the wind started picking up and it started to rain, I knew I was probably wasting my time, but I thought what the heck, Ill shoot one 3-shot group anyway just to see what happens. (at $41 for a box of 20 I cant afford to waste many) To my surprise, even through the wind and rain at 100yds the first two shots were less than 1/2" from center to center, and the third strayed off about 1" from the other two. Ive got to assume the strayer was wind related. hopefully. So even in terrible conditions the silvertips are outperforming the 100gr corelokts. Hopefully if the weather is better tomorrow Ill see 1 MOA or better. Keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old December 23, 2012, 11:36 PM   #17
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Mine's not a Howa,But Ive had good luck with 115 nosler & 117 hornady SST's.Down right deadly on deer & hogs.But to tell the truth hand loads really make the 25-06 shine. good luck.
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Old December 26, 2012, 09:39 AM   #18
steveNChunter
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I finally got a chance to get back out and try the silvertips. Still 2" groups. What confuses me is that the patterns are not at all consistent. Sometimes they will be in a triangle, sometimes a diagonal line, sometimes a straight line up and down. The only improvement with the silvertips over the corelokts is that two of the three shots will usually be less than 1" apart, with one flyer. The next thing im going to do is go pick up another brand of ammo and let someone else shoot a couple groups with the rifle to eliminate myself as the problem. After that, glass bedding and muzzle recrowning are at the top of the to-do list. Also should I be worried about action screw torque affecting accuracy? It seems to me that an aluminum bedding block would make action screw torque not be as much of an issue. I dont own a torque wrench that will go down to inch pounds, so I just got them good and tight with a 1/4" ratchet. Should I worry about getting them torqued to factory spec which is 50-55 in/lbs?
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Old December 28, 2012, 04:57 PM   #19
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Picked up a box of federal fusion 120s yesterday and gave them a try. I have reached my goal. This is by far the most accurate of the 3 types of ammo I have tried. My best of three three-shot groups was 3/4" center to center with two of them touching. All three were less than 1.25". In the hands of a better shooter Im sure it would group better, but 3/4" is more than good enough for me. I will very seldom see a shot oppourtunity over 200yds while hunting, and most of my shots are are under 100yds. I think that will make the 120 grain bullets better also ballistically. A little slower speed and a little tougher bullet might keep me from exploding a bullet on a deer's shoulder at very short range. It feels good to be satisfied. Thanks everyone for all the great advice
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