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Old July 22, 2014, 07:49 AM   #1
rockerpanels
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25-06 22" Barrel Length Issue

I've been reading and perusing the Firing Line forums for a long time, but decided to sign up (now I'll probably be hooked even more) to ask about the 22" barrel issue on the 25-06. Seems like every year before deer season comes in, I want a new rifle. I've never owned a 25-06, but have shot a couple and loved them, but I didn't even think about the barrel, so I don't know what lengths they were. I also am in love with Savage firearms, and even more so now with the accutriggers. I'm looking to possibly but the Savage Trophy Hunter XP in 25-06, but they only come in 22" length barrels. I don't really know whether that would be a real issue, as I've read so much that it was, so much that it wasn't. Either way, though, it really is difficult, it seems to me, to find stock 24" barrelled 25-06 rifles.

-If there's such a issue with that length, why do they seem to be the standard length barrels manufactured?

-Are the rifles now manufactured any differently where this isn't as big a deal that it used to be, that seems it could be plausible?

-Has anyone shot the Savage TH-XP 116 in 25-06?

Thanks
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Old July 22, 2014, 07:59 AM   #2
doofus47
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These are my initial reactions to your questions. Someone smarter than I will add more and better details later.
-If there's such a issue with that length, why do they seem to be the standard length barrels manufactured?
D47: Steel and machining is expensive; someone else's excess powder burning is cheap.

-Are the rifles now manufactured any differently where this isn't as big a deal that it used to be, that seems it could be plausible?
d47: Nope, same issue. You will be hard pressed to burn all the powder in a 06-sized cartridge in 22". My 30-06 with a 22" fireballs a bit as well.

-Has anyone shot the Savage TH-XP 116 in 25-06?
D47: I've shot a Savage TH 11 in .260Remington. It's great rifle. If you're not hung up on quarter bore, there's a host of 6.5 solutions in the 6.5 Creedmore/260 Remington size range that would probably solve your issue.

Happy shooting
edit: oh, and welcome aboard.
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Old July 22, 2014, 08:36 AM   #3
AllenJ
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Quote:
If there's such a issue with that length, why do they seem to be the standard length barrels manufactured?
The only issue with that barrel length is you'll lose some velocity. Manufactures are making them in that length because that is what sells best. Most people would rather have the convenience of a 22" barrel over the added velocity that you'll gain from a 24 or 26" barrel.


Quote:
Are the rifles now manufactured any differently where this isn't as big a deal that it used to be, that seems it could be plausible?
+1 for D47's response.


Quote:
Has anyone shot the Savage TH-XP 116 in 25-06?
I've not shot that model/caliber.
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Old July 22, 2014, 08:45 AM   #4
rockerpanels
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About the longest shot I've had to take is 300 yards or so. I'm not thinking that'll make a difference on a 200lb deer, which is about as big as they get where I live. I may go ahead and get one. I wish there was a Remington 783 in 25-06. I'm going to use this gun to teach a kid also, so I'm looking for a rifle with a safety trigger, like the AccuTrigger, but I can't find one with a 24" barrel except the Mossberg 4x4, and I just don't think I can go quite that low.
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Old July 22, 2014, 09:08 AM   #5
psalm7
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I've got one of the older tang safty Ruger M77's in 25-06 and if I remimber right it is 24" barrel . It's one of my favorite hunting rifles . Great rifle I reload it with IMR 4350 and 100 gr psp bullets .
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Old July 22, 2014, 09:37 AM   #6
natman
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Quote:
-If there's such a issue with that length, why do they seem to be the standard length barrels manufactured?
Ease of manufacture. Most manufacturers use one barrel length for their "standard" cartridge rifles and if they vary barrel length the "magnum" cartridges get a longer barrel.

The 25-06 is a large enough cartridge with a small enough bore that it could benefit from a longer barrel, even though it's not called a "magnum". So ideally it would have a 24" or longer barrel, but if all you can find is a 22" barrel, take solace in the fact that no deer shot with a 22" barreled 25-06 is going to run away because the barrel wasn't 2 inches longer.
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Old July 22, 2014, 10:13 AM   #7
Colt46
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I think only those who chrono their loads will notice the difference in barrel length

For hunting situations most find that a handier barrel length offers better utility than an extra 50+ fps in velocity.
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Old July 22, 2014, 10:38 AM   #8
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Right. The the extra speed might make a difference at a 1,000 yard paper target. At normal ranges no deer will ever know the difference. And there is no guarantee the longer barrel will be faster. You'll typically see 50 fps or so difference between 22" and 24" guns. You'll often see the same 50 fps difference between guns with equal barrel lengths.

The real deciding factor is which length looks and balances better to you.
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Old July 22, 2014, 11:02 AM   #9
JD0x0
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The trend has been moving towards smaller lighter rifles with shorter barrels. So 22'' barrels are quite common. There's nothing necessarily wrong with a shorter barrel other than losing velocity, powder/cartridge efficiency and gaining muzzle blast.

I'm a fan of longer barrels, especially on 'overbore' cartridges like the 25-06. Small caliber high pressure cartridges tend to gain more (or lose more) velocity as you change barrel length. Small bore + lots of powder usually benefits from more barrel length.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the .25-06 simply because the .270 exists.
.25-06 = 115 grain bullet @ 3000fps (from 24'' bbl) SD = .249
.270 = 130 grain bullet @ 3050-3200fps (from 24''bbl) SD= .242

Hornady .25-06 super performance 117 grain SST 3110fps (2512ft-lbs)
Hornady .270 super performance 140 grain SST 3090fps (2968ft-lbs)

Personally I'd recommend the move up to the .270 it should be slightly more efficient from a 22'' barrel and a .30-06 would be more efficient still.

Quote:
For standard high intensity cartridges in the same test, the Lyman technicians chronographed the cartridges in barrel lengths ranging in length from 24 inches down to 20 inches with the following results:

The average loss for the .270 Win./130 grain bullet was 37 fps per inch.
The average loss for the .270 Win./150 grain bullet was 32 fps per inch.
The average loss for the .300 Sav./180 grain bullet was 17 fps per inch.
The average loss for the .30-06/180 grain bullet was 15 fps per inch.
As you can see the more 'over bore' the cartridge, the bigger loss per inch of barrel. The 25-06 should lose more than the .270 win so I'd guestimate a loss of 40 or more fps per inch.
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Old July 22, 2014, 12:39 PM   #10
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@rockerpanel: I thought you might be mistaken about the 22 inch barrel being typical for the .25-06, but, nope, you were right. I did a quick survey and the only new offerings with a 24 inch barrel, were the browning x bolt, mossberg, TC, weatherby vanguard, and winchester 70 sporter. Everything else has a 22 inch barrel.

For me, the .25-06 is so overbore, that I would hold out for the extra 2 inches of the 24 inch barrel just because of the muzzle blast and velocity issues. The .25-06 was never meant to be a brush cartridge and performs better in open areas at longer ranges, and so there shouldn't be a handling disadvantage with the longer barrel in the field.

And if I had to choose a rifle from the above list, it would be the weatherby vanguard. It should be as accurate as a savage. Just no accu-trigger, but I see the accu-trigger as more of a performance feature rather than a safety feature.
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Old July 22, 2014, 02:18 PM   #11
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H&R single shot Handirifle in 25-06 comes in 26''

The same rifle has a 22'' barrel with (22-250 Rem., 223 Rem., 243 Win., 30/06 Sprg., 308 Win., 7mm/08 Rem., 444 Marlin)

There was probably a reason that they decided to opt for a 26'' barrel, for that caliber ONLY, when it would've just been cheaper to have a 22'' bbl for every cartridge. Same goes for their 'Handigrip' rifle in .25-06

Quote:
22" (243 Win., 308 Win, 45-70 Gov't.) 24" (Heavy Varmint, 204 Ruger, 223 Remington, 22-250 Remington) 26" (25-06 Remington)
Again they opted for 26'' with the .25-06 only.
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Old July 22, 2014, 09:51 PM   #12
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I have a Savage 25/06 with a 22" barrel and one with an aftermarket 24". If you don't have anything to compare the 22" to, you'll never know what you're missing vs a 24". Just my perception, but those 2" MAKE the 25/06 special.
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Old July 22, 2014, 11:28 PM   #13
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I have a Ruger 77 MKii chambered in 25-06. It has a 24 inch barrel. Wouldn't trade that rifle for any other hunting gun on earth. 110 gr. Accubond over Retumbo 58.5 grains = 3200 fps and tiny groups at 100 yards. Less recoil and muzzle blast than my 270. YMMV.
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Old July 23, 2014, 04:00 AM   #14
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Savage Freak

I own two Savages, 110 270 win, 111 25-06, both sport 22" tubes. I and many deer havent missed any barrel length, and my 25-06 shoots three bullets (so far) well, 100 grn Ballistic Tips, 87 grn Ballistic Tip ( varmint), and 110 grn Accubonds.

Its super accurate and pleasant on the shoulder, and its a quality rifle,super easy to use upgrade parts and such....
Rockerpanel, you on the right path with Savage for sure dude.
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Old July 23, 2014, 07:37 AM   #15
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Thanks to modern hunting bullets, any cartridge, starting with .243 Win and up will kill deer very well, just as long as the hit is in the heart/lung area, or hits other quick-kill areas.

The only time I feel under-gunned is when I take my .270 Win into the forest, using 130 grain relatively quick-expanding bullets, where a 165-180 grain 30 caliber spritzer would penetrate a 6" tree and kill the deer standing behind it. After all, in WWII, the .30-06 would kill at least three enemy soldiers in a line...of course with FMJ bullets, but that's another story.

So, pick your poison and don't worry about barrel length as much as what might get in the way.

Last edited by Picher; July 23, 2014 at 07:49 AM.
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Old July 23, 2014, 04:24 PM   #16
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Most all 25-06's (M-70,700,77) use to come with a 24" barrel. Ruger even used the slightly heavier magnum contore barrel. These days who knows, I'm sure things have changed, an old freind had a Browning with a 22" and a Boss. Really loud that bugger was.
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Old July 23, 2014, 07:16 PM   #17
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I used to have a Howa .25-06 with a 22" barrel. I never chrono'ed it, but it was very accurate after I found the load it liked. I ended up selling it because I also have a .270 and I used them both for deer. IMO the 130 gr .270 loads are better suited for deer than the 100-120 gr .25-06 loads. Not because the .25-06 doesn't get the the job done, but because the lighter bullet often made a bigger mess of the deer, and there was actually a velocity advantage with the 130 gr .270. There's also a bit better bullet selection in .277 caliber. The 130 gr .270 has an MV of around 3100 fps w/ a 24" barrel. A 120 gr .25-06 has an MV of around 3000 fps. So you will have higher velocity, energy, and usually better ballistic coefficient with the .270. The 130 gr 270 will also shoot slightly flatter, but not much.

Another thing to think about if you don't reload, .270 ammo is a good bit cheaper and easier to find than .25-06 ammo.


Where the .25-06 really stands out is varmint/predator hunting. A 75 gr bullet at 3750 fps is great coyote medicine. But it will always play second fiddle to the .257 Weatherby
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Old July 24, 2014, 09:54 AM   #18
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Either way, though, it really is difficult, it seems to me, to find stock 24" barrelled 25-06 rifles.
If wanting a longer 24" barrel in 25-06. One US manufacture still makes em. A well known name to all. (Mossberg.)
Mossberg's Big Game bolt rifles. I always considered them to be equivalent or on par with Savage. What I do know about Mossberg. Their bolt rifles have always been (as far as I know) comfortable fitting and very accurate.

http://www.mossberg.com/products/rif...4/mossberg-4x4
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Old July 24, 2014, 10:51 AM   #19
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The .25-06 is considered an "underbored" caliber. It is one of the calibers that really benefits from a longer barrel. Not only with increased velocity but with shooting comfort. You'll get a whole lot less muzzle blast with the longer barrel. It really starts to come into its own when you go up to something over 24".
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Old July 24, 2014, 11:29 AM   #20
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The .25-06 is considered an "underbored" caliber
In over 5 decades of being involved with guns and shooting, this is the first time I have ever heard of the .25-06 being called "underbored".

The term I have always seen used is "overbore", meaning the case capacity is very large for the bore size, and best performance is obtained with slower powders and longer barrels.

I can see using a 22" barrel in a .25-06, if the rifle is a "deer rifle", its a good compromise. You don't get all of the round's potential, but you don't get an overly long rifle, either.

If your .25-06 is more of a varmint gun, and not a staling rifle the benefit in performance from a longer barrel can be more important than the slight ease of maneuverability a shorter barrel gives you.

Your choice.
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Old July 24, 2014, 12:28 PM   #21
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Amp, you're right as usual. I've got it backasswords. Thanks.
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Old July 24, 2014, 06:06 PM   #22
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I'd be willing to bet, if you were to chrono a 22" 25-06 vs. a 22" .257 Roberts+P, both using max loads with equal bullet weight, there would be very little difference in velocity. The main difference would probably be less muzzle blast and noise from the Roberts.
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Old July 24, 2014, 06:24 PM   #23
Guv
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Remington still lists a 700 BDL with a 24" barrel, I couldn't find a Ruger 77(Hawkeye) even offered in 25-06. Maybe it's going the way of the 6mm, that would be a shame.
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Old July 24, 2014, 06:46 PM   #24
JD0x0
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I'd be willing to bet, if you were to chrono a 22" 25-06 vs. a 22" .257 Roberts+P, both using max loads with equal bullet weight, there would be very little difference in velocity. The main difference would probably be less muzzle blast and noise from the Roberts.
Probably not far from true, and if you took those same conditions and used a 28'' barrel for both, I'd bet the 25-06 would be outpacing the .257 Rob +P, by a good margin. It has a lot to do with powder and burn efficiency. If you have two cartridges, one which holds more powder in an equal diameter bore, but don't have sufficient barrel length to burn the extra powder, then more of it burns outside the barrel, which equates to more 'muzzle blast'
All of that 'blast' is wasted energy, which would've likely been turned into velocity, if the barrel were longer.
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Old July 24, 2014, 07:05 PM   #25
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@JDOxO: THe .25-'06 might not outpace the roberts by that much.

I have a .257 roberts, Ruger 1-B with a 26 inch barrel. With slow powders, that longer barrel will pretty much duplicate factory velocity claims for the .25-'06. If the factory velocities were measured from a 24 inch barrel, then it would appear that:

a .257 rbts + 2 inches of barrel = a .25-'06.

As a side note, I bet the .257 roberts necked up to 7mm would be a great cartridge. I guess that wildcat would be called the .284-.257 roberts?
L. Hammon

Last edited by hammie; July 24, 2014 at 07:12 PM.
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