View Full Version : I have decided...

April 5, 2014, 12:14 PM
Have been looking for a .25 caliber rifle for a little while.
Obvious choices for this are the 25-06, .257 Roberts, and the .250 Savage, on the commercially available side.

257 Roberts are hard to come by, and the few that I have seen are expensive.(at least to me)

250 Savage same as Roberts. More available in model 99, but wasn't looking for a lever gun.

25-06 have been few and far between in the used dept around here.

Thus I have decided to build a wildcat.

At first was thinking 25-284. But want a longer barrel life. 284 brass not especially easy to find around here too.

Have decided on the 25-08 (or 25 Souper as it is known). Think I will get decent barrel life, casings are easy to come by.

Searching for used .243.
Will rebarrel. Thinking 22" Hart or Douglas with 1in10 twist.
And since I have to get a reamer for it anyways, may as well do the Improved configuration.
Plus I already have 200 .243 casings...
Will have to get bullets, but have primers, and powder for it already. Win Win.


Anyone else have one???


April 5, 2014, 01:34 PM
Wildcatting can be a bit costly because you have to have a reamer and a set of dies made.
One thing that can make things a bit simpler is to not try to "improve" a shell by moving the shoulder forward. I have found making a drawing that caused the shoulder to be moved BACK a small amount (say about .005") is always much simpler. In so doing you never have headspace problems and fire forming is simple. The new shell can be made to set hard into the shoulder of the chamber that way and the brass flows into it's new form on the first shot without using fillers, wax, long seated bullets and so on.

I have done a lot of this kind of work in years past and I am somewhat dubious as to the benefit of "improving", but it can be fun.

April 5, 2014, 05:27 PM

I cut to the chase, and bought a tang-safety Ruger Model 77R in .250 Savage at @ decent price in an online gun auction/website, a few weeks ago.



Art Eatman
April 5, 2014, 06:04 PM
Visualize applause for thinking .243. My little Sako carbine has been a tack-driver and deer/coyote/prairie dog rifle for many and many a year. I don't think I'd even bother with "improving" it. :)

old roper
April 6, 2014, 08:10 AM
This is Dave Manson on the improved chamber


I've got some old reloading data on the 25 Souper from late 50's and they neck up down 308 but never SAAMI spec 25 Souper.

You can find 25 Souper dies lot easy that AI dies

If you order reamer from Manson for Ackley ask who made set of dies from reamer print.

Some of these project dies/reamer you'll get barrel cost plus tied up pretty easy. I like the Ackley's shooting 5 of them now so I'm wrong one to ask.

April 7, 2014, 12:23 PM
I love quarter bores especially for hunting, but I'd just get a .250 Savage, .257 Bob, or .25-06. While the .25 Souper would be easy enough to do as there are dies and reamers available without too much trouble. There just isn't a good reason IMO to pick it over the .243 Win.

If you get a 8" or 9" twist .243 you'll be far ahead of the .25 Souper in the long run as far as versatility. 55 grain to 105/107 grain bullets will allow you to do more in the long run. Plus the bullet choices you have in 6mm is enormous compared to a .25 caliber and 75 to 120 grain range.

Wildcatting is fun and I have a few, and there are a few more I'd like to do like a .25 Krag. The only thing stopping me is the cost involved, and it'll be much cheaper in the long run to buy the .257 Roberts that you said was expensive than to build a .25 Souper. Plus with the Souper you'll only be duplicating the Roberts in a shorter action. Plus this Remington 722 on Gunbroker (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=407258798)isn't what I'd call expensive and while not perfect or brand new, it would make a great fixer-upper and I'm betting it will shoot quite well.

That said if you understand all that going into the project and still want the Souper. I say go for it, as having something unique isn't all that bad. I built a 6X47 (6mm-.222 RM) because the .223 isn't legal to hunt with in Colorado for big game. While I don't use it much on big game it has taken a couple of pronghorn and white tail deer for me and works very well. The biggest problem I have with the rifle is the availability or .222 RM brass, but it has been a fun exercise in wildcatting on the cheap.

April 7, 2014, 02:02 PM
I have had a fair number of rifles rebarreled. While I reload most of what I shoot, never did one in a wildcat cartridge simply because I didn't want the extra cost of dies, brass and etc. FWIW, have 25-06, 257 Roberts and 250 Savage chambered rifles that I had built on various actions. Prefer the 257R and 250S over the 25-06.

April 7, 2014, 03:27 PM
Wildcatting is fun and educational. Those are the only 2 reasons to do it these days.

We have a LOT of overlap in factory cartridges and their mission statements.

I also love the 257 Roberts and respect the 25-06 but to be honest the 243 and the 25s will not do anything better than the old 6.5 Swede or the newer 260 Rem. The 6.5X55 is quite old.

So the idea of making some new "inroad" into the ballistic frontier is not going to happen.
The ground of very well covered. Have a ball making up new cartridges and enjoy the tinkering.

This is supposed to be fun. If it’s not, none of of would be on these sites.

April 7, 2014, 04:39 PM
I enjoy tinkering. Going places others have not.
While I am aware that I'm not going to beat out the 25-06 in ballistics, looking at it for the same reason that millions have gone .308 instead of 30-06.
Shorter, more efficient cartridge.

That and not everyone has one. (to be honest the real appeal to me)

Was the .25 Souper, or the 25-284. Chose the Souper due to more available casings.

Art Eatman
April 7, 2014, 07:13 PM
"Wildcattery": Hunt up a copy of Phil Sharpe's "Complete Guide To Handloading". It lists bunches of wildcat cartridges and their developmental history--by whom and from what parent cartridge case. Names like Newton, Gebby, Kilbourn, etc.

Unlicensed Dremel
April 7, 2014, 11:43 PM
My neighbor, who is in his 80s and doesn't do much of anything anymore, has an uncompleted custom rifle that he started in the 1960s - he has a stainless custom barrel, ultra-heavy like 1.2" or some such, and near as I can tell, it's chambered in .25 Souper - I didn't do a chamber cast, but I did some rough measuring, and he says he thinks it's ".308 necked to .25". Don't recall the length of it, but seems like it wasn't super-long, maybe 25" give or take. PM me if you want his phone number - maybe he'll sell it to you cheap.

Oh, and if it was me, I'd just get a .260 or .260 AI in that situation (or .243 or .243 AI), but I understand - you want what you want. :)

Ben Towe
April 9, 2014, 04:15 AM
There is also the .257 Weatherby to be considered.

April 9, 2014, 06:43 AM
Have you thought about the 25 WSSM. Its the shortest action of all the quarter bores. Not everybody has one which is something you liked. And its a ballistic twin to the .25-06 up to 110gr bullets.

I just got a Browning A-Bolt in 25 WSSM and I can't wait to shoot it. Plus I've got dies and brass already covered.

April 9, 2014, 01:54 PM
Why bother wildcatting? Sure you will have something unique but it's pretty unlikely it will be balistically superior or even equal with any number of commercial chamberings.

I would go with the 25-06 Ackley improved. You will have a neat gun, that has the cool factor, you will still be able to buy and shoot factory ammo, and the 25- 06 AI is pretty much equal in performance to the 257 Weatherby, but at a much lower cost.

April 9, 2014, 03:39 PM
I applaud your idea to have a rifle in a chambering that other people don't have. I'd wanted to do that several times over the years, but always settled for factory cartridges.

The wildcat scene has pluses and minuses, as you know. Pluses are often overestimated and minuses under-considered...but that's the reality. It was easier to sell wildcatting years ago, before chronographs weren't in such supply. People could believe they were getting way more performance than they actually were and spread the word about how great the new miracle round was.

There are positive benefits to be had, if the wildcat cartridge is done right and making cases isn't difficult or dangerous.

Reality is this: 1. The "gaps" between factory cartridges and calibers may never be closer than they are these days. 2. Today's bullets and powders further diminish the gaps, actually overlapping in many cases. 3. If the wildcat doesn't appeal to you at some point, the rifle, as-is may not be readily sale-able, because it will appeal to very few people. Those who it might have appealed to may be concerned that the owner may have over-loaded it and either the barrel is shot-out or the rifle is dangerous.

As long as you take these factors into account...GO FOR IT!!!

April 9, 2014, 08:30 PM
I own and shoot 257 Rob, 25/06, and 257 Wby.
The 257 is mostly used as a "meat gun" and has killed 20-25 deer over the last 7-8 years(most 1 shot kills). It's easy to shoot and reload for and accurate enough for most any use.
The 25/06's (multiple rifles) range from superbly accurate to adequately accurate for deer hunting. They're my general use rifles under .284 caliber and have killed both deer and coyotes at 300+ yards w/o problems.
The 257 Wby is a "specialty" round and is my "go to" when hunting bucks that may present long(over 350 yards) range. Last year's buck was killed at 340 and the 2012 buck was 385--both with the 257 Wby. I made one of my longest first shot coyote kills (slightly over 550 yards) using a 257 Wby.
In my opinion, it's better to choose a rifle in a popular caliber like the 25/06 to assure better chances of finding ammo even if it harder to find the rifle you want/like.

Mike Irwin
April 12, 2014, 08:04 AM
I have always been a huge fan of the .250 Savage. Partially because it's available in the Model 99, but also because it's such an incredible cartridge.

If I were to be reduced to one rifle/cartridge combination for all of my Eastern hunting needs (if I hunted anymore), I'd give serious consideration to a .250 bolt rifle.

April 12, 2014, 08:18 PM
Please bear in mind, I'm in no way putting down any of the fine rounds mentioned. All have their purpose. And lets face it, every cartridge ever invented has people that love it, and some that hate it. For what ever reason.

The .25 Souper is something that I had heard about and interested me. That's all. It's something different.
And I usually buy guns, not sell them. :D So I'm not worried about the "resale" value.

As a side note, my reamer and headspace gauges have been shipped from Pacific Tool and Gauge, for the 7mm-08 Improved. Have 120 cases to fireform.. he he he:D

April 13, 2014, 07:10 AM
The 7mm-08 AI should do you well. Let us know how it does for you.

Another intriguing one that seems a mild-recoiling, but accurate wildcat that even solves some parent-case problems, is the .250 Savage AI. I'd bet it's a nice deer/varmint killer for recoil-sensitive folks. However, a .243 Win can be very good in that role, especially with the great hunting and varmint bullets available today.

old roper
April 13, 2014, 07:28 AM
Redding has set of dies for 25x243AI. Pretty common take 243AI reamer then throat it for 25 cal.

When I had 243AI done gunsmith talked to me about using that reamer for something else. He did 280AI then 30x280AI for me.