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Old September 9, 2012, 06:32 AM   #1
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25-06 velocity

I burned out the barrel of one of my .270 rifles so I re-barreled it to 25-06 with a 26 inch barrel. I'm aware that the most accurate load is not always the one with the greatest velocity but I was able to get a 1-inch group at 200 yards with my .270, using a 130gr Hornady SST going 3000 fps in a 24-inch barrel. So I figured it would be a breeze to get a 120gr .25-06 over 3000 fps out of a 26-inch tube.

H1000 produced the best group at 2700 fps. That gives me 1943 ft-lb of muzzle energy and it drops to 1129 at 300 yards. If I could duplicate that accuracy at 3000 fps my available energy would get me 1183 out to 400 yards if I ever needed it. I used IMR 4831, H4831, H414, H4350, Superformance, HybridV100 and Win 780, and I finally got to 2970 fps producing less than 1-inch at 100 yards. So I'm good to go, but I still cannot understand why I can't hit that "magic" goal of 3000 fps, esp out of a 26 inch barrel.

Any thoughts?
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Old September 9, 2012, 08:18 AM   #2
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Try Retumbo powder with a Nosler 115 grain BT bullet.
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Old September 9, 2012, 02:25 PM   #3
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There is nothing magical about 3000 fps. It is just a number. If you enjoy trying to get there, fine. The fun can be in the pursuit. If you measured velocity in metric units, you would have never even asked this question. But for all practical purposes there is no difference between your 2970 and 3000. You have a good load. If you can't beat it, be happy with it. I get 2950 out of my 338 and I am not about to beat myself up over another 50 fps.
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Old September 9, 2012, 04:05 PM   #4
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If you wanted to get 3000fps out of a 120gr in 25-06 it should have been an Ackly Improved 25-06, it'll jump that extra 100fps. 120gr is getting on the heavy side for the caliber(aka lots of drag).
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Old September 9, 2012, 06:54 PM   #5
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Don't be concerned. If I try to go past 3070 in my 6.5-06 with 120s, I get pressure signs. As mentioned, a 115 Nosler would be the ticket. IMO, the 100 Nosler Partition would be excellent.
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Old September 9, 2012, 07:10 PM   #6
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120gr is getting on the heavy side for the caliber(aka lots of drag).
On the contary: "heavy-for caliber" bullets (longer=heavier if diameter remains constant) are more efficient (less drag).

I used to obsess about pushing a 130gr bullet to 3100 out of my .270 WIN.....

I found that efficient heavier bullets are going to carry more energy at 400 yards...... I read somewhere (on here, IIRC) that "Muzzle velocity is a depreciating asset, while Ballistic Coefficient and bullet weight are forever."

I also found that light conventionally constructed bullets pushed to 3100 come apart pretty easily when they hit a deer at close range.
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Old September 9, 2012, 10:04 PM   #7
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Try some Re-22, with quality 100 gr. bullets. You should have no problem reaching 3500 fps, and typically with good accuracy. With 120 gr. Nosler Partition, 3100 fps is no problem.

For the responders mentioning 270's, I've run that same powder, Re-22, under 130 gr. bullets at over 3150 fps, with great accuracy, and no pressure 22" barrels.
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Old September 10, 2012, 04:50 AM   #8
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Personally I would not sweat it if your getting the groups. The 120's hit like the hammer of Thor and should serve you well.

Im my own 25-06 I had the factory 24" tube on it, stll do for that matter. I hit about the same wall as you have, 2900'ish fps and that was it. My solution was to simply drop down to the 115gr Partition and go on my merry way. I easily hit 3150fps using it, and RL-22, and staying within a book load at the time. It shot so well I simply kept it and quit looking for anything else. I figured it was a good compromise of weight, speed, and accuracy. I have shot many legit 1/2" groups at 200 or more yards with that load. If you can put it exactly where you want it every time then the rest is a non issue.

I also was going to suggest giving RL-22 a try. If you can scrape some up I would also suggest giving Ramshot Magnum a try as well. After I passed my standard version 25 over to my daughter, I built me an Ackley version, which has a 28" finished lenght barrel on it. I specifically built it for the heavier bullets, and using Ramshot Magnum it is something else for sure. It will certainly smoke those 120gr bullets out the muzzle and makes shots at 300 seem like nothing at all.

You will also find that you might want to choose your bullets carefully, as mentioned by another fellow the up close shots might be a bit much for you in the meat damage dept. That's another reason I stayed with the 115's, the range didn't matter, 40 or 400yds it did the same thing every time.

Like I said at the start, I wouldn't sweat the little things like a few FPS, if you have the accuracy. Load up some for this fall and keep looking if you REALLY want 3000fps. Least you will have some you know are accurate that you can hunt with. Give them a try on a nice sized doe or hog, and you might find you really don't need anything else.
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Old September 10, 2012, 07:50 AM   #9
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Getting back to the OP's question about WHY he isn't getting to 3000 fps:

The .257" bullets have only 86% of the base area of your .277" bullets. So, to get the same acceleration with the same pressure-vs-time curve in the same barrel length, you would want to have a .257" bullet that is 86% of 130 grains, which is 112 grains.

But, things aren't quite that simple, because you don't actually get the same pressure-vs-time curve in a .25-06 that you get in a .270 (i.e., a .27-06). The volume of the barrel is smaller in the smaller caliber, while the volumes of the two cases are about the same. SO, the pressure remains higher in the .257" barrel than in the .277" barrel, and that helps make-up some of the difference. But, not quite as much as you would think, because it is really the PEAK pressure that is limiting, and the smaller bore makes the same powder charge produce a higher peak when bullet sectional densities are equal, and even higher yet when the bullet sectional density is higher. Thus, the .25-06 max load is not going to be quite as much of the SAME powder as the .270 load to keep peak pressures within the limit. But, that can be compensated with a slower powder.

In addition, you have an extra 2" of barrel length, so that should add something like 80-to-100 fps over an exact comparison.

So, yes, it is reasonable to expect similar MAXIMUM muzzle velocities.

BUT, you say you are loading for ACCURACY, rather than max velocity. In that situation, all bets are off with respect to whether one rifle is more accurate than another at max velocity. The longer barrel length will surely change the velocity sweet spot due to different barrel vibration harmonics and different barrel exit time for the bullet at a particular velocity.

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Old September 10, 2012, 10:09 AM   #10
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I have shot the 26-06 since Remington 1st brought it out, and will attest to the fact that the 120 gr bullets are tought to get past 3000 FPS. However I have gone to the 110 Nosler Accubond with RL22, this combo runs out at 3167 FPS average 5 rounds. The bonus is it's very accurate in my rifle.
The platform of 3000 FPS seems to be a bench mark we as reloaders and shooters set. This started years ago when the belted mags came out as well as over bore cartridges.
With this being said I have shot dozens of deer with the 25-06 and the 120 gr. Hornady and 117 gr. Sierra bullets, probably none would have been over the 3000 FPS but all would shoot 1 MOA or better.
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Old September 13, 2012, 09:57 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone - great advice from experienced colleagues. I will give RE22 a trial.
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Old September 14, 2012, 02:19 PM   #12
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RL22, IMR 7828, or Hybrid 100V with a 100 grain Hornady is what I use. 3300 to 3400 fps. depending on the barrel (mine is 24"). Kills like a lightning bolt.
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