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Old November 25, 2022, 07:42 PM   #1
reynolds357
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.25-06 Bullets for Whitetail

What are some of your favorites? I prefer a good blood trail for the short distance they run Loaded 87gr Bonded Norma's for years, but stash is finally depleted.
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Old November 25, 2022, 08:37 PM   #2
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117gn sierra GK. Every whitetail we shot with it either dropped in it's tracks or bled like hell.
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Old November 26, 2022, 06:50 AM   #3
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Funny you should post this question, I just acquired a 25-06 last year and decided to take it hunting down to NC on a guided hunt, tried some 117gr sierra for accuracy and it wasnt what I was looking for, about a 2"group at 100, and I knew the rifle was capable of much better since I got it from my brother and he said it was a tack driver, I ordered some Hornady 117 gr sst my first load developed with imr 4831 printed 3/4" at 100yds, which is pretty good for deer, shot several groups and the first was not a fluke, so, down south I go and on the second day of the hunt a spikehorn stood broadside at 100yds and it was a pretty quick shot since the shooting lane was narrow and I hit him a bit high in the shoulder but he just flipped over backwards and DRT, I was quite impressed although since it was a shoulder shot it didnt go through and didnt ruin much of the meat either, I took the rifle back out last week here in NH and at about 7:30 ish I had a spike cross the logging road I was watching at 165 yds, had already ranged a few spots upon sitting with my laser. Well I had about 3 seconds to pop off my mitten, grab my rifle and rest it on the tree and fired quite quickly, it was a quick shot just as he was about to walk off the clearing so at the distance wasnt even sure if it was a hit. I didnt wait long and walked up the trail to where he crossed and after just a min or 2 found 1 little spot of blood confirming a hit, within 10 feet found a few more spots that were getting bigger, stopped and scanned the woods and after seeing what I thought was a deer laying beside a tree confirmed it with a look through my scope, as I was walking to where he lay the blood trail got quite obvious and there was a very large pool where he layed. All in all he ran about 25yds and piled up, the little 117 did a impressive job, entered low on the right shoulder passed threw to just under the opposite leg exploding both lungs..I was very impressed with the bullet performance and accuracy..The rifle is a older ruger model 77 with a 3x9x50 vortex scope..
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Old November 26, 2022, 07:23 AM   #4
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I've used Hornadys in all the calibers listed below. As the box says, Accurate, Deadly, Dependable.
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Old November 26, 2022, 08:24 AM   #5
reynolds357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHSHOOTER View Post
Funny you should post this question, I just acquired a 25-06 last year and decided to take it hunting down to NC on a guided hunt, tried some 117gr sierra for accuracy and it wasnt what I was looking for, about a 2"group at 100, and I knew the rifle was capable of much better since I got it from my brother and he said it was a tack driver, I ordered some Hornady 117 gr sst my first load developed with imr 4831 printed 3/4" at 100yds, which is pretty good for deer, shot several groups and the first was not a fluke, so, down south I go and on the second day of the hunt a spikehorn stood broadside at 100yds and it was a pretty quick shot since the shooting lane was narrow and I hit him a bit high in the shoulder but he just flipped over backwards and DRT, I was quite impressed although since it was a shoulder shot it didnt go through and didnt ruin much of the meat either, I took the rifle back out last week here in NH and at about 7:30 ish I had a spike cross the logging road I was watching at 165 yds, had already ranged a few spots upon sitting with my laser. Well I had about 3 seconds to pop off my mitten, grab my rifle and rest it on the tree and fired quite quickly, it was a quick shot just as he was about to walk off the clearing so at the distance wasnt even sure if it was a hit. I didnt wait long and walked up the trail to where he crossed and after just a min or 2 found 1 little spot of blood confirming a hit, within 10 feet found a few more spots that were getting bigger, stopped and scanned the woods and after seeing what I thought was a deer laying beside a tree confirmed it with a look through my scope, as I was walking to where he lay the blood trail got quite obvious and there was a very large pool where he layed. All in all he ran about 25yds and piled up, the little 117 did a impressive job, entered low on the right shoulder passed threw to just under the opposite leg exploding both lungs..I was very impressed with the bullet performance and accuracy..The rifle is a older ruger model 77 with a 3x9x50 vortex scope..
Good to hear. I have a few hundred SST 117s that I have never loaded. I am a bit paranoid about the .25-06. The last time I used anything other than the Bonded Norma's was 30 years ago. Was using the Orig Nosler Ballistic tips. On two separate days, Shot two does on shoulder. Rolled both them. Both got up and ran off with no trackable blood trail. Retired the rifle until I came up on the Norma's. They were sold in a bulk bag. Story I was told was they were overrun for .257 Wby factory ammo production. Don't know, but they were deer killing machines.

Last edited by reynolds357; November 26, 2022 at 08:31 AM.
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Old November 26, 2022, 08:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeauxTide View Post
I've used Hornadys in all the calibers listed below. As the box says, Accurate, Deadly, Dependable.
I have used a lot myself in various calibers. Which ones in .25-06? Interlock? Sst? GMX? Other?
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Old November 26, 2022, 09:57 AM   #7
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I used the 120 grain Sierra HPBT Game King mostly on the few pronghorn and mule deer I shot with the .25-06. It worked very well, often didn't need to track as they expired quickly with little or no death dash. I did find an accurate load with the 110 grain Accubonds but didn't use it on game before I sold the rifle.
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Old November 27, 2022, 09:16 AM   #8
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I've used several different bullets in 25 caliber with good success.

100gr Nosler Ballistic Tip in the 250 Savage worked for 2 deer.
115gr Nosler Ballistic performed very well in 257 Roberts & 257 Roberts AI.
As did the 115gr Berger VLD.

I'm planning to try the 120gr Sierra HPBT GameKing & 120gr Nosler Partition in the 25-06 & 25 WSSM this year.
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Old November 27, 2022, 11:02 AM   #9
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I got a lotta love for the 25-06. For mine I’ve settled on the 100 grain Barnes TTSX bullet & H-4831sc . My rifle is a TC Prohunter.

My best bud likes either the 117 grain Hornady SST or the Sierra 117 grain btsp and Reloader 22.
His rifle is a Mauser 98 I built up for him after I finished gunsmith school a few years back.


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Old November 28, 2022, 12:58 PM   #10
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I think I'd be using the 100 grain Nosler E-Tip. I loaded some of them for my buddy and they're 3/3 on deer so far.
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Old November 30, 2022, 01:10 AM   #11
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Have a Rem 700 Mtn rifle in 25-06. Shoot 100 gr Nosler Ballistic Tips with a unpublished charging recipe close to 3500 fps. Very accurate and very devastating on soft skin game.
Been giving some thought as of late to change to a lead PSP instead.
NBT on more than one occasion I've observed create allot of unnecessary blood shot tissue at the velocity I prefer to use.
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Old November 30, 2022, 09:05 AM   #12
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@ Sure Shot Mc Gee,

I wouldn't be using any cup-n-core or bonded bullet at those velocites, I'd be using a solid copper bullet.
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Old November 30, 2022, 11:54 AM   #13
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taylorce1 Why wouldnt you use cup n core?
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Old November 30, 2022, 03:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
I have used a lot myself in various calibers. Which ones in .25-06? Interlock? Sst? GMX? Other?
I started using Interbonds and GMX in 7mm with outstanding groups and devastating performance. If I had a 25-06, I'd go with CX in 90gr.
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Old December 2, 2022, 08:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
taylorce1 Why wouldnt you use cup n core?
Because the poster I was refering to doesn't like bloodshot meat. A solid copper bullet like a Barnes TTSX retains nearly 100% of its original weight. Bloodshot meat is also a result of a bullet fragmentation among other things.

Driving a bullet at 3500 fps and considering the sheer amount of whitetail deer shot inside 100 yards. That's asking a lot of bullets that perform better under 3000 fps, where mono metal bullets not designed to fragment usually don't regardless even with impacts under 100 yards with high MV. Having a bullet that retains nearly 100% of its weight reduces blood shot meat.

Berger VLDs are the worst bullet for bloodshot meat I've experienced, but it kills about the fastest I've seen as well.
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Old December 3, 2022, 07:56 AM   #16
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Check out the 101gr Barnes LRX. The bc is higher than the 117gr sst and it will hold together on close shots. I use them in a 257wby to fill crop damage tags on whitetails. I'm pushing them 3680fps in the 257 and they hold up even on unexpected close shots.
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Old December 3, 2022, 01:31 PM   #17
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I like the Nosler 110 grain Accubond (not the long range version).
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Old December 4, 2022, 06:57 AM   #18
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It would be nice to try out some other bullets besides the Hornady's but most are either unavailable or out of my price range but for me, the 117 is a killer on whitetails from the 2 I shot and they are priced right, not much meat damage and accurate like a laser in my rifle...I really like threads that come up with a caliber I shoot and can really relate to, the feedback is great!!!
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Old December 21, 2022, 11:39 PM   #19
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taylorce1
Yes my 1/4 bore has a higher velocity than most. I a long time Reloader: I've always focused on high velocity experimentation on all my cartridges and their firearm. Max C.U.P Proof capabilities >always checked on. Since you've mentioned. Sounds good. I would like to try a Barnes bullet so to cut down on that blood shot tissue. I did find efficient helpful targeting helps. Any-wheres in the head, low in the neck, throat white patch. As owners of we all know the 25-06 is very capable of such shots out past 200 and more.
Back on point: Being frugal: the problem is the size of the 1/4 bores bullet and brass stash here. I'm trying to use up what bullets I have first before buying new. It appears to me do to my age I highly doubt I'll have that chance to open a box of Barnes TTSX anytime soon. No matter a Redwing crock and a lb of kosher salt pulls the blood --OK. ___ thanks for that Barnes__ Tip Sir.
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Old December 22, 2022, 01:17 AM   #20
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Blood shot meat can be the result of high velocity alone and bone fragments can do it just as effectively as bullet fragments, and can result from a non, or low expanding bullet (like solid copper) hitting bone at high velocity.

In .25 caliber, I use 100-120gr bullets for deer and the 87gr for varmints.

Do pay attention and be sure to get bullets made for game shooting. Also make sure you get the right varmint bullets, for your cartridge, too.

I once got some 87gr Hornady SX, great bullets, but in the box was a warning from Hornady not to push them beyond 3400fps, so in my .25-06, I had to "dial it down" a bit for those slugs.
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Old December 23, 2022, 01:45 PM   #21
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I know this post is about bullets for the 1/4 bore, what powders do you like? I have just a bit of RE 22, but I have a good amount of H4831 and a small amount of IMR 4831,I have a few other powders and will work in the 1/4 bore
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Old December 23, 2022, 05:24 PM   #22
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In an old Speer Manual, they reference issues with their cup and core line at impact velocities of 3000fps. I shot two deer that were gutted and blew a rear leg off at 75 to 100 yards. 145gr Speer Hot Cor at measured 3130. Bonded and Mono bullets give full penetration and proper hydraulic action to the chest.
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Old December 23, 2022, 05:33 PM   #23
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Its not just bore size, but bore and cartridge size that determines which powders are suitable.

the .25-06 is the classic "overbore" cartridge, and slow powders will give you high velocity results. One of my friends favorites was "a case full or IMR 4350" under the 87gr hollow point. Saw him blow woodchucks apart at a full (and later measured 507yards. (NOT a good deer load )

IMR 4350 and other slow powders in that class are suited to the 25-06, but not to 1/4 bores smaller than the .257 Roberts. Not good for the .250-3000 and totally unsuitable for the .25-20.

More medium burn rate powders will turn in acceptable results in the .25-06, just not the maximum velocities possible with slow rifle powders.
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Old January 5, 2023, 01:54 PM   #24
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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IMR 4831 works for me just fine in my 25-06. Have tried others but have always returned to that old reliable IMR powder.
One thing is obvious. I could have made a better choice in bullet selection for the velocity I prefer. But I intend to rectify with taylorce1 suggestion > TTSX
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Old January 5, 2023, 02:32 PM   #25
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Sure Shot Mc Gee I have seen that the ttsx are available but both my '06s are shooting the cheaper bullets just fine, I do hunt with the ttsx in my 7-08 xbolt with great results. Please let us know how you make out with the 25 cal ttsx ..
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