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Old March 28, 2020, 10:01 AM   #1
reynolds357
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.25-06 Bullet selection

I kind of do a yearly rifle rotation for whitetail hunting. This year. The old .25-06 is up for my 400yd and under rifle. (7 Rum and 6 5x300 Wby are always the 400 and over rigs )
The lat time I used the ole quarter bore was about 30 years ago.(whenever ballistic tip first came out) I used Nosler Ballistic tips and had aweful performance. No penetration. I know the ballistic tips are much tougher now, but I am leaning toward 90 GMX for this year.
Anyone have a favorite .25-06 bullet? I know .257 Partitions are legendary, but this rifle wont group them.

Last edited by reynolds357; March 28, 2020 at 02:36 PM.
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Old March 28, 2020, 01:30 PM   #2
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I love how you "rotate" your hunting guns. Years ago, when I was hunting, I did the same thing. (At 73, I've given up hunting.) I still rotate my nightstand guns, though.

Anyway when I used a .257 Roberts on mule deer, I favored the speer grand slam. It grouped better than the partitions, and was much cheaper. The only downside is a lower ballistic coefficient than other bullet styles. The 120 grain grand slam has a B.C. of 0.328. Extrapolating from a table, that means at a 200 yard zero, the drop is about 8 inches at 300 yds, and about 2 feet at 400 yards. Don't know if you want to live with that?

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Old March 28, 2020, 02:35 PM   #3
reynolds357
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I love how you "rotate" your hunting guns. Years ago, when I was hunting, I did the same thing. (At 73, I've given up hunting.) I still rotate my nightstand guns, though.

Anyway when I used a .257 Roberts on mule deer, I favored the speer grand slam. It grouped better than the partitions, and was much cheaper. The only downside is a lower ballistic coefficient than other bullet styles. The 120 grain grand slam has a B.C. of 0.328. Extrapolating from a table, that means at a 200 yard zero, the drop is about 8 inches at 300 yds, and about 2 feet at 400 yards. Don't know if you want to live with that?
I can live with the drop. I am wondering if the Grand Slam is still a tough bullet. I used to love them in 7mm, but I read somewhere that Speer changed them so they could make them much cheaper and in doing so made them a much lower quality bullet. Not sure if thats true.
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Old March 28, 2020, 03:55 PM   #4
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I don't know if they changed the manufacturing process on the grand slams or not. I did also use a 180 grain grand slam in a .300 Win Mag, loaded to approximately .300 Holland & Holland velocities, and it seemed to work fine. However, that was some decades ago. Gave up the .300 Mag for a 6.5x55, which was much more pleasant, plus I didn't have to worry about loose dental fillings or a detached retina.

Maybe someone will have more current experience. I like your 90 grain GMX idea a lot.
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Old March 28, 2020, 04:32 PM   #5
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For the 25-06 the only bullet I'd use would be the 110 grain Nosler Accubond.
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Old March 28, 2020, 07:23 PM   #6
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My 257 AI chronos 3050 with a 115 Ballistic tip.Thats not quite your 25 06,but pretty close.I've shot quite a few critters with it and not once have I been disappointed with the performance.

I don't,however, bust heavy bone/muscle shots.I generally do ribcage shots.

As has been suggested,the 110 gr Accubond would be a tougher option.

I've used bigger rifles on elk,but I'd take an elk with the 120 gr Nosler partition. But not past 200 yds,just for precise shot placement.
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Old March 28, 2020, 08:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
reynolds357 wrote:

I can live with the drop. I am wondering if the Grand Slam is still a tough bullet. I used to love them in 7mm, but I read somewhere that Speer changed them so they could make them much cheaper and in doing so made them a much lower quality bullet. Not sure if thats true.
I have heard that they cheapened the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, but it is still a tough bullet.

I am not remembering a lot about the story, but I thought that they went from a 2 core bullet to a one core, and that may have been the Grand Slam.

I used both of those plus a lot of HotCors but over the years they got hard to find so I switched to Nosler and Cutting Edge, with a few Woodleigh in the mix. Sadly, Woodleigh doesn't make 25 caliber, at least the last time I checked.
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Old March 28, 2020, 11:00 PM   #8
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I used Nosler Ballistic tips and had aweful performance. No penetration.
Did it bounce off the Whitetail or did the bullet blow up? It is not clear what the bullet actually did.
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Old March 28, 2020, 11:56 PM   #9
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I shoot a 1/4 bore on occasion. Everything I shoot thru mine is 100 gr.
Nosler Ballistic Tips aren't bad for shooting at a neck patch. Outstandingly accurate but oh my that destructive exit hole such bullets create. (Quite similar to a varmint Hollow Point)
Otherwise for 200 yrds or better. I'm happy shooting a flat base Hornady P.S.P or whom ever's brand. I used to be particular about the bullets I shot. Not anymore. They all seem to get the job done when I send em down range as true as >humanly possible.
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Old March 29, 2020, 03:03 AM   #10
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Run a Partition.
Any weight that you feel appropriate.
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Old March 29, 2020, 09:13 AM   #11
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Personally, i've never had a bad experience with a Ballistic Tip on deer.
My daughter shot a buck last year with my 257 Roberts and the 115gr Berger VLD-H loaded to +P pressures.
Distance was 40 yards, put into the ribs. She said it went kinda stiff legged and fell over.
Bullet performed just as advertized. Penetrated 1-3 inches and came apart. Made a real mess of both lungs & heart. Jacket found under offside hide.

While not here in the States, Nathan Forester (www.ballisticstudies.com) claims that the 117gr Hornady SST to be an excellent performer.
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Old March 29, 2020, 09:34 AM   #12
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Did it bounce off the Whitetail or did the bullet blow up? It is not clear what the bullet actually did.
Bounced off.
Seriously, I shot 3 deer with them. All were shot right behind shoulder. Never found one of them. One dropped after running 40 yds. Bullet delivered energy into the heard but physically stopped short of the heart. One of them was dog tracked almost 300 yds. Same thing, bullet got close to but not into heart
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Old March 29, 2020, 09:36 AM   #13
reynolds357
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Originally Posted by FrankenMauser View Post
Run a Partition.
Any weight that you feel appropriate.
As I said, this rifle wont group them. It patterns them.

Last edited by reynolds357; March 29, 2020 at 09:54 AM.
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Old March 29, 2020, 12:55 PM   #14
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Hmmm.
I swear that last line wasn't there when I replied.
After reading the posts, I scrolled back up specifically to make sure the Partition hadn't been mentioned.
But the time stamps say it was...
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Old March 29, 2020, 03:22 PM   #15
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In my .25-06 I always had great results with 117 Sierra Pro Hunters or the 120 Game King on Mule deer. I wouldn't hesitate to use either if I still owned a .25-06.
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Old March 29, 2020, 04:08 PM   #16
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I took at least a dozen antelope and mule deer with the Speer 100 grain BTSP. Never failed to put them down RT.

My loads chronographed ~3050 from a 24 inch barrel.
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Old March 29, 2020, 04:12 PM   #17
reynolds357
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I took at least a dozen antelope and mule deer with the Speer 100 grain BTSP. Never failed to put them down RT.

My loads chronographed ~3050 from a 24 inch barrel.
Wonder if they will stand up to 3400 fps? If I shoot a 100 it will be over 3400 fps.
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Old March 29, 2020, 04:33 PM   #18
Don Fischer
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Favorite bullet? 117gr Hornady Spire Point, hands down. Also only one of two I ever tried! I'm not up to experimenting away from what works. My 25-06 is my 200 to 227 yd rifle. 6.5x06 is 231 to 248yd rifle. 30-06 works 257yds t0 263 yds. I never shoot much beyond that. Use a 243 for 125yd to 142yds. 6.5x55 83yds to 91 yds. The only down side to any of it for me is carrying all those rifles at one time!
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Old March 29, 2020, 04:49 PM   #19
dahermit
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Originally Posted by reynolds357 View Post
I kind of do a yearly rifle rotation for whitetail hunting. This year. The old .25-06 is up for my 400yd and under rifle. (7 Rum and 6 5x300 Wby are always the 400 and over rigs )
The lat time I used the ole quarter bore was about 30 years ago.(whenever ballistic tip first came out) I used Nosler Ballistic tips and had aweful performance. No penetration. I know the ballistic tips are much tougher now, but I am leaning toward 90 GMX for this year.
Anyone have a favorite .25-06 bullet? I know .257 Partitions are legendary, but this rifle wont group them.
Although I never had, or used a 25-06 on deer here in Michigan, years ago I shot a whole lot of them with a .257 Roberts with good results. Reading my old log-book notes from back then (pre-1986), I used 117 grain Sierra Boat Tails over 47 grains of H205 (it was in an early Ruger M77 with excessive free-bore so I don't know how safe that load would be in any other gun) with a Federal Match Primer resulting in under one-inch groups.

I never found the need for any premium bullets...cup and draw standard bullets always produced a pass-through shot with very quick put downs. That begs the question for me: Why use exotic, premium bullets when the old cup and draw bullets worked so well? More expensive is not always "better".
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Old March 29, 2020, 05:12 PM   #20
reynolds357
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Originally Posted by Don Fischer View Post
Favorite bullet? 117gr Hornady Spire Point, hands down. Also only one of two I ever tried! I'm not up to experimenting away from what works. My 25-06 is my 200 to 227 yd rifle. 6.5x06 is 231 to 248yd rifle. 30-06 works 257yds t0 263 yds. I never shoot much beyond that. Use a 243 for 125yd to 142yds. 6.5x55 83yds to 91 yds. The only down side to any of it for me is carrying all those rifles at one time!
Yep. For the record, I font have 2 rifles at once. If I have shot possibilities over 400, the Rum or the Wby go.
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Old March 29, 2020, 05:21 PM   #21
reynolds357
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Originally Posted by dahermit View Post
Although I never had, or used a 25-06 on deer here in Michigan, years ago I shot a whole lot of them with a .257 Roberts with good results. Reading my old log-book notes from back then (pre-1986), I used 117 grain Sierra Boat Tails over 47 grains of H205 (it was in an early Ruger M77 with excessive free-bore so I don't know how safe that load would be in any other gun) with a Federal Match Primer resulting in under one-inch groups.

I never found the need for any premium bullets...cup and draw standard bullets always produced a pass-through shot with very quick put downs. That begs the question for me: Why use exotic, premium bullets when the old cup and draw bullets worked so well? More expensive is not always "better".
For plinking, I agree that any bullet will do. I shoot 3 or 4 deer a year, Whether I shoot a $.25 or $.68 bullet to harvest those deer is in the grand scheme of things not really significant. I can usually work up a load, be zeroed, and have my dope sheet to 400 yds in less than 30 rounds. (Thats assuming it takes 4 or 5 loads to be accuracy happy) I had my 6 5x300 Wby ready to go to 1000 in less than 20 shots. (First load I tried shot same ragged hole at 100)
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Old March 29, 2020, 05:40 PM   #22
dahermit
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Originally Posted by reynolds357 View Post
For plinking, I agree that any bullet will do. I shoot 3 or 4 deer a year, Whether I shoot a $.25 or $.68 bullet to harvest those deer is in the grand scheme of things not really significant. I can usually work up a load, be zeroed, and have my dope sheet to 400 yds in less than 30 rounds. (Thats assuming it takes 4 or 5 loads to be accuracy happy) I had my 6 5x300 Wby ready to go to 1000 in less than 20 shots. (First load I tried shot same ragged hole at 100)
It was the performance on deer (complete penetration, quick drops) that I was referring to, not the price of the bullets as a factor.
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Old March 29, 2020, 05:53 PM   #23
reynolds357
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It was the performance on deer (complete penetration, quick drops) that I was referring to, not the price of the bullets as a factor.
To get the pass through performance you mention, with a cup and core bullet in .25-06, I would think you would have to be in the heavy for caliber range of bullets. Dropping a .25-06 to under 3300 fps, imo, neuters it.
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Old March 29, 2020, 07:25 PM   #24
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To get the pass through performance you mention, with a cup and core bullet in .25-06, I would think you would have to be in the heavy for caliber range of bullets. Dropping a .25-06 to under 3300 fps, imo, neuters it.
According to you, "I used Nosler Ballistic tips and had aweful performance. No penetration.", what you were using was not working. On the other hand, what I used in my Roberts, was working (A.K.A. "performing"). So, I do not understand why you would say that lowering your velocity would be a problem. Do you just want the satisfaction of shooting a .25 caliber bullet at 3300 or do you want to have good performance on deer?

Last edited by dahermit; March 30, 2020 at 10:40 AM.
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Old March 29, 2020, 07:53 PM   #25
reynolds357
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According to you, I used Nosler Ballistic tips and had aweful performance. No penetration.", what you were using was not working. On the other hand, what I used in my Roberts, was working (A.K.A. "performing"). So, I do not understand why you would say that lowering your velocity would be a problem. Do you just want the satisfaction of shooting a .25 caliber bullet at 3300 or do you want to have good performance on deer?
I want to have a bullet that fully utilizes the potential of the .25-06.
I think awful performance due to under penetration was the well deserved, well earned, reputation of the Ballistic Tip prior to changes made to it to correct the problem.
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