25-06 stability of heavy for cal bullets


Mar 11, 2017
So I am reading all this hullabaloo about how 117 grain bullets in the 25-06 are only marginally stable. My groups are pretty darn good at 100 with them. But now I’m thinking it will all fall apart further down range.

Has anyone had any experience in this area?

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Not with a 25-06, but 105gr bullets in my. 243 with a 9 1/8 twist shoot 3/8" at 100yds. Even shoot pretty good at 550yds, about 3". I tried hitting my 12" steel at 1050yds and they were hitting all around it. I hit it once out of 20 shots. 1000yds is a long ways but I think the marginal twist could be part of it?
I shoot 115 gr BT's out of a 257 Roberts with sub .5 MOA accuracy at 100 yards. I've shot this load out to 600 yards and hitting the steel gong was pretty easy and consisting.

Wow 1000 yards with a 243, at that range wind would be the devil

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Longest shots I've made afield with the 25-06 were:

115 gr Berger VLD, one shot kill on a doe mule deer at an honest 400 yards. No problem.

115 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip, one shot kill on a coyote at about 420 yards. No problem. Last range reading with the rangefinder was 417 yards and he walked a little farther before I shot.

Regards, Guy
I’m working on my 25-06 too. Shoots 100gr very well, .5 moa at 200. Still working on heavier bullets. After two years, I need to redo my other bullet I want to use. Trying to find info on the 110gr AccuBond accuracy ability, loads and grouping pics returned more champions of 115-117gr bullets than any mention of 110gr. There is very little reports of 110gr accubonds in the 25-06, seems that any question about them gets more answers from people using them in other .25 cal chamberings or other weights all together. Their velocities are not obtainable in the .06 so wasn’t very helpful in my search. It also returned writeups of the 25-06’s useful range, which was out to 300 yards (this is subjective, I know).

Seems like a lot of people are happy and are using the 117gr weights and getting great results though. How far out do you want to use this caliber?

Also did a lot of calculations and the lighter and heavier bullets have a higher miller stability number than the 110’s out of a 1/10 twist barrel. I think you’ll be be ok with 117’s.

Maybe do some searches for 110gr accubonds 25-06 accuracy and you’ll find all the good things about the 117 [emoji38]

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I’m happy to keep my shots at 400 and under as that’s the upper limit of my ability anyways. I love the 25-06 caliber, me and it just connect in ways I haven’t with other Cals.

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I wouldn't sweat any 117 grain bullet made my the major makers in the 10 twist 25-06. I have shot quite a few of them and they all turned in good accuracy without alot of fuss. I also remember John Barsness saying the plastic tip on the bullets doesn't particularly count for length in BC calculations since it doesn't actually weigh enough to change the stability factor.
I’m happy to keep my shots at 400 and under as that’s the upper limit of my ability anyways. I love the 25-06 caliber, me and it just connect in ways I haven’t with other Cals.

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I don't know who you have been reading that is saying that 117 gr bullets from normal 10" twist out of a 25-06 will not be stable and accuracy will fall apart at longer ranges but in my experience they don't know what they are talking about. I have been shooting deer with the 25-06 for around 30 years and have killed a few hundred with it doing crop damage control as well as regular hunting. I have used all sorts of bullets and weights from 100 to 120 gr in 3 different rifles myself and my buddie has had a number of 25-06s, he never keeps anything long, and has done the same thing and we have never experienced any stabilization problems out to 550ish yards which is where we personally have decided that bullet performance because of velocity drop off may suffer beyond this on deer. My favorite bullet is Sierra 117 Pro Hunter for deer. At longer ranges it does not fly as flat as a BT does but it is not that much off but most of my shots these days are under 350 yards so there is really no difference but the flat base just shoots more accurate for me. I have targets shot at 300 yards with 5 shot groups under 1 1/2" with this bullet pushed by 49 grs IMR or AA 4350 ( they shoot the same for me) Rem case, CCI 250 primer. 3000 fps average from 26" Shilen #6 barrel on a Rem 700 action. Now as to yardages like 1000 and more yards you will find that most any bullet from any caliber with any really suitable twist that when the velocity drops below the speed of sound will get unstable no matter what yardage that may be.

Here is some advice I will pass on to you I have learned from years of hunting with any rifle and especially with the 25-06. As Dirty Harry said in Magnum Force "A man has got to know his limitations." Get to know what you can do with your rifle at what ever yardage. If you can not consistently place a bullet with your equipment past 100,200,300 etc. yards then don't shoot anything past that yardage.
With the 25-06 shooting 115-120 gr bullets doing 3000+ fps sight the rifle to hit point of impact 3" high at 100 yards. On deer size game out to 350 yards hold in the center of the front shoulder and squeeze the trigger and have a sharp knife ready.
It's a nice old cartridge. Easy to shoot.

I've found it easy to develop accurate loads for as well. I've shot bullets from 100 - 120 gr though a couple different 25-06 rifles, with anything from acceptable, to very good accuracy.

Most accurate was a heavy-barreled Ruger Number One varmint rifle. My goodness! That thing would group three 100 gr Sierra soft points into .3" at 100 yards. H4831 was the powder for that load. Too bad I had a stupid attack and sold that rifle!

But I did get another 25-06, the Rem 700 CDL. It's worked out splendidly! :grin:

I don't think you're going to have any trouble with 115, 117, 120 gr bullets.

I have used 120gr Nosler PAR and Swift A-Frames in 257R/25-06 and 257W out to 400 yards on game with excellent results. Groups at 100 yards were cloverleafs when I do my part. I have never used a 117gr bullet in any of my 25cal rifles/pistol so I cannot comment on that bullet. My guess would be you are good with it
I have taken truck loads of deer with the 117 grain Hornady at extreme ranges. Whoever said that they will not stabilize should give their head a shake. They work. For elk, a 120 grain Speer hotcore will totally ruin their day. The 25 06 is really underestimated. It doesn't kick the crap out of you, and deer are DRT. My first 25 06 was a silhouette rifle out of a custom shop, and a moment of temporary insanity caused me to sell it and buy another magnum. I am back to the 25 06, and it is my go to for everything now. My back will not tolerate the heavy magnums any more, and they are all gone. I am really sad to having to get rid of all of my Weatherby's but why keep them if I can't shoot them. I don't hunt in the mountains anymore due to health issues, and the 25 06 serves me well for anything up to moose.
BTW, ol' "1Shot" up above is my deer hunting/25-06 hero. :grin:

Anytime a discussion of the 25-06 comes up and I mention my success with that cartridge, I hope he'll see it 'cause he's killed about 10 deer for every deer I ever clobbered!

My mind kinda boggled when I realized the scope of his experience with the cartridge. Dang.

Load those 117's, they fly well.

Regards, Guy
Guy Miner":3dxdgwz2 said:
Too bad I had a stupid attack and sold that rifle!

But I did get another 25-06, the Rem 700 CDL. It's worked out splendidly! :grin:

I don't think you're going to have any trouble with 115, 117, 120 gr bullets.


Guy, i too suffered from one of those attacks :), i sold a Rem 700 Classic that was an awesome shooter and if i had a rudder leg i'd still be kicking myself. I turned around and did the same as you and bought the CDL 25.06 and it has worked out very nicely for me as well.

Back on subject ..... i've never had any issues what so ever shooting the heavier bullets in my 25.06 and my go to bullet is the Speer 120gr Hot-Cor and it's very accurate as far as i can see to shoot. I also have a very accurate load worked up with the Sierra 117gr Pro Hunter that shoots just as good as does the 110gr AccuBond and the 115gr BT. I've honestly never even shot a 100gr bullet from the 25.06 and have always shot the heavier bullets with excellent results. I agree with the others, load up the 117's and be confident, they'll stabilize just fine. Mike
Thanks again everyone, a lot of people throwing out some bizarre information out there lol

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Tossing my .02c worth in to the fray here. I have two 25-06's. One is a first year 700 ADL the other is a pawn shop rescue that has a Douglas barrel on. Between the two there are more than 5000 rounds through those barrels.
The first one shot 100 gr Speers and Sierra's for years. I loaded it with 117's for a couple of years and took whitetail (and one coyote) out over 400 yards with it. This rifle also took my first two elk down with one shot each. It now shoots the 110 AB with a load of 7977. BTW, this rifle has more than 3000 rounds down it's barrel and still prints .75" groups.
The other shot 120gr Speers for a decade. During that time it took half a dozen mule deer (one at a measured 526 yards) and about 40 or so white tail. It now shoots the 110 AB pushed by 7977 (about a 1/2 grain more than the other one uses).
As for stability, the first 25 was used to take a whitetail doe at just over 620 yards. (Measured with a rangefinder to the approximate location after the fact). It also has hit the white buffalo at the Whittington Center which is 1123 yards. I did shoot a 'group' there that measured approximately 9" (used a dollar bill = 6 1/8" long).
I'd say the 1 in 10" barrels handle the heavier one's fine.

BTW, it's not the WEIGHT of the bullet that causes instability in the projectile but the LENGTH of the bullet.