Questions about a new 25-06

358 WCF

Beginner
Jan 31, 2020
146
7
Rather than muck up the RL26 thread, I'll post this seperately.

Is c. 60-70, or more, fps change per inch of barrel length normal in 25-06?

This is the 1st 25-06 I've worked with & am exceeding all loading manual speeds at listed charge weights by a pretty good amount; newest Nosler, Sierra, Hornady, Alliant, Speer, & even a few QLs I've seen included. I understand that books are only guides, barrels are individuals, & lots of powder are different, but it's up around 257 Wthrby. book velocities.

FWIW Factory 120gr PSP Corelokts averaged 3126fps. clustering in sort of round 3 1/2" to 5" groups during barrel break in.

The rifle has a 26" barrel. Most new test data is from 24". Both an old lot that I've been using & observing for years as well as a new lot of primers still have the radius & no crater. Bolt lift is easy. I haven't bothered measuring base expansion yet... primers are still snug after 4 or 5 firings. Same cases have needed trimming once after 2nd firing.

I dont think the chronograph is at fault as it's about in line with other calibers as well as 22rf speeds. A new lot of IMR4350 with all other components from the same boxes is significantly slower than the old lot in 22-250 Ackley on the same day at the same time as some of the 25-06 readings.

Before you ask, ejector marks sometimes happen when chambering & extracting (without firing) new virgin factory loads & new empty brass. These are light rubs, not smears. Think a burr around ejector hole in bolt face. The warranty repair process is more trouble than it's worth so will likely be seeing a local smith to have this along with another problem addressed.

Accuracy has been fair to abysmal except for some very promising early work with 87 gr. Speers that also greatly exceeded book velocity expectations with RL19, H4350, & 4451. Groups seem to shrink as velocity increases. I'm not averse to going a bit over book max with no sticky extraction etc., but with these speeds am wondering if this is a good idea. Sold as a "Long Range" model I was hoping for better accuracy results. Maybe it will improve as the barrel gets more rounds through it?

Should I smile & be happy I got a "fast" barrel & keep looking for accuracy, or be waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop?
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,771
1,786
It's been an awfully long time since I shot Remington 120's through a 25-06, but their accuracy was good. I don't recall the velocity.

I usually shoot 115's, normally Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets, sometimes 115 gr Berger VLD's - usually around 3150 - 3200 fps via Retumbo. 100's were normally in the 3340 fps area via H4350.

But all of those 115 gr handloads shot really well, in the 1 MOA or better category.

100 gr Sierra SP bullets over H4831 were incredibly accurate, at .3" from a heavy barrel Ruger Number One Varminter. I didn't have a chronograph then, but dang, they were accurate and out to 300 yards quite flat shooting. Not sure I ever tried them past that.

Guy
 

filmjunkie4ever

Handloader
May 4, 2011
1,466
101
What was your load for those 100 grainers Guy?

Been thinking of trying some of those in my .25-06!

Per the thread question, my Remington 700 has always shot the 120 grain Remingtons very well. I get right around 3000 FPS with them in the factory 24” tube.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

1Shot

Handloader
Dec 5, 2008
1,435
5
What rifle are you shooting? What loads are you trying? In my experience with the 25-06 you will usually get around 100 fps more from a 26" over a 24" barrel. I would suspect it is a chronograph set up issue causing your much higher velocity readings. Accuracy issues sounds like you need to do some work on the rifle it's self. Is the barrel free floated? It should be. What kind of stock is the action in? Glass bedding helps most any rifles accuracy. What is the trigger pull like? What is your set up for shooting the rifle? I have worked with a good number of 25-06s over the past 40 years. In my experience if a 25-06 rifle will not shoot 49 grs IMR 4350, Rem. case, CCI 250 primer and a 117 Sierra Pro Hunter or 52 grs. H4831, Rem. case, CCI BR2 primer, 115 Nos. BT or 117 Sierra then use it for a tomato stake.
 

bmoore

Beginner
Aug 24, 2020
91
1
I can echo that groups shrink closer to max charges. This is the case with my 700 CDL and Vanguard S2 in 25-06. They both do their best work at or 1.0 grains below max charge.
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,771
1,786
filmjunkie - listen to 1Shot - I've shot a fair bit of 25-06, but his experience puts mine to shame.

And, I used 54 grains of H4831 for about 3100 fps and superb accuracy.

Later I used a stout charge of H4350 under a Barnes 100 gr TSX for 3340 fps and a bit under one MOA accuracy. That was a zippy load! :) Shot a couple of deer with it, then wasn't impressed by the expansion of that bullet (except at close range). I have been told that the tipped version of the TSX provides much more reliable expansion.

But my favorite hunting bullets remain Nosler.

Guy
 

358 WCF

Beginner
Jan 31, 2020
146
7
Thanks to everyone for the responses. I wasn't necessarily looking for your pet load, but will take note of them for future load development.

The 1st question was about anyone's experience with gain/loss per inch of barrel in 25-06 as I have no experience with this cartridge to fall back on. I've had smaller 25s, but never a 25-06. The 2nd question was looking for opinions about what I'm experiencing with loading manual vs. real life differences of a much greater magnitude than I've ever noticed before.

1Shot":2t97r7xy said:
What rifle are you shooting? What loads are you trying? In my experience with the 25-06 you will usually get around 100 fps more from a 26" over a 24" barrel. I would suspect it is a chronograph set up issue causing your much higher velocity readings. Accuracy issues sounds like you need to do some work on the rifle it's self. Is the barrel free floated? It should be. What kind of stock is the action in? Glass bedding helps most any rifles accuracy. What is the trigger pull like? What is your set up for shooting the rifle? I have worked with a good number of 25-06s over the past 40 years. In my experience if a 25-06 rifle will not shoot 49 grs IMR 4350, Rem. case, CCI 250 primer and a 117 Sierra Pro Hunter or 52 grs. H4831, Rem. case, CCI BR2 primer, 115 Nos. BT or 117 Sierra then use it for a tomato stake.

1shot... Thanks for the barrel length info. I'll have to recheck my data exactly, but it seems this rifle is getting about 150 to 200+fps over what the books call for. Not complaining about the accuracy, still looking for it with different bullet weights in a new rifle & cartridge, but here you go... It's a brand new 700 Long Range using the same Hart front rest with Bald Eagle rear bag I've been using for decades without complaint other than it doesn't automatically adjust for the wind. The 1st series of handloads were consistently good, so I'm doubtful that the new scope is bad or the rifle itself needs much tuning for now. The mechanical issues will be addressed shortly but should not affect accuracy... only brass appearance & longevity. Trigger is not the 2oz trigger on my bench gun, but is creepless & reasonably light for a hunting rifle. I haven't gauged it yet, my guess is #3. Stock is from whichever aftermarket company Rem. used for this model. There is an aluminum block embedded. Barrel is free back as far as the front of the recoil lug. All screws are tight & I've torqued the action screws to 60 & 30 inlbs. There are signs of glass bedding, although with the fit of many other things on this rifle it could be questionable. I have loaded another series with the 87 Speers to see if something went south since the 1st time they were shot... if the weather cooperates this week.

I've just started load development. It's all preliminary testing at this point, getting a feel for what will work & what wont. Break-in/sight-in was done with 5 shot & clean using Rem 120 PSPCL with less than stellar accuracy results (just a note, not really a concern.) First handloads were promising with new unfired but older bulk WW brass, WLRs from about the same era, & the bullet almost touching lands. Speer 87/RL19 56-60gr x .5gr increment with a few 5 shot groups in the .2s & .3s. Same combo using Sierra 87s seated to same BTO grouped a wee bit larger. Same with Sierra 90/RL19 were not so good. Needs more jump maybe? Nosler 85BT/IMR4451 51-53gr. shot a little under an inch @ 52.5 with 53 having some feel to the bolt lift.

Wanting to try 100s, the only thing available that day at the usual places I shop were PPU FB spitzers. Same BTO with PPU 100/RL19 55-58gr. & groups were terrible. The PPUs with RL23 55-57.5gr showed shrinking groups with higher charges but the speeds seemed a bit too high so I stopped at 57.5. I found a QL somewhere on the web for RL26/100s which gave extreme speed with no accuracy to speak of & what turned out to be higher pressure than predicted or initially indicated. I've since found some 100gr Ball. Tips which are loaded with RL19 & IMR4831 waiting for the wind here to slow a bit. Sierra 100 & 117s are in the mail they tell me.

In all cases my velocities have been significantly higher than book (or QL) velocities which even with 2" of extra barrel seemed to be very high (see 1st question).

As explained in the original post above, I have little reason to suspect my chronograph readings. Another rifle dropped about c.250fps from expected speeds with a new lot of powder on the same day as some of the speediest 25-06 in the rotation, while 2 of the old loads still showed the same speeds (within 40fps) as 30+ years ago when they were developed The Oehler 33 has worked well for me with center screen at 10' from the muzzle since the late 80s.
 
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