Reloading 25-06

IndyJones

Beginner
Feb 14, 2022
9
3
Need advice on inconsistency using 100 gr Nosler BT in Sako L61R 25-06 w/ twist 1:9.5; Loads are IMR 7828 SSC 53.5gr; COL 3.200". Nosler custom brass +/- 0.5 grains wt variation; groups range 0.38 to 0.63"; most results are 0.50-0.63".
Cannot get consistent 0.38 results; I have tried 55-57.0 gr of the 7828 and that groups = 0.63"-1.50"; IMR 4064, IMR4831 & IMR 4350 gave erratic results. Increasing COL to 3.218" did not help.
I calibrate powder scale before use; primer pockets cleaned; shooting 100 yd using Caldwell Rock rest. I shoot 4-round groups so barrel does not overheat. Barrel is free-floating - dollar bill slides between barrel and stock. Air temp ranged from 28F to 85F. When temp is below 35 F, I shoot a "warmup round" before the 4-round test group. Tried 117 gr SST, 110 Hornady FTX, Rem CorLok 100 gr - all poor or inconsistent results. Nosler 100 gr E-tip gave lousy results w/ IMR 7828, 4064, 4831 & 4350 and Hodgdon 4831. Barrel has been cleaned of copper fouling - no green patches seen; just gray and black.
 

possum

Beginner
Jan 17, 2016
59
27
Need advice on inconsistency using 100 gr Nosler BT in Sako L61R 25-06 w/ twist 1:9.5; Loads are IMR 7828 SSC 53.5gr; COL 3.200". Nosler custom brass +/- 0.5 grains wt variation; groups range 0.38 to 0.63"; most results are 0.50-0.63".
Cannot get consistent 0.38 results; I have tried 55-57.0 gr of the 7828 and that groups = 0.63"-1.50"; IMR 4064, IMR4831 & IMR 4350 gave erratic results. Increasing COL to 3.218" did not help.
I calibrate powder scale before use; primer pockets cleaned; shooting 100 yd using Caldwell Rock rest. I shoot 4-round groups so barrel does not overheat. Barrel is free-floating - dollar bill slides between barrel and stock. Air temp ranged from 28F to 85F. When temp is below 35 F, I shoot a "warmup round" before the 4-round test group. Tried 117 gr SST, 110 Hornady FTX, Rem CorLok 100 gr - all poor or inconsistent results. Nosler 100 gr E-tip gave lousy results w/ IMR 7828, 4064, 4831 & 4350 and Hodgdon 4831. Barrel has been cleaned of copper fouling - no green patches seen; just gray and black.

I once told a gunsmith this exact same BOLDED sentence, and he told me that I should have the thickness of a credit card between the stock and the barrel. I have No Idea if it's true or not but I sanded more out of the barrel channel and it definitely helped on my Win Mod 70. JMHO
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,893
1,329
Do you have the action screws torqued to spec?

JD338
 

NMachine

Beginner
Dec 22, 2021
10
12
Is this an original or custom barrel? How many rounds through it? It sounds to me like you have a barrel that shoots 1/2 moa with an occasional better group. That’s all the better some will shoot. Nothing wrong with that.
 

ElmerThud

Handloader
Jul 16, 2011
763
7
100gn Sierra ProHunter #1620 x 53gns IMR4350 Primer Fed 215 Magnum OACL 3.304" Comparator 2.746" Lee FCD moderate crimp MV aprox. 3.270fps
For me this shoots consistently within .25" MOA @ 100yds. (22" barrel).
The above is what I use for red deer hinds in Scotland. I use the 110gn AccuBond for stags. Obviously different propellant & reload data.
Personally I never got the Nosler 100gn BTip to shoot as well as the Prohunter.
Clearly use care working up the load for your rifle. Good luck (y)
If you can slide a banknote smoothly right to the action without any interference, you shouldn't have an issue with your floating barrel.
Note: My rifle is a single shot, so no magazine. The OACL may be too long for your magazine, - I have no idea, but check!
 

IndyJones

Beginner
Feb 14, 2022
9
3
Thanks for the responses. Action screws are torqued to specs. Optics are 4.5 - 14 x 40 Leupold CDS scope. Original barrel. Over 500 rounds through the barrel. Will post photos; none on-hand today. Compared results to air temp and saw no correlation between 28F and 85F.
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,768
1,198
What sorta optics and mounts? Shooting consistently in the .3’s is really doing something.

Show some pictures and that may help give some better opinions.
Scotty covered some important points. I'd have some opinions on some checks and fixes for a lousy shooting rifle, but what you're calling lousy might not be so. If you're upset that you can't stay in the .3's consistently, I wont be of any help. Need more info.
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,644
1,363
Need advice on inconsistency using 100 gr Nosler BT in Sako L61R 25-06 w/ twist 1:9.5; Loads are IMR 7828 SSC 53.5gr; COL 3.200". Nosler custom brass +/- 0.5 grains wt variation; groups range 0.38 to 0.63"; most results are 0.50-0.63".
Cannot get consistent 0.38 results; I have tried 55-57.0 gr of the 7828 and that groups = 0.63"-1.50"; IMR 4064, IMR4831 & IMR 4350 gave erratic results.

So it's usually shooting .50 - .63" groups at 100 yards?

I'd smile and take it hunting. :)

My 25-06 seldom shoots any better than that and has performed great in the field, bringing me mule deer, antelope & coyotes time after time. Longest mule deer shot was a one-shot kill at 400 yards. Longest coyote was at 420 yards. All with my good ol' Remington 700 that doesn't shoot any better, and maybe not as well as your rifle.

The 25-06 is a great cartridge, but getting a sporter weight rifle to consistently shoot in the .3's is asking a lot.

Regards, Guy
 
Apr 17, 2020
212
183
Yeah, with an original barrel, those are pretty great results really. The only way I'd expect to get better is perhaps by swapping the stock with an after market upgrade (less likely to help significantly), or by putting a custom barrel on there. Even if you did put a custom barrel though, it might be close to what your getting right now unless you opted to get a heavier contour, so certainly not worth the money being as your barrel has plenty of life left at only 500 rounds.
 
Apr 17, 2020
212
183
Here is H-S Precision's advertising pitch.

"There is not a firearm manufacturer in the world today that builds a more accurate and reliable rifle than H-S Precision. We guarantee that all of our tactical rifles that we produce to shoot 1/2 MOA in 30 caliber or smaller."

For comparison, their rifles cost about 4.5 grand so if your getting within a tenth of an inch of half MOA, I think your standing pretty well!
 

Slimfinn

Handloader
Nov 28, 2018
699
356
Also remember you are working with a rifle built over 40 years ago. You are shooting fantastic hunting rifle and using great hunting bullets and seeing very good results. It is totally understandable to be frustrated with inconsistent results. Do the groups open a certain way each time, is it between range sessions or during the same day? Other then the temperature change what are the weather conditions like? Have you checked the barrel with a bore scope? Is this a recent development or has the rifle always shot like this?
 

nhenry

Beginner
Feb 7, 2022
206
307
I tend to agree with Guy here. Unless you're doing benchrest shooting, half-inch is plenty good for hunting. The only way I've gotten better than that is with my custom 25-06.

If you're absolutely set on getting as small as you can, I'd make sure your stock isn't the issue. Wood swells.
 
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Vince2

Beginner
Jan 21, 2022
193
214
Half MOA ain’t nothing to sneeze at.

I had a Winchester Model 70 that was only consistent with the Hornady 87 grain bullet and IMR 4350. I tried just about every conceivable combination but that varmint bullet was the only consistent shooter.

I used it to take four antelope in Wyoming one year.

Vince
 

clearwater

Handloader
Feb 5, 2005
332
32
humble brag?

Sounds like you need to move to bench rest techniques with all the brass and bullet prep, cartridge and barrel temp measurements, bullet and brass concentricity etc. Maybe the bench wobbles ? Maybe the target stand? Maybe your pulse? Velocities?

How does it do at 200 yards? Sometimes I see a bigger variance between loading methods at longer ranges.
 

IndyJones

Beginner
Feb 14, 2022
9
3
Thanks again for all of the advice. I haven't been at the range due to weather conditions, so nothing more to show.
Regarding some of the questions posted: I am shooting from a concrete bench, so the bench is solid. I adjust my front rest to get on paper, then lock the front rest so it is not moving. The group variation is between range sessions not in the same session. I have not seen any pattern to the inconsistency; sometimes it left or right and sometimes it is vertical.
Based on all the advice, I think these results are either (a) as good as can be expected or (b) the variation is due to rifle hold or other changes on my end of the rifle.
I have moved the front rest to under the barrel anchor point, no longer hold the front of the rifle just one hand on the butt stock, and do not "grip" with my shooting hand - I keep my thumb parallel to the stock so as to not introduce any twist in the rifle. I will post photos of the next range results.
IndyJones
 

IndyJones

Beginner
Feb 14, 2022
9
3
Gotten some range results; photos below. Based on all the advice, it seems my results are about as good as they can be expected to be. I came across some Speer HotCor 25 caliber bullets in 100 grain, so I have tried those along with the Nosler 100 grain BT I have been shooting in this rifle.
The 2/20/22 photo of range results for the 100 gr BT: shot #1 was a cold barrel; 2, 3, and 4 were then shot; #5 and #6 the barrel was hot; air temp 45F (7C), light winds
about 5-8 mph; sunny.
1645717740737.jpeg
The 2/21/22 results were for Speer bullet; air temp 50F (10C), light winds 5-8 mph.

1645717804358.jpeg


The 2/23/22 results were also the Speer bullets; air temp was 38F (3C), negligble winds, cloudy. I pulled shot #3 on the 23rd. Shots #1 and #4 were in the same hole. There does appear to be a vertical pattern to some of the shots, but not always in the same direction. Thanks again for the help. [new to the website and hope the photos can be viewed.]
1645717899107.jpeg
 

nhenry

Beginner
Feb 7, 2022
206
307
Do you have access to IMR or H4350? I pretty much always load 100gr bullets with 4350 and it seems to be the ticket. IMR 4831 is perfect for the 115-120 bullets I use. The load that works best for all of my 25-06 rifles (and I've tried many many different loads) is around ~51 gr IMR 4350. with the 100 gr bullets, and ~52 gr IMR 4831 with the 115s.
 
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IndyJones

Beginner
Feb 14, 2022
9
3
I have tried IMR 4350 at 47.0 to 50.0 gr and IMR 4831 at 49.5 to 52.8 grains; best result was 0.88" but mostly was over an inch and sometimes 2". Due to the variation and those results, I abandoned these for this rifle. I have not tried H4350. I might try that.
I also tried IMR 4064 at 38 to 39.5 gr and was surprised at the poor results.
Before I could find the normal Nosler 100 BT discussed in this thread, I shot two boxes of Nosler E-Tip 100 gr and never found a satisfactory load combination. Occasionally got something around 5/8" but mostly got over an inch and many times over 2 inches; finally gave up on the E-Tip.
 

nhenry

Beginner
Feb 7, 2022
206
307
I have tried IMR 4350 at 47.0 to 50.0 gr and IMR 4831 at 49.5 to 52.8 grains; best result was 0.88" but mostly was over an inch and sometimes 2". Due to the variation and those results, I abandoned these for this rifle. I have not tried H4350. I might try that.
I also tried IMR 4064 at 38 to 39.5 gr and was surprised at the poor results.
Before I could find the normal Nosler 100 BT discussed in this thread, I shot two boxes of Nosler E-Tip 100 gr and never found a satisfactory load combination. Occasionally got something around 5/8" but mostly got over an inch and many times over 2 inches; finally gave up on the E-Tip.
Noted. Could the accuracy discrepancies be attributed to your rifle's preference to bullets larger than 100gr? I had an old Ruger 77 that absolutely would not shoot 100 gr projectiles, but it shot in the .1-.2 with 110-117gr stuff. Likewise, my last Sako 85 wouldn't shoot 110 projectiles, but ate anything around them right up. Have you tried any other weights?

Also, how to you determine COAL, as messing around with that can help tighten stuff up
 
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