Reloading 25-06

IndyJones

Beginner
Feb 14, 2022
9
3
Nosler manual recommended COAL of 3.200. Distance to lands is 3.228". I tried 3.218, but that did not help.

I started with Hornady 117 gr SST bullets and could never find a good load. Switched to 100 gr and got much better results. Tested some 110 gr Hornady FTX, but that did not shoot well.
The rifle did not shoot Rem CoreLok 100 gr very well.
Sierra 100 gr GameKing shot ½ to 3/4", but I can't find any more of these for sale.
It appears that this rifle does better with shorter bullets also (less than 1.180").
I have recently started looking at bullet length and weight after discussing with Nosler technical support. The 100 gr 25-06 bullets I have tried range in length from 0.935" to 1.214" Those over 1.180" did not shoot well, but all weighed 100 grains.
Thanks for your message; it helped me better understand my own range data when I have to explain it to others.
 

nhenry

Handloader
Feb 7, 2022
262
370
Nosler manual recommended COAL of 3.200. Distance to lands is 3.228". I tried 3.218, but that did not help.
What I would recommend is getting yourself a Hornady OAL gauge and a modified case to figure out exactly how your different bullets interact with the lands, and then do a ladder based on that data you find. You can find a really accurate load out of something you thought was dogsh*t if done properly.
 
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IndyJones

Beginner
Feb 14, 2022
9
3
Thanks for at the advice. I have considered getting one of those but was never clear on exactly how they work or how to use them. I need to do some homework.
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,465
2,242
I have either purchased Stoney Point/Hornady OAL gauge or built the same for every cartridge I have owned. This is one tool that I simply don't want to be without.
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,990
548
Sounds like you may be expecting too much from an older production hunting rifle, that wasn't built with the same expectations that some shooters today believe that their $10,000 semi custom rifles should be able to shoot.

Are your expectations reasonable for you and your level of experience, and your equipment? Or has all the internet hype gotten the better of your expectations?

I would be very happy with those results that you have gotten.

The other point is that we, as shooters, are the biggest variable in the equation. Most of us cannot be consistent enough with our shooting form and other variables from shooting session to shooting session, to be able to consistently repeat top level groups each outing to the range.
Did you drink too much coffee that morning before heading to the range? (Top benchrest shooters will not drink caffiienated drinks (coffee, tea, soft drinks) before shooting, nor eat sweets or sugary foods and drinks, in order to be steadier. Some even go far as to eat burnt toast, as the charcoal supposedly settles the stomach acid and makes them steadier (or so I've read).
Did you have a good night's rest?
Did you sleep on your shoulder wrong and wake up a little stiff and sore?
Or twist your back recently?
Did you have a headache?
Were you stressed from work or an argument with the kids/wife/family member?
How many shots did you shoot during your range session? (Some people start to get recoil headaches after a certain number of rounds, and it is more prone to occur with more powerful cartridges; although no two people experience recoil exactly in the same manner or extent)
So many things can have negative impacts on our physical and mental state, that will show up in our performance levels during various activities. And this holds true for shooting targets for groups too.
We all have good days and bad days...and even amongst all of our good days, there are still days that are better than others!

After pondering on this overnight, and thinking about your targets, there seems to be some vertical stringing, which leads as suggested above, that there is an issue with your action bolt tension. You said that you have checked this and they appear fine.
I recall now reading about some older Sakos having some issues with action bolts and maintaining proper torque specs. If I recall properly, some production runs or models had bolts (sorry, I do not recall if they mentioned specific models) that were slightly short that was causing them to have insufficient threads to maintain torque, and the cure was to replace with a slightly longer bolt that had enough thread in the action to maintain torque, without impeding the action. Some also used blue Loctite to help keep the bolts from backing off.
Might be worth investigating on your rifle.
 
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IndyJones

Beginner
Feb 14, 2022
9
3
yes it did; thanks
I ordered the Lock-n-Load tool but can't find modified cases for 4 of the calibers I need. So, I tried seating bullets in sized cases w/o primer or charge, but extra long. Then tested them in the rifle to see where the lands left marks on the bullets that were covered with magic marker. I was thinking this would be a way to get an idea where the lands were. I started with a 6.5 x 55 Swede at COAL of 3.225" for a 140 gr SST. The Hornady manual recommended a COAL of 2.905". I got scratches on the bullets all the way from 3.225" down to 2.885". So what is causing the marks in the colored marks on the bullets? This technique did not tell me anything about where the lands are.
I have also tried inserting bullets in fired cases after deforming the necks enough to get a firm fit of the bullets in the fired cases. The results there with 4 sets of three rounds were dismal. The range of measured results was 0.040 to 0.060"; so a useless exercise. I have tried this second method on other rifles and got lousy unreliable results as well. I know guys who say it works good, but for me it did not work with a crap.
 

nhenry

Handloader
Feb 7, 2022
262
370
I ordered the Lock-n-Load tool but can't find modified cases for 4 of the calibers I need. So, I tried seating bullets in sized cases w/o primer or charge, but extra long. Then tested them in the rifle to see where the lands left marks on the bullets that were covered with magic marker. I was thinking this would be a way to get an idea where the lands were. I started with a 6.5 x 55 Swede at COAL of 3.225" for a 140 gr SST. The Hornady manual recommended a COAL of 2.905". I got scratches on the bullets all the way from 3.225" down to 2.885". So what is causing the marks in the colored marks on the bullets? This technique did not tell me anything about where the lands are.
I have also tried inserting bullets in fired cases after deforming the necks enough to get a firm fit of the bullets in the fired cases. The results there with 4 sets of three rounds were dismal. The range of measured results was 0.040 to 0.060"; so a useless exercise. I have tried this second method on other rifles and got lousy unreliable results as well. I know guys who say it works good, but for me it did not work with a crap.
 
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