The .25-06 Remington

By Chuck Hawks

.25-06 Remington
Illustration courtesy of Hornady Mfg. Co.

A popular wildcat since the 1920's the .25-06, which is simply the .30-06 case necked down to accept .257 caliber bullets, was finally given a factory home by Remington in 1969. It has since become the best selling .25 caliber cartridge, and is available in many factory built rifles.

.25-06 factory loads are supplied with bullets of 90 (SD .195), 100 (SD .216), 115 (SD .249), 117 (SD .253), and 120 (SD .260) grains. The 90 grain bullet is usually a varmint bullet.

Standard factory loads kick out the 100 grain bullet at 3,230 fps with 2,316 ft. lbs. of energy at the muzzle. The 115-117 grain bullets leave the muzzle at 2,990-3060 fps with 2,289-2,391 ft. lbs. of energy. And the popular 120 grain bullets depart at 2,990-3,130 fps carrying 2,382-2,610 ft. lbs. of energy.

With the 120 grain bullet at 2,990 fps the remaining velocity and energy figures are as follows: 2,730 fps and 1,985 ft. lbs. at 100 yards, 2,484 fps and 1,644 ft. lbs. at 200 yards, 2,252 fps and 1,351 ft. lbs. at 300 yards, and 2,032 fps and 1,100 ft. lbs. at 400 yards.

The long .30-06 case has a lot of powder capacity compared to the small diameter of a .257" bullet. Thus the .25-06 is at its best with the heavier bullets in the caliber. Needless to say, with its small bore and large case capacity, the slow burning powders like #4350, #4831, AA3100, and IMR 7828 are recommended.

Here are some specifications of interest to reloaders: bullet diameter .257", maximum COL 3.250", maximum case length 2.494", MAP 53,000 cup.

The fifth edition of the Nosler Reloading Guide shows the following loads for their 115 and 120 grain Partition bullets using IMR 4350 powder, which proved the most accurate powder with both bullet weights in their testing.

45.0 grains of IMR 4350 gave the 115 grain bullet a MV of 2877 fps and the 120 grain bullet a MV of 2860 fps. 49.0 grains of the same powder gave the 115 grain bullet a MV of 3095 fps, and the 120 grain bullet a MV of 3080 fps. The Nosler techs used Winchester cases and WLR primers in developing those loads, which were tested in a 24" barrel.

Note: A full length article about the .25-06 can be found on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

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Copyright 2005, 2012 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.