The .25 Remington

By Chuck Hawks

The .25 Remington, introduced in 1906, is simply Remington's rimless version of the .25-35 Winchester. The .25-35 uses a rimmed case designed to function best in lever action and single shot rifles. Remington designed a line of rimless cartridges that duplicated the ballistics of the popular .25-35, .30-30, and .32 Special Winchester cartridges for use in their bolt action, pump, and autoloading rifles. Pumps and autoloaders that load via a box magazine feed best with rimless cases. Stevens also chambered for the Remington rimless cartridges, adapting them to their Model 425 lever action rifle.

The Remington .25, .30, and .32 rimless cartridges are functionally identical to their Winchester counterparts and have the same case capacity. They are, however, dimensionally different, and are not interchangeable with the Winchester cartridges.

Reloading data for the Winchester cartridges may be used for the equivalent Remington rimless cartridge without alteration. .25-35 data is thus also applicable to the .25 Remington, as most reloading manuals that cover the two cartridges state.

The .25 Remington was designed as a combination varmint/predator/medium game cartridge. It doesn't have the flat trajectory of modern varmint cartridges, so today it is probably best limited to small predators (coyotes, etc.) and the smaller species of CXP2 game, particularly deer, goat, and antelope species with a typical live weight of less than 150 pounds.

It is a satisfactory woods cartridge for hunting whitetail and Columbian blacktail deer that offers minimal recoil and report. Anyone who is recoil sensitive or has a bad shoulder, but is a good shot, should become acquainted with the .25 Rem. or the .25-35 Win. It may be just what the doctor (so to speak) ordered.

Remington factory load ballistics used to call for a 100 grain bullet at a muzzle velocity (MV) of 2330 fps or a 117 grain bullet at a MV of 2125 fps with muzzle energy (ME) of 1175 ft. lbs. The MPBR of the 117 grain load makes it about a 200 yard cartridge.

The reloader with a supply of .25 Rem. brass can drive a .257" Hornady 117 grain RN bullet to a MV of 2300 fps with 25.5 grains of IMR 3031 powder, for a ME of 1375 ft. lbs. The trajectory of that load looks like this: +2.1" at 50 yards, +3.8" at 100 yards, 0 at 200 yards, -16.3" at 300 yards (Hornady figures).

The .25-35 WCF, introduced in 1895, had an 11 year head start on the .25 Remington and was offered in the far more appealing Model 94 rifle, and the .250-3000 Savage, which easily outperformed both of the older .25s, was introduced in 1915, 9 years after the .25 Rem. So the .25 Remington was caught between two more popular .25 caliber cartridges and never achieved much commercial success. Today the .25 Remington is totally obsolete, and the .25-35 and .250-3000 are tottering on the edge of obsolescence.

Rifles in .25 Rem. were discontinued shortly after the U.S. became involved in WW II, and factory loaded ammunition was discontinued around 1950. That pretty much ended the .25 Remington story.

Shooters with a .25 Remington rifle in good condition will be glad to read that Stars and Stripes Custom Ammunition can provide new factory loaded .25 Remington cartridges in virgin brass. Contact Stars and Stripes for details. (There is a link to Stars and Stripes on the Guns and Shooting Online Links Page.)

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Copyright 2005, 2011 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.