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Old 02-07-2022, 09:50 AM   #1
Etxbuckman
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Default 25-06 bullet weight & type advise needed

I recently purchased a Tikka T3X 25-06 and am trying to determine what grain bullet may be best for this.

It's got the standard 22.4" barrel and the rate of twist appears to be 1:10.

I was considering the 117 grain Hornady American Whitetail, but from what I'm reading lighter bullets may be better suited with the shorter barrel. This will be for whitetail and hogs, and shots will be anywhere from 50 yards to 300 yards.
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Old 02-07-2022, 09:58 AM   #2
88 Bound
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Youíll likely get lots of different answers. Iím a fan of lighter/faster myself. 100 gr. Pills are what fly best out of my rifle so thatís what I stick with. Without overthinking it, just grab several different types of rounds and shoot the rifle. It will tell you what it prefers.
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Old 02-07-2022, 10:06 AM   #3
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Ive been wondering why 25-06 doesnt get 140 grain projectiles even though its a 6.5mm and plenty of 6.5 CMs are 140 grain. Seems that 130 grain is the upper limit for 25-06. The 25-06 and 6.5 CM side by side published comparisons seem to weigh 140 gn for the CMs and 120ish gn for 25-06 and energy seems to shine down range for CMs 140 gn.

Good luck MrBuckman.
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Old 02-07-2022, 10:08 AM   #4
ra61hunting
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I use the Rem. Core lockets in 100gr. I've had good performance with them out 200 yd. Never had to shoot farther. When I bought my rifle (Ruger) I also purchased all the reloading dies & components but have never worked up a load since the Core lockets group really well in my gun.
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Old 02-07-2022, 10:09 AM   #5
Etxbuckman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 88 Bound View Post
You’ll likely get lots of different answers. I’m a fan of lighter/faster myself. 100 gr. Pills are what fly best out of my rifle so that’s what I stick with. Without overthinking it, just grab several different types of rounds and shoot the rifle. It will tell you what it prefers.
For sure that's the plan, but I want to make sure if I do have to go lighter I'm using a bullet that kills quickly and efficiently. I was considering 117 grain Hornady American Whitetail, but if for instance 85 grain Winchester Silvertips are just as accurate and kill just as well, then so be it. I'm just leery of lighter grain bullets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Briar Friar View Post
Ive been wondering why 25-06 doesnt get 140 grain projectiles even though its a 6.5mm and plenty of 6.5 CMs are 140 grain. Seems that 130 grain is the upper limit for 25-06. The 25-06 and 6.5 CM side by side published comparisons seem to weigh 140 gn for the CMs and 120ish gn for 25-06 and energy seems to shine down range for CMs 140 gn.

Good luck MrBuckman.
Maybe one day I'll get a 24" barrel with a faster twist and larger bullets won't be a problem.

Really I just need to take the Hornadys I do have and go shoot it. I may be worrying about nothing. LOL

Last edited by Etxbuckman; 02-07-2022 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 02-07-2022, 10:10 AM   #6
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It's all due to twist rates and why you do not see 140 grain bullets in 25 cals.

Starting to take form with berger offering 133/135 grain, but your standard twist rate will not work. You will need 1-7.5/8 twist.

Back to OP, 100-110 grain pills will work great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Briar Friar View Post
Ive been wondering why 25-06 doesnt get 140 grain projectiles even though its a 6.5mm and plenty of 6.5 CMs are 140 grain. Seems that 130 grain is the upper limit for 25-06. The 25-06 and 6.5 CM side by side published comparisons seem to weigh 140 gn for the CMs and 120ish gn for 25-06 and energy seems to shine down range for CMs 140 gn.

Good luck MrBuckman.
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Old 02-07-2022, 10:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briar Friar View Post
Ive been wondering why 25-06 doesnt get 140 grain projectiles even though its a 6.5mm and plenty of 6.5 CMs are 140 grain. Seems that 130 grain is the upper limit for 25-06. The 25-06 and 6.5 CM side by side published comparisons seem to weigh 140 gn for the CMs and 120ish gn for 25-06 and energy seems to shine down range for CMs 140 gn.

Good luck MrBuckman.
25-06 = .257 diameter projectile

6.5cm = .264 diameter projectile

Not the same
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Old 02-07-2022, 10:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqfan5909 View Post
It's all due to twist rates and why you do not see 140 grain bullets in 25 cals.

Starting to take form with berger offering 133/135 grain, but your standard twist rate will not work. You will need 1-7.5/8 twist.

Back to OP, 100-110 grain pills will work great!
Like Ra61 said I'd like to try some 100 grain Corelokts, but finding them is a problem. I should've bought some 110 grain Noslers two weeks ago when they were in stock. That was stupid on my part.
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Old 02-07-2022, 10:15 AM   #9
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Berger makes the 135 gr LR Hybrid but your twist rate needs to be down to 1:7 or 1:7.5 to stabilize them. Also has the 115 VLD Hunting which is superb but would need a 1:8 for those. With that 1:10 twist you'll need a lighter bullet such as suggested above.
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Old 02-07-2022, 10:27 AM   #10
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That doesn't answer the question, read what I wrote above on twist rates. You should see 25 cals get really interesting with fast twist barrels with offerings from blackjack (131) and Bergers (133/135).



Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodtrail18 View Post
25-06 = .257 diameter projectile

6.5cm = .264 diameter projectile

Not the same
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Old 02-07-2022, 10:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqfan5909 View Post
That doesn't answer the question, read what I wrote above on twist rates. You should see 25 cals get really interesting with fast twist barrels with offerings from blackjack (131) and Bergers (133/135).
I agree, I was commenting on the quote in my post that stated the 25-06 was a 6.5 caliber.
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Old 02-07-2022, 10:32 AM   #12
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Mine likes 100gr core locs and the American Whitetail 117’s….sub MOA on both….no real scientific evidence other than just shooting animals but my experience has me using the 117’s. Love me some 25-06
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Old 02-07-2022, 11:02 AM   #13
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I would not get locked in on twist rates. I have a couple .223/5.56s that aren’t supposed to shoot 75 grain projectiles well but they do……very well.
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Old 02-07-2022, 11:17 AM   #14
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.25/06 was intended to shoot fast and flat. Unless one is hunting game larger than whitetail deer and hogs, 100 grain is enough.
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Old 02-07-2022, 11:54 AM   #15
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Mine prefers the 100 gr. CoreLoks and they are deadly. A body shot turns the insides to mush and there’s blood from the tip of the nose to the tail! Blood trails are easy to follow and short tracks as well.
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Old 02-07-2022, 01:26 PM   #16
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Mine likes 117grain Hornady SST’s.
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Old 02-07-2022, 02:12 PM   #17
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I shoot 100gr Barnes Vortex tipped TSX BT in my Rem 700 Sendero
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Old 02-07-2022, 02:26 PM   #18
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Both of my 25-06 shoot the hornady American whitetail 117’s just fine. So that’s what I’ve used. No issues thus far.

But I’ve started to reload and one will be getting 115 partitions and the other 100 grain Nosler ballistic tips.
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Old 02-07-2022, 02:48 PM   #19
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Don't overthink this. Find the hunting bullet that you want to use that your rifle shoots most accurately and call it good. If you hand load and want to maximize velocity look at the faster burn rate powders.
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Old 02-07-2022, 03:13 PM   #20
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I’ve been loading 100 gr. Sierra BT spitzers for nearly 40 years and my Winchester mod 70 loves them. Killed everything from varmints to mule deer with them. Can’t make myself want to do anything different.
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Old 02-07-2022, 03:37 PM   #21
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115 nosler ballitic tips
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Old 02-07-2022, 04:23 PM   #22
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My TC Encore likes the 117 grain Hornady American Whitetail you mentioned. The suggestions of going out and getting a few boxes of different types of ammo make sense - but not always easy to come by - or cheap.
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Old 02-07-2022, 05:01 PM   #23
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Are you going to reload? That will be your better option.

If not, try 75 grn., 100, and some 120, if you can find them. You'll soon know what weight it likes. After that, go with that weight and the best bullet/ammo you can find with that combination.
My Ruger No. 1 preferred heavier bullets (120 grn.)

Good luck!
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Old 02-07-2022, 05:11 PM   #24
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ive hunted with a 25/06 as my primary deer rifle for 30ish years and always shot 100gr. Mostly speer game kings. Out to 2-300 yards i dont think ive ever had a deer go more than 20yds
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Old 02-07-2022, 05:24 PM   #25
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I have shot 120 grain Remington Core Locked for over thirty five years out of of my Smith and Wesson 22 inch barrel. It shoots flat and groups tight for me. Never tried 100s because if it's not broken, I don't fix it. I have found ammo on line without a problem-now have seven boxes. See what your rifle shoots best.
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Old 02-07-2022, 05:51 PM   #26
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I run the plain Jane 120 gr. Hornady HP interlock in mine, they fly great over 52 grains of RL-22.


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Old 02-07-2022, 05:54 PM   #27
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Mine likes the 117g interlocks from Hornady.


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Old 02-07-2022, 06:02 PM   #28
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Try a few different weights/manufacturers to see what the gun likes to eat. If your a reloader the options are endless! I reload for 5 - 25-06’s and all of them like 117 gr Hornady BTSP’s with IMR 4350. Good luck!
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Old 02-07-2022, 06:04 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodtrail18 View Post
25-06 = .257 diameter projectile

6.5cm = .264 diameter projectile

Not the same
Okay. Got it now.
25-06 spits .257 diameter which equals 6.5 mm diameter projectile.

6.5 CM shoots a 6.72mm diameter projectile.

Now the mass difference makes sense.

Thanks MrBloodtrail.
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Old 02-07-2022, 07:53 PM   #30
Etxbuckman
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You guys that are recommending heavier grain bullets, say 117 - 120 and up, are y'all shooting these out of 24" barrels, or 22" like my rifle?

Understanding I need to try a few different types of ammo, I want to make sure we're not talking too much difference in terms of barrel length and twists.

And thanks everyone for the information and insight. I appreciate it greatly.
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Old 08-16-2022, 09:23 AM   #31
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I wanted to come back and update this. Keep in mind this a 22" barrel with a 1:10" twist, but here's what I experienced so far with the 117 American Whitetails:

- 1st two shots are always sub-MOA. But obviously I've had to shoot more than two rounds at a time because a) I was "breaking in" the barrel; and then b) moving on to trying to sight it in. At 25 yards the first two rounds go through the same hole, and at 50 they're touching.
- After the 2nd shot the groups start opening up, and after the 4th and 5th shots it's considerable, mostly stringing left and/or down.
- Given how freakin' hot it's been it may very well be that the barrel is hot (and perhaps I'm bit fatigued), though I've tried everything from putting an ice pack on the barrel for up to 5 minutes, or just generally letting it sit for up to 20 minutes.

So with that in mind it's occurred to me that this gun simply does not do well with these 117 grain bullets, so I've ordered some 100 Barnes TTX's and will try those. If I can get my hands on some 100 grain Core Lokts I may also try those too, but if anybody has any thoughts on the matter that may help me out I'm all ears.

Last edited by Etxbuckman; 08-16-2022 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 08-16-2022, 09:30 AM   #32
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Odd. I have a 22” barrel and a 26” barrel 25/06 and they’ll both throw the 117’s very very accurate. But I admittedly don’t know the twist of the 22” barrel rifle. I would think it’s standard twist though.

Also, keep in mind that with mono bullets they run longer than a lead based bullet so I believe that 100 grain is going to act like a heavier grain lead bullet.

But, that 100 grain core lokt would likely be night and day.
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Old 08-16-2022, 09:33 AM   #33
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I wouldn’t totally dismiss the heavier lead bullets either just off one brand. You may find the 120 core lokts shoot better. Never know
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Old 08-16-2022, 09:55 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Etxbuckman View Post
I wanted to come back and update this. Keep in mind this a 22" barrel with a 1:10" twist, but here's what I experienced so far with the 117 American Whitetails:

- 1st two shots are always sub-MOA. But obviously I've had to shoot more than two rounds at a time because a) I was "breaking in" the barrel; and then b) moving on to trying to sight it in. At 25 yards the first two rounds go through the same hole, and at 50 they're touching.
- After the 2nd shot the groups start opening up, and after the 4th and 5th shots it's considerable, mostly stringing left and/or down.
- Given how freakin' hot it's been it may very well be that the barrel is hot (and perhaps I'm bit fatigued), though I've tried everything from putting an ice pack on the barrel for up to 5 minutes, or just generally letting it sit for up to 20 minutes.

So with that in mind it's occurred to me that this gun simply does not do well with these 117 grain bullets, so I've ordered some 100 Barnes TTX's and will try those. If I can get my hands on some 100 grain Core Lokts I may also try those too, but if anybody has any thoughts on the matter that may help me out I'm all ears.

I've had no issues with the standard barrel. Handled 120 grn Grand Slams very well, killed several deer with it. Check the Classifieds on here, I still have a few boxes of bullets left to sell since I no longer have that rifle.
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Old 08-16-2022, 09:59 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqfan5909 View Post
It's all due to twist rates and why you do not see 140 grain bullets in 25 cals.

Starting to take form with berger offering 133/135 grain, but your standard twist rate will not work. You will need 1-7.5/8 twist.

Back to OP, 100-110 grain pills will work great!
Has more to do with magazine and chamber length.
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Old 08-16-2022, 10:06 AM   #36
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100 gr Nosler BT's if you're not concerned with meat damage, 110 gr Nosler AB if you are.
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Old 08-16-2022, 10:49 AM   #37
Etxbuckman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasbbq View Post
100 gr Nosler BT's if you're not concerned with meat damage, 110 gr Nosler AB if you are.
Do they make a 100 grain BT in 25-06? All I can find is 115.
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Old 08-16-2022, 11:19 AM   #38
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I have had a 25-06 for 12 or so years and remember trying several different rounds but can't remember what they were. I settled on Hornady 117 gr SST and been shooting them since then, they have done well.
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Old 08-16-2022, 11:21 AM   #39
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110 Accubonds or Sierra TGK
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Old 08-21-2022, 09:30 PM   #40
Etxbuckman
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So I’ve got another update here. I acquired some 100 grain Barnes TTSX bullets and was able to get the gun sighted in 1” high at a 100 yards, which is what I wanted.

At the same time I also brought a DIY barrel cooler that made a huge difference in terms of cooling the barrel down quickly and effectively, so that probably helped.

Given the fact that I didn’t have the barrel cooler when I was shooting the 117 grain American Whitetail bullets it’s entirely possible those shots were erratic because the barrel was too warm. Nevertheless I am much more than happy with the results I’ve got now, so we’re going to run with these for at least this season. At some point though I will get a 24 or 26 inch barrel with a 1:10 twist, and the heavier bullets will be fine.
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