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25-06

25-06

The 25-06 is merely a necked-down, 25-caliber, version of the 30-06 Springfield with no other changes.  Charles Newton made this conversion in 1912.  He might not have been the first.  Had he done this a decade later, when the 270 Winchester had been standardized, almost certainly he would have used cases from the 270.  This would have given his wildcat a usefully longer neck.

In 1969, Remington finally standardized the 25-06.  Too bad it failed to use the longer 270 case.

This is, in every sense, a magnum-class chambering.  The 25-06 was long hindered by a lack of suitable propellants.  With the best modern very-slow-burning propellants it can finally live up to the potential of such a large case in such a small bore.

When loaded with lighter bullets the 25-06 is a fine varmint, predator, and pronghorn combination.  When loaded with the best premium bullets of 120-grains or heavier it can be used effectively for hunting larger species.  With an 8-twist barrel it works with heavier bullets, with much higher BCs, and is even better suited to such use.


For recoil-sensitive shooters who want something more than the 243 Winchester has to offer, this is a fine option.

As with all rounds with significant relative capacity, it is important to avoid over-heating the barrel.  For the big-game hunter this is not much of a concern; for the varmint hunter it certainly can be.  It would be no trick at all to ruin a 25-06 barrel in one hot day of prairie dog shooting.  The short case neck does not help with barrel life.  As with the 6.5mm-06, many wildcatters use a reamer that allows them to use 270 Winchester cases.

The 50/1000-inch (15%) longer neck is beneficial for increased neck tension and improved barrel life.  In this instance, the neck of the 25-06 is probably on the edge of being long enough to give the full benefit of a long neck; if it were 15% longer, it most-assuredly would be long enough.  Details matter.

Heritage of this case dates to the 1870s with the introduction of the 40-70 Ballard case.


The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
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