Modern Shooter: The Versatility Of The .25-06

Feature | Brass metal bullet cartridge close-up 7.62 gauge caliber | Modern Shooter: The Versatility Of The .25-06

The .25-06 rifle cartridge is one of the most versatile hunting rounds ever developed. It's basically a necked down version of the hard-hitting .30-06 but with a much wider range of applications.

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.25-06 Cartridge | The Premium Round for Hunters

Great Round for Hunters

The .25-06 was simply a custom cartridge until Remington picked it up in 1969. While it is still relatively expensive compared to other rifle cartridges, the 25-06 ballistics more than make up for any extra cost.

What is a Rifle Cartridge? A casing that houses the gunpowder and specifically made for rifles and carbines.

In addition, if you happen to reload your own ammunition, the cost per round can go down tremendously. Undoubtedly, the.25-06 cartridge is the go-to round for many hunters, as with the 25-06 sniper rifle.

1. Muzzle Velocity

[instagram url= hidecaption=true width=625] The projectiles can reach a muzzle velocity of 3100 fps and a fairly manageable .25-06 recoil. That means because the bullet travels so fast, it doesn't drop anywhere near as much as its competition does. Also, because it moves so fast, it has a good habit of bucking the wind, allowing the projectile to have tack driving accuracy even at long distances.

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2. Cartridge Sizes

Second, while most rifle rounds are only available in limited sizes — either big or small — the .25-06 cartridge can be found in sizes as small as 75 grains all the way up to 120 grains. This means that there is a projectile for every application.

If you're a varmint hunter, you can use smaller grain projectiles. If you're looking for deer, the 117-120 grain bullets are more than sufficient.

3. Availability of Rifles

If you can't afford a rifle for every application, one rifle will suffice, so long as you purchase the proper ammunition for it. Real marksmen develop their skill throughout the years and many of them don't have a variety of firearms at their disposal.

Who makes these versatile bolt-action rifles? For starters, the Remington 700 is one of the most popular rifles out there, and it also comes chambered in .25-06. There are others, too. For example, the Savage 111 Trophy is likely the most affordable rifle chambered in this round.


Here's a deer hunting video by BlackandChrome using .25-06 rounds:

The .25-06 rifle round is the best multi-application hunting cartridge available today. It travels ultra fast, is super accurate, and is available to take games of many different sizes due to its wide variety of ammunition sizes. I've seen three consecutive shots fired with this round at a distance of 100 yards. All three shots barely reach a centimeter apart from each other — that's how accurate a .25-06 round can be!

What can you say about the versatility of the .25-06? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 30, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

10 Responses to :
Modern Shooter: The Versatility Of The .25-06

  1. Alan says:

    I disagree.
    The venerable ’06 is one of the most widely used, available and versatile cartridge’s of our time.
    However, the .308/7.62 NATO is even more so.
    With careful choice, a wide variety of ammo is available, and it gets better with handloading.
    I’ve found that sabots will work with careful loading and testing, and the ability to go heavy makes this cartridge capable of similar trajectories to the .25, with just 3 inches difference in drop at 500 yards.
    A variety of gun configurations from Bolt to Auto and even some Lever actions, wide availability of Factory ammo, bullets and brass, and even armor piercing capability make the .308/7.62 NATO King of the ‘all around’ cartridges for the gun enthusiast or Survivalist.
    If you don’t have one in your arsenal, it ain’t complete!

  2. JS says:

    My cousin and I both had Remington Sendero’s in .25-06 and the chambers and leads matched perfectly. My cousin was my reloading guru and had developed loads for both us. Our preferred bullet was the Speer 87 gr. TNT. We both could shoot 5 shot groups at 100 yds. that could be covered with a dime. We used Vihtavouri, powder N-160, if I remember correctly. The TNT was a coyote destroyer for us. Flat shooting and devastating. Wish I still had mine, but when I was blinded in my right eye I could no longer shoot effectively and sold it.

  3. The Great Gearoni says:

    Good article but while the .25-06 is a great round, we’re talking survival here; so it has to be .308/7.62 NATO. Why? Availability! Ammo is everywhere. Reloading components are everywhere (just look at the variety and quantity of bullet weights and shapes at you local gun shop).
    To me, survival means availability. What center fire rifle or rifle round is most likely to be THERE, where ever THERE may be. It’s GOT to be the .308/7.62 NATO. (,22LR is, of course, a necessity as well)

  4. I have hunted for over 35 years and the 30-06 is still my go to caliber. When you can purchase factory ammo from 55 to 220 grain as well as surplus ammo I don’t think there is another caliber out there with the versatility of the 06.

  5. Roger says:

    25-06 is great if you want more than one rifle for hunting. It is way to small for elk and other larger animals. The 30-06 will cover all and it can use a 99grain bullet for varmint.

  6. George Steele says:

    I have to sort of agree with Alan on the bullet caliber – although my lean is towards Carlos Hathcock’s favorite, the .30-06. .220 Swift muzzle velocity with 55 grain soft point sabot rounds, and bullets all the way up to 220 grain factory loads, and 250 grain if you handload. That’s nearly a fivefold spread in bullet weight – prairie dogs to moose. Now THAT’s versatility! I have a .25-06 Ruger No.1, and it’s a beautiful tack driver and fun (no recoil) to shoot, but if I had only one caliber, in North America, it would be a .30-06.

  7. left coast chuck says:

    But if it is an end of the world situation, you would want a rifle that uses ammunition that is widely available. That means something that is used by the military and law enforcement. Fifty years ago I would have said 30-06 hands down. Today it is .308 Winchester or 7.62 x 51, Other calibers may be better all around or better for a specific task, but it is availability. In the U.S. the ammunition that is most commonly available is .30-06; .308 and surprisingly enough 30-30. You can find those rounds in National Guard Armories, the bait shop by the lake, the mom and pop gun store in a small rural town, even gas stations in some states. So my choice of rifle would be a bolt action in .308 or .30-06 and, of course a lever action in 30-30 in that order. A distant fourth choice would be a bolt action 5.56, not .223 and in fifth place, an AK or SKS in 7.62 x 39. The reason for a rifle chambered in 5.56 rather than .223 is that you can fire .223 in a 5.56 chambered rifle, but you run the risk of over pressure if you fire 5.56 in a .223 chambered rifle. The .5.56 should be a one in nine twist rate which is a decent compromise twist rate.

  8. MIKE BURNS says:


  9. Gabby says:

    When you get into your 60’s with arthritis, bursitis, and other shoulder aches and pains, the .25-06 is much more pleasant to shoot than a .308 or .30-06. I know this for a fact, and I also know that the quarter bore will kill them just as dead as all the others, which makes one wonder why we didn’t use this caliber when we were younger. I tell you why, because we were ignorant young cusses.

  10. Mike212 says:

    Gabby, I agree with you 100%. Wished I would have had my 25 06 years ago. Maybe my shoulders wouldn’t hurt so much now that I am nearly 60.

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