How effective is the 25-06 with either of these bullets?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by sambarhunter, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. sambarhunter

    sambarhunter AH Fanatic

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    I am having a debate with a mate downunder as to the 25-06 performance with the below factory loads.

    On a bull Elk say broadside in the middle of the shoulder? I am interested in the personal results of the Wapiti hunters.

    Hornady superformance
    117 GR SST

    Or

    Federal
    117 GR Soft Point
     

  2. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Fanatic

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    Can't help you with either of those loads. I have shot a 25-06 since 1976. Burnt the bbl out of my 1st one. Shot a bunch of Deer and a bunch of Black Bear with it. Have shot 9 Elk with 120gr. Nosler Part. None made it to 100yds. All single shots except for 2 who stuck around long enough for a second. Most of the Deer and Bear were Win 120gr PEP.
     
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  3. crudeoildude

    crudeoildude AH Veteran

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    have found the 25-06 to way under perform with fac ammo get some custom ammo with barnes or noslers then you will be happy
     
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  4. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Elite

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    It works ok. It really works when you use Barnes TTSX, Nosler Partition or Swift(A-Frames or Sirocco) Bullets. Taken animals with all 4 bullets. Also used Nosler BT bullets on pronghorns but prefer the Partition bullets.
    My 2 Cents.

    PS ---Said bullets also work well in the 257Roberts and 257Weatherby. Have loaded and shot those as well both in the USA and Africa.
     
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  5. IdaRam

    IdaRam SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    +1 On this.
    My opinion, .25 cal SST is way too lightly constructed for big game, especially elk. Much better varmint bullet.
    TTSX, Partition or A-Frame are much better choices.
     
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  6. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    With TSX, TTSX, Weldcore, Partition, or A-Frame 117 - 120 GR, it may be the best deer round for anywhere in North America - And I love my .270's.
     
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  7. sambarhunter

    sambarhunter AH Fanatic

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    All are stout bullets.
    I was more interested as to anyone vouching for sst`s effectiveness.
     

  8. Areaonereal

    Areaonereal AH Enthusiast

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    SST bullets....not for elk in the 25 06. It can work, but what are you going to do when it doesn't Not a reliable bullet for larger game.
     

  9. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I was first introduced to to SST bullets by a RSA outfitter. They hand loaded the SST for their 7mm mag rental rifles (Sako w/ Swaro glass). I believe they were 162 gr. My daughter and I had several one shot kills on PG (two kudu, two nyala, two impala, blesbok and zebra). Typically didn't get a pass through, but couldn't argue with the results. I was so impressed with the SST and was also attracted to the high BC, that I tried the Hornady Superformance 130 gr SST in my 270. They were very accurate, so I used that ammo on my Yukon Dall Sheep hunt. Another one shot kill, this one at 234 yards.

    In my opinion, the SST bullet is a good one, when used in the right size caliber for the job. I have done a lot of elk hunting and for many years used a 7mm mag. The last few years, I've carried my 338 WM, with Swift A Frames. My Montana elk outfitter lists the 270 as the minimum rifle caliber to carry.
     

  10. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    SSTs are far too lightly constructed. I used to have a .308 and I used to load a 165 SST for it. I hit a deer with one at 2,550 fps and the bullet didn't even exit on a broadside shot. All I found were bullet fragments. Stick with something bonded or better yet, partitioned and bonded. As long as you aren't going after a Roosevelt's Elk with a .25 caliber, a good premium bullet should work fine. Look into custom ammo manufacturers and have them load a bullet of the same weight and to the same velocity as the ammo you use to practice. you only need two boxes of premiums. Shoot the cheap stuff for practice then save your premium rounds for hunting and two boxes should last you for years.
     
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  11. sambarhunter

    sambarhunter AH Fanatic

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    I am debating a friend that says Yes,I believe myself that they are a NO and he will get the input of the AH members rammed lol.
     

  12. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Elite

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    Your friend is ill-informed and you are right. That is nicer than saying your friend is stupid. :) The SST works but when you get a less than perfect shot or even a crappy one you must take or not get your animal then I would not want to trust less than the best.
    Remember the bullet is the CHEAPEST part of any hunt. It would be the cheapest even if the bullet alone was $5 each and a round of ammo $20+. It is the most important part of any hunt because it is the bullet that determines if you fill the tag(kill the animal) or not. Yet I have seen far too many people cheap out on the ammo all while over spending on other things including the rifle. Not a smart move to me.
    I try to show the most respect to the animal that I am killing and that starts with cartridge and bullet selection for a quick, humane kill.

    My 2 Cents
     

  13. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    I agree with a lot of the others, get some Barnes factory ammo or reload some. While the .25-06 is on the light side for elk it will kill they quite effectively with the 115-120 grain bullets.

    Here is a picture of a coues deer that I took this last December. I was shooting a .25-05 loaded with Barnes 100 gr TTSX bullets at 3200fps. The shot was 420 yards. The hole that you can see is the exit hole, the deer didn't take a step after being hit. [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2018

  14. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    I should of said on that coues deer that it is just a example of what a Barnes 100 grain TTSX will do. Granted it isn't a elk with its heaver bone structure but they do work and with a heaver 115 grain Barnes TTSX I wouldn't hesitate to use them on a elk, however I would choose my shot.
     

  15. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Enthusiast

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    The "middle of the shoulder" is not a very specific spot. If I was shooting a Hornady SST at an elk I would only shoot at a broadside animal, would aim to put the bullet slightly behind the main shoulder muscles, through the ribs and 1/3 of the way up from the brisket. That would rupture both lungs and take out the big blood vessels over the heart. Such a shot placement would invariably result in a quickly dead elk. If you hit the humerus/shoulder blade joint just a little further up and forward, I predict that the SST would likely blow up on the hard bone, and never penetrate into the rib cage. Even if you avoided hitting the humerus/scapula joint that fragile SST bullet might not make it though the heavy shoulder muscles. 10cm difference in point of impact may have dramatically different results. The regular Federal bullet is somewhat better at penetration, but not a whole lot. Both bullets are quick killers for 100KG or smaller animals, but I'd use a stouter bullet than either of those for elk sized game.
     

  16. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Fanatic

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    First let me state that I think the .25/06 is the lightest cartridge I'd even think about shooting an elk with and actually think it is too light to be a legitimate choice for an elk hunt. NOTE: I love the .257 Roberts and I know that it and the .25/06 kill elk every year and great for the people that do it. However, to spend thousands of $$$ and a week or more of time on a hunt and then pin success on a cartridge with such limitations doesn't make sense to me.
    If I were to use a .25/06 on elk, I'd use a 115 Barnes, 115 or 120 Nosler Partitions or a 120 Swift A Frame and limit my shots to broadside, behind the shoulder at a max range of about 200 yds. But that's MY opinion.
     

  17. elmerfudd555

    elmerfudd555 AH Senior Member

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    I've killed 4 caribou with 117 SSTs out of my 257 Weath Mag. All were DRT one shot kills. 3 of the 4 bullets exited on a broadside shot at various ranges. One I shot right on the shoulder. That bullet just absolutely totaled both shoulders and we could find nothing but jacket material. I've shot a number of elk. All with 300 Win Mag or 338-06 and Barnes TSX. I absolutely cannot recommend the 117 25 cal SST for a shoulder shot placement on an elk.
     

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