The 25-35 Winchester was the stable mate with the 30wcf/30-30 Winchester both came out in 1895 in the model 1894 rifle, they were the first two commercial smokeless cartridges. The 25-35 was chambered in almost any lever action rifle that the 30-30 had been chambered in. Such as Winchester models 1894, 55, & 64 until around the early 1950's in the '94, '41 in the 64, '32 in the 55. I believe the Savage model '99 was also chambered in this caliber in pre-WW I rifles as was the Marlin 1893 and possibly the Marlin model 36. Factory ammo is still loaded by Winchester but it's days are numbered. It is a marginal deer load, but will do the job if the guy behind the rifle does his part with careful bullet placement. Which should always be the case anyway.
The best use of the .25-35 these days is as a combination small game and varmint rifle. Cases are easily formed from .30-30s and common 85-gr. cast or jacketed bullets for the .25-20 work well.
To approximate the velocity of .25-20 factory loads in the larger .25-35 case use the 85-gr. jacketed Remington SP bullet and 10 grs. of #2400.
This is an accurate and non-destructive wild turkey load at about 1420 f.p.s.
For an explosive varmint load increase the charge with the same bullet to either 16 grs. of #2400 for about 2000 f.p.s. or 20 grs. of 4198 for about 2400. These will blow eating game to flinders, but are great varmint loads.
For a quiet small game load use any 85-gr. cast lead plainbased .25-20 bullet with either 3.5 grs. of Bullseye, 5 grs. of W-W231 or 5 grs. of PB, Red Dot or Unique for about 1050 f.p.s. DO NOT use these lighter charges with jacketed bullets.
The .25-35 makes a great small game and varmint rifle for modest ranges up to 175 yards.
I have always had a special attraction to this caliber probably because my grandfather had a 94 saddlering carbine which I was allowed to use a few times. I wish I had expressed my desire to have that gun. Unfortunatly it was handed down to a nonshooting uncle who became disgruntled with the family after my grandfather passed. I have inquired and offer to buy this gun at slightly above market value on several occasions and was told it was not for sale. I fear that it was probably already gone. Time may tell. I have seen a few around but none in which the condition matched the cost.
25-35's are hard to find in great shape for a resonable price. Got lucky on mine, from an auction, first year production in great shape with solid, shiny bore to boot! Have not fired it but should for sure. Bought dies and mold, made some bullets so no excuses now..
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