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Discussion Starter #1
Anybody here have any experience with the 25-20 in a 14" barrel? I'm wondering how much more velocity one can safely get out of this cartridge when loading it for the Contender? My basic goal is to find a fairly small and efficient 25 caliber round that will get a 75 grain pill to 2500fps out of a 14" Contender barrel with a minimal amount of case prep and without going the custom barrel route.

I am considering the 256 Win Mag as well. So far I haven't seen data that leads me to believe I can do this in a 14" barrel, but it may be the best compromise. It looks like I'd have to go up to the 25-35 in order to get that level of performance. A 25/223 or 257 JDJ would probably work but then I'd have to go the custom route. Is there anything else I should consider?
 

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Those are the carts I have been looking at for quite a while for the same reasons. I like the .256, but the .256 dies are not cheap, so I am more interested in the 25-20 or the 25-35.

mike
 

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I have a 14" .25-20. You will not get 2500 fps with a 75-grain bullet without going to one-shot case life. Even in my 24" M1894 rifle the best I could get was 2100 fps in a max load. I love the .25-20 but it will not meet your needs.

Handloader magazine listed loads for the .256 WinMag in both rifle and pistol barrels. The fastest they listed was a 75-grain load that gave 2530 fps in a rifle and 2310 fps in a pistol. I don't know the pistol barrel length but it was probably a Ruger Hawkeye. You might reach your goal with the .256 in a 14" barrel....or not.

The .25-35 will get to your speed goal easily. My 10" .25-35 gets 2300 fps with an 87-grain bullet, your 75-grain bullets should be able to reach 2500 fps easily with 40% more barrel length. My .25 Bullberry (necked down .30-30) gets nearly 3000 fps with a 75-grain HP in its 15" barrel - plenty of potential, but the larger the case the greater the recoil and the report.




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Discussion Starter #4
Yup, I keep coming back to the 256 as the best compromise. I should probably pick up the sizing dies because I shoot a lot of 357 Mag. A 256 in a 14" Contender may be in my future...

Thanks for the input guys.
 

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I used to own a 14" .256 Win. Mag. barrel, and according to my Chrony I could get just a hair over 2500 fps with the Sierra 75 gr. hollow point. The problem is that it took a case full of RL-7 to do it and case life was short - about 3 or 4 firings. If you back off and shoot for about 2400 to 2425 you won't see much difference in trajectory and case life improves. The barrel I had would shoot well under an inch at 100 yds; can't quite figure why I don't still have it....

RonF
 

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I have been thinking a 357 max to 256 would be an interesting round. I did not know it was being done. I would guess that the dies will cost the same as a small car.

mike
 

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No special dies needed to form and load a .256 Max. You can use standard .256 mag dies to size the neck and shoulder on a .256 max case. Most .357 sizer dies are deep enough to size the web area when you occasionally need to after several firings.
 

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25/35 in a 14"barrel , have one, is a mild round with less recoil than a 357 Mag in a 10" barrel.You can probably get 2500 with an 85 grain BT out of a 14" barrel because like LS says you can get 2300 out of a 10" and the other 4" should give you an extra 200FPS. I have not chrono'ed mine yet but will have to do that.I had a 14" 25BB , 25/30-30 , that I did chrono and with Fred's loads I only got 2475 with an 87 grain bullet ? I am sure there were other powders that would have worked better because I had a 100BT load that did 2450 and worked well on deer.The 256 loads that Rocky Rabb , in Handgunner hunter magazine,had with the high speeds were with little gun and they were extremely hot in my 10" barrel . I just think the 256 is a great little round but not enough powder room to get the speeds you want unless you go to a rifle barrel. Just my .02 worth based on experiences with the calibers and chrongraph results.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Jim, I think you're probably right. The 25-35 is probably the only standard rimmed cartridge that will give me what I want.
 

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I've not seen the Rocky Rabb article; could someone post the loads, or scan and post the article? I'd like to try a reduced version of those loads and chronograph them. Thanks.

RonF
 
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