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C-Trapper,

A 25-06 was my first "big-game" rifle many moons ago and it still drops deer sized critters with no problem provided I do my part. A 25-06 will not only provide excellent performance on deer at less 150 yards but will also provide the same performance well past 150 yards as it is intended to be a "flat" shooter. I've just started handloading for it but with Rem Core-lokts it would group 1 1/8" or less depending on what bullet weight I was using. I've never used it on bear so some of the others can comment on that aspect but as a deer round, it is still one of my favorites.
 

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RE: .25-06

The .25-06 is an excellent deer and pronghorn antelope cartridge. I have read that it is good, also, for sheep. It is generally a flat shooter and with appropriate bullets carries enough punch to readily take deer and pronghorn antelope out to 400 yards. Some people have called the .25-06 the optimal or the perfect pronghorn antelope cartridge. While the .257 Weatherby magnum is ballistically superior to the .25-06 -- and therefore presumably a better performer on antelope -- I suspect it loses some points because .257 Weatherby magnum ammo is expensive, less commonly available, kicks harder. It may be, and this is pure speculation on my part, that rifles chambered in .257 Weatherby magnum experience throat erosion more quickly than equivalent rifles chambered in .25-06 due to the "hottness" of the .257 Weatherby magnum load.

Many people feel that for black bear -- which can kill you -- a more powerful cartridge is called for. The .30-30 is used very successfully on black bear. The .30-06 is probably a better choice for black bear than the .25-06, from point of view of reducing risk to the hunter.
 

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The 257 WBY Mag barrel will last a long time if you take your time shooting it. I own one and fire 1 or 2 shots then wait for the barrel to cool to like it was before being fired then shoot 2 more. I do this with all my rifles. Barrels don't shoot, shoot, shoot when hunting so why do that at the range. :D
 

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coyote trapper1928,

I have taken everything from Ground Squirrels(kind of tough of them though) to Black Bear(only 1 and it wasn’t my idea - I don’t recommend their use for Black Bears[/color]) and Tule Elk(5 of them) with my .25-06’s. I am hoping for another Tule Elk tag this year and if I manage to get drawn I plan on using one of my .25-06’s loaded with Barnes 115 gr. TSX bullets. At around 3,200 fps. it should do the job out to 250 or so yards. The .25-06 has got to be the best All Around varmint/deer cartridge made today. Lawdog
:toast:
 

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Lawdog said:
coyote trapper1928,

I have taken everything from Ground Squirrels(kind of tough of them though) to Black Bear(only 1 and it wasn’t my idea - I don’t recommend their use for Black Bears[/color]) and Tule Elk(5 of them) with my .25-06’s. I am hoping for another Tule Elk tag this year and if I manage to get drawn I plan on using one of my .25-06’s loaded with Barnes 115 gr. TSX bullets. At around 3,200 fps. it should do the job out to 250 or so yards. The .25-06 has got to be the best All Around varmint/deer cartridge made today. Lawdog
:toast:
Lawdog,
What load did you use on that bear? I've never shot anything bigger than a groundhog with my 25/06, and it wouldn't be my first choice for black bear, but if it was the only gun I had I would think a 115 gr or 120 gr Nosler Partition pushed by a max load of H-4831 would be as effective as a 270 130 gr load on a bear. Don't you think?
 

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I've used my 25-06 to hunt everything from PD's to Elk....killed a BUNCH of Deer and Elk with it. I lways used the 100 grain Sierra bullet and it will drop an Elk like a bad habit with a good lung shot.

I've taken Elk at ranges from 100 yards to 600 yards...same results...dead Elk followed by a freezer full of meat.
 

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Gregory said:
Lawdog said:
coyote trapper1928,

I have taken everything from Ground Squirrels(kind of tough of them though) to Black Bear(only 1 and it wasn’t my idea - I don’t recommend their use for Black Bears[/color]) and Tule Elk(5 of them) with my .25-06’s. I am hoping for another Tule Elk tag this year and if I manage to get drawn I plan on using one of my .25-06’s loaded with Barnes 115 gr. TSX bullets. At around 3,200 fps. it should do the job out to 250 or so yards. The .25-06 has got to be the best All Around varmint/deer cartridge made today. Lawdog
:toast:
Lawdog,
What load did you use on that bear? I've never shot anything bigger than a groundhog with my 25/06, and it wouldn't be my first choice for black bear, but if it was the only gun I had I would think a 115 gr or 120 gr Nosler Partition pushed by a max load of H-4831 would be as effective as a 270 130 gr load on a bear. Don't you think?
Gregory,

It was in 1996 when I took that Black Bear sow while deer hunting. It was getting onto lunch time and I had my mind on the ham and turkey “Dagwood” in my pack. The spot I had in mind for lunch and where I was supposed to meet my son had this nice little spring running by a large blackberry patch(desert you know, as the berries were ripe at this time of the year) with shade nearby. As I was rounding the lower side of the berry patch this Black Bear sow(about 225 lbs.) came for me at a distance of about 40 yards. She never made any sound other than snapping her jaws a few times. She left no doubt she meant business as she knew I was there, the wind was from me to her.

The load I was using at the time was my favorite load at the time of a 115 gr. Nosler Partition ahead of 56.7 gr. of IMR-7828 for 3,210 fps.. I caught her head in my scope and fired causing her to stagger. She righted herself and came on again. Second shot, same effect. Third shot knocked her off her feet and she took longer getting her legs under her. The forth shot I got a shot at the side of her head and placed the bullet where it dropped her for good. I put a fifth and final(insurance) shot in her head just to make sure. I had stopped her just 20 feet from me and it was at this point my legs decided to not support me anymore. I was still sitting there when my son came along wanting to know what I was shooting at. I still deer hunt that same area but I no longer carry any of my .25-06’s, last year I carried my .270 WSM. Lawdog
:toast:
 

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I use the 25-06 for Mule Deer/Whitetail, Antelope & long range, especially
windy day Varmit Shooting. This is where the 25-06/ 257 Wea. shine in
my view.
Here is how I look at the Black Bear part of the question. I know that with
in particular the 115 Gr. TSX I can take any Black Bear that we have here
in Ar. the same way I could & have in the past taken Whitetails with a .223. When I say the same way I mean if I shot an unexcited Black Bear
from a blind or a tree stand & could pick the angle. However, in the woods
sometimes things don't go as planned & I want a gun to handle those
"other" situations. Lawdog's example is a good one where he shot a Bear
that had the adrenlin flowing & also had to shoot her oncoming & that
is why I take my 30-06 AI or 450 Marlin in the Bear/Big Hog thickets!
 

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Well in a charge situation like the one Lawdog found himself in I would definately want a lot of gun. (and some clean underwear) **** in that situation I'd love to have a 375 H&H magnum but that doesn't mean that anything less is an ineffective black bear round. Up a tree over a bait pile where you can carefully pick your shot I can't see why a 25-06 with 120 gr nosler partitions wouldn't be hot death on a black bear. In fact I doubt you would ever have one fail to exit the other side of the bear. Their hide and bodies are really not that tough and most rounds that will easily take whitetails are also well suited for black bear. Heck a lot of people kill them every year with a .243 and 100 grain bullets. Surely 120 grain bullets out of a 25-06 are a more potent combination than that.
 

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From experience:

Hornady 75gr HP's @ 3300fps are lethal on prairie dogs to, and including
deer.
Hornady 100gr SP's @ 3100fps are lethal on deer.
Dunno about bear, never hunted them.
 

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In reading the chain of events on the bear again, it sounds as though the first three head shots were with the bear coming toward the shooter and therefore, possibly straight-on head shots at the Bears skull. IF I READ THAT RIGHT, a 30-06 wouldn't of had much different effect than the 25-06 did from everything Ive read.
 

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Well, this thread answered any questions I might have about black bear and my .25-06. I guess it's not such a good choice after all for most situations. I'll just keep on using my 12ga. and slugs. I have a lot of confidence in that. Best wishes.

Cal - Montreal
 

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tcman
What you say is true but in that case with the choices that I mentioned I
could have had other options.
 

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When I go Black bear hunting way up in Canada where the big black bears are. I'm taking my 338. I will have enought gun.

My 257 can kill deer but I would not take it bear hunting. :D
 

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here in northern michigan,we have a spring and fall black bear bow season. every year we get a few 600lb plus bear with compound bows.
with a lot of them going well over 400lbs.
we hunt them with every known rifle,22/250 on up.and shotguns.
these are over bait from tree stands.
i use a 264 myself.
 

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The .25-06 is a great varmint caliber although a bit loud in the more settled areas. It's a bit of overkill on animals like woodchuck but will more than do the job. I woiuldn't recommend it on black bear, preferring a 12ga. and slugs for that task. I doubt if there is a better deer or antelope caliber around than the .25-06. Best wishes.

Cal - Montreal
 

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25-06

I think you would find it to be a very good varmint to medium deer rifle. I have used mine to shoot prairie dogs and mule deer. To my way of thinking, I find a load that works and stick to it. Therefore If I take my 25-06 the target will be hit with a 100 grain bullet.

In my opinion the ballistic advantage od the 25-06 is really seen in its long range capacity. Shots over 300 yards are realistic. As long as you do your part. Good rest, good trigger, and take your time. The 25-06 will bring you home the bacon.

longwalker
 

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Ok guys,I need to ask this....If people hunt bears with a bow,and kill them every year,then why the question about wether or not it'll work for bear? Folks kill bears here in the east every year with their 30/30's. As in all hunting situations,if we pick our shots and don't go for the one where you might have a snowballs chance in hades,then there is no reason that a 25/06 won't work on bear. As for Lawdog's bear,I would agree that a 12 ga slug in the noggin probbly would not have stopped her in one shot. She evidently had an attitude and was fixing to take out her frustrations on him. Luckily he had the fortitude to stand his ground and take her out. The next person that may have run into her may not have had a gun.

Of course all the comments above on my feelings and opinions so ya'll take it easy on me.


HWD
 

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For what it is worth

Huntswithdogs,

For what it is worth, I wouldn't think twice about taking my Tikka
M695, in .25-06 Rem. out for black bear, and one just under 700
lbs, was taken not too far from our property. My brother had it
close several times while archery hunting for whitetails. This
bear did have him start packing a sidearm, after it came close,
and growled at him, in his tree stand. At any rate, give me a
.25-06 Rem, and a 115 gr. Barnes TSX bullet loaded to MAX
pressure, and a decent shot opportunity, and there will be
bear steaks on the grill. If I was in a charging bear situation,
I still would rather face a bear with the .25-06, rather than a
.41 Mag single action pistol, which is what I carried in Alaska.
If for some reason, I did carry the .25-06 Rem., and
I was concerned about charging bears, I would just strap on
the tactical holster, with the 1911, loaded with some wicked
rounds. Five rounds from the Tikka, and a couple of mags
of serious flesh tearing .45 bullets, would be more than even
the mythical bears of the terrible dark forest can handle. :)
Actually this would be seriously over gunned by those silly
archery hunter's standards :-D

Squeeze
 
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