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Discussion Starter #1
My wife's used a 243 for deer and antelope for years, and its been a great caliber for sub-250 yard shots. She has a 30-06 but its no fun at all to shoot, she only breaks it out for elk or her mt goat hunt (and the rare super wet deer hunts... its stainless/composite). She enjoys the .243 though. With her upcoming LE deer hunt I'd like to step her up to a .25cal rifle to give her another +100 yards of range.

I tend to like established calibers and on paper it seems hard to beat the classic 25-06, unfortunately it looks like its hard to find guns with +24" barrels.

257 wby is interesting but it might be a bit too strong on the recoil side. I also have no experience reloading those rounded shoulders.

Anything else to consider? I haven't kept up with any of the new short mags.

-DallanC
 

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I don't think you can beat the 25-06. If you were willing to do a semi custom, the 257 Roberts Ackley Improved is great in a lighter 24" gun. Don't tell anybody but most of the time I leave all my fancy super rifles at home and hunt with a 25. -------SS
 

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257 Roberts is a great cartridge. We have had fun shooting ours. You are welcome to shoot it (then you might want to buy it for her as I have 2 too many- she'd like a Winchester Featherweight, pretty wood stock plus an extra stock that is shortened for a youth). :) 115 gr Nosler partitions are deer and antelope killers.

I've shot 25-06 and 257 Wby-- I don't mind either, but they kick more like an 06. If it was for you I'd say the 257wby, but for her I'd go with the Bob. 260 or 270 are options, but then you might as well buy a 280, which is what I'd do and sell the 06. But then you wouldn't buy my Winchester Bob.

Another consideration is stay away from plastic and buy her a wood gun. She likes shooting her wood stocked gun and dislikes the plastic gun. She has good taste. :grin:
 

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According to the recoil charts, 25-06 is the same as 7mm08. I find the 7mm08 to be very mild, only a little more than a 243.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm

But I might take you up on letting her shoot the 257. Looking at noslers reloading data, in the max weight for .243 it posts an identical velocities as the 257rob, similar enough it might not justify the cost.

Biggest bullet Nosler has data for with the 257 Rob is 120grn @ around 2800fps. Compare that 120 to now say a 7mm-08 and the '08 is pushing a 120 at 3100fps. Maybe I'm talking myself into one of those... at least we have one in the house she could shoot and try.

Overall, I've been really impressed with 243's performance but I think a .25 (or .284) offers alot more energy at a little more range. Hmmmmmmm.... good thread, good comments... its got me thinking for sure.

-DallanC
 

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I have owned a couple 25-06's, great round, but I agree with SS in that I don't think they kick any less than my .308 or .30-06.
For a soft shooting gun with good power down range I'd look at the .308 based 6.5's. I don't own one but have test drove a couple and the recoil is noticeably lighter.
I wonder why there isn't a .25-08?
 

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Keep in mind that the heavier the gun is (generally speaking) the more fun it will be to shoot. This is because the gun weight itself will resist the recoil thus hurting your shoulder less.

If she is struggling moving up in caliber size I would recommend getting something in a bull barrel. The added weight will make it recoil less and increase your accuracy at longer distances.

My 2 cents.
 

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There is. It has never become mainstream because of the 250-3000 and the 257 Roberts.------SS
Expanding on this reply, I believe the .25-08 is a wildcat known as .25 Souper, but I don't believe it has become a factory load.
 

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One of the best shooting rifles I ever owned was a Smith & Wesson 1500 carbine 25-06. What a tack-driver. Should have never sold it.

Hard to beat the 25-06. I've had one or more since 1969. It was and will be my favorite antelope caliber although I like to mix it up some and use a different caliber, different weapon, each year on antelope. My go-to 25-06 round is a 120 gr Nosler Partition over IMR4350. How boring is that? My 25-06s shoot well out to 440 yards; after that my load, that projectile, is not too great on mule deer. I can hit em, but they don't go down right away. Antelope on the other hand don't make it.

The 25-06 doesn't have any recoil to speak of and it's one of the calibers I weaned the wife and kids on, especially that carbine I had.

.
 

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Hard to beat the 25-06. I've had one or more since 1969. It was and will be my favorite antelope caliber although I like to mix it up some and use a different caliber, different weapon, each year on antelope. My go-to round is 120 gr Nosler Partition over IMR4350; how boring is that. My 25-06s shoot well out to 440 yards; after that my load, that projectile, is not too great on mule deer. I can hit em, but they don't go down right away. Antelope on the other hand don't make it.

The 25-06 doesn't have any recoil to speak of and it's one of the calibers I weaned the wife and kids on, especially that carbine I had..
That was my thinking when I started down this path.

I have 100% confidence any deer at sub-250 yards is dead with my wife and her .243, anything further and we get closer. With the LE deer tag she drew this year, it might not be possible to get closer. 300-350 is still within ethical limits IMO, but a gun needs more energy at that range than a 243 can deliver reliably... hence the thought of a hot .25, flat trajectory extending PBR and enough energy to get'er done.

We could still just use the old 243 and wave goodbye at deer further out, but I'd rather extend her range another 100 or so yards. I have other calibers but my rifles are all southpaws. Still I think I'll let her shoot my 270 and my boys 7mm08 and see what she thinks.

As for the recoil of her 30-06, SHE hasnt complained about it but that thing rattles my teeth off the bench when I shoot it.... way more felt recoil than my 7STW.

-DallanC
 

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Looks like another 25 for me too. One of my old shooting buddies from Cali just called me with a brand new 257 AI built on a model 70 with a 24" Shilen. The price is right and I know the gunsmith. Do I need it? Nope. Am I buying it anyway? Yup.-----SS
 

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I've got a couple of 6.5x55 Swedes down at the store if you're looking for something on the unusual side.......

And the Low Wall is gorgeous.......
 
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I'm amazed the 25-20 hasn't been suggested :mrgreen:

In all seriousness, the 25-06 was the first to cross my mind when reading but a 257 Bob would be a neat little cartridge to own. It's been a while since I checked, but if memory serves me correct the bullet selection is lacking? I know there are some good hunting bullets available so I wouldn't worry too much.
 

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I just ordered me a 25-06 with a 26" barrel from Remington. I am really looking forward to trying it out and seeing how it shoots. Unfortunately I will have to go to Wyoming and Idaho for that...... Utah seems to be locked up from limited permits.
 

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Congrats Doug, a 26" 25-06 is a rifleman's rifle for sure. Don't be surprised if the new addition steals the show. I use my 25-06 ten times more than the rest of my rifles combined.........and I have a bunch of cool rifles. My wife, kids, and a couple buddies seem to like it a lot as well.

Did you do a custom shop rig?------SS
 

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Don't overlook the fact that rifle weight and fit can influence felt recoil a lot. You might be able to overcome some recoil concerns with just having a little heavier and well fitting rifle. Given two rifles with equal accuracy, bigger and faster is better.
Also, if the .25 you chose can't push a 115 or 120 grain bullet at .243/100gr speeds, you aren't really upgrading much.
 

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Dallan, whatever you have her shoot, put a limbsaver slip on recoil pad on it. I have one on all my shotguns and rifles and they really tame the recoil. Turns it into a gentle push instead of a punishing jolt.
 

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Savage lady hunter in 7mm-08 or 6.5 creedmoor. Stock design is excellent making it very comfortable for women to shoot. If you watch the local shooting ranges they'll often have demo day's and you could get her behind one for pretty much the cost of ammo maybe for free. I doubt she'll be disappointed. Definitely worth considering.
 
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