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25-06 load recommendations

1047 Views 35 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Brian Berg
I like to leave guns around the country so I just have to walk on the plane to go hunting and picked up a Weatherby 25-06 for $500 on clearance that I think I will use for whitetail muleys, pronghorn, and the occasional Elk.

A bonus is I have vast quantities Magnum, 4831SC, Varget and a few other powders that work with 25-06 - I ordered the new Barnes .257 VLD Hunter and some 80 GR TTSX . The twist is 1:10 so I have to stay on the lighter side of things.

Has anyone used the Barnes VLD in 25-06?
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That Burris line looks nice. The 3-15 would be my choice for a .25-06. That would give me a generous amount of magnification out to about 500 yards. A 4-20 might be better for long range western hunting and varmint work. I don't like anything more than 4x on the low end for up close shots. I wish more hunting scopes came with 30mm tubes like the Burris, your field of view will be much better than the traditional 1 inch hunting scopes.

I just picked up a 6x42 fixed from SWFA this month on sale for about $200. Made in Japan. Very impressed with this scope too, especially for the price. It's going to live on an Ar-10 chambered in .308 win. I've rung steel with it out to 400 yards, but I'd like more magnification for anything beyond that. Although there's something to be said for the simple no-frills approach.
I will set it up and leave it with a less than $500 scope , but with the prices of Optika6’s and Meostar I’m not leaving one behind . But you are not off base I have a Meopta Artimas 6x42 which would be perfect for stay on the gun scope.

Since I started this thread I ordered a Burris Veracity which I think will punch the ticket.

I am Going to explore the mount recommendations by @TriggerDiscipline it appears that we have a conduit of same scope needs.
I do not have an SWFA yet but it's at the top of my list.
That Burris line looks nice. The 3-15 would be my choice for a .25-06. That would give me a generous amount of magnification out to about 500 yards. A 4-20 might be better for long range western hunting and varmint work. I don't like anything more than 4x on the low end for up close shots. I wish more hunting scopes came with 30mm tubes like the Burris, your field of view will be much better than the traditional 1 inch hunting scopes.

I just picked up a 6x42 fixed from SWFA this month on sale for about $200. Made in Japan. Very impressed with this scope too, especially for the price. It's going to live on an Ar-10 chambered in .308 win. I've rung steel with it out to 400 yards, but I'd like more magnification for anything beyond that. Although there's something to be said for the simple no-frills approach.
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For the long range western hunting scopes which is preferable first focal plane or second focal plane?
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For open country long range western hunting, I'd recommend FFP. The reticle shrink doesn't matter as much in open country as it does in thick brush or in the woods. SFP scopes generally have to be cranked to the highest magnification to be accurate when using multiple reticles. Otherwise, you need to really know your scope. It's easy in a no pressure situation from a bench, but usually completely different when you find yourself in an adrenaline filled hunting scenario.

Something in the 15x range on the high end is plenty for me. I usually never make it to that high magnification anyway in a hunting scenario. I just want 4x or less on the low end. That's much more important to me.

Edit*
To add; if you're not going to shoot a really long distance and you're shooting a flat cartridge, a SFP scope is great too. Just sight in at 200 and most of the flat calibers are still on or just under at the 400 yard range. For the average Joe, a 600 yard shot at an animal is likely irresponsible. It's pretty easy to take the guesswork out at a manageable distance and just hold dead on, or use a little "Kentucky windage" at your max range.

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For the long range western hunting scopes which is preferable first focal plane or second focal plane?
SFP scopes must be on max magnification to use the reticle properly for drop.
It’s an individual preference, I am on the fence myself I will see how this one works out. For long range I think SFP is better due to the fine crosshairs at max magnification.
For the long range western hunting scopes which is preferable first focal plane or second focal plane?
The majority of rifle scope users have never used a FFP scope. Manufacturers make a limited number of FFP scope models. There always much pricier and mostly available by the upper end scope companies.
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Advantages of SFP: less expensive, less complex and therefore fewer points where something can break, wider field of view, reticle and stadia stay the same size regardless of magnification

Disadvantages of SFP: Reticle and stadia do not give accurate measurement of point of impact unless you're at min-max magnification, reticle stays the same size so it can't do cool things like look like a red dot sight at min mag. then a christmas tree at max mag.

For 95% of hunters, you're better off with a SFP scope IMO. They're cheaper, more durable, faster on target acquisition, and the hold-over accuracy will not affect you at most effective hunting ranges. In fact, if you're shooting that far, you're probably at max mag. anyway. A lot of guys only use their scopes at min or max mag anyway. I can think of a couple times I've shot a deer at 5 or 6x on a 3-9 variable, but both times were at ranges where holdover accuracy didn't make any difference, and I was using a SFP scope. The only scenarios where I would want a FFP scope is if I was hunting in an environment with extremely varied terrain (I'm thinking of a specific draw in the Uinta Mountains where I hunt both above and below the treeline, up-close and 600+ yard shots), or in varmint hunting where the targets are small and the range varies wildly.

FFP is all the rage right now, and manufacturers are touting it as an advantage over SFP. I'd say this is marketing malpractice. FFP is an option, comparable to whether you prefer steak or lobster. The other big problem I have with this marketing push is all the JUNK being put out in FFP. Some of these Chinese FFP scopes have reticles so big and unusable it's a joke. The glass is terrible, the field of view looks like you're looking down a drain pipe. If you're going to go the FFP route, plan on spending at least $800. I've yet to see a scope below that price-point that was what I consider functional.
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I say forget price. Buy brand. Stick with Leupold, Nightforce, Vortex and a few others and yes price will be 800 or more. I have a FFP Sightron. Top end scope as well. Sightron scopes aren't made in the USA but neither is most of the upper end glass. Here's a review from Mystic precision. Pretty good review. They now make an STAC 4-20x50 FFP model. It's in the 700-800.00 range.
Advantages of SFP: less expensive, less complex and therefore fewer points where something can break, wider field of view, reticle and stadia stay the same size regardless of magnification

Disadvantages of SFP: Reticle and stadia do not give accurate measurement of point of impact unless you're at min-max magnification, reticle stays the same size so it can't do cool things like look like a red dot sight at min mag. then a christmas tree at max mag.

For 95% of hunters, you're better off with a SFP scope IMO. They're cheaper, more durable, faster on target acquisition, and the hold-over accuracy will not affect you at most effective hunting ranges. In fact, if you're shooting that far, you're probably at max mag. anyway. A lot of guys only use their scopes at min or max mag anyway. I can think of a couple times I've shot a deer at 5 or 6x on a 3-9 variable, but both times were at ranges where holdover accuracy didn't make any difference, and I was using a SFP scope. The only scenarios where I would want a FFP scope is if I was hunting in an environment with extremely varied terrain (I'm thinking of a specific draw in the Uinta Mountains where I hunt both above and below the treeline, up-close and 600+ yard shots), or in varmint hunting where the targets are small and the range varies wildly.

FFP is all the rage right now, and manufacturers are touting it as an advantage over SFP. I'd say this is marketing malpractice. FFP is an option, comparable to whether you prefer steak or lobster. The other big problem I have with this marketing push is all the JUNK being put out in FFP. Some of these Chinese FFP scopes have reticles so big and unusable it's a joke. The glass is terrible, the field of view looks like you're looking down a drain pipe. If you're going to go the FFP route, plan on spending at least $800. I've yet to see a scope below that price-point that was what I consider functional.
Mine likes 52.1 grains of IMR 4831 with a 100gr Barnes TTSX going 3166fps. I'm getting about 1 MOA. I tried the 117SST and the 110 Accubond but couldn't get them to group. I'm sold on the Barnes. They hold up great. Here's one I dug out of a 7 point buck that was quartering hard away. It hit the shoulder and lodged just under the skin in the neck. It dropped right where it stood. It wound up losing its petals but, it certainly did the job. As for a scope, I put a Leupold VX-Freedom 4-12x40 with the Tri-MOA reticle.
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Man I got to try those solids by Barnes. I've shoot Badlands and Cutting edge but haven't shot any Barnes solids.
Mine likes 52.1 grains of IMR 4831 with a 100gr Barnes TTSX going 3166fps. I'm getting about 1 MOA. I tried the 117SST and the 110 Accubond but couldn't get them to group. I'm sold on the Barnes. They hold up great. Here's one I dug out of a 7 point buck that was quartering hard away. It hit the shoulder and lodged just under the skin in the neck. It dropped right where it stood. It wound up losing its petals but, it certainly did the job. As for a scope, I put a Leupold VX-Freedom 4-12x40 with the Tri-MOA reticle.
View attachment 881690
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I'm slowly switching over to Barnes for most everything. I get big exit holes with them out of the 30-06. And with the muzzleloader I'm shooting Barnes 300gr Expander MZ's. Occasionally I'll get one that doesn't pass all the way through. Picture perfect expansion.
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I'll have to look into the .257s
I'm slowly switching over to Barnes for most everything. I get big exit holes with them out of the 30-06. And with the muzzleloader I'm shooting Barnes 300gr Expander MZ's. Occasionally I'll get one that doesn't pass all the way through. Picture perfect expansion. View attachment 881694
Or half power for double the measurement.
SFP scopes must be on max magnification to use the reticle properly for drop.
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Never had any issues with doping drop with Moa reticles on SFP scopes. Typically dial the turrets but at the ranges I use reticles for drop use, the need for max magnification is usually best.
Or half power for double the measurement.
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Same here. Some are CDS scopes, and others Tri-MOA for the shots I don't intend on shooting past 300 yards or so. I like dialing rather than having to crank the scope all the way up. Especially in first or last light where the iris is smallest and lets the least amount of light in, AND... I don't like losing the animal in the scope at highest power during recoil. Most my shots are taken between 6-8 power.
Never had any issues with doping drop with Moa reticles on SFP scopes. Typically dial the turrets but at the ranges I use reticles for drop use, the need for max magnification is usually best.
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