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Discussion Starter #1
Novice re-loader from southeastern Va. here who has a friend with a new 25-06 rem.. It is a Browning X-bolt, and I was wondering if there is such a thing as a load for both varmints and these rather small whitetail deer we have in the state of Va. and N.C., where it would be used. I was thinking about trying an 80 gr. Barnes TTSX BT because of the higher velocity and flatter trajectory. Keep in mind that in N.C. it would be used in the flat farmland fields in the southeastern part of the state, likewise in Va. (the Eastern Shore in Accomack Co., and an area considered Dismal Swamp, and not in the mountainous western parts of the states where larger bodied deer exist. A big deer for us would be about 170 lbs on the hoof, maybe a few now and then in the 180-190 range. Will this lighter bullet perform on the deer at 300 yards or would penetration be an issue and a 100 gr. bullet be necessary? I have never hunted deer with a rifle but have many bow kills and am used to tracking. If that bullet would pass through on a well placed broadside shot at 300 yards on in, that would be great because the DRT scenario is not exactly my main concern. I'm just looking for some insight before I purchase any supplies and start loading. Thank you in advance for the opinions /advice/experience shared.
 

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You are asking whether a varmint load will work on deer, but I would just use a suitable deer load to shoot varmints. Way too much is made of an inch of trajectory. If you know what it is, you can compensate for the drop at range. You can't compensate for bullet construction. Varmints just need to be dead, and any deer bullet for the .25-06 (even a lighter one given the smaller deer) will do just that.
 

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Yup, I use the same loads on deer, antelope, coyotes and an occasional prairie dog. I’m fortunate in both of my 25-06s like 110 Accubonds which gives me good accuracy and terminal performance.

If your rifle will shoot them, I’ve had outstanding success with Sierra 100 grain Prohunters in my Abolt. They punch way above their weight even at the 400 yard range and don’t blow apart on close shots. Taken somewhere around 60 head of deer (both mule and whitetail) and antelope with ‘em, all pass through shots from all angles.
 

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The 25-06 is going to shoot pretty flat no matter what bullet you shoot in it. Like the others have said, pick a bullet that is constructed for deer size game and shoots the best in your rifle. Then your are ready shoot just about anything that you are going to find in VA maybe short of a big black bear.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Varmints just need to be dead, and any deer bullet for the .25-06 (even a lighter one given the smaller deer) will do just that.
Does this mean that you think the 80 gr ttsx bt is too light a bullet for these smaller whitetailed deer?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
pick a bullet that is constructed for deer size game and shoots the best in your rifle.
My overall question is whether the 80 gr. ttsx bt is "constructed" well enough for these smaller sized whitetailed deer. I know of people who use an 85 grain cup and core bullet from their .243 and they say it does fine, as long as you use good judgement when taking the shot. I figured a solid copper bullet would be as effective, and I would like to purchase these first and see how they do. So far I haven't gotten any comments to definitely stay away from it.
 

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25-06

Why pay for a premium bullet to do both? If you have a load with a 90 or 100 gr cup & core it's half the cost. Sure a 80 gr ttsx will kill deer. They have killed a lot of bigger critters with the 85 gr from a 243.
I use a 100 gr Hornaday Interlock in mine.
 

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The Shadow (Super Mod)
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My overall question is whether the 80 gr. ttsx bt is "constructed" well enough for these smaller sized whitetailed deer. I know of people who use an 85 grain cup and core bullet from their .243 and they say it does fine, as long as you use good judgement when taking the shot. I figured a solid copper bullet would be as effective, and I would like to purchase these first and see how they do. So far I haven't gotten any comments to definitely stay away from it.
An 80gr bullet in the 243 is near the heaviest end for bullet weight. In the 25-06, 85gr is lighter than some companies lightest varmint bullets....

Three reason Barnes recommends going with lighter weight bullets, is because they have a much higher velocity requirement than regular bullets. If you shoot a normal weight bullet it tends to act more like a fmj.

Can we suppose that you have hunted deer with some other bullet in your life? Then start testing the Barnes in various analogs like wet newspaper, or spoiled roasts, and compare the results of the two bullets.
 

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My overall question is whether the 80 gr. ttsx bt is "constructed" well enough for these smaller sized whitetailed deer. I know of people who use an 85 grain cup and core bullet from their .243 and they say it does fine, as long as you use good judgement when taking the shot. I figured a solid copper bullet would be as effective, and I would like to purchase these first and see how they do. So far I haven't gotten any comments to definitely stay away from it.

At this point in my hunting life, I do not use any bullet for which I must use "good judgement" over which shots I take because I'm unsure whether the bullet I have loaded is adequate for the job. I use a hunting bullet that allows me to have complete confidence that it will work on any shot I am willing to take.


If you find yourself on an internet forum asking whether or not something will work for your intended deer hunting, my advice is to find something else for which you have no doubts. If I was to hunt deer with a .25-06 it would not be with a varmint weight bullet, no matter what the construction of that bullet, and I would just shoot varmints with it whenever the opportunity arose.


I cannot recommend any 85 grain bullet in the .25-06 as a good bullet for deer hunting. With the proper bullet a .25-06 is a very good deer cartridge. Don't weaken it by working hard to find inappropriate bullets that will "probably" do OK if you always use good judgement.



How's that for a rationale for staying away from it?
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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I solved the "shooting varmints with deer bullets" and got a second 25-06. :rolleyes:

It's my opinion that ttsx bullets and their ilk are a waste of time. Look what's happened in California. If anything, that will force the solid bullet industry to build what they are advertising. :mad:

There, rant over.

What Monty said about the 110 grain Accubond. Very fine and capable bullet. It's predictable in its expansion and gives excellent accuracy. Except . . . . . I don't know what's wrong with mine, but neither rifle will shoot them to my satisfaction or any bullet over 100 grains :confused::confused: so I went with 100 grain Swift Scirroco II's. I was getting, say, 3/4 inch (?) groups at best with the AB's? Maybe I should have seen what they were doing further out . . . . I still can, I have most of a box left.

Darrker is right, kinda. While an 85 grain bullet is light for a 25-06, it's not really on the heavy end of the .243's spectrum, more of a mid-range of you will, as most hunters prefer 100 grain bullets and I've shot 108's from mine.

When I hear talk of "shooting varmints" I envision an expanse of prairie dotted by mounds of dirt with fuzzy rodents sitting upon them laughing at you as you drive by . . . . . . . I hate it when they laugh . . . . . . . . . . . They need to be more than just "dead", they need to be in pieces and dead :eek:

RJ
 
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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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I have taken several antelope and mule deer with a .25-06 and 100 grain Speer BTSP bullets.

And they are superb on prairie dogs.
85 grain Nosler BT Varminters are "superber" :D


More pieces

RJ
 
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The Shadow (Super Mod)
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I have killed a ton of deer with the 100 grain Hornady Interlock in 25-06. They also blow squirrels to pieces. I did shoot a crow one time at 200 yards to see if I could hit it. There was multiple pieces scattered about. Ground hogs don't crawl anywhere if you hit them correctly. I am sure I have shot other things with that bullet that I can't think of right now. I do not remember anything not dying quickly after being shot with it. They are not as expensive as premium bullets and you get 100 of them in a box.

Darin
 

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I use the 100gr Barnes TTSX on our fallow deer out of my 257 Wildcat which closely associates with a 25-06, so close the deer will not notice the difference. Normally my ranges are out to around 200 but if I can get closer then i do. The bullet penetrates through no problem and does the job. I am talking the correct placement just in the dimple behind the front leg half way up the body. NOW, I did report on here the performance of this bullet on a Fallow fawn (about 70lb body weight clean) I took the shot directly at the front through the hole in the chest front and the bullet entered slightly high and travelled all the way up the side of the backstrap and spine and I found it lodged in the pelvis. The amazing thing was the backstrap was still perfectly eatable. The animal died in its tracks and never twitched. I use Barnes TTSX almost exclusively these days other than in my 22s where I use the TSX which also do the job in spades.
Take silly off angle shots at deer and there is no bullet made that you can guarantee to do the job cleanly.
Patience is a virtue.

Varmints ...coyotes, foxes etc etc will not appreciate being hit with a 100gr TTSX believe me.
 

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Been shooting 25-06 for deer and varmint for close to 50 years. One of the few calibers I don't like Nosler partition in. Just could never find a load that shot well. I own a custom Mauser and a Ruger #1.

The 117 gr. Sierra Spitzer BT was always my favorite until this year when I got a .44" group using the 100 gr. Sierra Spitzer BT. I am sure it would be enough for deer too. Can't go wrong with the 117 gr. though as I have killed countless deer, coyotes and foxes with it.

I've switched to a .22 mag for varmint as most of that shooting for me is much closer than when I was in wider opened areas.

You've gotten great advice so far.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you everybody.

Thank you all for your knowledge, experience, opinions and advice. My conclusion is to load the traditional style bullets in the 100-117 gr. class for the 26-06. It is for a friends rifle and I suppose the priority would be to develop a load in his rifle that the gun likes and have confidence that it will do just fine on deer. Dave will just have to use that round for his varmint/target applications and figure out his trajectory for compensation. THEN later on if he wants, try the lighter Barnes bullets for specifically varmints if he wants something a little flatter shooting. Now this greenhorn has a game plan. Thanks again!
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Good plan. I like it and couldn't have made a better one.

Do keep us apprised of the outcome.

RJ
 
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