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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.
This.

I’ve used bullets meant for deer on countless prairie dogs and coyotes.

I use my .308’s loaded with hornady interlocks, Remington corelokts, Hornady SST, Interbonds, or accubonds for EVERYTHING! All 150gr-165gr loads. 100gr in my .243 for everything as well.
 

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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!
Good plan. I like it and couldn't have made a better one.

Do keep us apprised of the outcome.

RJ
As RJ noted...that is a rock solid plan. Best to find what shoots good vs. what you think should be good.

I tried to load down some 117 gr. Sierra's many years ago, but they weren't as accurate and I had no confidence in them. Stay with what shoots. If you are looking for pelts, go into trapping and a .22 LR in the ear works the best.

Best of luck with helping your friend.

Joel
 

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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.
I'm in Carroll County, in the South-West part of Virginia. Our deer are similar to yours. They never get to grow around here, because at the first sight of a horn, spotlighters get them.

I'm going to be using my 300 Win Mag for varmints, deer, and a pretty large black bear that's ravaging honey bee hives, and breaking fruit trees. I'm going to be using the Hornady Precision Hunter for the upcoming season. Unless I find somewhere to setup reloading again.
 

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I have hundreds of Sierra 87gn spitzer flat base (#1610) left over from when we used to dispatch groundhog regularly, (back when I had lazy Saturdays), they do an amazing job. Recently I contacted Sierra about using them in my new AR platform .257 and they indicated that they are recommending them for use on medium game.

Pictured on the left is 5.56, the center is 25-45 Sharps(comes with 87gn Hot-Cor factory load by Federal), and the right is my new deer rifle round a .257-Hagar.


Although Sierra says the 1610 is suitable for all velocities I would probably load down to 2800fps or so for deer as the varmint loadings in the 25-06 were pretty explosive.
 

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The tried and true has always been the 100 gr Hornady interlock. It has long been the cheapest one and that counts when you're in college and shoot a lot. Devastating on both coyotes and deer.
 

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I live in south western part of the state, and our deer are tiny too. I've used a 300 and 338 win mags with Partitions and Accubonds, the deer are dead before they hit the ground. If you arent going over 300-400 yards, the Nosler Partition is the gold standard everything else is measured by. They just don't have high BC numbers, but they will work, every, single, time!
 

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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?
I like 120 grain A frames or 117 grain round noses. For deer or the occasional bear. Not what I would use on varmints but it will kill them very dead.
 

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Ir you are worried about costs buy some of the Ballistic Tip Blems from the Shooters Pro Shop. I have shot a good number of deer with them out of my 25/06 Encore pistol, and neither of us (me or the deer) could tell the difference.
 
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