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Hello All,

(First post after registering)

I've read a number of threads about this cartridge, especially this one:

http://www.shootersforum.com/handloading-procedures-practices/20108-25-35-loads.html

that is almost 6 years old.

I've got a 94 carbine from ~1937-1940. The family story is that my grandfather bought it to take my grandmother hunting with him. It was used by my dad, uncle, and I believe cousin when they were teenagers. I latched onto it and still use it 14 years after getting my first (of 2) deer with it. Unfortunately, between moving and hunting largely in shotgun zones, I haven't taken it into the field since 2005 (I believe).

I'm going to have a Williams FP sight installed (requires drilling, but I decided I'm not worried about modifications, because my grandfather cut some off of the stock back in the day.)

Other than helping my grandfather make some target loads for it when I was a kid, I'm new to reloading, but I'm doing my homework and making plans. My other rifle is a 7.7 Arisaka, so if I want to shoot much, I figure I should get into reloading.

I've found everything I think I need to create some great loads with the Hornady 117 RN.

BUT...

I have this idea that I can and should be developing another load with a spitzer bullet to chamber as the first round (with the RN behind it). My goal isn't to shoot any further. I haven't fired at a deer further than 50 yards yet. I wouldn't take a shot at a deer with the 25-35 at over 150 yards under any circumstances. My goal it to take advantage of a higher BC to improve the amount of energy available for those 50-125 yard shots that are likely an inevitable, making the gun as lethal (and humane) as possible.

In other words, I want to home-brew a Leverolution.

For instance, using the Hornady Ballistics Calculator:

Ballistics Calculator - Hornady Manufacturing, Inc

I estimate that pushing the 117 RN to 2200 FPS at the muzzle results in ~1735 FPS/782 Ft-Lbs at 150 yards. The same muzzle velocity with the BTSP gives 1903/940 at 150 yards, or more energy than the RN has at 100 yards.

I'm curious if this has occurred to anybody else, and if so, do you have any thoughts? What are the pitfalls?

Here are a few bullets that I would consider as prime candidates:

115 Gr. Nosler Partition
120 Gr. Nosler Partition
117 Gr. Hornady InterLock BTSP
120 Gr. Swift A-Frame

There are a number of other bullets in the 115-120 Gr. range from Nosler, Speer, Sierra, Hornady, and Barnes.

On paper, I like the Nosler Partition best, but the Hornady 117 BTSP is pretty attractive, as it should be very similar to the RN bullets that will be behind it in the magazine.

Before going with any of them, I'd want to make sure the manufacturer designed them to expand in a deer at the 1700-1800 fps range at the end of what I'd consider the usable limit.
 

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Before trying to load this round, spend some time locating components like cases, bullets, etc. If I remember correctly this is one of the original chamberings for the '94 just like the .30-30 was. It was a 'Smokeless for Blackpowder' load. In other words, it used the early smokeless loaded to be equivalent to a blackpowder load. That's where the second number in the name comes from. So, you don't want to load it any hotter than the original factory ammo was loaded, especially in that old pre-war '94.

The LeveRevolution loads are all tailored for each particular cartridge. It is NOT the same as the powder by that name being sold now. Base your load data on loads from a current manual, or from the powder makers directly. Use bullets appropriate for a tubular magazine rifle. Hornady doesn't make an FTX bullet in .257 caliber, so you're limited to jacketed flat points or cast lead flat points. Hornady's 117 RN is probably the best available.

Sounds like a fun project, though, and welcome aboard.
 

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25-35

I took a large doe with a 25-35 factory load and she still died. Years ago I experimented with spitzer bullets in a 30-30 as a 2 shooter, one in the chamber and one in the tube. It was a great idea in theory but they were never as accurate as 170 grn round nose. If it was me and 150 yrds was the maximum range I would set up for a 140 yrd zero and just go hunting with the factory ammo or reload Hornady 117 grn round nose (.243 BC). If you hit a deer at 150 yrds I don't think it would know the difference between a 117 grn round nose or a spitzer bullet. I don't think 150 ft/lbs more energy will make a lot of difference to a dead deer. I think at ranges near 200 yrds the spitzer bullets will start to make a real difference but if I were shooting at a deer at 200 yrds or more I would want something with more "Oumph" than a 25-35. PS. With boat tail bullets you're taking up even more powder space and the 25-35 doesn't have much of that to begin with.
 

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I've always wanted a 25-35 as my 'lighter than 30-30' gun. ultimately i got a 7-30 waters which feels lighter but has more energy than the 30-30. definitely be careful with those bullets you have listed as prime candidates, I suspect as well that they may be too strong for the slow speeds. I modified a 154gr hornady spire point 7mm down to 144grs for my 7-30 hoping to get a heavier load for it. I shot a deer at about 35-40yds with it (and it has a mv of 2400 fps) which resulted in a recovered bullet with a perfect mushroom and high weight retention...but the experience made me fear that a shot at 100yds might not offer enough mushroom at the reduced velocity...not sure. As another consideration to your setup, and eventual finished load, 150 yards with a receiver sight is a LONG ways in my mind. I use receiver sights on most of my rifles and am not sure I have the ability to hit a deer at that range reliably...so this may help with your bullet consideration. See William Iorgs thread on hunting with iron sights about how much the bead would cover on a deer at this distance....it's quite a bit, make sure you practice.
Good luck, sounds fun.
CJ
 

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Welcome JS.
I lost my first post on this thread so I hope this isn't a dup.

Love the Clemson area, spent some time there. I use to hunt down around Anderson. Great school and a good area for Textiles (back when the USA was a leading manufacturer). Calhoun's corners was a #1 restaurant and the "Tiger Tails" always kept me fulfilled!

Forget the Leverevlotuion. Just load one in the chamber and one in the mag. then use what every bullet your like. Noslers and A-frames are not really appropriate for the 25-35. The 25-35 is a very nice round and has killed untold deer and bear. Just need to get the proper bullet placement.

i like the 117 Hornady (# 2550) and it has killed a lot of whitetails for me. You might want to try the 100 grain spitzer Hornady (#2540) which will give you more velocity, and still expand on deer size game. The 25-35 is fine cartridge, but bullet placement is important.

I'd not tap it for a receiver sight and in stead get a side mount scope mount. With a 1-4 or 2-7 Leupold it is a nice walk-around deer gun.

Just my thoughts.

PS you might try The Handloaders Bench for some handload info on this round.
 

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My 25-35 likes the Hornaday 117 RN, it was designed for use in the 25-35. I don't think a spitzer has any real advantage at the ranges a 25-25 should be used. Most Nosler Partitions are designed to expand above 1900 fps. If you want to use spitzer bullets in a 25-35 the Nosler Balistic Tip would be a better choice. They expand down too around 1600 fps and they don't blowup at lower velocity like they do at high velocity. I have two issues with your plan to use a spritzer in the chamber and RN in the tube magazine. The first is safety, it is too easy to end up with one of the spitzer bullets in the tube magazine. The other is using two different loads at one time. Getting both loads to shoot to the same point of aim is not always easy. If you do use a spitzer bullet in a tube magazine I would load one in the chamber then one in the magazine. If a round is in the magazine don't load another. That would give you two shots and no chance of mixing up two loads.
 

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with your spitzers you'll also have to worry about cartridge overall length being too long to eject out of the chamber or to cycle up from the magazine. these two lengths may not be the same. i've found that the maximum length required for cycling is a little shorter than what will work for ejection. so you might be cutting the tips off some of these spitzers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the quick responses!

A couple of follow ups:

-I'm aware of the limitations in COAL for cycling from the magazine into the chamber. The handloads my grandfather made for target practice where 87 gr. spitzers that wouldn't cycle. I don't want it to cycle into the chamber. I'll put it in by hand before putting RNs into the tube. However, it hadn't occurred to me that they might not cycle out unfired--thanks for that tip.

-I'm not a fan of scopes for most hunting. I like the 94 to still hunt through the thick stuff. I hunted with a friend's 336 that had an aperture sight the other week and feel in love with it.

-I realize that some of the potential bullets might be to tough for the velocities I'm looking at. In your experiences, are manufacturers good about giving feedback about minimum and maximum impact velocities for their hunting bullets?

-How useful is that Hornady calculator I linked to? I'm using that to estimate how different bullet weights and designs affect down range energy and velocity.

-I'm a bit puzzled by the idea that the RN can be good enough for the ranges that the cartridge is good for when a primary reason that the cartridge is limited is that it usually shoots RN or FP bullets. I'm not trying to turn my 25-35 into a 25-06, I'm just trying to make it a bit more effective in stopping deer within the ranges I'm comfortable shooting within. Twenty percent more energy isn't insignificant in my opinion.
 

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I don't think it is the RN/FP bullets that limit the range a deer should be shot at with the 25-35, 30-30, 444 ect... It is the open sights. My 25-35 has a nice tang sight and I can hit milk jugs at 200 yards with it. But I don't shoot at deer past 100. Even if your ok shooting at 150 the RN will kill just as well as a spitzer, the deer will not know the difference.
 

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Thanks for all the quick responses!

A couple of follow ups:

-I'm aware of the limitations in COAL for cycling from the magazine into the chamber. The handloads my grandfather made for target practice where 87 gr. spitzers that wouldn't cycle. I don't want it to cycle into the chamber. I'll put it in by hand before putting RNs into the tube. However, it hadn't occurred to me that they might not cycle out unfired--thanks for that tip.

-I'm not a fan of scopes for most hunting. I like the 94 to still hunt through the thick stuff. I hunted with a friend's 336 that had an aperture sight the other week and feel in love with it.

For shots in "the thick stuff" a receiver sight/peep sight really is an excellent choice.

-I realize that some of the potential bullets might be to tough for the velocities I'm looking at. In your experiences, are manufacturers good about giving feedback about minimum and maximum impact velocities for their hunting bullets?

I would not trust any of the pointed bullets you listed to expand at your 150 yard velocity.

-How useful is that Hornady calculator I linked to? I'm using that to estimate how different bullet weights and designs affect down range energy and velocity.

The calculator is good for comparison, but you're putting too much emphasis on velocity, and ergo, energy.

-I'm a bit puzzled by the idea that the RN can be good enough for the ranges that the cartridge is good for when a primary reason that the cartridge is limited is that it usually shoots RN or FP bullets. I'm not trying to turn my 25-35 into a 25-06, I'm just trying to make it a bit more effective in stopping deer within the ranges I'm comfortable shooting within. Twenty percent more energy isn't insignificant in my opinion.
In boxing, they say speed kills. A lot of hunters say that, too, but nobody is going to claim the 25-35 is a fast cartridge. The truth of the matter is that BULLETS are what kill, regardless if you're talking small game, varmints or big game. You need different bullets, and bullet properties, to kill different game, efficiently. The key to using a diminutive round is to match the bullet properties to the velocity you're getting. You can't turn your old lever-gun into a 25-'06...so why would you want to use bullets DESIGNED for the much higher speeds that cartridge generates? ;)

Twenty percent more energy is meaningless...unless the bullet that impacts a deer is going to perform well with whatever velocity/energy it retains at distance. In your situation, the bullets you listed are not likely to expand consistently. You are FAR better off with the slower 117gr RN, or the already mentioned Ballistic Tip, if you insist on a pointed bullet design.

I think we all understand your motivation is to get a wee bit more range from your rifle. However, there are converging realities of accurate aiming and bullet performance that really SHOULD restrict you to shots of little more than 100 yards. Where you'll be using this gun, that shouldn't be an issue, so stick with the bullet actually designed for the speeds your rifle will generate. Be happy with what it IS, instead of trying to make it into something it's not. :twocents:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
i like the 117 Hornady (# 2550) and it has killed a lot of whitetails for me. You might want to try the 100 grain spitzer Hornady (#2540) which will give you more velocity, and still expand on deer size game. The 25-35 is fine cartridge, but bullet placement is important.
Because my goal is more energy down range (coupled with a bullet able to use it, as others have more clearly explained) and not a flatter trajectory, I hesitate to go with a lighter bullet.

About how fast can you easily push that bullet in a 94 carbine?

I'll plug the numbers into the calculator and see how the energy compares 75-150 yards.
 

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I personally believe the 100-grain bullet is what is needed for the 25-35. Ken Waters wrote an article years ago about specific bullet weights needed for certain cartridges. The 100-grain bullet for the 25-35 is one of his requests.
I have shot several of our smaller West Texas deer with the 25-35 and the 100-grain Speer JHP bullet. This bullet is intended for the 250 Savage but open quickly on our little deer at 25-35 speeds. If you read the other thread, you noticed Dr. A and I were shooting modern Angle Eject Model 94’s.
You do not need LeveRevolution powder. I have found the faster medium burn powders work well with the 100-grain bullets. Hodgdon Benchmark, H322, Varget and Alliant Reloder 10X all work well delivering high velocity and good accuracy.

I believe Alliant Reloder 10X is the powder for the 100-grain bullet in the 25-35. I feed the 100-grain Speer JHP bullets through the magazine on my rifle without a problem - but this is one rifle - even if it has been digesting them for 10 years.
Remember that even with our 100-grain loads generating 2,500 fps we only have about 1,50 fpe at the muzzle.

I know several people who use the 7-30 Waters and it is a fine deer killer with both the 20” and 24” barrel. The 25-35 with 100-grain bullets kills our little deer about as quickly under 100-yards. I don’t believe I have shot at a deer over 100-yards with the 25-35. Dr. Killed at least one doe at nearly 200-yards as I recall using the 117-grain Hornady bullet.

Do not overlook IMR 4320 and when loading the 100-grain and 117-grain bullets. IMR 4230 delivers high velocity and excellent accuracy in the 25-35.
Go to the book section and look for the electronic version of Phil Sharpes Complete Guide to Handloading and look for the current Lee Handloader manual for 25-35 data. There is quite a bit of data around.
 

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Something to consider about bullet shape.
I was able to drive the 117-grain bullet above 2,300 fps without difficulty in the Model 94 Angle eject rifle. The 117-grain Hornady JRN bullet with a BC of about .243 proved to be very adaptable at this velocity.
With my rifle sighted in at 200-yards I have a point blank range over 230 yards on an 8” target circle. My bullets are not going very fast at this distance and they are affected by wind but they are accurate.
Getting back to reality with the rifle sighted in at 100-yards the 117-grain bullet will stay in an 8” circle out to 150-yards but the energy has dropped off to where it is not a deer load at this distance.
100-yards is a good practical maximum with the 117-grain bullet.
 

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As I said the 25-35 is a nice deer round, but bullet placement with even a peep/aperture sight make it a 100-125 yard deer gun. Your accuracy with iron sights and the minimal ballistics of the 25-35 makes taking long shoots chancy.

I like to think the max range for any gun is ; the range at which you can take a standing/kneeling/sitting shot at a 6 inch white paper plate in a field condition and get all 5 shoots on the paper.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I agree

As I said the 25-35 is a nice deer round, but bullet placement with even a peep/aperture sight make it a 100-125 yard deer gun. Your accuracy with iron sights and the minimal ballistics of the 25-35 makes taking long shoots chancy.

I like to think the max range for any gun is ; the range at which you can take a standing/kneeling/sitting shot at a 6 inch white paper plate in a field condition and get all 5 shoots on the paper.
emphasis added
I agree. I mention 150 yards, not because I want to be shooting at deer 150 yards away, but because I want the deer that looks 115 yards but is actually 135 yards to be cleanly and quickly killed.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
100 Gr. Speer

I personally believe the 100-grain bullet is what is needed for the 25-35. Ken Waters wrote an article years ago about specific bullet weights needed for certain cartridges. The 100-grain bullet for the 25-35 is one of his requests.
I have shot several of our smaller West Texas deer with the 25-35 and the 100-grain Speer JHP bullet. This bullet is intended for the 250 Savage but open quickly on our little deer at 25-35 speeds. If you read the other thread, you noticed Dr. A and I were shooting modern Angle Eject Model 94’s.
Is this the bullet your talking about:

Speer Bullets - Product Details
#1407 Varmit Hollow Point

Thanks for the other tips!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Varmit Bullet for deer?

I'm surprised.

Speer Bullets - Product Details
#1407 Varmit Hollow Point

It is marketed for varmit shooting. I'm surprised that it gives you good results for deer.

How small are Texas Deer? The buck I got on Thanksgiving day 2011 in SW Michigan was 185# dressed, and wasn't in great shape after the rut and apparently having been wounded in the leg earlier in the season. I estimated that it weighed 230# live, possibly would have been more like 250# in early October. The 2 deer I've taken so far with the 25-35 were small yearlings from Northern Michigan, but I'd imagine they were around 150 lbs live.

However, it does make sense that a varmit bullet designed to expand violently at ~2800 fps might expand just right for deer at ~2250 fps. Do the bullets usually exit a deer in your experience? What about short-range shots (<25 yards)?

According to the Hornady calculator, your load is providing about 1048 ft-lbs @100 yards, and 905 ft-lbs @150 yards.

That compares quite favorably to the 117 RN @ 2200 fps muzzle velocity, which provides about 920 ft-lbs @100 and 782 ft-lbs @150.

I still like the idea of a slower, heavier spitzer, provided that I can find one that will shoot well and expand correctly at 1800-1900 fps. For instance, the Hornady 117 BTSP @ 2200 fps muzzle velocity would provide about 1038 ft-lbs @100 and 940 ft-lbs @150. It would also have a closer trajectory to the 117 RN following in in the magazine (and factory ammo, for that matter).
 

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I'm surprised.

Speer Bullets - Product Details
#1407 Varmit Hollow Point

It is marketed for varmit shooting. I'm surprised that it gives you good results for deer.

How small are Texas Deer? The buck I got on Thanksgiving day 2011 in SW Michigan was 185# dressed, and wasn't in great shape after the rut and apparently having been wounded in the leg earlier in the season. I estimated that it weighed 230# live, possibly would have been more like 250# in early October. The 2 deer I've taken so far with the 25-35 were small yearlings from Northern Michigan, but I'd imagine they were around 150 lbs live.

However, it does make sense that a varmit bullet designed to expand violently at ~2800 fps might expand just right for deer at ~2250 fps. Do the bullets usually exit a deer in your experience? What about short-range shots (<25 yards)?

According to the Hornady calculator, your load is providing about 1048 ft-lbs @100 yards, and 905 ft-lbs @150 yards.

That compares quite favorably to the 117 RN @ 2200 fps muzzle velocity, which provides about 920 ft-lbs @100 and 782 ft-lbs @150.

I still like the idea of a slower, heavier spitzer, provided that I can find one that will shoot well and expand correctly at 1800-1900 fps. For instance, the Hornady 117 BTSP @ 2200 fps muzzle velocity would provide about 1038 ft-lbs @100 and 940 ft-lbs @150. It would also have a closer trajectory to the 117 RN following in in the magazine (and factory ammo, for that matter).
Broom-jm and William Iorg have given you spot on advice here as have the others. Truth is the Speer bullet is most likely working well because it will expand better at the lower velocity's and not explode as if it came out of a 25-06. All of the bullets you are talking about using have a minimum velocity of 1800-1900 fps to expand at all and I would not use them in your gun, JMHO. William is a 257 caliber man and has posted pictures of his cartridges in that cal and he has them all, so his advice is valuable on this subject. You are going to be limited in the distance you should shoot no matter which bullet you use and I would just go with the Hornady 117gr RN that is designed for it. If you need to shoot beyond what the 25-35 is capable of humanely doing then use your 7.7. I just put a XS Ghost Ring sight system on a 30-30 and really like it and it will be my open sight's rifle, but I have others with scopes to reach on out there if I need too. Best to ya and welcome to the forum
 

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P.S., Nosler has their minimum velocity on each page for each bullet. If you go to their web and under products just pick a bullet you want to look at and scroll down and you will see the minimum velocity on each page for each bullet.
 
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