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Discussion Starter #1
I have an old Sako L61 Finnbear in 25-06 that is one superb rifle. However, I'm not wild about the .25 calibers and thus don't often hunt with it. I'd love to have it in a .30-06 but was unsure if I can have the existing barrel rifled for that excellent cartidge. If it can be done, who would be a recommended gunsmith to handle the job and any idea of the cost? It shoots lights out in 25-0 but I know I'll never use it in that caliber. Your help is greatly appreciated!
 

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You can re-bore, but that's not always the way to go with higher intensity cartridges. Installing a new barrel is considerably more costly due to the cost of the barrel and bluing in addition to installation charges.
You'd be money WAY ahead to sell that desirable caliber and buy another rifle in 30-06 which could be cheaper. Only two screws need to be undone to switch stocks, if you prefer yours. Sako L61 stocks all interchange.
 

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I would be inclined to sent it to Shaw and have them put a new barrel on it, not that expensive and I've had good luck with them. Your take-off 25-06 barrel will bring 100.00 every day of the week, list it at 150.00 to start.
 

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CCAguns,
Interesting post,... I have been a dedicated 30-06sprg shooter for decades, so I understand your interest as well. But, I have always respected European hunters opinions and their wide spread use of the 25 caliber. Over the decades I evolved to using lighter bullets in my ought6,... today, I exclusively use 130 grains at around 3,000 fps, they have been very good. The 25-06 with a 120 grain bullet is published at around 3,000fps. I don't think that is enough of a difference between the two to be concerned.

As I stated, the 25 caliber is a well used hunting caliber in Europe, and comparing the two calibers, I don't see why you couldn't be happy with the 25-06,... unless, you are more interested in heavy bullets.

Over the decades I have become a firm believer that the 30-06 ballistics can come close enough (for me) to the other 30 calibers, to NOT WARRANT making any change! I feel the same way about the 224/5.56 caliber and other 22 center fire calibers,... there is hardly enough difference (for me), that I can't reload/ballistics, and get close enough, to make any change!

Back on topic, I think if you must go 30-06, and you really like the base rifle you have, I would change out the barrel. But, if the 25-06 stock/trigger/ergonomics are NOT all that special to you, I would just buy a 30-06sprg and have both. There are some really nice entry level bolt guns on the market now,... well,... there were when I last checked, which was before this latest panic scene.

All the best!
 

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Just talked to my local GS, David Van Horn, about reboring your L61 to 30-06. He says it would take a new barrel which he can make that would match in every way, except for original factory stampings. Due to the taper of the existing barrel, can't rebore. Need round stock bored barrel which then is turned down to whatever outside diameter/taper/length. If interested, Will supply his name and ph #. He comes highly recommended and has scratch built several rifles for me.
 

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I have an old Sako 243 which is the most accurate of all my rifles and it will do 1/4 inch at 100 yards consistently. I would buy another rifle instead of tampering with a Saco. Anyway, the 25-06 is a pretty good cartridge. I have taken 11 antelope and one mule deer with my 25. Most were one shot kills from solid holds. Let us know what you decide to do.
 

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I can understand a person wanting what they like. Before writing the 25-06 off I think you should give it try in the hunting field. It is one of those chamberings that punch way above their weight. In my opinion it is the optimum for deer and antelope sized game.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for everyone's input. I'll probably take Jack's advice and find another rifle. Guess I'll just sell this one. I hate changing a fine shooting rifle and it is a tackdriver. I had bad luck on a giant cull buck in south Texas and got soured on the 25-06. It was the hugest, widest 4-point buck (eastern count) I'd ever seen. I had a good broadside hold just behind the shoulder. I shoot a lot and the ranch I was hunting was happy for me to rid it of this buck. I was using a 120gr Nosler partition in which I had high confidence. Two days of searching found some blood but no deer. Made me sick. I've never lost a deer with a 30-06 or a 280. I do believe in larger exit wounds for better trailing. Hard for me to grab the 25-06 rather than my other proven performers now (although I probably know better). Thanks again. My love of the 30-06 and its successes fostered this inquiry.
 

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Jack gives good advice. That might be the best course of action. It's a good time to sell right now, maybe not such a good time buy as much, but the journey may be more fun than the destination.
 
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