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Thread: 25-20 reloaders



  1. #1
    Site Contributor Cowpoke
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    25-20 reloaders

    I am stocking up on componants. I am now sure that the 25-20 is gonna be my critter gitter here at the house. I have had it for a couple of years now but am just now getting around to ordering some bullets for it now that I have dies.
    I was told some good loads awhile back but cant seem to get much outa the search feature, Im sure I am not doing something rite .
    So, what are you Marlin CL ,25-20 shooters loading with ? Bullets, powder ? I would like to get a good varmit load , something flat as I can get for around 75yards or so . Coyotes , cats , crows , skunks, rabbits and just plane ol critters.
    I will record the info this time if you fellas will share with me one more time.
    Just whatever works for you . Thanks again.
    LtFrankDrebbin and bangaway like this.

  2. #2
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    Re: 25-20 reloaders

    If you'll excuse the fact that I'm not shooting them in a Marlin, I have many loads to offer, with trials of literally dozens of powders.

    Many of these loads were developed in a "levergun" chamber that the TC custom shop seems determined to afflict on the purchaser. This includes an overlong neck and no throat, a difficult combination to work with when it comes to cast bullets.

    I'm assuming you have a somewhat slower twist Marlin, and cannot take some of the longer bullets a faster twist rate would make possible at low velocity.

    If you decide on a bullet weight, your next decision is just how fast to shoot it. Reason being that a high velocity load for pests that does not consider saving meat will have a much higher point of impact than a 1100-1300 fps "small game load."

    Once you've decided on weight, generally 60, 75, or 86 grain jacketed if that's you're thing, I would suggest a powder that mostly fills the case if you're deciding on a varmint load ('Lilgun powder is an exception to this). In this area velocities of 2300 fps (60 grain) are possible, with 1900 to 2000 fps being reasonable for the 86 and 75 grain bullets.

    These loads are NOT for rabbits you want to eat.

    If choosing a suitable case filling powder, IMR or H4198 are good choices. 13 grains of these powders yields about 2000 fps with the 75 grain Speer, perhaps the slowest expanding of the jacketed bullets, but expand at these velocities it will. Consider this charge the normal maximum with the 86 grain Remington flatpoint at over 1900 fps, with good killing power on about everything smaller than deer.

    With the 60 grain Hornady (improved due to longer bearing surface) a near full case of 15 grains IMR 4198 gets over 2300 fps and will remove large chunks of your target. Not a small game load! Wonderful for lightning quick killing effect. The skiving and shape of the Hornady 60 flatpoint allow improved accuracy and expansion characteristics over the old shape they used to sell. The light weight and shape mean it is best employed within about 150 yards, with 100 to 125 yards being the limit for called predators, which encompasses almost all opportunities.

    A milder load of 11.5 grains H4198 gets about 1720 fps with the 86 grain Remington.

    10 grains 2400 gets 2200 with the 60 Hornady SP.

    Reloder 7 is of the same approximate burning rate as the 4198's and gets similar velocities. Behind a hard cast Lyman 257420, 13 grains Reloder 7 produces 1950 fps and is a good killing load with less pelt damage.

    However, 13 grains Reloder 7 is a bit slower than a similar amount of 4198, and use of this charge behind the 75 grain Speer gets a mild 1680 fps. Jacking up the charge to 14 grains produces a hair below 1900 fps.

    12.2 grains Reloder 7 produces 1700 fps with the Remington 86 grain SP.

    If using jacketed bullets for a small game load at lower velocites, likely the Speer 75 grain softpoint has an edge on the other two bullets, as it has a flat point of larger diameter, and killing effect is excellent even though the bullet does not expand at lower speed.

    In the typical levergun chamber and throat, the 75 Speer is my choice as likely to be "most accurate". However, accuracy is quite usable with the other two jacketed bullets. The Speer has a broad range due to its construction and shape.

    If this bullet is used for small game, I suggest speeds of from 1100 to 1300 fps as being most suitable, and would name my candidate powder as W231. Start at 3.5 grains for a mild pop and velocity in the usable range suggested. It meters well, burns clean, and is reasonably position insensitive.

    The very best employment of the 25-20, however, is likely with the cast bullet. I cast over five different designs for the 25-20, but if you're not a caster, Meister makes an excellent 85 grain flatpoint, being similar looking to the Lyman 257312 save it does not have a gascheck. With this Meister bullet, I suggest a charge of around 3 grains W231 to obtain about 1100 to 1130 fps and good killing effect with little noise. Also suitable for around 1050 to 1100 fps is 3 to 3.2 grains Universal Clays. Unique at 3 grains is also suitable, but charges this small with the flake powders often do not meter properly from fixed cavity measures (like the Lee Pro Auto Disk) and must be weighed. To do otherwise with any flake powder is to risk squibs from the flakes bridging in the cavity in weights of 3.5 grains and lower. Such also applies to Clays (not Universal Clays), Red Dot, 700X, etc. - in other words, any flake powder of relatively large granulation.

    For higher velocities of around 1280 to 1300 fps with the Meister bullet, try 5.5 grains 2400 or 6 to 6.5 grains H or IMR 4227. These last two are my universal "accuracy loads" as they have shot well in two different barrels with three different throat configurations. Such loads are mild and are about the slowest powders reliable in truly cold weather of 10 degrees or less.

    For higher plainbase velocities, with the Meister try 9.5 grains 4198 for just under 1500 fps. This is the highest velocity in which accuracy is reliable. Higher velocities start to throw fliers and enlarge groups with the plainbase bullet. If cold weather use is contemplated, use dacron properly to position the charge. Less powder is burned completely compared to the faster powders, but accuracy is the result due to the lower pressures. I would not use the load in extremely low temperatures.

    If you have a slow twist Marlin and the 1100 fps Meister loads do not shoot (it's a relatively long bullet) try the 2400 and 4227 loads, as the additional speed aids stability in slow twist rifles.

    For small game loads, I consider gascheck bullets a needless expense. The plainbase bullet is better here.

    The finest bullet for small game use, in my opinion, is the RCBS 85 grain Cowboy flatpoint. The large flat gives excellent killing effect even at mild 1100 fps speeds. Pair this bullet with 3.0 W231 or 5.5 2400 or 6.0 to 6.5 grains H or IMR 4227 for excellent accuracy. The last two powders get 1300 fps or thereabouts and have a bit of an accuracy edge on the W231 load, but I am able to produce about 0.8 inch groups at fifty yards on demand with the W231 load. The two slower powders average closer to 0.6 inch at that range. That's for five shot groups.

    There's a trick to loading the RCBS bullet. It was originally intended for black powder, which is why the lube grooves are so large. If filled with lube, the bullet is overlubricated, and fliers and enlarged groups result. If the lube grooves are not filled, with the higher pressure fast powders the lube grooves collapse to some degree, unbalance the bullet, and affect accuracy if the bullet is cast of 12 BHN wheelweights or softer.

    The solution is to cast of wheelweights, quench to harden (I obtain around BHN 27) and lube lightly with Lee Liquid Alox. If used with the W231, 2400, or 4227 loads mentioned above, I predict you will be pleased. Accuracy is excellent and killing power the same, with only mild meat damage.

    If you don't mind weighing charges, 6.0 grains IMR 4759 (the occasional run, purpose built cast bullet and reduced load powder) is outstanding and produces 1350 fps, which approximates the jacketed factory load.

    If you want a higher velocity load that is easy on pelts but still has good killing power, try the Lyman 257420 cast of a high tin/antimony alloy and load behind it 13 grains H4198 for 1950 fps. 8.5 grains H4227 (IMR really is the "old" H4227, so the same charge is appropriate) gets 1680 fps for a midrange type load with elevated killing power. However, 4227 is rather position sensitive, and if you've a reason to employ dacron, here's your excuse.

    This is not a knock on 4227 - many powders are surprisingly position sensitive in the .25-20 case with the exception of the fast pistol/shotgun powders. Remedy is to go to the case fillers, as mentioned, like 4198, or the thoughtful use of dacron with certain loads using cast bullets. Dacron reduces gascutting on the plainbase bullet, eliminates powder position sensitivity when appropriate, and ensures that leading is reduced to the point that the rifle can be shot indefinitely without accuracy changes due to fouling.

    A mild load of 3.0 grains W231 behind the Lyman bullet gets 1250 fps, sounds only a little louder than a .22, and gets decent groups at 50 yards. A good small game load for those wanting to settle on the universally usable cast gascheck bullet for all lead bullet use.

    I am fortunate to have very considerable small game and varmint hunting experience with the .25-20. When I say it is the gun everyone should own that has such interest, I'm not kidding, and I'm not overstating things.

    It's dirt cheap to shoot, has usable range on the most likely shots we're to make, and is a whole galaxy more effective than the overmatched rimfires when it comes to predators brought in to a call. Killing power can be excellent with cast bullet flatpoints yet with mild pelt damage, or if preferred, higher velocity loads with jacketed or softer (wheelweights) cast gascheck bullets can produce considerable tissue destruction, to the point of tearing large exit holes. The 60 grain Hornady at max speed tends to scatter small critters and tears good sized holes in everything else. The 86 Remington expands faster than the 75 Speer and is in the same category as the 60 Hornady as far as wound channels.

    Do not let this fool you into believing a .25-20 loaded with the 75 Speer at 2000 is a slower killer, though, as it works just fine even so and its killing effect cannot be distinguished from the other two. The previously mentioned bullets just make a little more mess.

    Flat point cast bullets, even of hard alloy, start to "pucker" the flat point at impact velocities over around 1250 fps. This "puckering" effect dishes the flat point slightly while actually widening the nose flat, a feature that produces the improved killing power (it's good on small game with no increase of nose flat whatsoever, though).

    A .25-20 that produces one inch fifty yard groups at 1100 fps is a considerably better killing gun than a one inch 50 yard .22 long rifle, because on many small game species (such as the tough fox squirrel) the RCBS flatpoint has good killing effect even if the bullet strikes a little far back. I've had occasion to note the excellent killing power of the .25-20 many times, and have taken, literally, hundreds of critters with this particular bullet at around 1100-1150 fps, including up to possum, feral cat, squirrel, rabbit, and other such game and pests.

    Called coyote have also fallen to the .25-20, and there is no lack of power here as compared to the rimfires. The larger diameter, heavier bullet compares favorably to the .22 Hornet in killing power, and that's stating it conservatively as I also have a .22 K-Hornet. I believe the properly loaded .25-20 is superior in killing power. I also believe John Wooters to be correct when he opined that when the .25-20 was employed within its effective range no .22 centerfire surpassed it in killing effect until you got to the .225 Winchester and .22-250.

    With the milder cast bullet loads, small pistol primers are preferred, and are suitable in the higher powered loads as well. Most .25-20 loads, even the full power ones, have less pressure than the 9mm pistol cartridge and their use is quite appropriate. I prefer rifle primers for very cold weather predator calling with powders such as the 4198's, Accurate 1680, Lilgun, and Reloder 7 but use pistol primers for everything else and for warmer weather.

    For leverguns, I suggest that a maximum cast bullet diameter is beneficial, and recommend the RCBS for small game use when properly prepared, the Lyman for higher velocity loads. The RCBS bullet should most definitely be hard cast or quenched if smokeless powder use is contemplated.

    The .25-20 is my most often fired centerfire rifle caliber, and everyone should own one. They need it - they just don't know it yet. I never knew how badly I needed one until after its purchase. Now, for most of my hunting, I can't get along without it.

    My opinion of this cartridge and its utility is so high that I spent over 400 dollars to have a custom chambered OTT Contender barrel made for it to overcome the TC Custom Shop barrel's shortcomings. With a 4X Burris Compact mounted atop its 22 inch barrel, it is in my opinion the ultimate small game and utility cartridge. I can hunt small game like squirrel and rabbit all day, and called predators at dusk.

    Same gun for both, with custom loads fitted to it that have points of impact that are not widely divergent despite the differences in velocity. To keep such divergence reasonable, jacketed or cast bullet velocity must not exceed about 1900-1950 fps. For such use I load a 82 grain custom made gascheck bullet with Reloder 7 at 1900 cast of an expanding alloy of wheelweights. These mushroom like a big game bullet for predator calling. For small game use I like the RCBS FP at 1100 to 1300, using W231 (lowest noise) 2400, or 4227.

  3. #3
    Site Contributor Cowpoke
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    Re: 25-20 reloaders

    You sir, " Are The Man " Very helpfull, thanks a million for the lesson.

  4. #4
    Tinhorn
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    Re: 25-20 reloaders

    As always, excellent information from the 35 man. Thank you very much for the well thought out information.

    Greebe

  5. #5
    Site Contributor Cowpoke
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    Re: 25-20 reloaders

    BTT, PLEASE MAKE THIS A STICKEY SO IT DONT GET LOST!


    From a greatfull 25-20 shooter.

  6. #6
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    Re: 25-20 reloaders

    Quote Originally Posted by kerr
    BTT, PLEASE MAKE THIS A STICKEY SO IT DONT GET LOST!
    We can always bump it to the top every couple of weeks

    Another 25-20 fan.
    ..

  7. #7
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    Re: 25-20 reloaders

    I thought I'd throw in some more data. Should cover quite a little ground.

    The following data is for the RCBS 85 grain Cowboy bullet, cast of wheelweights, and very definitely quench hardened and the lube grooves not filled. The lubricant is Lee Liquid Alox, and bullets are dusted with white motor mica to cut down on the stickiness and prevent the gooping up of the seating die with wax.

    Primers Winchester Small Pistol.

    3.0 Red Dot 1200 fps (good accuracy, but better at around the 2.8 grain level for 1100 to 1150 fps; some measures will not throw accurately; others will).
    5.9 H4227 1190 fps (good load with excellent accuracy, but very mild; position sensitive, use dacron properly. Some unburned granules)
    7.0 IMR 4759 1550 fps (cut a half grain; on the threshold of fliers. Reducing charge improves groups)
    11.0 H322 1540 fps (cut one half to .7 grain; position sensitive, dacron improves things greatly; fliers)
    2.5 Titegroup 1100 fps (average accuracy; not very position sensitive)
    3.0 Titegroup 1250 fps (accuracy better at 2.5 grains)
    6.5 IMR 4759 1480 fps (max velocity with reasonable accuracy. Dacron helpful, believe it or not)
    7.0 Alliant 2400 1640 fps (velocity too high for plainbase bullet)
    7.0 5744 1230 fps (rather dirty burning; should be increased half a grain, dacron helpful)
    6.0 IMR 4759 1350 fps (Excellent load, outstanding accuracy, 4579 meters rather poorly)
    5.5 Alliant 2400 1300 fps (Excellent load, favorite for hunting, outstanding accuracy, meters well)
    6.0 Alliant 2400 1400 fps (Accuracy still good, not quite as good as 5.5 grains, but still usable with good power)
    6.5 H4227 (same as IMR now) 1290 fps (Excellent load, favorite for hunting, slightly dirtier than 5.5 2400)
    10.0 H4198 1520 fps (velocity slightly too high, fliers; cut one half grain for very good groups at 1450 fps. A more powerful small game load at 9.5 grains and suitable for the larger animals up to 30+ lbs with quick killing effect; for colder temperatures, position powder with dacron; not for extreme cold weather use)
    10.5 H4198 1620 fps (poor accuracy)
    5.0 HS7 1275 fps (average to sub par accuracy; cut one half grain minimum, really, a heavily deterred shotgun powder isn't my idea of a .25-20 powder, so why don't we just skip this one. It's discontinued anyway)
    3.0 Herco 1060 fps (one inch groups at fifty yards consistently; best weighed)
    3.0 W231 1100-1140 fps (velocity range due to changes in powder lot; clean burning, easy metering, good accuracy, mild report. A favorite small game load with a fast pistol powder, reliable in even very cold temperatures).

    I have many others but at the one third mark (time) in my load development I started using the Pro-Auto Disk and dropped many of the charges without weighing them, so I have volumetric equivalents in CC's.
    Sorry.

    0.76 CC's Trail Boss 1090 fps (Outstanding load; fills case, usable small game velocity, cannot be double charged, no filler needed, highly recommended, quiet, easy to assemble load. Good accuracy - averages about 0.8 -0.9 inches at fifty yards)********

    With the Hornady 60 grain softnose:
    (All primers small rifle)
    11.0 2400 2330 fps (decent accuracy; top end; very destructive)
    15.0 IMR 4198 2350 fps (good groups, very destructive)
    14.0 H4198 2270 fps (good groups, destructive)
    0.71 Cavity Lee Auto Disk, Lilgun, 2310 fps (not position sensitive! Very good choice, good accuracy)

    With the Remington 86 grain softpoint:
    (All primers small rifle)
    11.5 H4198 1730 fps (decent accuracy, but rather mild - should be increased for optimum range)
    13.0 H4198 1930 fps (good accuracy and power)
    13.5 H4198 small rifle primer 2000 fps (Wow - good power, top end load. This will kill everything and leave a big hole)
    12.2 Reloder 7 1700 fps (rather mild; increase needed)

    With the 75 Speer:
    (All primers small rifle)
    13.5 IMR4198 2070 fps (top end; excellent killing power, good accuracy, less expansion than other jacketed bullets but still very adequate)
    14.0 IMR4198 2200 fps (+P load only for Marlins or strong single shots; NOT for old rifles; Exceeds SAAMI spec of 28,000 CUP; accuracy very good)
    12.2 Reloder 7 1740 fps (excellent accuracy, 0.5 inch at fifty yards, but rather mild)
    13.9 Reloder 7 1920 fps (excellent accuracy, 0.5 inch at fifty yards; this velocity is more like it)

    Lilgun is an outstanding powder for the .25-20 and is NOT position sensitive to the degree other powders are. I can really recommend it; it is almost tailor made for the round. My loads for Lilgun are in CC equivalent, unfortunately.

    Using Lilgun and the 75 Hornady VMax (not for levers unless it's for one shot use) my custom OTT barrelled Contender carbine averages around 0.25(!) inch at fifty yards with this bullet at 2200 fps (+P load, exceeds SAAMI spec of 28,000 CUP)

    With the Lyman 257420 gascheck, cast of linotype alloy:

    11.0 Alliant 2400 2230 fps (no accuracy at all; +P)
    8.5 H4227 1680 fps (mild, shoots well, position sensitive, dacron helpful)
    12.5 H322 1750 fps (rather position sensitive, believe it or not; good accuracy)
    3.0 Titegroup 1350 fps (indifferent accuracy; cut charge)
    9.0 H4227 1780 fps (Position sensitive, shoots well)
    3.0 W231 1200 fps (shoots well, clean burning)
    14.0 Reloder 7 2170 fps (Max velocity, +P, cut one grain for better accuracy)
    6.3 2400 1500 fps (Position sensitive, believe it or not; better accuracy at 6.0 grains or less)

    I have more loads, but, once again, they are in CC equivalents since I got into the habit of measuring rather than weighing my charges. Many good .25-20 powders meter very well, including my favorite 2400 and 4227.

    Here's a hint:

    For low velocity loads in the 1100-1300 fps range with plainbase bullets, not a lot of lube is need.

    Here's an expedient that is cleaner to handle than Lee Liquid Alox, but is for these lower velocity loads.

    Take a can of Johnson's Paste Wax (the yellow can stuff; looks brownish when opened)

    Warm bullets with hair dryer or lowest oven setting with door cracked open.

    Cut off the top of a gallon plastic milk jug diagonally. Leave the handle on.

    Drop in a teaspoon sized glob of paste wax. Dump the warm bullets on top (if not many bullets, use less paste wax; better too little wax at first as you can always add more)

    Swirl bullets until coated.

    Dump on waxed paper. These will dry quickly. Shoot the bullets as cast, or size before adding the paste wax.

    Voila!

    Clean to handle bullets with adequate but not excessive wax needed for moderate velocities. Shoot very well without the stickiness of LLA.

    Or, cut LLA stickiness by dusting with a small quantity of motor mica in a ziplock bag.












  8. #8
    Tenderfoot
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    Re: 25-20 reloaders

    35remington, thank you so much for all the info on the 25-20. I have a Marlin CL 25-20 that I have been working with and all the info you have given is just great. Thanks again.

  9. #9
    Wrangler
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    Re: 25-20 reloaders

    I think 35remington should put together his own reloading book. He's experimented with quite a few cartridges and always has helpful load data and loading tips. Anytime I'm wondering about a certain cartridge with sparse info on it, I always think 35remington may have something on it. He's a very important contributor to these forums, as I'm sure many others will agree.
    And it's nice to have somone else who's done all the work for you already .

    Tmygun

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    Re: 25-20 reloaders

    The 25-20 and the Effectiveness of the Cast Lead Bullet

    I'm kinda having fun with this, so I thought I'd expand it somewhat.

    I plan to post some pictures which will shed some light on what I've discovered, and maybe further loading tips and comments on the performance of the 25-20.

    Sort of a how to primer on loading, and things to avoid. And also things the .25-20 user must live with.

    My experience in hunting with the .25-20 encompasses both cast and jacketed bullets, but it is my thinking that while the jacketed bullets are unquestionably excellent for maximum wounding effect, the cast bullet is also very capable, and its low cost and good accuracy seem to make it tailor made for small game and furbearers where good killing power is needed but pelts must also be saved. It is also possible to make the all lead bullet into an expanding bullet if cast out of wheelweights and muzzle velocity approaches top end .25-20 velocities. In so doing expansion is possible out to 150 yards or better. That's essentially the effective range of the .25-20 as regards trajectory. So, no real downside to the lead bullet.

    So for this particular post I thought I'd comment on killing effect and utility of the cast bullet load. To me, the most useful loads for small game and some furbearers are found in the 1100 to 1400 fps range, as both good killing effect and minimal meat damage can be had.

    I've used several different bullets for hunting, some of which are not currently available in moulds or commercially cast bullets, so I thought I'd confine my comments today to the RCBS 85 flatpoint and later I'll mention the Lyman 257420, the two most commonly encountered designs.

    I am a very avid small game hunter, and primarily go after squirrels with other small game taken as incidentals as I walk through the woods. The RCBS design is a very deep penetrating bullet, more so than the bullet out of a centerfire rifle. I've found that when a stack of wet phone books is used, the hard cast RCBS will often penetrate in excess of 30 inches at 1400 fps, while, for example, a .30-30 soft point will penetrate about fourteen inches of the same stack at 25 yards.

    When the fast pistol powders are used, report is very mild, a little more than the .22 long rifle but considerably less than the .22 magnum. I've found that accuracy with fast powders like Red Dot, W231, Unique and others commonly used for pistols and shotguns is better around the 1100-1150 fps level than it is pushing them faster.

    This suits me fine, as it seems to me that quietness is a desirable thing to have in a good small game load. The RCBS bullet will completely penetrate anything you shoot at from any angle you shoot it. So, the utility is interestingly different than the .22 long rifle. For example, if a squirrel is on a limb quartering sharply away, it was my habit to wait until the chest/head was exposed. This seems to make sense, as the hollowpoint long rifles I shoot dump their energy pretty quickly, close to the point of impact, and a squirrel can be a tough critter if he isn't hit right.

    Not so with the .25-20. If the animal is quartering sharply away, simply picture where the chest cavity lies from your angle and shoot. The bullet will get there and through the chest and out the other side. The moderate velocity means not much meat is damaged, while the flat point means the animal takes a hard blow and cannot run off to any extent - he's pretty much anchored right there.

    No hunter can claim that every shot is placed exactly- sometimes the critter moves as the trigger breaks, we wobble off target, or some other reason causes the shot to be placed less than well. With the RCBS bullet I've some leeway in poor shot placement - not something I deliberately do, you understand, but having some backup killing effect comes in handy, and these seemingly mild 1100 fps RCBS loads provide it. I've hit squirrels right in the middle, behind the chest certainly, and had them drop out of the tree graveyard dead at the shot. Now, that's useful.

    The muscular squirrel takes a hard blow from the RCBS bullet. A double lung shot or a quartering shot that penetrates much of the body cavity drop them out of the tree right now, every time. On a few occasions where the shot angle meant that only half a lung was hit, the squirrel might dash to another limb, and two seconds after the shot he'll fall out of the tree.

    The cottontail rabbit responds curiously to the hard cast RCBS bullet. You'd think the fragile cottontail would take a ribcage hit and fold, but I've had it happen many times that they'll take the bullet through the ribs without anything else being hit and dash about 30 feet before keeling over. I theorize the more delicate, less muscular cottontail doesn't slow the bullet up as much and transfer of impact and wounding effect is a little less.

    I had one rabbit run toward me after shooting it through the chest and it ran into a hollow log. My friend Dave crawled in and retrieved it. I haven't lost any cottontails shot with it, but I thought the cottontail rabbit experiences were worth mentioning.

    Interestingly, I skinned one rabbit shortly after taking him and discovered the exiting RCBS bullet had left a perfectly round, half inch hole through the backstraps. No bloodshot meat around the hole, and no bullet fragments to deal with had you been using a 17 HMR. No meat loss either.

    I often take body shots because I'm a high percentage guy and go for the biggest target. Shooting a .25-20 with proper loads allows me to get away with this.

    The W231 load at around 1100-1150 fps has also taken larger game, as it was in the chamber at the time and there was no real time to change the load. One time I was going to a favorite squirrel woods and happened to hear a covey of quail, then noticed an orange streak going through the switchgrass nearby. It was a cat, hot on the trail of the covey, and a good half mile from the nearest farm. That made him a bullet magnet as far as I was concerned.

    I spotted him through the grass 20 yards ahead and gave him an RCBS right through the shoulders. That dropped him right now. The 1100 fps RCBS bullet sorta performs like a low velocity big bullet .45-70 in miniature - the great penetration and flat point means it kills with moderate energy figures, better than it should, in my opinion.

    We've all shot raccoons with .22 long rifles in the chest cavity. What usually happens is you hear the bullet plunk and the raccoon keeps climbing up the tree. The 1100 fps RCBS bullet doesn't allow that to happen. They're clearly hit hard, and fall out of the tree very shortly if not right away. Speed it up to 13-1400 fps and the raccoons fall out of the tree like you tied an anvil to them.

    It may seem a plainbase bullet has less utility than a gaschecked one, but in truth the RCBS is capable of covering most of the uses for which a .25-20 is suitable, despite its lower velocity potential. The bullet is heavy enough, of larger caliber, has a big flat point that transfers the energy well, and accuracy is good to excellent.

    Incidentally, my standard is the one inch fifty yard group. If the load won't hold this level of accuracy or better, it doesn't go hunting. Fortunately, there are number of loads that will serve.

    The RCBS bullet is middling, being longer than lighter bullets but considerably shorter than the 257312, which does not agree with slow twist barrels. If stabilization seems to be iffy at 1100 fps and accuracy is poor, use the 5.5/2400 or 6.5/4227 loads to up velocity to 1300 fps and improve rpm's and bullet stabilization.

    I like dacron for such use of these two powders and will explain my rationale a bit further along, complete with pictures.
    myg30, unclesarge58 and 45BearGun like this.


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.25-20 and 2400
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.25-20 loads with 86 gr bullet
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25 20 reloading info
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25-20 reloading data

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