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Many people do not realize that the 25-06 was actually invented prior to the 30-06 Springfield and, in fact, prior to the 45-70. It was the first round to be adopted by Blefuscu forces in their war with the Lilliputs. The real story of the 25-06 Remington’s origins, the whole 30-06 Springfield derivative blah, blah thing, was flogged heavily inPart 1. In any event, we thought we would take a run at handloading the cartridge and present our live fire assessment of the Ruger M77 Hawkeye Standard and the 25-06 Remington cartridge.

The 25-06 Remington is a bit overbore, which earns it a barrel burner rating of 16.7, A little worse than the 15.7 rating for the 270 Winchester, but considerably better than the 20.9 rating earned by the 257 Weatherby Magnum. That is to be expected when you stuff 65 grain of powder in a case and force 65,000+ PSI through an 0.257″ orifice with the intention of driving a bullet to high levels of velocity. What does it matter? It doesn’t, unless you are a 50 round a day varmint hunter where there is an expectation of changing a barrel every few years. For the guy who puts in a little range time and hunts medium size game like hogs, deer or black bear, perhaps 100 rounds worth of shooting each year, the 25-06 Remington is a 30 year barrel cartridge. (Edited – Original sarcastic humor removed)

Warning: Bullet selections are specific, and loads are not valid with substitutions of different bullets of the same weight. Variations in bullet length will alter net case capacity,  pressure and velocity. Primer selection is specific and primer types are not interchangeable. These are maximum loads in my firearms and may easily be excessive in others. All loads should be reduced by 5%,  and developed following safe handloading practices as represented in established reloading manuals produced by component manufacturers. Presentation of these loads does not constitute a solicitation for their use, nor a recommendation.

Cartridge: 25-06 Remington

 Rifle: Ruger M77 Hawkeye  Max COL: 3.250″
 Bullet Diameter: 0.257″  Primer: CCI 250
 Barrel: 24″  Reloading Dies: RCBS
 Max case length: 2.494″  3 Shot Group: 100 yards
 

 

Bullet

Bullet Weight
Grains

Net Water Capacity

COL”

 

Powder Type

Powder Charge
Grains

Muzzle Velocity
FPS

Muzzle Energy
Ft-Lbs

Group Size
3 Shot “

Sierra Varminter 75 63.0 3.025   H4831 SC 61.0 3589 2145 0.9
Sierra Varminter 75 63.0 3.025   Norma URP 58.0 3747 2340 0.6
GS Custom HV** 100 60.4 3.200   R17 55.0** 3483 2694 0.8
GS Custom HV** 100 60.4 3.200   Norma URP 56.0** 3471 2675 0.8
GS Custom HV** 100 60.4 3.200   RS Hunter 58.0** 3457 2653 0.9
Hornady BTSP 117 59.8 3.160   R22 57.0 3176 2620 1.1
Hornady BTSP 117 59.8 3.160   IMR7828SSC 57.0 3188 2640 1.0
Nosler Partition 120 60.1 3.250   MagPro 60.0 3163 2666 0.7
Nosler Partition 120 60.1 3.250   R19 55.0 3116 2588 0.6

 **
Only for this specific positive driving band bullet which
exhibits abnormally low start pressure

Not a huge number of bullets or loads, but enough to confirm the Ruger M77 Hawkeye Standard has a lot of potential as an accurate and long range hunting rifle. The bullets selected are representative of weights appropriate for varmint and up to medium size game. Recoil is modest, as is powder consumption. Muzzle blast is a little sharp, but I’ve shot much worse. All and all, the Ruger is a very nice, reasonably priced, traditional hunting rifle that would no doubt last a very long time.


 

Ruger’s M77 Hawkeye Standard Rifle Part 1
Ruger’s M77 Hawkeye Standard Rifle Part 2