Shooters today have more options than ever regarding rifle cartridges for hunting medium-sized big game like whitetails, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and creatures like woodchucks, prairie dogs, and coyotes. Unfortunately, quality rounds like the 260 Remington, 7mm Remington Magnum, and others get overlooked for the big, buzz-worthy rounds like the 6.5 Creedmoor. Yet another example of this is the wildcat cartridge 25-06 Remington.
This round is decades-old and has proven itself in the field time and again over the years. Yet it is still relatively unknown despite the fact, so many companies produce great bolt action rifles chambered in it.
Today we'll examine why you might consider picking up a 25-06 Remington as your next hunting gun. We'll also recommend better options on the market right now for this old and reliable round.
Technically, this round has been around since 1915 when firearms enthusiast Charles Newton first necked down a .30-06 Springfield to a 25 caliber, creating what was then known as the 250-3000 Savage. In 1969, Remington made it part of their line and changed the name to .25-06 Remington. This round uses a .257 bullet. However, it's a little faster than the 257 Roberts and slower than the 257 Weatherby.
Bullet weights limit and disadvantage the 25-06 Rem; they top out at around 120 grains. There are some 130-grain projectiles out there, but they require a custom barrel, so it's probably best to stay beneath that.
That's not to say this round isn't practical for hunting, though. This round is a highly effective hunting round for mule deer, antelope, and coyotes. It's just a shame more hunters don't know about it, mainly since so many manufacturers produce rifles in this caliber, as you'll see from our list below.
Browning X-Bolt White Gold Medallion
We love an old-school hunting rifle, and the X-Bolt offers many modern features while retaining an old-school look. Browning keeps the weight of this beauty down to just six pounds, 14 ounces, despite having a beautiful black walnut stock with a gloss finish. This rifle features a 24-inch free-floating barrel with a 1:10 twist rate.
Browning gave this rifle its adjustable feather trigger system that allows you to adjust it from three to five pounds with a simple turn of a screw. This rifle is fed through rotary magazines and features a short 60-degree bolt life that allows you to cycle quicker for faster follow-ups.
Winchester Model 70 Extreme Hunter Strata MB
This one was just introduced this year and is brand new for 2022. This rifle has a 22-inch barrel with a 1:10 twist rate. It features a Flat Dark Earth (FDE) Cerakote finish on the fluted barrel and receiver to help protect it from whatever nature throws at you—featuring Winchester's famous "Pre-'64 action" and a three-position safety to make it a safe handling firearm.
Winchester gave this rifle a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad, hinged floorplate, and a jeweled boat body. The weight is manageable at seven pounds, two ounces. If you plan on hiking deep into the backcountry for your buck, this rifle will handle it like a pro.
Savage Axis XP Stainless
This rifle is an excellent option for the deer hunter on a budget. You get a lot of great features for just under $500 new. That's not bad for a rifle with a stainless steel barrel. It has a 22-inch length with a 1:10 rate of twist. This rifle features a synthetic stock that helps keep the weight just over seven pounds.
Savage's XP packages come with a factory-mounted and already bore-sighted 3-9x40mm Weaver scope attached. No extra time mounting by yourself or waiting for a gunsmith. Just hit the range and start sighting it in.
Weatherby Vanguard Synthetic
The Vanguard synthetic is another solid option that receives high praise from users for fit and finish. It doesn't feel like a budget gun in any way. The 25-06 Rem option has a cold hammer-forged 24-inch barrel with a 1:10 twist. Weatherby guarantees a sub-MOA group at 100 yards using Weatherby factory or premium ammo.
Despite being a budget option, this gun has a fluted bolt body, an adjustable two-stage trigger, and a fully enclosed bolt sleeve. It's always good to see companies like Weatherby, known for premium-grade stuff, making a quality rifle that is more affordable for us average Joes like this one.
Mossberg Patriot Walnut
Suppose you prefer a more traditional wooden stock without breaking the bank on a more premium brand. In that case, the Patriot is one to consider. This rifle has a walnut stock and a matte-blued finish. The 22-inch barrel is fluted to help keep the weight down to seven. This rifle features Weaver-style bases ready for the optic of your choice. This rifle is highly affordable, with an MSRP of just over $600. That means more money for all your other hunting gear.
This post was originally published on January 23, 2022.
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