.25-06 enough gun for elk?

DrH

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I've killed 51 elk and four moose in 46 years, with a .30-06, .308, .284, 7mm-08, and .25-06. I've never used a premium bullet, and shot them with nothing larger than a 150 grain bullet in the 30 calibers. I have lost none, and none have gone more than 40 yards. I use 120 grain bullets in my .25-06 and 130 grain bullets in my 7mm-08, and elk die just as quickly after being shot with the .25-06 and the 7mm-08 as with the 30 calibers. After helping hunters at sight-in days, I can tell you that most of the people using larger calibers can't shoot them well, and some flinch just thinking of shooting the rifle. You are doing kids, women, and recoil-shy men a favor by introducing them to hunting with smaller calibers, and not handicapping their ability to kill anything up to and including moose, regardless of what those who favor magnums tell you.
 

HighDesertSage

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I've killed 51 elk and four moose in 46 years, with a .30-06, .308, .284, 7mm-08, and .25-06. I've never used a premium bullet, and shot them with nothing larger than a 150 grain bullet in the 30 calibers. I have lost none, and none have gone more than 40 yards. I use 120 grain bullets in my .25-06 and 130 grain bullets in my 7mm-08, and elk die just as quickly after being shot with the .25-06 and the 7mm-08 as with the 30 calibers. After helping hunters at sight-in days, I can tell you that most of the people using larger calibers can't shoot them well, and some flinch just thinking of shooting the rifle. You are doing kids, women, and recoil-shy men a favor by introducing them to hunting with smaller calibers, and not handicapping their ability to kill anything up to and including moose, regardless of what those who favor magnums tell you.
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sbhooper

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I've killed 51 elk and four moose in 46 years, with a .30-06, .308, .284, 7mm-08, and .25-06. I've never used a premium bullet, and shot them with nothing larger than a 150 grain bullet in the 30 calibers. I have lost none, and none have gone more than 40 yards. I use 120 grain bullets in my .25-06 and 130 grain bullets in my 7mm-08, and elk die just as quickly after being shot with the .25-06 and the 7mm-08 as with the 30 calibers. After helping hunters at sight-in days, I can tell you that most of the people using larger calibers can't shoot them well, and some flinch just thinking of shooting the rifle. You are doing kids, women, and recoil-shy men a favor by introducing them to hunting with smaller calibers, and not handicapping their ability to kill anything up to and including moose, regardless of what those who favor magnums tell you.
Truer words were never spoken. With the bullets today, magnums are not necessary. Doing it over again, all of my calibers would be based on the .308 cartridge. I do really like my 7mags, but they just aren't necessary for most hunting situations.
 

worm

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100% yes, 115gr Nosler Partion, I've been packing a Remington 700BDL 25-06 since I was 13. Ole Bonny has taken about everything including several elk. My wife and daughter has used it more than me in the last few years. My next rifle will be a 6.5 Creedmoor!!Snap 2016-07-22 at 14.14.21.jpgSnap 2016-07-22 at 14.14.54.jpg
 

3855WIN

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If you already have the 25, by all means, use it. I've killed whitetail, an antelope, and a sheep with my 257 WBY. If you don't already have the rifle, the .308 would be hard to beat. My son started shooting deer with his .308 at 7 years old. He never had any problems with it. .7mm-08 is also a fine round for the young people.
Practice, practice, practice. But do most of it with a lighter round. When the kid has on a hunting jacket and an elk is in the scope, they won't feel any recoil.
 

Caseknife

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The 25-06 will kill elk dead, but like some have said, it is a long action, and something based off the 308 would be just as good and utilizing a shorter action. I bought a 6.5 CM last year and both elk killed with it didn't go more than 40 yds combined, and very little recoil at all. With the modern premium bullets you can go down in caliber and also bullet weight and have the same killing power. If you already have the 25-06, have them use it, but if not, look at the Ruger American Predator in 6.5 CM.
 

bkondeff

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I agree with your idea to keep them in a caliber they can shoot with confidence at a young age. My boys were small for their age and started with .243/.270 and Accubond or Partitions bullets and kept ranges to what they could handle.

One caveat I'm surprised no one mentioned is that, it's important to have sufficient energy at the range you will shoot. I use 1500 ft/lbs. On a 110/120 gr 25-06 in a 22-24" barrel you are only looking at ~250yds. This is likely good for a young hunter anyway. Most guns you would find in a similarly low recoil set=up will have similar limitations. If you were shopping, I do think I'd recommend the 7mm-08. Shoot up to 160gr bullets, excellent recoil for youth, and short action.

Best thing to do is practice and be picky on the shot if you want success in the field. Tracking wounded elk sucks, and should be avoided at all cost to boot.
 

BuzzH

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Energy is NOT, IMO/E, a very reliable way to define effectiveness of a given cartridge.

A 25/06 is effective well past 250 yards.
 

bkondeff

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BuzzH,

For someone who likes to call people out for making comments that aren't backed up by some modicum of facts, I'm surprised at your response. Certainly energy is a key measure for this question. Clearly there are other factors, namely bullet construction and shooter ability, but don't make a logical argument that Energy is not a reliable predictor of a cartridges effectiveness on large boned tough to kill animals like elk, particularly at a given range. To say even it's just your opinion is BS if you understand the variables here even remotely.

A 110gr Accubond from a 26" barreled 25-06 would be very lucky to leave the barrel over 3100fps, but at that velocity and at elevation above 6000' in a typical late oct early nov temp high of 50deg, you would drop below 1500ft/lbs of energy at just under 300yds.

For a young hunter, I think the is a logical distance to say, that's our goal, that distance or less!. I think for ethical purposes, even for a seasoned hunter as yourself, that's a distance that you could feel that your decision to pull the trigger was sound and one where penetrating a thick winter coat, and dense bones of a bull elk wouldn't worry you too much if it ran over the ridge into some dark timber at the shot. Shit happens, but I can't see promoting shooting elk at a farther distance that this with 110-120 gr bullets in this cartridge, not logically. At some point we owe that to the critters, for a quick and humane end.
 

Pagosa

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Bkondeff, how dare you respond to BuzzH like that! He knows everything and he will soon post some 80's-90's era photos to prove it too you!

Back to the OP, I have only shot a few deer with a 25-06, but it will sure drop one. I know a guy in SW Wyoming that has taken several Moose with a 25-06 and he said they died quickly. Based on the stories he told me, most shots averaged 100 yards.
 

Topgun 30-06

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IMHO the 25-06 is one of the most underrated out there. Having said that, since we're talking about shooting elk with the 25-06 and not smaller game like antelope and deer, the distance I would use it would shorten quite a lot compared to the smaller animals. Using the old standard that the previous post mentioned of 1500 ft/lbs at POI a 120 grain SP will be around 1644 ft/lbs at 200 yards. Therefore, using that standard I can understand why bkondeff would say to limit shots to the yardage he mentioned. If you use the 1000 ft/lbs of energy at POI that many are now saying is more than sufficient to kill a big game animal, including elk, that stretches the distance considerably and maybe that's where BuzzH was relating in his comment. However, since we are talking a younger hunter just getting started I would have to agree with bkondeff and keep the shots at the shorter distance in case the shot isn't right on the button. Having said all of that, I leave my 25-06 that has a heavy barrel and plenty of poop in the safe when I go elk hunting and go up to one of my three 30-06s so as not to worry about a shot on one that may be out or a little beyond 400 yards, which is my limit on them due to my bad eyesight. Again, because of my poor eyesight I limit shots on deer and antelope to 300 yards or under even though all my rifles will easily shoot out to twice that distance with remarkable accuracy.
 

BuzzH

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bkondeff,

You can choose to limit yourself by whatever measure you want, makes no difference to me.

Still doesn't make "energy" an effective way to measure the ability of a cartridge to kill game at a given distance.

I've shot a couple 3 or 4 critters with a pretty wide range of cartridges that have fallen well below 1500 ft/lbs of energy, including large boned elk.

Don't lose your mind, but I've shot a few where the energy was below 1K.

Killed a deer with a rifle that only has 324 ft/lbs at the muzzle.

So, if energy is the thing that defines killing ability for a cartridge on big-game, how do you reconcile the use of 22 center fires for big-game?

Unethical?

There's a guy that posts on this board a fair bit that has killed a lot of big-game, including elk, with a .220 swift...try telling him that its all about foot lbs.

How about muzzleloaders?

Unethical based on ft/lbs?

Have to touch an elk with the end of the ML barrel to kill one?
 
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Trigger50

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A couple yrs back...a friend of mine was raving about his new deer gun, a .25-06. Now that he's lost 2 deer I don't hear anything about his .25-06. Ive never lost any game with my 30-06.
 

Topgun 30-06

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A couple yrs back...a friend of mine was raving about his new deer gun, a .25-06. Now that he's lost 2 deer I don't hear anything about his .25-06. Ive never lost any game with my 30-06.
If that's the case, it was the guy shooting that 25-06 and not the rifle!
 

Rooster52

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The two calibers I had not owned until recently is the 25-06 and 7mm08 . Did a lot of reading on these two and everything I read was all good.Guess I was getting old and tired of the heavy kicking magnums. good bullets and shot placement is the main thing in a hunting caliber.I will be putting them both to use this fall and am excited to see the results for myself.
Take your 25-06 and go hunting !!
 

elkduds

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I read these debates, rehashed every so often. IMO they often miss the most important point: giving the new or young hunter the best experience possible. And what would be a worse experience than wounding and losing your first live big game target? I think the parent or mentor guiding a young hunter has a huge responsibility, there are so many factors in the mix. If the weapon that suits the young hunter has limitations (all weapons do), the parent/mentor is responsible for setting up success by keeping within those limits. Just because a skilled hunter has never had an issue w killing efficacy of 25-06, doesn't mean Junior with 0 experience won't. Give your new hunter every chance to succeed, get closer.
 

Topgun 30-06

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I read these debates, rehashed every so often. IMO they often miss the most important point: giving the new or young hunter the best experience possible. And what would be a worse experience than wounding and losing your first live big game target? I think the parent or mentor guiding a young hunter has a huge responsibility, there are so many factors in the mix. If the weapon that suits the young hunter has limitations (all weapons do), the parent/mentor is responsible for setting up success by keeping within those limits. Just because a skilled hunter has never had an issue w killing efficacy of 25-06, doesn't mean Junior with 0 experience won't. Give your new hunter every chance to succeed, get closer.

I think that's exactly what two or three of us have stated about using the 25-06 in question. It will do the job, but the kid isn't a season hunter like BuzzH and some of the other guys that might be comfortable with a 400 yard shot with it.
 

Trial153

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25-06 is fine with premium 12O grain bullets..... for that matter so is 257 roberts handloaded with 120's also....
 
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