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Is a 24" barrel required for a .25-06 for proper ballistics, or can you use a 22" barrel? And how much velocity does a 22" barre

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  • Is a 24" barrel required for a .25-06 for proper ballistics, or can you use a 22" barrel? And how much velocity does a 22" barre

    Is a 24" barrel required for a .25-06 for proper ballistics, or can you use a 22" barrel? And how much velocity does a 22" barrel lose?

  • #2
    With a 25-06 type cartridge each 1" is about 50fps.


    • #3
      Most Factory Rifle Cartridges are tested in a 26"Bbl for "Published" Ballistics.Such as the Savage 250-3000 for them to reach 3000fps they lowered the bullet weight to 87Gr,and tested it in a 26" Bbl, to Reach 3000fps. Thus the 250/3000 was born.On average 40fps to 75fps loss pre/ 1"loss of Bbl lenght.All depending on Bullet weight and Bbl, lenght and Caliber.


      • #4
        In theory jhjimbo's 50 fps is a rule of thumb for the 25-06. However several variables affect the velocity difference. The difference in speed is more pronounced with smaller bullets (e.g. 75g and 90g) and varies based on the powder used, charge weight and your specific barrel among other things.

        Slower burning powders like 4831, 4350,and Reloader 22 are optimal for the 25-06. With these powders the bullet is accelerated all the way down the barrel until it exits the muzzle. Top accuracy is normally achieved when the powder is able to burn all the way to the muzzle but not beyond. Loading with a lower charge will terminate the bullet acceleration somewhere short of the muzzle, allowing the bullet to "coast" or drag the last few inches, normally hurting accuracy with the 25-06's relatively small bullets.

        All barrel lengths shoot the 25-06 just fine in terms of accuracy (as long as it is a good barrel) but your top velocity will be reduced as you make the barrel shorter. Poorly constructed barrels shoot more accurately the shorter they get by le, avoiding the increased imperfections and fouling probability introduced by longer barrels.

        I prefer 26" barrels on my 25-06s if I will be using them for long range hunting or target shooting. The maximum achievable speed helps them have more energy at long range, it reduces the wind and drop calculation risk and it keeps most bullets supersonic to 1000 yards allowing you to p-dog hunt out to 1000 yards if you have an accurate rifle.

        I also like the maximum speed for running game. At top speed the 25-06 bullet can be expected to hit almost where the cross hairs are on running game out to 150 yards, diminishing lead error prevalent in slower cartridges.

        Everyone has their barrel length preferences depending on how they will use their rifle. For light carry, I use a 24" ultralight barrel on a 5.5 pound rifle. With most bullets, the accurate load is only about 100 fps slower than my 26" barrels.

        I use the 26" or 27" barrels for long range shooting for SPEED. If I were shooting 100 yard bench rest, I would use a heavy 22" barrel because speed is not necessary. I have not found a 22 inch barrel to be that much difference in maneuverability than the 24" so I go with the 24" for timber hunting situations although I've never been constrained by the 26" length of my other rifles. Most deer have come from rifles bearing 26" barrels.

        Finally, I must say that the primary reason most of us buy the zippy 25-06 is for SPEED (great windage and small holdovers) and its hydrostatic shock in quick kills. That takes maximum velocity. Therefore, I would never shoot a 22" 25-06 unless it was exclusively a bench rifle. A 26" or 27" barrel is my top choice and a 24" works OK for timber hunting out to ranges of about 300 yards.

        I've shot over 40,000 rounds of 25-06 by now and most of those came out of 26" and 27" varmint barrels. They are heavy for timber hunting and mountain hunting but they are fast and flat shooting to shine in the 400-1000 yard range.


        • #5
          As usual Dakota that was a very informative answer. I always look for your input on ballistics and riflemanry(is that a word?) issues. I have never done the kind of open country (western?) hunting you speak about often, but it seems like a man would need to know these thing to be successful. Living in the Northeast, it's usually zero point blank.


          • #6
            22 INCH?

            Reminds me when David castrated his 338 RUM to 22 inches.

            My ears hurt just thinking about it!




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