Thursday, September 04, 2003

This year I bought a TC Custom Shop 21" .25-35 Winchester barrel for my Contender. With the factory 117 gr. RN load (2150 fps)or the European version 6.5x52R (S&B, 2000 fps) it is a mild recoiling fun cartridge. Handloading can get "improved" performance if improved performance means higher velocity but I don't see it as necessary. I am loading the Hornady 117 gr. RN to 2250 fps and this load suits me fine.

Remington's 86 gr. ".25-20" bullet comes with 2 cannelures, the one closer to the base being correct for the .25-35 and giving the correct LOA. My goal is upper end .25-20 velocity or a bit more. I've tried 14, 13, 12 and 11 gr. of SR4759 but while accurate at 50 yards it is a bit "smokey". However, as I've said before, maybe that isn't important if I bother to clean the barrel! Today, I took out the loads with Rem. 86 gr. jacketed FP for the .25-20 and 10 gr. of IMR SR4759. Shazzam! Right on at 50 yards with the same sight setting as the 117 gr. for 100. Hooorah. I keep wanting to use this powder because of the high loading density.

Then... I had to try out some more of the 75 gr. VMAX burners. What do you know, I finally found out how to hold the duplex reticule for that load. As best as I can describe, I use the bottom of the top thick leg of the reticule, sort of like an inverted post reticule. Right on at 150, a little high at 100. Heck, these might even be usable!

BIG difference in recoil and muzzle blast between the two loads (not as though there is a lot of recoil in this cartridge).

I've been doing a lot of work with this cartridge. Funny, I never expected to. It is just a fun cartridge to work with and I really like it. Now, I've got a good small game load, a good big game load and a usable coyote load! I'm chuffed.

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