Because of the savage space constraints imposed on me, I was unable to mention it in my July cartridge guide in Field & Stream magazine, but trust me, it is one of the very best deer/antelope cartridges around. What it offers is enough bullet weight (120 or 115 grains), high but not insane velocity (way over 3,000 fps when loaded to its full potential) and light recoil. I use a .25/06 as my beanfield rifle, and see no reason to every change.

George Herron, the great South Carolina knifemaker of whom I have writ here, killed over 150 deer with a heavy-barreled Ruger Number One .25/06. He loaded 90-grain Sierra hollow-points to something like 3,500 fps and took only head shots. He and I differed strongly about that last part, but he was a marksman of the first rank, and never lost an animal as far as I know.

Like the .270, the .25/06 is something of a poor man’s magnum. Its muzzle blast will not detach your ears, its flash will not start range fires, and the wounds it makes do not burp and bubble for hours afterward. But 87 years after its birth, it has yet to be surpassed in its particular niche.