.25-06 Remington

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The .25-06 Remington (left), next to its higher-caliber parent cartridge, the .30-06 Springfield (right).

The .25-06 Remington is a centerfire medium-high powered rifle cartridge originating around 1917 or so, and it is one of many wildcat cartridges that ended up not only being officially standardized, but has also seen significant commercial success. It took just over half a century to finally be standardized by Remington in 1969. The .25-06 is based on the .30-06 Springfield cartridge, necked-down to accept .257 caliber projectiles with no other changes. Bullet weights range from 75 to 120 grains (or 4.9 to 7.8 grams).

History and Design

Charles Newton and the .250-3000 Savage

Charles Newton necked down the .30-06 Springfield cartridge in 1912 to accept a 117-grain .25-35 Winchester bullet. Newton's earliest modifications encouraged commercial release of a shortened case (from the original 63mm, to 49mm), leading to the .250-3000 Savage in 1915.

Frankford Arsenal's Experimental .25-06 (WWI)

Frankford Arsenal had created an experimental .25-06 cartridge during the first World War. Later mass distribution of surplus U.S. military equipment through the Civilian Marksmanship Program after the war now encouraged independent gunsmiths to experiment with the cartridge.

Post World War I Creations and Advances

A.O. Niedner, a gunsmith from Dowagiac, Michigan introduced rifles for his .25 Niedner cartridge in 1920. Niedner Arms Corporation retained the 17° 30′ .30-06 shoulder chambering .25 caliber barrels rifled with a twist rate of 1:12 (or every 300 mm).

Similar cartridges were identified as the ".25 Hi-Power", ".25 Whelen" (analogous to .35 Whelen), or ".25-100-3000" (to indicate the ability to achieve 3000 feet per second with a 100 grain bullet rather than the 87 grain bullet used in the .250-3000 Savage). Greater case capacity offered minimal velocity improvement over the .250-3000 Savage case with contemporary smokeless powders.

Availability of DuPont's "Improved Military Rifle" (IMR) powders encouraged commercial release of the .257 Roberts using the 57mm-long Mauser case in 1934. Release of IMR 4350 in 1940 and availability of surplus 4831 powder salvaged from Oerlikon 20mm cannon cartridges after World War II greatly improved performance of the full-length .25-06 case.