For hunting deer in Canada, these 10 top cartridges more than promise to get the job done
As with several other cartridges, the .25-06 Remington can trace its lineage directly back to the .30-06. In fact, it’s built on a .30-06 case necked down to 0.257 inches. For difficult-to-understand reasons, the cartridge has never really earned the fame it has deserved since its inception in 1969, despite the superb performance. As a result, it can fairly be considered the Rodney Dangerfield of deer cartridges. In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit to having taken more deer with the .25-06 Rem. than with any other cartridge; my favourite deer rifle is a semi-custom rig based on a Remington 700 action and chambered in .25-06 Rem. So, while I’m admittedly a little biased, it’s a bias backed up by in-the-field experience.
The .25-06 has a flatter trajectory than the 6.5 Creedmoor or .270 Win., and it can carry more than 1,000 foot-pounds of energy out to 500 metres. At the same time, its wind drift at 400 metres is less than an inch more than either of those two cartridges, and its recoil is nearly identical to the easy-to-shoot 6.5 Creedmoor.
A common criticism of the .25-06 Rem., however, is the relatively light bullet weights, commonly in the 115-grain range. Many hunters prefer heavier bullets, especially on very large deer at extended ranges. That concern may be valid, but few deer cartridges are better suited at practical distances in the wide-open West than the .25-06 Rem.