I would think that either one would be fine out to 500 yards. I have a 25-06 and have made a few kill shots out to 430 yards. I would say the the 25 would be a little flatter shooting than the 30 but the 30 will hit harder when it gets there. The 30-06 has such a wide variety of loads though that you could have a very good round at those distances. Thats a long way to be shooting at a deer. My shots have been on javelina and coyotes. I would say that with either caliber I would count more on shooter ability and confidence in making the shot over the actual load itself. If you are confident in your ability to hit your mark then I would say either would be just fine. I dont know if I would want to chance a shot at a deer past 500 yards though but that is just my opinion. I did let a 9 point with a 3 inch drop tine go because I wasnt confident in my ability at about 480 yards.
A 25-06 is simply a 30-06 brass necked down to a .257 caliber bullet. It is just like a 270 in that a 270 is a necked down 30-06 brass. It's a great caliber for light skinned animals like deer. I have taken out 300+ pound hogs with mine also. It has light recoil and is fairly accurate in the right hands. But then in the right hands a red ryder bb gun can be somewhat accurate. Wow talk about a flashback!!!!!!!!!!! LOL
Oh man, Red Ryder...the memories...lol how it all began...
Never used a 25-06 before, but I would suggest that if you wanted your rifle to be a varminter too, then its worth it. Maybe not so much pelt damage. And I have read that 115 gr Partitions really rock deer lol. Wind might be a lil more of a factor than with a 30-06 though.
For what its worth, an 06 (if its a good rifle, as that savage is) can be perfectly capable of 500 m shooting, even in my hands lol. Accu-bond, scirocco bonded, and winchester ballistic silvertip ammo all have very high BCs, match ammo is available for it, it can do just about anything.
I have both 30-06 and 25-06 and have hunted extensively with both. The 30-06 is probably the best single all-around hunting caliber to date. I've killed animals up to 1000lb nilgai with it and have total confidence with the rifle/cartridge/load combo I use. I picked up my first 25-06 a few years ago and fell in love with it almost immediately. My current rifle is a Remington 700 Sendero and it will shoot the Nosler 115gr Ballistic Tips into .25 MOA all day long!!!! I have to pick my shots on heavier skin game (wild hogs, nilgai, etc.), but at this level of accuracy shot placement is no problem. It handles wind extremely well for 500yd plus shots and terminal performance with the ballistic tips has been excellent. The mild recoil, flat trajectory and superior accuracy make this particular rifle a real confidence builder when I loan it to my youngest son or my wife. If you're only going to have one hunting rifle, stick with the 30-06 for versatility. If you can have a second one, the 25-06 will fill in the lower spectrum from varmints to medium game extremely well. PS, try the 25-06 on steel plate. At 200 yds. with the 115 gr Balistic Tips it actually out-penetrated the .308 with 168gr match ammo!! Talk about a surprise!
I've been quite curious about all these new wssm loads that Winchester seems to think the market needs. I haven't really read/heard anything about them, so I was wondering if anybody has experience with them. The main disadvantages to them seem to be the lack of ammo selection and the lack of weapons chambered for them...
Yes, that is the main disadvantage. The main advantage is the same power in short actions, with short and stuby cases. Short and stubby has been proven to promote consistent powder burn, which means accuracy. Its also more effecient powder burn, which means less powder (recoil) to generate the same velocities.
I like the .300 WSM, the others are not so interesting to me. Perhaps if they made a .264 (6.5) version, I'd be more interested.