Is the .25-06 an Overlooked Caliber for Hunting Coyotes?

Is the legendary .25-06, now more than 100 years old, an overlooked caliber for hunting coyotes and bigger game animals such as deer or pronghorn?
Is the .25-06 an Overlooked Caliber for Hunting Coyotes?

One of my favorite rifles is the bolt-action Winchester .243 I began hunting with about 40 years ago, a gift from my father I still cherish but haven't hunted with in years.

One reason for that is I got into bowhunting with my compounds and crossbows a little bit more heavily. I also fell into the "next biggest bestest" thing mentalty: gotta have a bigger caliber, bigger scope, bigger bestest this or that. It reminds me of how we start with spincast and spinning reels for fishing as kids, but when we get to be adults we idiotically eschew them as outdated, ineffective or "not manly" anymore.

Alas, I did the same with my .243 that even still wears the hand-crafted leather sling Dad got for me. I shot my first few deer with it and my first coyote. It probably would be fine for an ear-hole shot on hogs but firepower for hogs is a different topic for a different day.

Is it as versatile as the .25-05, though?

On another story about predator calibers, reader Joe Shock commented thusly: "Not much talk anymore about the .25-06 for predator hunting, I use to have one and loved using it for predators and deer huntng."

The .25-05 was born amid a wildcatter's dream like many calibers that are common today or, in some cases, were flashes in the pan.

Back in 1912, Charles Newton took the hard-hitting and popular .30-06 cartridge and necked it down to accept a .25-35 Winchester bullet. Over time it was tweaked a bit here and there, with ammo and firearm manufacturers eventually realizing that the final outcome, the .25-06, was a pretty darn good item.

The lighter weight bullets are fine for coyotes, and then once you get up into 90-grain bullets (or more) you could use the .25-06 for bigger game such as whitetail deer and pronghorn. It's fast, effective, has less felt recoil than the .30-06, and is definitely worth a consideration as a versatile rifle caliber for predator hunting and more.

Is the .25-06 overlooked? What do you think.


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