I have used mine for long range varmits with some sucess.115 Berger vlds for 1203 yds and 75 gr Vmax for closer shots(650yds) I have found that Vhit N165 really works for the big bullets and H414 for the lighter stuff.Ihave chrono'd 115s at 2360fps and 75s at 3900fps out of a 26: Ruger KM77Vt.My lot of N165 seems to be a lot slower than there manual would indicate and the loads I use would not appear in any manual but seem to be safe in my gun.
I have found ammo to be readily available at the larger retail stores such as Cabela's and Sportsman's. But, at smaller shops, ammo is sometimes a bit hard to come by.
The 25-06 is an excellent round for deer-sized game, can be used for larger game such as elk, and can also be used for predators and varmints. However, the recoil is more than most people would want for a lot of shooting such as at prairie dogs.
With good loads and good bullets with high ballistic coefficients, it is better in the wind than many of the popular varmint rounds such as the .223 Remington. However, because of the increased recoil, it is sometimes impossible to see your bullet strike.
It is my belief that the round is inherently accurate, but that is a relative term. I would lean toward the .243, the 6 BR, the 6 PPC, the .223, the 22-250, the .204 Ruger, and other smaller cased cartridges if one were seeking the higher levels of accuracy. This is meant to take nothing away from the 25-06 in terms of accuracy, but many observers believe that the smaller case based cartridges may have an advantage here.
Further, it has been my experience that if one is going to shoot very many rounds, the higher recoil of this round, relative to smaller case based rounds, tends to make it somewhat more difficult for many to shoot well.
I inherited a Model 70 and accurized it as much as I could. I can keep Speer 87 grain TNTs inside of a dime at 100 yards. Unfortunetly it won't shoot the 117's at all (I'm thinking it's the twist). Do you reload? If not, I wouldn't get a 25-06. Get a 270 (same parent cartridge more ammo selection).
AR's for coyotes
25-06 M70 for coyotes
6.5-06 Remington Custom w/Leupold Mark IV 6.5-20 tactical setup
AR10 for mule deer
6.5-06 M700 for mule deer
338 Lapua Mag M700 for elk
I do not reload for the 25-06, but my brother does, and I must have at least 600 or more fired cases for it. My brother has developed several loads that he likes for it, one for varmints, and another for game.
I have two Sakos in 25-06, and they seem to be a bit temperamental about what they shoot. With factory ammo, I have gotten the best results with Hunting Shack 75 grain V-Max loads, which they advertise at 3600 fps, but they do not reveal what powder is used. But, my Model 75 Hunter shot it at under one MOA, which while not exceptional, is acceptable for government work.
I have tried Federals with 85 and 100 grain Nosler Ballistic tips, and they do not shoot well at all! I have been shooting Remington 100 grain factories, and they are decent, but far from exceptional. (I need to get more of the Hunting Shack stuff, or twist my brother's arm to work up a load for me.)