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257 vs 25-06 vs 26 nosler

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Unread 08-08-2014, 12:07 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Minocqua, wi
Posts: 9
257 vs 25-06 vs 26 nosler

Hi everyone

Wondering if any one has had much time to work on the new 26 nosler and reloads for in, with in the field conditions. Looking at building a new toy for 400-600 yard shots. I have shot the 257, and 25-06 but not the nosler. Any thoughts on first hand experience with the 26 nosler vs the others? Will be using for hunting.

Last edited by Rusty Nail; 08-08-2014 at 12:08 PM. Reason: additional information
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Unread 08-09-2014, 12:21 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,828
Re: 257 vs 25-06 vs 26 nosler

You cant really compare the 26 Nosler to the first two. The 26 nosler will fire 140 gr bullets at blistering speeds and Nosler brags that there is no hold over out to 400 yards. But with that blistering speed and no hold over, comes short barrel life. That is where the 257 and the 25-06 will out do the 26 Nosler. You can get a lot more rounds down the tube before burning the barrel out in a 257 or 25-06 than you can with a 26 Nosler.

I have a 25-06 and love it. You can kill a deer out to 600 yards with the 115 gr Bergers. It just depends on what you want and your tastes. Some people will tell you that it is stupid to get a barrel burner such as the 26 Nosler. I say, if you want it, get it and learn for yourself what is good for you.
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Unread 08-10-2014, 05:54 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 6
Re: 257 vs 25-06 vs 26 nosler

Can't compare them. 25-06 is a fun cal but 257 is very fun. 26 nosler on the other hand is a 6.5mm which has a much better choice of high bc projectiles and is much better suited to long range shooting than the others. It will also have significantly more knock down at long range than most cals on the market so for long range hunting it's amazing. Problem as per above is you won't be holding onto the same barrel for too long, with that awesome powder comes a very very short barrel life. Actually I think the 26 nosler is one of the worst factory cals for it. Time will tell
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Unread 08-10-2014, 10:03 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ND
Posts: 421
Re: 257 vs 25-06 vs 26 nosler

If hunting deer at less than 600 yards either the 25.06 or 257 wby are more sensible choices. The higher BC of the 6.5 doesn't really come into play. If you look at the tables not much beats a 110 accubond @ 3400 out to 600. Less drama than the new 26 nosler i would guess. If you plan on elk, then the 140s will work better. But all three will work...
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Unread 08-10-2014, 10:51 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 550
Re: 257 vs 25-06 vs 26 nosler

For hunting...and only hunting...maybe 25 rounds per year, counting sight in verification...the 26 would last a long, long time...a life time maybe, at least 40 years even with full power loads.

Figure out how much you want to shoot it per year...make your decision based on that...any of the rounds you mention will serve the purpose of hunting just fine.

Also...if you reload...you can tone the Nosler down and extend the barrel life considerably...it can be loaded to last as long as any, but the others cannot be loaded to do what it can do.

Ramshot Magnum is a good powder in the 26 according to Nosler...being a ball powder, should be easier on the barrel...also noted as the most accurate powder tested by Nosler in the 26.
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Unread 08-10-2014, 10:59 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Maple Valley, Washington
Posts: 981
Re: 257 vs 25-06 vs 26 nosler

I have a 26 Nosler sitting here ready to hit the range again tomorrow. It is a Sako L61R action with a 26" stainless Krieger 5R, #5 bull sporter and a 3 port Muscle brake. Being that it is a hunting rifle, after load development, it will get shot pretty much only at game so I'm not real concerned with barrel life.

However, the thing I've noticed with about 50 rounds down the tube is that it is pretty high strung. By that I mean difficult to load for as the power ramps up real quick when using relatively fast powders (for this chambering) like Magnum and RL-33. I suspect this is a result of a case only 89% full of powder at max load. Even H50BMG pressures out at a 96% filled case. You run anything faster than Magnum and the case gets even more empty and you risk detonation.

The only powder I have seen data on that will not pressure out before the case is full is US 869 - but of course I haven't seen any of that around. From testing so far I think Magnum and RL-33 are not the best choices and I plan try to smooth out the response to incremental powder additions and attempt to lower a relatively high ES by picking up some H50BMG (I can get that) and see if a slower powder and 96% full case is more consistent. I'm pretty sure that it will be. Now if I could only find some US 869.

This thing is fast however. Some of my loads (bolt a little sticky) are running the 127 grain LRX at 3,500 fps but that is a bit too hot. I'd like to find a good load around 3,350 fps and I'm hoping H50BMG is the ticket.
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Unread 08-10-2014, 11:09 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 550
Re: 257 vs 25-06 vs 26 nosler

QuickLoads top picks for the 26 Nosler...minimum 95% case fill.

Cartridge : .26 Nosler
Bullet : .264, 127, Barnes 'LRX'BT 26403
Useable Case Capaci: 92.489 grain H2O = 6.005 cm³
Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 3.322 inch = 84.38 mm
Barrel Length : 26.0 inch = 660.4 mm

Predicted Data for Indicated Charges of the Following Powders.
Matching Maximum Pressure: 63000 psi, or 434 MPa
or a maximum loading ratio or filling of 107 %
These calculations refer to your specified settings in QuickLOAD 'Cartridge Dimensions' window.
C A U T I O N : any load listed can result in a powder charge that falls below minimum suggested
loads or exceeds maximum suggested loads as presented in current handloading manuals. Understand
that all of the listed powders can be unsuitable for the given combination of cartridge, bullet
and gun. Actual load order can vary, depending upon lot-to-lot powder and component variations.

80 loads produced a Loading Ratio below user-defined minimum of 95%. These powders have been skipped.
Powder type Filling/Loading Ratio Charge Charge Vel. Prop.Burnt P max P muzz B_Time
% Grains Gramm fps % psi psi ms
--------------------------------- -----------------------------------------------------------------
ADI AR 2218 98.9 89.8 5.82 3502 99.7 63000 17914 1.232 ! Near Maximum !
Hodgdon H870 100.1 88.2 5.71 3412 99.9 63000 16687 1.269 ! Near Maximum !
Alliant Reloder-50 100.0 92.2 5.97 3412 99.2 63000 17492 1.297 ! Near Maximum !
ADI AR 2225 97.7 83.8 5.43 3388 100.0 63000 15091 1.256 ! Near Maximum !
Hodgdon Retumbo 97.7 83.8 5.43 3388 100.0 63000 15091 1.256 ! Near Maximum !
Norma 217 99.6 83.6 5.42 3387 100.0 63000 15494 1.280 ! Near Maximum !
Hodgdon 50BMG 103.3 89.4 5.79 3369 92.5 63000 16841 1.249 ! Near Maximum !
Vihtavuori 24N41 98.1 89.1 5.77 3367 95.8 63000 16396 1.242 ! Near Maximum !
Accurate 8700 104.9 93.4 6.05 3364 99.2 63000 15959 1.258 ! Near Maximum !
Hodgdon H1000 95.6 80.6 5.22 3362 100.0 63000 14783 1.237 ! Near Maximum !
ADI AR 2217 95.6 80.6 5.22 3362 100.0 63000 14783 1.237 ! Near Maximum !
Vihtavuori 20N29 104.8 96.2 6.23 3356 97.7 63000 16465 1.276 ! Near Maximum !
Hodgdon US 869 102.8 93.3 6.05 3349 95.8 63000 16376 1.260 ! Near Maximum !
Vihtavuori N170 98.8 83.3 5.40 3311 98.5 63000 15250 1.261 ! Near Maximum !
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