Can you make a .25-06 AI perform like a .257 Wby ???


Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2002
I had been looking for load information on the .25-06 AI ever since I changed bullets and went to the Berger VLD 115 Match bullet. I had been using Retumbo but just was not getting all that great of performance from in from a Velocity standpoint. I happened to do some searching on the Reloaders nest and came up with the below info. This was not the top load listed with this bullet powder combination but looked like something I would like to check out. If this load does what this guys says it will it still has 935 Ft/lb of energy at 1000 yards and is moving at 1913.9 fps according to my ballistic program That is incredible. Drops with it sighted in at 200 gives me a 1.05 rise at 100 and 5.1" drop at 300.
At 1000 yds it has a 18.2 MOA drop
Wind drift at 1000 yds in a 10 MPH full value wind is 5.3 MOA or 60.54"s
IF all this is true I might of found my long range Antelope/Deer loading.
Big question I would really like to know is just how much pressure is this and what kind of barrel life would a person get. I like my .25-06 AI too much to burn it up too fast.
Bullet Berger VLD
Bullet Weight 115 grs
Powder IMR 7828
Powder Weight 60.0 grs
Primer CCI BR-2
Brass Make RP Nickel
Barrel Length 26 (inches)
C.O.L 3.265 (inches)
Velocity 3615 fps
Group 100 yds 3/4 (inches)
Submitted By Iamsignal3
Gun Info Rem 700, A & B barrel
Comment Action trued and blue printed. This load was not max in my gun. Very fast and two rounds were through one hole the other honestly I think I pulled.
60 grains of RL-22 in my 25-06AI produced 3480 with 115gr BT's and I have a 28" tube. Started getting more pressure than I was comfortable with there. Over 3600 is optimistic I think.
I would not trust data from reloadersnest. It is anecdotal and I never see pressure measurements that were done. The 25-06AI is a neat round that can offer a decent gain of around 100 fps over the standard 25-06 but a 257 Weatherby it aint. If you run it in a 28" tube like the previous post you can close the gap a little on the Weatherby out of a 26" tube but I wouldn't use that load in my rifle. You might not hurt the rifle any but I'm betting your brass would be trash after the second firing.
Its too bad their isn't much loading information out there for the .25-06AI. So far I think the cartridge is fantastic but I never intended on it being a .257 Wby or I would of built one in the first place. But finding loads for it is like BUTTS. Everyone has one, no two are alike, some are great and some you want to shy away from. :) This might be one a person wants to shy away from. I just wish there was some data on it for pressures and such as when I built the gun I had it built with a tight neck. Between having to turn the necks prior to fire forming and then the case forming it can be a bit tedious but I do have fun with it. Haven't found anything it won't shoot well so far though. It really likes to have the cases annealed each time its reloaded though or the neck tension goes array and accuracy with it. Just plain shoots so well I hate to burn it up but I did find this load intriguing.
Not sure on the heavier bullets, but when I had mine it would push a 85gr Nosler BT just south of 3800 FPS in a 25" gain twist barrel. I used the 90gr X bullet as my hunting load in the low to mid 3700 FPS. Took a WT buck at 418 yards & it did the trick no problem. Loved the rifle, then I discovered this.



That's what happens when you try to friction fit a standard thread into a metric Sako TRG-S receiver.

Be sure you know your gunsmith is up to the task. This guy ain't no gunsmith I discovered. A lesson learned that could have been much worse.

Had intentions of building another one, but got a few other rifles after this episode & never got around to it. Good caliber IMO.
BillR, In a word, NO! I have shot and reloaded for my .257 WBY for over 40 years and I would have to push it VERY hard to shoot that bullet at that velocity. It you chronographed that load there, I Think I would have the chrony checked.
3,600 is more like a 100gr. speed in a 257Wea, although I know some do a little more than that, I believe 115gr. fact. loads in a 257 run about 3,400. Point being, way too fast for a 25-06AI. I do well to get 3325-3350 in my Sendero AI. I look at the 25-06AI with a 26" tube to be about half way between the 25-06 & Wea., which is the appeal to me. I have better brass & less powder & at 100-125fps under the Wea, the small additional speed was not worth it to me. In short, think of the AI as being close, but not quite there.
I had a 257Wby build used a 1/9 twist Shilen barrel with 115grTSX using 4gr under max load of IMR-7828 velocity was pretty close to 3500fps it didn't have the Wby freebore.

I would think with the right barrel/bullet maybe 1/9 twist 26 to 28" long pretty close to 3400fps with 110/120gr bullets for the 25-06AI and I want it throated for the heavier bullets. If you look at some of Nosler data for the 25-06 with 115gr bullets got 3 loads over 3100fps and 6 loads over 3000fps and Hodgdon has 3 loads over 3100fps with 117gr bullets. Most of my Ackley chambered rifles give me over 200fps gain don't get me wrong that I chase velocity I load for accruracy first velocity just follows that.
I agree the 3600 is extremely fast for the 25-06AI. I tried several different powders and was unimpressed with the performance. Tried IMR7828SSC and saw immediate improvement. Worked through different weights and backed off when I experienced some signs of pressure i.e. sticky bolt and slight flattening primers. The load I settled showed no signs of excess pressure and was acceptably accurate (load development continues); although from what I read Ackley rounds seem to manifest pressure in different ways. I'm anxious to chrono the load because when working at ranges from 100 yds to 500 yds the data indicates right around 3600 fps; yeah I was suprised myself. Only the chronograph will tell the truth in the end.

I believe it was JMason that turned me on to seating the Accubonds 20 thousands off the lands, it really did the trick in my rifle.
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It will be interesting to see your results Crane. So far I have been impressed with the Berger bullet I'm using but felt that Retumbo was not the right powder nor did it give me the performance I thought I was looking for. That 3600 FPS I have to admit scared the be doddle out of me when I read it. I'm not really looking to outperform the .257 Wby just looking to be someplace between the .25-06 and the .257 Wby with good case life and accuracy.
Only way I could think of to see what everyone thought about this loading was to post up the question and see where it went. Glad you got interested enough to post your experience with the IMR 7828SSC as I have none with that powder. Did go check the availability of it and found both IMR 7828 and IMR7828SSC in stock.
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I really wanted to try the Berger bullets but the availability in my area was nil, plus I really like Accubonds. Hard as I tried I couldn't get H-1000 to shoot worth a darn with Accubonds. I went all through the spectrum of weights and distances to the lands. I've heard Retumbo mentioned quite a bit and figured H-1000 was quite close. I just happened to have a little over eight pounds of H-1000 I use for my Edge and was hoping it would work out.

I had an interesting conversation with Shawn Carlock about H-1000 the other day concerning my Edge. I was telling him I couldn't get up to the recommended loading of 93 grains with the 300 grain Matchking without pressure signs. He informed me that he has had to back off a grain or two himself and believes H-1000 has gotten faster over the last eighteen months or so. I was wondering if anyone else has noticed this phenomenon. I'm glad I have so much because it would be a pain to start load development over when I have to buy more.
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I think that the .338 Edge is possibly going to be my next build and the only thing that has stopped me so far is the fact that I have a really great shooting .300 RUM that loves the 200 grain Accubond bullet. That gun shoots too good to change it till the barrel is gone. Its also a dead ringer twin to my .25-06AI both built at the same time. Biggest stop to the .338 Edge for me is need. Right now with the RUM I don't need any more range.
So far as Berger bullets go in the .25 though it loves them. Don't care that much where you seat them either although a change in powder might change that. Did well on the 110 Accubonds also but I just did not get all that impressed with it. Probably should of stayed with it but kept searching for that perfect bullet/load combination. If IMR7828SSC can get me anywhere over 3400 with the Berger though I think I will call it good and call off the search. :)
Trajectory for Berger .257 dia. 115 gr. MATCH VLD at 3450 Feet per Second
At an Elevation Angle of: 0 degrees
Ballistic Coefficients of: 0.523 0.523 0.523 0.523 0.523
Velocity Boundaries (Feet per Second) of: 2400 2400 2400 2400
Wind Direction is: 0.0 o'clock and a Wind Velocity of: 10.0 Miles per hour
Wind Components are (Miles per Hour): DownRange: -10.0 Cross Range: 0.0 Vertical: 0.0
The Firing Point speed of sound is: 1094.04 fps
The bullet does not drop below the speed within the max range specified.
Altitude: 4000 Feet Humidity: 30 Percent Pressure: 28.77 in/Hg
Temperature: 35 F
Data Printed in English Units
Range(Yards),Velocity(Ft/Sec),Energy(Ft/Lbs),Bullet Path(inches),Bullet Path(1 MoA),Wind Drift(inches),Wind Drift(1 MoA),Time of Flight(Seconds)
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