LR varmint .257 bullet options


Well-Known Member
Nov 10, 2001
I have been working with loads for a 25-06 sendero and am trying to decide on projectiles. It likes the 75 grain VMAX and 85 NBT. These are the only true "varmint" (read: advertised as=explosive) bullets that I would consider. The sendero also happens to like the 100 grain SMK but I am geting pass-thru's with critters getting back down their holes (will be hunting from squirrel to coyote). I am considering the 100 or 115 NBT but am worried that they won't be explosive enough since they are really meant to be for deer. Can those with experience please comment on what has worked in the past. BTW "LR"=~500-600 yds.
I shot Nosler 140gr B-Tip's (deer bullet) from my 7mm-08 while groundhog hunting. The body of a groundhog is enough to initiate expansion of this non-varmint ballistic tip.
Give the heavier BT's a try. They may work better than you expect.

You may want to try some other match style bullets that use the J4 jackets as theyr are pretty light and tend to expand pretty well. I've had good luck with the Bergers and Nosler J4s on coyotes , they have all opened up real fast and that is out of a 308 win which is a step down the velocity ladder.
Thanks guys--I think I'll try the NBT's first. Here's what I found
115 NBT .453
100 NBT .393
85 NBT .329
Lost River 90 grain J36 .479 and .529 for the 100 grain.

The lost river would be awfully flat and exceeds even the 115's BC-- the problem with these are the price--almost $2 per bullet. I'd like some more feedback on these. Not only would these make a good varmint bullet but would also make a good LR deer bullet for the small blacktail we have around here. I could do it all with one load.
MOA the Berger VLD has a BC of .522 at 115grs ,I'm trying to decied now wiat the differance is going to be in the drop of the Balistic tip opposed to the Berger.

Balistic tip 115gr = BC .453
Berger VLD 115gr = BC .522

MOA what kind of velocities are you getting and what powders are you using ??
FYI, I shoot the 115 Nosler BT/Partitions and am getting right around 3160 fps with 61 grains of Retumbo in a REM700 Sendero SF.

It's a little hot but not bad, don't start there.

They shoot consistently at .3 to .5 MOA, I am probably the llimiting factor ...

My 25-06 loves all the Nosler BTs, 85, 100, and 115 and the 115 Partitions shoot surprisingly well also. I shoot the 85s and 100s with H4831SC. Seat them all to the same length.
JD-- This rifle is my LR varmint rifle so I have only worked up loads for the 75 VMAX and 85 NBT. I'm getting about 3700 and 3550 respectively. I ended up with about a max charge with both loads (59.0 grains H4831. First day to the range holding .75 MOA at 200 yards for 5 shot groups is hard to beat. As with everything in life there are tradeoffs when it comes to bullets and deciding the optimum weight for the application. The lighter bullets for the 25 explode (can you say red mist?) on impact but have relatively low BC's. The heavier bullets will definitely have a higher BC but won't give you the "blow up" effect. The lighter bullets shoot flatter but I would rather have a heavier projectile that is affected by wind drift to a much lesser extent. We can't predict wind, but I can correct for elevation all day (gravity is constant). Overall I think With all things considered I think I'll go go for the 115 NBT--I won't have to work up another laod if ever want to use it for deer.

Here are some drop figures for you to get an idea of what the BC difference will do to traj.

Balistic tip 115gr = BC .453
Berger VLD 115gr = BC .522

115 NBT at 3000 FPS with 100 yard zero std.cond. drop in inches

115 berger
500-(my pocket PC just crashed but you get the idea)

Not too much of a difference. I will go with the NBT--$10 per 50. What kind of velocitites are you getting? Does anyone have good 115 grain load data?
I haven't started loading for it yet , just getting the brass preped ,30-06 Lapua resized and neck turnend enough to just make the necks clean and even. I have alot of H-4350 and 4831 , I would also like to try some R-22. The gun is a Encore 26" heavy barrel. I plan to use it as a "loner" gun , gonna top it off with a Simmons Aetech after the load developement , it seems that everbody wants to borrow my favorite guns when they want to shoot "long range" which is 300yds for the most part , and on our little coastal deer the 25-06 should work great.
JD-- I was thinking of necking some Lapua brass. What all is involved in the precedure, is it just a matter of running the brass thru the sizer die? I have never done any necking down--I assume I have to run it thru the full length sizer (then go back to neck sizing after the first firing)with lots of lube then trim? What length are you trimming to?
A buddy of mine has used a 25-06 with an 87gr TNT bullet to kill hundreds of coyotes in the past several years. It's not a SUPER long range bullet, but it works well to 500 or better.
I have quite a bit experience with the 25-06. I have only had 1 in my short 18 years of life, but I plan to get another here real shortly. I liked mine so much, that I shot the barrel out in about 2 1/2 years. It was a Ruger MKII, S/S, muzzle brake,trigger worked on down to 4lbs. It was my first "long range" gun. I wanted it for coyotes and mule deer. I tried every bullet weight available from 75's to 120's and literally everything in between. My 25-06 also shot the 75g v-max the best out of them all. Usually around 3/8" and 3825fps. It was a favorite of mine for creating the red mist. They also blew some amazing holes in the coyotes I shot. My 25-06 also liked all the Noslers 85,100,115 BT's, and even the 85 and 115 combined technology BT's. All 5 of them bullets with my final loads, the worst would have been 3/4" inch. I used the 85's for a couple coyotes and found them to blow up real well to. I also had them smoking out at 3775fps. The 100g BT I found to be about the best dual purpose bullet/combo. I had them at 3400fps and holding 1/2" groups. It still going pretty fast enough and blew good size holes in coyotes, while on the other hand kill mule deer deader than dead out to 500 yards. My pet load though was with the 115g BT. It would shoot 3400fps with an over max charge of IMR-7828 and hold at least 1/2" groups at 100 yards. I killed quite a few coyotes and deer out to 600 yards and they all dropped like they had been hit like lightning. If you want any details or specific load data, just drop me an e-mail.

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I own a 25-06 REM sendero and it seems to love the 75gr sierra HP's and have fired some really nice groups out to 500yds using them. It also likes the 100gr MK's and the 115 BT's. Could not get the 85gr and 100gr BT's to shoot that great.
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