Unleashing the Power: Who Makes the Best 25-06 Rifle?

Matt Johnson
Matt JohnsonPublished: March 17, 2023
Unleashing the Power: Who Makes the Best 25-06 Rifle?

One of our favorite rounds is the .25-06 Remington. It's a great all around catridge and even beats out some of the other rifles. However, there are tons of .25-06 Remington models on the market today, how do you decide who makes the best .25-06 rifle?

Don't worry; we dive into it and we've found three that we think will knock your socks off. Here's which rifles we have personally field-tested and get our highest ratings. We get into more detail on each later.

SavageAxis XP .25-06 Hunting Rifle
MossbergPatriot Vortex Crossfire II
WeatherbyMark V Backcountry 2.0
The best 25-06 rifles for all-around hunting.

The Mighty 25-06 Rifle: A brief history.

The 25-06 rifle has long been a favorite among hunters, target shooters and those just looking for a reliable gun to keep in their collection. It is known for its accuracy and power, making it ideal for taking down game at medium to long range.

The .25-06 round has an interesting history, being around for over a century but only being standardized relatively recently by Remington in 1969. The round was actually originally created as a wildcat round by Charles Newton, an American gun designer, but it failed to gain much popularity for almost half a century. 

Despite this slow start, the .25-06 has become a reliable and effective round for hunting medium to large game. It has a reputation for being fast, flat-shooting, and accurate, with a muzzle velocity of around 3,300 feet per second. Its compact size also makes it popular among hunters who prefer lighter, more maneuverable rifles. Overall, the .25-06 round is an interesting and effective option for hunters and shooters.

Caliber.25-06 Remington
Bullet Diameter0.257 in (6.53 mm)
Bullet WeightRanges from 75 to 120 grains (4.9 to 7.8 g)
Case DesignDesigned by Remington Arms Company
Typical Muzzle VelocityAround 2600 fps
Maximum Muzzle VelocityCan push an 85-grain bullet up to 3,600 fps
Long Range CapabilitySuitable for precision long range target shooting
RecoilLower recoil, suitable for people with shoulder issues
Typical UseHunting, especially for game like Elk

Finding the best bolt action hunting rifle.

Before we dive into the best 25-06 bolt action rifles, we're going to get into what makes a great rifle. This isn't necessarily specific to the 25-06, but all rifle calibers in general.

When selecting a bolt action rifle for hunting, there are several factors to consider such as accuracy, recoil, and stock design. To ensure reliable performance in the field, it is important to select a rifle that has been manufactured with quality materials and craftsmanship. When we looked at and shot all the rifles for this post, overall construction was one of the biggest factors we looked at.

Of course, if you're able to build custom rifles, then the sky is the limit and the quality is only limited by you. However, we mostly considered rifles right out of the box. With that, the barrel construction should be made of premium steel and should feature a free-floating barrel design which will prevent any warping or misalignment from occurring when shooting your gun.

Additionally, the trigger system of your 25-06 rifle should be adjustable so you can customize it for your own preferences and find the perfect balance between pull weight and breakage point. Depending on whether you're target shooting or hunting, you may also want to consider features like a muzzle brake, adjustable cheek piece, and Picatinny rail systems.

Choosing a stock.

The next factor to consider when looking for a 25-06 rifle is the type of stock used on the gun. Many manufacturers offer synthetic stocks which are more lightweight than traditional hardwood stocks but still provide superior durability in harsh weather conditions. Wood stocks also look great when properly maintained with proper oils and protectants while still providing excellent levels of recoil reduction while shooting.

Another great choice would be fiberglass/carbon fiber stocks which provide excellent stability and strength while cutting down on overall weight significantly.

On that note, one thing we noticed when using a fiberglass stock vs a wood stock is that the wood stock was much heavier. If you want a lightweight rifle then composit is a way to go, but it felt a little cheaper to us.

There are plenty of other factors, but as far as the construction of the base rifle itself, those are the key areas we focused on. Again, if this were a custom rifle we were dealing with then it might be another story altogether.

Choosing the right ammunition for your 25-06 bolt action rifle.

There are a few different rounds for the 25-06 Remington. Countless manufacturers make the round but generally they make them each slightly different.

You can find the 25-06 Remington in anything from 75 grain all the way up to 120 grain (that we could find anyways). The most common grain we found on the market was 90 grain which is right in the middle of the road. The 75 grain is a high velocity bullet and the 120 grain is obviously a heavier bullet for larger game.

The type of bullet and trajectory you need will be determined by what type of hunting you will be doing with your 25-06 bolt action rifle. If you need to shoot at long range, then you may want to opt for lighter grains which tend to have flatter trajectories and better down range ballistics than heavier grains. On the other hand, if you are hunting big game then a heavier round will be needed to ensure proper penetration and knockdown power.

We find that for what most hunters want — big ol' bucks — that the 90-100 grain is fairly suitable. For those that are hunting for bigger game, ramp up the grains to 120 to ensure you have the knockdown power.

Regardless of what type of hunting you plan on doing, always be sure to test out your rifle's accuracy with a few different types of ammunition before taking it into the field. This will help you determine exactly what works best for your particular set up and firearm. That way when it comes time to take that big buck or bull, you will have the confidence knowing your rifle is properly zeroed and ready for the shot.

Hunting deer with a 25-06 rifle.

Since we mentioned it, we might as well dive into the details — hunting deer with a 25-06 rifle. The 25-06 round is an extremely versatile round and has been used by hunters around the world for many years. It is capable of taking down medium sized game such as antelope, whitetail, muleys and even elk if you are using heavier bullets in the 120 grain range.

The 25-06 is a flat shooting round with excellent down range ballistics, which means you can stretch your shots out further than with most other rounds making it an ideal choice for those hunting large open spaces. With the right rifle and ammunition combination, a hunter can confidently take deer up to 400 yards away.

From the rifles we tested, just about any 25-06 Remington is an accurate rifle capable of dropping game with ease.

Top Brands for Quality 25-06 Rifles

Alright, we made it. We've looked at just about every 25-06 Remington model we could get our hands on and we've narrowed them down to these three.

Savage Axis XP .25-06 Hunting Rifle

Savage Axis XP .25-06 Hunting Rifle

The Savage Axis XP .25-06 Remington Matte Stainless Steel Bolt-Action Rifle is the perfect choice for hunters and shooters looking for a reliable and accurate weapon that won't break the bank. This rifle features a stainless steel barrel with button rifling and thread-in head spacing, as well as a synthetic stock equipped with an adjustable AccuTrigger and a factory-installed Weaver 3-9x40mm scope.

When we opened up the box, it came with all of these features already in place. The bolt is incredibly smooth and has an impressive capacity of 4+1 rounds, more than enough for most hunting or shooting needs. I found the synthetic stock to be ergonomically designed with plenty of cheek weld, making it comfortable to shoulder even on the longest days out on the range or in the field.

The user-adjustable AccuTrigger is a great addition that further enhances accuracy since you don’t have to worry about any heavy trigger pull once you find your preferred setting. It also makes this rifle suitable for newer shooters who have yet to gain experience shooting firearms but still want high levels of accuracy.

The Weaver 3-9x40mm bore sighted scope also works perfectly with this rifle, providing a substantial improvement over the standard scopes that ship in most rifles today. It has clear optics, allowing me to hit targets easily at long ranges without worrying about poor vision or difficult aiming through cloudy lenses. Sure, there are better optics out there, but this Weaver wasn't too shabby for being straight out of the box.

Overall, Savage Arms makes a great rifle. This Savage Axis XP .25-06 Remington is an excellent value for its price point and offers exceptional accuracy and features when compared to other similarly priced rifles on the market today. It’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a reliable weapon that won’t let you down in any situation.

Mossberg Patriot Vortex Crossfire II

Mossberg Patriot Vortex Crossfire II .25-06 Bolt Action Rifle

The Mossberg Patriot Vortex Crossfire II is an impressive combo rifle that’s sure to impress hunters and shooters alike.

It has a fluted barrel made of steel with a recessed crown muzzle, giving it an attractive look while also enhancing accuracy and performance. The blued/black metal finish is eye-catching and the synthetic black stock provides a comfortable fit in the hands.

Included with this set is a Vortex 3-9x40mm scope which attaches easily to the scope mounts on the receiver. With its adjustable LBA trigger system and adjustable two position safety, you can adjust it to your liking without any difficulty. At 42.75" overall length, 7.5 lbs weight, 1:10 twist rate and 5 round capacity, this rifle packs enough power for even the most challenging shots out there. When holding this rifle there was a good balance on the pistol grip as well.

We were pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to set up this rifle when we opened up the box. All of the parts were already properly aligned and fitted together so I could begin shooting almost immediately after assembly.

The ergonomic design of the synthetic stock ensures comfortable handling. While we personally prefer wooden stocks, it's still a great gun considering it' has a synthetic stock. This would be the only drawback compared to the other bolt actions, but you might see differently.

The accuracy of this rifle is outstanding thanks to its barrel fluting design and rugged construction that minimizes movement from heavy recoil during firing sequences. The included scope offers clear optics that allowed us to make shots at even greater distances with pinpoint accuracy.

All in all, we highly recommend the Vortex Crossfire II if you’re looking for a dependable rifle that won’t let you down.

Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0

Weatherby Mark V .25-06 Rifle

The Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0 is an exquisite rifle that comes with a hefty price tag - but you get what you pay for.

The #1 profile fluted barrel is 24" long and is threaded for suppressors, making it suitable for precision target shooting or hunting in any environment. It has a 4+1 round capacity, a rate of twist of 1 in 10”, a trigger guard/receiver/bolt knob/safety made from graphite black Cerakote, and an overall length of 45".

When we opened up the box, we were mesmerized by the intricate details that come with this rifle and its visible carbon fiber stock with an orange & grey sponge patterned camo. It's one sexy rifle!

This combination gives it a contemporary look with an eye-catching finish that complements its lightweight feel (just 5.6 lbs, yes, a very light rifle). The length of pull is also adjustable at 13.5", allowing you to customize it to your own preferences or even change up the positioning depending on your target placement.

The long-range accuracy on this rifle is remarkable and won’t disappoint even experienced marksmen or hunters. The ceramic coating minimizes friction while the barrel fluting maximizes strength while maintaining uniformity throughout its construction, giving this gun optimal accuracy at even the longest ranges possible. We even used factory ammo with a Burris Eliminator V on top and plunking targets at 800m. Very smooth action!

The Weatherby Mark V® Backcountry 2.0 isn’t cheap - but you’ll immediately understand why when you use this incredible firearm yourself; its design carries both aesthetic appeal and excellent performance that’s sure to please even the most discerning shooters out there.

Target shooting or hunting, the .25-06 delivers!

While there were several others that could've made the list, we had to list out only the best ones. For example, the Browning X Bolt with the walnut stock was a close fourth place contender, we had to go with the Mossberg Patriot Vortex Crossfire II, and the Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0 as our top picks when it came to a reliable bolt action rifle.

The .25-06 is an amazing cartridge that is used for nearly every purpose imaginable; target shooting, hunting, long-distance precision shooting, and so much more. We highly recommend considering this caliber for your next rifle purchase, as you’re sure to be pleased with its performance and accuracy.

Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson

Master Outdoorsman

Matt is a seasoned outdoorsman with expertise in fishing, hunting, and wildlife. With a Master's degree in Wildlife Science, he combines his passion for nature with conservation efforts, sharing his knowledge through his writing for Fish and Game Report.

We may be compensated through the links you find on this page.

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