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25-20 for deer?
April 17, 2021
12:14 pm
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Anybody on here ever shoot deer with a 25-20 ? Obviously not my first choice but I do know an old timer who use to trap & says he shot many a deer with his 25-20 because that’s the only rifle he owned back in the day. 🤷🏼‍♂️
There’s probably even bigger game known to be harvested with a 25-20 but I think deer would be pushing the limit.

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April 17, 2021
12:31 pm
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Don’t believe the 25-20 would be the preferred caliber for many, however if good enough marksman it would probably be adequate for deer. 

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Winchester Model 1873 44-40 circa 1886

April 17, 2021
1:05 pm
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 The 25-20 would not be my first choice as a deer rifle,but close enough and a well placed shot would work.Many deer have been taken with a 22 rimfire, under certain conditions.

 

 I remember reading about the Jordan Buck,the  top record buck at one time,being shot with a Winchester Model 1892 in 25-20.From what I remember reading about the taking of the buck,it was shot with a 25-20,but the bullet did not kill it right away it fell in water and most likely had drowning as part of the reason for its death.Smile

 

 The 25-20 is a nice calibre in its own right.Fun rifle to shoot and quite accurate.Found IMR 4198 to work really well in the 25-20.Smile

April 17, 2021
1:27 pm
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Kill? Probably. In many cases eventually. Recovery could be tricky in thick brush or if the deer decides to run. As much as I like the old cartridges I like the quick, humane kills afforded by high energy rounds. Some of the old rounds do just fine but I’ve had to track some well-hit critters “killed” with rounds much more powerful than the 25-20. 

The Jordan Buck is an interesting story.

 

Mike

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April 17, 2021
1:37 pm
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28 gauge said
 The 25-20 would not be my first choice as a deer rifle,but close enough and a well placed shot would work.Many deer have been taken with a 22 rimfire, under certain conditions.

 
 I remember reading about the Jordan Buck,the  top record buck at one time,being shot with a Winchester Model 1892 in 25-20.From what I remember reading about the taking of the buck,it was shot with a 25-20,but the bullet did not kill it right away it fell in water and most likely had drowning as part of the reason for its death.Smile

  The 25-20 is a nice calibre in its own right.Fun rifle to shoot and quite accurate.Found IMR 4198 to work really well in the 25-20.Smile  

Since you brought up the 22, I will risk de-railing this thread with a fond hunting story from near 60 years ago.

I started deer hunting with family and friends when I was about 6 years old (which was typical in my family) with a single shot bolt action 22 rifle. The older boys would always tease me saying that I was wasting my time and that I would never kill a deer with than old 22. 

So one hunt, my grandfather asked me if I would go with him that day and if he could use my 22. So I was thrilled and sure enough he killed a huge buck (not sure how big, but with me being under 4′ tall, looked like a moose to me).  He shot it in the head from what seemed a long ways away to me.  

From that day on my brothers and other older boys never teased me about my 22 again. 

Here’s what my 6 year old grandson uses. A nice little Henry 22 I bought him. 

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Winchester Model 1873 44-40 circa 1886

April 17, 2021
1:39 pm
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Great story Kevin. Enjoy all the responses.

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April 17, 2021
1:51 pm
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28 gauge said
 The 25-20 would not be my first choice as a deer rifle,but close enough and a well placed shot would work.Many deer have been taken with a 22 rimfire, under certain conditions.

 

Preferred choice of many pro poachers & homestead butchers.  But why stop at deer?  ‘Close enough and a well placed” would bring down moose & elk.

I’ve had 3 .25-20s but could never quite figure out what to do with them beyond plinking at rocks, for which purpose they’re ideal.  Otherwise, they’re too much for small game (nor as accurate as .22LR), & too little for large game.  For turkey hunting, they’d be perfect, except that most hunting regs prohibit rifles. 

April 17, 2021
2:56 pm
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Kevin – 

That was a fun story.  Derailed threads are often some of the most interesting.

April 17, 2021
3:01 pm
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My other thought on the 25-20 was rifle or carbine? I don’t think a rifle would be my choice but I guess if you prairie dog hunting it might be more accurate than your bush hunting carbine.

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April 17, 2021
3:04 pm
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25-20 doesn’t make any more sense than a 32WCF but I like the little cartridge. I’d never take it hunting but it’s fun to plink around with and I suppose either cartridge would be helpful for keeping varmints out of the garden and chicken coop. Gentle, relatively quiet round, easy on the lead and powder supplies. Deer season doesn’t last all year, plenty of time for shooting the smaller calibers.

 

Mike

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April 17, 2021
3:10 pm
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If you want the deer to suffer then the 25-20 would be a good  round.  Here in Missouri, at least were I live , most of the deer are killed in brush.  You miss your target just a little bit and you will be tracking for a long ways and may never find your kill.  Why not just take a nice 30-30 and get the job done.

April 17, 2021
3:17 pm
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It is interesting to ponder how popular the .25-20 was at time of production.  A large portion of the late Model 1892’s you see are .25-20’s.  Also there was the Remington M25 pump (both carbine and rifle) and the Marlin M1894 the Model 27 (pump) were also made in this chambering.  Let’s not forget the Winchester M53 and M65.  There were bolt actions too – such as the Winchester M43 and Savage made some bolt actions in .25-20 as well.  My point is, a lot were sold and I very much doubt they were primarily sold for plinking.  Most people who wanted to plink used a .22 rimfire.  That leaves animals.  I suspect most the .25-20’s were originally sold to people who had animals in mind.  

April 17, 2021
3:21 pm
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steve004 said
It is interesting to ponder how popular the .25-20 was at time of production.  A large portion of the late Model 1892’s you see are .25-20’s.  Also there was the Remington M25 pump (both carbine and rifle) and the Marlin M1894 the Model 27 (pump) were also made in this chambering.  Let’s not forget the Winchester M53 and M65.  There were bolt actions too – such as the Winchester M43 and Savage made some bolt actions in .25-20 as well.  My point is, a lot were sold and I very much doubt they were primarily sold for plinking.  Most people who wanted to plink used a .22 rimfire.  That leaves animals.  I suspect most the .25-20’s were originally sold to people who had animals in mind.    

Good points Steve. I have to look into this a little more. Very interesting.

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April 17, 2021
3:34 pm
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I agree, Steve. Some of my first hunts were on a Texas ranch owned by a man who hunted deer with a 25-20. His ranch was near Bellevue and deer were often 200+ on the hoof, much bigger than the S Texas deer I’m used to. He seldom shot a deer but I have no doubt he got the job done. More powerful rounds such as the 30-06 were available over 100 years ago but rifles chambered for the smaller, less powerful rounds still sold well. Most show more than a little bit of use, would be interesting to know how the little rounds were regarded back in the day.

 

Mike

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April 17, 2021
3:40 pm
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Mike – that’s a good point.  Many .25-20’s I’ve encountered show years of outdoor use.  I suspect many who owned them saw advantages of a lighter rifle, less recoil, less noise, less expensive ammunition.  They probably saw the .25-20 as more versatile than larger rifles such as .30-06.  

April 17, 2021
4:03 pm
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steve004 said
 I suspect most the .25-20’s were originally sold to people who had animals in mind.    

No doubt.  Does that mean they were exercising good judgment?  Does that mean they were skilled hunters capable of stalking to within “sure-kill” range?  What it meant in most cases was lots of wounded animals never recovered.

April 17, 2021
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clarence said

No doubt.  Does that mean they were exercising good judgment?  Does that mean they were skilled hunters capable of stalking to within “sure-kill” range?  What it meant in most cases was lots of wounded animals never recovered.  

Corporate America. Profit driven. Animals second.

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April 17, 2021
4:47 pm
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steve004 said
Kevin – 

That was a fun story.  Derailed threads are often some of the most interesting.  

My grandfather told me years later that he had been watching/observing that buck’s movements for months and was just waiting for the right time to take it. 

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April 17, 2021
5:36 pm
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clarence said

No doubt.  Does that mean they were exercising good judgment?  Does that mean they were skilled hunters capable of stalking to within “sure-kill” range?  What it meant in most cases was lots of wounded animals never recovered.  

I have the mental picture of farm and ranch use.  Small critters such as porcupine, badger, ground hogs, coyotes and the like.

April 17, 2021
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I became a 25-20 fan due to the Model 1892 rifle my great grand father had.  He butchered for neighboring Kansas farms, mostly in the spring and fall each year.  The 25-20 was his choice after the 22 rifle he had been using failed to put down a large steer after several attempts.  My uncle, who was helping him that spring with butchering, walked to the neighboring farm to borrow their “high powered Winchester rifle”.  When the butchering was completed, my great granddad traded the Winchester’s owner,  beef for the Winchester.  The rifle remains in the family as far as I know.  It was well used and put away wet like most tools back in the 1930’s. I saw my great grand dad stick a “kitchen” match in a fence post and light it on the third shot with the rifle.  “The good old days”.  RDB

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