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25-20 for deer?
April 18, 2021
2:11 pm
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Just wanted to do a quick comparison. Although there’s a little more bullet grain between the 3.

25-20
60 gr (4 g)
FP 2,101 ft/s (640 m/s) 588 ft⋅lb

22 magnum
50 grains (3.2 g)
FP 1,530 ft/s (470 m/s) 300 ft⋅lb

22 LR
40 gr. (2.6 g)
FP 1,200 ft/s (370 m/s) 131 ft⋅lb

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Don’t get the water for the coffee downstream from the herd

April 18, 2021
2:44 pm
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clarence said

1892takedown said
As for a 25-20 on deer, why not.  Its got plenty of power for a head, neck, or heart shot.  

Those shots, yes, though you could say the same for hits with a .22LR.  But what’s the max range, would you estimate, that the “average hunter” could make those shots with a reasonable degree of certainty, using iron sights of course, & probably offhand?  Bert recommended 150 yds, but that’s way beyond my level of proficiency, though I practice offhand several times a week, & at 150 yds, because that’s where my steel targets are set up.  

Yes, 150 yards, off-hand, no scope – way beyond my level of level of proficiency.  

April 18, 2021
3:54 pm
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RickC said
Just wanted to do a quick comparison. Although there’s a little more bullet grain between the 3.

25-20
60 gr (4 g)
FP 2,101 ft/s (640 m/s) 588 ft⋅lb

22 magnum
50 grains (3.2 g)
FP 1,530 ft/s (470 m/s) 300 ft⋅lb

22 LR
40 gr. (2.6 g)
FP 1,200 ft/s (370 m/s) 131 ft⋅lb  

131 ft.lb in the right place is far more lethal than 588 (or a lot more) in the wrong place.

April 18, 2021
4:13 pm
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clarence said

131 ft.lb in the right place is far more lethal than 588 (or a lot more) in the wrong place.  

When it comes to using a .22 LR on a deer, there’s very few right places.  

I’ve heard of elephant being taken with a .22.  And not with a headshot either.  Apparently on an elephant, there’s a garden-hose sized vein that runs along the underside and is close to the surface.  Puncture that vein with a .22 (or a knife) and the beast will bleed out fairly quickly.  I am not talking with the voice of experience.  

April 18, 2021
4:22 pm
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clarence said

1892takedown said
As for a 25-20 on deer, why not.  Its got plenty of power for a head, neck, or heart shot.  

Those shots, yes, though you could say the same for hits with a .22LR.  But what’s the max range, would you estimate, that the “average hunter” could make those shots with a reasonable degree of certainty, using iron sights of course, & probably offhand?  Bert recommended 150 yds, but that’s way beyond my level of proficiency, though I practice offhand several times a week, & at 150 yds, because that’s where my steel targets are set up.  

I’m better at hitting a target than a deer as there’s always that bit of a adrenaline rush that may cause you to rush a bit more shooting game than target practicing.

I assume I’m not alone. 

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April 18, 2021
5:07 pm
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clarence said

1892takedown said
As for a 25-20 on deer, why not.  Its got plenty of power for a head, neck, or heart shot.  

Those shots, yes, though you could say the same for hits with a .22LR.  But what’s the max range, would you estimate, that the “average hunter” could make those shots with a reasonable degree of certainty, using iron sights of course, & probably offhand?  Bert recommended 150 yds, but that’s way beyond my level of proficiency, though I practice offhand several times a week, & at 150 yds, because that’s where my steel targets are set up.  

It would depend on eyesight, proficiency, acknowledgement of ones own limitations, and patience to take the right shot.  I dont think it would be a stretch to shoot a deer out to about 50-60 yards with a 25-20.   Would venture to guess most deer back then (as well as now days with scoped rifles), were killed at ranges under or well under 100 yards. 

If you were using that 25-20 or other small caliber gun all the time meat or fur hunting on small game like rabbits, coons, turkey, squirrel, etc., sighting on a deer wouldnt seem to be that big of a stretch at those ranges.  

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April 18, 2021
5:28 pm
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Have to agree with that Chris. I’ve also been searching the numbers for the 32-20 as well.
Any thoughts?

32-20
85 gr (6 g) JHP
1,100 ft/s (340 m/s)
228 ft⋅lbf

25-20
60 gr (4 g)
2,101 ft/s (640 m/s)
588 ft⋅lbf

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April 18, 2021
5:35 pm
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RickC said
Have to agree with that Chris. I’ve also been searching the numbers for the 32-20 as well.
Any thoughts?

32-20
85 gr (6 g) JHP
1,100 ft/s (340 m/s)
228 ft⋅lbf

25-20
60 gr (4 g)
2,101 ft/s (640 m/s)
588 ft⋅lbf  

Wow – in comparing those numbers, the .25-20 looks like a real powerhouse when compared to the .32-20.  Just about double the velocity and just about triple the foot pounds.  However, I know there are other loadings that do much better.  I see some .32-20 loadings pushing the 85 grain bullet up to 2300 fps.  Needlessly powerful for deer 😉

April 18, 2021
6:18 pm
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The vast amount of loading information available on the internet is a good indicator of how popular both the .25-20 and .32-20 are.  I think the .32-20 is a bit more popular and firearms chambered in the .32-20 are a more common.  For example, in modern times, the Browning M53 was available in the .32-20 but not the .25-20.  Same for the Ruger Blackhawk revolver.  Marlin has chambered both the .25-20 and .32-20 in their M1894 CL Classic.  Going back in time, I recall both Colt and S&W chambered revolvers in .32-20 but I can’t recall any in .25-20.  A final note, some modern .32-20 rifles (including the Ruger Blackhawk) have .308 bores rather than the traditional .312 bores.  I enjoy both these cartridges and load them often.

April 18, 2021
6:31 pm
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1892takedown said

It would depend on eyesight, proficiency, acknowledgement of ones own limitations, and patience to take the right shot.  I dont think it would be a stretch to shoot a deer out to about 50-60 yards with a 25-20.   Would venture to guess most deer back then (as well as now days with scoped rifles), were killed at ranges under or well under 100 yards. 

A 50 yd head shot is not unreasonable–I could do that, though not in a hurry.  But remember I said “average hunter,” & I’m pretty sure I’m at least somewhat better than Mr. Average.  At my range, seeing anyone NOT shooting off a bench is a very rare sight.  Adding another 50 yds makes a BIG difference.  The 100 yd steel targets at my range I can hit offhand 5 out of 5 with my M. 52, but at 150 yds, my “kill” ratio is about 3 for 5. 

April 18, 2021
6:35 pm
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steve004 said
A final note, some modern .32-20 rifles (including the Ruger Blackhawk) have .308 bores rather than the traditional .312 bores. 

Good idea–many more choices in bullets.

April 18, 2021
7:04 pm
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Folks,  Humor me a bit, please, but I recall a similar discussion some years ago and I chipped in then, too.  No personal experience, but can relate that an old timer in northern MN had but one “gun”, an 1892 SRC in .25-20 using factory ammo from the local Gamble’s store.  No idea of the grain weight.  His name was Percy Sweatt, and he and his wife Helen, lived an existence type life and raised a family in a cabin with a dirt floor in the kitchen.  Percy shot deer with regularity, either in or out of season.  He trapped and would dispatch some of the catch with the .25-20 as well.  He had shot one bear that was bothering his milk cows, and Helen shot a big bobcat the year after Percy died.  Percy told me how to hunt deer.  Slip quietly into the swamp, get up on one of the old, big white pine stumps, then break a stick so the deer would stand up.  Shots were usually inside 75 yards, and he shot for the heart.  Else he shot them in his garden behind the cabin.  I was up there the year before being posted to Germany, and found that Helen had given the carbine to their grandson.  I then found that he had promptly traded it at the Gambles store for a modern, bolt action rifle.  I asked at the store, but no one, including the owner, recalled the transaction.  The SRC had absolutely NO finish left on it.  I had no idea of the bore condition.  But it had been Percy’s and I would have loved to have had it.  It and the caliber were sufficient for any use that either Percy or Helen had for it.  They walked in from the trail head and homesteaded their place way, way back.  Another weapon that was passed on and lost was Percy’s dad’s cap and ball revolver from the civil war, but that is another story.   I never saw it.  Very nice people and it was great being able to talk with either of them.  Perhaps my tale will help them live on in my memory a bit more.  Tim

April 18, 2021
8:17 pm
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Fun story Tim.

Percy’s memory lives on!  Cool

April 19, 2021
8:22 pm
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 I am thinking the 32-20  with a hotter load, would do a bit better than shown in the the stats.I would say a 60 grain 25-20 bullet at 2,101 ft/s, would be a hot load for it.Smile

April 19, 2021
10:01 pm
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I’ll have you gentlemen know that the 25-20 was a World Record Killing Cartridge!

JamesJordanBuck.jpgImage Enlarger

https://community.legendarywhitetails.com/legends/james-jordan-buck/

One hell of a story to go with it as well.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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April 19, 2021
10:47 pm
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 This is the buck I spoke of in post 3 of this thread.Just had forgotten all the details.Do remember that water had something to do with the death.Thanks for posting the whole story,Maverick.Smile

April 19, 2021
10:56 pm
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Maverick said
I’ll have you gentlemen know that the 25-20 was a World Record Killing Cartridge!

Makes you wonder why Winchester developed the .30 & .32 WCFs.  Africa?

April 19, 2021
11:01 pm
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clarence said

Maverick said
I’ll have you gentlemen know that the 25-20 was a World Record Killing Cartridge!

Makes you wonder why Winchester developed the .30 & .32 WCFs.  Africa?  

Well… the .32 Special anyway….

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