25 Remington Reload information

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Rickster
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:27 pm
Location: Kansas

25 Remington Reload information

Post by Rickster »

The following post summarizes what I have learned after testing hundreds of load combinations in three rifles chambered for the 25 Remington: a Remington Model 30 Express bolt action, a custom Ruger #3 single shot and a Remington Model 14 slide action. I also obtained a very good handloading program, Quickload, during this testing. These results update a previous thread. http://www.remingtonsociety.com/forums/ ... f=5&t=2362.


CASE CAPACITY
The water capacity of 25 Remington brass fired in both my Mo 14 and my Mo 30 is 44.5 grains. The capacity of brass fired in the Ruger #3 is 43.5 grains. For the sake of comparison, Quickload lists the capacity of the 25 Remington as 43gr, the 25-35 as 38gr and the 250-3000 as 45.5gr. The point here being that the 25 Remington is closer in capacity to the 250 Savage than the 25-35. But please read on. The 25 Remington case cannot take the same pressure levels as the 250 Savage case.

PRESSURE CONSIDERATIONS
The strength of the case (brass) limits operating pressures to 40 to 45ksi. I ran high pressure 25 Rem tests in a bolt action Mo 30 and single shot Ruger #3. I found that case life shortened above 40ksi, case heads expand above 45ksi, and case failures occur above 50ksi. After only one load at 50ksi, the primer pocket is loose. After another load or two, the case head separates. Quickload lists max average pressure as 44,236psi. The reason for the pressure limitation becomes readily obvious when cases are cut in half lengthwise and compared with high pressure cases, such as 223 or 270. In high pressure cases, the sidewalls thicken as the case head is approached. But in the 25 Rem, the case walls stay nearly the same thickness all the way to the head. Add to that, 25 Rem cases appear to be made of a softer alloy. Since there is a limited supply of 25 Remington brass (mine are made from 30 Rem brass), I have decided to keep my routine loads between 35 and 40ksi, especially in the older guns. I may take an occasional hunting load to 45ksi. I did try a 50ksi load in the Mo 14. I could see no damage to the rifle and the case extracted with only slight sticking.

On the other hand, too little pressure will cause extraction difficulties in the Rem mo 14. If pressures are not high enough to expand the case, the primer will back out to take up the headspace (whether too much, too little or just right). The primer will then press against the bolt and bind up the action, much more than a person might think. It will require a stiff tug on the slide to get the bolt unlocked. On the other hand, if the pressure is increased, the case will expand to fill the headspace void, the primer will be pushed back flush into its pocket, and the action will cycle easily. I mention this because one of the key indicators of too high pressure in this rifle is sticky extraction. Too low pressure will give similar symptoms, except that examination of the case head will show that the primer is backed out.

POWDER SELECTION.
If the 25 Remington were a modern cartridge, powders slower than 3031 would make the most sense. However, modern cartridges operate above 55ksi, while, as I explained above, 25 Remington loads should be kept below 40ksi. At 40ksi, 4350 has a miniscule 20fps edge and 4895 essentially ties 3031 for velocity when pushing 117gr bullet. For all bullet weights below 117gr, 3031 is the hands down velocity winner. Why? 3031 is an old powder design, dating back to the days when low pressure cartridges were the norm. 3031 was designed to burn efficiently at these low pressures. Just for comparison, at 40ksi, 4350 requires 5 more grains of powder to obtain the same velocity as 3031. And 89% of the 4350 powder charge is burnt whereas 99% of the 3031 powder is burnt. Drop down to 35ksi and 3031 has an even bigger advantage. Bottom line, 3031 is more efficient because it wastes less energy accelerating unburnt powder and retardants down the barrel. Ball powders are even worse and should not be used in the 25 Remington. These powders require high pressures to burn completely. They are retarded and they burn hotter. I observed that when testing ball powders in the summer, the barrel would heat rapidly and develop hard stubborn fouling midway down the barrel. If you value your old barrel, you will stay away from these powders. The old barrels were not made of the same erosion resistant chromemoly steels that are found on today’s rifles. H4895 is a great old powder, but it did weird things, acting as if it were a faster powder than 3031. H4895 also fouled the barrel. I found this odd since H4895 is a very versatile powder. I think it may be experiencing something similar to the so-called secondary explosion effect. IMR4320 also gave strange results, and never gave good accuracy. But then, I have never had good luck with IMR4320 in any cartridge. Other unsatisfactory powders were H335, H322, H4198, W760, BLC-2 and H380. Bottom line, 3031 is the best powder for mild and moderate loads in all bullet weights. I also found an excellent max pressure hunting load with RL-15. If you don’t have any 3031, then IMR4350 or RL 19 will also work with the 117gr bullet. IMR 4064, Varget and RL 15 will work with lighter bullets. Benchmark will work with bullets of 87gr and less.

BULLET SELECTION
In the older guns, the 117gr Hornady round nose is tops. I had no trouble getting 1 moa out of a scoped Mo 14 using the 117gr bullet. And the 117gr shot better than I could see in a peep sighted Mo 30. The Ruger #3, with its tight chamber and 25 inch barrel loved the 75 gr Hornady HP running 3200fps, and would consistently print clover leafs at 100yds. It liked the 87gr Hornady soft points almost as well. The 100gr soft points from Hornady and Remington were consistently the worst performers in all guns, but would still do better than 2 moa. For fun, I ran some tests on 1/2 gal juice jugs to see what bullets would be best for use on varmints. I filled the jugs with water and lined them up 3 in a row. Fired at close range, with moderate loads, the 60, 75 and 86gr flat nose 25-20 bullets all blow up in the first jug. A 4 inch pattern of bullet shrapnel damage is commonly seen on the front of second jug. Fragments rarely exit the second jug. The 75gr Hornady HP was different. This bullet has a sharp and hard hollow point. It penetrates the first jug, leaving clean .25” entrance and exit holes. It then explodes violently in the second jug. A few small fragments enter the 3 jug. The 87gr Hornady spire shaped soft point ruptures the first 2 jugs, and leaves a nickel sized mushroom shaped wafer in the 3rd jug. I used the117gr RN to take a medium sized buck this year at 100yds. The buck was quartering toward me. The shot went in the upper/front of the near shoulder and exited the rear of the far shoulder. The exit wound was small. The buck dropped immediately, paralyzed from the shoulder back. A finishing shot to the head was required

POINTED BULLETS IN THE MO 14
The problem with using pointed bullets in the Mo 14 is NOT that they might impact the primer (center) of the in line cartridge. Quite the opposite. The problem is that the point wedges between the outer edge of the case head and the tube, making it nearly impossible to load the rifle. If you are persistent enough to get a tube full, they will cycle through the action if the overall length is kept below about 2.575 inches. If the overall length is over 2.6 inches or so, they will not feed and you will have to take to tube end, spring and follower out to unload your rifle.

QUICKLOAD
Quickload is an internal ballistics program that I used during this research. QL provides very accurate estimates once the input data is tweaked to closely match the particular rifle, case, bullet and powder lot. QL not only estimates velocity, it also estimates pressures, barrel time, % powder burnt and % fill. Quickload calculated the pressures that I quote in this post.

RELOADING DIES
My dies were made by Hornady. I have found that these dies will undersize the case for the older rifles, pushing the shoulder back too far and creating too much headspace, if set to full length size such that the shell holder comes into contact with the die. They are perfect for the Ruger #3. Neck sizing will work for the old guns if you keep your pressures down. But if you run full throttle, you will need to full length size in order to get the Mo 14 to lockup OK. In that case you will probably find it best to adjust your resizing die to stop short of fully length sizing. I use a shimmed shell holder. If you don’t, and you run full throttle loads, you will start getting case head separations after only a few loadings. One way to check to see if you have too much headspace is to fire a mild load and examine the primer afterwards. The amount the primer protrudes (has backed out) is the amount of excess headspace you have.

PET LOADS for Remington Model 14
These loads all use the Hornady 117gr RN bullet seated to the caneulure (2.575”). I played with the various lighter bullets, but did not find a combination I liked. The rifle is clearly designed for the 117gr bullet, so that is where I have decided to stay. I will save the lighter bullets for the Ruger #3 and my 25-20s.

Accuracy load – 117gr Hornady RN, 2.575 OAL, 26gr, IMR 3031, 2300fps at 80F Estimated pressure is 35,000psi

Max hunting load 117gr Hornady RN, 2.575 OAL, 29gr RL15, 2450fps@ 70F, Estimated pressure is 41,000psi

See milder loads added at the bottom.

Pet loads for the Remington Mo 30
Unfortunately I misplaced my data for the Mo 30. What I recall is that the 117 Hornady RN and the 120gr Hornady hollow point bullets were very accurate. The sights on this rifle are set up for mild loads. Since I didn't want to modify the rifle, high velocity loads shot too high for meaningful testing. I don't remember the load data, but I do distinctly remember that I could reliably hit a 1 gal milk jug at 200yds shooting from a standing position with no rest. Thats pretty good for me with iron sights.

Added 2/13/10
I found some missing notes, so I can now add some milder loads to the list of pet loads for the Mo 14. The loads listed previously were the ones I chose for myself. But I understand others may want to use milder loads. As before, these are for the 117gr Hornady round nose bullet. These shot 1moa or better in my scoped Mo 14.

24.1gr IMR3031, 2200fps, 29,000psi
26.1gr RL15, 2225fps, 30,000psi

It may be of interest that these loads, as well as the loads provided above, do correspond nicely to Optimal Barrel Times using formulas provided by Chris Long here. http://www.the-long-family.com/optimal% ... 20time.htm
Last edited by Rickster on Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:17 pm, edited 5 times in total.

CWarmouth
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Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:59 pm

Re: 25 Remington Reload information

Post by CWarmouth »

Wow! Excellent work! That is a lot of really good info. Pretty timely too since I just bought a Model 14 25 Rem and was just asking about all this! THANK YOU! The other post you refer to is very good too. One thing I am really bummed out about though is the comments about the brass from Buffalo Arms. I have a box coming in the mail tomorrow and was looking forward to shooting tomorrow afternoon. Sounds like they may jam in my Model 14.

Did the 87 grain Hornady spire points have any of the problems that you found with the pointed bullets?

Rickster
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:27 pm
Location: Kansas

Re: 25 Remington Reload information

Post by Rickster »

Glad to do it. Just glad to see that someone else is interested in this fine old cartridge. And anyone else that wants to weigh in with their own experience is welcome.

Reeds ammo still has a good price on 30Rem brass that resizes nicely to 25Rem. I have bought from them twice with no problems. http://shop.reedsammo.com/product.sc?pr ... egoryId=29

All the pointed bullets have the same problem in the Mo 14. If you are anything like me, you will want to check this for yourself. But I am sure you will find pointed bullets don't work well in the 14. As an aside, you might be happy to know that a Mo14 and 141 in 35Rem handles pointed bullets better because the case is a little shorter. I haven't experimented much with my 35Rem though. My shoulder wont tolerate recoil like it used to. Too much shooting and martial arts in my younger years.

Maybe after you get a chance to shoot yours, you will give us an update on your thread (or this thread if you like)? Cant have too much info.

Rickster
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:27 pm
Location: Kansas

Re: 25 Remington Reload information

Post by Rickster »

Oh, here is a tip for making 25Rem brass from 30Rem brass. If you full length resize the 30 down to the 25, the case will be too short (have a lot of headspace). Fireforming the cases will then result in backed out primers, excess case stretch, and it may take multiple firings to get the cases expanded right. The way to avoid this is to leave a little of the 30 caliber neck unsized. Just size the neck far enough that the case will chamber. Let the 30 caliber neck act as a pseudo shoulder. That keeps the case back against the bolt. The shoulder will then expand to fill the gap at the front of the case. I use a mild load with the 86gr Remington 25-20 bullets.

CWarmouth
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:59 pm

Re: 25 Remington Reload information

Post by CWarmouth »

I see that RCBS has a bullet mold for a flat nose 100 grain 25caliber bullet.
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?p ... mpaign=632

What do you think that bullet would do in the 25 Model 14?

nambujim
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Re: 25 Remington Reload information

Post by nambujim »

I swore an oath that I would never get involved in an exchange of reloading data for whatever caliber that might be involved. I don't want to sound too sarcastic when I say you can drive yourself nuts and get far too involved in something that is really pretty simple.

Don't listen to how long anyone has been reloading or how much testing they have done, you need to keep it simple! There are numerous reloading manuals that can give information on how to load the .25 Remington, simply use the data for the .25-35 Winchester
(which you all knew already), the work essentially has been done for you.
As Glenn Beck would say, "here is what I know" pertaining to reloading the .25-35:
(Based on the 16 M14's I own in that caliber and the 10-12 I have repaired for others)
I always use RN ammunition, the other styles simply will not load properly and the original hang tags advised just that! I had an excess of some spire point ammo and used it up by firing them single shot with very light plinking loads!
I always use Redding dies when reloading rifle cartridges!!!! They may cost a bit more but
they work like a champ (none of the problems described by Rickster).
I have used some of the re-sized .30 Rem brass from Buffalo and it works great but I can't say the same for "Quality Cartridge" brass which loaded OK but the necks cracked on about half after the first shot.
I use 25.6gr 4895 w/117gr RN Bullet / Squib load of 16gr 5744 with the same bullet, you can shoot the latter all day without any recoil...gets you on paper without taking a pounding.
(The 25.6gr of 4895 is a factory duplication load as well as "the" accuracy load.)
Jim Peterson

ten-mile
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Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:03 pm

Re: 25 Remington Reload information

Post by ten-mile »

My 30-S Express really likes the Hornady 75 grain HP and IMR 3031. I haven't had it out for quite a few years and your posting has given me incentive to start shooting it again. I have made all my brass by turning the rims on 30-30 cases. I form and trim them to 25 Rem first and then do the rim by holding them in a 5C collet that I have bored to hold the case. Although I like RP cases to re-form into 219 Zippers, the harder Winchester brass may allow higher pressures before the primers start to loosen.

BTW- Does anyone know the dates and numbers made for the 30-S in 25Rem?

Rickster
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:27 pm
Location: Kansas

Re: 25 Remington Reload information

Post by Rickster »

ten-mile wrote:My 30-S Express really likes the Hornady 75 grain HP and IMR 3031. I haven't had it out for quite a few years and your posting has given me incentive to start shooting it again. I have made all my brass by turning the rims on 30-30 cases. I form and trim them to 25 Rem first and then do the rim by holding them in a 5C collet that I have bored to hold the case. Although I like RP cases to re-form into 219 Zippers, the harder Winchester brass may allow higher pressures before the primers start to loosen.

BTW- Does anyone know the dates and numbers made for the 30-S in 25Rem?
Oh my. I've never seen the numbers, but you and I both know that a 30S in 25Rem is super rare. Since you are shooting 75gr bullets in it, what type of sights are you using?

Regarding the brass. I made some of my first brass in a lathe too. What would a guy do without a lathe? But I wasnt complaining about the strength of the Rem brass. It is just right, IMO. I was just trying to pass along information about how it behaves as pressure increases. That information can be used in several different ways.

Rickster
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:27 pm
Location: Kansas

Re: 25 Remington Reload information

Post by Rickster »

Regarding driving oneself nuts experimenting: Experimenting is like therapy for me. I would go nuts if I couldn’t experiment. On the other hand, disassembling and reassembling Mo 14s every day would drive me nuts. To each their own.

Regarding 25Rem data in manuals: As I explained in my earlier writings, the 25-35 and the 25Rem are not the same. 25-35 data presented in some manuals is generally considered to be safe in the 25Rem because the 25Rem case has 10% greater capacity than the 25-35 case. And 25-35 data is developed for leverguns.

Regarding just using manuals. I consider manuals to be a starting point. Every rifle is different. And that is especially true for an obsolete cartridge in an obsolete rifle. You can be sure that you are not going to find published data for modern powders derived from actual tests in a Mo14/25Rem. Besides, it is every handloader’s responsibility to ensure the load he chooses is safe in his rifle. And the only way to do that is to test it for himself. That is why manuals have pages of cautions and descriptions on how to recognize pressure signs, etc.

As for “the” so called accuracy load that duplicates factory loads. Even if H4895 (or the military powder from whence it came) was ever used in 25Rem factory loads, you can be sure that the H4895 of today is not the same as it was back then. And you can also be sure that no manual lists a load as “the” accuracy load for the 14/25 and modern powders.

Some more info on H4895: The way I begin testing with any powder/cartridge/bullet combination is to run a series of shots over the chronograph. I start low and advance 0.5 grain per shot. The data is then plotted and compared with published data and with Quickload estimates. If the data matches within reason, I continue. If it doesn’t match, I investigate. In the case of H4895, the velocities were much higher than expected. That made me cautious. Subsequent accuracy tests yielded some very good results at first, but then accuracy deteriorated. Investigation found a tight spot midway down the barrel. The tight spot turned out to be caused by a buildup of hard fouling. After thoroughly cleaning the bore, I repeated the experiment and got the same result. I tried a different powder lot bought about 15yrs previous. Same result. I tried it in the Ruger #3 and the Rem Mo 30. Same result. I did not try it in the Mo 14. I am guessing that it is caused by the phenomenon described here. http://www.shootingsoftware.com/barrel.htm Whether that guess is right or not, I have decided not to use H4895 in my 25Rems. I didn’t not try IMR4895. Instead, I switched to RL15, since it is in the same ball park as 4895. RL15 gave very consistent results in subsequent testing. So I chose RL15 for my near max hunting load. If I am going to go near max, I want a consistent performing powder with no known problems. Whether you choose to listen this experience is up to you.

Regarding Hornady dies: There is nothing wrong with Hornady dies. The 25Rem Hornady dies were evidently made to allow the handloader to resize to minimum dimensions. That is, all chamber specs have minimum and maximum tolerances. These dies were made to the minimum. That is a good thing in that it allows the handloader more flexibility. If they had been sized to maximum, they would not have worked with the custom Ruger #3. They require adjustment when working with the Mo 14 because pump guns are typically chambered to the maximum side of the tolerance band to ensure smooth functioning. A tight fit can be a good thing in a bolt gun, but it is not good in a pump gun. There are two ways to adjust the dies. You can adjust the outer ring as the manufacturer recommends. Or you can do as I do and shim the shell holder. I do this by MIG welding some tack welds on the shell holder face, and then facing the shell holder back off in a lathe. That way I know that the cases will be sized right regardless of which press I use. I have a presses at home and at my range. In the case of the Mo14/25Rem, I find that a shim of 0.010 to 0.015 works well with my Hornady dies. Ditto for the Mo14/30Rem and RCBS dies. And many other guns/cartridges.

Rickster
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Location: Kansas

Re: 25 Remington Reload information

Post by Rickster »

CWarmouth wrote:I see that RCBS has a bullet mold for a flat nose 100 grain 25caliber bullet.
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?p ... mpaign=632

What do you think that bullet would do in the 25 Model 14?
It would probably work OK if your bore is pristine. But I dont see that bullet having an advantage over the excellent 117gr Hornady bullet. And you can buy a lot of the 117gr bullets for the price of that mold.
Last edited by Rickster on Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

ten-mile
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Re: 25 Remington Reload information

Post by ten-mile »

Regarding the sights on my 30-S, they are the original Lyman 48 and front bead. However, the front sight was too low. The front sight is retained by two pins and with the bottom of the blade resting on top of the pins, the height is just right. I glued it in place with lock-tite and it has held for the past 27 years. I used the 75gr HPs because I had them. With 30 grains IMR-3031 my first 100 yd group was 3/4". My shooting partner followed up with a 7/8" group. A few years later this combination took care of quite a few prairie dogs but I went to the 117 Hornady for deer.

Rickster
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Location: Kansas

Re: 25 Remington Reload information

Post by Rickster »

Good idea on the front sight. And even better eyes!

FWIW. That 75gr load is right at an OBT (1.20ms) in a 22in barrel (which I presume you have). QL estimates 2770fps at 30,000psi. Very nice. I will have to try that as a single shot load in the Mo 14.

That H75 really is an excellent bullet. In my scoped Ruger #3, my best load was with 3031 and the 75gr Hornady, but at a much higher velocity and pressure. I wont quote the numbers, but my notes say: "Prints clover leaves. Most accurate load tested. Look no farther."

CWarmouth
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Re: 25 Remington Reload information

Post by CWarmouth »

So I just got done reloading 40 cases for my 25 Remington.

20 cases were new brass from Qual-Cart headstamped 25 Rem. I loaded them w/ 25.1 g of 3031 and 60 g Hornady bullets.

20 cases were once fired brass from Buffalo Arms loaded to the same specs. They are reformed 30 Rem. cases. The Buffalo Arms ones will not chamber. They were fine the first time around but now are not. I resized both sets with Hornady dies.

Any ideas?

Rickster
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Location: Kansas

Re: 25 Remington Reload information

Post by Rickster »

Since that is a very mild load (16ksi), it shouldn't be anything related to case expansion/lengthening. Just to be sure, did you full length resize or neck size?

The Hdy 60 bullets are very short, so the bullets shouldn't be jamming into the rifling. To be sure, what is your ctg overall length?

Since you loaded them once before without trouble, it doesn't sound like primer pockets aren't deep enough. Still, better confirm that the primers aren't sticking out, That could be dangerous.

Better check case length to make sure the case mouth isn't jamming into the throat. That would also be dangerous.

One way or the other, I see no way out other than taking them back apart and starting over.

Tbury
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Re: 25 Remington Reload information

Post by Tbury »

In addition to Rickster's suggestions, check the shoulder were the body turns into the shoulder. If the fired cases were longer than the max case length, you might have caused a bulge when you crimped. If you use a taper or roll crimp, case length will effect the amount of crimp and cause problems. The brass used in these calibers is not as thick or as strong as higher pressure calibers. I use a Lee Factory Crimp die for this and most calibers; it is not length sensitive and will not collapse the shoulder.
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