View Full Version : Winchester 25-35

06-28-2010, 07:26 AM
Found a rifle in my deceased father-in-law's stuff. It's a Winchester 25-35 W.C.F. Does anybody know anything about this rifle? It's a lever gun. Someone has added a Lyman peep sight. Stock's got one pretty good gouge, maybe knocked around in some old rancher's pickup truck.

Does anyone reload for this caliber? Is it worth reloading for?

06-28-2010, 04:21 PM
You have yourself a treasure. Yes, it's definitely worth loading for. It is an excellent deer round, not quite up to the .250Sav in power, but proven capable many times out to 200yds and beyond if your eyes are up to it. It is also a really good cast bullet round if you're into that, too. It is an absolute pleasure to shoot and unlike the .30-30 in the same action, quite user friendly during long bench sessions. (I love the .30-30, but bench testing a m94 chambered for it leaves my shoulder nicely purpled after twenty or thirty rounds so I use a recoil shield. There's no need of one for the .25-35 and you can shoot hundreds of rounds with no discomfort.)

Quite aside from the substantial increase in value of the rifles over the last few years, the cartridge itself is very loader friendly with a variety of bullet weights, as long as you are careful to use round or flat nosed bullets in it (like for any tubular mag) and crimp the rounds firmly to avoid telescoping during feeding.

Lee has some data for it, but Sierra and Lyman no longer list it. Perhaps others can suggest other manuals that have some data. It has been eclipsed over time by many more powerful rounds, but that is no fault of the cartridge itself which was very popular in its day for putting food on the table and can still today.

If you have problems locating brass, it is easily formed by running .30-30 or .32spec cases into a .25-35 FL sizer, trimming to length, and fireforming, one of the easiest conversions you can attempt. (When reforming, I always clean the lettering of the headstamp with acetone, fill the letters with red or orange nail polish, then touch sand so that the lettering stands out boldly to avoid any confusion.)

06-29-2010, 12:26 AM
Great find. They are a great cartridge for deer, antelope and if you are with in reach and place your shot well will do an elk or a moose.


06-29-2010, 03:31 PM
How important is it that I use a .258 bullet (which is what the Lee reloading manual calls for)? I can find all kinds of .257, but so far I've been unable to find a .258.

Also, does anyone know of a mold in .258? Can't find that either.

06-29-2010, 05:21 PM
It shouldn't make much of any difference. I always shot regular .25cal jacketed bullets, 100gr IIRC, the same ones I load in the .250sav and .257Bob.

As to the mould, it has to be oversized anyway which the decent ones are, and the correct sizer depends upon the actual measured groove diameter of your barrel (they can vary by several thousandths). I would slug with a well greased soft cast 6.5mm bullet and measure the result with a mic, not a caliper. The exact size and weight of any cast bullet as it drops from the mould depends not only on the size of the mould, but also on the alloy used. You then lube and size the bullets down to exceed your groove diameter by between .001-.002" in .25cal.

06-29-2010, 07:58 PM
Hornady makes and markets the modern day copy of the original Winchester design. It is their 117 gr. Round nose; Hornady product #2550. I have used it very effectively over a well calibrated charge of Accurate 2520 powder. Use a standard large rifle primer and modern Winchester cases.
Winchester catalogs a factory load using a 117 gr. round nose soft point bullet, good ammo, but pricey.
Good shooting!!!!!!

06-30-2010, 04:22 AM
most 25 cal molds should drop in the 258-9 range.
look for one with a flat point and crimp groove and iirc lyman makes one in the 100 gr range that is ideal for the 25-35.
iirc i used 4895 last time i loaded jacketed for it.

06-30-2010, 08:50 PM
Whoops! Went back and re-read the Lee manual, and .257 is the correct bullet size for the 25-35. (.258 is for the 25-20).

So. I found some .257 round nose bullets today, finally (thanks for the tip, Guesser. Hornaday #2550 in 117 gr, just like you said). Also found some Hornaday 60 gr, same style.

My question of the day is this: I found some soft point boattail 100 gr. bullets on sale -- "blemished". If I tap that little lead nose down flat, would that make them okay to shoot in the 25-35?

(These are at MidwayUSA, BTW, if anyone else is interested) (Don't think they have too many left. $15+ per 100).

07-01-2010, 01:41 AM
That might work Patti but I think you would totally destroy the harmonics of the bullet and create a hundred flyers that would just make you pull your hair out or turn you right off of reloading.
My thoughts Ken.

07-01-2010, 02:41 AM
single load or one in the tube if they'll feed, should be fine.
the 60 gr bullets you found are for the 25-20, but will work fine.
i like the 60 gr fp's in my 25-20 for small game, and at the low end in your 25 they will do the same thing.
i use the remington 86 gr bullets in both my 25-20 and in my 257 roberts [at 2400 fps] for general small game stuff up to coyotes.
for deer huntng the rn's by hornady would be the ideal bullet, as it is soft enough to perform correctly at the 25- 35's velocity.

07-01-2010, 06:52 AM
Good point, Kodiak. As much trouble as I'm having working through leading problems in my 45acp and 9mm, I sure don't need to creat any additional ones for myself. Thanks for the info!

And runfiverun, I'm glad to know about the 60 gr bullets. I was thinking they might do well for just plinking, and getting used to the gun. .... Is it the Core Lok bullet you use (Remington 86 gr)?

The other thing I was thinking about using those 100 gr. "blemished" bullets for was for the 250 Savage and 257 Roberts. Wouldn't they do okay for plinking in those calibers?

What I'm trying to do with all this, is find rifles which are fun to shoot (read "light recoil") so that I can entice our youngest daughter into actually trying it for herself. She's a single mom, has 3 kids, the boys are 6 and 4 and real curious about what Grandma does in the reloading room. But she hates guns (violent ex-husband), and doesn't want the boys to have anything to do with guns. She's kind of softening a bit, and I certainly honor her wishes, but when the boys ask questions, I answer them, and then remind them that mamma doesn't want them around this stuff right now. But I really believe if we can get the boys taught early and properly about guns and gun safety, yada yada yada.... that they will grow up with a proper respect and understanding, and eventually an appreciation for this right of ours, which seems kind of tenuous at times, depending upon who's doing the talking! Sorry. Stepping off my soapbox now....

07-01-2010, 04:25 PM
those blemished bullets aren't all that blemished usually.
i bought a bunch of them from midway in 30 cal imagine my reaction when they turned out to be noslers and the blemish was not enough moly coating. which i was gonna tumble off anyways.
and yes the corelokts in 86 gr.

07-02-2010, 06:05 AM
Well, I dropped the 25-35 off at the gunsmith today, asked him to go through it, clean it up, see if anything needs to be fixed. Said it would be about a week and a half before he could get to it. Sounds fine by me. By then the dies should be here, and I'll have had time to think about how to load for it.

I'm trying to not get too excited about it, but it's hard not to!


07-03-2010, 12:06 AM
I think that is a very wise move and you will get started loading when the stuff arrives and be off to a great start with a new to you firearm.