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Where to find 25-20 ammo


The Prairie Kid #22351

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It looks like the major retailers are out, You might try posting on the classifieds to see if any of our SASS pards might have some for you.

Willy B'

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Contact Texas Ammo Source, he had some hard to find ammo for me. You can find him on the web.

 

Charlie

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As to your original question, yes the .25-20 is basically obsolete. Other than a tiny number of Marlin 1894 CLs made several years ago no guns in .25-20 have been made for over 70 years. If you want to shoot this gun on a regular basis your best bet is to buy at least 200 empty cases the next time Winchester runs off a batch of 25-20 and then handload for it.

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Howdy,

A pard of mine had a wonderful 2520 Winchester.

Accurate fun all a rifle should be.

He dies and I never get to shoot it again.

I think I would learn to reload to shoot that Winchester again.

Best

CR

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I would put a WTB (Want-To-Buy) ad here in the SASS Classifieds Forum asking if any other cowboys have 25-20WCF ammo or brass that they want to part with. Even small amounts will get you started.

 

...EDIT...

Being curious, I did a search on GunBroker for .25-20WCF ammo and brass. I found that 1x-fired 25-20WCF brass is available in hotly-contested auctions, with bidding currently at ~$1.50 each. No one is bidding on the .25-20SingleShot brass. I think there was one 20-round box of loaded .25-20WCF ammo.

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You can also neck up a .218 Bee case. This is the same basic case necked down for some Win rifles in the 1905 to 1940 period. Fireforming the .218 Bee in your rifle and then sizing with the .25-20 dies would likely be a good starting process.

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It seems that the last run of Winchester 25-20 loaded ammo (2012) we got up here is about sold out ...

If the past pattern holds we should be getting some more this Winter, we got a batch in 2006, 2009 and 2012 mid-winter...

 

Jabez Cowboy

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Kid, unless you want to wait a long time for the vendors to make a seasonal re-run of 25-20 WCF brass so loaded ammunition can be made, buy 20 or 40 cases from Rocky Mountain Cartridge Co. They are lathe turned - not drawn turned and are the best you can buy ... http://www.rockymountaincartridge.com/index_htm_files/RMC%20Product%20List.pdf

 

Of course, as Grits posted '' better start reloading", that is your only current option you have. So plan on buying bullets, powder and dies. Here is a loading data link for smokeless ... http://www.realguns.com/loads/2520wcf.htm

 

Also, here is a 'must read' thread on 25-20 WCF for you

25-20 reloaders

... http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/reloading/26002-25-20-reloaders.html

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Best of luck, pard, that's a fun little rifle!

Me Pappy had one in a 92 Winchester.

A good tight action, finish was better than 90%, but the bore was smooth as the inside of a brick chimney.

It shot well with jacketed rounds, but with cast lead, it grouped like a fat man spittin' watermelon seeds.

Wish I had it today!

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No doubt that loading your own ammo is about the only way that you will actually be able to enjoy shooting this gun more than a few times. Finding factory ammo is not impossible, but it is VERY costly. I have a full box of Remington 25-20 86 Gr Soft Point ammo, and no longer even have a gun that shoots it. I hang on to it simply because it is so hard to come by. I have watched the price climb upwards on a regular basis to the point that most full boxes are bringing well over a $100 on the auction sites. It just seems like money in the bank to me. Right now there are several boxes for sale on Gun Broker... If I were in the market to get setup to actually use a 25-20 rifle, I would go bid on every box that I found, and hope to win a bid or two. Even if you end up paying $2/round for a new 50 round box you will have the brass to reload. Yes.... I know that it seems like a outrageous price, but I doubt that you are going to find new 25-20 ammo any cheaper. IMO it is going to continue to rise in price. I really doubt that the major mfg are going to continue to produce this ammo... even on a limited basis. Waiting them out would NOT be an option for me. Even when I have seen a run of the ammo, the price has been close to $90/box.... I would not let an extra $25 stop me from getting it RIGHT NOW.... then, you have it and the rifle will be a usable gun. Without the ammo, it is just a Post or a club. So I say Just bite the bullet (Ha!) and get yourself at least 100 rounds so that you will have re-loadable brass to work with.

 

Snakebite

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Had the oppertunity to shoot one about 6 years ago. Friend's boyfriend had one and wanted to shoot it. So, we gathered up components and got a set of dies and I put some rounds together for him. Still have the dies if you're interested......Buck :blush:

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Thanks for all the replies, I will be buying all the components to reload. I never thought a Winchester cartridge would be so expensive.

I try to stay away from Gunbroker type sites, seems people are mad at their money with prices they pay for stuff.

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Once upon a time, didn't Starline make .25-20 brass. I remember seeing bags of it for sale at one of the vendor tents at EOT back in the early 2000's and I thought it was new, but maybe not...

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I never thought a Winchester cartridge would be so expensive.

Kid, when one has them seasonal production or obsolete caliber rifles in their safes ... the brass prices don't come cheap ...

* 80 pieces of brass (the last in the US for sale) - $311.20 for the 9.15x47R caliber designed in 1880 and was in production for only 10-15 years. Would have been a pure sin not to be able to shoot the beautiful Schuetzen rifle in my safe

* Current price for 577/450 brass - $3.69 each :excl:

Like the old saying "Wanna dance, gotta pay the fiddler"

And don't even whisper to the Mrs that you 'danced' ;)

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Howdy,

My new to me 73 lever action copy shoots 38s and looks so good next to this.

I put in one Remington golden sabre 357 mag and made a full water bottle flat

disappear with a big splash at 50 yards. One shot.

I just think I will skip the 2520 for now.

Best

CR

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A popular conversion was .25-20 to .38/357.

If you're tickled with that repro, Chili Ron, I'd say you've just found a winner!

I had the bright idea a few years ago to look into reverse engineering a current repro .38/357 backwards to a .25-20 ... but decided it was one of those good ideas that didn't amount to much, and decided just to let well enough be.

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  • 3 months later...

I know this thread hasn't had any activity in a couple of months, but I thought I would throw my two cents in anyways.

The 25-20 is very easy to reload for and except for maybe jacketed bullets, reloading components are easily available. Cast bullets are available for as low as $40.00 per 500 at MidwayUSA. Starline brass sells 500pcs & 1000pcs of 32-20 brass for $111.50 & $193.00 shipped. The brass uses small pistol primers which are easily available. Several good powders are readily available as well.

Forming the 32-20 brass into 25-20 brass:

 

Step 1:

 

Items needed - Redding Trim Die 25-20 WCF - Redding #: 83218, Redding Extended Shellholder #3E - Redding #: 11503, Imperial Case Sizing Wax

 

*Please Note: You can use a 25-20 Full Length Sizing Die instead of the Redding 25-20 Trim Die, but I use this method because I also shoot 218 Bee and I go a few extra steps after forming the 25-20 brass to continue forming the brass into 218 Bee brass.

Put the Redding Trim Die 25-20 WCF in your press and use the Redding Extended Shellholder #3E with this die.
Rub a little dab of the Imperial Case Sizing Wax on your thumb and index finger, a little goes a long way as you should get 10 plus cases lubed. As you grab a 32-20 case, rub the case neck and mouth between your lubed thumb and index finger and place the case in the Redding Extended Shellholder #3. Slowiy insert the case into the Redding 25-20 WCF Trim Die. Stop when the case has been inserted all the way as you will feel the case meet hard resistence and you will see the top of the case mouth level or almost level with the edge of the hole in the Redding 25-20 WCF Trim Die. Slowly slide the case out of the Redding 25-20 WCF Trim Die. You shouldn't have any issues with creases, splits, or dents in the case, although a case here and there may get a crease in it. 2-3 cases out of 100 cases got a crease in them when I did this step on my first try forming this brass. Out of 500 cases, I only managed to screw up 19 cases throughout the entire process on my first time around.

 

Step 2:

Items needed: Lee Pacesetter 3-Die Set 25-20 WCF - Lee #: 90750 or any 2 to 3 Die set in 25-20 WCF caliber

Lee includes a shellholder with this set, if you are using another die set, you will need the shellholder. In this case it is Lee's #6 shellholder.
Put the 25-20 WCF full length sizing die in your press and use the appropriate shell holder. Do Not Use The Redding Extended #3E Shellholder For This Step!
Slowly run the newly formed case into the 25-20 WCF full length sizing die and slowly slide the case out of the die. Inspect the case to make sure there are no dents or creases. You should now have a case that you can load for your 25-20 rifle.

 

As far as cost goes, very reasonable for 500 cartridges. The cost breakdown below assumes you already have a press and the dies.

$39.50 - Meister Hard Cast Bullets 25-20 WCF (258 Diameter) 85 Grain Lead Flat Nose Box of 500

$111.50 - 500pcs Starline 32-20 brass -Starline.Com

$31.50 - FEDERAL PRIMER SMALL PISTOL 1000/BX

$25.00 - 1lb of Powder, Hodgdon HS-6 or your choice of powders available for this load.

$10.00 - Shipping, not including primers and powder assuming you can pick these up locally.

**$28.50 - Hazmat fee added to shipping if you have primers or powder shipped to you.

 

So for around $220.00 you can form the brass and reload your own 25-20 for 500 cartridges, with primers and powder picked up locally.

**Around $250.00 for 500 cartridges if you have to have the primers and powder shipped to you.

At a cost of $0.44 - $0.50 per cartridge to reload your own or a cost of $1.25 - $1.50 per cartridge minimum for factory ammo when you can find it.

 

I have three Marlin 1894CL's, one in 32-20, one in 25-20, and one in 218 Bee. I use Starline's 32-20 brass in all three rifles. I just form the 32-20 brass into 25-20 brass and 218 Bee brass. If I didn't form the brass, I wouldn't be able to shoot these rifles and they are just too much fun to shoot to let them sit in the safe looking pretty.

 

I hope this helps someone on here that is wanting to shoot their 25-20 WCF but hasn't been able to.

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khough ... One heck of an excellent post! :)

Thanks should come from all needing to reform 32-20's. The time and details you provided is top notch

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Thank you John Boy for the compliment!

I wrote up a post on MarlinOwners.com how to form 218 Bee brass from Starline 32-20 brass and added pics of the equipment needed and the steps to accomplish it. If anyone is interested, go to MarlinOwners.Com and do a search on "forming 218 Bee brass from Starline 32-20 brass".

The first two steps is taking the 32-20 brass to form the 25-20 brass.

I love shooting, but my passion in shooting lies with the lever guns. And when it's a hyphenated caliber, even better!

I really enjoy this site and hope that I can contribute as much as I learn from everyone on here.

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Guest Hoss Carpenter, SASS Life 7843

When I first started shooting CAS with SASS some 21 years ago, I had a nice Winchester 92 rifle in 25-20.

It was SASS legal and I shot it for about four years. I bought about six boxes of ammo from Ten X and later picked up more and brass at gun shows out west. It was a fine rifle and was very accurate. Course I took some kidding about my Winchester "BB Gun"!

 

Sold it four years ago in Georgia. My Father in Law had a fine Marlin pump (wjich he promised me) in 25-20 also, but I never found out what happened to it.

 

Cheers. Hoss

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We load and cast our own .25-20 ammo.

I have used my old .25-20 1892 rifle in SASS main match a couple of times.

It's lots of fun, but not much ding and bullet marks.

 

MG

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Lohman Arms in Houston Texas. 713-937-3334 shows Win.unprimed rifle brass in stock. 50 for $21.27.I did not call them to check.I was hunting powder when I ran across the brass.

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Just called them they do not have the brass in stock.Sorry.

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I've got an 1892 in 25.20, spent like $500 on 250 pieces of brass a few years ago.......I load 'em up with APP 2f.....but you really feel the pain when after a 50 rifle round match, and you only get 40 cases back......I need to invest in a metal detector that will work on brass.

 

I use APP, cause besides being a Darksider, I find all my smokeless 25.20 cases (got a case of 25.20 from Ten X ammo 10 years ago, and bought up all the 25.20 I could find at all the local shops) I get splits in the bottle neck area....I was told this could have been any number of things, but I learned low pressure loads with APP don't cause splits, so I don't feel the need to do much else.

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I have a 25-20 carbine, model 92, that was a family gun. All the boys in the family carried it for our first 'deer hunt'. All of the adults shot lever actions as well -Savage 99 or Win 94. I horse traded my granddad out of it when I was about 12 or 14 - traded him a calf that he wanted to fatten up. He made the mistake of telling me what he would trade for it. I think I ended up giving about $15-20 for the calf. Probably not a bad deal in the early '60s.

 

I used it in a couple of matches when i first started. Ten-X cowboy ammo was readily available in the early 2000s. I bought several boxes and additional brass at the time. Sounds like a good thing I did, as hard as it is to get now. The one thing I noticed is that little 86 gr. bullet doesn't make a very loud ding, but it gets to the target really quickly.

 

When I was in my teens, this 25-20 was my 'high power' varmint gun for shooting grey diggers. Loaded 60 gr hollow-points. I didn't know the safety issues of the tubular magazine - I'm sure glad that rifle made it through my youth.

 

Thanks for a topic that makes me think of the good old days.

 

Buxton

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Midway USA has it in stock.

 

 

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/2900155498/winchester-super-x-ammunition-25-20-wcf-86-grain-soft-point

 

OOPS, now says out of stock . You can request an email to let you know when they get it in.

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