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#5709684 - 04/21/15 08:07 AM Ackley Improved or Not??
Drop Tine Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 09/26/09
Posts: 4840
Loc: Denton,Tx
I've decided to have a 6.5-06 built and would like to hear everyone's thoughts about whether it's worth it or not.

I do not currently handload, but plan to in the future. Dallas Reloads will handle it for now. Chad has a couple 6.5-06 loads already. How well does non-ai ammo shoot thru an improved chamber?

Velocity loss significant?

Any feeding problems? Will more than likely be on a Rem 700 action, but if needed, I could use a Tikka.....they feed everything well.

The AI is supposed to minimize the need to trim brass, but is that enough reason to justify improving it?

Velocity gain?

Would I need a 26" barrel if I go Improved? Definitely want a 24" barrel. I'm sure I'll have more questions, but any help is appreciated.

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#5709719 - 04/21/15 08:29 AM Re: Ackley Improved or Not?? [Re: Drop Tine]
dee Offline
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Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 4664
Loc: Red River way
Do a 6.5-280AI then no forming brass as Nosler sells 280AI brass already.

As far as forming goes it can be done several ways. One is to fire standard loads but that is low on velocity and depending on powder burn rate doesn't always form 100% as sometimes the shoulders aren't fully radiused. 2nd option is a actual forming load using fast powder for caliber and jamming the bullet into the lands. This method always fully forms. 3rd is the cream of wheat or similar method. This uses pistol or shotgun powder and a filler to close the burn some and usually forms 90% of the case or more. Same results usually as just firing a standard load but less to no barrel wear.
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#5709736 - 04/21/15 08:33 AM Re: Ackley Improved or Not?? [Re: dee]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Originally Posted By: dee
Do a 6.5-280AI then no forming brass as Nosler sells 280AI brass already.


^^Great idea^^
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#5709774 - 04/21/15 09:04 AM Re: Ackley Improved or Not?? [Re: Drop Tine]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9424
Loc: Lewisville, TX
The 280 AI necked down to 6.5mm is not a bad idea. The only issue would be increased neck thickness. You would gain about 4-5 grains powder capacity.

Taking a 6.5-06 and giving it an AI shoulder should yield about 75-100 fps increase. Is it worth it, that's a personal preference. The 6.5-06 should push a 140 about 2850 to 2900 fps. Add the extra powder room of the AI, and you should be able to get 2950 to maybe 3000 fps. I wouldn't go shorter than a 24" barrel though. The extra slow burning powder will need this extra barrel length.

The necks on the Nosler 280 AI brass that I have here are .011" thick. If you neck them down to 6.5mm, they will increase to about .013" to .014" neck thickness. That puts your outside diameter on a loaded round at .292" (.014" x 2, plus .264"). If you go this route, make sure your chamber in the neck is atleast .294" to give room for bullet release.

Overall, that's not a bad idea, really. Tell you this much, if you did this project, I'd go in on a 6.5-06 AI reamer with you and split the cost of it. Reamer would run about $200 total, or $100 each, in the ball park cost. (Even a 6.5-06, also. I want to do a 6.5-06 project!)
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#5709776 - 04/21/15 09:05 AM Re: Ackley Improved or Not?? [Re: Drop Tine]
BIGDOG1956 Online   content
Woodsman

Registered: 10/26/09
Posts: 235
I like the improved cases, with a wild cat like that it makes sense to go with the Ackley case.

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#5709783 - 04/21/15 09:10 AM Re: Ackley Improved or Not?? [Re: Drop Tine]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9424
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Just called PTG, and 6.5-06 or 6.5-06 AI reamer is $148, plus shipping. About $165. Go half!!??
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#5709805 - 04/21/15 09:26 AM Re: Ackley Improved or Not?? [Re: dee]
HorizonFirearms Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/05/10
Posts: 1616
Loc: College Station, Texas
Originally Posted By: dee
Do a 6.5-280AI then no forming brass as Nosler sells 280AI brass already.

As far as forming goes it can be done several ways. One is to fire standard loads but that is low on velocity and depending on powder burn rate doesn't always form 100% as sometimes the shoulders aren't fully radiused. 2nd option is a actual forming load using fast powder for caliber and jamming the bullet into the lands. This method always fully forms. 3rd is the cream of wheat or similar method. This uses pistol or shotgun powder and a filler to close the burn some and usually forms 90% of the case or more. Same results usually as just firing a standard load but less to no barrel wear.


Dont do it, We have the reamer and have built them but they are finicky as heck and you don't get the speeds out of them
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#5709810 - 04/21/15 09:29 AM Re: Ackley Improved or Not?? [Re: Drop Tine]
HorizonFirearms Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/05/10
Posts: 1616
Loc: College Station, Texas
Personally I would still do the 6.5-284. I have seen the 6.5-06 and the 6.5-06 AI finicky is well. Just my opinion we have reamers for all of them and more than one for some of them.
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#5709940 - 04/21/15 10:39 AM Re: Ackley Improved or Not?? [Re: Drop Tine]
Bullfrog Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 10596
Loc: N-Bedford
6.5-284 wins again!
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#5709952 - 04/21/15 10:42 AM Re: Ackley Improved or Not?? [Re: Drop Tine]
NewJeep Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 5319
Loc: Boerne, Tx
6.5-284
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#5710051 - 04/21/15 11:34 AM Re: Ackley Improved or Not?? [Re: NewJeep]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Based on what Derrick mentioned with his experience, I'd have to go back to the 280 A.I. leave the 6.5 mm out of it.

Load it with a 168 gr. Berger and let it eat!
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#5710081 - 04/21/15 11:48 AM Re: Ackley Improved or Not?? [Re: HorizonFirearms]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Derrick,

What are they finicky about? Powder charge, bullet to lands relationship, both?
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#5710231 - 04/21/15 01:11 PM Re: Ackley Improved or Not?? [Re: FiremanJG]
HorizonFirearms Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/05/10
Posts: 1616
Loc: College Station, Texas
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Derrick,

What are they finicky about? Powder charge, bullet to lands relationship, both?


Yes, exactly and the 6.5-06 even seems to be picky on quality of brass. Its a shooter cartridge, one for a guy that just likes to tinker and mess around with loads and development and enjoys that kind of thing. If I wanted one in a faster 6.5 that I could grab and go it would be the 6.5-284 if I were building it for me personally. but everyone has their own reasons for doing things.
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#5710250 - 04/21/15 01:26 PM Re: Ackley Improved or Not?? [Re: Drop Tine]
BarneyWho Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/09/04
Posts: 2792
Loc: Fort Worth, TX
I have a McWhorter 6.5-280AI or as they call it the 6.5AI with a load already worked up I'm about to sell if you decide to go that route. I have bullets, brass, and powder for the load as well. Turn key once you get the dies.

Gun shot in the .3's with 140gr Bergers @ 3100fps IIRC.
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#5710295 - 04/21/15 01:58 PM Re: Ackley Improved or Not?? [Re: HorizonFirearms]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
20 foulers
Ladder Test 10-15 rounds
Usually yields three 5 shot groups (15 rounds)
Play with the jump .010" increments, making for another 20-ish rounds.

So it could take loading and shooting 70 rounds to find "the" load. That's a full day IF you are set up to load at the range. If you're not set up to load at the range it can become three trips, and three loading sessions.
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