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Ackley Improved

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Old 05-10-2009, 01:51 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: southwet wa.
Posts: 20
Ackley Improved

hello everyone,

I want to know more about the AI....

Case life,
velocity gain %,
which if any cartridges are a complete waste of time?

You know we all head to the range looking for an edge. Whether or not it's better accuracy or more speed or both!

So the way I look at it is if a guy can get even 100fps more and still be accurate with supposed better case life whats not to like?? It's still gotta feed great.

So I really would like to know from .22 clear to .338 AI who's got one? Was it worth it? Would you do it again??

Thanks alot guys

"Thou shall hunt where there are trophy muledeer, or forever be plagued with mediocrity"
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Old 05-10-2009, 02:10 AM
TAP TAP is offline
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Central Az.
Posts: 152
Re: Ackley Improved

I had a .223 AI and loved it. Had a 1 in 8" twist with a 26" Lilja 3 groove. Shot about 200fps faster than standard. I just neck sized and case life was very good. Only had to trim about every 5 firings. I currently have a .257 AI. Shoots sub MOA and about 200fps faster with 100gn NBT. Accuracy is sub MOA and again, I only have to trim about every 5 firings. Same with f/l resizing. No feeding issues with either round. Both in Remmy 700's. Have a .338-06 AI and a .280 AI planned in the next couple of years. Love the AI's.
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Old 05-10-2009, 02:26 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: southwet wa.
Posts: 20
Re: Ackley Improved

How much improvement (velocity) did you get with the 338-06??

Any feeding issues??

I have an old -06 springfeild with a barrel thats toasted. have been thinking either 30-06 AI or 338-06.

Call me crazy but I'm head over heals about the new Hawkeye in the RCM.

338RCM AI?? Wanting to push 225-and 250ammo to 338wm velocitys. I'd leave it unscoped and maybe(maybe) add a peep site. (brush thumping elk and bear!!)

"Thou shall hunt where there are trophy muledeer, or forever be plagued with mediocrity"
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Old 05-10-2009, 06:53 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,389
Re: Ackley Improved

Just my two cents but if your going to leave it un scoped and use it as a brush gun why go to all the truble of pushing the bullet so much faster?

You will have shorter barrel life and feeding could be an issue in the springfield. Aslo I am no metal guru but I do know that the old 06 is safe for that much presure.

I think one of the smith could awnser that.
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:35 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dillon Mt
Posts: 163
Re: Ackley Improved

Good morning,
I have an old savage rifle that I discovered had a 14 twist and it was hard to find bullet or load that would stay on a paper plate. I put a 10 twist Douglas barrel on and had it chambered in .250 Savage Imp. From dark to daylight! Fire forming loads would put everything tried into 2". My goal was to be able to shoot 100 gr. bullets at 3000 fps. I have gone up to 3100 but have settled on a load that does 3000 and will stay close to a 1/4" group. 75 gr. hollow points will shoot 1/2" more or less at 3400. The increase in velocity would be up to 200 fps over the standard .250 Savage. The case capacity is increased by about 12%. I believe that is the largest increases of all the improved cartridges Regrets, yep I've got 'em. It would be nice to have that cartridge in a better rifle. That old rifle has a rear locking bolt that limits the pressures that it can be loaded to without stretching the case and getting head separations. I've found that for the longest case life I use .243 brass that has the shoulder formed to have a fair bit of resistance to closing the bolt , resulting in no stretching of the case on the first firing. I don't think any other rifle would have issues.
I like the one A.I. that I have well enough to consider a second. I've shot an Win. M70 30-06 from day One and think it's come to the end of the trail. I've always wanted a 6.5 something and a 6.5-06 A.I. seems about right Cliff
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:01 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fredericksburg VA
Posts: 4,137
Re: Ackley Improved

You are asking one question that has a thousand answers and all are different.

Best thing if you are serious is to buy PO Ackleys Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders Vol 1 and 2. Should be able to get them from www.sinclairintl.com or www.amazon.com

He covers most of the improved cartridges, gives what works and does not, reloading data for powders existing at that time.

Beware you will find about 10 versions of every AI cartridge and most dimensionally different. That means unless you know which reamer print your die mftr is using, off the shelf or standard factory AI dies will often not work. That means talking to the reamer mftrs (Dave Kiff at Pacific Tool and Gauge, Dave Manson at Manson Reamers, Clymer reamers, Henrickson Reamers etc) and find out which die mftr is using a specific AI reamer.

You can go to any reamer mftr ( I use Dave Kiff at PTG) and get them to make a reamer for you (about $200 with go and no go guages) and then use Neil Jones to make a custom die set for any cartridge off the reamer print for $275-$300.


Last edited by BountyHunter; 05-10-2009 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:54 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 787
Re: Ackley Improved

Most Ackley chamber rifles if done right (headspace) you should be able to fire the parent case as most use that method to form cases. Problems happen when gunsmith doesn't set barrel back to rechamber to Ackley.

Reloading for the Ackley is pretty simple. Start with known data for the parent caliber you will need to know how to measure CHE most likely you will go over max loads alot of that will depend on how chamber is cut/throated/twist and barrel length good example my 243AI with 80gr bullets @ 3700fps plus.

I've got 8 Ackley chamber rifles and I've never purchased a reamer. If you did something the gunsmith doesn't have a reamer for you will have to buy the reamer if it's a caliber he may use then may split cost with you. Dies can cost extra but that alot of things that your gunsmith can answer.

I've always started with new barrels as to rechamber and existing one as I much prefer to pick what may work better with gunsmith help.
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