I'd say you are one of the first people who actually figured this out. Boyd is the first. He just S---canned an RUM that couldn't hit the broad side of a barn in order to have a 30WSM that actually shoots. An efficent gun is a lot nicer on brass and expendables than a great big cannon that just eats components. Ask any of the RUM guys how many firings thay ever got out of thier brass... Most will say 4-8 and a select few may go as high as 10 but I'd have to see that to beleive it. Now, in a similar barrel length, you can shoot a WSM that will be within 10% in speed with 25% less powder and the brass will live forever. It'll almost never heat up because of the rate of burn. (Ask Boyd about that).
Go to the PA 1000yd club results and see how many matches were won last year with 6.5-284's. I was going to name names but I won't here. The point is, a majority of matches were won with cases that can be at least nearly filled. I have 1 paper on my desk now and no RUM's were shot in the heavy class that weekend. In the light class, 1 took a second in a relay, the others were none better than 9th out of 10 or 11 in a relay. Group of the day was shot with a 2.3" 30Cal case (I've made dies for it so I know the size) score of the day shot with a 6.5-284. Score shootoff won with a 6.5 and group won with a cub. Hmmmm. Where were the 3200fps 30's that day. This just happens to be one week that I have laying here for other info in the paper, but, you get the idea. Other weeks are similar. Personally, I'd shoot anything in north america with any of those chamberings and wouldn't think twice about them being enough gun.
I don't know if this would be your first gun project or not, but, my single advice would be, build a gun that's gonna be fun to shoot... That way, you'll shoot it a lot. A gun that doesn't get worn out was a bad investment.
Now, for Ackley Improved. Could someone tell me what got "improved"? Hmmm, a steep shoulder that inherantly makes donuts in the case neck and won't resize worth a damn. Added case capicity for a case you couldn't fill to begin with, all so you can pay more for class C or D dies and waste time fireforming cases so they'll shoot. Now add the turbulence generated at the case mouth because of the harsh angles at which gas has to leave and you get added throat erosion from the wash of the powder. I'll take the Unimproved version any day.
264 Win mag. Nothing more than a 7mmMag necked to 264. Entirely too much case for a 140 Grain bullet. The powders that will work in a 6.5 will be in the 45-55grain charge range and the case will hold 75 of about anything. You can use them for a deadblow hammer!
In most cases, you will cease to gain velocity no matter what amount of poweder you put in the case. This is especially true in large volume cases where you use a slow powder such as R25/22, H1K 870, ... My 416 gun would shoot H1K up to about 70 grains with 40.7fps/grain. After that, the speed increase/grain of propellant was about 18fps up to 75/76 where I could no longer fit any in. All I was doing was heating the barrel for no reason at that point. 4831 gives similar performance but has an overall higher top end velocity because of it's burn rate / efficiency in my gun. Sunday I shot 67Gr of 4831 with 210Berger's and got 2970fps avg in a 28.5" barrel. That's a Short fat case. No sign of pressure. I shot 70 gr in last years barrel but won't need as much now. My brothers 7mm WSM gives better performance than that by quite a bit with a 180gr bullet. He gets 44.3fps/gr from 180's and 4831. Compare now the amount of heat being generated to a large magnum and immagine the difference in barrel and case life. In the hottest matches of last year I shot not less than 10 spotters and 10 record rounds. These were gone ALL in less than 9 minutes with the last 10 in 2 minutes and I grabbed the gun by the barrel and went to the weigh in every time. You could ask Boyd how he did for heat but his gun with 5 spotters and 10 record rounds was so hot he needed welding gloves for the weigh in.
Build a FUN gun. If it works, you're gonna throw all your other ones away. The cartridge doesn't have to be a ton of work to work well either.
If you have something that you disassemble and reassemble enough times, sooner or later, you'll have two!
..338-378.. Buy one of each ,huh.? Hehehe.. Sound wisdom if ever there was.. Then I can find out fer myself and the deal will be done..!! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] ..Brent.. It's a well-known fact in these parts that a fella afield hasta be constantly on the lookout for the WAGA..(wild-a$$ed groundhog attack.!!) I have personally witnessed this phenomenon whilst me n Roy were lazing in the pickup lookin for 'hogs in a field.. We were subject to a WAGA and poor 'ol Roy 'bout fell out of the truck laughin' at me tryin to hang out of the driver door upside down with my itty-bitty pocket .22 tryin to stave off the attack that ended under the truck.!! (Keep in mind that me an' 'ol Keen are about the same size..) [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] At which point the 'hog in question decided to beat feet to points from whence he came.. Mebbe I need ta start packin one 'o' them thar .454 Casull's.. Hehehe.. ..4mesh063....As far as the RUM goes the only thing I can say at this point is that I'm not crazy about anything the I can only get Remington brass for.. The 30WSM is an interesting booger but I'd prolly opt for the 7mm version.. Only thing about that is I'd be basically duplicating the ballistics of my already paid for .280AI..(Not to mention having to buy another $450 bolt for the Viper)
..As far as the value of "improving" a case goes the jury is still out on the real benefits for me.. With my current choice I will admit to this..I simply think it makes for a way cool looking cartridge..(Hey,I've heard way more idiotic justifications than that.!! And it gets me 3100fps with that 162gr AMax.!!) One thing I don't like about the AI'd cases is the lack of pressure signs.. That really bugs me.. If I get a donut I simply ream the neck out.. It takes me 10 seconds at the loading bench.. As far as dies go I just use the standard Lee Collet die after fireforming.. One cool thing about '06 based cartridges is that everybody and their brother leaves me plinking brass everywhere.!! I get great accuracy with the fireforming loads and enjoy busting fire-ant nests in the process so I'll have to disagree with ya on most of your suggested demerits to "improvement".. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
..In all fairness the big .30's and such have more downrange power than the 6.5's I've studied.. The 6.5's seem to run out of energy (standard 1K fpe for deer minimum.?) around the 700 yard mark which I know Keen & crew shoot past with regularity.. If only for paper punching it would be hard to justify the big .30's as most 6.5's and 7mm's will equal or better their BC's.. Although .30's presently seem to dominate the 1K game, but that may be from sheer numbers.. The 6.5's seem to coming into their own and I've even talked to a few winning competitors going with 7mm's again.. ( Funny how things go in circles with this stuff,eh.?) [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] ..S1..If I can trust my ballistic calculator I'm only giving up 400#'s of energy (Which may be a BIG factor in deer hunting..I dunno yet..) and .5" of wind to the Sierra 220MK at 1K.. In my opinion as of this minute, the only way to justify going to bigger cases would be to goto the extreme other end.. The smaller mag's just don't seem to be "all that" over the '06 based cartridges.. Maybe something ala Steve Hansen.. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
..Izzat enough poop outta me or what.?? [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img] Hehehe .. JiNC
Go back in bullets, ballistic to 2-23-03 and see the thread on BC for LR bullets. Kind of intersting.
If you have the 280AI with a 1-9 twist, then shooting the 176-180 JLK or Carturuccio custom bullets gives you a BC of .7 or over and plenty of bullet mass for downrange energy. Think you will see a couple top BR shooters gone to the 7mm this year, and all shooting those two bullets. Watch Danny Brooks at NC this year. Think I would get some good Lapua brass though and stay with it for serious work.
As for not any signs of pressure on the AI, you might be missing them if you have any pressure. My 6.5-06 AI sure gave them to me when I got a hot lot of RL22. Expansion of base of cartidge above web, bright spot (ejector mark) on bottom of brass etc. My load now gives 3050 with 140s out of 28" barrel and no pressure signs and low SD and ES.
As for AI' being hard to resize, got to be something with the die. Mine are a piece of cake on custom Newlon bushing die cut with a sizer reamer that is .003 under chamber reamer size. Never understand anyone saying they can ream a sizer die with chamber reamer. Not sizing even .001, so total waste of time and money and fooling themselves.
The energy argument is always a very interesting one. I doubt that anyone would expect a deer sized animal to go very far after being shot at point-blank range with a 45 ACP. This round in plus P configuration delivers about 550 foot-pounds of energy. The 44 Magnum will produce around 800 foot-pounds of energy, I have seen deer shot at close range with this handgun, they don't run after being hit. The bullets delivered between 650 and 750 foot-pounds to the target animals.
The 30 Wolf will deliver a around 700 foot-pounds of energy at 2000 yards with a 253 gr. powdered tungsten bullet. I have never seen a deer sized animal hit in an appropriate zone with a projectile delivering more than 500 foot-pounds of energy that did not die very quickly.
This may be a long way of restating that where you hit in animal is much more important than the diameter of the bullet or the name engraved on your cartridge. My experience shows me that with thin-skinned non dangerous, deer sized game, three times the weight of the animal in foot-pounds of energy, with an appropriately designed bullet is more than adequate to do the job.
This guideline definitely does not hold true with significantly larger game, or dangerous game with heavy skin and tough bones. I would want significantly more energy than three times the body weight for a large brown bear. I would not need three times the body weight of a moose to kill it efficiently. Energy, bullet placement, and terminal performance of the projectile will be major determining factors.
There have been volumes written on terminal ballistics, temporary and permanent wound channels. Each type of game probably requires a different mix of permanent and temporary wounds to satisfy a particular hunter. Hunters vary greatly on their opinion of what satisfactory terminal ballistics include. I have noticed that many hunters that use match Kings like the enormous exit wound. I gather its the blood trail and the visual effect that impresses these hunters. I am from a different train of thought when it comes to terminal ballistics, I would like to see the bullet breakup and leave all of its energy in the animal creating as much tissue disruption as possible. I don't like tracking animals, especially at high-altitude in mountainous terrain. I prefer to watch them die right where they were shot, sort of the instant incapacitation argument. I suspect that many of these deer being shot with a 300 gr. match Kings at close range have more than enough energy to instantly kill the deer, and leave a massive exit wound.
For those hunters who do not want to carry a 25 pound cannon to deer hunt with, shot placement and terminal effect become ever increasingly important. By understanding ahead of time the impact velocity range you'll be dealing with, and choosing your bullet construction wisely, you can kill very efficiently at very long-range, with a lot less energy than most hunters would acknowledge. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
You fellas with them (WAGA) problems aught to consider carryin a 12ga. I know it works when we encounter the pi$$ed off (ASFWH)
Also wear steel toed boots in case ya miss.
Running-Not an Option hehehehe [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
Some gunsmiths and die makers machine their sizing dies with the chamber reamer, they do this because in their process they know the die will be heat-treated. The heat treating process for some steels allows the die to change dimensions, this gives the sizing necessary. Other smiths will not harden their dies, but have them titanium carbo nitrided, this makes the surface of the die extremely slippery, think about 90 Rockwell on the C scale. This process also causes the die to grow dimensionally.
Personally, I like the Newlon blank with a neck bushing, cut by my resize reamer. I have found that by designing the resize reamer .001" smaller near the case head, and .002" smaller at the body shoulder junction, sizing is ideal and works the brass very little, promoting long case life. This also saves wear and tear on my chambering reamer.