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Reloading Berger Bullets


.30-06 AI? who has one here?

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Unread 08-12-2008, 10:01 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 45
.30-06 AI? who has one here?

I have an 06 that really wants to be redone it is painfully accurate sometimes shooting 1/2 moa or less the 2moa or worse, it is like a colt i have clean it every shot and shoot a good group clean every 2 and it opens up, anyway who here loads for the AI version? I have several ackleys and like the gain i get but i have found the gain to be more in smaller calibers than larger and all exhibit better case life which isnt bad considering that i use lapua and it gets pricey when i buy for 6 or 7 different cartridges at once, anyone with any comment? I want mine with a 24" or 26" tube maybe a 155-180 gr rifle
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Unread 08-14-2008, 10:16 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 180
Re: .30-06 AI? who has one here?

I have a .30-06 AI made by Bennett Custom. Very accurate hunting rifle.

Candidly, I think it's more trouble than it's worth. It does outperform the .30-06 a little, but still doesn't quite catch up with the .300 WinMag as many suggest it will. Any savings on brass over the .300WM is eaten up by the cost of initial fireforming, not to mention the "enhanced" cost of a set of loading dies.

The velocity loss when fireforming standard .30-06 loads is around 100-150 fps. Effectively, I have to shoot the equivalent of a .308 until I get brass, then end up with something halfway between a regular '06 and a .300WM. For the less expense and aggravation, I could be shooting a .300WinMag.

I use full power loads when fire forming, and my last batch of brass is Lapua. I mainly use IMR4350 in mine and 165 or 180 Nosler Ballistic Tips for deer hunting and it shoots these well and they work fine for our whitetails. I've been having fun with it on steel targets at long ranges using 155 Scenars at 3,150 fps and shot a bedded deer at 392 (lasered) yards with one, but they aren't generally recommended for hunting due to inconsistent expansion.

I've got a lot of respect for Mr. Ackley and his improved line of cartridge cases, but even he suggested that "improving" the .30-06 was of dubious value.

The beatings will continue until morale improves.
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Unread 08-14-2008, 10:56 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 2,598
Re: .30-06 AI? who has one here?

At the same pressure the 30-06 AI will gain very little velocity over the standard 30-06. Rick Jamison wrote an article about the 30-06 AI and useing pressure trace equipment showed how littl amount of velocity is gained over a standard 30-06. He started with a new 30-06 and fired it for velocity and pressure and recorded the results. Next he rechambered the same rifle to 30-06 AI and repeated the tests. There was little difference between the two, but I don't remember the exact amount.

Sierra Manuel V lists a max load of 59.3 grains of H-4831 with 180 grain bullets for the 30-06 and list a max load of 63 grains for the 30-06 AI a difference of 3.7 grains, not enough increase to make a meaningful increase in velocity IMHO. Remember that for every 10% increase in case capacity you will only gain a 2 1/2 percent increase in velocity at the same pressure. The 3.7 grain increase is only 6.4% increase in case capacity. so one would gain about 30 FPS at the same pressure.
range it,check the wind, dial in correction, aim and only one shot
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