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.