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223 Ackley Improved

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Unread 02-10-2011, 10:28 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 65
Re: 223 Ackley Improved

Thanks Kevin, I haven't built the gun yet, still trying to decide on specs. What caliber were you shooting the 77s and 80s in and how far were you shooting them? Strombeckj, don't know much about the 22 BR other than it is has a .308 case head...how much of a bigger case capacity is it than the 223ai? Thanks again guys.
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Unread 02-10-2011, 11:04 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sedalia, MO
Posts: 1,256
Re: 223 Ackley Improved


That's either in a 20" Service Rifle, or a 26" Match Rifle being used for XC-HP shooting, chambered in the standard 5.56mm/223 Rem cartridge. The normal course of fire goes from 200 to 600 yards, but the 80s have seen extensive use out to 1000 yards as well. Pretty marginal out of a Service Rifle, but they do perform well out of a Match rifle. That extra 6" makes the difference. Running the 80s at 2850 out of a Match Rifle is doable at sane pressures, and the bullet will stay supersonic all the way out. The 77s won't, and while I've never seen the Hornady 75s used for this, I have no doubt that they'd go transonic before reaching the target. Not a good thing.

There's also been a push towards the 90 grain bullets, but these are a bit more problematic in a Service Rifle. Those who've had the best results with them are usually using them in a Match Rifle, and still pushing them pretty hard.

The BR has about a 5 grain water capacity advantage over the 223 AI, which in turn has about a 2 grain advantage over the standard 223 Rem; 36 grains for the BR, 31 grains for the 223 AI, and just a tad under 29 grains for the 223 Rem.

Hope that helps.
Kevin Thomas
Lapua USA
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Unread 02-12-2011, 10:04 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,241
Re: 223 Ackley Improved

Originally Posted by Jayhawk View Post
Anyone have any experience with this round. I am looking at rebarreling to this caliber and am not sure if a guy really needs a 26" barrel to get 3000-3100 fps with the Hornady 75 amax. Am looking at a 8-twist possibley 22" long to mid - long range practicing and varminting. Thanks a bunch.

There are lots of info on the 223 ai on the other thread starters like Rifles Bullets barrels and ballistics
if you do a search.

It is a great little round and the AI version ups the velocity by 100 to 150 ft/sec. Also you can shoot
factory loads in it with good accuracy and fire form at the same time.

I built an 223 AI on a Sako S 491 bolt action and it put the fun back in shooting the .223 rem.

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Unread 02-12-2011, 01:52 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: roanoke,va.
Posts: 326
Re: 223 Ackley Improved

I have an AR15 with an ISSI upper in 223 A.I. and a 14 twist ,26" barrel. Mine LOVES the 55gr. Sierra Blitz Kings.
This part is going to be very hard to believe; but I swear it's the truth. I am getting a tad over 3600fps and shooting bug holes ! I have a Nightforce 8x32x56 on it; but I am sure another good scope would do it. Impossible ,you say? I thought so before I chronoed the loads. Not great case life ! Primer pockets swell up after three ,maybe four loading. Yes, that's a heck of an increase in speed from 223 to A.I. and yes, A.I.s usually only give an extra 100 to 150 fps. P.O. Ackley may not have ever done the 223A.I. as he wasn't fond of the cartridge. But he should have! This is 22/250 velocities in a iddy bitty 223 case ! Go figure. I can't explain it; but Lee at ISSI says the same thing about it.
As for shooting 100 yards; I think you need something else. Yes, they do shoot it. But, there's other rounds more able.
If varmint hunting and max. 5-600yard shooting is what you'll do mostly; it's hard to beat the 223 A.I.
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