308 To Ackley or Not

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by frequent misser, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. frequent misser

    frequent misser Well-Known Member

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    I have been a long time reader but just recently have started to post. I have shot a 243 forever but recently ordered a new 308. 24 inch heavy varmint tube 1 in 12 twist. My question is, is it worth ackleying the 308? I haven't seen to many 308s on here that have been ackleyed and I wonder why. Is it not worth it or is there a bigger benefit to leaving it stock? I am thinking of bullets in the 160 - 170 range though I might go heavier. This is going to be a deer rifle, probably out to around the 6-700 yard mark. Hopefully vermin will be in trouble out around the 1/2 mile mark. Suggestions for bullet weight will also be appreciated. Thanks in advace for any replies.
    Dan
     
  2. sambo3006

    sambo3006 Well-Known Member

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    Some of the other guys can probably give you a more technical answer, but I'll but in my 2 cents. I have a 3006 Ackley. I don't think that you could expect big velocity increases by improving the 308, maybe 100 fps + or - 50 fps. This case does not have a severe body taper or extremely shallow shoulder angle to begin with. The best example of dramatic improvement that I know of is the 22-250AI. The parent case has a lot of body taper and the improved version has much greater powder capacity. Case life would probably be greater with the improved version, but 308 case life should be pretty good to begin with. Some of the gunsmiths that frequent this site could probably get into more technical stuff involving stress on the bolt and action and stuff like that. If it were me, I would just stick with the good ol' 308 Winchester the way it is.
     

  3. Bob S.

    Bob S. Well-Known Member

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    I agree ... however if you want to try fireforming and delving into the relm of wildcatting there is no better way than an ackley improved version of a tried and true performer.
    before anyone jumps my sheet I am fully aware that ackley is not true wildcatting but some of the basics are there and as such, experience with the ackley cartridge will carryover to a true wildcat!
     
  4. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    One of the biggest advantages with the AI round now is barrels like the Broughton 5c which will also increase velocity. How much really depends on bullets and twist. You will see alot of 308 at 1000 yd Camp Perry but they shoot for the x ring, groups shooting at 1000yd don't see the 308 so when you talk about varmits at 1/2 mile you need a pretty good groups shooting rifle. What you need to do is run some #'s as to what engery you need to take a deer at 600/700 yds. I sure take to one of the LR gunsmiths here and see what they have to say. Well good luck.
     
  5. frequent misser

    frequent misser Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys. This is actually a howa barreled action. Same barreled action as the weatherby vanguards. I haven't been able to find a bad review on this gun so I am hoping it will work out. Properly bedded with good load development, I think it will fit the bill. I am fairly new to real long range (shots over 500 yds) My little h&r single shot 243 is deadly to the quarter mile mark but i just don't trust it past that for deer. I thought about a full blown custom rig but I want to send a lot of rounds down range to start with and I really don't want to spend that much yet not knowing what i really want for a cal. and gun. I thought this would be a good learning exp. and after I am done wringing all the accuracy I can out of this 308 I will probably know exactly what I want. Looking at twist rates for factory rigs I noticed all the savages are 1-10 twists and the remingtons are 1-12's as are the howas. Running ballistics on this as recommended I found that with a 180 exiting the barrel at 2550 fps I will have 733 ft/lbs at 700 yards. With a 165 at 2700 fps I came up with 768 ft/lbs of energy. Some may argue with me but I think either would dump a deer in its tracks at that range. From the sounds of things I think I may leave well enough alone for now. Cowboy- that was the same thought I had. An ackleyed round may teach me a little something more. I kind of have an itch for a 6.5 of some sort in a short action.
    Thanks again for the help fellas. I have a lot to learn yet but you guys are a wealth of knowledge If anyone else has any other opinions I would love to hear them as well.
    Dan
    I thought I might add, I was thinking about shooting scirrocos in the 165 grain. If I go heavier I will probably look to the wildcats or bergers. Thoughts on bullets would be appreciated as well.
     
  6. wapiti13

    wapiti13 Well-Known Member

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    frequent misser, For up to big deer, I would look real hard on the 150 weight bullet in a premium. You will surely get better velocity and still good penetration. Just my thoughts. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
     
  7. frequent misser

    frequent misser Well-Known Member

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    Wapiti-
    I never would have guessed that one but a 150 loaded to 2850 will produce 797 ft/lbs at 700. I thought the heavier bullets would have hit a lot harder. Will 150's still stabilize alright in my 1-12 twist? Is it possible to hit 3000fps in a 308?
     
  8. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    I don't know a lot about Howa's, but I do own one in 22-250. The reworked trigger is, to my mind, better than a Remington. The accuracy is only mediocre to average.

    I would not punch a factory chamber to Ackley, waste of money, in my opinion. As mentioned, not much room for improvement in capacity on a 308. The gain is a small increase in velocity and longer case life. If you want higher velocity buy a 300 or a 30'06.

    No, I don't see much point in altering the factory barrel. Fireforming is a chore and I don't see that it would be worth it.

    Good hunting. LB
     
  9. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    FM, When you get to looking at bullets like the Scirocco's etc they are a pretty long bullet and they take up case capacity which effects velocity. Bullet with a real high BC will help out on the energy big problem with the #'s you gave with a 180gr bullet the drop at 600/700 yds is around 10ft. Don't get me wrong when I say this, I like the ackley case have 8 of them but at some point you need to look at case capacity along with a bullet to make sure everything balances out.
    I don't own an Allen Mag rifle but if you look at the case they are build off it provides enought case capacity to more than handle bullets at long range hunting. 600/700 yd hunting you need a case that will handle 70grs plus of powder. IMHO you need to cut the bullet drop in half to around 60" or less oin the data you gave. In my hunting rifles once I get a load they it's chronographed and then I can figure what the max ranges is based on energy @ 1000 ftlbs and with the ballistics programs that not to hard to figure out. Well good luck.
     
  10. frequent misser

    frequent misser Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. I have decided to leave it stock as per everyones advice. I have played with that ballistics software and for deer I just don't think I can do any better than a 150 and still have decent range, providing this rifle will shoot. If I can get a 150 to 2900 or better I am going to have a 600 yard gun. With a 200 yard zero I will have about 12moa give or take an inch or two of drop at 600. What bullet would you guys favor? Right now I am thinking the ballistic tip may get the nod when comparing lengths and case capacity. Any thoughts?
    Thanks
    DAn