6.5-06 ackley improved

ILVTOHT

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Jan 28, 2020
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Miles City Mt
First to explained what I’ve got, and how I’m “struggling”.
I bought a 6.5-06 ackley improved off gun broker. It is a Winchester model 70 push feed, with a 26” 1-8 light contour barrel. Made by Oregunsmithing.

To fire form I used 50 new Hornady 270 win brass resized it with rcbs 6.5-06 Asquare dies (dealer ordered and got wrong dies $85 pretty much wasted) and trimmed to length with a lee 25-06 case trimmer. I left a .010 portion of the neck unsized, and loaded 129 grain Hornady SST with 53 grains of reloader 22 (almost max load according to Nosler website for 6.5-06 Asquare... only data I could find) and federal 215 gold medal magnum match primers. This load produced about 1” groups @ 2775fps. But About 1/4 of my cases showed stretching at the web, and a couple even started to split at the case head... epic fail!

I tried 52.5 grains and pressure was a lot worse. Split the case at the case head, very flat primer, almost blew out the primer, the primer was mushroom shaped when deprimed the bottom half of the case. This doesn’t make sense to me, but it apparently was an “under charge” causing excessive stretching at the web and excess pressure sign’s on the primer.

So I discarded the Hornady cases (don’t trust them to reload) there went $40.

I contacted Redding and finally ordered 6.5-06 ackley improved 40* dies from a source they recommended ...$180. I also ordered 100 new Norma 270win cases and a 6.5 Lee case trimmer. I worked up a load with H-1000 and 129 grain Hornady sst. Setting at 58.5 grains @ 2870fps about an 1” group @ 100yds. Finally got a good fireforming load.

Now I’m trying to find a good load for my formed cases...My goal is 3200fps with 129 grain bullets with 1/2” groups.
So far h-1000 is not going to get me there... retumbo is to slow... reloader 26 with 61 grains gets me 3212fps but I’m getting more pressure signs than I like... flat primer with slight ejector marks on brass...

What I have learned so far is ...I have a loose chamber, and a long throat. All my loads seem to shoot about an 1”. Not bad but not what I’m looking for.
I’ll quit here so my thread doesn’t take up to many pages lol. Any help would be great!
 

xsn10s

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Mar 7, 2016
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Did you contact the smith about the "loose chamber"? What method are you using to fireform your cases?
 

TheSandman

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Jan 2, 2020
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Location
Central Michigan
Brother ILVTOHT,. Did you do a seating depth CK for accuracy? Seating shallow in neck should reduce pressure. Back off to 3100ish and do a ladder in seating depth then a ladder in powder charge. Reduced loads below minimum can flash over and cause pressure spikes. Good luck.
 

ILVTOHT

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Jan 28, 2020
Messages
54
Location
Miles City Mt
I’m seating at 3.380 AOL. Which is maximum magazine length. It is a long jump from the lands... .180 off. I Can’t seat them long enough to reach the lands!
I’m working on a load with 129 grain accubond LongRanges and reloader 26 right now. I did a ladder test with 2 rounds each started at 59 up to 61gr. .5 grain steps. Ran into pressure at 61... so I’ve got a 3 round/ group loaded up for more testing starting at 60.2 - 60.8 .2 grain steps...


My Hornady fireformed cases hold 74.1 grains of water, the Norma 73.7 grains of water... but when I resize with the Redding 6.5-06 ackley dies to just bum the shoulder... it squeezed the cases quitso I’m thinking my chambering is closer to a 6.5 Sherman...

The velocity i posted for my fireform load was wrong... 58.5 of h-1000 gives me 2917fps not 2870...
 

TheSandman

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Central Michigan
Hey Brother ILVTOHT, Is barrel labeled with chambering? One of your fire formed cases should get you dimensions that are close to compare(short of a chamber cast). Perhaps gun was throated for 160,s or shot out. Did you bore scope it? Xns,s recommendation is a good one. Would answer alot of your questions. I have never dealt with that kind of throat. Most often deal with short to no freebore. Shallow seating and single shot loading won't help since you probably don't have enough bullet as col with 160,s is 3.3". Call the smith after ya borescope it. Again good luck. PS ck barrel twist may give you idea of bullet it was made for.
 
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ILVTOHT

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Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
54
Location
Miles City Mt
Hey Brother ILVTOHT, Is barrel labeled with chambering? One of your fire formed cases should get you dimensions that are close to compare(short of a chamber cast). Perhaps gun was throated for 160,s or shot out. Did you bore scope it? Xns,s recommendation is a good one. Would answer alot of your questions. I have never dealt with that kind of throat. Most often deal with short to no freebore. Shallow seating and single shot loading won't help since you probably don't have enough bullet as col with 160,s is 3.3". Call the smith after ya borescope it. Again good luck. PS ck barrel twist may give you idea of bullet it was made for.
Barrel is labeled 6.5-06 AI. Twist rate is 1-7.5 or 1/8... previous owner shot 143eld-x at 2980fps. Less than 200 rounds down the tube when I got it ... I don’t have a bore scope, but rifling looks good to me.

I don’t want to shoot heavyweight bullets in it as I have 4 30-06’s and they run 150’s...

I like the rifle, and I’m not one to give up! And I do enjoy reloading and workin on guns... so I’ll just keep working on it... probably try just neck sizing next. An input on a neck die option?
 

xsn10s

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Mar 7, 2016
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Then while fireforming he may need to single load and not worry about feeding from the box. If that mean pulling the bolt out and placing a case under the extractor and then putting the bolt back in the action then so be it. Or use the cream of wheat method with false shoulder. So let's start from the beginning. What makes you think you have a "loose chamber"? Do you feel the any tension when closing the bolt on a round? Was the rifle's headspace checked?
 

L.Sherm

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Jul 26, 2017
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Heres my suggestion, get a wyatts box installed to give you some adjustability, some rifles will shoot with a bunch of jump some wont. You say it's a loose chamber are you guessing that's it because your dies are over sizing the brass or is it the dies that are just " oversizing".
Ask for a reamer print you only need .130 freebore on a 6.5x06AI to be at or just above the neck shoulder junction with a Berger 140.
If I remember correctly 3.5+ C.O.A.L will put you at the lands with 140 and .130 freebore.
In my nephews 6.5x06AI that I put together for him runs the 140 at 3150 in a 26" tube
 

L.Sherm

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Your problem with the brass oversizing is exactly why in a wildcat chamber I either have the dies made from reamer print or 3 fired cases the latter is the preferred way.
 
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