6.5-06ai & 6.5-280ai

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Greywolf18, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    What is the difference between the 6.5-06 AI and the 6.5-280AI? I always thought that the 280 was just a necked down 30-06? I decided, with the help of several ppl on here, to do a 6.5-06. So I kept reading on trying to decide between getting an AI or not and I saw the 6.5-280AI (RCBS) pop up a couple times. I did some looking around and can't find anything on it. Can someone please educate me on this?
     
  2. muleyman

    muleyman Well-Known Member

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    Don't hold me to it, but I think the 280 case has had the shoulder length extended out to keep from shooting out of the 270 or '06 rifle. So in theory you would get a slight increase in overal case capacity over the 30-06. Now a days you could probably size down 280ai brass to the 6.5 and not have to go through the fireform process. Just a thought though..........
     
  3. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    Thats what I was thinking as well. If I can get an AI without actually fireforming, I may get the AI afterall lol Do any of the gunsmiths (or any of the other ppl on here with far more knowledge than this newbie) out there worked with both of these and can tell me if there is any difference between them?
     
  4. muleyman

    muleyman Well-Known Member

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    Greywolf,

    Also forgot to say if the info you were getting on the 6.5-06ai is pertaining to the RCBS version the shoulder angle is usually different. An Ackley improved version has a 40deg and the RCBS uses a 30deg shoulder angle. Would make a difference when talking to your smith about chamber reaming.......
     
  5. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking the ackley version not the rcbs version. I saw somewhere that they called the 6.5-280AI the RCBS that's why I was confused. If I can just neck down the 280AI brass from Nosler into 6.5 then I think Ill go with a 6.5-06AI, if not then I'm not sure yet. Anyone know if you can just neck down that brass or do I have to fireform?
     
  6. outofayr

    outofayr Well-Known Member

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    The 280 AI brass won't fit in a 6.5-06 chamber, even when necked down. The 280 case is longer than the 25-06, 270 or 30-06 case, so you'd have to go with a 6.5mm-280 AI to make that work.

    Brian
     
  7. loaders_loft

    loaders_loft Well-Known Member

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    the 6.5-280ai sounds great, necking down nosler 280ai brass. the trick is, the dies.

    Even 6.5-06ai dies are not cheap

    Short of custom built dies, how would one set up a sizing die and bullet seating die?

    Does anybody actually OWN one of these 6.5-280ai wildcats?
     
  8. outofayr

    outofayr Well-Known Member

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    I own a 6.5-06 AI.

    Any wildcat you look at you're in the same boat on dies - they will be a "custom" die. That said, however, many die manufacturers offer these calibers at a pretty reasonable price. I got my dies from Redding, and I know that RCBS, Hornady, Huntington, etc. also offer custom dies. If you're worried about the cost of dies, it'd be better to stick with a standard caliber - the dies are the cheapest thing I own where a wildcat cartridge is concerned...

    Brian
     
  9. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    If the 280 is longer, will I be able to get more speed out of a 6.5-280AI over a 6.5-06AI since I can get more powder in it? Or is the difference not even noticeable? I'm thinking the 6.5-280AI now so I can get good quality brass without fireforming. Has anyone ever shot one and compared it to a 6.5-06AI? I can't find anything on the 280 version anywhere.
     
  10. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    Darrell Holland did one (6.5x280AI) forget what magazine had the article but here is his site and he has the reamer and he can furnish dies. Pull up service site that has list of his reamers and I'm sure he might have the loading data for it also.
    Holland's Gunsmithing & Shooters Supply

    I did the 30x280AI off the Nosler 280AI was interesting project. Well good luck
     
  11. dirtball

    dirtball Well-Known Member

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    When you are dealing with ANY wildcat cartridge you have to start with the reamer, and there is NO standard, every gunsmith has his own version, Different neck diameter, different shoulder angles, different throat lengths, ect.
    Before you decide on a reamer you should decide on the brass you want to use, whether you want to turn necks or not, the bullet type (VLD or nonVLD) and bullet weight (aprox) that you want to use. All of these things go into determining which reamer is the right one for your rifle. Then there is the availability of Dies, Redding makes a 280 Rem Imp 40* shoulder S type dies, all you would need would be the proper sized bushings and a "custom" set might be unnecessary.
    One of the first custom rifles I had was a 257STW. Turned out the neck was a tight neck, so brass had to be turned (which was OK) but it had a LONG throat and would NOT shoot VLD bullets. This was part of my learning curve, I now order my own reamer for every rifle I have built, after I buy brass and decide on bullet class etc. This way there are no surprises AFTER the rifle is built.
    Wildcat's are a lot of fun, BUT you need to think the entire process through before you start.
    Dave
     
  12. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    Tom-
    I looked over hollands website but didn't see the article. I'm going to wait until after the holidays and email them to see if they have a copy they can send me because I would love to read it. Thanks for the heads up that they already did one and wrote something on it!

    Dave-
    Thanks for all the input, I never knew there was that much that I needed to tell my smith! I am just starting reloading within the past year and so I am not into neck turning yet so that would be a big NO to neck turning. I pretty much was set on 130g Accubonds since this will be a hunting rifle. I was also looking at the 130g hunting VLD's, but heard they were finicky to load for so I'm leaning more towards Accubonds. Due to the increase in popularity of the 280AI, almost everyone has dies for them and so I figure it wouldn't be too much more for dies between the 2 calibers.
    When you say you order your own reamer, I take it you do all your own smithy work? I've never had a custom so I'm really new to all this, thanks for all the info!

    Brian
     
  13. dirtball

    dirtball Well-Known Member

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    Brian
    NO I am not a Gunsmith, but I have a friend that builds Benchrest rifles. So I take him an action, a barrel, muzzle brake (if required), a reamer, and headspace gage.
    He does all of the machine work, and I do the rest. This way I get it the way I want it and have the reamer for future barrels.
    A reamer and a headspace gage is about $ 170.00 to my door, not a whole lot when you consider the cost of a custom rifle these days, and I get the exact chamber I want.
    Depending on what type of rifles your smith builds, he may HAVE the reamer you need.
    Dave