Fire forming 30/06AI question

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Buckinrut25, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. Buckinrut25

    Buckinrut25 Active Member

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    I have just acquired an Interarms Mark X with a from my local gun shop and when I checked the head space it was off. My gunsmith told me it was an improved chamber. I have never fooled with improved chambers before so any advise would be great. I have ordered the correct dies so My main question is on fire forming the brass. The Win brass around here is $33 per 50 that I then have to load and fire form if im correct. Walmart has Winchester 30/06 for 20 a box. Am I able to just buy 5 boxes of that and shoot it for my brass or would the full power ammo be unsafe? I have a bunch of h4350 and Varget and about 500 rds of hdy 168 bthp. Do you have any good loads for these?
    Thank you for any advise.
     
  2. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I had one built back in Feb and so far (other than the $119 set of dies), has been great. Smooth shooting.

    To form the brass you will want to find out your OAL from the base of the case to the ogive of the bullet. Your smith can do it, if you don't have a COAL gauge. Load a light load (I use 50gr of Reloder 19 under a Nosler 168 Custom Comp) seated to the lands (press fit). Load about 50 of them and then go to the range. Then shoot them. Then bring them home, clean them, and start load development.

    Also, Nosler has .30-06 AI load data on their website, that is available for you to print off.

    Of what they list, Alliant Reloder 22 gets the best velocoty in their tests, if you can find some of that.

    I'm using IMR 7828 SSC and Berger 185 VLD's. Should be getting well over 3,000 fps. However, I don't recommend playing with powders that slow at those velocities without starting really low and working up to your pressure signs.
     
  3. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Here's a picture of a loaded round.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. MNbogboy

    MNbogboy Well-Known Member

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    You mentioned that your headspace was off but did you say whether it was tight or loose?....Some if not all the true AI cases were designed by Ackley to shoulder hard to attenuate good concentricity before fire forming (approx .004 shorter than the parent case)....Hopefully that is the case with your 30-06 AI chamber...

    If the AI headspace allows a "snug" fit with the "Walmart" rounds then I believe you might be well ahead if you use those for fire forming...

    Nobody can tell us if the "Walmart" Winchester brass is the same as if you bought Winchester reloading brass but with todays prices and availability of components your idea makes good sense...If you price in some fire forming bullets along with the powder and primers the Walmart solution may prove to be economically sound....Also a plus that it might show you that factory stuff may work in a pinch.....

    If your headspace turns out to be long then you can do as Mudrunner2005 says and seat your bullets out to the lands to maintain the initial concentricity and use a lighter load as he says...Other ways are to expand the neck a little larger than your chamber neck and then only partially necking down the neck...In essence providing a false shoulder for the case to center on....

    I just went through the same thing with a .257 Roberts AI that I chambered this winter but I couldn't find either loaded ammunition or brass so I ended up buying "high buck" Nosler 7x57 brass and making my own....The Nosler brass turned out to be too soft for my liking and loses primer pockets prematurely....My only alternative was to form the brass from 25-06 and 30-06 cases (Rem)..These are turning out to be much longer lasting than the new Nosler stuff.....And to top it off the Rem 30-06 stuff was "Walmart" stuff once fired by a friend, then formed by me for 25-06 and then about ten fired in one of my three 25-06s, now it has been through a couple of more dies and fired at least 6 times through the Bob AI with only losing a couple of pieces out of 30 or so due to split necks....An advantage for me forming from longer cases is that I can keep the necks long enough from day one....Fire forming from actual Roberts cases or 7x57 necked down cases will leave the necks a little short...In your case I suspect the 30-06 AI necks will end up short at least for a few firings.....

    Now on to my next project (6.5 - .257 Bob AI)...

    Good Luck,
    Randy
     
  5. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Randy, you do realize that a 6.5-257 Roberts Imp would essentially be a .260 Rem Ack Imp. It would be a much simpler load to get brass and load data for.
     
  6. MNbogboy

    MNbogboy Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you Bob, that's a good point, especially for those out there that are making choices as which AI to go with...

    The 260AI was one of my thoughts being I already have three .260s in the safe....The only difference will be that the 6.5 Bob will be approx 1/8" longer to the neck and the neck itself will be almost an additional 1/16" over the 260AI neck.......

    Problems with other AIs I have had over the years is that the neck usually ends up short but I form my own cases from longer brass I can end up with a full length neck....So brass will not be a problem...I could do the same with a 260 AI but loose the additional case capacity of the 6.5 Bob...

    A major disadvantage is that I won't be able to shoot any off the shelf ammo...But then again I haven't shot much store bought stuff in anything but 22 rimfires for over 50 years....

    The .260 itself is a great round but an AI version should give it that little more ompf....The 6.5 Bob AI should have a hair more than 260 AI...I also have a 6.5-06 in a long action but it will only work as a single shot in a short action and that is why I chose to build the 6.5 Bob AI...even then long bullets like the Bergers will not work depending on where I end up throating it....

    When I threaded the barrel on my first wildcat some 40+ years ago (6mm-30-40 Krag) I was hooked..That one had a McGowen tube but they were in Illinois at that time...I guess the best answer to your question is "just because we can"....

    And I probably will do a 260 AI at some point but I have to try the Bob AI first....
     
  7. Buckinrut25

    Buckinrut25 Active Member

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    The bolt closed on a No-Go gage for a 30-06 that is why I took it to my gunsmith. I got the rifle for 250 so I can afford to spend a few dollars on it. It is still at the gunsmith i'm having him lap the lugs, reset the head space, bed the stock, install pillars and a Timney trigger. I also have another question. I have about 300 peices of 270 brass. Is it possible to fire form that for this rifle? I know 270 has a longer neck. Will that work?
     
  8. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    If the bolt closed with no problems on a NO-GO Gauge, then you might wanna check it to see if it's been opened up to .30 Gibbs. Just something else to check into.

    Might wanna have a chamber mold made just to find out for sure what's been done to it.
     
  9. Buckinrut25

    Buckinrut25 Active Member

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    That's a good idea. I'll call and have him do that. It will be good to know the exact specs anyway. Thanks
     
  10. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    The .30 Gibbs is basically a full-length .30-06 AI, but with a shorter neck length, and the shoulder is pushed a good bit farther forward giving it a longer body length increasing case capacity.

    Here's a picture I found on Google.

    See how much longer the .30 Gibbs body is compared to the .30-06 brass. The .30-06 and the .30-06 AI both have a pretty comparable length neck, while the .30 Gibbs pushes the shoulder forward a good bit.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Buckinrut25

    Buckinrut25 Active Member

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    Thank you for the information. I called my gunsmith and he was planning on making a mold of the barrel. He said he checked and the was AI 1-11 twist 24' tube and rifling in good shape. Since he has the barrel off anyway to install the brake would there be any benifit to having him ream it to a Gibbs over the AI? Would I be further ahead just to rebarrel at this point? This is supposed to be a birthday present for my 12 year old for a 300yd Deer rifle, but I think I may keep this one.
     
  12. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I've never owned a Gibbs, so I really can't tell you what the difference is.

    I think you'd probably have an easier time loading for the .30-06 AI. Plus forming brass if fairly simple.
     
  13. Buckinrut25

    Buckinrut25 Active Member

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    Thanks again. I just got off the phone with my gunsmith again. He told me that who ever reamed out this barrel to the AI chamber did not set the shoulder back causing the excessive head space. The rifle was built on a Mauser action imorted from England. He recommended cutting it back, rechambering it properly to the AI spec and resetting headspace to fit the rifle. If I understood him correctly he would have to trim some of the threads off, rechamber then recut threads to get the correct head space. The quote for this was $165 does that sound reasonable?
    Sorry to keep asking so many questions.
     
  14. MNbogboy

    MNbogboy Well-Known Member

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    Buckinrut25,
    I agree with Mudrunner the 30-06AI will be much easier to load for.. After the smith gets the headspace correct you should be able to use store bought ammo if you had to....Your 270 brass will also be a good choice as you thought...After initial sizing you probably should trim it .008 to .010 long...Then after fire forming a small cleanup will put it get you where you want to be.....I have never had the 06 AI so you might want to adjust that initial trim after trying a few pieces....The 270 is about .046 long to begin with so you will have to trim some for sure....I had a 25-06AI for a short while and I remember that the brass always seemed about .007 or .008 short after fire forming and I always wanted to use .270 brass for that one but sold it before I got the chance...

    As far as your smith's charges, they seem pretty reasonable if you figure the number of hours he will spend on it...All that depends on his methods, equipment and how meticulous he is....But those dollars will also start buying a new barrel with a caliber and cartridge of your choice although he will essentially still have the same amount of work installing the new barrel....Depends on how much you want to put into that Mauser....At any rate the work should be done if you plan on shooting it....

    Good luck,
    Randy