pmh, I am interested in any information/data you may develop on the 8mm/06 AI. I am seriously considering one at present. I have a WWII CZECH made Mauser with german markings from Brunn/Bystrica that is ciurrently an 8mm mauser. A gunsmith in Montana that I have used Kris Bonner Missoula will probably do the work. From what I have read it looks like it should come close to the 8mm Rem Magnum or equal it with a lot less powder. Any information would be helpful in the decision making process.
I am currently building project guns in both 8x57 and 8mm-06AI - I don't know about 8mm Mag performance but I do think you can push 190-215 grain bullets at more than proportionally higher velocities than with the 8x57 - the 8x57 will do everything you need with 150-190 grain bullets - I happened to obtain two sporter barrel blanks so I'm going with a 20" iron-sight, mannlicher with the 8x57 and a full 25-26" sporter with the 8mm-06AI. Since anything other than an 8x57, 8mm norma, or 8mm mag is a wildcat, make your own brass proposition anyway, why not go with the improved case over the regular 06 version - at least that is my reasoning. Also, the full ackley improved case is a straighter tube and results with less recoil/thrust issues with your cases - I have (2) 280AI's and a 30-06AI, and I get great case life compared to conventional 06-based calibers I load.
As I build load experience with this caliber, I will be happy to share my results with you - I do have a magneto chrony so I can also give you velocities I obtain. My email is [email protected] and we can continue discussion on that venue if you like.
I am looking at McGowan barrels for this or a Rock Creek. I have had good luck with both. I will stay in touch if I do the conversion. I will contact the Gunsmith in Missoula for more information on loads and pass that along.