new to wildcatting...help!

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Jimm, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

    Messages:
    1,270
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    I have a .243 a.i. on the way. Never done this before,so, what is the tecnique for loading for this cal.?I will be using new Lapua brass and I dont want to screw it up by performing unecessary operations.As I dont know diddly about this all help will be constructive. Thanks guys , Jim
     
  2. Bob S.

    Bob S. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Jimm - I have a 243 AI in the works as well so keep me posted on your technique and any problems.
    I did a search on fireforming on www.reloadbench.com and found some usefull info there.
    There has been several post on this site for the 280AI and a ton of info there as well. A search will get you headed in the right direction.
    Another place I found was www.anglefire.com/nd/243ackleyimproved/ this has some other links that may help.
    I can't wait to start loading for mine. I'll use my current load and work up from there.
    Good luck
     
  3. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

    Messages:
    1,270
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Thanks for the links Cowboy, however the anglefire one did'nt work.Are you going to dies made for the a.i. to set the shoulder back or just use std. dies when they need it?Also are you planning on using bushing dies? Thanks again Jim
     
  4. Bob S.

    Bob S. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Thats because I spelled it wrong, try this instead. www.angelfire.com/nd/243ackleyimproved/
    I ordered a redding 2 die set from midway for now but will probably end up with a bushing neck sizer as well. I just wanted to get the bare min to start with then branch out from there.
     
  5. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

    Messages:
    1,270
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    That worked ,now my eyeballs are gonna fallout from all the small print /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
     
  6. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

    Messages:
    1,459
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    The AI is very easy for form for. If the chamber is cut correctly, reg 243 brass is loaded and fired. What pops out is a sharp shouldered min tapered case.

    You can also form the brass using a cream of wheat and a light charge of pistol powder. That saves money in bullets.

    You can use 243 load data and just increase beyond max no more then 10%. There is also data on the net for the 243AI.

    For sizing, the easiest is to get a lee collet neck die for the 243. It will work on the AI case. The reg 243 seating die will work for the AI as well. Because of the sharp shoulder, case life is usually long if pressures are kept sane. When the base gets a bit big, you can run the brass in a '06 family sizing die and that will size the base. Except for a Redding body die or similar, FL sizing is not possible using reg 243 dies. I usually pitch the brass at that point because it has probably been loaded 6 to 12 times and has other wear issues.

    Good luck with your adventure. A great wildcat to start with.

    Jerry
     
  7. Bob S.

    Bob S. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Jerry - All you do is neck size till you have chambering probs then pitch the brass? Are you using inexpensive brass? How many loadings do you think you could get if you body sized at that point? When you pitch your brass do you buy factory 243 and fireform again or do you load your own 243 for the forming process? If you use the cream of wheat method how many times to get completely formed. If you use a bullet for forming do you seat to the lands? Sorry for all the questions and I have seen all this before but I want as many takes on the subject as I can get. Got any other good links for Jimm and me?
     
  8. Centre Punch

    Centre Punch Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    676
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Hi Coyboy, Jimm,
    My advice would be to hand load from the start for your 243 Ackley, this way you can get quality brass and may be even surprise yourselves with some outstanding fireforming accuracy
    I do not have any experience with this cartridge yet, but have fireformed many 220 russians into 6mm PPC. I seated the bullets hard into the rifling to stop the case moving forward in the chamber when struck by the firing pin. this allows the brass to flow forward to fill the chamber, rather then backwards, which is what happens when the case is driven forward by the firing pin untill the shoulder contacts the chamber. In severe cases weakening of the case head can occur.(the same as excessive headspace)

    Try Mike Js 6mmAckley reloading page at: www.angelfire.com/sd/6mmackley for a good discription of cream of wheat fireforming, its economical but i would still prefer loaded round fireforming.There also some beautiful rifle pictures and many good tips.
    My smith has 6 month waiting list, so my rifle wont be going into his shop untill August. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    Ian.
     
  9. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

    Messages:
    1,270
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Centrepunch ,thanks for the advice.I too would rather have a loaded round for the initial fireform simply because I can make a hole in something /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gifWhat will be your regimen when you receive your ai.I mean like step1 ,step2 etc. What dies will you use?, so on and so forth.
     
  10. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

    Messages:
    1,459
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    For the wildcats, yes, that is what I do. Most will last up to a dozen firings. I feel that is plenty for case life. All wildcats are based on some readily available case - some more expensive then others. I use this method simply to ensure that the brass fits the chamber as precisely as possible.

    I have resized some more common cartridges. Brass survived another firing or two but best accuracy didn't occur until they were 'fireformed' again. At which point, I am just wasting time and components. so I use the brass until it doesn't chamber properly and pitch it.

    If you use the COW method, you only do it once. For most cases, it forms to 90%. A full powder load with a bullet does the rest. I find this method much better when I have to move shoulders forward. Seems to put less stress on the head web thus I don't see case separations after many firings. Also, very gentle on necking up brass and I usually get no splits. With a bullet, you can do the same thing but it just adds cost and barrel wear.

    With a light load and COW, you can fire 30 to 40 cases before a heavy barrel gets warm. In one session, you have formed all your cases. Swab out the bore and chamber every now and then to get rid of any loose COW. Dead simple to use and very high success rate.

    Give it a try...

    Jerry
     
  11. Bob S.

    Bob S. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Jerry - thanks for the info. I have about 50 rounds of once fired brass already loaded for the little 243 and I think I'll pick up some new brass and try the COW thing and see which results I like best.

    Question - Does the cream of wheat method help or hinder the neck length problem associated with fire forming AI cases from the parent case?

    Queation - Should I be using new brass for all the firforming no matter which method? or is previously once fired brass not work hardened enough to matter?
     
  12. Bob S.

    Bob S. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
  13. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

    Messages:
    1,270
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Cowboy, I know what you mean, seems theres nothing like waiting on a new project in a "new" caliber to put excitement back into reloading /shooting.Thanks for the additional info/links to you and Jerry. At this point I'm leaning toward redding bushing neck die And comp bullet seater for my new toy.BTW what barrel and rate of twist did you order?
     
  14. Bob S.

    Bob S. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    I'm having my son's factory rifle tuned up and rechambered for AI due to poor performance out of the box. Ruger 243 ultralight sporter 20 inch barrel 1/10 twist(I think that was stock). Getting rechambered/barrel setback/action trued and lapped/trigger job/bedding in new stock. I'm hoping this fixes the problem. I still may have to put a new barrel on but this one only has about 200 rounds down the tube so we will see. I think I'll be getting a bushing neck die soon. I have to decide if I want to start fresh with new brass or use what I've got on hand. I still have about 50 rounds loaded for the 243 and another 100 or so once fired brass. I hate to throw it away. It was going to be for my kids birthday but he talked me into trading him for my 22-250 which is sub moa out of the box. All the work is now for my gun. He'll be sorry when its completed. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif