Reamer Question 22-250 AI & 6.5 x 22-250 AI


Well-Known Member
Apr 29, 2010
I’m putting together a pair of varmint rifles for myself and a friend, with the idea of targeting 500+ yard coyotes, groundhogs, & steel targets. We will probably be doing a lot of shooting so I have decided to just buy a reamer and hold onto it for future barrel changes.

I haven’t reloaded for any cartridges with 40* shoulders before, but I hear they can be somewhat troublesome at times, and since QuickLoad predicts the 22-250AI will have some extra capacity with my bullet/powder of choice anyway, I was thinking of just having the reamer made with Slightly more taper in the body and a 35* shoulder. (The result should still have substantially more capacity than the standard 22-250)

Anyway; My Real Question – Would the same chamber reamer work to make a 6.5 X 22-250 Improved ? I’ve had the urge to try something like a 6.5x47 Lapua for a while now and my proposed version of the 22-250 improved should be nearly identical (with just 5* steeper shoulder)

I am just looking for a way to save money, so if the same chamber reamer works that’s one whole reamers worth of funds to put toward barrels, and I already have More than enough Lapua brand 22-250 brass on hand to feed both rifles indefinetly.
You could make that work, but I wouldn't do it that way.
If you went ahead and did it that way, what is your plan for cutting the neck, and throat? If you don't already have a reamer to do that cutting with, then you will have to come up with more tooling.
I would recommend buying the two reamers just like you want them, except go with the standard AI.
Then you can save your $$$ on the reloading dies. If you find you don't want to do another 6.5-250 AI. You can sell the reamer and recoup 2/3 or more of your money.
By the way I do have a 22-250 AI and have never had any problems reloading for it.
Why not just neck the lapua down to .22? Seems more efficient than improving the 22-250.
Why not just neck the lapua down to .22? Seems more efficient than improving the 22-250.

I imagine that would work just about as well, basically I would still be asking the same core question however...about the two chambers with one reamer.

orwapitihunter: I didn't know if reamers were one unit that did the chamber, the neck, and the throat, or if all of those operations used different reamers anyway. If it was different reamers to neck/throat anyway than I thought it might have been workable - I wasn't planning to do the machining myself as I don't have a shop; I have however seen barrel makers and/or smiths that are willing to use a customer's reamer to finish the barrel and then send the reamer back to the customer with the finished product.

Also, thank you for pointing out the AI dies ... I should have thought of that! With it being such a popular wildcat I suppose quality dies are probably out there and not overly expensive (I'll have to take a look and see what prices are)
I had been thinking of just getting the smith that does the barrels to make the dies from blanks; but that is probably a costly way to go.
There are three basic types of chamber reamer...
There is a roughing reamer which is undersized and some smiths use them to remove the majority of the metal before they cut the final chamber. They aren't a necessity and mostly just save wear and tear on the finish reamer.
The second type is a resizing reamer. It is made undersized to cut the needed dimensions to make a resizing die.
The third type is a finish reamer. The finish reamer is is named such because it is used to cut a finished chamber. A finish reamer can be ordered to custom throat dimensions as well as custom neck diameter.

Now let's say you ordered a finish reamer for either the 22-250 AI or the 22x47 Lapua. You could specify the throat and neck dimensions and use it to cut your perfect chamber in your 22 cal blank.
Now you use the reamer in your 6.5mm blank but you will not have the neck or throat cut to final dimension. So you need either a reamer that will cut the neck and a reamer that will cut the throat or a reamer that will cut both at the same time.
A PT&G floating pilot finish reamer will run you about $138, a solid pilot (which I don't use) is about $95. The throater/neck reamers are a bit cheaper but they are still in the $100 range. And if I was doing the job I would charge you a bit more on the 6.5mm chamber to cover the extra time.
As far as reloading dies, you could have the seater dies made with what you had the chambers cut. But your full length resizer would need a sizing reamer, so another $138. The cheapest way would probably go with ready made dies with changeable neck bushings. Then in theory you could use one set of dies for both rifles.
So back to my original post. I recommend separate finish reamers, for chambers that you can buy ready made dies for. At least if saving money is a priority.
One final thought. Talk to your gunsmith. Get him involved. If you come up with a plan that he isn't comfortable with it may all be moot.
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