To AI or not to AI

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Lahunter76, May 26, 2019.


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  1. osok-1k

    osok-1k Well-Known Member

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    Jun 25, 2018
    There is a good amount of AI brass available but there are a number of superior case designs which bring the efficiency of AI into play without being AI. An example is the 30TC, it will give you 30-06 velocity in a short action and is a very accurate round, wish I'd never sold mine. All of the Sherman's are great, as much as folks love to rag on the 6.5 Creedmoor, no one can honestly deny its capability in any "practical" application for that bullet size. As heavier for caliber bullets continue to emerge, the Sherman's capability will allow one to make full use of those bullets. Someone will likely make a 200 gr. .264 with a crazy b.c. that will only be practical in a single shot short action or a modified long action large capacity case to achieve velocities necessary to stabilize such a long bullet. For me, I believe in practical simplicity, my grandfather killed everything in north america from moose to bear and deer with a 30-30 he bought new in 1900 and never thought twice about it not being enough gun. I've been reloading since the mid 70's and I do it because I like little groups. Bullet placement means more than any other factor, nothing else matters as much.
     
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  2. Gibbshooter43

    Gibbshooter43 Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Feb 2, 2016
    If you’re a hand loader, the AI is clearly an option if you like to be a bit different. Cost is minimal compared to an additional gun purchase. Velocity increases vary quite a bit - +100mv in my 250AI - not nearly as much in my 260. Somewhere in between in the 243 and 25:06. BUT, the fire formed cases require so much less trimming, and you can always shoot factory loads in a pinch. Eventually it comes down to a personal choice. As so many others have said repeatedly, choose what you’d like and enjoy the sport.
     
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  3. Tree Farmer

    Tree Farmer Active Member

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    Dec 30, 2013
    I rebarreled a Sako .270 to .280AI. I reload but you can shoot factory .280 rem if you don't. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
     
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  4. Duhawk

    Duhawk Member

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    Feb 1, 2013
    I've got a 6.5-06AI and love it. It's the most accurate rifle I own (although my 7rm is real close).
    When you get into handloading, there's a lot of things to dwell on. Accuracy nodes or OBT is just one....that little bit of extra fps may get you to where you want without sacrificing velocity (or blowing yourself up). On mine, 3000fps+ is doable w/ a 146grn Matrix bullet and is very accurate.
    It's still up to the shooter/hand-loader what you do with an AI, but an AI just opens up a few more options over a std. cartridge. Jmo
     
  5. lightshooter

    lightshooter Active Member

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    Apr 30, 2016
    I have a .30-06 Mauser that I plan on rebarreling to .280 AI. I think it’s a great option to get near 7 rm performance from a standard LA. Now if I was buying a new rifle I just get some 7 mm magnum. I have thought about just going with a .280 rem but with the AI I can shoot both and I do handload and AI brass lasts longer.
     
  6. Lahunter76

    Lahunter76 Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Jan 12, 2019
    Can you not make the 06 which is a standard length action into a 28nosler, just have to open bolt face up a lil? And you get a lot more zoom lol. I am not arguing I am really just debating for my knowledge benefit.
     
  7. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    As much as I like the .280 AI, when you compare it to the 7mmRM, there is no advantage, other than slightly less recoil. The 7mmRM will win all the other categories, by a noticeable margin, when you make an equal comparison (same bullets, proper powders & primers, good brass, etc...).

    That being said, the .25-06 AI and .260 AI are awesome cartridges...I highly recommend them.
     
  8. lightshooter

    lightshooter Active Member

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    Apr 30, 2016
    That is a good question. I never really considered it. I don’t really want to do that with this particular rifle. It has sentimental value. My grandfather who was a gunsmith built if my dad for his 16th birthday and since then I’ve burned out the barrel. I already have another one his other 30-06’s so I thought .280 is good for this one. Not to highjack this thread, but anyone know of a good custom barrel company that still makes good barrels in carbon steel? I’m trying to keep the classic look.
     
  9. memtb

    memtb Well-Known Member

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    Dec 30, 2013

    I think that Douglas can/will do that ! memtb
     
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  10. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    You can, but it's more involved than that. The Nosler magnums are based off a shortened RUM (parent case is .404 Jeffery) case. Therefore, it would be best to start with a long action RUM factory chambered rifle, and build from there. Using a standard and standard magnum receiver, you will need to have the feed rails opened up on the bottom of the receiver, ditch the bottom metal, follower, and mag box for a RUM setup, and you will need have the bolt face opened up. Much easier to just start with a 7mm or .300 RUM rifle, strip it down, and build from there.
     
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  11. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

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    Oct 7, 2003
    A lot of factors go into whether it is "worth it" for you. My AI is a 243, I did it because I liked the easily available quality brass, a short action, and wanted to maximize long range performance with heavy bullets. The 3280fps I get with 105s is >>100fps better than can be done in a standard 243 of similar barrel length and pressure.

    For me it was a great decision, fireforming was simply a fun weekend over a prairie dog town.
     
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  12. Newtire

    Newtire New Member

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    Dec 31, 2008
    Depends on which cartridge you are doing an AI job to. I have a .30-30 AI and a .257 Roberts AI and can tell you that the 30-30 gets a full 200 fps more velocity and the 257about the same, a little more. Brass life is extended for sure. In real world thinking, I would recommend the 30-30 but the 257 Roberts +P loads pretty much are so close and normal Roberts loads are close enough at longer ranges that it's probably a better idea to get a Weatherby if you really have to go that route.. Still, I bought a .257 AI already done that way for a great price and no regrets.
     
  13. Ndfarmer

    Ndfarmer Well-Known Member

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    Apr 11, 2017
    I built one because I loved the 6mm and AI’ing it made it just look sexy. The other advantages have been stated, less trimming and some velocity.
     
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  14. Heavyiron

    Heavyiron Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Apr 11, 2016
    I've had a 280ai for a good many years. Still using most of my original cases. No case trimming required.
    Have a 7mm rem mag also. The 7 mag will give heavier bullets a little more speed.
    The 280ai has a cool factor by being different. Now nosler chambers their own version. Soo cases can be factory bought. Long live the ai...!
     
    6MM06AI, alcesgigas and Tex LR like this.