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Thread: 250 Ackley Improved

  1. #1

    Default 250 Ackley Improved

    While I've been reloading for going on 30 years, I 've never had a wildcat. Tomorrow I pick up my Savage 99 rechambered to 250 Ackley improved. The only load data I can find other than P O Ackleys original 4350 loads is in the Sierra loading manual. I'm primarily working with 100 grain bullets.

    Thanx

  2. #2

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    Big Al will sign on sooner or later and fill you in. He's a fan of the 250 AI, as I recall. Ole PO's book has loads of data, but that's about as reliable as the early Hodgdon manuals for recommended max loads.

    One thing to watch out for in the 99 as you start running up pressures- You may end up needing a small base sizing die. Cases from my 99 with the standard 250 chambering come out just a wee bit tight with a single firing of factory loads, but if I start with new cases and back of max about 5% I can go through lots of reloadings without resorting to the SB die.

    Does the rifle come with a set of dies?

  3. #3

    Default 250 Ackley Improved

    No, no dies. $146.95 from RCBS. Nobody else stocks this item

  4. #4
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Do not use the loading data from P.O. ACKLEY books!


    Danger, that data is just flat out dangerous.

    Start with the current loading data for the .250 Savage and work up from there. Go to the Hodgdon web site for help with data.

    http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp

    You can shop around for used dies on the net.

    If you have any problems, please PM me, and we can talk on the phone.

    There is loads of help right here on this forum, just ask!
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  5. #5

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    "Do not use the loading data from P.O. ACKLEY books!"

    That's what I really wanted to say. Entertaining reading, but I swear the data was written the same folks that write speeches for politicians. Can't remember which caliber it was, but we couldn't even get all the powder in the case he recommended for a mid-level load, much less the additional TEN GRAINS for the max load. Little creepy bugs should wander up and down your spine every time you read PO's data.

  6. #6
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    AMEN! To what the bear said. And it's not just one or two cases only. I wish they would do a reprint of the books, I would buy them in a second (my two are falling apart from use) and leave out the loading data. The information old P.O. wrote is pure gold, the loading data is pure trouble.

    The one thing you can say about the published data is, "Just because it's published, doesn't make it safe".
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  7. #7

    Default 250 Ai

    You can send several fired cases to Redding and have a custom resizing die made, then you can use a Lee fact crimp or a std die to seat. I like AI to lessen triming brass. I had one made for my chamber on my Whelen Imp. and it was around $90.

  8. #8

    Default 250 Ackley Improved

    I ordered the dies online, I couldn't find them cataloged anywhere else. None of the major suppliers stock them, Midway, Midsouth, Brownells, etc. So I ordered them online from RCBS. As I stated in my first post, the only reliable load data I can find is the Sierra loading manual. Over the years I have always tried to get more than one source of data and glean what info I could find before starting a new project. I still have all my fingers and both eyes so my caution seems to be justified.

    What I am trying to accomplish is a short, lightweight rifle that will be easy to carry over the hills and ridges here in Wyoming. At 64 years, there ain't as much air at 8,000 to 9,000 feet altitude as there was 30 years ago. I am hoping to end up with a short (20" bbl) handy rifle that will push a 100 grain bullet at 3,000 to 3,100 fps. A nice 300 to 350 yd deer rifle.

  9. #9

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    Sounds ideal to me, and from what I know of the 250 AI you could come close to your velocity goal. I've popped deer at those ranges with 100 grain bullets at similar velocities with good results.

    Too bad they're not around anymore, but the old, much-maligned Winchester Silvertips were reliable expanders with good weight retention that far out, with Sierras and Speers a close second. Can't say why I never used the Hornady that far, but I didn't. Nosler partitions were okay, but didn't seem to expand as well.

    Neither the Silvertip nor the Sierra/Speer would be my choice at 3000 fps for close range work, but their softer nature sure was fine at longer ranges. I've still got a couple of hundred Silvertips that I reserve for my standard 250 at around 2700 fps. Good expansion and weight retention between 50 and 200 yards, but I've never popped a deer with them closer or further.

    Based upon my experience with Paritions, which modern premium pushers call "too soft," I really doubt that todays harder premiums will perform well at the outer limits of your range. I've popped deer at marginal velocities with a number of bullet brands, whether too far or starting too slow from a Contender, and pencil holes through and through are a distinct possibility as velocity drops. And pencil holes from small caliber bullets lead to long tracking sessions. Go for reliable expansion at all hunting ranges to assure quick kills with your 25 caliber bullets!

  10. #10
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    I have found that the Remington Core-Locks are my go to standard in all the .25 cals I mess with, love them and buy them buy the case.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  11. #11

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    Good to know. I just picked up 2,000 but haven't stuck game with them in the 250.

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