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Thread: 338-06 Ackley Improved

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    Default 338-06 Ackley Improved

    Looking for load data and a good fire forming load from any of you wise veterans of the shooting sports for a 338-06AI. I've heard that a relatively fast powder along the likes of IMR 4350 is recommended, but is there a certain bullet weight or non stick powder that would work the same or better than others?
    Thanks in advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigby257 View Post
    Looking for load data and a good fire forming load from any of you wise veterans of the shooting sports for a 338-06AI. I've heard that a relatively fast powder along the likes of IMR 4350 is recommended, but is there a certain bullet weight or non stick powder that would work the same or better than others?
    Thanks in advance.
    Gee Rigby, without knowing your barrel twist, that would be a tough one to answer about bullet weight and now a days bullet material. All copper or lead copper? What do you plan to use it on?

    I think that 4350 might be considered on the slower end of the scale.
    Give us a little more information please.
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    I've got one that I use and load for quite a bit. When you say fire form you mean...'06 case necked to 338 with bullet seated and moderate powder charge. First you must determine if your rifle headspaces snugly with a standard 30-06 case. If there is excess headspace gap, the brass will stretch just forward of the webb and seperate on subsequent firings. If this is good H/S with a standard case, then use an inexpensive 200 grain-ish bullet and an almost full case of 4350. You will find that H4350 works better as for load density but if you have IMR use that.

    If your standard case isn't tight in the chamber, make it easy on your self and just load about 55 grains of IMR 4350 and load and fire with the rifle pointed up without a bullet in the case. Yes just fire form with course extruded powder and IMR 4350 will work fine. IMR 4350 isn't a fast burning powder, it is slightly faster than 4831 but considered with the slow powders of today. A relativley fast burning powder would be the mid-burners such as RL-15, 4064 and 4895. Those powders work well in the standard version of the 338-06 but H4350 seems to be better in the AI version expecially with 225-250 grain bullets. I like RL-15 for the 200-210 weight bullets in the AI.

    If your barrel was originally chambered for the AI version it most likely will fit well with standard brass. If it was rechamber to AI from the standard 338-06 it may have excess headspace. When AIing a standard chamber the barrel needs to be set back to make correct headspace. Some folks neck down 35 Whelen brass, I prefer to neck up 30-06, mainly because I can get such good brass for the '06 such as Lapua, which is soft annealed and fireforms very nicely. My own 338-06 AI is tight when closing the bolt on a standard 30-06 case, that is a good fit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    Gee Rigby, without knowing your barrel twist, that would be a tough one to answer about bullet weight and now a days bullet material. All copper or lead copper? What do you plan to use it on?

    I think that 4350 might be considered on the slower end of the scale.
    Give us a little more information please.
    He's fire forming Al, twist don't matter, bullet construction don't matter and the sign of the moon doen't matter. You know fireforming, just making the shoulder swell out to fit the chamber.
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    Big Stick
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    Always a good practice to headspace a false shoulder and I like land engagement in conjunction to forming cases.

    Action type/throat length,may have much bearing on suitable projectiles...even for fireforming. Assuming one has more interest than simply hip shooting it...................

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    He's fire forming Al, twist don't matter, bullet construction don't matter and the sign of the moon doen't matter. You know fireforming, just making the shoulder swell out to fit the chamber.
    Sorry Murphy, it was the first "and" in his first sentence that threw me off. I read it as looking for loading data "and" a fire forming load.

    I guess it's my poor education that reads things into post that just ain't there?

    My bad!
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    Thanks for the advice guys. The rifle was originally chambered for 338-06 and i had a local smith open it up to AI. The barrel was set back a thread/rechambered by Stan Jackson. I have several pieces of Weatherby(made by A-Square) brass that is actually headstamped 338-06, the quality of the brass is really good. This is the brass that intend on fireforming. I am a little concerned with case head separation though, i almost expect about a 5% brass mortality rate throughout the process. I'll check the chamber fit tonight with a standard 338-06 load, i just got it back and I can't wait to shoot it.

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    I've used that Weatherby brass (Norma) and fired it with a moderate load in my AI and had 100% success rate with it. I also have several AI's and if the brass is new and the chamber as you have indicated I say it will work very well. Just load and fire something under max. I've never had a head seperation with these correctly chambered guns. If they are long on headspace, I have made brass from 280 rem which is .050" longer to the shoulder, but you should have no such trouble.
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    Murphy& Rigby, what actions are your AI's based on? Any feeding issues? Did you have to alter feed rails?

    I am getting ready to do a 338-06 on a real nice 98 action. I am just a little gun shy of the AI as I once did a 06 AI on a mauser and it wouldn't feed for shucks.

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    If you are going to have a reamer made for your project, why not have it made with a 35 degree shoulder and not worry about that problem?
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    When fireforming .30"06 case to 8x60S, I loaded inexpensive 220 grain Hornady"s very long and gently squeezed the neck using a Lee factory crimp die to make sure the bullets were tight in the neck. When chambering I could easily feel them being forced into the lands. I used a minimum load minus 5% for the 220 grain and lightly oiled the case. This produced perfectly formed cases with no stretching that I could detect.. But now I have Privi 8x60S cases so I no longer have to fireform.
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Murphy& Rigby, what actions are your AI's based on? Any feeding issues? Did you have to alter feed rails?

    I am getting ready to do a 338-06 on a real nice 98 action. I am just a little gun shy of the AI as I once did a 06 AI on a mauser and it wouldn't feed for shucks.

    I have two FN (post '48, no thumb cut) Mauser 98's in AI, one 30-06 and one 30x57 AI. Neither have had any action work at all and both feed very reliably. One was an original 8x57 rebarreled and the other was a Sears and Roebuck 270 before. I have owned one M98 Mauser in AI rifle of unknown origin that was contankerous about feeding, I think it had been "worked on" and may have been modified at the rails, but it would pop one out sometimes.

    I have three Sako A-V actions that are AI calibers now and they naturally feed everything with ease. I am building a FN Mauser now in another with a minimal taper case but it is not an AI but I do not anticipate any feeding problems with it. I don't like the half flat bolt knob of the FN and will change that out of this one under construction.

    I have owned about 30 different guns in the AI calibers and have had only two with any kind of problems, both were monkeyed with before I got them.

    My old FN based 30-06 AI has a 24" Shilen barrel and it is an excellent shooting rifle. It was one of my very few successful stock projects then I took it to have a new pad put on it to make it longer and through a misunderstanding with the smith, he cut it . It is the same length as before but about 3/4" of it is pachmeyer pad.
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    My 338-06AI is one of the first Weahterby Mark 5 lightweights chambered in 338-06. I bought it years ago at a gun show in Palmer I think. I tested the chamber fit with a factory round from Weatherby and the bolt closes with a slight amount of resistance. i think this is a good sign. i picked up some cheaper, can't say cheap anymore, bullets this weekend to fireform with. Because the rifle is a Weatherby with the usual Weatherby freebore, seating the bullet out to touch the rifling is impossible, even with 250's. I plan on shooting/hunting with 225 A-Frames and partitions.

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