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Ackley improved cartridge info sources?

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  • BrownBear
    replied
    My experience is in line with the others here. Ackley was a fine machinist, but a poor ballistician as far as I can tell. I've got a couple of his originals and can't even come close to his loads before pressure signs go through the roof. His loads are right up there with most political claims.

    Start near max for the original case as a fire-forming load, then work up cautiously from there. I've got reloading manuals going back before most of us were alive, and none of them list the 303 AI. Donnelly's "The Handloader's Manual of Cartridge Conversions" doesn't even list it, though he includes Epps and ICL improved versions. The Epps version lists 46.7gn of IMR4320 and a 175gn spire with no velocity. The ICL version lists 43.0gn of 4320 with a 180gn bullet for 2450 fps, with Ackley Vol.1, pg. 446 as a source.

    I checked, and old P.O. must have really been daydreaming on this one. His top load for a 180gn in the ICL is 52 grains of 4320 yielding 3020fps! He recommends the loads for an Enfield P14 and not SMLE's, but still......... To top it all off, he claims this is similar performance to what can be achieved with improved versions of the 30/40 Krag with its comparable case capacities.

    Waaaayyyyy out there on both counts!

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  • mauserboy
    replied
    Ackley Improved

    I've had and worked up loads for several Ackley Improved cartridges, including the 257 Roberts and during my research into his loads I discovered that, as has been previously said, some of his loads were waaay over the top, even though powders then and now have changed. Many of his improved cartridges didn't really yield that much of an advantage, some, 100 fps or less, like the 30-06 Imp. I don't think he ever really intended to turn the cartridges he redesigned into magnums, but to make them basically more efficient, which he did. He made them easy to case-form, basically by firing the standard cartridges in an improved chamber, and also made many of them easier to feed with his 40 degree shoulder. 2900fps seems unrealistic in the .303 British with a 180 grain bullet.

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  • JWB
    replied
    Allen,

    2900 fps isn't necessarily what I'm after, it's only what I've heard can be done.
    Like I said, I'm researching a project, and need help with sourcing info and experiences. Sounds like you've been to "Ackley land" (no disrespect intended) with other calibers, can you help me out with some info sources for my research????

    JWB

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  • AlleninAlaska
    replied
    The 303 in any configuration will never drive a 180 grain bullet to 2900 FPS. Never ever use Ackley load data. He was quite good at doing his loadings to be on the very hot side of things. I had a 450 Ackley at one time and Parker Ackleys data called for 100 grains of IMR3031 under a 500 grain bullet. Believe me there is not enough case capacity to get 100 grains of IMR3031.

    The usual practice when loading the AI cartridges is to start with the maximum load of the parent cartridge using the same bullet weight.

    Example: 30-06 with 165 grain bullet. A fairly standard load with the 165 grain bullet in the 30-06 is 58 grains of 4350 powder, so with the 30-06 AI you can start with 58 grain of 4350 and work up from there.


    If you are wanting 2900 FPS from a 303 using a 180 grain bullet, why not just go with a 300 winny? For all practical purposes a 300 Winny will drive a 180 to right about 3100 with the right powder.

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  • JWB
    started a topic Ackley improved cartridge info sources?

    Ackley improved cartridge info sources?

    Have a current project on the go that requires some research into
    Ackley improved cartridges, in particular the .303 improved. Other than Ackley's own publications, are there other published authorities on the subject?
    Would appreciate some leads as to where can find info, data, loads, etc.
    Does anyone have any personal experience with this cartridge?
    Have heard it can drive 180 grain slugs @ 2900+ fps.
    That's .300 mag territory isn't it?

    JWB

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