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Thread: Case prep for ackley improved

  1. #1

    Case prep for ackley improved

    Fireforming cases for .30-06 ai entails shooting regular '06 rounds and then reloading..however, does that mean if I want to fireform using Norma brass, I'll need to basically waste the first 40 rounds (assuming I am happy to work with just 40 cases for now), or will the AI shoot fine with the standard .30-06 rounds until I've used/fireformed enough brass to start reloading them?,,OR, will using the standard '06 rounds result in much lower velocity and inconsistent results only being any good for the fireforming process?

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Ronin's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Lancs / Cumbria Border
    You can do one or two things.

    Use the 40 rounds you have and fireform them as you shoot (stalking, zeroing or in one session)

    If you do the latter it avoids having to work out your drop for that load.

    The 30-06 loads will perform like 30-06 - certainly 50 - 100 fps slower than the AI.

    Accuracy with these loads - youll have to see what it gives u, although one pointer I have is make sure the bullet is touching the leade, - so that the rear of the case is pressed against the bolt face - you should get perfectly formed cases this way.

    If it were me, Id have 100 30-06 rounds and fireform all in one go at the range, you wont be messing about over a long period then.

    The 30-06 AI is a reliable performer and I would use the fireformed cases to develop an improved load for your rifle.

    you will also require 30-06 improved dies, ....

  3. #3
    PKL ......check your inbox

    Meanwhile if the rifle is chambered correctly as per Ackley's method the cases of normal factory rounds will be a slight crush fit in the chamber and so the are held in alignment as it pinched the factory round and the neck/shoulder juncture.

  4. #4
    When i started with my 30-06AI it was a brand new Lilja barrel so the fireforming process also broke the barrel in. I used new Lapua brass, CCI-BR Primers, N150 and Sierra 180 Matchkings.Even though the chamber was cut -002" i still seated the bullets into the rifling to ensure the case head was hard against the bolt face. The cases formed perfectly and accuracy was outstanding.
    According to Lee their Collet dies work with AI cartridges. I use a standard Redding 2 die 30-06 AI set, also used a 30cal Hornady neck die and the Redding seater with excellent results.


  5. #5
    Even if the shoulder is a press (crush) fit, the bullet into the lands keep the impetus of the firing pin from shoving the case forward. If you don't think this happens, take an empty case that chambers with a little effort, seat fired primer in it, chamber it, and pull the trigger. The case will now chamber easily.

    In reality, it won't make a huge difference, but it is still good practice when fire forming any load.~Muir

  6. #6

    I wonder why 0.002" was chosen instead of Akley's 0.004"?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Yorkie View Post
    PKL...According to Lee their Collet dies work with AI cartridges...
    I can confirm this. My m/o is as follows:

    F/L standard 30-06 re-size a batch of new Norma brass and check/trim to length
    Load a batch of rounds, Federal primer, 56 gns of N 150, 125 gns BT.
    Use the above as a normal stalking load. Accuracy is excellent.
    De-cap and clean fireformed brass, neck size only with Lee collet die and reload with same primer and bullet, but 58.5 gns of N150.
    I discard AI cases after five reloads whether they need binning or not.
    Last edited by KevinF; 26-08-2011 at 12:00.
    KevinF -

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Brithunter View Post

    I wonder why 0.002" was chosen instead of Akley's 0.004"?
    A good question. The Smith that chambered it said that -004" can lead to some very tight fitting Ammo when factory stuff is used to fireform cases. Indeed i saw a 22-250AI shooting some factory Sako 22-250 to get some AI cases and the shooter having to force the bolt closed. I have a 25-06 AI too at -002" and that Fireforms Sako Ammo perfectly.


  9. #9
    Thank you Yorkie for that info. I was wondering. Although I have not noticed a problem as yet with the .280 AI. If I ever can get back to the load development we shall see how it goes.

  10. #10
    I fireformed my once fired brass by reloading with a cast bullet and pistol powder. A lot cheaper and surprisingly accurate.

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