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Thread: 243 Ackley Improved - update

  1. #1

    243 Ackley Improved - update

    A number of folk have been helping me out with my 243 Ackley Improved, so I thought I would post a quick photo of the brass in its various stages.

    There's also some info in the following link about the 243 Ackley Improved.

    The photo shows how the brass evolves, on the left is a brand new 243 Win case, then next to it is a loaded 243 Win round, then after firing the case comes out of the chamber as an Ackley case shown in the third position. Finally the Ackley case can be reloaded as in position 4.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Regards JCS
    Last edited by jcampbellsmith; 15-05-2012 at 22:47.

  2. #2
    Ahhh you are aware that you can fire form without using bullets?

    I blew the shoulders out for the 280AI using Howiter Zero pistol powder and tissue paper took a couple of tires to find the correct charge of powder. It also meant I could walk into the back garden and pop them off. Be aware the report is far louder than you might think and that the tissue paper comes out at high velocity and can damage things.

    I also used this method to Fire-Form the 6.5x53 Brass. Saved me a 70 mile round trip to the range back then.

    I chambered my 280AI as per Ackley's instructions so a std factory cartridge, in my case a Remington Express 175 grain one, is a slight crush fit at he shoulder/neck juncture. I used the std 280 Rem go gauge and chambered 0.004" short.

    Some might not like Lee's dies but they had made a special run of 280AI dies and I picked a set up off e-bay USA new for a very good price. I suppose they made them due to Nosler producing their custom rifle in 280AI.

    Shame I lost contact with Steve in Missouri as he used a .243AI in 600 yd BR and Hi-Power competition for a few years. His rifle had a 3 groove Lija barrel fitted. Or I could have touched him for some loading results/data.
    Last edited by Brithunter; 16-05-2012 at 01:30.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Brithunter View Post
    Ahhh you are aware that you can fire form without using bullets?....

    Thanks, yes, I am aware that I can fire form without bullets. I did a fire forming load test and I plan to repeat it shortly. Once I have picked a load for fireforming with the Lapua brass, I will just use this load for practice. 45.5 gr RL-19 and the Hornady 87 gr SP gives reasonable results as per attached.

    Best regards JCS

  4. #4
    I believe I did knock up about 10 loads to test fire properly at the range but cannot find the notes on them. I was prepping the cases to load when the goon squad descended. Just picked one up out of the loading block where it has bee sat since. a Nice fully formed 280AI case all primed ready for charging.

    Whilst looking for something else the other day around the press I found my RCBS case mouth deburing tool that I feared was lost. Sure glad it turned up as it's an old one by Wilson and far better than the new ones I looked at in the gunshop sometime back. talk about shoddy and cheap looking.

    I was supposed to be going over Knibbs the following month to choose a new stock out of several that they were pulling out of the warehouse for the .280AI the one on it is no up to much after being butchered by someone previously. Of course that didn't happen. Perhaps I should still get the new stock JIC

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jcampbellsmith View Post
    Thanks for posting that, as I'll be doing much the same shortly (pending variation).
    In my case I will need to neck up first from .22 to 6mm and then fireform .220 russian brass to 6-mm ppc
    I will need to fireform with bullets as I have nowhere I can go to fire 100 rounds with just packing to form.
    (noise is a problem, and 100 unmoderated shots would cause a problem)


  6. #6

    looking good :-) what rifle did you end up getting chambered in .243 AI?



  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by PKL View Post

    looking good :-) what rifle did you end up getting chambered in .243 AI?


    P. I didn't. I bought the 243 Ackley from another Forum member (sussexfallow) and the rifle is exactly as described, so I am just getting on and using it. There's some details on the spec in my Gallery. Regards JCS

  8. #8
    out of interest what did you do to the case between step 3 and 4?
    It looks a little shorter to the shoulder and neck turned.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bewsher500 View Post
    out of interest what did you do to the case between step 3 and 4?
    It looks a little shorter to the shoulder and neck turned.

    To get from steps 3 to 4, I ran the fired case through the Redding neck sizing die with a .272 bushing. It's the bushing that makes the ring on the neck. Next time I will try the .271 bushing and the ring will be closer to the shoulder. That's the only thing I did except for cleaning the case. I would have like to have resized the body, but I don't have a die that will do that yet. Spud has a Wilson die and has full length resized a couple of cases for me. In due course I plan to get a Hornady full length resizing die, but that's some months away. In the mean time, neck sizing is all I can do, so it will be interesting to see how many firings I can get with that.

    Looking again at case 3, I can see it's not cleaned.

    Regards JCS
    Last edited by jcampbellsmith; 16-05-2012 at 13:40.

  10. #10
    i have some fireformed brass (lapua) i can send up if you want FOC .

    atb steve

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