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30-06 A.I

telohftelohf Member Posts: 913 ✭✭
edited February 2015 in Ask the Experts
Anyone here convert their 30-06 to a 30-06 Ackley Improved? If so tell me the benefits(if any). Any velocity difference or accuracy and such. I normally shoot 165grn bullets at about 2700fps. I am considering doing the chambering. thanks for any info.

Comments

  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 11,480 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Considering the low relative cost of a rifle in 300 Win mag, I don't see the 30/06 AI as a worthwhile conversion. Much of the hype connected with AI "improved performance" also included working at higher pressures. If you add 10% powder, most likely you WILL see higher velocities.
  • MG1890MG1890 Member Posts: 4,649
    edited November -1
    I tend to agree with Mobuck. When all is said and done, the small velocity increase or case life extension really don't matter much.

    Good 'ole .30-06 is hard to beat.
  • AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 2,708 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Ackley himself didn't think much of the improved .30/06. You could probably get an additional 50 fps or so from the AI but, since you're loading 165's @ 2700 fps, you can easily get that by trying different powders. I use 57 gr of IMR4350 with 165's and usually get 2800+ fps depending on which rifle.

    Additionally, rechambering to AI is not as simple as just running a reamer into an existing chamber since that would leave the chamber too deep to safely use regular .30/06 cartridges. For the job to be done right, the barrel has to be set back (usually one turn) and then the chamber cut to the proper depth. If you have to pay someone to do that, the money spent would go a long way toward the purchase of a rifle in one of the .30 cal. magnums.

    EDIT: I stand corrected! I have Ackley's book on the shelf, too and should have referenced it. I confused the remarks in the old Speer Wildcat #4 reloading book with Ackley's. A saying from the old small-town doctor years ago comes to mind; "My memory is what I use to forget with!"
  • Ray BRay B Member Posts: 11,822
    edited November -1
    A barrelmaker friend of mine, who was a student and friend of PO Ackley, thought highly of the 30-06 improved. The advantage of improving was it got you about half-way to the magnums with velocity but you didn't have the nightmare of opening an enclosed bolt-face such as is common on most rifles today. The other advantage of the Improved was if there was roughness in the chamber, it could be removed as part of the enlarging process.
  • HawkshawHawkshaw Member Posts: 1,016 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I actually went down this road several years ago, but decided that the .30 Gibbs gave me a little more horsepower than the Ackley version. There is a second step as I recall to forming the Gibbs cases vs. the A.I. It does give you a little more horsepower over the A.I. Check it out and keep us posted.
  • Ray BRay B Member Posts: 11,822
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Ambrose
    Ackley himself didn't think much of the improved .30/06.


    Mr Ambrose appears to be confused on what PO Ackley's opinions were. Quoting from P.O. Ackley's Handbook for Shooters & Reloaders: "This and similar improved version of the well known .30/06 have developed into quite controversial cartridges. Actually they have a great deal of merit and for handloaders they can be highly recommended. Various articles have appeared in sporting magazines written by individuals who do not believe in the "improved" idea. Invariably loads appear in these articles which do no credit to the cartridge while the loads which really show something have been carefully left out. A cartridge which has gained such world wide popularity does not do it without merit. Since its introduction just after World War II it has become one of the most popular of all wildcat or improved cartridges. Cases are made by firing factory loads in the improved chamber, and of course factory ammunition can regularly be used in the improved chamber without serious loss in velocity. This cartridge is particularly good with bullets of 180gr or heavier and with these bullets it equals the standard factory 300 H&H magnum factory loads."

    "didn't think much of" seems to be inaccurate.
  • tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682
    edited November -1
    There are several gains with the AI version of cases. Extended case life, greater velocity, easier extraction, all while running at the same pressures as the old 30-06. That is right, the same pressures.

    A larger case needs more gas to make the same pressure. The downfall is, that to gain the speed, you will need a couple more inches of barrel to do so. It is also much easier to make an AI chamber, correctly, on a new barrel blank, than it is on a barrel that has been chambered in the parent cartridge. It is not as easy of a chore as just sticking in the proper chamber reamer. The barrel must be removed from the rifle, a couple threads removed, so you can clean up the old chamber, and a couple more threads added, new shoulder formed, and headspace set properly.

    As suggested, a 300 Win Mag, in either the belted original version, or the more efficient Short Magnum version, would be the way to go.

    Best

    EDIT 1

    quote:the 30-06 AI is in the 1973 Hornady Handbook and states "the 30-06 improved showed that more powder is burned to produce the same or lower velocities, proving each rifle and cartridge is a law unto itself" page 227.

    Not all powder is the same, and it all depends on what barrel length we are talking about. In order to make it work out, it needs at least a 24 inch barrel, and it will favor heavier bullets.
  • FEENIXFEENIX Member Posts: 10,557 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by telohf
    Anyone here convert their 30-06 to a 30-06 Ackley Improved? If so tell me the benefits(if any). Any velocity difference or accuracy and such. I normally shoot 165grn bullets at about 2700fps. I am considering doing the chambering. thanks for any info.


    I say go for it! The .30-06 is an awesome chambering and I know guys propelling 208's out of 20" barrel at 2700 FPS past 1K yards (http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f17/short-barreled-30-06-06ai-140892/). Those same guys also pushes the Berger 215s and 230s way out there.

    With the AI's extra capacity gain, faster twist (to stabilize the heavier and higher BC bullets), and longer barrel augmented with the new powder and barrel/bullet coatings, who knows what you might end up.

    I have a .270 AI with 30" Lilja barrel 1:8' 3-groove propelling the 175gr Matrix VLDs at 3000+ FPS with my hand loads ... not too shabby, but that's JMHHO.

    Good luck, cheers!
  • MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member Posts: 9,259 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    " For the job to be done right, the barrel has to be set back (usually one turn)'.............just to note; if you have a plain barrel (IE, no sights) you only have to turn the barrel in about 1/4 turn (no rethreading needed) to 'clean up' the chamber
  • kumatekumate Member Posts: 2,293 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    the 30-06 AI is in the 1973 Hornady Handbook and states "the 30-06 improved showed that more powder is burned to produce the same or lower velocities, proving each rifle and cartridge is a law unto itself" page 227.
  • Ray BRay B Member Posts: 11,822
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by kumate
    the 30-06 AI is in the 1973 Hornady Handbook and states "the 30-06 improved showed that more powder is burned to produce the same or lower velocities, proving each rifle and cartridge is a law unto itself" page 227.


    The problem is that "each rifle is a rule unto itself" means that two rifles that appear to be identical may produce differences of a few hundred feet per second with given loads and a given load may produce considerably higher pressure in one than the other. But Mr Ackley does clarify this- I don't recall where, but if pushed I could look it up= the jist of it was: a rifle barrel will always increase the velocity potential when it is chambered to a cartridge with higher capacity. My guess is that Hornady didn't test the barrels chambered as 30-06 then rechamber them to Improved and check the difference. To take some barrels chambered for 30-06 and compare them with other barrels chambered for the Improved proves little except that the Hornady people likely had an agenda.
  • FEENIXFEENIX Member Posts: 10,557 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by kumate
    the 30-06 AI is in the 1973 Hornady Handbook and states "the 30-06 improved showed that more powder is burned to produce the same or lower velocities, proving each rifle and cartridge is a law unto itself" page 227.


    Ackley is definitely ahead of his time but 1973 is a long time ago and many advancements in bullets, barrels, powders, primers, etc., since then.
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