BIGBIRD243BIGBIRD243 Member Posts: 10 ✭✭
Anyone have an idea as to where you can get reloading info for Ackley Improved cartridges? I have Lyman, Hornady & other reloading books , but i have never seen one with AI [:)]


  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 11,072 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Measure the water capacity difference between the before and after versions, in percentage. If the AI version holds (for example) eight percent more water, you can work upwards to FOUR percent more powder by weight than maximum for the non-AI round.

    BTW, you'll get one FOURTH the volume increase in performance. If the AI version holds eight percent more water, you'll get a whopping two percent more velocity - unless you ignore pressure limits. Whooppee. If you get more than that 1/4 ratio, you are running at much higher pressures. Be warned.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • nononsensenononsense Member, Moderator Posts: 10,662 ******
    edited November -1

    The easiest way to get this information is from the source:

    Handbook for Shooters & Reloaders Vol. I & II by P.O. Ackley

    This 2-volume set should be available through Brownells and Midway as well as others such as Huntington. Be aware that some of Ackley's loads may be a tad overzealous and energetic. Be prepared to exercise the reloader's mantra:

    Start low and work up slowly watching for signs of pressure.

    Also be aware that Ackley Improved cartridges do not show signs of pressure as quickly as standard cartridges. But when they do show up, STOP immediately and back off.

    There is also the combined 2-books into one big volume:

    Wildcat Cartridges a compendium of 2-volumes available from:


    There is some information about specific cartridges online from individual reloaders who have started a website to feature Ackley Improved cartridges.

  • BIGBIRD243BIGBIRD243 Member Posts: 10 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks guys. If Rockys math is correct i cant see the extra trouble for ackley cartridges.[:)]
  • Tailgunner1954Tailgunner1954 Member Posts: 7,815
    edited November -1
    The "worth it" factor depends on the cartridge. Some of the older ones showed IIRC a 25% increase in case volume, while the more "modern" ones will show as little as a 4% increase in volume.

    Parker Ackley wasn't the only guy that "improved" cartridges, he was just one of the better known ones. Roy Weatherby built his reputation with his line of improved cartridges.
  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 11,072 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yup. The rounds that actually were "improved" had sloping cases, even more sloping shoulders and (if rimmed) long necks. Those could be blown out to substantially larger cases and subsequent added performance. Modern cartridges are "pre-improved" as they come.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
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