?? on 25-06 Ackley


March 10, 2012, 08:57 AM
I just had a 25-06 Ackley made. I had to turn the necks in order to chamber for fire forming and all was fine. I used all Norma brass and fire formed 20 to start.

All went well with no signs of case separation, but I am finding 1 problem arose. I knew the case length would shorten, but I didn't expect them to shorten .025-.030. Like all cases that you buy now a days, they were right at the trim to length dimension and now that they are fire formed, they are way too short. The fact that I use bushing dies and never run an expander through the necks and that they are Ackley cases, I feel that they will never gain the length that they should be.

Do you think that they will shoot accurately despite their length?

I'm thinking that the balance of the brass which have not yet been fire formed will be saved to shoot in my regular 25-06s. My thoughts now lead me to believe that I should start out with .270 or .280 brass with longer necks to get a better finished case.

Am I correct in this assumption?

I appreciate any thoughts and comments

If you enjoyed reading about "?? on 25-06 Ackley" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 10, 2012, 10:22 AM
quartermaster, I tried to talk you out of buying that ackley chamber. The original 25-06 Remington chamber doesn't create this type problem. I think you are right that sizing down a 270 or 280 case would give you a longer neck, however, when you go big to smaller you could get into the neckwall thickness problem. You may have to buy a tool to get the neck thickness you want. I don't think the short neck would be a problem for holding a bullet as long is you have a full bullet diameter inside the neck but the short case neck could enhance throat erosion. BW

March 10, 2012, 11:00 AM
quartermaster, when you buy a new 25-06 case the shoulder is about .003 or .004 shorter than the zero setting on a RCBS case micrometer. That means that even in a standard chamber the case has to expand that distance to contact the front of the chamber. If you fired the new cases in your standard 25-06 a couple of times with only neck sizing and not trimming you could gain overall length before firing them in the improved chamber. However, the fire forming in the improved chamber thins the case walls. I don't have my improved chamber rifle any longer but I do remember that the rifle was very hard on cases and after the cases had been used a couple of times every time I reloaded I would have to throw away cases with either split necks or splits burned in the shoulder of the case. That was back in my ignorant younger days of reloading and I don't load that hot anymore. I was depending on the data furnished for the cartridge and I should have been watching the pressure signs more. BW

March 10, 2012, 08:10 PM
I'm very happy with the rifle. My gunsmith exceeded my expectations which were high to start out with. Having 3 25-06s is enough, hence wanting the Ackley. I am excited about the caliber and would do it again without a doubt. It was unexpected for me to see so much of the neck turned into the shoulder. I guess if I had seen and compared an Ackley case before fire forming I may have expected the shortening effect to the extent it is.

I am going to fire the short casings and I don't think it will present a problem. I will easily have a calibers diameter left of the neck. I'm not sure that I completely believe that rule of thumb anyhow. I have found very good accuracy at times just bushing down 2/3 or 3/4 of the neck length, particularly in 25 cal and smaller.

I'm sure this is not a new problem, if it is in fact a problem at all, as standard procedure, many people fire factory loads for the parent cartridge and go from there.

I got some pretty good accuracy during the fire forming process just using up a bunch of different 115 grain heads that I had and only pushing them at 2900 FPS. I may try pushing that up a bit. I started there to avoid split casings.

I will take the ones which are fire formed and see what I can do for accuracy before fire forming any more, even if it means loading them 2 or 3 times. If the short case is detrimental, I will try .270 or .280 cases, and neck them down to 25 cal. I can measure my chamber length in the Ackley, so I will trim them if necessary .010 short of the chamber. Hopefully this process would give me the correct length case. Wishfull thinking and optimism tells me that maybe my concerns are in vain.

Rest assured, I will do whatever I have to. I was just wondering what thoughts everyone else has. There is a lot of knowledgable and innovative reloaders on this site whom I have the utmost respect for. My thoughts in starting this thread was to see if anyone else has dealt with a situation like this before and would share their thoughts and experiences.

March 10, 2012, 09:30 PM
quartermaster, I've always thought the reason Weatherby developed the radius case shoulder was because they thought it would lead to longer case life and the ability to handle the higher pressures. BW

March 10, 2012, 09:32 PM
You seem to have everything figured out already, and I can only reinforce your thinking on this.
You can use the short cases if you have no need for crimping the bullets, and really, there is no need for doing that. You would just need to keep the chamber clean of carbon buildup ahead of the short brass so it won't bother full length stuff.

Use the 270 brass, and experiment with the trim length by measuring the chamber, as you mentioned, and you might size the neck down and create a false shoulder if the Ackley chamber is longer at the neck base. I don't have an Ackley drawing handy to check that.
I think that you have things under control.
Good shooting.


March 11, 2012, 09:53 AM
Your posting reminds me of my very early (and ignorant) experience with .25-06 AI in the late 60's. I bought a commercial Mauser action and had it barreled and chambered. I also bought a semi-inleted stock blank from Fajen. IIRC I gave about $100 for it. When I opened the box I was sick. Kind of a hacked out piece of wood that looked kind of like a chore girl on the surface. But it really was not too hard to inlet and the barrel channel was pretty close. When I got ready to finish it I realized that chore girl surface was where the beautiful grain was. Turned out to be a very nice looking stock.
At that time .30-06 brass was everywhere, so I started with that, went down to .270, then down to .25, and used something like a light load of Unique to fireform. Worked pretty good. I still have some of the cases and loaded ammo I think.

March 11, 2012, 11:26 AM
neck up, neck down? I neck up 30/06 to 35 Whelen, the case length shortens .035 thousands , I form 30 Gibbs from 30/06 cases, After firing the case is .040 thousands shorter than it was when the case was configured as a 30/06. None of my formed case necks got thicker or thinner, they get longer and or shorter, it is not fair, my case necks do not get thicker and shorter, my case necks do not get thinner and longer, Again, my favorite case is the 280 Remington, it is .041 thousands longer than the 30/06 with a shoulder that is .051 thousands forward of the shoulder of the 30/06 family of chambers, there is no excuse for head space when using a case that requires the shoulder to be formed further back, unless the operator of the press does not know where the shoulder in the chamber is located. When forming and necking cases up the 280 case gets shorter when going to 30, 338 or 35 cal..

Always omitted is the action used for the build, when fire forming 25/06 to the Ackley version and the chamber is reamed correctly (1st choice) the 25/06 head spaces on the shoulder neck juncture, the 25/06 has a shorter neck than the Ackley version meaning the neck and part of the shoulder is sized when chambered, when fired the case fills the chamber forming the rest rest of the case to the shoulder and case body.

When the case forms to the chamber the case shorten, the neck is pulled back, as opposed to the case running to the front of the chamber, locking to the chamber and then filling the chamber at the rear as in the belief the case stretches? and case life is shortened because of insipient case head separation. AND: That is the reason if is necessary to know what action is/was being used.

F. Guffey

March 11, 2012, 11:41 AM

Join Date: August 12, 2011
Posts: 146 quartermaster, I've always thought the reason Weatherby developed the radius case shoulder was because they thought it would lead to longer case life and the ability to handle the higher pressures. BW

Then there is the dreaded do-nut? It is not possible to talk about the Do-nut, I make do-nuts, I know when to expect them, when forming 22-6mm type cases from 30/06 cases I make/create donuts, when the case gets formed down to 243/6mm it is time to remove the do-nut or quit. I do not shove the do-nut to the outside and then cut them with an outside neck trimmer, I remove them from the inside, that is where they form. Cases with long tapers and slight shoulder angles no not develop do-nuts.

F. Guffey

March 11, 2012, 05:13 PM
quartermaster, I have some fired cases from my rifle and out of curiosity I checked the length of the case at the beginning of the neck. A 25-06 Remington case shows a chamber length of 2.185. My particular rifle had a chamber length on a fired case of 2.158 which is .027 less than the parent case. Apparently the gunsmith took into consideration the case shortening during the fire forming process. I shot the rifle for about 8 years and I always had to trim the cases every time I fired them. Also, I don't ever remember ever having a case that separated at the webb which is about a quarter inch in front of the rim. All the failed cases that I encountered had either neck splits or splits burned in the case shoulder. I only neck sized and that probably extended case life although the rifle was hard on cases. BW

March 11, 2012, 06:56 PM
“quartermaster, I have some fired cases from my rifle and out of curiosity I checked the length of the case at the beginning of the neck. A 25-06 Remington case shows a chamber length of 2.185. My particular rifle had a chamber length on a fired case of 2.158 which is .027 less than the parent case. Apparently the gunsmith took into consideration the case shortening during the fire forming process. I shot the rifle for about 8 years and I always had to trim the cases every time I fired them. Also, I don't ever remember ever having a case that separated at the webb which is about a quarter inch in front of the rim. All the failed cases that I encountered had either neck splits or splits burned in the case shoulder. I only neck sized and that probably extended case life although the rifle was hard on cases. BW “

Gun smith took into consideration? Again the neck on the 25/06 is shorter than the neck on the 25/06 Ackley improved, something about the taper of the shoulder, the case body/shoulder juncture is forward on the Ackley improved, the shoulder/neck juncture is behind the juncture of the 25/06 neck/shoulder juncture, and that is the reason a 25/06 chamber can not be cleaned up with an Ackley Improved chamber, the .027 thousands measurement could be the difference in neck length of the two chamberings AND the distance the barrel must be moved back to remove all the old chamber.

And then....this is about the time someone says “and that is the reason a no go-gage is used to check head space on the newly created chamber.

F. Guffey

March 11, 2012, 08:49 PM
fguffey, my rifle was never had the 25-06 Remington chamber. Like the rifle quartermaster has the original chambering was a 25-06 with a 40 degree shoulder. Our discussion was how the 25-06 Remington case would react when fire formed in the improved chamber. My point was since my chamber was .027 shorter than the Remington chamber that accounts for why I didn't have a problem with the cases coming up too short. Also, if I remember right the improved cartridge length was 2.494 which is the same length as the standard 25-06 Remington. That could account for the slightly longer neck on the improved version. I also used a trim length of 2.484. BW

March 11, 2012, 09:32 PM
fguffey, your explanation about the 25-06 Remington chamber as compared to the 25-06 Ackley chamber completely fits what I was trying to say above. Although, that doesn't explain why quartermasters fired cases are coming up .025 to .030 too short after the fire forming process. Although I may be nieve, I would think the brass in the expanded shoulder would get thinner when the case expanded. The other point of moving brass is at the point in front of the webb which is 1/4 inch in front of the rim. If you disect a case with a bright ring the case will show a thinning of the brass on the inside of the bright ring. BW

March 12, 2012, 12:09 AM
One contributing factor that I'm not sure that I had memtioned previously, is that it is a tight chamber and I had to turn the necks to .0125 in order to get .003 clearance. Possibly these thinner necks allowed more brass from the neck to go back and become part of the shoulder? It doesn't seem logical to me for some of it to flow back, but it had to go somewhere and that seems like the likely scenario.

I will try firing some as is taking careful measurements before and after to see if the case lengthens. I have my doubts it will to the extent which will make much difference. If it shoots accurately, There may be no problem at all. As NCsmitty says, keeping the chamber clean, is a simple solution.

Also as Shooter5907 says, I may shoot some brass through one of my 25-06s before the fire forming process and size with an expander ( which I hate to do) and bush the necks down. I may gain a little length that way. Once again, probably not much either.

I may try a bit more potent load while fire forming. I do feel what I am using now is ust about right though

If none of the above produces satisfactory results, I will take the time and go the route of using .270 or .280 brass. After all, it only has to be done once.

This dilemma all stems from the fact that brass you buy now a days is too short to start out with. I have been buying Lapua if available in the caliber I use or Norma for all else. Even this batch of Norma is at the point where some are shorter than the trim to length dimension. I always trim as little as I possibly can to square up the necks before loading, but never trim .005 shorter than the listed trim to length measurement. I find that in many batches my trimmer doesn't touch 10% of the brass.

I'm glad that I had the sense to only fire form 20 of them and see how it goes before shooting all of them. If I end up using the 270s or 280s, I have a couple of 25-06s to use the remainder of my brass for.

I don't have a go or no go headspace gage, but I can feel resistance when chambering the parent cartridge while fireforming. I do use the old Stoney Point , now Hornady headspace gages and bullet comparators. I show no signs at all of case separation nor the tell tale bright ring near the head of the case after fire forming. I could see where the old neck/shoulder junction was, but that for the most part has disappeared after tumbling.

Hopefully, if work is under control tomorrow, I will leave early and start working on a load or 2 and do some shooting. It's supposed to be 60 degrees with very little wind. Perfect weather. I've already determined my max COAL for several bullets and all cases have been primed. I'm going to start with RE-22 and either or both of 115 Bergers and 115 Ballistic Tips. I'll post my results if I do some shooting. Hopefully my cases will be fine. Optimism produces confidence. This is my first custom rifle and I have high expectations for it along with a lot of faith in my gun smith. He only makes rifles, primarily benchrest rifles. He was the president of the National Benchrest Association for 4 or 5 years. Nice guy to boot. Kind of like us. LOL

Thanks guys, for your thoughts and comments, and taking the time to post them. You have reinforced my deductions and given me more food for thought.

March 12, 2012, 12:23 PM
Shooter 5907, and I ask ‘What actions are being used? I said the Ackley reamer will not clean up the 25/06 chamber, I said the barrel must be moved back because of the difference in neck lengths, the Ackley neck is longer than the 25/06 neck, meaning the 25/06 case jams into the neck of the the Ackley chamber at the neck/shoulder juncture, if the barrel is moved back and the 25/06 chamber is cleaned up, the chamber is the same or put another way, there is no evidence the chamber was ever a 25/06, except, the barrel is stamped 25/06.

There are chamber that have been reamed by advancing the reamer forward to clean/remove the original chamber, and for those, there are reloaders that form cases for the longer chamber by increasing the case length from the head of the case it’s shoulder (Not the way Ackley designed it). There are Ackley chamber that were cut without removing all of the old chamber, again, not the way Ackley intended but when cases are formed from 25/06 the 25/06 case does not head space, when fired the case has head space of .005+.

Back to Quartermaster, his cases should have and did shorten, there is no way around it, again, I have cases that shorten .035 thousands before I fire, and when fired they had better shorten again, they must shorten, unless I formed the cases first then fired, and that requires a few additional dies.

Again, Hatcher moved the shoulder forward .080 thousands, chambered a round knowing the case was going to have case head separation (incipient), that did not happen, he knew .080 thousands was more stretch than the case could tolerate, when he ejected his cases he ejected 30/06 Hatcher modified cases. UncleNick and Jim Keenan are the only two members on any form that can, with out hesitation, list all the characteristics of the rifle Hatcher chose to test, and being correct, Hatcher should have had failures. (Don W. is one of my resource people on CSP)

Back to firing a 25/06 Remington round in an Ackley Improved chamber. I do not have one way to head space a case in a chamber. With some actions I have no choice but to form the case to head space, After forming a case in an improved chamber I find the case did not shorten, I screwed up. And, in my opinion, seating the bullet out to the rifling to head space is done with little thought put into the practice, I am the fan of the running start.

Hatchers cases shortened, the alternative to shorter with .080 thousands head space is case head separation. And, Again, I have fired 8mm57 cases in 8mm06 chambers, that is .127 thousands head space, I ejected 8mm06 cases with very short necks, again, the case got shorter when fired.

F. Guffey

March 12, 2012, 03:24 PM
fguffey or quartermaster, I am not a target shooter but a hunter that likes an accurate rifle so I do a lot of things to get accurate ammo. I do use an RCBS case micrometer so I know the length of the chamber, the length of the chamber to the front of the neck, and the distance to the lands on each of my rifles. I thought that once you fire formed a case and it expanded to the exact length of your chamber that the case had "perfect" headspace and as long as you did not set the shoulder back in sizing the "perfect" headspace remained. When I resize a case I set the die to correspond to the "0" line on the RCBS guage which gives a case chamber length which is normally about .002 less than the actual chamber length. I would be curious to know how you set your sizing die? BW

March 12, 2012, 11:38 PM
My action is a Rem 700 to answer Fguffey's question and the chamber was not a 25-06 reamed out. It was reamed as a 25-06 Ackley, tight neck, in a Shilen #5 taper 26" barrel

To answer shooter5907's question, I fireformed with a load which probably formed the case at a guess to 90%. There was rounded edges instead of crisp corners. I fired a few of them for the second time today, which totally fire formed them. I only fired about 9 shots to work my way up for a feeling of where max may be. I was lacking for time. It was a warm day and the barrel took a while to cool down between groups. I will get back to it again when we get a day when the wind isn't howling. I live on top of a small mountain and the wind is always blowing.

I didn't resize for my second firing as I knew the cases needed to expand a bit more and they chambered easily. I remove the primer with a Lee decapping die. My sizing procedure is to take the guts out of my Redding FL type S die, use it as a body die, and set the shoulder back .001-.002. I have had the Stoney Point, now Hornady headspace gages and bullet comparators for a long time now. They work fairly well for my purposes. From there, I bush the necks to get the desired neck tension, in 2 steps when necessary. I find that I get my best concentricity using this procedure.

I was pretty satisfied with my groups today. All three of them, LOL. I have a lot of work to do and a lot of things to try yet. I'm anxious to to it, but I need some cooperation fom the weather and work to do it. I haven't yet checked case dimensions after the second firing. I think I will fire from 20 or more cases so when the time comes to work up a load, I will have something to work with.

March 14, 2012, 11:02 AM
“I would be curious to know how you set your sizing die? BW”



Cylinder brass is 2.650 long from the head of the case to the mouth of the case and has a straight wall, the perfect case for forming cases for wildcat chambers, for two reason, no shoulder and when forming, the case body does not expand, it is up the the reloader/case former to form the shoulder to fit the chamber from the face of the bolt to the shoulder of the chamber as opposed to starting with a case that is too short from the head of the case to it’s shoulder. Starting with a case that is short requires the reloader to fire to form as opposed to form first then fire.

Fire forming mistakes are made, most could be considered ‘a bad habit’ there is forgiveness in the action design, again, I have fired 8mm57 ammo in an 8mm06 chamber, by any standard the 8mm57 should have come apart with something called insipient/case head separation on the first firing, the case can not stretch .127 thousands, if the case stretches, it didn’t, if shortened, it formed to the chamber, the case shoulder did not move, it was erased, flattened and became part of the case body, part of the neck became part of the shoulder, when ejected, the 8m57 was ejected as a 8mm06 with a very short neck, the case, when fired formed to the chamber.

Cases, when fire formed, that do not shorten stretch between the case head and case body, the neck, shoulder, case body attached to the case head move forward (depending on the action design), when fired the case (moves forward when fired in some actions) body locks onto the chamber body, leaving the case head unsupported against the bolt face, the unsupported case head moves back until it contacts the bolt face, the case must stretch to allow the case head to move back when the case is locked onto the chamber. The ability of the case to stretch between the case head and case body determines when and if the case head separates.

Extractors are not alike on different actions designs. ‘The Claw’ design on Mausers are identified with control feed rifles, the claw does not jump the rim when the case is feed, the case come up from the bottom and under and behind the extractor. Another design is called push feed, on the push feed the extractor jumps the case extractor rim, because of function and design the push feed extractor is smaller than ‘the claw’. Meaning? Do not attempt or depend on the push feed extractor to head space the case as in the extractor on a push feed will not allow a case to head space on it. The larger claw extractor of the Mauser design has allowed the case to head space on the claw because it is not designed to jump the rim as in push feed designs.

Before cylinder brass the case former used different methods and techniques to fit the case between the bolt face and and shoulder of the chamber, the 30/06 case has a shoulder that is ahead of the 308 W, 7.7 Japanese, 8mm57, 7mm57, 257 Roberts, 243 W etc., When using 30/06 cases for shorter chambers the reloader/case former knew when to quit forming the shoulder, again, the shoulder does not move when forming, it is erased and becomes another part of the case.

The 280 Remington case has a case body that is .051 thousandths longer than the 30/06 case body length, point? I had rather form cases, as in moving the shoulder back? than fire the case to move the shoulder forward? (again, not all actions are alike, when forming and head spacing the action design is always omitted, and that is the reason two rifles with the same chamber, when fired can have different results.

Again, I understand the chambers were never 25/06 chambers, I understand the chambers have always been 25/06 Ackley Improved chambers, understand, that is no excuse for not knowing the length of the chamber before firing.

How do I set my press up to size a case? The rifle has a chamber, the die has a chamber with reduced dimensions, the limit of the dies ability to size/reduce dimensions is fixed/pre-determined when used with a shell holder with a deck height of .125. With a die in a press with a shell holder the limit to sizing is minimum length/full length sizing, when determining chamber length I start with a case that is too long for the chamber from the bolt face to the shoulder of the chamber, I start with adjusting the die off the shell holder with a gap between the bottom of the die and top of the shell holder, I adjust the gap between the die and shell holder with a feeler gage, after sizing I attempt chambering the case, if it does not chamber, I reduce the gap, and try again and continue the process until the case chambers, in a practice sense I am using the gap to avoid sizing (preventing the die, shell holder and press from sizing the case to minimum length/full length sizing). This method/technique should not be used with cases that have been fired 3 + times. I use new cases, nothing like cases behaving in a predictable manner, then there is annealing.

There are tools available, Redding sells shell holders in sets of 5 for $40.00+, the feeler gage is a standard, it is a transfer, when determining the length of a chamber from bolt face to the shoulder of the chamber with a few new/or annealed cases thrown in a reloader can not get more millage from their money,

Again, I form cases for short chambers starting with cases that are .017 thousandths shorter than go-gage length to a practice .016 thousandths longer than minimum length with a feeler gage and versatile full length sizer die.

There is no excuse for making wild guestimates when adjusting the die to the shell holder. ’Why start over every day?’ To eliminate guessing, I adjust the die to the shell holder every time I change dies, I do not secure the locking ring to the die, I secure the die to the press with the lock ring, Dillon does not have set screws on their lock rings, Lee does not use set screws on their lock rings.

F. Guffey

March 14, 2012, 01:41 PM
"There is no excuse for making wild guestimates when adjusting the die to the shell holder. ’Why start over every day?’ To eliminate guessing, I adjust the die to the shell holder every time I change dies, I do not secure the locking ring to the die, I secure the die to the press with the lock ring, Dillon does not have set screws on their lock rings, Lee does not use set screws on their lock rings."

fguffy, I agree with not guessing when adjusting a sizing die. I also agree about not starting over every time. I do, however, use the lock ring on my RCBS die to set the ring on the die so that it goes back in the press the same as last time. Just a matter of preference. I know between reloaders there is an argument on RCBS vs. competitor just like Remington and Winchester and I don't have a problem with your preference. I did use a feeler guage for many years to set the space between the shell holder and the base of the die. I have found the RCBS case micrometer to be much better for me. When I seat the die in the press and run my first case through the die I immediately check the length of the case chamber to make sure it is at "0" on the micrometer. It only takes about a quarter inch movement on turning the die to change the depth by .002 so I check about 5 cases to make sure the cases are being sized correctly.

Being a hunter I and not a target shooter I load cartridges for several rifles at the same time and I want all my rifles of the same cartridge to handle all the reloads for that cartridge. To make this work I find the distance to the lands on all the rifles and set the bullet seating die to seat .020 from the lands on the shortest rifle. Some rifles may come in at .030 or .040 as the distance to the lands gets further. I appreciate your comments. BW

March 15, 2012, 11:29 AM
Shooter5907, Thank you, again, I do not secure the lock ring to the die, yesterday I went looking for two barrel blanks, $165 is the best I could do, the trip was not a waste, like new 257 Roberts RCBS FL die set $10.00, 257 Weatherby neck sizer-2 die set, like new $10.00 and a 30/06 barrel for a Mauser, $20.00. in all appearance the barrel looked abused so I took a chance. On the return trip, on the outside chance someone had a barrel they wish they had not acquired I made a few stops, one friend offered to clean the barrel, all I wanted to do was knock the dirt out, the barrel when clean was not worst for ware for ever having been on a on a receiver, then my kind friend checked the barrel for head space, he said some one messed up, he said it had .015 thousandths (15/1000) head space, and I said that is perfect, he did not agree.

Long story, I wanted a second opinion, I ask to check his gage, when checking head space I verify the gage first, he did not think we had time to make a head space gage checker so he went back to his tool room and came back with two more gages, both gages indicated .005 (5/1000) thousandths head space, his first gage was .010 thousandths short (he thought the chamber was long), I explained to him the first gage was for short chambered barrels, my favorite gage for reaming chambers, he gave me the gage, It was a good day.

Securing the lock ring to the die, Dillon and Lee dies do not come with a provision to secure a lock ring, I do not wonder ‘WHY’, Dillon Dies come with an integral hex on the top of the die, by design , when adjusting the die the die is held in place while the nut secures the die to the tool head/press, outside of reloading when adjustments are made the adjustment is made first, the adjustment is held in place and secured with a locking nut/devise, then the adjustment is verified, I do not insist a reloader secure the nut to the die, I explain to them why I do not secure the nut to the die, again, after making an adjustment, I verify, back to the Mauser barrel, when installed the rifle will not be the only 30/06 Mauser I have, I have 4 Springfield 03s Remington, Rock Island and Springfield, I have 4 M1917s that are 30/06, with a 308 Norma mag and a P14 converted to 30/06.

Securing the lock ring, it is OK to secure the lock ring to the die, I use the lock ring to remove slack between the threads, when I say I adjust the die off the shell holder .002 thousandths (2/1000), the gap between the die and shell holder is .002 (2/000), I do not envy anyone that can can make that kind of an adjustment without a crutch, for me there is nothing about using a crutch that is embarrassing.

F. Guffey

March 15, 2012, 01:23 PM
"I do not envy anyone that can can make that kind of an adjustment without a crutch, for me there is nothing about using a crutch that is embarrassing."

fguffey, I agree that getting the right case chamber length is more important than the process. If my memory serves me right I think a 30-06 no-go guage will not go on .007 but it will go on .008. I am not a gun smith but I do have some of the guages.

I am looking forward to seeing quartermasters loading and shooting results. According to the data I have been reading on a 25-06 Remington the acceptable chamber max pressure is 53,000 cup or 63,000 psi. The deviation between measured and actual pressure can very 2,000 cup or 1,300 psi. That explains why the max loads listed in the IMR tables are lower than maximum pressure for the cartridge. My point for bring this up is that some of the cartridges like the 25-06 Ackley improved can really have high pressures to achieve the higher velocities without the reloader being aware this is happening. Chamber pressures as high as 80,000 may be reached with a really hot load. I like to shoot 120 grain bullets in my 25-06 but I stop at about 2,900 fps which is where quartermaster was during his case forming. Some of the tables take the velocities up as high as 3,300 with a 117 or 120 grain bullet. I'm getting too old for that! BW

March 15, 2012, 04:23 PM
"I stop at about 2,900 fps which is where quartermaster was during his case forming"

If time is a factor and quartermaster was forming cases his powder charge and bullet could be at or over max pressure after forming the case, I made the mistake of sharing a procedure for fire forming with data and got some strange responses from Prolific responders, not impossible but there are a few factors to keep up with all at the same time, by the time they had my receivers being rendered scrap, my bullet was half way down the barrel, time is a factor, considering all of them could not be wrong, I called Hodgdon, not looking for someone to agree they did say the powder weight and bullet should not be used as a starting load after the case was formed, they agreed I would reduce the ‘time as a factor’ they recommended reducing the powder charge and work up from there and do not be surprised to find my fire forming load could be the max after the case is formed.

F. Guffey

March 15, 2012, 10:13 PM
I'm glad you guys kept this thread alive. I haven't had much time to shoot not visit this site.

Hopefully this weekend will allow me some time to do so. I will post the results when I have some to post. My only remark reading your posts is that I hope I will get more than 2900 FPS. I might as well have built a .257 Roberts, if that is the case.

I would assume that if pressure was building up as I work up my loads, the normal signs would appear. Correct? I will certainly be watching for them.

Hopefully will have something to post at the end of the weekend.

Work keeps interfering with my plans.

March 15, 2012, 10:35 PM
"they recommended reducing the powder charge and work up from there and do not be surprised to find my fire forming load could be the max after the case is formed.

F. Guffey"

fguffy, it is also true that the larger improved chamber will take more grains of powder to get the same velocity as the smaller standard chamber. The legendary Jack O'Connor made the point against interpolating velocities to think that more grains of powder in a larger chamber would equal higher velocity. The thickness of the metal in the primer is just as weak in the improved case as it was in the original standard case. In my years of reloading I have experienced 2 blown primers and the first time sent me to have metal picked out of my eye. Now I wouldn't think of firing a rifle at the range without eye protection.

quartermaster, your experience with reloading should tell you when to stop. I watch the primers to see if they flatten or the firing pin pocket is pushed back out. I also watch for the extent of the bright ring 1/4 inch ahead of the rim because you know the case is getting thinner at the ring. Holes burned in the shoulder or splits in the neck happen as the cases get older. All I can say is be careful and go for the level of performance you are seeking. Good luck with your reloading. BW

Old Dog Man
March 17, 2012, 01:16 AM
I resized some 270WSM cases down to 25WSM (wild cat) by useing a 6.5 die in between, takes it down in smaller steps. If using old fired brass I would anneal the cases before hand, you won't lose as much brass that way.

March 18, 2012, 10:12 AM
I do not disagree with Jack O'Conner unless he said his 25/06 cases did not shorten when fired in an improved chamber.

“The thickness of the metal in the primer is just as weak in the improved case as it was in the original standard case. In my years of reloading I have experienced 2 blown primers and the first time sent me to have metal picked out of my eye. Now I wouldn't think of firing a rifle at the range without eye protection”

All we need to do is determine when the primer was not supported, my primers are supported by the bolt face and primer pocket, AND the firing pin spring, fire formers fire first then try to determine the amount of case travel, again, I determine the length of the chamber first, form first, then fire. Then there is the difference between designs, I understand the design of my receivers.

I can only assume Jack O’Conner said it is a waste of time to go from 30/06 to 300 Win Mag if the intent is to shoot 150 grain bullets, I would think the 300 Win Mag would drive a 200 grain bullet as fast as the 30/06 drives a 150 grain bullet, and I would think he said if you want to shoot faster and flatter, get a 270 Winchester.

Old Man Dog, that is a better plan than firing to form first, then shoot 4 times and neck size 4 times and start over by full length sizing. By the time by cases have been fired 5 times they are tougher to size than my press has ability to size.

F. Guffey

March 18, 2012, 10:17 AM
We have left the topic of my original post, which would have been very boring. I have thoroughly read and heeded some of the advise which has been posted since. Some very interesting remarks have been made.

I have been a home builder as a profession for 28 years, but my wife thinks that shooting and reloading have become my other job over the years due to my time spent on my range and in my reloading room. I have a very good set up where as my bench is set up on my back porch and I have a 100 yd range to shoot, all carefully done with safety in mind. She particularly loves the looks of the board sticking out past my porch that my chronograph gets mounted to. It has the potential for giving one a headache when mowing the lawn.

My self employment back in those days allowed me to have a bit extra cash to start buying guns and the gun shop owner became my mentor when I decided to start reloading. Little did he know that he would be creating a monster. shortly after, I applied for and got an FFL license to be able to buy rifles and reloading components and tools at wholesale prices. I still have the license and actually do quite a lot of business to this day even though it is just nights and weekends.

My reloading knowledge after getting started has been self taught through experience and a ton of reading. Even though I am a relatively new member in THR, I have been reading posts here and in other forums for a long , long time. Much info has been gained form reading various magazines, websites, and anywhere it was available, as well as from fellow reloaders.

My dealer status has allowed me some good opportunites to save some $ over the years. I have become a direct Redding dealer as my personal needs met the criteria to do so. I should have been smart enough to do the same with Dillon.

Sorry to have bored you with the story of my life. I don't know where that came from.

During the process of learning reloading, safety has been on the top of my list. I have received, as well as I'm sure you guys have, many emails showing pics of blown up rifles and personal injuries affiliated whith them. I was never blessed with the prettiest face in the world, but have survived with it and always figured that there was no since in making it look uglier. I have only had one incident that scared me. I loaded up some 30-06 cases a good many years ago in the dead of winter which were very accurate and fast. The first one I shot on a hot day in July split the case. It didn't toatally separate, and no damage was done, but it was a learning experience which I will never forget.

The deviations of reloading data out there, even with the powder company manuals, dictates that care be taken while working up loads, not to mention the internet data. The data available for the 25-06 Ackley is particularly limited. I have many reloading manuals and only the Sierra lists this caliber. There are some posts in forums, some data on the Reloaders Nest site, and a lot of untrustworthy, irresponsible info posted here and there all over the internet. I have received some info from 41Mag, a member of THR, which has been tested and I am using as a guideline, but still I take care in working up my loads due to the fact that works good in someone elses rifle may not be safe nor work in mine. What I feel is the biggest problem with loading for this caliber is the fact that there is no definative max load. The Sierra manual is a bit outdated and lacks extensiveness, although I think it is the current manual. Rule of thumb says 5-6% over the parent cartridge. My rule of thumb is use caution every step of the way. If I get to the point where I am satisfied, I will stop there, and hopefully will not have to stop sooner. I always have felt that lawyers and liability issues, as well as old rifles define the max loads listed in manuals. Most of the time I will abide by them, but there are instances where I have went slightly over max loads. It is nice to know what that max load is though.
I have done a sampling of different powder/ bullet combinations for this rifle. Some promising groups have been shot, but I think that I may have wasted some time by doing this. I traditionally will select a bullet that I would like to use and try different powders and seating depths to attain accuracy first and foremost and than get the desied accuracy. When I get close I will try different primers. If it won't shoot good, I will move on to anther bullet. This is the avenue of pursuit I am going to start today. I have always used the 100 gr Nosler Ballistic tips in my std 25-06s which were very accurate and fairly high velocity, not to mention that they were devastating on deer as well as varmints. I like them due to the fact that they have very good expansion and I worry less about the ricochet effect. My goal is to use that bullet or a similar one in 115 or 120 gr at the same velocity. Accuracy is the most important factor that I will consider.

Shooter 5907, as you have mentioned all along, overbore is a slight problem, but I have tried a couple of slow burning powders, H-1000 and IMR 7828, just to mention a couple, which do a good job with case capacity. In all the loads I have messed with so far, there is absolutely no sign of pressure. One thing that does concern me a bit is that I am a firm believer that on some occasions, excessive pressure can be acheived without showing any of the normal signs.

I have had a few very disappointing loads during this work up. Reloader 22 is supposed to be Gods gift for this caliber. I didn't get any where near the advertised velocities with it along with a few others.

The rifle itself shoots very well in general. Very few loads, I have tried shoot inaccurately. The craftsmenship that went into making this rifle deserves the time and effort involved to find the perfect load. My ultimate goal is to find the load which will shoot consistantly 5/8" or under. It seems like I may be asking for a bit too much, but I will do my best to get there. I do believe the potential is there. I guess time will tell. I am having a 6mm BR made (not for benchrest shooting). I should have that within a month. My obsession for accuracy scares me somtimes.

I'll keep plugging away and keep you advised as to my progress. There is a multitude of options available that are yet to be tried.

Hey shooter5907, I am not a competition target shooter either, although I might consider doing it if my eye sight was a bit better. We can all kill a deer with our worst shooting rifles, but I believe the one thing that we all have in common is the desire for those one hole groups. The work involved getting there is a labor of love. When a consistantly accurate load is found, the personal satisfaction is very rewarding. We may not share the same thoughts on this particular cartridge, but it sounds to me that our efforts and goals are the same.

Old Dog Man. I agree to take it down in steps, but I don't feel my options are there for this situation. going from .284 to .277 and then down from there doesn't seem like it is worth the effort due to the .007 gain. I don't have a 6.5-06 die and if i did. it would be going from .264 to .257 again, which is also a small gain. I will have to experiment a bit. I totally agree with your thoughts. I just won't know until I try it. My experimentation so far, dictates that the shorter case may not be as detrimental to accuracy as I originally thought. I will consider going another route for my next batch of brass when time comes to do some fire forming. If all those steps in sizing down are deemed necessary to do, it sounds like some annealing may be required as you mentioned. I have never done any sizing from one caliber to another before. That will be another good learning experience. It sounds to me like fguffey will be a guy to ask questions to for that process.

Again guys, thanks for your thoughts and comments. Sorry for the long post.

March 18, 2012, 02:31 PM
quartermaster, great writeup, very interesting. We indeed share a desire for accurate rifles and I still own two 25-06's. My original 25-06 Remington is a fine FN Mauser Supreme custom rifle made by Paul Jaeger in Jenkintown, PA. It has a 24 inch Douglas premium air guaged barrel. The rifle that I carry the most is a pre 64 model 70 Winchester with a Douglas 24 inch duplicate featherweight barrel. It was assembled by Champlin Firearms in Enid, OK. A great rifle. I like a 25-06 for spring and summer shooting and as a scouting rifle. I shoot only 120 grain bullets because we have large body deer here in Oklahoma.

As to the 25-06 Ackley Improved. I owned the rifle for several years and finally gave it to a friend in Billings, MT. He told me that if he died before I do that his will provides that I will get the rifle back. It was also built on an FN Mauser Supreme action with a 27 in #4 Douglas premium air guaged barrel. I never did get the time to compare the trajectory to one of the standard rifles. When I was loading for the rifle the best powder was H 4831 and IMR 4831 and the only one I use in my rifles today is 49 grains of IMR 4831 with a 120 grain bullet. The rifle I had would handle 53 grains of H-4831 but showed very high pressure with 53 grains of IMR 4831.

You are in a very special position owning both the standard and the improved versions. If I were you I would use the same bullet and sight both of them to hit dead on at 200 yards. Then I would shoot at 300, 400 and 500 yards and compare the trajectiory and accuracy at long range. The results could get very interesting. BW

March 18, 2012, 11:22 PM
shooter 5907, I agree with you that the IMR 4831 is the go to powder for my 2 25-06s also. I have tried the Hodgdon version, but the IMR definately works best for me. I always try the Hodgdon extremes first when working up loads, due to their temperature insensativity. I have had very good luck with Varget in quite a few calibers, in fact I have an 8# container of both that and IMR 4831.

I have yet to try 4831 in the AI, but it will be my next powder to try along with Ramshot Magnum. So far my best success has been with 7828.

I did some shooting today. I am getting there.

March 19, 2012, 09:06 PM
quartermaster, your comment about creating a monster gave me a chuckle. I worked for a major oil company for 30 years and retired in 1999. If I can count right coming this spring that will be 13 years. I love camping, shooting, hunting, tradiditional archery and fishing but in my extra time I do some taxidermy work. My wife really brags (gripes) about all of my deer heads hanging around our house, in the garage, in the shop, at her mothers house, at her sisters house, and at other relatives houses. One thing the hobby does is keep me young and fit because it keeps me in touch with all the young guys who want taxidermy work or tips on hunting rifles.

I think that new 25-06 Ackley Improved will lower your blood pressure and raise your adrenalin and keep you from thinging about money & politics. BW

March 24, 2012, 10:13 PM
I figured something out today that I'm not sure I believe or not, but I did it several times with the same result, so there must be something to it.

I took the time to break in the barrel as recommended by Shilen when I started fire forming for it. I guess my break in period took 35 plus shots, 500 patches and 2 gallons of Butches Bore Shine, (LOL)

In the days that I shot, the temperature was very warm. Through the fire forming process I never took more than 3 consecutive shots not allowing the barrel to get hot and I cleaned and still clean the barrel every 20 or so shots. Today I fire formed some more brass. It was a little cooler.

I measured each case for length after shooting because I was going to make my decision whether or not to continue using the 25-06 brass or go the route of doing a ton of work to make the 280 brass fit for fire forming.

I noticed my first shot yielded the longest brass and shooting 3 shots before letting the barrel cool down, the 3rd shot was the shortest. Upon further checking my brass shrank .006-.008 or more in some cases every shot. I made this discovery early in the day so I stopped the 3 shot business, and made 1 shot every 5 plus minutes or so. The brass became more consistant and stayed on the long side.

I still have a hard time believing it. My theory is that as the chamber heated up, it expanded leaving more room for the brass to expand, therefore stealing more brass from the neck. Do you think that is possible?

By the way, the rifle shoots great. I thought I had some good shooting rifles, but this one tops them all. It shoots very consistant also. It's just awesome. Shooter 5907, I can't find a slow enough powder to fill up the case, but get close with a couple. You were right about that. I guess in the back of my mind, I also knew that would be the case. I am getting a lot more out of it than it's parent cartridge, which I was hoping.

It seems the short cases really don't make a difference. I do trim them all the same length though, so hats off to NCsmitty also. My dilemma now is that usually when I am working up a load for a rifle, it takes me a while until I find what I think may be a potentially accurate load and tweak it from there. This rifle seems to shoot almost everything well. I have 4 or 5 different loads to tweak and not sure which one to work on first. I's a good problem to have.

Fguffey, I can see myself getting into some more difficult case forming problems in the future, if I do what I'm thinking about doing at this point. I hope you won't mind if I seek some advise from you in the form of a PM.

Thanks guys for your help and input.

April 18, 2012, 05:17 PM
please close this thread

If you enjoyed reading about "?? on 25-06 Ackley" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!