338-06


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HM2PAC
February 12, 2013, 09:04 PM
I have finally taken the plunge. I'm having a local gunsmith that I've known for quite some time renovate my Savage 110. the plan is to go from .30-06 to .338-06 Ackley Improved.

While I wait for the rifle to be completed, I'm prepping brass and am getting ready to make a few rounds for fire forming of the shoulder.

I have a few questions.....

1. How much powder do I need in the case to form the new AI shoulder? Will a starting load be enough? Can I go lower than a starting load and save a little powder?

2. How much use can I get out of the cases that I have necked out from .30-06 brass? Does the necked out case have a thin neck wall that will fail earlier than usual?

3. Does anyone have any other information on questions that I don't know enough to ask?

Thanx in advance.

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Kachok
February 12, 2013, 09:35 PM
338-06 AI now that is a new one on me, while I have never loaded for that mouthful of a cartridge I would imagine that you would loose some case life vs a regular 30-06 due to cracked necks but it would still be more economical then buying 338-06 A-Square brass and fire forming them by a longshot. As far as the powder charge goes for fire forming you got me beat on that one, never fire formed anything in 338 caliber.
Why the AI instead of a 338 Win Mag? I imagine they are pushing about the same speed.

sage5907
February 12, 2013, 10:17 PM
Pardon me for saying so but I've had a rifle with an improved chamber and I wouldn't go there. I do like the idea of a 338/06 but I would do the standard 06 chamber. The 338 bullet is so large in diameter there won't be much of a shoulder anyway. Just buy Remington 35 Whelen cases and run them through a full length sizing die and then trim.

HM2PAC
February 13, 2013, 04:45 AM
Kachok, the 338WM still beats the 338-06 by a good 2-300 fps in about every load. I have a lot of -06 brass kicking around as well as powder and large rifle primers. I didn't want to step into the world of magnum rifles and really start from scratch. It did cross my mind though, as did a number of the 338's out there.

Sage5907, from what I've read, the AI shoulder does increase case capacity for the 338-06 by roughly 7%, if what I've read is accurate. This is uncharted territory for me. Luckily for a Savage, barrel swap out isn't a huge chore. If it becomes a real PITA, it won't bother me to back track. I hope not, this isn't going to be cheap. Not horribly expensive, but not cheap.

Kachok
February 13, 2013, 05:06 AM
No way. Looking at my manuals the 338 Win Mag tops out with a 225gr bullet in the 2800fps range and the regular ol 338-06 tops out in the 2700fps range with the same 225gr, so how is the AI slower? Hornady #9 says the 338-06 hits 2700fps with a 225 using 4895, 4064, RL15, N-150, and Win 760. AI cases are usually good for an extra 50-100fps. If you are not trying to hit 338 win mag speeds I doubt you will need the improved shoulder, the regular 338-06 can be quite the thumped with most medium burn rate powders.
If you find this hard to believe they are that close just look at factory ammo.

200gr 338-06 2800fps
210gr 338-06 2725fps

200gr 338 Win Mag 2930fps
210gr 338 Win Mag 2830fps

hueyville
February 13, 2013, 05:52 AM
The OP already has the rifle, the bolt face is all happy with the '06 rim size and such, plus he gets the fun of playing with a P.O. Ackley developed cartridge. All this is is an easy barrel swap plus according to bullet selection and data average you have about a .40 difference in OAL which may limit his action from working properly with the magnum. Then there is the fact that the '06 is a beltless case which eliminates the difficulty of getting proper headspace if you have cases with different width belts on the belted magnum cases of the Win Mag where you have to deal with two measurements for proper headspace, rim thickness and shoulder setback. Many African plains hunters swear by the 338-06. With a 200 grain bullet you should get around 2900 fps and with a 250 grain bullet your looking at 2600 fps. Considering the difference, the '06 and the magnum is not huge velocity wise. You actually have a very well designed cartridge with reasonable recoil, large bullet selection, lots of data available and a proven track record. It is an elk and moose train. Will slay them like a bolt of lighting without beating shooter as bad. Only down side I see is if on an extended hunt you can't buy some more of the 338-06 ammo at a LGS but who needs a truck load of ammo on a big game hunt? Go for the Ackley. That man was a genius.

HM2PAC
February 13, 2013, 06:47 AM
Thanx Kachok, I'll keep that in mind. I've only seen a few people hit the 225gr/2700 fps range on the error net. That is what I am hoping to get out of it.
Hopefully the AI shoulder helps with that. Way back in the recesses of my mind, that is what I want. Part of me thinks it's hubris to actually toss around such lofty goals. I try to keep my brain in check.

Hueyville stated a bunch of the reasons I went with the 338-06 rather than the 338WM. I agree.

Captcurt
February 13, 2013, 08:38 AM
I have always wondered why they produced the 35 Whelen and didn't push the 338-06. You have a better bullet selection, better BC and better SD with the 338. As for matching the 338 WinMag, I don't see it in my books and I have 8 of them. If you compare barrel lenght to barrel lenght you might get within 150 fps of the mag. If you go with a 22" barrel you are looking at another 50 to 100fps loss. When you look at several manuals you see a big difference in max velocity that can vary as much as 250fps. You will never know what your rifle will do until you run it through a chronograph.

To make a long story short, if you want magnum performance buy a magnum. If you want a neat toy, build the 338-06.

kludge
February 13, 2013, 09:49 AM
To be honest, I would buy .35 Whelen brass and neck down.

Is it too late to go to a .338-.280AI? That can also be formed from .35 Whelen brass.

HM2PAC
February 13, 2013, 01:04 PM
No short barrel, this will be a 26" tube. I plan on doing a bit of long distance target plinking out to 1000 yds.

Should be fun.

Once It's complete I'll post pics and targets. Probably a couple more months for the new stock and final touches.

ETA: Yeah, I've spent money on the new dies, and they weren't cheap. I'll be sticking to this chambering for now.

moonzapa
February 13, 2013, 01:05 PM
I had my Remington 798 converted from 30-06 to 338-06 AI a few years ago. It was my fate to have many problems with the build. Anyway, the final product is good to go, but I've yet to take it hunting. I had it built for Elk hunting, and an occasional hog hunt.

I used RL-15 powder for the break-in process and I didn't use marginal or low power loads. I used Remington 35 Whelan cases in my 338-06 Redding dies for forming purposes and they worked very well.

If I had to do it all over again, I would probably just do the 338-06 and forego the Ackley Improved or Improved 40 Degree configuration. I don't believe the extra room in the Improved case provides enough difference in velocity.

My range visits have proved that this round is accurate. I've had my best groups using IMR-4320 powder. Even so, I have gone back to using RL-15.

Good Hunting.

sage5907
February 13, 2013, 03:04 PM
Just remember that the 338-06 standard chamber as used by A-Square was adopted as a standard industry cartridge in 1978. If you like really high pressure rounds you can flatten primers in the standard version just as easy as you can in the Ackley version. Based on the cartridge case the maximum acceptable pressure is probably the same for both versions. I've noticed that you can actually buy loaded cartridges for the 338-06 at the local gun shows. I'm not sure if you could do that for the Ackley version.

jerkface11
February 13, 2013, 03:17 PM
If you neck up used brass make sure to aneal first I split a few by skipping that step. Oh and it will love varget.

bdgackle
February 13, 2013, 09:08 PM
Wow... he said "225gr @ 2700", and then he said "plink". That's some serious momentum for not being a "true magnum".

This sounds like a really cool project. How did you go about this? Did you start from a .338 barrel blank and then have the chamber cut by the smith?

Has anyone had feeding difficulties with the AI cartridges in a bolt gun? I've always had a bit of a fascination with them too, just for the variety they represent.

HM2PAC
February 14, 2013, 04:21 AM
BDGackle....
Yep, this project starts with a .338 blank from Bartlein and has a 1:10 twist. The smith is reaming the chamber himself, as well as crowning and threading the muzzle. The whole rig gets parkerized as a lead in to Cerakote next year.

225gr @ 2700 fps......yeah, a little on the quick side for plinking, but hey, it's plinking at 1000 yds. Gotta have a little momentum, right?

ArchAngelCD
February 14, 2013, 06:28 AM
I don't think you will get to a true 2700 fps with a 225gr bullet in the 338-06 or the 336-06AI without exceeding pressure limits. Hodgdon reports 2650 fps from the 338-06 which means maybe 2550 in the real world. Most of the data I found online shows the 338-06AI delivering only 75 fps over the standard 338-06 at best. You might have to drop down to a 215gr/210gr bullet or even a 200gr bullet to get what you're looking for in velocity. IMO you will want to try and keep the bullet supersonic out to the target if at all possible with that 338-06AI. (I think that's 1115 fps @sea level) I'm fairly sure a 210gr bullet with a MV of 2700 fps will stay supersonic but a 225gr bullet @2550 won't. (but I didn't run the numbers)

Like said above, it sounds like a fun project and I will add, a project without the excessive costs associated with a cartridge like the .338 Lapua.

Kachok
February 14, 2013, 06:34 AM
Do you really think hodgdon is that overpressure with their max loads?

GooseGestapo
February 14, 2013, 01:14 PM
re: original post;
try 10.0gr of Unique with either cream of wheat or corn grits filling the case to the neck and plug case with a small plug of toilet paper to hold the charge in the case.
Point in a safe direction with muzzle up...
Should blow the case neck out to where you can load a jacketed load at normal levels to finish the case forming.

I formed some .300win-mag to be usable in a .375Ruger this way.

It actually worked as well as 15.0gr of Unique and a 255gr cast bullet.

You'll enjoy the .338/06AI.
I have a .338/06. It's a lot of gun, and it DOES come within 100-150fps of the .338winmag.
It's no longer my "heaviest" rifle, because I got the .375Ruger for a "song"...

hueyville
February 14, 2013, 09:41 PM
Once I get a new barrel chambered I send it out to be "black starred" and cryofreeze. Last couple of actions went in the freezer too. One of those I welded up the bottom and turned it into a single shot as I was pushing my OAL and figured loaded ammo to the lands was not going to fit in the magazine and feed properly. I just love to take a perfectly good rifle and cross breed it into a mongrel.

HM2PAC
February 16, 2013, 05:28 PM
Goose Gestapo,

That sounds like a great idea. Much better than destroying a Hornady SST just for brass forming.

I'll let you know how it turns out. Gonna be a while though.

HM2PAC
February 25, 2013, 07:22 PM
A new problem has turned up with forming brass.

I have run them through the neck sizer to neck them out to .338. that seemed to have gone well. The necks were not square after the resizing.

No problem, I need to trim the cases. No dice. Not long enough to trim.

My first idea is to run them through the full length resizing die. The die is for Ackley improved, these brass have not been fire formed and have the original -06 shoulder.

Is it OK to do this, or am I about to create a new problem?

35 Whelen
February 25, 2013, 08:35 PM
I have finally taken the plunge. I'm having a local gunsmith that I've known for quite some time renovate my Savage 110. the plan is to go from .30-06 to .338-06 Ackley Improved.

While I wait for the rifle to be completed, I'm prepping brass and am getting ready to make a few rounds for fire forming of the shoulder.

I have a few questions.....

1. How much powder do I need in the case to form the new AI shoulder? Will a starting load be enough? Can I go lower than a starting load and save a little powder?

2. How much use can I get out of the cases that I have necked out from .30-06 brass? Does the necked out case have a thin neck wall that will fail earlier than usual?

3. Does anyone have any other information on questions that I don't know enough to ask?

Thanx in advance.

15 or so years ago my Dad had a Remington 78 30-06 (if I remember correctly) rebored and chambered to 338-06 AI. I had a large hand in case forming and load development, so maybe I can offer a little help/insight.

Case forming is pretty straight forward and easy.

Save your bullets and don't worry aout annealing. Like Goose said, a little pistol powder, Cream of Wheat (COW), toilet paper and bang...instant 338-06 AI. I used 8.0 grs. of Unique, COW, seal the neck with a plug of wax out of a candle, and would put a little case lube in the shoulder area to aid in case expansion. Likely, the shoulders won't be perfect after thie initial firing, but they'll fill out during load development.

You'll get as much use out of the brass as you will with any other '06 based case. I never noticed any substantial thinning of the neck although there had to be some.

I shot tons of rounds through the rifle developing loads. Most of the loads centered around 210 gr. bullets including the Nosler Partition and at the time the original Barnes X. Dad settled on a load that ran the old X something over 2700 fps simply because the load shot very well. Other loads with the 210 gr. bullets easily topped 2800 fps out of the 22" barrel, but the particular load in question gave hime the accuracy he wanted.

I piddled with 225 gr. bullets some, but he and I both felt the 210's would be plenty for elk, so we didn't mess with the 225's much. I don't have his load logs at hand and I don't recall exactly what velocities we achieved with 225 gr. bullets. But given the 210's did 2800, I see no reason the 225's wouldn't do 2700 especially out of your 26" barrel.

If you can find one, get a Handloaders Digest 13th Edition. There's an excellent article on the 338-06 AI complete with loads. They only load up to 210 gr., but get over 2800 fps.

Don't let the naysayers discourage you from the AI. The extra velocity potential is pretty much irrelevant if the AI is what you want. Just enjoy it. If nothing else, the AI is a sweet looking cartridge.

Here's a shot of Dad's rifle with some targets and loaded rounds:
http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/338%20Ack/Actiongroupsonpaper.jpg

Enjoy your rifle!

35W

Mobuck
February 25, 2013, 09:39 PM
I used new Whelen brass and lightly outside turned the necks to even up after necking down.

HM2PAC
February 26, 2013, 04:49 AM
Very cool 35Whelen, thanx for the tips.

How difficult is it to clean out the COW and wax plugs? Does that make much of a mess?

35 Whelen
February 26, 2013, 07:51 AM
The wax just blows out the barrel as the COW protects it from the gas from the burning powder. Any COw remaining in the barrel, which I don't recall any, could be pushed out with a dry patch. I've also used COW in reduced rifle loads with cast bullets there's little if any left in the bore.

35W

GooseGestapo
February 26, 2013, 09:10 AM
RE: Hodgdon's data for .338/06
I've used the Hodgdon data and from my Adams&Bennet 24"bbl it WILL get the listed velocity with the LISTED COMPONENTS.

Using Winchester brass, which has a larger capacity and Federal or Winchester primers I've been able to get the 2,700fps listed for the 225's. My prefered 225gr load is the one listed in the Speer manual with RL19. This is/has been the only RL19 load that I've ever seen listed that actually got for me what it was supposed to. I get 2,716fps (5 shot average) from my gun and Hornady 225gr SST's. Speer used a 23" bbl to get 2,678 so the difference is small.

However, I prefer (actually my rifle) BLC2 under a 180 or 200gr Nosler BallisticTip/Comb.Tech bullet. I get 3,000fps with the 180 and 2,800fps with the 200's. My "elk load" is 56.5gr of BLC2 with some early Nosler 210's for 2,800fps (my bbl.). I also use 58.0gr of IMR4350 and a Hornady 250 to get 2,550fps. This is an old Elmer Keith load. And, it works just like he said it would! It is also the single most accurate load from my rifle.

I doubt that in the field with your 26"bbl and full loads you'll see a discernable difference between the .338/06AI and a 24" .338winmag. One difference and the reason I built my .338/06 is that you can get 5+1rds in the '06 whereas the .338mag is 3+1. Kinda over-rides the slight velocity advantage of the .338mag. And, with an irate brown/grizzly at under 50yds where the magazine advantage would be useful, the "lower" velocity of the .338/06 becomes and "advantage" as the slower bullets will expand a little less and perhaps a little more....
But, in real world conditions, the difference is so little as to be meaningless....

HM2PAC
February 26, 2013, 09:11 AM
So you seal the neck with tissue paper and wax from a candle. Do you melt the wax or just force it in unmelted on top of the tissue?

GooseGestapo
February 26, 2013, 09:20 AM
I didn't use wax, no need. Just a small plug of toilet paper wadded up like a spit-ball to keep everything in the case. I used 10.0gr of Unique. More or less won't make much difference.

I've used the wax before, but consider it too much trouble. I would use bullet lube, but it's too expensive/valuable on the cast bullets....
If using wax, just drip it from a candle.... heat and filler will wisk it from the barrel. I would use a cleaning rod/patch or bore snake to remove residue of cow/grits from bore.....

35 Whelen
February 26, 2013, 09:49 AM
So you seal the neck with tissue paper and wax from a candle. Do you melt the wax or just force it in unmelted on top of the tissue?
No, no.... no melting and no toilet paper. After you fill the case with COW, get one of your wifes candles, push the mouth of the case into the side of it 1/8" - 1/4" and give it a twist. The case will be plugged with wax. Then put the candle back rotating it so the damage is on the backside of the candle and cannot be seen by the wife. :D

...or you can just use toilet paper.

35W

HM2PAC
February 26, 2013, 09:52 AM
Thanx Goose, both of those posts were great.

I'm getting antsy already and the rifle won't be ready for about 2 months!

fguffey
February 26, 2013, 11:54 AM
February 12, 2013, 10:04 PM #1
HM2PAC
Member


Join Date: July 21, 2007
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 868 338-06

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have finally taken the plunge. I'm having a local gunsmith that I've known for quite some time renovate my Savage 110. the plan is to go from .30-06 to .338-06 Ackley Improved.

While I wait for the rifle to be completed, I'm prepping brass and am getting ready to make a few rounds for fire forming of the shoulder.

I have a few questions.....

1. How much powder do I need in the case to form the new AI shoulder? Will a starting load be enough? Can I go lower than a starting load and save a little powder?

2. How much use can I get out of the cases that I have necked out from .30-06 brass? Does the necked out case have a thin neck wall that will fail earlier than usual?

3. Does anyone have any other information on questions that I don't know enough to ask?

Thanx in advance.
__________________


Good choice, necked up? Thin or thick? When 30/06 cases are necked up to 35 Whelen an or 338/06 the case shortens .035” before the case is chambered, no one says “WHAT!” Then they start rationalizing, something like study long? Study wrong! When the neck of the 30/06 case is necked up the neck gets shorter as in between the shoulder/neck juncture not between the mouth of the case to the head of the case, most of the ‘setting shorter’ has to do with the neck, when the neck is necked up it gets shorter, when necked down it gets longer, then comes the rationalizing, to most necking up and or down has more to do with longer and or shorter than it does with the neck getting thicker and or thinner.

Fire forming and what load, I load them and do, all the wax, cereal, toilet paper and meal is cute, as in ‘here is what I do’ I don’t. I load them and go.

Head spacing? Going from 30/06 to 338/06 Ackley improved is one of those built in things, the neck on the Ackely chambers is longer than the parent chamber, to head space? it is only necessary to chamber the round, head spacing is taking care of. The neck of the original case is shorter than the Ackley neck chamber, meaning when the case is chambered the neck is sized when the bolt closes, the rest of the case is formed when fired, again I do not do the reduced load thing, I fire once and then eject perfect cases, that could shorten again, after necking up because the case must form the rest of the shoulder after chambering and the case body must fill the chamber. The case filling the chamber pulls the neck of the case back, this could decrease the length of the case an additional few thousandths.

Short cases, you should ask your smith for a diagram of your chamber, a few smiths can determine the length of the chamber from the shoulder back to the bolt face, when adjusting the sizer die knowing the length of the chamber is a big aid when (bumping?) sizing a case to length between the head of the case to its shoulder.

Life of the case and necked up. I use 280 Remington cases for 30 Gibbs cases. The neck on the 30 Gibbs is .217” long, by selecting longer cases I can add to the length of the neck .045” When using 280 Remington cases for 35 Whelen and 338/06 cases the additional case length of .041” and the additional length between the case head and shoulder allow for off setting the length of the improved chamber if you have the full length sizing die. Again, the shoulder on the 280 Remington is .051” ahead of the 30/06 case.

Pressure? When fire forming a case body and shoulder to a wildcat type chamber pressure is reduced, because the case must expand to fill the chamber, that takes time, time is a factor, I have fire formed cases with loads that were at or near maximum for cases that are formed to the chamber.


http://www.z-hat.com/Cylinder.htm

Back to case life, start with new cases, more times than not the conversation starts with “I have a lot of brass lying around and I am going to form them to etc.. To qualify that statement a warning label should be added that reads something like cases fired over and over are work hardened, worked hardened brass has an increased ability to resist sizing and splits when expanded (when fired). After that there is annealing.

F. Guffey

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