Hi everyone. My fiancee was given a rifle last year... very cool old rifle. It's a custom piece built on a GEW 98 action. Dis-assembly exposed "HOLLYWOOD GUN SHOP, 6-28-1946, FRED D HAYS" stamped into the stock. The barrel is stamped "257 AI." It came with an old Weaver 330 with no reticle that was sold to fund a Leupold. It was clearly someone's baby. Very long 26" barrel with a heavy 1-1/4" chamber area, well-fitted checkered walnut stock with ebony for-end and raised cheek, smooth original 2-stage trigger.
A visit with a trusted gunsmith told us that the rifle is in good working order, though he thinks the bore is showing some wear.
Here's the kicker- It is NOT a .257 Ackley Improved chamber. Rather than the 40 degree shoulder, this one has an ogee shoulder like that of the Weatherby magnums. I can only assume this was a wildcat experiment by the maker. Luckily, roberts brass fireforms well straight from factory loads, like ackley does, and an (expensive, but not as bad as a custom-made) 257 Ackley die from Lee will neck-size the cases for reloading. Thus far we've found loads that will group consistently 1" @100, though they are lighter Roberts loads rather than the hotter Ackley.
Anyway, I'd love to hear any information anyone might have about this gunmaker, this wildcat chambering, any thoughts on reloading it, etc. I'm very new to metallic reloading. Pic with brass is, left to right, .257 Roberts, .257 Ackley, and our .257 that my fiancee affectionately calls .257 Brasstard.