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Old October 17, 2013, 11:08 PM   #1
reddnek
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25-06 AI questions

So im just getting into reloading here and i inhereted some odd ball caliber rifles from a family member and one of them is this 25-06 ackley imp.
so my question is do i have to use AI dies or can i get away with standard dies
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Old October 17, 2013, 11:42 PM   #2
Sierra280
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Once the 25-06 brass is fire formed to AI brass, you will only need to neck size. But AI dies can be purchased, for full length sizing or bumping the shoulder.
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Old October 18, 2013, 02:28 AM   #3
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I load for a .257 AI.

I load virgin 257 Roberts brass using 257 Roberts dies.As they blow out to fit the chamber,this brass will never go back into the .257 Roberts die again.

So,then I use .257 AI dies ,standard set.I forget if they are RCBS or Redding.

As you are asking this question,maybe some of this is new to you.

The 25-06 itself is a big case for a small bore.25-06 AI is a bigger case for a small bore.

"expansion ratio" is a term that describes the change in combustion chamber volume as the bullet moves down the bore.

A big case holds a lot of powder and,with a small bore,it does not reduce pressure very fast.

As a handloader,that means be very careful when approaching the edge.Leave some margin for safety.Things happen faster .

A 25-06 AI is less forgiving than something like a .308.

I do not intend to spook you,enjoy the rifle! Just approach the "hotter" loads with caution.
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Old October 18, 2013, 04:15 AM   #4
Mike / Tx
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The issue your going to run into trying to use standard 25-06 dies is that the shoulder, and taper of the case has or will be blown out once fire formed. As such they will not fully fit up into standard FL sizing dies.

For mine I picked up a set of Redding 25-06 AI 40* dies. The sized cases fit the chamber of my rifle like a glove.

I cannot say that the Redding's are cheap, but they are very good dies. If you stick with this rifle, you will probably not be disappointed in the end results. If it was chambered properly you can shoot standard factory 25-06 ammo in it with no issues, and it should shoot pretty accurately.

What barrel, length, and rifle is your built with?
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Old October 18, 2013, 07:18 AM   #5
steve4102
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If you are going to neck size only you can use the Standard 25-06 Lee Collet die, but you will need dedicated 25-06 AI Seating and Full Length dies.
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Old October 18, 2013, 07:38 AM   #6
jaguarxk120
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When loading for a wildcat cartridge, stick with RCBS or Redding dies. There is no need for "Trick" loading tools.
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Old October 18, 2013, 08:16 AM   #7
HiBC
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Steve :I have not used Lee Collet dies,so,this is a question.
During fireform,the AI series cartridges lose some case taper.
The drawing says shoulder dia of a 25-06 is .441.The shoulder dia of the AI's varies a bit,a 30-06 AI is 454,a 280 AI is 451.I do not have a 25-06 AI drawing

The body length on a 280 is 1.199,on a 280 AI it is 2.090.

Are you saying the Lee Collet die has in excess of .010 clearance around a standard 25-06 case at the shoulder?

I'm having a hard time visualizing the standard die accepting an AI case.

Are you successfully loading 25-06 AI 40 deg ammo in Lee collet dies?

I have been using a standard set of full length dies to load the new brass for fireforming,then AI full length dies to load AI after fireforming.

I don't neck size,so,don't know too much about it.
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Old October 18, 2013, 08:46 AM   #8
Hunter Customs
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Quote:
I load for a .257 AI.

I load virgin 257 Roberts brass using 257 Roberts dies.As they blow out to fit the chamber,this brass will never go back into the .257 Roberts die again.

So,then I use .257 AI dies ,standard set.I forget if they are RCBS or Redding.

As you are asking this question,maybe some of this is new to you.

The 25-06 itself is a big case for a small bore.25-06 AI is a bigger case for a small bore.

"expansion ratio" is a term that describes the change in combustion chamber volume as the bullet moves down the bore.

A big case holds a lot of powder and,with a small bore,it does not reduce pressure very fast.

As a handloader,that means be very careful when approaching the edge.Leave some margin for safety.Things happen faster .

A 25-06 AI is less forgiving than something like a .308.

I do not intend to spook you,enjoy the rifle! Just approach the "hotter" loads with caution.
Very good information, I would recommend anyone with not a lot of experience in reloading to read this and if it don't sink in the first time read it again.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter
www.huntercustoms.com
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Old October 18, 2013, 10:08 AM   #9
steve4102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiBC
Are you successfully loading 25-06 AI 40 deg ammo in Lee collet dies?
No, I do not have a 25-06 AI. I do have 30-06 AI and a 7MM-08 AI that I use the standard Lee Collet die on.

From Lee's FAQ.

The standard Collet die for the parent cartridge should work, provided that the base to neck/shoulder intersection dimension has not changed. Most Ackley Improved cartridges have less body taper, and a steeper shoulder angle, but the distance from the base of the case to the neck/shoulder intersection is not changed. There is enough clearance in the collet to accommodate the improved cartridge.


http://leeprecision.net/support/inde...improved-cases
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Old October 18, 2013, 10:32 AM   #10
F. Guffey
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Reddnek,

"I inherited some odd ball caliber rifles"

The most important information has been omitted, what rifle/receiver does the rifle have. There is a belief one set of instructions is a fit-all for all receivers. Because I reserve the right to disagree, 'I DISAGREE'.

Many rifle started out with standard chambers, then were reamed to the improved version, other rifles started out as 'the improved version'.

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Old October 18, 2013, 10:48 AM   #11
Sierra280
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F.Guffey pointed out something not mentioned yet. With the exception of the 280AI pretty much all AI rifles have had their chambers reamed to make them 'improved' chambers. Since this is done by different gun smiths with different reamers, headspace is not always standardized. Many times 25-06AI chambers will be tight (3-4 thousandths 'crush' on factory ammo). It is necessary to have a gunsmith actually measure the headspace in your particular gun.

Also, on the same note, before buying 25-06AI dies fire a factory load, take the newly fire formed 25-06AI brass and send it to the die manufacturer you are considering going with. They will be able to check it and tell you if their Ackley Improved dies will work for you.
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Old October 18, 2013, 10:51 AM   #12
F. Guffey
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Steve4102, Frequently ask questions? When explaining in more detail about the Ackely Improved type chamber I make it a point to explain the difference in neck length allow the standard version of the case to be fired in the improved version of the chamber.

Now Lee claims the neck/shoulder juncture is the same for both chambers. That is the part about reloading that is not fair. I have Ackely improved reamers for the 25/06, 270 Winchester, 257 Roberts and 30/06. All of the parent cases have shorter necks than the improved version. The short necks allow the case to head space on part of the case shoulder, meaning part of the shoulder becomes part of the neck when the case is chambered, the rest of the shoulder is formed then the case is fired.

Both of the junctures are formed in different places, the case body/shoulder juncture is formed forward of the parent case juncture and the shoulder/neck juncture is formed further back than the parent shoulder/neck juncture.

The Ackley improved version has a longer neck, the parent case has a shorter neck.

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Old October 18, 2013, 09:14 PM   #13
reddnek
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ok like i said a little newer to reloading, i figured id start with 45acp to get some experience and i have a 30-06 ill start with on rifles. anyway the rifle, my wifes grandpa was a gun smith (retired from boeing as an engineer) from what i saw cleaning his house after he died and from what im told he cut the barrel himself, its on a '98 mauser action and its behind a 22" barrel i believe. i dont know who the maker of the barrel is, or any of the measurements, but judging from the others i have its not a cheapo one.

with that being said it, would it be smarter to use collet dies or fl reddings?
i figure when i start out loading them im going to be using colder loads until im comfy loading it.

Finally, anyone have suggestions as to what powder is better suited for AI rounds?
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Old October 19, 2013, 01:55 AM   #14
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Get at least two loading manuals and read them.Many of your questions will be answered.I suggest you pursue the "big picture" of understanding handloading.

One bullet that you may want to try is the Nosler 115 gr ballistic tip.

I do not have data for your cartridge.You might search for 25-06 AI loads data.

Not all AI cartridges follow the same rules.Not all AI cartridges are as large for the bore dia.There is a 250 Savage AI.There is a 30-30AI.These will use faster powders than your 25-06.

What you will be looking for for your 25-06 AI are slow burning powders.

Some that will be on the list: H4350,IMR4350,H4831sc,H-1000,Re19,Re22,etc.

Its great that your grandpa-in-laws treasures will be appreciated and you certainly will gain an education and an enjoyable pastime.
Keep asking questions,and keep it safe!

I believe either Midway or Brownells has some online vid to learn re;loading from.Go to Nosler,Hornady,Sierra,Hogdon websites and learn all you can.
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Old October 19, 2013, 06:28 AM   #15
Mike / Tx
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Quote:
with that being said it, would it be smarter to use collet dies or fl reddings?
i figure when i start out loading them im going to be using colder loads until im comfy loading it.

Finally, anyone have suggestions as to what powder is better suited for AI rounds?
Just me personally, I would otp for the Reddings and be done with it, but you might could get by with the Lee Collets for a while. Eventually however your probably going to need to set the shoulder back just a touch, and for that you'll need the Redding.

As for powders, anything that is listed for the standard loads will work, but if I were to recommend one to start with it would be RL-22 hands down. In both of mine as well as a couple of others I have helped work up loads for RL-22 was tops in both velocity and accuracy with the 110 - 117gr bullets. If you want to shoot the lighter weights possibly IMR-4831 or H-4350 would be the ticket. These two are close in burn rates so either one could give you just what your looking for. The IMR is a bit faster than the Hodgdon 4831, and the H-4350 is a bit slower than the IMR version of the same. They are pretty close to each other in bigger calibers but in the 25-06 you can really see the differences.

If your going to hunt medium sized game like deer with yours, I would not hesitate to spring for the 115gr Nosler Partition and be done with it. In all the years I shot my standard version, before passing it along to my daughter I tried about everything on the market. The 115gr Partition handled my needs from 20ft out to over 400yds. There are newer bullets out now, which might be as good or possibly even better, but I never figured I needed anything more.

For loads within 2800 - 3000fps just about any of the standard flavor cup and core bullets will do fine. Bump that up from 3000 up, and your going to need something with a bit more controlled expansion. THe Nosler BT's get a great review from many people, but I found them to be a bit more destructive than I wanted. Then there are the Hornady 117gr SBT's and Interlok's both of which work very well up into the 3000fps range. I'm not sure but I believe they also have a bonded version as well.

Hope this helps.
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