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270 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I've narrowed down my cartridge choices to these two for my rifle build.
I have the short action Remmy action on the way.
One thought I had was concerning the short action. This will obviously limit my seating depth for the 140 gr.+- bullets that I plan on useing for this rifle.

1)Should I have considered a long action for this cartridge????

I could load one @ a time if they are too long for magazine, that would not bother me, since it will be a bench gun only. 2)My thinking was that a short action would be stiffer, therefore better than a long action???

3)Will I gain much in terms of velocity with the AI?

4)Is the AI cartridge inherently more accurate?

5)Where can I find AI reloading dies?

6)As far as full length sizer vs. neck sizer, which one should I use?

I read that the 260 AI is the ballistic twin to the 6.5-284 but the AI case is alot more efficient. In a couple of my loading manuals they list the 260 Remington velocities near that of the 6.5-284, within 40-80 fps using same bullet. If that is all I gain I don't think it would be worth the hastle to fireform.

Set me straight here fellas, Thank you, Hawkeye

254 Posts
Comments on AI'ing the 260...

I"ll try to keep this as pragmatic as I can. Ackleys are fun, but when you get to the real differences, it becomes a little more subjective, I think.

1: Long vs short action: Short action will be fine. 129's an 140's may need to seat deep to fit mag. Be sure to discuss throating vs bullet choice with your smith.

2. Don't know much about 'stiffer' actions, probably bed first couple inches of bbl anyway, assuming it's a med to hvy bbl. Some smiths don't like to hang lots of weight off a factory action. I used a Shilen 5.5 contour barrel, with a .750 dia. muzzle. I'd think that would be plenty, unless you really want a lot of barrel.

3. Judging from the limited case capacity increase, I'd expect velocity to be only in the 50-100 ft range. There is a write up on the 260 AI here: Only thing is, he built a pretty specific [and expensive] rifle, and he doesn't get more than 80-150 ft from it, as I read his table.

4. I don't know that AI cartridges are inherently more accurate than their parents. Probably some debate there. In the cartridges where significant velocity increase is realized, that velocity helps. If the gun is built well, the barrel is good, and loads prepped accordingly, accuracy should be there.

5. 260AI dies: Major rub here. As of Aug '05, and looking a month ago, no one makes them as even a 'D' list die. I had to go the full custom route, and either Redding or RCBS, you're looking at about $220 for three dies, give or take. Also, you may have to buy a reamer, depending on what your smith has.

6. Full length vs neck die: I got three dies, just because.... However, after 4 loadings on one lot of brass, I have yet to need to set back a shoulder. I've only used my neck die. Actually, same deal with my 25-06 AI, some cases at the 7 load mark, and they still chamber OK, that is one benefit of the Ackley improvement, brass lasts well, usually.

7. Comparison to 6.5/284: Not real familiar with 284 case, but I think it's more of the 3006 capacity than the 308. Hence, it uses more powder. Anytime you can get comparable velocities with less powder, you're being more 'efficient' and that's a good thing. Less powder equates to longer barrel life, and easier shooting. Before you go much further, look up and buy Ackley's HANDBOOK FOR SHOOTERS AND RELOADERS. Huntington's and Eabco have them, I think. Once you read some in there, you'll have a better understanding of cartridge efficiency; and he describes the 'improved' theory in detail.

I'm not a hard core bench shooter, although I shoot more targets than critters. If you're wanting a bench cartridge, maybe look at one of the br ones, 6mm, 30br, etc. The bench rest boys have those cartridges down to a science. Making Ackley brass is easy if the chamber is properly cut short. If not, it takes a bit more care. I got a good 260 AI chamber, and can use std 260 brass w/o any modification. I have to play with my 25-06 AI brass to form it like I like it.

If I had to make the decision again, allowing for money, realized benefit, I'd not do an Ackley. Factoring in the brass life, and fun of having a little different ctg, again, it's fun.

Good luck, -West

247 Posts
260 or 260 AI...have 'em both....

Have an 8 twist AI...9 twist 260....both heavy Pac Nor...
260 is an FP repeater w/26" x .930 @ muzzle...
AI is a s/shot 12 w/SSS trigger & 26" x 1.230" no taper pipe (shown in pic)
Dies for the AI ? Lee collet set for $50 and a FL Redding for $75
Both very accurate..if intersted PM me and I'll give more details...
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