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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just wondering what you folks think of Ackley improved cartridges? I have witnessed many at the ranges I shoot at and frankly not impressed. I was reading on the benchrest board about a 6ppc, 6br, and .222 improved? How in the world do you improve the design on these outstanding cartridges? in my opinion these should be left alone. How about the .220 Swift improved? Why, so you can get an extra 20 feet per second? Frankly I've seen nothing that would indicate additional accuracy just more speed. I think they should be refered to as "Ackley's" and drop the improved part.
Just my .02 cents.
 

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Dear John,
You seem to be showing a vast lack of knowledge of Mr. Ackley and his work. His two volume set of books is available from eabco.com, sinclairintl.com, ebay sometimes, etc. And he freely admits he did not write all of it. 3rd volume promised, but ... ???
After he graduated from Syracuse Univ., NY, he started a long career, circa 1930. The common cartridges of the day were "funnel shaped." CF. the 7x57; .303 either one; .348 WCF; .25/35; .250/3000 Sav; .257 Remington Roberts (less funnel shaped than the original '.257 Roberts' by Mr. Ned Roberts; ... If you read his work, he straightened out the sides to reduce "back thrust" on the bolt as much as anything. He considered the increased velocity as gravey on the "taters." And he worked with many shoulder angles, not just the 40 degree that survives today.
b). His "improving" of cartridges was also to extend case life for the poor man with the .30/30 etc. who lived way off and had to haul his reloading supplies by animal...
Mr. Ackley wrote that his greatest satisfaction came from improving the .250/3000 because it reduced the back thrust on the bolt and made for a safer, more reliable rifle... engineer talk...
I am not aware that he improved the .220 Swift. Others did. Wilson Arrow. Justification was usually longer case life. But Mr. Ackley wrote that the case was about right for 6mm... (It came from the 6mm Lee Navy rifle. He was quite happy with the .22/250 Improved which about equalled the Swift with longer case life. Regrettably poor barrel life...
Your remarks about today... 6ppc, 6br, .222, all benefited from his work as a gunsmith. [You've heard of the .243 Rockchucker by Mr. Huntington? .257 necked to 6mm. Another experimenter. More shoulder angel than the later .244/6mm Remington.] Couple decades of work, research, writing for gun magazines before any of them came out. To me you appear a bit ungrateful.
Had an old, retired gunsmith buddy tell me a story from when he was young. His father was a gunsmith. Remington saved the P14/m17 actions --barrelled actions??? from WW I production of Enfields. In the cataloge I think it was a model 30S. Later 720. Point. .257 Roberts was catalogued. My old friend said you couldn't get one. The. .30/'06 was easily available... Ghee, I wonder why. (M17 for Uncle Sam was in .30/'06).
So, I respectfully suggest you enjoy what progress has brought you-PPC; BR; et al. If you do not care to study history and be grateful to the developers, fine. But it did come from somewhere. I personally asked Mr. A, while he was still in business, about improving the .308. He said it wasn't worth it. Too little to be gained. (I still have the letter and cherish it.) happy trails... (from another hero, faux? maybe, but nice singer anyway)...
 

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Both of you are correct, due partly to what I sense was a misread of the original post.

Most of today's rounds do benefit from the work of the experimenters who preceded us, Ackley included. No argument there, nor with the fact that a few of the rounds that P.O. worked with DID benefit from his "improvements." Not all, as even P.O. freely said, but some.

But (and as I think johnce59 meant) not many of today's cartridges would similarly benefit from being "Ackleyed." To assume that any and every cartridge is better simply because it gets the Ackley treatment is mostly wishful thinking, IMHO. You cannot defeat physics with magic, nor can you increase performance mcuh by minimal changes in case shape - IF you still operate within industry-standard pressures.

Those who Ackley a round and suddenly report velocities several hundred feet per second higher than before are -almost certainly- loading their "improved" rounds to significantly higher pressures, also. Unknowingly, perhaps, but they are doing so. The 1/4 rule still holds.
 

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In a nut shell...

I'm just wondering what you folks think of Ackley improved cartridges? I have witnessed many at the ranges I shoot at and frankly not impressed. I was reading on the benchrest board about a 6ppc, 6br, and .222 improved? How in the world do you improve the design on these outstanding cartridges? in my opinion these should be left alone. How about the .220 Swift improved? Why, so you can get an extra 20 feet per second? Frankly I've seen nothing that would indicate additional accuracy just more speed. I think they should be refered to as "Ackley's" and drop the improved part.
Just my .02 cents.
Ackley's improvements are genius, actually:


They offer improved performance in some calibers -
or less case wear due to stretching, and sometimes both.

Usually all one has to do is insert a standard round and fire it normally, and out comes the improved case - ready to be reloaded and to appreciate whatever the improvements offer!

Cases with significant taper and shallow shoulders e.g., the 220 Swift, benefits by increased case capacity and some getting a 100 to 150 fps lift. But, more important is the AI process halts the case stretching issues the 220 Swift has.

Another case that benefits is the .223AI. This caliber gets a boost in velocity AND reduced case stretching. One more is the 22-250. It is a x2 recipient of Ackley's chamber.

Why improve the 6BR? Tho I'm not aware of anyone shooting an AI'ed 6BR, I suppose it could be done. By moving the shoulder forward a bit and increasing the shoulder angle and we have the 6-Dasher. The Dasher will push the 105 VLD and the 107 SMKs a solid 150 or more fps over that possible with the standard 6BR. Greater speed with these long skinny pills means less drift - the primary advantage of those bullets in the 6mm.

HTH,

P.
 

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Ackley Improved cartridges are no more or less inherently accurate than the parent cartridge, their speed depends on the person doing the loading, and they only shoot as well as whoever's pulling the trigger and the gun that trigger is attached to. So I don't know how you could be impressed or not impressed just by watching other people shoot them.....you really wouldn't know the difference. People who do shoot them, myself included, think they're an improvement. Parent case shapes differ and obviously some will "improve" more than others. But the velocity increase is considerably more than 20fps. While standard cartridges very often have best accuracy at well under top-end loads, Ackley cartridges like it hot. So in addition to extra speed from enlarged powder capacity, Improved cases shoot accurately with near top-end loads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No disrespect intended to Mr. Ackley. I guess in my 3o years of shooting I've just never seen one that shoots any better than the original cartridge. Most of the time just the opposite. That is why the "improved" name always has been a bit funny to me.
 

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No disrespect intended to Mr. Ackley. I guess in my 3o years of shooting I've just never seen one that shoots any better than the original cartridge. Most of the time just the opposite. That is why the "improved" name always has been a bit funny to me.

If what you've "seen" is Ackley Improved cartridges shooting less well than the parent cartridge, and assuming that means no faster and/or not as accurately(?)......it's entirely a reflection of who's doing the loading and trigger pulling, not the cartridge itself.
 

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Johnce59, it could be that your attitude has you blinded.....

I have had custom rifles built in 223 & 223 AI, 22/250 & 22/250 AI, 243 & 243 AI, 6mm Rem/6mmRem AI, shot the factory 280 Rem and custom 280 AI, and in every case, the AI version was faster and had a wider range of accuracy loads that shot extremely well. Case stretch was completely eliminated in all cases along with full length sizing in most cases.

The 40* shoulder angle is magic. I also had a 243AI reamer ran in to a custom barrel 0.100 longer than the go guage on a 6 BR which is a clone to a 6 Dasher. Shooting my 60's at 3850, I shot more zero's than all of my 8 Hall M's in 6 PPC put together! I quit shooting the 40*6BR Long due to poor Remington factory brass which was the brain child of Jim Williams. Needless to say, the 6 Dasher Reamer is on my list of things to do this year!

The comment that you have not seen any imrovements in speed or accuracy over the parent cartridge shows just how little you have been exposed to the AI versions of the cartridges.

The mind is like a parachute, it has to be open to work properly!
 

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I shoot a 223 AI and a 220 Swift AI. The Swift no longer has neck and length problems of the parent cartridge and I do get more velocity and accuracy from my 223 AI. I shot it quite a bit as a regular 223 and know the AI version is more accurate and faster. To make a blanket statement like you did without ever owing or shooting one yourself isn't very smart on your part.

Mike
 

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Improved cartidges

Like many of you, I began reading (learning) about cartridges, wildcatting, and improved versions in my early years.

The information collected and published by Mr. Ackley was invaluable to me, and has served me well for almost fifty years now.

I still consider his two volumes to be the best money I've ever spent for any reloading reference, (even though I have lots of newer data manuals from the major powder and bullet manufacturers).

The "standard" cartridges were typically designed to feed from magazines, and have more tapered case sidewalls, and less shoulder angle than is really needed.

So, "improvment" can include less taper of the case sides and more shoulder angle, thus increasing the case capacity, with less tendency for brass flow to the neck.

Mr. Ackley also reminded us that cartridge efficiency relies on the relationship of case capacity to bore diameter, and that more powder is not always a good thing. He would identify some cartridges as "overbore", simply a way of saying that they were not efficient, (required more powder than really was necessary).

In my opinion, we owe Mr. Ackley and the other pioneers of our sport our gratitude for showing the way.
 

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You sized it up well,,,,I'll just agree with you.

Like many of you, I began reading (learning) about cartridges, wildcatting, and improved versions in my early years.

The information collected and published by Mr. Ackley was invaluable to me, and has served me well for almost fifty years now.

I still consider his two volumes to be the best money I've ever spent for any reloading reference, (even though I have lots of newer data manuals from the major powder and bullet manufacturers).

The "standard" cartridges were typically designed to feed from magazines, and have more tapered case sidewalls, and less shoulder angle than is really needed.

So, "improvment" can include less taper of the case sides and more shoulder angle, thus increasing the case capacity, with less tendency for brass flow to the neck.

Mr. Ackley also reminded us that cartridge efficiency relies on the relationship of case capacity to bore diameter, and that more powder is not always a good thing. He would identify some cartridges as "overbore", simply a way of saying that they were not efficient, (required more powder than really was necessary).

In my opinion, we owe Mr. Ackley and the other pioneers of our sport our gratitude for showing the way.

I would say the same thing!
Alan in GA
 

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Oh My, How To Educated The Uninformed ?

John, I am certainly not going to make an attempt to educate you in the
merits of "improving case", but rest assured that there are very distinct
advantages to doing so. My very first "accurate rifle" some 35 years ago
was a Remington 40X in 222 Magnum (Tomcat). That is a standard 222
Magnum case with the shoulder pushed back .020, and a 40 degree
shoulder, and of course the case walls are expanded. As some have stated
in many instances by "Ackley Improving" a case it stops or drasticly slows
down the case stretching, allows for more powder to increase velocity,
and in many instances increases accuracy. "Improving Cases" is kinda like
breaking in a new custom barrel. Ask several shooters their procedure and
you more than likely get several different ideas & procedures. But, rest
assured there are many, many cases that "improving the chamber" does
enchance the performance of the rifle. I have both factory chambers in
rifles and a whole bunch that are "Improved" with custom chambers. Most
of my hunting rifles are factory type chambers (exception is Prairie Dog
Rifles). "Improving a Rifles Chamber" is kinda like sex, once you try it you
just might like it ! ;) Good luck on your education!
 

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Yeah......what everyone else said.... :p

-BCB
 

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Hey John,
I don't know a pinch as much as some of the other posters but from my own experience with my 6mm AI. I can tell you that the brass does not work as much, longer case life is one advantage. This is my first AI and it is built on an FN Muaser action and really like it, as far a accuracy I can't comment because I am still in the fire forming stages, I can say that I am pleased so far. I guess it is something different to play with and I like the looks of the 6mm AI brass. :)
Joe
 

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accuracy

The accuracy can get poorer if the chambering is poorly done. Poor gunsmithing can reduce accuracy. If it is done right I have never seen accuracy get worse and most of the time it does get better. Part of this can be from the fact that factory chambers and leads are often not all that good to start with.
 

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Yes and No to A.I.

Yes-Only experiance I have is with a couple of .250-3000AI and love them, fun to shoot a novilty at the range/to hunt with, this cal. supposidaly is one of the greatest beneficiarys of AI (Ackley felt was worthwhile if 10-15% increase in velocity) No-old attage "be weary of the man who only ownes one rifle, he knows how to shoot it", lot of wisdom in that saying, as for me I find certain rifles fit me better than others and are more confortable to shoot, therefor greater confidance which then results in better groups at range and on animals being hunted. Bottom line I own as few differant cal. as possible and am confidant in whichever rifle I need for a particular purpose, .223 (g-hog, crows, small game), .308(deer, bear and targets of opportunity (turkey, g-hog, dog) lastly .250-3000AI all around g-hog to deer.
 
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