30-06 Improved Cartridges

idrisg

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Apr 2, 2021
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Hey all,
First off, my apologies if this is the wrong forum to post on, I've just joined roughly a month ago.
I've started going down the reloading/precision shooting/money pit equivalent of Dante's Inferno a year and some change ago.

I shoot 30-06 and have been trying to find ways to improve it. Reading some of P.O. Ackley's handloaders volumes and the 30-06 Ackley Improved which improved burn rate and extended brass life, are there other variants of the cartridge? I know there's the 30-06 Gibbs, the 30-06 Improved 30 Degree shoulder, and the ICL Caribou loads. I'd like to know how these variants improved accuracy, the pros/cons to them and which would be the best choice in a new build?

Any help would be much appreciated, thank you very much. Have a good day all!
 

W54/XM-388

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  • Oct 1, 2005
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    Are you wanting something more accurate in a relatively "standard" 30-06?
    Or are you trying to push it faster?
     

    GMZ

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    I personally don’t think and haven’t seen any data to conclude that improving any cartridge will give you better accuracy/precision over a properly chambered cut rifled barrel in the original caliber.

    If you’re chasing speed check out the 300 Sherman.
     

    idrisg

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    Apr 2, 2021
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    The don't necessarily.

    A good barrel fitted by a good smith will do way more than fiddling with a wildcat.
    Touche, I recently had my rem 700 rebarrelled and blueprinted, by a shop closely related to Bartlein. I felt that it was a good job but not a perfect job. My great uncle brought up the conversation of Ackley improved cartridges and brass life and consistency, I've always been seeing increased deterioration/shortened brass life out my trusty 700 but it may just be my errors and coming to conclusions before I truly understand the reasons behind it.

    I guess I'm just nitpicking minor issues on the subject.
     

    The D

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  • Apr 11, 2020
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    If you want an improved version of the .30-06 or it’s variants, start with a 280ai. Better bc bullets at lighter grains will be much less recoil.

    If you don’t have a rifle to build this on yet, that makes it an even easier choice(if I can spend your money for you). Buy an aftermarket action, tikka, or already blueprinted 700 and you can just order as many barrels you want and change them out as you will. You can still reload .30-06, those options are endless, but staying with the standard chambering means you can always find factory ammo almost no matter where in the world you are.

    If you’re up for it, you could also have some short action chambered barrrels in a creedmoor or lapua something-or-other made. Just be advised, you may have some feeding problems

    The beauty of bolt guns now is that they’re firearm legos like the ar platform, you’re only limited by your imagination
     

    Jason280

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    Better bc bullets at lighter grains will be much less recoil.
    I'm not sure I agree with "much less recoil". I've never owned a .280 AI, but I have shot a lot of standard .280 and .30-06, and there isn't a whole lot of difference in factory loads until you get to the 180-220gr bullets in the '06...and even then it can be a little subjective. Hornady Light Mags & Federal High Energy .280 ammo feels no different (to me) out of a 700 Mountain Rifle as 150-165gr loads in a Win 70 Featherweight '06. With the .280 AI, you are getting 2800+ fps with 168-175gr bullets, which is virtually the same as what you are getting with the same bullet weight in the '06. Why would there be any difference in recoil?
     
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    The D

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    I'm not sure I agree with "much less recoil". I've never owned a .280 AI, but I have shot a lot of standard .280 and .30-06, and there isn't a whole lot of difference in factory loads until you get to the 180-220gr bullets in the '06...and even then it can be a little subjective. Hornady Light Mags & Federal High Energy .280 ammo feels no different (to me) out of a 700 Mountain Rifle as 150-165gr loads in a Win 70 Featherweight '06. With the .280 AI, you are getting 2800+ fps with 168-175gr bullets, which is virtually the same as what you are getting with the same bullet weight in the '06. Why would there be any difference in recoil?
    That may have been a little much, I guess I’ll say less recoil in 280ai as compared to .30-06 loaded with a bullet with the same bc which will be heavier
     

    Schw15

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  • Jul 21, 2019
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    Ackley improve cases are really nice. Shot them most of my life or been around them. 6.5-06 ack 6mm ack 6.5-280 ack 30-06 ack. My favorite was the 6.5-280 ack easier for the dies simply buy a 280 ack bushing die and get the right bushings. The brass life is better and no stretching. I say build off of the 280 ackley brass its already blown out makes it very nice. Decide if you want 6.5 7mm or 30 cal and have a wildcat
     

    CerebralDistortion

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    Loaded for the same "reach", the 280AI will have less recoil. Hence my recommendation.

    If that has any consequence is up to the OP.
     
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    Greg Langelius *

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    Were I to rechamber/rebarrel a .30-'06, I'd prefer the 280AI (RCBS). I had some extended playtime with a pair of 280's (Plain Wrapper), found them easy to find accuracy, and very capable of excellent terminal performance without an overload of recoil than the basic .30-'06.. I would consider the 280/280AI to be a relatively more efficient use of the case capacity.

    Greg
     
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    delinquent pleb

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    Pending the application of the OP, I agree with the suggestion of a .280AI. I have owned and loved the .280AI and look forward to getting my next one. I don’t think the recoil differential would be much between 30-06 and .280AI with the same weight projectiles.
     

    silentwoods

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    My 700 build . Blueprinted etc. with a 24" Pac Nor #7. This .30-06 runs 2950 with a 175smk.
    500 sea level and 70℅ to 100℅ humidity.

    Pretty good load imho.

    Lapua brass, fed 210m and R-17. It's like pixie dust in this load.

    Pretty good external ballistics in real life, never bothered with the computer version as I developed this load way before I owned a kestrel.But it cuts the wind very nicely and flies flat.
    .505 @ 2800 fps off the Sierra website.

    Shoots bug holes and has a pretty good BC with the same projo my 308 load uses.

    I consider it a 308 Magnum of sorts.

    It was a great rifle and load.
     
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    Lynard

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    if you're chasing speed a 280AI goes faster with less recoil.

    and you can check out Sherman too.
     

    Greg Langelius *

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    When I was developing the 280 (not AI), My powders were H-4350 and H-4831. Pressures were mild to moderate. Several 7mm and .308 bullets were available in identical weights, but the 7mm's had higher BC's and shot flatter and further.

    I adore the .30-'06, but the 280AI is the better performer.

    Greg
     

    Steel head

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    When I was developing the 280 (not AI), My powders were H-4350 and H-4831. Pressures were mild to moderate. Several 7mm and .308 bullets were available in identical weights, but the 7mm's had higher BC's and shot flatter and further.

    I adore the .30-'06, but the 280AI is the better performer.

    Greg
    H4831 is magic in 280 an 280AI.
     
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    Wiillk

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    May 18, 2020
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    If you decide to go bigger, I would say the .35 Whelen Improved is recommended over the standard Whelen. Stricky a headspace issue. .35 and 400 Whelen’s are grear rounds for big game hunting, but one must use care when loading due to headspace with those small shoulders .

    Nothing wrong with the standard .30-06. Just get a decent barrel, with a good smith using a good reamer. It will all come tougher nicely.
     

    brianf

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    Apr 8, 2010
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    I think I read every post, why does the op want to change?

    Accuracy
    Long range target shooting
    Etc

    thanks
     

    olympian

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    Using an improved ‘06 is going to have minimal observable improvement in accuracy of anything other than a target/benchrest rifle. An 30 or 40 degree Ackley version would be what I would build if inclined to do some. I have shot several improved cartridges (7mm and smaller) and prefer them over the standards in some cases. The 30-06 Ackley would be a great all around hunting round if loaded properly. Trimming cases sucks and standard cases stretch way more than an improved.