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  #1  
Old 02-28-2004, 11:42 PM
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30-30 Ackley Improved


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Is the 30-30 A.I. really worth it? Do you get that much more performance out if it that the 30-30 Winchester? It seems to me to be a 'reloaders only' cartridge. Is this the case? Any info would be helpful.


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  #2  
Old 02-29-2004, 06:06 AM
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Is a reloaders only cartridge. Can fire normal 30-30's in an improved chamber, but when you do, the vel. of that normal 30-30 is a bit LOWER than when it's fired in a normal 30-30 chamber. Not a lot, but when the case expands out to the new improved chamber, the extra volume lower the velocity of that shot.
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  #3  
Old 02-29-2004, 07:10 AM
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The .30-30 is definitely a cartridge I would think about improving. I wouldn't do it to a rifle that had even a smidgen of collectors' value, but a late Model '94 Winchester or 336 Marlin would get a definite "thumbs up". Use 125-150gr bullets for best results with the short neck. You should gain about 250 fps or an increase of 10-15%.

Last edited by Garth Dial; 02-29-2004 at 07:13 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-29-2004, 07:45 AM
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I've no doubt that the improved case can be taken to 15-10% increase in vel. But the pressure has to be much higher. Realistically, at the same pressure, the velocity increase would only be (at most) 1/2 the percentage in volume gained.

What I belive does happen is that the pressure signs are different for the non-tapered, sharp shouldered improved case.It doens't give that litle "bump-stick" that the tapered case does when pressures climb above 40-42K. Like anyother sharp shouldered/minimum taper case, the first visual/tactile sign of over-pressure is either a blown primer or a loose primer pocket. You get some bonus from a better powder burn with the better shaped case (which is why the 1/2 comment...if you kept the shape the smae and just made it longer, it would earn about 1/4-1/3).

Modern rifle with modern cases can proably handle the increase in pressure (within reasonable limits) and fucntion for years and years with no problems. But anything above a 5% velocity increase (assuming a 10% increase in volume)is coming with extra pressure, not just extra volume.

Last edited by ribbonstone; 02-29-2004 at 07:48 AM.
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  #5  
Old 02-29-2004, 10:59 AM
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[QUOTE=ribbonstone]I've no doubt that the improved case can be taken to 15-10% increase in vel. But the pressure has to be much higher. Realistically, at the same pressure, the velocity increase would only be (at most) 1/2 the percentage in volume gained.

I've been reading that the A.I. round will give an increase in velocity/performance at THE SAME Pressure levels as a standard round, precisely because of the larger volume/more efficient case.


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  #6  
Old 02-29-2004, 12:29 PM
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[QUOTE=Oldebones]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ribbonstone
I've no doubt that the improved case can be taken to 15-10% increase in vel. But the pressure has to be much higher. Realistically, at the same pressure, the velocity increase would only be (at most) 1/2 the percentage in volume gained.

I've been reading that the A.I. round will give an increase in velocity/performance at THE SAME Pressure levels as a standard round, precisely because of the larger volume/more efficient case.


Bones
Unless they have pressure data to back it up, I'd be skeptical of any increase over 1/2 the increased percentage in volume..any more, and I'd suspect an increase in pressure. Neep definitive pressure/vel. Figures before and after conversion...when that was done to the 30-06 vs. 30-06IMP, the difference pretty well followed the 1/4 to 1/2 the volume increase rule.

The rifles can probably live happy with more pressure as the new lower-tapered design of the improved round seems to stress the action less.
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  #7  
Old 03-01-2004, 03:42 AM
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.30-30 Ackley Imp.

I have a .30-30 AckImp reamer and have chambered a number of Marlin and Winchester lever guns for it and one lonely TC Contender. All of the people I did it for liked it. If you have Ackley's Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders, he has quite a write-up on it. To make a long story short, the most impressive thing about the article was that he cleaned the chamber and a loaded improved round with acetone and then removed the locking straps from the WIN Mod 94 he was firing it in and relied solely on the lever to keep the bolt closed. He remotely triggered the rifle and discovered that the bolt had remained securely closed and the round extracted and ejected normally afterwards. His conclusion was that the improved case clung to the chamber walls on ignition and reduced to nearly zero the back thrust on the bolt. This two volumn set wriiten by Ackley is a real treasure for the serious reloader.
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  #8  
Old 03-01-2004, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterifleman
I have a .30-30 AckImp reamer and have chambered a number of Marlin and Winchester lever guns for it and one lonely TC Contender. All of the people I did it for liked it. If you have Ackley's Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders, he has quite a write-up on it. To make a long story short, the most impressive thing about the article was that he cleaned the chamber and a loaded improved round with acetone and then removed the locking straps from the WIN Mod 94 he was firing it in and relied solely on the lever to keep the bolt closed. He remotely triggered the rifle and discovered that the bolt had remained securely closed and the round extracted and ejected normally afterwards. His conclusion was that the improved case clung to the chamber walls on ignition and reduced to nearly zero the back thrust on the bolt. This two volumn set wriiten by Ackley is a real treasure for the serious reloader.
Ackely was right, it will do that....which is why some reloaders are getting 15-25% more velocity. The "springy" nature of lever guns and their tendency to stick with tapered cases is no longer a clue once you improve the case. Use the same "clues" you used with it as a standard 30-30, and you'll be up into bolt action pressure levels before you get visible signs of pressure.

Not degradeing the conversion...the rifles can probably stand it, after all the bolt thrust is less wiht the minimal-taper case, so the action strength isn't as much of an issue (at least until you slip a greasy round into the chamber).
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  #9  
Old 03-01-2004, 07:42 AM
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I believe it is important to remember that the main point of the straight wall Ackley case is to enable the handloader to increase pressure with reasonable safety and obtain higher velocity. The Ackley case allows this with the side benefit of longer brass life and less stress to the action.
Handloaders who opt for the Ackley Improved cartridges are generally intending to load their ammunition to a higher pressure. I have not read of anyone claiming that the resultant increased velocity of the .30-30 AI is achieved at 40,0000 CUP or below.
My favorite gunwriter quote is from an article by P. O. Ackley in the October 1954 issue of the American Rifleman. Ackley was answering his critics at the H. P. White Laboratory.
"At the beginning of these comments certain things were pointed out as possible improvements, but nothing was said concerning pressure. Whether the handloader or Wildcat enthusiast is right or wrong, he is interested in several things, most important of which are increased velocity and whether the bolt stays in the gun. If he can achieve these two results without serious complications, he is not entirely concerned with its actual pressure readings in pounds per square inch."

I would be interested in seeing a link to any thread on any forum in which the opinion is expressed that velocity can be substantially increased without raising pressures significantly. Ribbonstone, in several posts on this subject, has accurately described how increased velocity is achieved in an Improved cartridge.
Reading the chapter on Pressure in Volume One of Ackley's book; Handbook For Shooters and Reloaders, demonstrates that even Ackley could be "tricksey". The test in which he fired the Winchester Model 94 with the barrel unscrewed and with the locking bolt removed, was accomplished in an Improved chamber with standard .30-30 cartridges. This would have significantly reduced pressure. This does not make the test any less impressive!
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  #10  
Old 03-01-2004, 08:20 AM
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"Is a 30-30AI really worth it?"

Why do people shoot 30-30s? Low recoil, low priced gun, easy to find ammo, short and easy to handle gun in brush. What if you could improve your 30-30s bullet speed by 225 to 250 feet/sec (150 grain bullet) for $89.95 plus shipping (cost of a reamer) and keep most of the above qualities? Why not? You will have to reload, but in a crunch, you can use 30-30 ammo. Sighted in at 175 yards, your mid-point is about 2 inches. You are only 2 inches low at 215 yards. $89.95 is a lot cheaper than buying a bolt rifle. Besides, I love the way a Remington 150 grain bullet expands and performs on deer. It is one of the every few bullets made for a specific cartridge.

Is it worth it? Yes. It increases the 30-30s range and energy, and it is an easy conversion. It is a little more trouble, but there is a lot of off season to experiment with loads. Besides, I like reloading and target shooting. But I did not know it until I started reloading.
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  #11  
Old 03-01-2004, 08:29 AM
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Was reading Ackley's book last night (BTW: an old copy, which makes me like him more becasue of the spelling/editing errors...did they correct them in later editions?), and don't remember any real claimes of increased vel. without increased pressure....did illustrate the lack of bolt-thrust from the improved design rather well.

Just don't believe in the tooth fairy, but keep hoping...if there is a way to get move velocity at LESS pressure, using the same powders and case volume, I'd be pleased as punch. IF there is a way to make powder voulme increase a direct 1:1 relationship with velocity increases (at the same pressure) would be equally thrilled.
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2004, 06:16 AM
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldebones
Is the 30-30 A.I. really worth it? Do you get that much more performance out if it that the 30-30 Winchester? It seems to me to be a 'reloaders only' cartridge. Is this the case? Any info would be helpful.


Bones

If you think 180gr cast @ over 2500fps is an increase in performance, then it's definitely worth it!

http://www.sixgunner.com/backissues/default.htm

See: 7.62X51R REVISITED

http://www.sixgunner.com/backissues/paco/3030Again.htm

Scroll down to the "Improved 30-30" loads and decide for yourself.... You gain about six grains of water capacity over the standard case - 50gr total. Keep the pressures under 40,000 CUP in a strong modern lever action and you're in good shape...

GOOD LUCK!
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  #13  
Old 03-02-2004, 06:49 AM
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Gowge and Ribbonstone have brought up an interesting topic of discussion - pressure.
I believe that my maximum loads in the .30-30 Improved are near or at 50,000 CUP. Prior to directly comparing the .307 and .30-30 Improved with the same powder and bullet types I believe I was operating above 50,000 CUP. I have reduced my estimates of maximum powder charges.
I would be interested in the comments of others who are shooting the .30-30 Improved as to their pressure estimates. This all a SWAG of course but it is interesting. what do you feel comfortable with?
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2004, 07:46 AM
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We are in the minority (which doesn't make us wrong, just unpopular) on this. Without pressure data taken in a pressure gun (rather than estimated pressure from other means) there really isn't any way of telling. When that hard data was collected on the 30-06 vs. the 30-06 Imp. some old book-standard Improved loads were found to be well over pressure.

Some of the meaured vel. figures from the 30-30 Imp are in the area of what a .300Savage can get at 42-45K...with a smaller volume to work with, the 30-30IMP either (1) creates more pressure to generate that vel. or (2) is has "magic" rules that only apply to it.

I'll buy into the 15% volume increase generating 7-8% more vel. at about the same pressure (and that much only with powders well suited to the increase in volume).

Will also buy into the better improved case design limiting the stress on the action..that's been pretty well proved.

I'll even buy into the idea that a modern gun, well headspaced and chambered using good brass, could live with the higher pressure and generate the vel. listed without undue strain....at least short term. Accept the increase and could well get the vel. listed.

Others seem to belive that the improved 30-30 runs under rules that don't exist when other calibers are improved; that some how non-proportional vel. gains are achieved in this special case. MOre than willing to listen to the ecplaination of how...look at the hard data critically...but I'm not just accepting "guestimates" without some proof.

Last edited by ribbonstone; 03-02-2004 at 07:49 AM.
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  #15  
Old 03-02-2004, 11:43 AM
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Hornady, using a propriety powder and loading method, has produced the "Light Magnum" and "Heavy Magnum" loads for bullets of similar weight without undue increase in pressure levels.

There are several AI chambered rifles in my safes. All of them exhibit normal pressure indications as the standard cartridges would, however, get loaded up about 7%-8% greater than the standard ones. This may result in higher pressures, as I have no means to determine pressure, other than eyeball of the fired cases and ease of action operations. So far, extraction has been easy and the cases look good. Chrono'd results show the expected 7%-8% increase in velocity, also.

Some would ask - "Why bother?" The answer lies with having a more efficient cartridge, better accuracy (my opinion), one that's easier on the action and lastly, because I've got it and most others don't!
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  #16  
Old 03-02-2004, 12:58 PM
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Kdub
It is good to hear from someone shooting other Improved cartridges.
I wonder how Hornady compresses al that powder. I wonder if they compress the charge prior to necking down the case.
I agree with having a more efficient cartridge. I like the idea of a heat engine that is 30% efficient. It takes a pretty good handload to be 30% efficient on Dr. Howell's efficiency formula. I also like less stress on the action and the better case life aspect of improved cartridges.
Easy extraction with high-pressure handloads is certainly a unique aspect of the Ackley Improved cartridge. Using Hodgdon Varget and Alliant Reloader 15 some of my .30-30AI loads exceeded the velocities I achieved with maximum published loads for the .307. When I shot both rifles together across the chronograph I was surprised and alarmed. The cases extracted easily from these loads and are still in use without a sign of distress. As Ribbonstone has pointed out "reading" these primers would not have raised any serious concerns. I will see if continued use at pressures that must be in the upper 40,000-CUP region will do any lasting damage to the rifles. I believe that I have already shot them more than the average person would have without signs of distress.
There is no doubt in my mind that the .30-30 Improved is worth the cost of conversion. It is proving to be a flexible cartridge with jacketed bullets and I am preparing for a side by side test with the .307 using cast bullets and Sabots.
I wish the .307 Winchester was still in production. It is not but the .30-30 Improved using modern powders is an adequate substitute.
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  #17  
Old 03-03-2004, 11:21 PM
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Hello riflemen: Love the 30-30 and the 30-30 Improved even more. Yet, there is still another steo to bring that improved cartridge up to real 30 caliber ballistics. Say 308 #'s if you will. You can extend the distance from the rim to the shoulder adding even more powder room and still stay inside safe pressure limits. then you can take your lever rifle antelope hunting with a 120-130 grain FT bullet and smoke em at several hundred yards. Look up the details at the sixgunner site as it is written some time ago by Paco. It's good data and will turn your 30-30 into a fire breathing bazooka!!! Good stuff I promise you but if you go no further than the 30-30ai you have really got a winner. Shoot well and safe, BestLever
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  #18  
Old 03-04-2004, 04:54 AM
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William:

Been looking for the referecne, but haven't found it yet. Do remember that there was some work with centrifical loading machines that was published...basically they spun the case as the powder was being charged. In the early vesion I read about, the "spin cycle" was limited to 40cases at a time, and it slowed the production line down...but that was 15 or so years agao, and I'm sure that that could have been improved.


Haven't a clue if Hornady used this system to get powder compression on a commercial scale or not, but someone did. (15 year old memory is fickle...but I do connect the original system to Europe).
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  #19  
Old 03-04-2004, 09:25 AM
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I still say there was an article somewhere that said Hornady used a wet slurry means to get the powder into the case, then dried. The mixture could have used a highly aromatic solvent, but that would seem to degregate the powder coating.

Maybe they have retained Merlin to assist them.
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  #20  
Old 03-04-2004, 11:08 AM
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Lightbulb Paco's 30-30 Articles

Quote:
Originally Posted by BestLever
Hello riflemen: Love the 30-30 and the 30-30 Improved even more. Yet, there is still another steo to bring that improved cartridge up to real 30 caliber ballistics. Say 308 #'s if you will. You can extend the distance from the rim to the shoulder adding even more powder room and still stay inside safe pressure limits. then you can take your lever rifle antelope hunting with a 120-130 grain FT bullet and smoke em at several hundred yards. Look up the details at the sixgunner site as it is written some time ago by Paco. It's good data and will turn your 30-30 into a fire breathing bazooka!!! Good stuff I promise you but if you go no further than the 30-30ai you have really got a winner. Shoot well and safe, BestLever
BL, I posted the links on the first page to Paco's articles on 30-30 performance loads. If you run up against pressure limits with a particular powder, it's time to switch to a slightly slower powder as he suggests in his articles. Here's his article on Varmint Loads for the 30-30.

http://www.sixgunner.com/backissues/...030varmint.htm

Here's his article on 30-30 hunting loads. Note his comment about 130gr performance...

http://www.sixgunner.com/backissues/paco/3030Again.htm

".........I know for example the Hodgdon reloading data on page 314 of their #26 manual for the 100 grain bullet with 33 grains of H4198 gives 2837 fps from their 24 inch barrel. But that load only generates 32,000 CUP! Why are we stopping short? With 36 grains of the same powder we break 3150 fps and are running 39,500 cup. Sierra makes a superb 125 grain H.P. #2020 for the 30-30. Hodgdon states that 38 grains of H335 gives 2643 fps and 35,400 CUP with 125-130 grain bullets. Why stop short? 40 grains of H335 and the Sierra bullet will give 2975 fps and at a cost of 39,600 CUP. And that load will put deer down extremely fast........."

The 30-30, with the right load can offer impressive performance with handloads... Too bad factory loads are not offered for strong, modern lever action rifles.

GOOD LUCK!
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