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  #1  
Old 08-30-2007, 04:22 AM
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.338-06 Ai


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After reading the posts on AI rounds I figured this is the place to ask a question.

I have a used CZ 550 .30-06 coming in the mail and I want to rebarrel to .338-06 AI. With all of the discussion of why or why not, I still ask myself Why Not? I plan to shoot 250 gr Sierra GK to start with. As long as it does the job, I probably won’t change. From all of my calculations, 2550 fps is a 500 yd gun. Especially with the new drop compensating hash mark scope reticles. Now the breakover, in most reloading manuals, from RE 15, H 380, H414, to RE 19 is 250 gr bullets. Speer and Sierra show 61 gr to be a compressed max load in the standard case.

Would AI not give some more leeway to achieve 2550-2600 with an accurate load in RE 19?

With the 338 bore and RE 19, I don’t think pressure will get too high. I like RE 19 very much in .30-06 with 180 gr bullets. 60 gr is max there and the breakover to RE 22 is 190 gr.

Speaking of pressure: The SAAMI max for .30-06 is 60,000 psi. For .270 WCF it is 65,000. What is unsafe if I run a consistent 60-62,000 in a Douglas medium sporter, for the rest of my life??? Especially since I am already 60.

I am looking forward to what everyone here will say.

Davis Chase
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  #2  
Old 08-30-2007, 09:07 AM
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I think the 338-06 AI is a great round. I built one on a Mauser 98 action with a medium weight barrel that is real mild to shoot, although I haven't fired it more than a few times so I don't really have any load data for you. (The gun's for sale, that's why I haven't fired it much.)
Most people don't realize that this cartridge does produce more muzzle energy than the 7mm Rem Mag, and the .338 bullets have pretty good BC to boot.
I don't know how much difference the AI chambering makes, but it certainly gives a more positive shoulder for headspace. I went the AI route with my 35 Whelen as well, and while I don't see much extra velocity, it does have a better shoulder.
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  #3  
Old 08-30-2007, 04:47 PM
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It is not really data that I am looking for. I think starting with about 59 gr RE 19 and working up slowly will do it. The question is will AI give me more leeway in finding an accurate load or is it not needed?

I keep telling myself it will serve better. It is a wildcat anyway. 338-06 and 338-06 Asquare are not the same.
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  #4  
Old 08-30-2007, 08:07 PM
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DSC,
What is the difference between the 338-06 and 338-06 A Square? I was under the impression that they were the same, and I do think they are.

I visually compared a reloaded 338-06 round of mine against a 338-06 Weatherby A-Square factory loaded round. Same case length, same shoulder position. I mic'ed the diameters of both at the shoulder, and my reloaded round was 0.440", and the Weatherby round was 0.435". I would expect an unfired round to be slightly less at the shoulder.

My RCBS die box says 338-06 on it, and not 338-06 A-Square, but I do think they are the same. Could be wrong....it's happened once or twice before!
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  #5  
Old 08-31-2007, 04:19 AM
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Not much. At $50. a box, I'll never see one. Several reloading manuals show the shoulder angle to be ~34º. The '06 is 17º 30'.

Just a guess: The '06 would chamber in A-Square, but maybe not the other way around?

Last edited by DSC; 08-31-2007 at 04:21 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2007, 08:50 AM
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I have a .338/06 40degree that a smith named Wally Strutz built for me in 1986. It's a Whitworth (Mauser) action with a 23" Douglas barrel. It has accounted for a few deer and one 5X4 elk over the years. The elk was a one shot kill at 45 yards....took out the near side shoulder, through both lungs and the bullet was a lump under the hide on far side rib cage. The bullet was a 225 gr. Hornady spire pt. over 62.5 gr. of H414 for a velocity of 2640 fps ave. This is max in my gun. The recovered bullet was a classic mushroom with a retained weight of around 180 grains as I remember.

My best ever whitetail was taken with a 200 gr. Speer at close range also. The Speer turned into a grenade and shotgunned the chest cavity. I've never seen a lung shot kill that fast!

My best accuracy was with the 250 Sierra over (going by memory here) 57 gr of 4350 for around 2425 fps. I've never tried Rel 15 or 19 but still intend to.

Rather than expanding 30/06 cases and getting uneven necks, etc I chose to size down new .35 Whelen brass just enough so they chamber. Then I load up some odds and ends .338" bullets that need to be shot up over starting loads of 4320 or 4895. Sometimes these fireforming loads are sub-moa shooters and would be perfectly good deer hunting loads.

All in all, it's a fine cartridge. The case design is such that it seldom needs trimming. My usual practice is partial resize with an RCBS full length die, leaving the bottom .040" or so (of the neck) untouched. The critters don't seem to object to the fact that it's not belted or short and fat. The next elk trip will find it going along with me and I'll also take a .300 WSM......as a spare!!

Last edited by doghawg; 09-01-2007 at 09:01 AM.
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2007, 10:46 AM
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Great post, doghawg. (Maybe because I agree the points you make!)

The 200 Speer is a shooter in my 338/06AI. Powder wise, I've used most of what you mentioned plus W760.

I also use 35 Whelen cases, and you're right about some of the faster powders ability to produce a fine deer round.
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  #8  
Old 09-01-2007, 08:12 PM
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I don't trust from what I gather the feeding in some actions with the 40 degree shoulder. In my tubular mag. 94 the .30-30AI is a champ-get some pretty good velocities and kills from that.

I have 2 .338-06's and in the one I favor over the other is a Rem. Model 30 with NorthFork 225's shooting .6" @100yds. I am not a velocity freak if you will and am content with where this rifle is shooting with RL15 at 2501 fps on avg.

I took out a 56" Alaskan bull moose with this bullet and the you can virtually eat right up to bullet hole. Distance was approx. 70 yds.

I don't believe you can honestly get 2600fps with a 250grn. out of the .338-06 without something directly affecting your rifles integrity or your human design. I would suggest a .338 win mag if you want them velocities. I have 2 win mags and for longer ranges or the terrain I will be in, then the win mag gets to tag along.

just my .02
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  #9  
Old 09-02-2007, 04:40 AM
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Thanks and keep it coming!

This is my first one and the more information I can gather the better.

Griz: As far as velocities, the numbers don't matter much. I would like to be able to shoot 450-500 yds with kill power and excellent accuracy. All of the manuals show ~2530-2580 for max '06 250 gr. If AI adds 50 fps or nothing, and I use one of the new scope reticles, it just seems possible from here. I know: it is easy to make money on paper. Also, I am not a big fan of recoil. All of my guns with butt pads drag on my clothes at the wrong time. Hornady shows 225 gr max @ 2700 w/ 54.2 gr RE15. I know, it could easily be sales talk. With the shank grooves, I would think that the NF would run less pressure. I am thinking that the case is not big enough to overload with RE19 and 250 gr Sierra or Hornady. The man who rebarreled my '06 says he has conquered the AI feeding problem in all of his rifles.

I can reliably hit 380-400 yds in my .30-06 with Remington factory 220 gr out of the box. And that, with the standard duplex, holding on the bottom post. Maybe I am thinking too much.

More comments, please.

Dave
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2007, 11:37 AM
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after you get to thinking start shooting! Manuals are not the Gospels just a reference tool, each rifle is an act on its own. Try starting low of course and work up, I won't do an AI as I thought as you some yrs back and wish you the best. The appreciable gains are not going to be much. You will have a nice looking round for sure-them AI's do appear pretty nifty.

best regards,
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  #11  
Old 09-03-2007, 05:06 AM
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I agree that only what actually shoots, counts.

Do any of you 338-06 AI users have feeding problems? Ever have one failure to feed? That is something that must be considered.
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  #12  
Old 09-03-2007, 07:40 PM
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i have a 338/06AI built on an fn mauser action and have had no feeding problems at all with it. h414 works really well with 200 gr ballistic tips. i'm monkeying with ramshot's big game powder with 225 gr hornadys (as well as the b.t.) i think that the thing you'll run up against with RL-19 is case capacity. i use necked up federal brass and find it hard to get a max load in the case.
i certainly enjoy my 338/06AI and can easily recomend it, but i do feel that if you want to push the 250 grainers hard then you should seriously consider the win mag. just the same there isn't much that a good 210 or 225 grain bullet wouldn't take care of.
on a side note the 338/06 and the 338/06 a square are the same and the AI version is not a wildcat, it's merely an improved cartridge.
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  #13  
Old 09-04-2007, 04:40 AM
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Dan, thanks for the reply,

Trying to make the decision without having the experience is tough. It is easy to make it sound good to yourself. I think the .338-06 AI will do exactly what I want and that I will be able to shoot it year round without flinching.

With a 25" barrel, 2550 doesn't seem like pushing a 250 gr hard. 2600-2650 would be. At 2500 it will work like a champ, especially with the new scope reticles.

The AI should pick up about 3 gr. The Sierra and Speer show 61 gr RE19 to be max. 60 is a full capacity load in my '06 w/ 180's. I'm just guessing, but I think even 63 would be safe. Anywhere over 2500 fps and I am in tall cotton...

Well, we will never know until I try it.

Any more comments, especially about feeding problems in AI cases.
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  #14  
Old 09-04-2007, 10:11 AM
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DSC,keep in mind that velocity only increases at 1/4 of the case capacity increase at the same PSI.Example if at 60,000 PSI and 60 grains of powder you get 2400 FPS then a 3 grain increase in powder capacity is a 5% increase therfore your velocity increase will only be 1.25% or 60 FPS....

Last edited by jwp475; 09-04-2007 at 10:33 AM. Reason: correcting typos
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  #15  
Old 09-04-2007, 04:50 PM
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Anybody have AI feeding problems? Even one ever?
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  #16  
Old 09-04-2007, 08:23 PM
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jwp475 is right about the velocity vs case capacity gains. honestly, there isn't much to gain but.... i'm still using brass that i fireformed in '97. in fact i just annealed the neck/shoulder and anticipate many more firings out of this brass. (granted i don't shoot it like a prairie dog gun)
i'm not gonna list any loads but i can easily get 2900 fps with the 200 grain b.t. and that is a tough bullet, in fact the jacket weighs more than the core and the accuracy is great. i need to get back to work on my 225 grain loads, but i'm sure i can get 2700 + fps with the hornady bullet and that will hammer anything that a person ought to shoot at with a 338/06. if you are worried go to a barnes tsx and put your fears to rest... it'll kill all out of porportion to it's weight.
to get to your original question tho, the ackley improved is no more accurate than the standard cartridge. the end result in terms of accuracy is always the result of the quality of the bbl. and the care of the chambering job. if i recall right, you mentioned a douglas bbl. that would be fine. i prefer a shilen, but i'd be a dumbass to badmouth a douglas, they are good. my opinion with the douglas results from a phone call that i made ten years or so ago with some questions and the reception i got. in a nutshell, i called them and the guy that answered the phone acted like he was pissed that i bothered to call, so after i called them i called shilen and spent about a half hour on the phone discussing bbls and actions with one of their guys. could be simply salesmanship, but it left an impression on me. for what its worth brownells barrels are made by shilen, i've got 2 or 3 and all of them shoot good.
in my opinion wether you go standard or AI you have chosen the best thing that ever happened to the '06 case and most likely the best cartridge that has come along in the last 25 yrs.
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  #17  
Old 09-04-2007, 08:59 PM
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big dan you summed it up very well.... As you stated the best advantage of the AI is the lack of case stretching which give the brass a much longer life expectency.....
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  #18  
Old 09-05-2007, 07:47 AM
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Thanks. What I originally said that I thought that I would gain with AI was some "breathing room" for working up a load with RE19. Today, I don't think that even 63 gr would be overloaded, but we will see when I get there. I would like to end up with a really accurate load above 2500fps. 2550 is max in Speer & Sierra books. With 5% more space I would have some tweaking room, I think.

The man that did my '06 prefers Douglas and he did such a good job I hope to go back. With that gun, I can readily shoot 400 yds with Rem 220gr out of the box. 2450 fps and a RN bullet.
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  #19  
Old 10-23-2007, 11:27 AM
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Hey DSC. Getting here kinda late to help I suppose, and I am sure no ballistics expert, but I do have a 338-06AI40deg. I have never had any feeding problems from the magazine with my Husqvarna small ring mauser. It will not push feed! She has a 22" barrel unknown maker(to me) in a very light contour, ( I think a 24" #3 Pac-Nor or a douglass Prem. would be better), and shoots Barnes 250g at book est of 2700fps. I did chrono it once many years ago and believe it was pretty close. From some of the information I have gleaned from gunsmiths/articles over the years, you can expect to get within 100fps of 338 Win Mag Velocities if you choose.
250g Barnes are a pain in my rifle because they are almost too long, forcing me to compress the load more than I like. I think 225 is the optimum weight for the caliber.
That said, I am spending a buck a bullet to try a few of the Triple Shocks in 180 and 200g. According to the Mfg.'s these bullets will give same performance of heavier bullets, and giving me more steam if I need it.
Problems? My rifle is not "deep enough" OAL, for Barnes heavy bullets. With the MRX's (tungsten), @2.00 a bullet, light bullets should equal more velocity with less recoil. There are plenty of other bullets like Sierra that will work just as well, I'm just a fan of Barnes for for this gun. I also like Nosler's and load them in my 7-08 for caribou. (They destroy a lot of meat in bears; 210 partition, .338 Win Federal factory load). A friend used my load for caribou in 7-08, coming back with one of those "hard to believe" stories.
I have a very light barreled small ring w/ decelerator, still with the wood stock. It's not bad even at the bench, but I don't spend the day popping 250grainers down range either.
I have been told that starting loads for the 338-06AI40, begin at the top listings for the standard 338-06, and to move up cautiously from there. I do have a few "old" listings, but nothing for the newer bullets yet. Your smith probably has the best starting info right now.
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  #20  
Old 10-23-2007, 09:38 PM
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There’s just something about these Improved cases over the std 25-06 and 30-06 style cases that make them look more like a modern type cartridge with the steeper neck angle and lesser body taper. I never have problems feeding the 338-06 AI rounds into my VZ24 Mauser rifle. But the 375 rounds did sometimes present problems leaving the magazine and trying to double feeding before getting to the ramp. I made some mods and it seems OK now.



Here’s the VZ24. It still requires a little work for better accuracy and has been idle also for a few years. That’s my own stock work and metal work was by Harry McGowen.


Last edited by EDip; 10-23-2007 at 09:42 PM.
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