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  #1  
Old 01-05-2012, 09:36 AM
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Location: McRae, AR
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.25-35 AI revisited.


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FYI Gary Reeder in Flagstaff has re-worked the .25-35 AI to make one of his proprietary ctgs. He calls it the .256 Falcon (!). It is basically the old Ackley but the shoulder is moved forward to about max. and only leaves a short neck of about 0.200". Since it was intended for mainly the single shot hunting handgun that poses no issues. He does offer re-barreling and rechambering of 336 Marlins and 94 WInchesters for about $600-650 which includes a new barrel and fresh blue job.

I have one of the first handgun barrels in it, a 12" G2. No dies but simple use of other calibers and body and or neck sizing it can be easily done. Hornady offers a universal "neck sizer die" in several calibers for less than $30.

Fireforming cannot be done firing .25-35 ammo. Just like the old timers said. I use a lighter load of 13 grs. 2400 and a 80 gr. cst bullet in necked odd looking .30-30 cases. It works, so does filling the said cases to the neck with fast pistol powder and a toilet paper plug to form a loud blank.

My intent was to find maximum performance available in the handy hunting handgun for flat trajectory and low recoil. Reloader 15 looked good and I have a test batch loaded up with some 86 gr. Remingtons. Hope to chrono and shoot some today.




The ones on the left are initial fireformed from .25-35 and seem to have shorter necks than I like. The split shoulder was a factory 117 .25-35 S&B round fired, whoops! The case far right is from a .30-30 and has a longer neck. 30-30's make the best cases just like the old timers said.
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2012, 01:17 PM
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Welcome Scott. There's some pretty good chaps here at Beartooth.

Todd
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2012, 01:34 PM
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Thanks! One of your forum guys William I. had a bunch of good info for the AI version. I have many wildcats that I feed. I'll throw out a post now and again.
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  #4  
Old 01-05-2012, 03:45 PM
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I am a big fan of the 25-35AI. The Reeder version sounds interesting and a lot like the version of the 30-30AI he made up for Paco Kelly.
I have a 24” TC barrel and I prefer the 100-grain bullets. Alliant Reloder 15 is a good powder for the 100-grain bullets. In the 24” barrel, I like the 100-grain bulk Remington bullets ahead of 35.5 grains for 2,925 fps or 36.0 grains for 2,971 fps. One of my goals with the 24” 25-35AI barrel was a 100-grain load which pushed 3,000 fps, This was easily achieved using 36.5 grains of Reloder 15.

I have good results with Alliant Reloder 10X. 29.0 grains will push the 100-grain Remington to 2,719 fps and 30.0 grains gives 2,788 fps. The 29.0 grain load is probably best overall but both loads will deliver ” 5 shot groups from the bench at 100-yards. At 200-yards my eyesight begins to limit me unless I am on a good bench with the light at my back. It is easy to shoot 1 ” groups but I have trouble getting group smaller than this. I have a few bragging groups but they are not the norm for me.

With the 100-grain bullets, Hodgdon 4895 is another good choice. 33.0 grains of H4895 giving 2,787 fps and 34.0 grains delivering 2,903 fps.
One of my better hunting loads uses Hodgdon 4895 and the 100-grain Nosler Partition. The Partition is a good bullet but I don’t hunt game heavy enough to require it.

These velocities exceed what the 250 Savage delivers from a 22” barrel - using published load data - not a fair comparison I will admit.

I have quite a bit of 117-grain load data but to be honest the cartridge is at its best with the 100-grain bullets.
I have wanted to try some of the monolithic bullets but they are expensive and my results on small critters and deer with the cup and core bullets has not left me needing better performance. After my initial load work, I settled on Alliant Reloder 10X and Reloder 15 and have not needed anything else. With the heavier bullets, I have shot IMR 4320 and 4350 with good results.
We have not posted much on the 25-35AI in awhile. I have not experimented with any new powders but have shot several different bullets. My barrel is fast twist -8” and I am waiting on Greg Mushial to finish his slow twist -12” 25-35AI so we can get back to comparing results.

I look forward to reading of your shooting results. With the short neck I would assume flat base bullets would be a good selection.

I have a good group of bullets to try in the 307 Winchester and 308 Marlin Express as deer season winds up. I’ll add some IMR 4008 loads for the 25-35AI to give us something to talk about.

[EDIT]I forgot to say welcome to the forum.
Some of the best “hand rifle” shooting I have witnessed was shot from a rig very similar to the one you picture. The barrel was a 223 Remington and the young man doing the shooting was a real wizard - I am not! The 223 round was loaded with 55-grain bullets and the torque would raise one leg of the bipod of the table when he shot. He used a small bag under the butt and we shot for the center of DVDs at 100-yards - I got beat but it was fun.
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Last edited by William Iorg; 01-05-2012 at 03:54 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-05-2012, 03:52 PM
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seems like a lot of case capacity for a 10 inch barrel???? a rifle length barrel coould certain make use of it.
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2012, 06:01 PM
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I'm shooting another one of Reeder's creations: The 358GNR, from a handi-rifle. Shot a doe with it a couple months back. That 25-35AI looks like a pretty cool 'cat! Should be in the same performance window as the 257 JDJ...maybe a touch slower. I agree with HarryS on the 10" barrel, though. I'd want at least 14" to make good use of that powder capacity.
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2012, 06:26 PM
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THESE are large capacity ctgs. for handgun barrels. LOL Sometimes we cheat and go to 13-14" plus a 2" brake. You cannot actually burn all of 70 grs. of powder in a hunting handgun but close enough to surprise you if you choose powder and bullet weight wisely. I've been an avid handgunhunter for some time and feeder of various wildcats.



Bob was bemused with this modification but after an Alaskan jaunt I found the stock .375 Win. a bit lacking in Grizzly country.


It actually works quite well but my shooting has shown I get a bit less, 2250 fps with that nosler 260 in my 12+2" braked barrel. Still enough for sure , quick, ending to larger critters like this ancient Red Stag.


We'll have us some fun.
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2012, 06:29 PM
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BTW thanks so much William. I want to see what Reloader 15 does in a 12" .25 tube. 4895 is good but probably a mite slow, very predictable, I like it and use it in the larger capacity handgun speciality guns. Maybe H322 , 355 or H380?
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2012, 04:15 AM
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Looking at the cartridge it appears to have a total water capacity of 46.3 grains.
The .25-35 Ackley Improved has a total water capacity of 44.3 grains.
The 25.35 Reeder with a 10 barrel has an expansion ratio of 3.3 and with an 18 barrel an expansion ratio of 5.5.
We shoot a 10 standard 30-30 and with the same bullet seat depth of .200 we have an expansion ratio of 4.4 with the 10 barrel. The 18 barrel would give us an expansion ratio of 7.8.

With the lighter bullets it is not unreasonable to assume Hodgdon 4198 and H322 would be worth exploring. (In the 30-30AI we obtained excellent accuracy with high celocity shooting the 110-grain bullets under a maximum charge of IMR and Hodgdon 4198).
Hodgdon Benchmark, Alliant Reloder 7 and 10X should be top velocity producers with the light bullets. I have never seen a bottle of Western Exterminator or Accurate 2230 for sale but both powders fit.
When shooting light for the caliber bullets with Hodgdon Benchmark and H322 I have had some problems with hard residue little kernals which are sometimes left in the chamber as I extract the case and these will dimple the next round when fired. Even the sharp shoulder of the Ackley case will leave a few very small, very hard kernals in the chamber. This is the only drawback I have with these two powders.

[EDIT] Time is a little short today. Before I do the math on a 12" barrel are these your approximate case dimensions?
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.25-35 AI revisited.-2535_reeder_color.jpg   .25-35 AI revisited.-2535_reeder_total.jpg  
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Last edited by William Iorg; 01-06-2012 at 04:34 AM.
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2012, 05:40 AM
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A few years back I haad a chance to experiment with 10 inch barrel T/c using a 30-30 and a 30 Herrett. The herret was always faster with any powder I tried, even though I always had more powder in the 30-30. Closest I got to equal was when the 30-30 case was almost but not completely full, then the 30-30 was about 60 fps slower.

I guess that I should have known that as the 30-30 had to more volume to fill and more powder to push down the barrel. I was using my deer loads with the Hornady Single Shot Pistol bullet 130 grains. The real reason is my bro had the 30-30 barrel and challenged me against the herret 30. He didn't want to reload and had gotten the 30-30 barrel. Since then he sold the 30-30 barrel and got a 7-waters...seems to me still the 7-30 water has more case capacity than one can burn in a 10 inch barrel. but he loves it, that is all that really matters.
I'm still intreigued by the 357 Herrett; also love the 10 inch barrels as they carry easy in my shoulder holster. The 375 is 12 inches but that includes the brake, so it is effectively a 10.5 incher.

Sort of thinking of a 50 cal!
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2012, 07:02 AM
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I shoot two 14 357 Herrett barrels. These are cast bullet barrels for me now after breaking both wrists.
After fiddling with the 357 Herrett and my brothers compensated 35 Remington barrel I believe the 35 Remington rimmed is the way to go. It is easy to make the brass from the 30-40 Krag and the rimmed case is easier to handle in the winter while wearing gloves.
Seating a bullet .330 leaves 44.9 grains of water in the 35 Remington and 35.8 grains of water in the 357 Herrett so there is enough case capacity for 14 to 16 barrels. I do not like the compensated barrels as for me, the compensators tend to cause the handgun to recoil straight back which is hard on my wrists.
The 357 Herrett case lasts forever so case forming is not difficult.
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2012, 07:33 AM
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right on. I'm with you 100% on the rimmed cases. I have a 30-40 so cases are easy to come by. Even my rifle is a rimmed 8x57 mauser.

The muzzle brake are a downer for me because of noise. Since I had both my hands operated upon (bones removed) the recoil thing isn't a problem.

good luck.
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2012, 08:18 AM
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I would like that, i have two steel plates and six screws!
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  #14  
Old 01-06-2012, 09:38 AM
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O.K. here it go. My cases on the first firing with a full charge are:

Pic. #2 from top right going down -

1.963" OAL cases (R-P .30-30)

1.813" (necks are shorter than I thought, about 0.150")

1.750" body

Rims are running 0.057" thick. My barrel had an issue at first and the rims were proud teh G2 chamber by about 0.009-0.012". Enough it would not close on a loaded round. It was carefully fixed in the lathe. So teh dimensions may be off by about that much on my particular chamber. I figure it was rushed at Christmas time and the cutter did not fully finish. It works fine now. I've measured rims on various .30-30, .25-35, and S&B 6.5X52R ranging 0.053-0.063" thick. Mine was an odd case where this was an issue.

Using 2400 and a 80 gr. FNGC to fireform I noted the granule sticking you mentioned, only occasionally. I wondered what was going on! THANKS!
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