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Discussion Starter #1
This could get long winded, so I'll cut to the meat.
I'm fireforming .280 Remington brass, new nickel plated stuff, to .280 AI.
I tried to do it without a bullet, "Cream of wheat"method, but ruined the first three pieces of brass trying to reform the .280 to .30 to resize back to .280 and leave a false shoulder. So, onto firing with a bullet.

Loaded a light load w H4895 and a 160 gr bullet. Set the bullet depth so it was .o10 into the lands. Per Nosler, spec said " Seat the bullet well into the rifling so that it makes good contact with the lands when the cartridge is chambered"

After firing my brass is .020 shorter than when I started. Is this normal?
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Yup - making the walls straighter and the shoulder sharper will use some of that brass.
 
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When you fire a case to form it to a chamber it will lose some length.
You will gain a bit of the length back when you size it but going from a standard cartridge to an AI there is a lot of expansion that stretches the case out and takes brass out of the length to do it. It will grow with successive firings.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. I figured as much. The case that was sent with the rechambered rifle was longer than the ones I'd fired. Just wanted to check before doing 50 more!
 

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You are welcome.
I've had the same thing happen when fire-forming brass. I expected that the shoulder would move forward but that isn't always what happens. My 257 cases lost 0.001" in length to the shoulder. When you measure before and after you learn a lot about your rifle and the brass. ;)
 

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You should fire-form with a FULL LOAD, not a light load. I get best results by loading a full AI load for a fire-forming load, but you can't let anybody else shoot it in a standard chamber. POI is close enough for varmint shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You should fire-form with a FULL LOAD, not a light load. I get best results by loading a full AI load for a fire-forming load, but you can't let anybody else shoot it in a standard chamber. POI is close enough for varmint shooting.
Ok. So a full .280 Rem load or .280 AI load? I did a starting .280 load ( first listed ) 38 gr. of H4895 in my new .280 cases. The Hodgdon website lists the load range, 38 gr start, max 41.5 gr.
 

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Opinions are worth what you pay for them, but to ME, 4895 is not a 280 powder with heavy bullets. I'd not consider a powder faster than 4350 and would think 4831 to be perfect.

I load AI calibers to AI specs when fire-forming, or a full case, whichever comes first. With 4831 and either .280, max will be a case full.

BTW-- Nickle brass is so cute, but a PITA to reload, especially in improved calibers. When the nickle flakes off, it can ball up in the die and cause scratches and even mess up dies. I load hunting loads in nickle and shooting loads in brass.
 

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Hayudog,

Providing your A.I. chamber was properly reamed, just put a loaded 280 case in the chamber, fire and out comes a properly formed A.I. case. this can be factory or handloads, but I'd recommend the use of new brass if it is a handload. Full bore .280 hunting loads are fine and do a complete job of fireforming.

I once owned a 30 Gibbs, which unlike A.I. cartridges, is a wild cat and a bit different case forming process.

The guy that reamed my chamber allowed the reamer to cut overly deep which meant the shoulder needed to be blown even further forward then normal for the 30 Gibbs. Very short neck!

For the fireforming operation, I simply seated the bullets long to where they came in firm contact with the lands, used a load a bit lower then normal and everything worked fine.

With the A.I. chamber and as said providing your chamber was properly reamed a standard loaded .280 will head space normally at the point where the neck meets the shoulder allowing for very simple fireforming.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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P. O. Ackley designed his Improved Series to require setting the barrel back a thread or two and then rechambering to AI. If a “gunsmith” does not perform this task, he is not making a true AI chamber as per the designer. Properly chambered, just use a factory-level .280 cartridge and it will form properly (as mentioned above). This is how Ackley intended. Improper chambers will require a different technique and all the attendant issues.

Seating a bullet hard into the lands or expanding the neck and forming the appropriate shoulder position are the best options, or you could just liberally oil the case and take your chances. (I do not recommend the latter but some swear by it.


.
 

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P. O. Ackley designed his Improved Series to require setting the barrel back a thread or two and then rechambering to AI. If a “gunsmith” does not perform this task, he is not making a true AI chamber as per the designer.
Correct-
AI headspace should be set MINUS .007 the GO gauge. I will rechamber a plus .002 but set the barrel back if the HS is looser than that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
All....Thanks all for the input.

JBelk. I'll ditch the Saturday night brass shortly, and either order 'o6 Lapua brass or Nosler .280AI. The H4895 was what I had in the cupboard. As long as I haven't ruined the gun, I'll have lots more chances to get it right.

Crusty. As far as if the barrel was reamed correctly, I'm not sure how I'll ever know that one. I have one gun and one set of dies. If there's a method to figure that out, I'll investigate. I can remember as a kid, the down the road neighbor had a 300 H&H let out to 300 Weatherby. He couldn't use factory Weatherby ammunition because it wouldn't chamber. He fire formed all his own, and that's what he shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Gunsmith said he had to shorten something because of the AI. My guess is he did that part correctly.
Someone had said that if it were done correctly when I chamber a standard .280 round, if I marked the shoulder, it would show contact. Mine did not with the new brass when I tried this check.
 

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Hayudog-- You haven't hurt anything!

What action have you got? It maybe easy to check headspace with a new piece of brass. I assume you're using .280 brass? I can save you bullets if you want to fire form with cream of wheat (Grits for me, I'm a Southerner).

When the 280AI became a factory cartridge, SAAMI moved the headspace minus .020", but the .280 Rem headspaces on the neck shoulder junction and not a datum midway the shoulder. It's easy to push that junction back .020 by closing the bolt, but there will be resistance.
 

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Gunsmith said he had to shorten something because of the AI. My guess is he did that part correctly.
Someone had said that if it were done correctly when I chamber a standard .280 round, if I marked the shoulder, it would show contact. Mine did not with the new brass when I tried this check.

Little late. I have 2-280AI and I use Nosler brass in Spec 280AI other I fire form brass using COW method. If you have copy Sierra manual #5 or Nosler #4 (1996) both have data for 280AI and case length is 2.525" same as Spec 280AI.

I have 35 WhelenAI,243AI and 222AI. Those three are Ackley and case length is the same.

Lot of guy's on Long Range Hunting site shooting 280AI few factory but mostly custom. Good place to get loading data. If I can help just PM.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hayudog-- You haven't hurt anything!

What action have you got? It maybe easy to check headspace with a new piece of brass. I assume you're using .280 brass? I can save you bullets if you want to fire form with cream of wheat (Grits for me, I'm a Southerner).

When the 280AI became a factory cartridge, SAAMI moved the headspace minus .020", but the .280 Rem headspaces on the neck shoulder junction and not a datum midway the shoulder. It's easy to push that junction back .020 by closing the bolt, but there will be resistance.
It's a Reminton 700 action.
Under a brighter light, and a factory loaded .280 cartridge, I blackened the neck and shoulder of the case. Closed and locked down the bolt. Removed the cartridge and inspected. It has a slight contact line at the junction of neck and shoulder. Bolt closed very easy, I couldn't feel any noticeable resistance.
 

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One of the advantages of 'improved' cases is that they start life short and rarely have to be trimmed.

700s have a plunger ejector that has to be removed to check headspace. Just one cross pin through the locking lug holds it in. You can use layers of masking tape just on the base of the case to give .003 more dimension to the cartridge HS length. You should have feel with one layer of tape. If not, have your gunsmith check it with a GO gauge. It could be just short brass or the chamber might be too deep to HS correctly.
The fact that you have a mark at neck-shoulder junction is good news but it should be crunching pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Little late. I have 2-280AI and I use Nosler brass in Spec 280AI other I fire form brass using COW method. If you have copy Sierra manual #5 or Nosler #4 (1996) both have data for 280AI and case length is 2.525" same as Spec 280AI.

I have 35 WhelenAI,243AI and 222AI. Those three are Ackley and case length is the same.

Lot of guy's on Long Range Hunting site shooting 280AI few factory but mostly custom. Good place to get loading data. If I can help just PM.
Thanks. I'll look over there. I've got Nosler brass on order. I have enough of the Winchester brass here that I fire formed (with bullets) yesterday to do a few work up loads. I'll weight sort them, and pick the center ones to do the load workups.

My Nosler books are the 2nd and 5th edition. Speer, from way back..printed in '82. And an 8th edition Hornady book. Mostly internet nowadays anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
One of the advantages of 'improved' cases is that they start life short and rarely have to be trimmed.

700s have a plunger ejector that has to be removed to check headspace. Just one cross pin through the locking lug holds it in. You can use layers of masking tape just on the base of the case to give .003 more dimension to the cartridge HS length. You should have feel with one layer of tape. If not, have your gunsmith check it with a GO gauge. It could be just short brass or the chamber might be too deep to HS correctly.
The fact that you have a mark at neck-shoulder junction is good news but it should be crunching pretty good.
Thanks. That seems fairly easy. I'll update after I try it.
 
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