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.270 to .243 or?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by iusmc2002, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. iusmc2002

    iusmc2002 Colville, WA Active Member

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    I have a Savage 110 in .270 that I would like to get a different barrel for. I was thinking along the line of a Shilen pre-fab'd "drop in" barrel. The question is, with the action/bolt I have, can I do a .243? Will the length of the action that I have, cause a problem because the .243 is a short action? What about the bolt face/head? I don't know much about the .243, but its a caliber that I don't have, and basically I just want one :p

    I think it would be cool to have a rifle that I can swap barrels in and out of when I feel like shooshting a different caliber (I would have a g-smith do it)
    Also, the Shilen site says there are 2 different shank lengths on Savage barrels. What is that, and how do I figure out which one I have?

    http://www.shilen.com/savageBarrels.html

    Thanks in advance for the help
     
  2. 2gr8dgs

    2gr8dgs oregon Active Member

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    you might look into 6mm Remington. the longer cartridge should work better in your long action, maybe a pinch better performance than 243 win. I had no problem running that cartridge thru my 110 30.06 action with just a barrel swap.
    you DONT need a gunsmith to do it. It's a very simple process. just a few tools & gauges, & your good to go.
    try savageshooters.com for tons of info on bbl swaps & all the things involved in the process. good luck, Mike.
     
  3. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    The Savage barrel swap-ability can make for some cool options indeed! If it's a better varmint package you are after, either the .243 or the 6MMRem mentioned above would definitely "fill the bill." They both have the .473 case head so the swap would be barrel only.
    No need to worry about the long/short action debate. It's really not a factor, for anything less than benchrest/match shooting. And there are advantages to a short action cartridge on a long action receiver/magazine. Primarily the ability to seat longer(heavier) bullets out of the case.
    The Savage also offers interchangeable bolt heads, so even changing from the .473" case head cartridges like the '06 family (of which the .270 is one) is easier than most other makes too.

    Personally, I would look at cartridges that have a distinct advantage over the .270 in terms of better B.C. bullets, or harder hitting than the .270.
    For varmints, the 22-250 comes to mind.
    On the "harder hitting" end, the .338-06 is available easily too.
    For a slightly improved midrange cartridge, the .280Ackley is popular right now, and offers measurable improvement over the .270, without going to the magnum boltface, just due to bullet selection alone.

    Don't forget to pick up the wrench and a barrel vice for doing the swap(s).

    Keep us posted on your progress!
     
  4. iusmc2002

    iusmc2002 Colville, WA Active Member

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    Thanks U8dgs and Jamie for the advice.

    I've already got the 22-250, .270, .280, 30-06, 7 Rem Mag and now a 300 Win Mag (again)
    I was thinking about the .243 mostly because I don't have one, and some of the deer around here look like dogs with horns on them, so a slightly smaller legal round would be nice. I shot a spike with an SKS a couple years ago, and almost didn't have to gut it afterward.
    As far as the AI family, what are the advantages of them? Is it just a preference thing, or what?

    As far as progress lol I just bought the 300, so it will be a couple months before the wife will let me spend any more money. Oh, the woes of being married :p

    Thanks again!!
     
  5. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    The AI "advantage" is a much debated one. For me, the Ackley Improvement is in case life when reloading. The straighter walled chamber reduces case stretch significantly.

    Ackley's work was pioneering for it's day. His work measuring bolt thrust showed significant improvement when the case taper is reduced. That leads to both case life and rifle life when one considers the effect of bolt thrust at high pressure. Back in the day, many rifles were built on old Enfield, Springfield '03s and Mauser actions that could/would suffer lug set-back in the receivers as well as the bolts. Reducing case taper made these guns safer as well as better performers.

    Many of today's newer designs follow his ideas for case tape and shoulder angles. The WSMs and Rem's UMs come to mind.

    The "improvement" in muzzle velocity is often "pooh-poohed" by some. And with newer designs there may be no advantage.
    The .280Rem is one that has proven worthwhile though. The .280AI very closely matches 7mmRemMag performance with good case life, no case belt and cheaper, easier to obtain brass.

    They can create feeding issues in older designs though, so a simple rechambering may require additional work on feed ramps and mag followers to make a rifle a reliable repeater when an Ackley'd chamber is used.

    I don't know if you reload, but it's almost a necessity when you have an Ackley chambered gun. Non-reloaders consider this to be an obstacle. I think Nosler still makes .280AI ammo, but I know of no others that do.

    So, is it worth it? It was with my 6.5x57AI,... But it isn't everybody's cup-o-tea!!
     
  6. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't say either are overrated. As a matter of fact I have killed more deer and elk with a .270 than any other caliber.
    But considering that the .270 and the .280AI are both based roughly on the '06 case, the .280 wins. Even if only due to bullet choice.
    I do have a friend with a .270AI and it is impressive indeed. It will shoot 150gr bullets as fast as my standard .270 shoots 130s, over 3kfps with accuracy. Which means it keeps up with the .270 WSM.
    Now if only I could get a .270 bullet with the B.Cs of some of the .284 bullets!

    As far as the .243, I know the 6mmRem is a better round ballistics wise, but .243 is available almost as readily as '06 and .270, so it's mighty popular.

    And the .260?? You noticed the 6.5 after "Jamie" didn't you?? ;)
    Whats not to like about a 6.5mm on a .308 case??
     
  7. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    I must admit tho, if I could only have 2 rifles, one would be a .280AI and the other would be a .338-06AI.
     
  8. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    I would give a nod to the 6mm over the .243, and the .280 is a superior choice over the .270,,, but then again they all have their fans. I hate to even bring this up here, but the late Jack O'Connor admitted later in life that he was influenced by monetary offers and promotional deals that were slid his way to promote the venerable .270. I have nothing against the old girl as I own and shoot one, but lets get down to it,, where would this cartridge really be if not for backing of the undisputed dean of outdoor scholars, Mr O'Connor?
     
  9. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Back to the OP, I'd just buy a new rifle for the same money. There are some might fine rifles out there new now in the $350 range.
     
  10. iusmc2002

    iusmc2002 Colville, WA Active Member

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    There are some mighty fine rifles out there for that much, but you can't find a heavy barrel for that much. Especially not a match grade or air-gauged. Does that mean much to my kind of shooting? Prolly not. But everyone has their eccentricies, and I was looking at the .243 for the availabilty of the components and for the availabilities of factory ammo. I've never even heard of the 6mm Rem that you folks are talking about, but I'll look at it since my "project" is still some time out. Thanks a ton for all the recommendations.
    Jamie, how do you go about making the AI cases? You start with an 06 case, correct? How do you get the shoulder blown out and the taper decreased? Is that a situation where fireforming works? I've only been reloading for less than 2 years, and I've only reloaded for the previously named calibers/rifles. This AI stuff sounds mighty interesting!
     
  11. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Most of the Ackley Improved cartridges are indeed fireformed from the original factory cartridge in an Ackley Improved chamber. One advantage (or at least a feature) of these wildcats is that a factory cartridge can almost always still be fired in the gun if you run short of your wildcat/improved loaded cartridges.

    One thing to be mindful of, is that increased efficiency/velocities are not always spectacular. Ackley tried this technique in a myriad of factory cartridges, and found that the very best improvement came in the less radical of his improvements. I believe he concluded that the .257 Roberts Improved showed the very most return for the effort as compared to the factory Roberts. .250 Savage Improved was a very close runner-up.

    I have a close friend that had his .25-06 reamed to AI. He is duplicating .257 Weatherby factory velocities, and that cartridge looks fast standing still.

    I have an original P.O. Ackley Custom Mauser in his .276 Ackley Magnum. (Actually 7mm and very similar to the Sharpe and Hart). A bit less case capacity than a 7mm Remington, but markedly more efficient. Ackley went both ways with this idea in regards to case capacity, and found the best efficiency was in this volume of case capacity. Remington threw efficiency out the window in favor of what looked good in factory-published velocity.

    If you are intrigued by Ackley's improved cartridges, invest in his book(s). A two volume set that includes very good information on not only his cartridges, but all factory cartridges of the day, loading techniques, rifle design, etc. Indispensable information for any serious handloader, whether or not you go Ackley.
     
  12. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    I have a stainless, fluted savage barrel. 6.5x55 ackley improved. 28 1/2 inches overall length, looks to be unfired. pm if interested.
     
  13. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    For those interested in Ackley's cartridges, here is a link. Bob Jourdan, who "Ackley'd" the 6.5x55 Swede posts Ackley's results, ranking the calibers.
    Article posted on Precision Shooting Website about Ackley Improved cartridges - Shooters Forum
    Actually, he just reprints the data from Ackley's Handbook for shooter and reloaders.

    iusmc2002, yes, you do need to fireform. However, if the chamber is cut to use factory ammo, (some aren't) all one needs to do is load and shoot, and the case comes out formed. In order for this to work, the chamber must be cut so that the factory case will headspace on the neck/shoulder juncture. The datum point for the original shoulder IS NOT RELEVANT. If you are having a chamber cut to Ackley specs, take at least 3 once fired and resized factory (non Ackley) cases with you. The gunsmith will use these, along with the headspace gauges to finish the chamber and set the headspace.
    Oddly enough, most shooters report phenomenal accuracy when fireforming factory stuff. :huh:
    I do a 95% fireform on my 57MM Mauser cases with pistol powder and Cream of Wheat.
    DO NOT USE INSTANT OR PRE-SWEETENED CREAM OF WHEAT. Get the old fashioned stuff.
    Here's what I do, YMMV.
    I take a new, .257 Roberts case, prepped (neck expanded to 6.5/.260) and primed. I drop in 11gr of Bullseye, and then fill loosely to the base of the neck with CoW. Then insert a 1" square piece of tissue or Paper Towel, wadded into the neck. The paper keeps the CoW in the case.
    Load in the gun and shoot. The case will come out of the gun with the correct shoulder angle, headspaced on the new shoulder datum point, and with the correct taper. All but the radius on the shoulder/case wall angle will be done. First shooting with a full load finishes the shoulder angle, making it nice and sharp. They rarely need to be resized in between, and this method doesn't wear the barrel.

    Be sure to clean the barrel thoroughly afterwards to remove any CoW or paper residue.

    I could do this with any 57mm Mauser case, including the 7X57 or the 6mmRem. The .257Bob case is just easiest for me to acquire.
     
  14. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    I'll have to support your reasons, as well as my own for leaning towards the .243. I have owned several and and have shot mine probably more than any rifle I have ever owned. The .243 excels over any .22 center fire for open country, long range varmint hunting and for small to medium size game such as the antlered dogs you mentioned. There is really nothing else in the 6mm size class that compares to the .243 Winchester when you take into consideration the wide variety of available rifles and reloading components. One word of caution though - while the .243 started out as a wildcat on a necked down .308 case do not waste the time or hassle trying to do this yourself. .308 brass varies in size and thickness (especially military) and unless you turn the case necks down on re sized .308 brass you may experience difficult chambering and extraction. less than optimum accuracy and potential pressure variations. Stick with 'real' .243 brass.