6.5mm-06 Ackley Improved
This cartridge was a natural outgrowth from the 6.5mm-06. After WW-II many military rifles of 6.5mm caliber were surplused by various countries. Most found their way to the shores of the U.S. as a means of bringing much needed cash to countries that would have otherwise simply scrapped them. Since ammunition for these chambering was difficult or impossible to obtain, it was natural for gunsmiths to consider rechambering to the 6.5mm-06 since abundant, inexpensive 30-06 cases are easily necked down to 6.5mm and the conversion offered the promise of a more powerful than the original chambering in the bargain. Similarly, bullet manufacturers responded to the availability of 6.5mm guns by offering component bullets for hand loading. This later only served to increase demand for wildcat conversions. It was only reasonable for customers to want to chamber for the Improved version of the 6.5mm-06 because this added nothing to the cost of the conversion and promised a ballistic benefit and increased case life.
Mr. Ackley's experiences with this chambering are most interesting. He first chambered a 6.5mm barrel to 6.5mm-06 and worked up load data for that. Then he rechambered the same barrel to the Improved version and again worked up data. We can only assume that he used the same pressure criteria and same components for both studies, but, perhaps, this is an erroneous assumption. The reason for doubt stems from the fact that Mr. Ackley reported higher velocities with the standard 6.5mm-06 than with the Improved version. It must be noted that he was limited to powders no slower than H4831. Given the slower powders now available, he might have found the Improved version to have a ballistic edge. In any case, the difference in ballistics is marginal. It should be noted that the 25-06 and the 6.5mm-06 Improved have almost exactly the same relative case capacity. Therefore, considering bullet availability, including light varmint style bullets and hunting bullets that are much heavier than anything available in the .257 inch, the 6.5mm-06 Improved is everything the 25-06 will ever be and more.
Source: Cartridges of the World
|6.5mm-06 Ackley Improved Reloading Data|
|Bullet (grs.)||Powder / (grs.)||MV||ME||Source|
|120||IMR-4350 / 53.0||3100||2560||Ackley|
|140||IMR-4350 / 51.0||2920||2650||Ackley|
|140||H-4831 / 53.0||2950||2705||Ackley|
|150||IMR-4350 / 49.0||2780||2575||Ackley|
|150||H-4831 / 51.0||2760||2535||Ackley|
|165||IMR-4350 / 46.0||2550||2090||Ackley|
|165||H-4831 / 48.0||2550||2090||Ackley|
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