Tag Archives: Nosler

20 Nosler

Yes, it’s on the way…    How do we know?  Click here. It’s pretty obvious.   Well that and the fact that SAAMI has published the specifications already.  The same print from SAAMI comments that a 32 grain bullet will go 4100 feet per second (fps).

Like the 22 Nosler the 20 is based on the 6.8 SPC case or 30 Remington depending on how you view it.  They both have rebated rims so as to fit in a standard AR-15 Bolt face.

The 20 Nosler will have about eight (8) percent more case capacity by water weight than  the 204 Ruger.  So is the velocity claim of 4100 fps realistic?  On Nosler’s own pages they show the 204 Ruger doing that velocity with the same bullet, so I would say, sure, it just means you will have short barrel life if you load to that level.

It’s long been know that velocities approaching 4000 fps are hard on barrels, the throat is erodes much more quickly regardless of the bullet diameter.  I foresee the barrels for this caliber being chrome washed or Melonite® teated simply to increase barrel life.

The 20 Nosler might have some loading flexibility that the 204 does not in that if you loading for 3500 to 3800 fps there are probably a few more powders that will get there with the larger case capacity.  One thing I noticed in looking for comparisons, the 20 Nosler falls in its own class in terms of case capacity, the 20 BR has just a couple of grains less capacity, but it’s not designed for the AR platform.  The other popular wildcats in this general class either have a fair amount less capacity, or a lot more.  If for no other reason, this cartridge will have a following just based on the case capacity.

There is certainly no doubt, this will be a flat shooting varmint cartridge that will do the job in the dog town or out taking coyotes.22NoslerVs20Nosler

Nosler™ is a trademark of  Nosler Inc.  Most likely Nosler will release this cartridge at SHOT Show 2018.  Watch for updates here.



Leave a comment

Filed under ammo, Firearms, Gunsmithing, reloading, Shooting

28 Nosler Announced at Shot Show 2015

During the first day of SHOT Show 2015 I swung by Nosler’s Booth.  GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

And what to my wundering eyes did appear, the 28 Nosler. That’s right Nosler is adding to their line-up.  The 28 and 26 Nosler utilize the same headspace gauges.

Talking to Mike Lake, who did the design work on these cartridges for Nosler, he stated that everything from 26 to 9.3mm have been registered and approved by SAAMI.  For now, Nosler is only bringing the 28 Nosler to market.

When asked why Nosler took all the designs to SAMMI now Mike said, “We were aware of the wildcats that have appeared on the 26 Nosler case.  So, it just made sense for us to get the dimensions for all the calibers completed and registered with SAAMI.”

The 28 Nosler according to Nosler’s new catalog will push a 160 grain bullet at 3300 feet per second (fps).  A 175 grain bullet will launch at 3125 fps.  In case you were wondering that is faster than the 7mm RUM with less powder.  How is that possible?  Pretty simple really, the 7mm RUM is very over bore, in other words it has too much case capacity for the 7mm bore.

Last years introduction of the 26 Nosler was met with great enthusiasm by shooters.  There is every reason to believe that even more shooters will like the 28 Nosler, 7mm cartridges in general are more popular the 6.5mm in the U.S.  Look for this to be a much discussed cartridge in 2015.

I talked to Pacific Tool & Gauge and 4D Reamer Rentals LTD.  PTG says the 28 is in production already and 4D placed an order for it as soon as the cartridge was announced.  4D also ordered reamers for all the Nosler designs registered with SAAMI.

1 Comment

Filed under ammo, brass, Firearms, Gunsmithing, Rifles, tools, wildcat

26 Nosler UPDATE, post SHOT Show 2014

Cartridge for 26 Nosler next to similar cartridges

26 Nosler is a new cartridge design, it actually fills a niche in the factory cartridge world.  Between the WSM cartridges and the RUM cartridges, the first being short action, the latter being full length magnum.  So the 26 Nosler is in between.

This may not sound like a big deal but it was a very good idea for a 6.5mm Magnum.  When the 7mm or 300 Remington Ultra Mag is necked to 6.5mm it’s not very satisfactory.  The case capacity is far overbore for the 6.5mm bore, so accuracy suffers and finding a good load is difficult.

By reducing case capacity as Nosler has done with this new design they have brought the balance between bore and capacity back into a range where load development is easier and barrel life will be better than with the full length RUM wildcat such as the 6.5MM UltraCat originated by Z-Hat Custom back in 1999.

26 Nosler drawingDesigned with a maximum cartridge O.A.L. of 3.340”, the 26 Nosler cartridge functions in a standard length magnum action with a 3.400″ magazine box.  It is very similar in length to a 300 Winchester magnum case.  This equates to a shorter bolt through and lighter weight gun than with the full length magnums like the 300 H&H or 7mm RUM.

The 26 Nosler is capable of pushing a 130gr bullet at a Muzzle Velocity of 3400 fps according to Nosler.  With that kind of velocity bullets must be made for the extra stress that velocity will bring to the jacket.  No disrespect to Nosler but this is a job for a NorthFork Bullet if I ever saw one.

The 26 Nosler is a non-belted, 6.5mm centerfire rifle cartridge.  With a useable case capacity of 93 grains of water, the 26 Nosler is speedy, it outperforms the 264 Win Mag by over 200 fps with a 130 gr bullet.  Loaded with the 129gr AccuBond-LR, the 26 Nosler retains as much velocity at 400 yards as the 260 Remington produces at the muzzle.

26 Nosler compared

Zeroed at 350 yards, the 26 Nosler has a maximum point blank range (PBR) of 415 yards.  It appears from the chart at the right that Nosler is figuring 5 inches +or- form zero to get to that 415 yard point blank range.

Nosler’s choice of a 6.5mm cartridge is a good one, sectional density and high ballistic coefficients make 6.5mm a good bet. Retained energy and accuracy at long range is always good with a 6.5mm.  This will be a good cartridge for wide open western hunting for deer class animals.  Thumbs Up!


Filed under accuracy, ammo, Firearms, Rifles, Shooting

New 26 Nosler® Will Unveil at SHOT Show 2014

comparing the 26 Nosler to othersNosler is looking to tap into the long range market with it’s latest offering.  The 26 Nosler® case is non-belted, thus headspaced off of the shoulder to further enhance accuracy. The “26” also utilizes a standard (30-06) length action meaning shorter bolt-throw and lighter weight than magnum length actions. 

The 26 Nosler® cartridge was designed to take advantage of the inherently accurate and high B.C. 6.5mm (.264) caliber bullets, and is capable of shooting the Nosler® 129 grain, AccuBond® Long Range™ bullet at a blazing 3400 fps out of the muzzle.  Zeroed at 350 yards, the 26 Nosler® has a Point Blank Range of 0-415 yards.  Loaded with the 129gr ABLR, the26 Nosler® retains as much velocity at 400 yards as the 260 Remington® produces at the muzzle.

The 26 Nosler® is a new and unique cartridge that was submitted to SAAMI® in June, 2013. The formal launch will take place at the 2014 SHOT Show.  Nosler will introduce a rifle, brass, ammunition and a new bullet all in conjunction with this cartridge.

Leave a comment

Filed under accuracy, ammo, brass, bullets', Firearms, Rifles, Shooting

280 Ackley Improved Emperical Headspace Test

Top is SAAMI or Nosler type headspace gauge for 280 AI. Bottom is the “Traditional” headspace gauge for the 280 Ackley Improved, note the difference between the shoulder angles.

These Chamber gauges were made using the headspace gauges as marked. The purpose being that we can visually see the difference and measure any difference when the gauges are swapped, or ammunition is checked.

Here the gauges have been swapped to the incorrect chambers. NOTE: no difference in headspace, both gauges are flush with the base of the chamber gauge.

According to the argument, The case in the “Traditional” chamber should be .014″ too deep in the chamber. As with the gauges headspace is zero.

The discussion of headspace and the 280 Ackley Improved has been going on far too long.  Recently I decided to perform a test that would demonstrate the differences or similarities between the SAAMI (Nosler) gauge and the “Traditional” Ackley gauge.

First you can see that the shoulder angle is not the same.  The SAAMI gauge is 40 degrees like the factory brass and ammunition.  The Traditional gauge is 17 degree 30 minute just like the original 280 Remington gauge and factory 280 Remington ammunition or brass.

The Chamber gauges pictured below were both made with the exact same 280 AI reamer.  The only difference between the SAAMI and the Traditional chambers are the headspace gauges, all other measurements are identical.

Each chamber gauge was stamped with the name of the gauge used to headspace it.  The headspace was set to zero, or flush with the flat base of the gauge.

Once I had both chambers cut I swapped the gauges expecting to see some obvious disparity as the reamer makers have been emphatic that there is a difference.  However, there was no difference between the two chambers.

How could that be?

Well, when you check the drawings from SAAMI and the Traditional drawings for the Ackley Improved you find that indeed there is a numerical difference between the two drawings of .014″.  The problem stems from reamer makers applying a datum line to the Traditional Ackley drawing at the .375″ diameter on the shoulder, this is not where the datum line is on a traditional Ackley.

The drawing calls for a 40 degree shoulder, but the datum measurement is based on the traditional 17 degree gauge.  In other words the systems of measuring are mixed.  Ackley used the junction of the neck and shoulder to headspace his Improved chamber, not the datum line along the shoulder.

Hence we end up with a headspace length of 2.1542″ on the Traditional drawing.  I measured this length on my cutaway chamber and guess what, that is the length to the junction of the neck and shoulder.  Thus headspace matches the drawings correctly.

The 40 degree SAAMI gauges are made to the industry standard, datum line method.  So the drawings are correct, the datum line is at the .375″ diameter along the shoulder.  The length called out for this gauge is 2.140″, which appears to be .014″ shorter than the Traditional design.

What we have is two different methods of measurement.  However they achieve the exact same result.  Seeing is believing.

With all that said, for liability reasons I would still use the gauge the client asks for.  It’s easier than explaining all this over and over again.

The obvious question will come up, “But I am still having trouble with headspace, so the Nosler brass must be wrong?”  The answer is; More than likely a lazy or inexperienced gunsmith did not use a gauge to set headspace, but rather used brass.  The Nosler brass should work in a “Traditioinal” chamber if the headspace was set between a go and no-go as prescribed by P.O. Ackley and every reamer maker that sells these tools.

Here are some additional source of information on this subject:


Book has recently been published, “P.O. Ackley, America’s Gunsmith”


Filed under accuracy, ammo, brass, Firearms, Gunsmithing, How To, wildcat

280 Ackley Improved Alert

Author’s Note:  Read the post at this link first, it supersedes this discussion.


A few years back Nosler decided to bring the 280 Ackley Improved into their list of custom brass and rifles. In order to do this they wanted to take the 280 AI to SAAMI and have it standardized.

Part of the process of standardizing the cartridge was for Nosler to see if other manufacturers had worked with it. They found that Remington had been chambering the 280 in their custom shop. Now here is where the alert comes in. Remington’s Custom Shop chose to shorten the headspace on the venerable design by .014″. When Nosler sent drawings to SAAMI they picked up that number as well.

So by a vote of the members of SAAMI the commercial established specifications for the 280 Ackley were changed from the original design.  The reason reported for this change is that Remington believed it was necessary in order for factory 280 Remington ammunition to be fireformed safely in an Ackley chamber.  Apparently they did not know that Ackley was the single most successful wildcatter of the 20th century.  While he was not the first guy to create and “improved” design, he was the first to standardize the idea and create a safe method of fireforming factory ammo in improved chambers.

Ackley’s method was simple, he simply used a headspace gauge .004″ shorter than the factory case.  This shorter headspace assured that the cartridge would be held tight between the bolt face and the junction of the neck and shoulder of the chamber during fire forming.  Ackley’s method worked fine for more than 50 years before these alterations to his design were made.

Bottom line for anyone who now works with the 280 Ackley Improved you must decide which version of the chamber you will use; the SAAMI or the Ackley; you cannot safely use the Nosler brass in  a traditional Ackley chamber, although it would still be safe to fire form factory ammo in a SAAMI/Nosler chamber.

Compare the length of these two designs.

UPDATE:  See this post for new information

There is a site devoted to P.O. Ackley and his work:




Filed under Ackley, How To, reloading, wildcat