280AI- its a slippery slope...
OK, for all of you reloading/ wildcatting/ exotic ammo types out there... is the 280AI worth considering?
Its a bit obscure, not quite a 7mag, standard '06 based cartridge that seems to be gaining traction in the marketplace. I'm considering a new shooter this year and think I want something a bit different. I'm kinda critical of most of the Ackley cartridges in general but this one seems to have a bit of panache'. In the field, I'm pretty sure its not a bit more effective than a 270, 280, '06 or a 7mag but since when do wants need to make sense? I think one of these things pounding out 160gr PTs would be a great carribou or sheep gun ( even though I've got a couple good sheep guns already..)
Can you shoot standard 280 ammo form a 280AI chamber?
Anybody got any experience with one you're willing to share?
Yes it's worth considering. Its an easy to load and excellent performing cartridge.
Originally Posted by hodgeman
Its actually quite popular and Nosler has made factory brass relatively available for the 280AI. I'd consider 150 grain bullets for 'bou, deer, and sheep sized animals.
Originally Posted by hodgeman
If you really want something "different" how about a .284 Winchester. You could stick it on a shorter action and save several ounces (not a bad idea for sheep) and the 280AI is much more common in the field IME so its not very "different."
Originally Posted by hodgeman
If you want something really different...why not try a 280 JDJ#2? Darn near 7mm Rem Mag ballistics (with the lighter bullets) from a 15" Encore bbl. I've never seen one chrono'd from a rifle, but I can imagine it would be pick up at least 100fps. Too much work for me to fireform brass, but it's certainly unique!
1Cor: I really enjoy the 284 as well
I doubt I'd ever pay to have an existing 280 rechambered to AI, but on a new build I'd take it over the standard version. There's a gain there, but you see how I slice the pie on what it's worth.
I've got a couple of 284's (a Savage 99 and a custom LH bolt), and it's a fine round too, long as the really deep seating with long bullets doesn't bother you. I'd be happier putting it on a standard action than a short, then throating for seating the bullet out to the base of the neck. You could still shoot factory ammo, but handloads would really up the performance. Howzat for different!
And then there's the bullet of choice. In 7x57, 284 and 7mm RemMag my go-to for game is the 160 grain Nosler Partition. It really performs well in that range of velocities, and the 280/280AI is right there in the middle of it. All our 7mm rifles (three 7x57's, two 284's and two 7mags) shoot it really well too. Never had anything up to elk and moose give me any reason to use another bullet, and it shoots virtually as flat as the 150 and flatter than the 175.
What rifle maufacture are you doing this build on? I have done a couple AI's (338-06 AI and a 6.5-06 AI) on 98 military actions and neither fed very well. I attempted to alter the feed rails on the 338-06 and....well...I screwed it up bad. The other one was sold to a gun smith who was a tad brighter on the business at hand than myself and last I knew he still had it!
If your doing this on a push feed action there should be no such worries!
Thanks for all the info guys.
I'm thinking about building this on a 700 action (possibly a lefty for my son). I've also considered buying a finished Cooper or a Nosler 48 which takes most of the build out of it (other than me building to get a paycheck!). I also considered searching out one of the Kimber Montanas they chambered in this the last couple of years (believe its now discontinued).
If I can get the scratch together I would have no reservations on the Nosler... I have the 48 Sporter in .300WSM and its really nice and shoots like a house on fire and is unfortunately priced to match. Ditto for the Cooper but I may just build up a 700- thinking it should be a pretty straightforward build. 700 action, #1 barrel (not sure from who yet) in a light stock (MPI, McMillian but who knows)... hoping for something in the sub 8lb range scoped and slung.
I just ordered one in a "sporter" weight custom rifle. I agonized over ballistics and other factors and decided that .280AI was the best for me for an all around deer, sheep, predator and elk rifle. I wanted a lighter recoiling gun that could still be shot at extended ranges accurately. I am looking forward to playing with the cartridge and killing some things with it. I thought about .284 and a couple of others but you have way better bullet selection in .280.
A slippery slope?
Well, OK, it IS a slippery slope whenever you start thinking about building a new rifle.
If you've got a standard length action that just "needs" to have something done to it a .280AI is well worth considering. As others have said it's not magic but it's a very nice cartridge and will take care of much of your hunting needs.
I had a .280AI built by Kevin Weaver on a Win Mod 70 Classic stainless action. Lilja barrel, High Tech stock. It shot well right from the start. My primary hunting load is 64 gr RL22 in Nosler brass with 140 Barnes TTSX. Groups inside .5 in at @ 3200 fps.
It has proven quite successful on long range (for me) shots - 400+ yds. Nothing I've shot with it has moved more than a step. I've taken shots with it that I'd have passed up with my .30-'06 simply because it shoots flatter and knowing that I have confidence that it will get the job done. I just can't bring myself to take any shot I don't KNOW with certainty I can make successfully.
I've found Nosler brass to be of high quality and very consistent. I neck size and have seen no signs of case stretching/fatigue, etc. despite the max pressure loads.
The .280 was a good choice for me and I'd build one again if I had a need.
Now, if the action you have is a short action, well...there's another slippery slope.
Good luck on whatever you decide.
I'm could duplicate 7mm Rem performance with a 280AI loaded with RL17. Heck, you could probably do it with a standard .280. The stuff is impressive.
Oops.. I left out a couple words. What I meant to say here is that "I'm sure you could duplicate".
Originally Posted by BrentC
After checking 7mm reloading data, and with personal experiience with RL17 in a similar round. I still stand behind this claim
Are you talking 7mm with older powders or with RL17 or RL21. It just seems natural that it would benefit equally from a switch to similar new powders and the gap would remain much the same.
I don't know and I'm asking because I'm ready to start working up some new loads for my 7's. I'm hearing similar claims for the new powders, but I just don't have experience.
I was referring to using RL17 in the AI vs. older powder loads in the 7 Rem.
Originally Posted by BrownBear
That makes sense. After nearly 40 years my large stock of old (ancient!) H-4831 is running low, and it's time to start experimenting with the new powders. I've got about a dozen different calibers I use it in, and my goal is to find a single powder that works as well in all of them while promising the extra bump in velocity.
Nosler now makes 280AI brass, so you can cut the the chase rather quickly, if fireforming isn't your deal. I love the AI's, although the 280ai I don't have. (I have a 223ai, 243ai, and 25-06ai) I like my 7wsm and 7saum so much, that I haven't had the need for a 280ai.