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280 Ackley Improved

 
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  #1  
Old 12-03-2013, 04:23 PM
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280 Ackley Improved

I'm having a mountain rifle built for deer hunting at medium and long range. No muzzle brake. I'm leaning heavily toward a 280 Ackley Improved with a 26 inch barrel, and using the Nosler Custom brass. Anyone willing to share their favorite load data and results with this cartridge? Until the LRs become available, I'll likely load the regular 160 gr accubonds. Is 3,000 fps too much to expect?
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:33 PM
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Re: 280 Ackley Improved

Most people don't realize it, but handloads aren't universal. Some will get you close, and some will be so far off, you'd think you have a bent barrel, so as far as load data, you're best off to do your own load data based on the reloading manual for the brand of bullets you choose to shoot. Manuals aren't that expensive, only around $20-35 each.

.280 Ackley Improved is an excellent cartridge, and one of my favorites. Be sure your smith has the new SAAMI spec chamber reamer if you are planning on running the Nosler brass. The new SAAMI spec chamber is .014" shorter than the original P.O. Ackley chamber, and the Nosler .280 AI brass is also formed at SAAMI specs for the new SAAMI spec chamber.
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2013, 05:08 PM
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Re: 280 Ackley Improved

My rifle builder already mentioned his awareness of the difference between the old and new 280 AI specs, so that's not a problem. I also have the Nosler 6th edition reloading manual. But I was hoping to get some load recipes from people with actual experience with this cartridge, which I have found to be of more value than load manual data in most cases.
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:24 PM
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Re: 280 Ackley Improved

I'm with Mudrunner, pick two powders and do a true work-up specific to your rifle. I settled on a near-max load of H4831SC behind a 168gr Berger VLD.

My 280AI has a 24" tube, and with H4831SC and IMR 7828 I cannot get over 2850fps with the 160 AB. Both the 160AB and the 168 Bergers shot with very good accuracy from my rifle. I picked the Bergers for retained energy at range.

Here is a thread with some feedback from other members regarding velocity. I was interested to see the disparity between Nosler and Hodgdon reported velocities...

Gimme your no BS 280AI velocities
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2013, 09:44 PM
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Re: 280 Ackley Improved

VarmintH8R,

Thanks...that's a great thread. Just the kind of discussion I was hoping for. The only thing left out was the brass...anyone using the Nosler Custom, or is everyone fire forming their own from other 280 brands? I just gave my builder the go-ahead on the build in 280 AI, so I'm very appreciative for any small detail that will assist my load development. I would rather not fire form when I can buy Nosler, but I've read some poor reviews on the quality of their brass in this caliber, especially the primer pockets.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:13 PM
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Re: 280 Ackley Improved

Quote:
Originally Posted by BCMAG2 View Post
VarmintH8R,

Thanks...that's a great thread. Just the kind of discussion I was hoping for. The only thing left out was the brass...anyone using the Nosler Custom, or is everyone fire forming their own from other 280 brands? I just gave my builder the go-ahead on the build in 280 AI, so I'm very appreciative for any small detail that will assist my load development. I would rather not fire form when I can buy Nosler, but I've read some poor reviews on the quality of their brass in this caliber, especially the primer pockets.
I'm betting you'll be very happy with the 280AI.

I am fireforming Norma Brass. Many will disagree (on both sides), but I have yet to see a definitive answer to the PO Ackley vs SAAMI chamber difference (or lack thereof). My rifle is "original" chamber dimension, so I fireform just to be sure...

I've been happy with the Norma brass so far.
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  #7  
Old 12-03-2013, 10:25 PM
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Re: 280 Ackley Improved

Quote:
Originally Posted by varmintH8R View Post
I'm betting you'll be very happy with the 280AI.

I am fireforming Norma Brass. Many will disagree (on both sides), but I have yet to see a definitive answer to the PO Ackley vs SAAMI chamber difference (or lack thereof). My rifle is "original" chamber dimension, so I fireform just to be sure...

I've been happy with the Norma brass so far.
Norma makes Nosler's brass for them. They also make Weatherby's brand bame brass for them, as well.

I've never heard of the Bosler brass having any issues.
__________________
"I'm just a peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns..." - Bob Lee Swagger

"Give me a minute...I'm good. Give me an hour...I'm great. Give me 6 months...And I'm unbeatable." - Col. Hannibal Smith

Ignore everything I say, because I have a reading comprehension and memory problem...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildRose View Post
The 284 is to the STW what a tricycle is to a Ninja.
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