Plan on building a new rifle for hunting as well as long range
shooting. Giving thought to the 06 or 280 AI which one would you
go with? Barrel life is about the same and the choice of bullets
are close and the powder charge close...
Shooting varmints threw deer and elk once and awhile..
I have had alot of customers ask me this same question and I always recommend the 280 AI for several reasons.
First off, bullets
A 160 gr 7mm bullet will penetrate at least as deeply as any 180 gr 30 cal bullet and in most cases the 280 AI will drive a 160 gr bullet to higher velocites then any 30-06 can drive a 180 gr bullet.
Also, the BC for the 7mm bullet is generally higher as well then its 30 cal brother.
Because the bullet is lighter, felt recoil will be less then the '06 as well.
The 280 AI has plenty of power for taking big game at extended range, at least as far as the '06 does. In this catagory, they are basically the same in performance but ballistically the 280 has the advantage.
If you want lighter bullets, the 140s will do in the 280 what the 165 will do in the 30 cal, again with less recoil and higher velocity and at least equal BC in many cases.
If you want a heavy bullet option. The 175 gr 7mm bullet will do anything the 200 gr 30 cal will do and in most cases out penetrate it while again doing so with less recoil.
Yes the '06 will have a longer barrel life but not dramatically so if you take care of the 280s barrel and not over heat it I would not be to concerned about this as they both offer good barrel life.
Just my opinion that the 280 AI is a much better long range round then the '06.
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
Iíve been tossing around a similar idea for about a year. I want a versatile rifle that will fit into almost any hunting situation in North America. After much research, I have to agree with Kirby. After making many comparisons, Iíve found the 280 A/I is very versatile and a top notch performer. I can't wait to get one built for myself.
Location: Inukjuak, Canadian Eastern Arctic 59 parallel
The 30-06 is the most versatile rifle anywhere. You can get from 50-220gr bullets for it and hunt anything in North America, plus be able to shoot no problem out to 1,000 yrds.
Hornady have a new cartridge in the SST and Interbond light mag that has the same potential as a 7mm.
Live Long & Prosper
To Go Where No Man Has Gone Before.
I respect Kirby's opinion immensly and agree with all he said.
I will say this, one advantage with going with the 30-06 or even better the 30-06 Ack Imp is that if you like to test new stuff, the bullet manufactures, I would say, almost always come out with 180 30 cal bullets first when they develop something new. The Noser E and Barnes MRX are good examples. Expensive though!