So I am getting ready to build a 280AI for long range deer hunting out to 1000 yards and I am trying to decide on a barrel for my build. I plan on shooting the 160 accubonds or the 168 bergers. Not real sure on twist, riflings, length of barrel for optimum performance and contour. I will have a muzzle break installed as well. I would like to be around the 8-9 lb range. I would like to use a Hart barrel but I would like to hear if anyone has had experience with others. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
I have a 280AI being built that should be finished in a few weeks. It's a trued Rem 700, #5 contour Brux barrel at 24" 1-9 twist, Jewell trigger, and Manners mcs-t stock. This is meant to be a mid weight rifle around 10.5 lbs scoped. The #5 Brux tapers to 0.700" at the muzzle.
Nice choice of a 280AI for what you are intending to use it for. My son and I both have been using this caliber for a number of years.
Both of ours are Kreiger barrels, 25" finished tube in 1-10" twist and both use the 168 VLD Bergers. Accuracy and results on animals has been stellar. We have to be pushing the 40 plus number of animals taken with this combination to date and ranges have been from 50 yards or so out to the plus 600 yd. mark.
If I was to have to do it again I would be hard pressed to make the decision on repeating the 1-10" twist versus going 1-9" twist. When I had mine built I had no intention of shooting any bullet over 160 gr. but the 1-10" twist have not been any problems with the 168 Bergers and I have no intentions of trying anything different.
I will give you a little different approach to choosing a barrel. Most of the major barrel manf. today are all very reliable IMO. I would suggest you talk to your smith and see who he recommends or would use if he was building a rifle for himself. With that said he most likely has a better repore with one or some barrel manf. than he has with others and with that said he would be more confident in using his "reliable source". If there was a problem that needed to be addressed, I would feel more confident if my gunsmith had a good working relationshiop with the barrel maker.
I probably will start a s**t storm but mine has a 5.5 contour Shilen finished at 25.5" with 1-9 twist shooting 140gr. bergers best group to date is .336 and I think it opened up a little because of me. The Shilen barrel impressed me so much Im having a 300WSM built with a Shilen #5 contour barrel on it.