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280AI question

 
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  #1  
Old 03-02-2011, 11:29 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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280AI question

Im going to immediately disclaim myself as a complete newcomer and am really looking for answers here but may come across as dumb in my question process. Im in the process of building a new rifle for no other reason than I just want to try something new. I chose a savage as my base because I want to do most of the work myself. I had originally thought 270 WSM or 7mm WSM which is still probably the road I will take, but recently stumbled across the 280AI and am now considering possibly building that instead, mostly because it is unique and yet very powerful. but this isnt about discussing why I should do one or the other but more to address my questions about reloading for the 280AI. Currently there is one supplier of 280AI brass, Nosler, which from searches I have found is quite good, and also really expensive and almost always backordered at Midway, amongst my searches I also found that you can chamber and fire standard 280rem factory rounds to make AI cases, now for my real question. I can get a box of cheap Remington blasting ammo in 280rem for $28 at midway so heres my thought, can I use this to fire form my cases for the 280AI build while breaking in the barrel and then reload em with the good stuff for hunting and targets? If so what is gonna be my expected case life/ success rate fire forming this stuff? Is Remington brass of decent quality? Or should I bite the bullet and buy some Norma cases for the 280Rem and fire form those? I have also heard of monkeying with Lapua 30-06 brass but among other problems doubles or triples the work. What in the long run will be the best solution? This is just a thought experiment, I may still go with the WSM especially just for availability of components but thought this was a really cool alternative. Like I said, Im new to this so please dont be too hard on me.
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  #2  
Old 03-03-2011, 07:29 PM
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Re: 280AI question

That's one of the beauties of Ackley Improved cartridges. Cases can be formed directly from the parent case. I personally think the .280 AI is one of the best. Assuming that the chamber is properly reamed, just load a parent cartridge and shoot. It is often surprising that even when fireforming, those loads are very accurate. And usually, velocity is just a bit lower than the normal velocity of the parent cartridge, because the pressure does not get quite as high, because there is additional volume in the chamber.

Handloading new brass before fireforming is fairly straightforward also. With the .280 AI, resizing new .30-06 brass works pretty good. A person can just partial neck size down leaving about .020 of the original neck at the neck-shoulder junction unsized. This will leave a bump that will make chambering the round a little firm. But the case will be secure and the firing pin strike will make good firm contact and the fireforming will be very positive.

Nearly all cases will come out very well formed. You might not lose any to the process. Good luck in whatever you decide.

-- gr8whyt
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  #3  
Old 03-03-2011, 08:26 PM
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Re: 280AI question

forming the 30-06 would be nice because then I could get large quantities of Lapua brass which seems to be a good brand especially for toasty reloads, but Ive heard you sacrifice neck length because the 280AI case length is longer than the 30-06. This true?

So here I stand, a poll if you will, which is the best route in terms of least headaches for overall quality brass?

option 1: buy a few boxes of bottom shelf remington or federal loaded ammo in 280rem to fireform while breaking in the barrel

option 2: buy desired quantity of Norma or other high quality brand brass for 280rem, work up some budget reloads for fireforming and break in

option 3: buy desired amount of Lapua 30-06 brass and necksize/ fireform for 280AI

option 4: take the easy road wait for the Nosler 280AI brass to be in stock and buy desired amount even if it is something like 2x as expensive

thanks in advance
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  #4  
Old 03-03-2011, 08:57 PM
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Location: Magnolia, MS
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Re: 280AI question

Eddybo built me a semi-custom long range hunting rifle in 280 AI. He gave me my options on brass which included most of those you listed. I settled on new Nosler brass which I believe I ordered from the Noslers site. I was looking at a Precision Reloaders catalog today which listed it.

Tom
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  #5  
Old 03-03-2011, 09:04 PM
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Re: 280AI question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex_Hunter View Post
forming the 30-06 would be nice because then I could get large quantities of Lapua brass which seems to be a good brand especially for toasty reloads, but Ive heard you sacrifice neck length because the 280AI case length is longer than the 30-06. This true?
You're right, my bad. .280 AI is longer by .031. And the shoulder is quite a bit farther forward. So reforming would be a tricky business. It could be done, but to get the false shoulder in the right place will take some careful figuring and trial. I would opt for starting with .280 brass.

So for you're poll, I guess I'd vote #2.

-- gr8whyt
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  #6  
Old 03-03-2011, 09:13 PM
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Re: 280AI question

I vote for buying regular 280 rem cases and fireforming. As gr8twhyt said, they can be quite accurate as long as you don't try to form a false shoulder



I have loaded a lot with the Nosler 280AI brass also but oddly enough I get do-nuts with it but not with the 280 rem brass and do-nuts will make a difference



The 280AI can rival a 7mag (work up to this load in your rifle)

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  #7  
Old 03-04-2011, 10:37 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Re: 280AI question

wow woods... that may be just what I needed to convince me to go this direction.

A couple more questions on your writeup, should I go for full loads with standard weight bullets or perhaps a cheaper reload with fast powder and light bullets for fireforming? With the accuracy you were getting on some of your 280Rem loads in the AI chamber suggest you could probably do some pretty good load development even while fire forming.

Also, here I go showing how much of a newbie I am, but whats this do-nut you mentioned?
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