168 gr, Berger VLD in 280 Remington? Load suggestions?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Nimrodmar10, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Nimrodmar10

    Nimrodmar10 Well-Known Member

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    I've got a Remington 700 Stainless Mountain Rifle that I'm wanting to work up a load for. I bought it for an elk and mule deer gun before I got too fat to run up and down the Rockies. It worked good on both with the Federal 160 gr. Nosler Partitions.

    The biggest thing I shoot now is Tennessee Whitetails. But to make that more interesting, I shoot them at long range. In doing so, I've started using the Berger VLDs and like them. I usually shoot the heaviest bullet possible for the higher BCs. I know from past experiences that I can't reliably shoot the 180 VLD in the Remington 1 in 9 1/4" factory twist, especially with the slower velocity of the .280 Rem. So I thought I'd try and work up a load with the 168 gr. VLD.

    I searched this forum for this caliber/bullet combination and didn't find any posts. But I know that some of you guys know how good a caliber the 280 Rem. is. I also know we have lots of Berger fans on here. So I'm betting some of you have some pet loads that you might share.

    The gun has a 22" thin conture barrel. The barrel is not floated. There is a pressure pad at the tip of the fore end, but with the whippy barrel and light weight stock, I think this is a good thing. It shoots MOA with the Federal factory 160 gr. Partition loads and the one 100gr, HP load that I worked up for coyotes. That is not a fur friendly load.

    I asked this same question about a 6.5-284 about a month ago for a new Savage 111 LRH I purchased. I got some very good load advise from you guys. I kind of ignored it and spent a month and a lot of money on reloading components testing lots of different loads, only to come to the conclusion that the suggested loads were exactly right. I won't do that this time.

    I'm thinking H1000, IMR-7828SSC, RE-19 or maybe H4831SC, but if I'm on the wrong track, please set me straight.
    Thanks guys.
     
  2. Nimrodmar10

    Nimrodmar10 Well-Known Member

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    Since I didn't get any suggestions, I loaded test loads with Berger 168 gr. VLDs and the the four powders listed above. I started at max loads from the Berger manual, which are usually mild. I seated the bullets to touch the lands and ended up with a COL of 3.410" All loads chronographed in the mid 2550 fps range with no sign of high pressure. These speeds are 120-220 fps lower than the Berger manual quoted for a 24" barrel. I didn't expect the two inch shorter barrel to make that much difference. Three of the loads shot sub-MOA with the best being the load with 54.9 gr. IMR7828ssc which measured .375".

    I'm reloading the same load again to test this afternoon. If it shoots this good again I will probably increase the load to get a little higher velocity. If I can get 2700 fps with the 22" barrel I'll be tickled. Especially if it stays below .5 MOA.
     

  3. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    h4350 or varget?
     
  4. Nimrodmar10

    Nimrodmar10 Well-Known Member

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    Is that a suggestion or a question?
     
  5. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    those are powders i would try. also 140 accbond.
     
  6. Nimrodmar10

    Nimrodmar10 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the powder suggestions. On the Accubonds, I've found they don't expand at long range (800-1000 yards).
     
  7. midnightmalloy

    midnightmalloy Well-Known Member

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    Rl17 worked well in my old 280ai. It wasnt even close to compressed so u should look up some data on alliants website and give it a try.
     
  8. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    +1 on RL 17---fast and accurate and that 280ai ain't that old!

    Randy
     
  9. Elkhunter1983

    Elkhunter1983 Well-Known Member

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    If you search on here there is a guy that ran these out of a 24" barrel with H4831SC and that has worked for me very well on the VLD bullets. Mine was out of a pencil barrel rem 700 from back when they called it the 7mm express.
     
  10. Highlander44

    Highlander44 New Member

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    Hi,
    Just bought the same rifle as you (rem 700 mountain ss)in 280 rem. Just starting to put together a load with the 168gr Berger's, and wondered what else you have found with your testing? Any help would be appreciated! Mike
     
  11. SRHeer

    SRHeer Active Member

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    I am thinking of buying a 280 Rem for elk and deer hunting - how has the 280 with Berger 168 VLD bullets performed in the field on elk?

    The reason I am asking is that the BAR 7-mag I had was too loud and a bit heavy for me to be a good elk hunter so I want to tone down the powder charge yet still want to be able to hunt long range.

    The Browning 708 I had shot well as far as accuracy but to me it has seemed a bit underpowered when it comes to elk hunting in the one cow that I nailed in the lungs ran like 60 yrds before dropping and I think I have hit other elk by noting the whack but not seeing any go down so my concern was that it might be underpowered and wanted something that packs more punch.

    Now these 168 VLD Berger bullets have everyone that has used them just raving about their practical use even on elk - what are your experiences and or comments or ideas - I am open to suggestions for a good elk hunting cartridge that still can be used for long range hunting and doesn't kick or boom like the magnums with enough punch to essentially drop an elk so that I don't have to wonder if I nailed it or not - I even thought using 3006 or 338Federal but the bigger the boom the more on follow up shots I tend to flinch.

    Thanks for your time!
     
  12. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    i shot a bighorn with a 168 berger it did not pass through. i wold put a brake on the 7mm mag.
     
  13. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    I am running the Berger 168 Classic Hunters in my 7x57 @ 2700 from a 22" barreled Ruger #1A using RL-22. Pressures are still mild. You should be able to beat that by 50-75 fps from your .280 without much problem.

    ETA: I just realized this is an old thread. Where did you end up with your .280?
     
  14. SRHeer

    SRHeer Active Member

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    This is a good suggestion however while a break reduces recoil it also increases the boom or noise factor - for me - if I get an FFL I can use a silencer/break combination which would probably be the ticket but getting an FFL is not that easy - but I think it would be worth meeting requirements - also the way I understand Berger VLD bullets are designed not to pass through but concuss by breaking apart and expending the energy of moving bullet inside game - is this not correct?