280 AI . . . thoughts and decison making

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Qrachel, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Qrachel

    Qrachel Active Member

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    I'm headed to MT for an extend hunt for Elk and Mulies on a large ranch (80K+ acres) west of Yellow Stone on the Upper Ruby River. I need a hunting rifle, as I shoot my pistols and and AR most of the time just for the fun of ringing steel and making lots of holes close together - this will be the hunting gun to help with my bucket list . . . :rolleyes:

    So I've read 'til I'm numb (maybe even dumb), talked to lots helpful folks and have settled on the 7MM caliber: My top 3 cartridges in current order of preference are 280 AI, 7MM WSM and the old standard 30-06 if I can't find a rifle I want to own in the caliber I prefer (7MM) at a cost I'm willing to pay.

    I'm not wishing to start a caliber/cartridge debate - they are all deadly and can reach out to 350-500 yds (not untypical shooting ranges where I'll be hunting). My favorite bullet for the 280 AI is the 150gr Accubond. Does anyone load this bullet at 3050-3150 fps? The Nosler factory cartridge is at 2950 fps ±, and there isn't much difference by loading up to 3100-3150 and I get that. But that increase would help with wind drift, drop and energy in the 400+ range a bit, and I'm told to expect it to be windy in November. At ranges below ≤350 yds, I'm totally OK with each cartridge.

    In the 7MM WSM I really like the 168 gr bullet at close to 3000 fps.

    Rachel
     
  2. chad

    chad Well-Known Member

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    I shoot a 280 Remington and 140 grain accubonds @ 3095fps. Killed 3 muleys from 100yds to 650 and 2 bulls from 70 yds to 150 and all were dead within seconds. Im talkin like 2 to 3 seconds. I would say go for the 280 or 280AI.
     

  3. ramrod79

    ramrod79 Well-Known Member

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    I have a 280Ai I shoot Nosler 150GR ABLR in my Kimber Montana 3000F/S .5 inch at 100 yards ,and I would not even hesitate on shooting these bullets in the wind. I don't think you are going to notice enough difference at 400yards in any aspect by jumping up 50-100 F/S if you were shooting 1000yards then maybe .
     
  4. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    One question...Are these all rifles you currently own, or are you wanting to build a rifle in one of those calibers?

    The reason I ask, is because out to 500 yards max, you would be ok with even a small 7mm-08. It won't be quite as fast as the 280 AI, but a good caliber none-the-less.

    I love the .280 AI, and plan on building one very soon. As a matter of fact, I am picking up my donor Rem 700 rifle for that project this weekend.

    If I were to be shooting the .280 AI at game, and want great wind bucking abilities and still be fast enough to hit hard, I'd look into the Berger 168 VLD bullets and IMR 7828 SSC powder.
     
  5. Qrachel

    Qrachel Active Member

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    Hi Chad: Thanks for the input. I'm inclined to go 280 or 280 AI . . . Rachel
     
  6. Qrachel

    Qrachel Active Member

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    Your assessment agrees with the ballistics calculator. I really like the 150 ABLR with its BC > .6. Perhaps I'm just weary minded from all the reading - I just want to get a nice rifle and shoot the darned thin 4-500 times before November. I've had a love affair with the 280 AI since I was young lady who had a custom 300 H&H Mannlicher as her first real rifle, which I sold a few years later as life occurred. Never got back around to the 280 AI - career, family, community. But I'm doing what needs to be done now and thus my note.

    Thanks for the input - it's really appreciated.

    Rachel

    Rachel :cool:
     
  7. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    I notice you haven't stated the price you are willing to pay. That may have a large impact on what you choose to go with, especially if you are looking at off-the-shelf rifles. If you are planning a build, you are already well behind schedule.
     
  8. Qrachel

    Qrachel Active Member

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    Dear MudRunner: I don't own any of them. I do own a very nicely done LWRC AR-15 that I getting pretty good at shooting consistently. I just really like the overall 280 AI package: pretty efficient, pretty fast and flat, and it can spit out a pretty wide range of great bullets.

    Thanks,

    Rachel
     
  9. Qrachel

    Qrachel Active Member

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    Dear Bench: The price isn't the real issue; it's the value proposition and that's totally subjective. If I'm willing to put down $4-5K for the rifle, no problem except weight. Of course, I could go with a Kimber, Montana for around $1.2K-ish or a 7MM WSM in a x-bolt for about $900ish. And there in a nutshell is the value proposition: a Montana vs an x-bolt vs custom.

    Thanks for sharing!!! :)

    It'll get real clear here pretty soon, as lead time is also a consideration.

    Rachel
     
  10. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    By strange coincidence, I also have an LWRC M6A1. Had mine since 2009, and never had 1 single issue or hiccup through the thousands of rounds I've out through it. Mine is Coyote Tan finish. I love that rifle. They are the best AR platform rifle money can buy.

    The .280 AI will be an excellent rifle. You should really enjoy it.

    The 168 Berger VLD's have a higher BC than any of the Nosler Accubond bullets. While I like the Nosler 160 Accubonds alot, I have had incredible results with the Bergers.

    Good luck with your endeavor.
     
  11. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered any of the Nosler Model 48 variants? I don't know what the lead time is, if any, for those rifles. I do know they are offered in 280 AI. May be worth a look. The current production Winchester Model 70's are very nice rifles, but the only chambering on your list that they are offered in is 30-06. For some reason, they seemed to have dropped the 7mm WSM.
     
  12. Qrachel

    Qrachel Active Member

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    Hi MudRunner: My AR is Coyote Tan as well, 18" fluted barrel, a detachable military bi-pod, with a Burris 2.5-6.0 Pigplex - fun to shoot and easy on my old eyes. I put a new Timney Trigger a 3lbs in it (very smooth and no uptake) and my groups improved quite a bit from the bench rest, especially beyond 200yds.

    The Berger 168s appeal to me as well. I agree that a 280 AI is pretty much the cat's meow. Using 160s or 168s makes it's a deadly, high energy killer out in the 500 yds and beyond - though I have trouble believing I'd take a shot over 500 yds at game.

    Take good care,

    Rachel
     
  13. Qrachel

    Qrachel Active Member

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    Dear BR: I really like the Montana Rifles custom mountain rifle, and I've looked at Len Backus' rifles as well. All the customer rifle work I've seem for what I want is north of $3.5K and they all seem to land around $4.5K when tricked out.

    Take care,

    Rachel