.280 Rem to .280 AI - worth the cost to rebarrel?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by sharktown, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. sharktown

    sharktown Member

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    Oct 24, 2010
    Hello All,

    I am new to this forum and have had an interest to long range shooting for some time now but have not made the leap so to speak.
    I have a Jager Hunter .280 with 22" barrel and a 3.5x10 Leupold scope, wondering if it would be worth the cost to remove the barrel and have a 26" .280 AI barrel installed.
    Would there be any benifit to the new rig and would I need to do any other "tuning" to it?

    Thanks,
    Sharktown
     
  2. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    No, it is not worth it. Ackley's improvements were not much of anything really. Stick with the 280. I have been thinking about this very thing for a long time and after listening to many who went AI, and telling me it was not worth it, I am building a standard 280 myself.

    Anytime you change something, yes, you will need to retune it. I'm going with a 24 or 25" tube. Likely a 24.
     

  3. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    Welcome, Here my opinion

    I just got a new 280AI used a Lilja #3 contour barrel and it's getting mid 3000fps to low 3100fps with 160gr bullets. I plan on trying some Berger 168gr and 180gr bullets in that rifle.

    I wish I could tell you I have a 280 same spec as the 280AI to compare the two calibers but I don't. I'd build the rifle as one of my deer/elk rifles more than just a target rifle and I didn't get the rifle in time to really work hunting loads to use it this year.

    My wife shoot a Kreiger barrel 280AI on a Model 24 Ultra Light Arms rifle and I'm loading 150gr TSX in that rifle.

    If it was me I'd shoot your rifle at LR see what kind of yardage it likes and your comfortable with may be the perfect rifle. I still have my factory Rem 280.

    If you get serious about a 280AI alot of good gumnsith here that could help you out.

    Well good luck
     
  4. KurtB

    KurtB Well-Known Member

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    I'd put a turret on that Leupold before I swapped barrels as long as the current one shoots well.
     
  5. str8shoot

    str8shoot Well-Known Member

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    For long range, going from a 22" to a 26" barrel is going to be worth it. With a slow powder you'll gain quite a bit of velocity with less muzzle blast and less felt recoil. The added weight will also help with stability. To go the next step to a .280AI will get maybe another 100fps. This will get you close to 7mag with 24" bbl velocities. If you are hand loading for this, I say go for it.
    However, if the current barrel shoots, it may reach out to your desired distance with accuracy, and why spend the money?
     
  6. sharktown

    sharktown Member

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    Thank you to all that have responded to this newbie's question. I gained much more information that I thought I would.
    I forgot to mention that I also handload so if there are any suggestions I could use for my current .280 rig it would be appreciated.
    Now I need to think about what I really need to do - keep shooting the rifle the way it (pretty good - not great) is or make a project out of it.

    Thanks again,
    Sharktown
     
  7. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    Having shot a 280 Rem for 15 years or so and going to a 280AI the last 5 yrs. I'll throw you my .o2 cent opinion. My old 280 Rem didn't have the twist to handle the heavier bullets - do you know what twist is in your barrel? If it is at least a 1-10" twist I'd say shoot your existing barrel out just plane practicing at long range. Then if you want to get the additional 100 fps plus or so more out of it go the AI route. The AI design does offer a few advantages in my opinion - I like the way the AI feeds out of the magazine a little better because of the shoulder shape and most important advantage I have found is that I can neck size 4-5 times before I have to FL resize. I have run 100's of rounds of the 280 Rem and 280AI through a chronograph and the velocity advantage alone is not worth going to AI. I will say that with the AI and the proper barrel you can push the 3000 fps pretty close with either the 160AB or 168 Berger.
     
  8. sharktown

    sharktown Member

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    Thanks so much Cowboy for your info, it is appreciated. By the way what is the barrel length of your .280?
    Mine is 22" and I'm not to sure how much of a long range I can shoot with it but I guess it just comes down to putting more time on the range and practice.

    Thanks,
    Sharktown
     
  9. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    My son and I both have 280AI's and both are finished with 25" barrel lengths and have a 1-10" twist. If I was to do it again I'd go with a 1-9" twist which should handle up to 180 gr. bullets - we live in Montana and the heavier bullets would have an advantage in the wind - and the wind never stops blowing here in Montana. If you ever have any questions/concerns feel free to send me a PM and like I said: I'd be more than willing to give you my .02 cent opinion. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a 280 Rem - but if you have the itch to change to AI you're going to be looking at new dies, maybe brass and quite frankly less retail value with an AI if you ever want to get rid of it. With that said I wouldn't trade my 280AI for anything right now.
     
  10. glazer1972

    glazer1972 Well-Known Member

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    Not worth it.
     
  11. su37

    su37 Well-Known Member

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    Not worth it.