Check out my 1st LR Gun - 280 AI!

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by jeffwhip, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. jeffwhip

    jeffwhip Well-Known Member

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    Ok guys,

    I just want to start off by extending a sincere "Thank You" to everyone who has generously taken the time to educate me throughout the past year. You guys have been patient with me. This is my very first Long Range Gun I had built by a very reputable gunsmith in Phoenix. It is a 280 AI tight-necked chamber (.311). It is built on a Alpine/Timberline action (Thanks for the advice with this Kirby, I do think this is the best action for the bucks) with a NF 5.5 X 22 X 50 scope and set in a McMillan Lazzeroni Thumb Sporter stock. I sent the stock off to Shawn Carlock to have painted and am VERY happy with the way it looks! Thanks Shawn! The barrel is a Krieger 25.5" 5.5 contoured & fluted barrel.


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    I went down to my local outdoor gun range in Phoenix over the weekend and braved the 110 Deg heat. I never imagined a gun could shoot this well and I have just started in my load development phase! I neck turned most of my brass to a .0125 thickness and then weight sorted my Nosler 280 AI brass. After reading on the forums here that it usually takes a gun 20 - 40 rounds to break in the barrel and start grouping, I decided to use the brass that were extremely heavier or lighter than the rest. In other words, this is with brass that varied as much as 2.0 G in weight. Here is my target and I'll explain the hits.

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    Because I just can't go running out onto the range whenever I want, I decided to use this big target initially because I wanted to sight in my AR-15 also. All I did was dial the NF down 20 mils (1 complete turn) and was off to the races. I decided to use H-4831 as well as RE-22. I loaded up 6 shots with 56 g of H-4831 to go along with my 168 G Berger VLD seated .010 off the lands, figuring it would take me this long to get this thing zero'd so I could start my ladder test. I also decide to use CCI Magnum 250 LR primers since I still have a bunch to shoot. The first 3 shots are shown at the bottom right and made one big hole. Next, I made a scope adjustment for zero and fired two more shots which are covered up by tape. I did this so that I could start my ladder test. I cleaned the barrel after every 4 shots.

    Then I started my ladder test with H-4831:
    1. 54 G 2686 fps
    2. 54.5 G 2725 fps
    3. 55G 2747 fps
    4. 55.5 G 2742 fps
    5. 56 G 2744 fps
    6. 56.5 G 2825 fps
    7. 57 G 2766 fps
    8. 57.5 G 2799 fps

    I can't explain shot #6. I'm not sure this was an accurate reading. Also, I had to tape over the far right shot because the guy 2 lanes down "accidentally" put a round into my ladder test! Then I shot a 4 shot group of 56.5 G H-4831 and got the following:

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    2 hours was all I could take in the heat. I'm not sure how much this affected my tests, but I did have a hard time getting the barrel to cool down. I'm blown away by the accuracy of this gun. I was hoping to get a little more velocity out of this thing, but I knew that H-4831 is not the fastest powder. I ran out of time and didn't even get to try the RE-22 powder. This is the first time I've ever had a LR gun, but it appears to me that I got lucky and 56.5 is a good load for this gun. I'd appreciate any feedback trying to interpret this ladder test, but I think the next time I go to the range, I'm going to try a 4 shot group at 55, 55.5, 56 & 56.5. As always, I would appreciate any feedback. Should I try some loads with more powder? 57.7 is the max load listed on the Hodgdon website. FYI, even at 57 G I wasn't showing any signs of high pressure.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  2. jeffwhip

    jeffwhip Well-Known Member

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    What's wrong, doesn't anyone like my gun? On a serious note, I'd love to get some feedback on my ladder test. Thanks in advance.
     

  3. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Usually folks post pictures of their new rifle before they take it out and shoot it so the general consensus is "Hope it shoots as good as it looks".

    Well yours does!gun)

    Congrats.
     
  4. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Looks like 4,5,6 are the best of the bunch. I would work in those load ranges. However looks like you found a good load already. You might see it get tighter or open up as the barrel comes in. Also with as hot as it was on range day, you will want to re-shoot it on a much cooler day to make sure it still is grouping. I have a feeling if you try the RE22 you will see a velocity increase. You may want to try some H1000 or Ramshot Magnum or Hunter you might see some velocity gains as well. How far was your ladder test?

    Tank
     
  5. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    Very nice rifle as well as a great shooter. You got advice from some of the best in the business!
     
  6. jeffwhip

    jeffwhip Well-Known Member

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    Liltank,

    My ladder test was at 100 yards. I think I'd like to stay with the temp stable powders made by Hodgdon, but I'll at least try the RE-22 as well. I do have some H-1000 and will give it a try also and see if I can get some more velocity out of this thing. Thanks!
     
  7. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    When I was loading for my 7mm Mag and they first came out with H-1000 I thought it a godsend. Should work great in the .280 as well.
     
  8. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    You should really stretch your ladder test out to 200+ yards. It's difficult to really determine the powder burn at such a close range. I would really suggest taking it out to 300+. That is when you will notice the spread and where they really come together. Look for ladder testing on accurateshooter.com. They have a really good article there.

    Tank
     
  9. jeffwhip

    jeffwhip Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Liltank.
     
  10. crittrgittr

    crittrgittr Well-Known Member

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    awesome rifle. I'm just jealous, thats all. That's why it took soo long to respond. Had to clean the drule off my keyboard first. lol
     
  11. 3fingervic

    3fingervic Well-Known Member

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    +1 on the longer range ladder test. Gun looks great. I'm sure you'll get it dialed in in no time.
     
  12. Tnwhip

    Tnwhip Well-Known Member

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    Nice rifle. That is about the same Velocity I am gettin in my 280 ack. With the H- 4831 sc, I am still working on getting a little more. I have some R-22 that I tried 59g with some 162SSTs and got 2800fps. I will be working up from there the next time out. I will be interested in what speed and accuracy you will get.
     
  13. jeffwhip

    jeffwhip Well-Known Member

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    Tnwhip,

    Did you figure out why your 280 AI was not producing good velocity or accuracy? I'm going to try H-1000 and RE-22 the next time I'm out and I'll let you know what I get.
     
  14. Tnwhip

    Tnwhip Well-Known Member

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    After running the lead lap throught it I picked up 100fps. That barrel was really ruff and copper fouled really bad. When I tried the 162 A-max and the 168 VLD that is when she started shooting under 1/2". I was also loading my cartridges to fit the mag and my rifle did not like that. It likes up close or .025 off the lands seem to be doing really good. Whipppppppppppppppppppppppppp