look at benchmark barrels, carbon or steelI did a barrel swap Savage for my wife in 280 AI. It has a 24 inch barrel, it’s an 8 twist (should have been a 9 twist) that shoots the 162 ELDM at 3040 FPS. I think the barrel is an X-caliber but it could also be a Mcgowen I can’t remember but I know it’s a #4 Douglas contour. I have an apa micro bastard brake on it to keep it really tame. It has the accufit stock so we can adjust the LOP and cheek height. It wasn’t put together with budget in mind it just happened to make the most sense at the time.
So far everyone who gets behind the gun is shocked how much they love it. It took a deer at 560(my wife’s first deer) a deer at 150 and a cow elk at 460. I didn’t have time to do much load development before the season but it was shooting 5 shot 3/4 inch groups, 10 shot average velocity 3040, es of 30 and SD of 10.8. So it’s a good start, little development I should be able to get those numbers better. For the 280 AI try to get Peterson brass it’s awesome.
I think this off-season I will try a 155 hammer hunter, just to see how they will shoot.
Now I am building my own 280 AI here are my specs.
Preferred barrel blanks carbon 24 inch 1-9 twist threaded for a brake. I will do a titanium brake on this one.
Manners lrh stock
Hawkins bdl bottom metal
Trigger tech Diamond