280 AI vs 7 Rem Mag

LongWalker

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So I'll keep this short and hopefully simple. Was planning on a 280 AI build as my "one" hunting rifle. Then today I was offered a shot at a sweet shooting 7 rem mag for less money than I would have thought. The three negatives on the 7 rem mag are I'll need to get magnum primers, more powder per round and reloading belted mag brass freaks me out a bit.

I suppose worst case I could rebarrel the 7 to 280 AI but then I'd probably spend more than the original 280 AI build.

Any and all advice and opinion is greatly appreciated
 

LongWalker

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Buy it if you like it , reloading a belted case is no huge challenge.
With my .308 and 6.5 creed I neck size with a Lee collet die and then when bolt closing gets stiff I use a Redding body die to bump the shoulder which also FL sizes which is about every 5 or 6 firings. Any reason I cant do the same with the 7 mag brass?
 

lancetkenyon

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I FL size every round and bump shoulders .002", belted mag or not. All of my rounds are hunting rounds, so I want them to chamber smoothly.

No real difference in resizing a belted case than a non-belted case in my opinion.

A quick comparison between .280AI & 7RM (I have both):
.280AI
175 Berger Elite w. 58.0gr RL23 @ 2975fps
160 TMK w. 61.0gr H1000 @ 2940fps

7RM
184 Hybrid w. 69.0gr RL26 @ 3065fps
180 Hybrid w. 69.0gr H1000 @ 2996fps
168 HVLD w. 69.0gr H1000 @ 3070fps

With similar powders, you burn about 10-15% more powder for 100ish FPS.

You can always load your 7RM DOWN to .280AI velocities, but not vice versa.

But either will serve you well in a hunting rifle.
 

Smokepoles

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Odds are you’ll want magnum primers in the ack too so don’t let that stop you. Either will do it, I have a thing for pushing non magnum cartridges so the 280 would be my choice. 7mag brass and ammo should be quite a bit cheaper.
 

MudRunner2005

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So I'll keep this short and hopefully simple. Was planning on a 280 AI build as my "one" hunting rifle. Then today I was offered a shot at a sweet shooting 7 rem mag for less money than I would have thought. The three negatives on the 7 rem mag are I'll need to get magnum primers, more powder per round and reloading belted mag brass freaks me out a bit.

I suppose worst case I could rebarrel the 7 to 280 AI but then I'd probably spend more than the original 280 AI build.

Any and all advice and opinion is greatly appreciated
Magnum primers are not that big of a deal to buy... Just find you a $40 brick of Federal 215M's and you're set for quite a while.

As for powder burning, maybe about 10-15 grains more powder per shot. So that means, about 15-16 rounds less per pound of powder.

Bullets are the same, but I'd recommend the new 175 Elite Hunters.

Recoil and muzzle blast are greater, but perfectly manageable without a muzzle brake.

Belted vs. non-belted means nothing if you know how to properly setup your dies. Don't let all the internet bullshitters scare you about belted cases. They are just like non-belted cases, the only difference is they headspace off the belt, and not the shoulder (at first). So, to correctly work with belted cases, you neck-size your belted cases after the first time you shoot them, and continue neck-sizing them until you get resistance when closing the bolt, then you FL size them once, then continue to neck size again until you feel resistance...repeat the process.

7mm RemMag is one of my all-time favorite cartridges, and has been my main deer rifle cartridge for over 16 years.
 
Last edited:

Smokepoles

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Your the first person to catch that, I’m glad someone else remembers!
 

MudRunner2005

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Your the first person to catch that, I’m glad someone else remembers!
I do, I used to love that show when I was growing up. I also used to watch it every morning while getting ready for work, as my last job required me waking up around 4-4:30am (started work at 6), and they play reruns on TBS every morning, so I'd watch it while getting ready in the mornings.
 

LongWalker

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Aug 6, 2016
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204
Magnum primers are not that big of a deal to buy... Just find you a $40 brick of Federal 215M's and you're set for quite a while.

As for powder burning, maybe about 10-15 grains more powder per shot. So that means, about 15-16 rounds less per pound of powder.

Bullets are the same, but I'd recommend the new 175 Elite Hunters.

Recoil and muzzle blast are greater, but perfectly manageable without a muzzle brake.

Belted vs. non-belted means nothing if you know how to properly setup your dies. Don't let all the internet bullshitters scare you about belted cases. They are just like non-belted cases, the only difference is they headspace off the belt, and not the shoulder (at first). So, to correctly work with belted cases, you neck-size your belted cases after the first time you shoot them, and continue neck-sizing them until you get resistance when closing the bolt, then you FL size them once, then continue to neck size again until you feel resistance...repeat the process.

7mm RemMag is one of my all-time favorite cartridges, and has been my main deer rifle cartridge for over 16 years.
Thanks that's great info. I was planning on running the Berger 175 elite. I run the 140 in my 6.5 creed and it's outstanding. If I may ask what's your best load for the 175?
 

lancetkenyon

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I use Fed GM210M primers in my .280AI. They have performed flawlessly from 4° to 111°.

My load is fairly hot with the 175 Berger. No ejector marks, primer issues, or sticky bolt lift though, but it is close. I think I saw pressure at 58.4gr in my rifle. But I have used RL23 in a few different .280AIs in the 56.5-58.0gr range with great results.

Nosler brass
Fed GM210M
58.0gr RL23
175 Berger Elite
2.690" CBTO
2975fps

3 shots @ 200


3 shots @ 921
 

Labaherd

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Aug 14, 2017
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Northern California
I am running the Berger 180 Vlds through my 7mm. I just started reloading the load for my rifle was developed buy the manufacturer of my rifle.
256 gr Nosler brass
CCI 250 primers
66.4 gr Retumbo
2930fps
 

MudRunner2005

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Thanks that's great info. I was planning on running the Berger 175 elite. I run the 140 in my 6.5 creed and it's outstanding. If I may ask what's your best load for the 175?
I haven't shot any of the 175's yet, but plan on trying them before this upcoming hunting season. I have been shooting 168 VLD's for years with great success. I have been using IMR 7828 SSC in Nosler brass with Federal 215M primers, but I think I might try IMR 7977 and see how it does with the 175's.
 

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