.280 or 6.5x284 for elk

elkaholic

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Question for the guru’s. My .280 load gives 1846 FPS with 1211 ft lbs at 450 yards. I’m shooting a 160 gr partition at 2635 FPS. My 6.5x284 load gives 2092 FPS with 1360 ft lbs at 450 yards. I’m shooting. 140 gr accubond at 2873 FPS. Since the 6.5x284 has more velocity and energy should I use this for my elk hunt? I know some of you will say I need a larger caliper but this is what I have to work with. Please give me your opinions. Thanks!
Here is another option, if you are interested.
Petersen is now making 280 A.
I. brass which is a big improvement over previously available brass. You could punch your chamber out to an A. I. and have near 7 mag performance. If you dont mind fire forming the A. I. brass, an even better option is the 280 Sherman. It will run a 175-180 class bullet up to 3100' with a 26" barrel. You likely have a 22" so with RL26, and the like, you could still run 2950-3000'. It would be an inexpensive job with big results!
shermanwildcatcartridges. com
 

spindrift307

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Feb 7, 2017
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Question for the guru’s. My .280 load gives 1846 FPS with 1211 ft lbs at 450 yards. I’m shooting a 160 gr partition at 2635 FPS. My 6.5x284 load gives 2092 FPS with 1360 ft lbs at 450 yards. I’m shooting. 140 gr accubond at 2873 FPS. Since the 6.5x284 has more velocity and energy should I use this for my elk hunt? I know some of you will say I need a larger caliper but this is what I have to work with. Please give me your opinions. Thanks!
Everyone has their own opinion regarding the must have caliber. Being someone who hunts western game exclusively, I will tell you it comes down to the gun that shoots the best. Weight is another big factor, if you are packing the rifle on your back it’s a lot more critical than if your hunting from a truck or horse back. Either caliber will kill them dead. I’ve seen elk drop with much less caliber than your explaining.
 
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Starlite

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New Brunswick Canada
in my opinion; either will kill as long as there is at least 1300ft-lb of energy into the boiler room. Head shots are a totally different thing. If you and your rifle are capable of [email protected] you could headshot-drop an elk with an 88gr; 5.56 mm/.224 round. In any event again this is just my opinion.
 

TAWS

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Jan 28, 2005
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" Question for the guru’s. My .280 load gives 1846 FPS with 1211 ft lbs at 450 yards. I’m shooting a 160 gr partition at 2635 FPS."
Are these hand loads are factory loads, and please share the load, as the 280 hand loaded should run a little faster than that. I assume that this rifle has a 22 inch barrel on it.
 

LoganDon

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Jan 15, 2011
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Your 280 load seems slow. I have killed several elk (and other things) with my 280 mountain rifle pushing a 160gr partition to 2825fps.
Ditto. While I have killed many elk with magnums and 308, my last 20 years have been with an old Remington 700 mountain rifle in 280. Perfect elk gun. Very accurate and quite light enough for this 76yr. old hunter.
 

azarcher10x

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Nov 12, 2012
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Question for the guru’s. My .280 load gives 1846 FPS with 1211 ft lbs at 450 yards. I’m shooting a 160 gr partition at 2635 FPS. My 6.5x284 load gives 2092 FPS with 1360 ft lbs at 450 yards. I’m shooting. 140 gr accubond at 2873 FPS. Since the 6.5x284 has more velocity and energy should I use this for my elk hunt? I know some of you will say I need a larger caliper but this is what I have to work with. Please give me your opinions. Thanks!
This seems quite low, IMO. Although I shoot a 300 RUM for elk, I'm still running a 168 gr. (Barnes) I'm just about square at 450 yards. Velocity is 2721, and energy is 2762. I'm over 1500 more ft./lbs than your 280 with a similar weight bullet. If your going with either of those rounds, I'd choose your bullet very carefully for maximum terminal ballistics. As far as kinetic energy goes, my rule is, I want my energy to be double the weight of the animal I'm shooting at a given yardage. You're already below that for elk at 450 with the 280.
 

Oklahunter1

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Oklahoma
First, I want to thank everyone for their help. I really appreciate it!!
To explain my .280 load, it was developed for accuracy for whitetail hunting at ranges out to 300-350 yards. Gives me 1/2” groups at 100 yds. My load is 55gr H-4831, fed 210m primer, lapua and Nosler brass. I used magnetospeed chrono to get my velocities so feel pretty good about them. I have a Browning A-bolt with a 22” barrel.
Both guns have similar quality scopes, a Leupold VX-3 on .280 and a Vortex Viper HS on the 6.5x284. The .280 setup is a little lighter. The .280 is a whitetail killing machine! I have no RL powders but do have H-4831, H-4350, Retumbo, IMR-4831, IMR-4350. Any load info with those powders to improve the speed of the .280 would be appreciated.
Thanks again!
 

lyle2231

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I shoot a model 70 chambered in .280 using the Sierra recipe for accuracy with the 150 SMK. 44.4 gr of Rel.15 good out to 1k. HTH
 

rbTanzan

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Sep 11, 2012
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Question for the guru’s. My .280 load gives 1846 FPS with 1211 ft lbs at 450 yards. I’m shooting a 160 gr partition at 2635 FPS. My 6.5x284 load gives 2092 FPS with 1360 ft lbs at 450 yards. I’m shooting. 140 gr accubond at 2873 FPS. Since the 6.5x284 has more velocity and energy should I use this for my elk hunt? I know some of you will say I need a larger caliper but this is what I have to work with. Please give me your opinions. Thanks!
I think that you should reconsider your starting points and redo your load development for the 280, especially. 2635fps is somewhat anemic for a 280 with 160 grain bullets. I would not recommend hotrodding a 160gn to 3000 fps, but 2900fps is often doable according to Nosler and 2800fps should be easy to obtain with an accurate load. Your 6.5-284 is closer to its average hunting load levels. In effect, the comparison was an "apples and oranges" affair.

What to do?
Well, for one, if you are seriously planning on shots at 450 yards, you might try equivalent bullets and a slightly better BC for the 280. The .284" Partition BC isn't bad at .475 but you are comparing it with a bullet with a BC of .509. If you stayed within the same company you could shoot a .284" 160gn Accubond with a .531 BC.
Problem solved.
You could also check out specialty bullets like Barnes 145gnLRX with .486 BC or 168gn LRX with a 550 BC. Lehigh Controlled Chaos has an amazing 142 gn bullet with comparable BC to the Partition .477 but exceptional terminal effects and Hammer Hunter has some sleeker bullets with similar effects. I tend toward monolithics because I deem deep penetration as a primary consideration after accuracy, and penetration needs to be guaranteed up close, too.

In sum, the 280 has a paper advantage in both diameter and energy, and is equivalent/comparable in velocity. However, like most big game hunting in the US, the ballistic advantage of the 7mm over the 6.5mm is moot and would only apply to some marginal situations.

The deciding factor should start with accuracy. Which rifle is more accurate? If the they both consistently shoot under <1 MOA, then go with the 280. Otherwise go with the rifle that is consistently under 1 MOA with the bullet/load chosen. Then you will have the best chance of tasting that elk standing 450 yards away.
 

sjb8215

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Oct 6, 2013
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Arizona
Question for the guru’s. My .280 load gives 1846 FPS with 1211 ft lbs at 450 yards. I’m shooting a 160 gr partition at 2635 FPS. My 6.5x284 load gives 2092 FPS with 1360 ft lbs at 450 yards. I’m shooting. 140 gr accubond at 2873 FPS. Since the 6.5x284 has more velocity and energy should I use this for my elk hunt? I know some of you will say I need a larger caliper but this is what I have to work with. Please give me your opinions. Thanks!
 

sjb8215

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Oct 6, 2013
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Arizona
I have used 280 145 gr Barnes LRX and 140 gr Nosler partition running 2900 fps on elk out to 300 yard with no issues whatsoever. A cow with the Nosler and a spike with the Barnes. Cow dropped after 2 steps. Spike was a spine shot and was DRT, never took a step. The 6.5x284 will perform as well if not better at longer ranges. Like other giving their read on this pick the pipe you shoot best and have at it.
 

DesertDweller62

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Dec 1, 2014
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Bullet placement, bullet construction and confidence in your rifle are the important factors... I have seen elk killed with everything from a 243 Win to a 375 H&H... they all die when a good bullet is put in the right place. Hope you have a great hunt and let us know how it goes! DesertDweller62
 

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