.280 or 6.5x284 for elk

Starlite

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@ rb Tarzan
100% agree. Another good choice is the Berger 140 (G1=.510/G7=.261) or 168 (G1=.617/G7=.316)for your 280. I really like H4350. With the 140gr VLD AND A 99% (not compressed) case capacity of the H4350 you’re approaching that 3000fps.
for that 6.5 I’d choose an SST (either a 129 or the 140gr) and I’d go buy some superformance powder or the StaBall6.5 powder. For maximal velocity without burning up the throat.
 

lesvoth

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Mar 17, 2017
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The worst kind of dangerous critter just appeared running full speed toward you and yours.
Which rifle of the two do you reach for with confidence?
Pick that one.
 

SCSCHNUR

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Mar 7, 2012
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WICHITA KANSAS
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!
I owned a Browning A-bolt LH and I still wish I owned it most regretful sell I ever made. Shot lights out. I thought about reaming it to a 280 AI because it would still shoot reg 280 ammo in a pinch. That would match any 7mm magnum.
 

oldpilot

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Gilbert Arizona
Hit a buzzard at 200 kts one day, compressor stall really bad smell, they cleaned the engine, ran good no damage...3 weeks later, hit another buzzard, at 12M feet, 400 kts engine destroyed, all blades gone. Moral, bear hunting with a switch is ungood...1500 #s of energy defines my range; thus my kills are dead in their tracks. I will admit to nice 6x bull in Montana at 95 yds with a 6mm Rem right in the ear canal to the brain.... with the same rifle and conditions I would do it again!
 

Bob Wright

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Jan 23, 2018
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Litchfield Park, Az.
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!
I think there is an upper accuracy node in that 280 could get to. If you stick with a 150 class bullet, you could get more powder fill in there.
The H4831 or in "short cut" form would work fairly well. H4350 is slower burning hence you could get a bit more speed.
I'd run .2 gr. Increments from a known powder and weight from your current load and shoot some ladder tests over a chrony. Go all the way until you see pressure signs and call it "max".
Then look for your velocity flats.
From there, if you havent done so, some seating depth tests in a flat area and see if they move group sizes better.
I think you left something on the table at your current velocity.
RE23 or 26 will usually outperform Hodgdon on velo, but if you can't find it, keep working the Hodgdon and maybe a primer test.... my '06 with Varget is running 2800 and you're way off that mark.
Best of luck on your hunt!
 

doubledoc

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Just moved to Maine
Try and run those ballistics starting a .284 140 gr AB at +/- 3050 fps. My 23" custom barreled .280 will get 3100 fps with a .485 BC AccuBond. Either way, bullet placement is key, and far more important than 100 fps or 100 ft-lbs !!!!
 

Starlite

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New Brunswick Canada
Hit a buzzard at 200 kts one day, compressor stall really bad smell, they cleaned the engine, ran good no damage...3 weeks later, hit another buzzard, at 12M feet, 400 kts engine destroyed, all blades gone. Moral, bear hunting with a switch is ungood...1500 #s of energy defines my range; thus my kills are dead in their tracks. I will admit to nice 6x bull in Montana at 95 yds with a 6mm Rem right in the ear canal to the brain.... with the same rifle and conditions I would do it again!
1500fps is my minimal energy for bull moose here in eastern Canada.
Black bears here generally are shot inside 100M. With my 6.5 Sako finnlight, I shoot them in the ear if the situation will allow me. Otherwise that Hornady 160Gr RN to the boiler room. (surprisingly this round is a tac driver out to 200M easy)
I’m not a trophy hunter anymore. Strictly freezer hunting now; so head shots May do damage up there but their DRT Every time.
 

Ranger Rick

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Sep 6, 2019
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273
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Idaho
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!
I join those who’ve posted above and said you should try to boost the .280’s ballistics for elk. Yes, elk have been killed with a great range of ammo; however, elk have also been shot and lost with the less powerful stuff. I have seen two other hunters put 4 or 5 bullets in bulls and lose them (.264 win mag and a 6.5 wildcat). :( I no longer hunt with those gunslingers.
I have taken 20+ elk with a 7 mag and all but two were one shot kills. All with Nosler Partitions. IMO you have a great elk bullet. In Nosler’s opinion, “Partition® users will not see a gain by switching to AccuBond® unless their particular firearm shoots them more accurately.”
I would bet, you shoot both of your rifles well. So Rick Richard made a great point above. However, IMO, if you don’t boost your .280, I would lean toward your 6.5 for elk. 🍻
 

Ranger Rick

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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.
I’ve seen an elk go down with a 62gr .223 to the head. Before the regs changed, Grandpa shot a couple in the head with .22’s. They died pretty quick
 

dogz

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Jan 11, 2006
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SWMT
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!

I'm kind of curious as to the speed or lack of with your 160 load. Did you run it over your chronograph on more than one day?
 

dogz

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Jan 11, 2006
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SWMT
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!

side note, when and where is your elk hunt? Guided, public land or public?
 

Starlite

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New Brunswick Canada
I’ve seen an elk go down with a 62gr .223 to the head. Before the regs changed, Grandpa shot a couple in the head with .22’s. They died pretty quick
There is a local older gentleman who is a legend in these parts. He is well known for bounding up yard by yard until he was in the water with them moose; every time they’d put their head in the water off he’d go. Once he was within 6 feet he put a sawed off 22 in their ear and ka-pic.
 

Oklahunter1

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Mar 7, 2018
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17
Location
Oklahoma
side note, when and where is your elk hunt? Guided, public land or public?
i Just ran my load over chrono on one day. Would it make a big difference? My elk hunt is on a general tag in Wyoming. Really looking forward to it! Still researching and trying to pick an area. Going DIY on public land. Really could use a elk in the freezer.😀
 

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