280AI barrel questions

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by elkslayerjc, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. elkslayerjc

    elkslayerjc Active Member

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    So I am getting ready to build a 280AI for long range deer hunting out to 1000 yards and I am trying to decide on a barrel for my build. I plan on shooting the 160 accubonds or the 168 bergers. Not real sure on twist, riflings, length of barrel for optimum performance and contour. I will have a muzzle break installed as well. I would like to be around the 8-9 lb range. I would like to use a Hart barrel but I would like to hear if anyone has had experience with others. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    There are several good choices, including Hart. I regularly use Brux, Krieger, Rock Creek, and Bartlein.... There are others, but these are superb.
     
  3. MSLRHunter

    MSLRHunter Well-Known Member

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    I have a 280AI being built that should be finished in a few weeks. It's a trued Rem 700, #5 contour Brux barrel at 24" 1-9 twist, Jewell trigger, and Manners mcs-t stock. This is meant to be a mid weight rifle around 10.5 lbs scoped. The #5 Brux tapers to 0.700" at the muzzle.
     
  4. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    Nice choice of a 280AI for what you are intending to use it for. My son and I both have been using this caliber for a number of years.

    Both of ours are Kreiger barrels, 25" finished tube in 1-10" twist and both use the 168 VLD Bergers. Accuracy and results on animals has been stellar. We have to be pushing the 40 plus number of animals taken with this combination to date and ranges have been from 50 yards or so out to the plus 600 yd. mark.

    If I was to have to do it again I would be hard pressed to make the decision on repeating the 1-10" twist versus going 1-9" twist. When I had mine built I had no intention of shooting any bullet over 160 gr. but the 1-10" twist have not been any problems with the 168 Bergers and I have no intentions of trying anything different.

    I will give you a little different approach to choosing a barrel. Most of the major barrel manf. today are all very reliable IMO. I would suggest you talk to your smith and see who he recommends or would use if he was building a rifle for himself. With that said he most likely has a better repore with one or some barrel manf. than he has with others and with that said he would be more confident in using his "reliable source". If there was a problem that needed to be addressed, I would feel more confident if my gunsmith had a good working relationshiop with the barrel maker.
     
  5. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    If a customer came to me with your project I would recommend a Lilja 1-9 in either 6 or 4 groove OR a Hart 1-9, 6 groove.

    1-9 is more then you need for the bullets you list but I do not recommend limiting yourself on what bullets you may want to use down the road.

    The 280 AI has plenty of horse power to drive the 180 gr Bergers which make an excellent long range choice, especially if you ever plan to hunt larger game at extended ranges.
     
  6. midnightmalloy

    midnightmalloy Well-Known Member

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    had a benchmark 3 groove 1-9" twist at 25" set at .720 at the muzzle and it shot 168 bergers to 2950 with RL 17. Benchmark has a new 5 groove in a 1-9" twist is what I would recommend.
     
  7. bamadawg2009

    bamadawg2009 Well-Known Member

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    I probably will start a s**t storm but mine has a 5.5 contour Shilen finished at 25.5" with 1-9 twist shooting 140gr. bergers best group to date is .336 and I think it opened up a little because of me. The Shilen barrel impressed me so much Im having a 300WSM built with a Shilen #5 contour barrel on it.
     
  8. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    My wife's 280AI has a Kreiger 1/9 twist barrel and the one I had build used a Lilja 1/9 twist barrel and both are good barrels and I also used a Lilja 1/9 twist for the 284.

    Lots of good barrel being made today my lastest build use a Mike Rock barrel.
     
  9. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    The Shilen Select Match barrels are actually pretty darn good so I am not suprised you are seeing great results. The standard Shilen barrels are a bit more of a gamble as to what you get in the end. You pay more for better consistancy in the barrels.

    In all honesty, I have even used some A&B barrels that cost around $80 that produced legit 1/2 moa rifles. What you get with the top name match barrels is barrel to barrel consistancy, proven accuracy, extremely fine bore finish. With the lesser quality/cost barrels you often will have more work in barrel break in as well simply because they do not take the time to put a really fine hand lapped finish on the bore.

    Simply put, it often falls on the shoulders of the guy building the rifle as to how it will shoot more then what brand of barrel you use. Most modern rifle barrels have the potential to shoot to 1/2 moa consistancy, IF they are installed properly.
     
  10. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    Got a question you were looking for a reamer so are you chambering your own rifles?
     
  11. bamadawg2009

    bamadawg2009 Well-Known Member

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    Nope my gunsmith thats building my new 300WSM didn't have one and said he doesnt build enough rifles in that caliber to have one, so I was seeing if I could find one cheaper than new but I went ahead and bought a new PTG reamer. The Smith that built my 280AI rented one if I had known this I would have spent the $120 and bought one then sold it to him when he was done with my rifle.

    I wish I had the know how and equipment to start building my own rifles, I would really be in the POOR HOUSE then.

    FIFTYDRIVER, I had a 308 built years ago on a mauser action with a A+B barrel that was a .75" MOA rifle for the first 100-200 rounds but Im seeing the accuracy already starting to go. The barrel is a 1-10 twist and Im shooting 165BTs and 168VLDs and cant get it under 1.25 now unless I run lower end powder charges then it tightens up but velocity goes out the window. FWIW do you think I should rebarrel or do I have other options before that.
     
  12. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    First thing I would do is clean the bore, I mean REALLY clean the bore. This is not a flame toward you. I have many rifles come in every year that are supposedly clean but after a week in the shop and getting several pennies worth of copper out of the bore, they really start to shoot again.

    I do not recommend the use of Sweets 7.62 or Barnes CR-10 all the time but if you have a rifle such as a 308 where accuracy goes south I do soak the bore with these solvents to make sure the bore is clean. Repeat using them until the push out of the muzzle as clear and clean as they went into the bore.

    In a barrel like this, its not uncommon to see a copper build up just ahead of the throat. This is what can cause accuracy to drop off as the bullets are swaged down in this tighter area of bore but then when the bullet passes this area, the bullets fit to the bore is loose and accuracy drops off because there is not enough pressure in the bore to bump up the bullets base to fill the bore again.

    I would also recommend scoping the bore just to make sure its totally clean. If the accuracy does not come back, they you may want to have the muzzle recrowned, its cheap and can make a HUGE difference in accuracy is there has been any crown damage, even slight crown damage will destroy accuracy. Often it does not even need to be bad enough to see and still it can cut your accuracy.

    I recommend this again because its cheap, should be less then $25-$30 to recrown your muzzle by most smiths.

    If that does not bring the accuracy back, then yes it may be time to rebarrel.

    Another thing to look at is if the bolt lugs are contacting the receiver evenly. That usually shows up as vertical stringing as pressures increase but as your barrel was shooting well at first but then went south, that probably is not the problem.

    A 308 should get you 2000 rounds of accuracy life pretty easily, if it was shooting well before 200 rounds and went south after that, I would say there is something else going on other then a bad bore, that is unless you shot the first 100 rounds all at once as fast as you could!!!:D
     
  13. bamadawg2009

    bamadawg2009 Well-Known Member

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    This helps alot I use barnes cr-10 on all my rifles as well as hoppes when I want to soak them overnight, but I know the barrel is clean I clean the bore every 15-20 shots or less if Im doing load workups. I do 3 wet patches 3 dry patches then a brush and start over and if its super dirty Ill let it soak for the 15 min like the bottle says.

    Since you mentioned it I do feel a little rough spot about 1/3 to 1/2 way down the bore from the chamber, Ive thaught about running some TUBBS bullets through it and see if that helps but the barrel has had it this spot since day 1.

    Im right on line with you about the crown I also thaught about cutting it to 20" and have it crowned.

    Not seeing the vertical stringing yet so i dont think its the lugs just a bigger circle with my grouping, going from the .75 to over 1" at a hundred Im afraid to even shoot it at 200 or over after my last session with it over 8" group at 300.

    Thanks for the info Ill give it all a try and if not Im putting a 20" shilen on this one as well.
     
  14. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    If your using CR-10 for cleaning every 20 shots or so you may have etched your bore which can cause accuracy problems as well. CR-10 and Sweets 7,62 is way to aggressive for regular use so that may be an issue.

    This is not opinion, I have had two personal rifles early in my shooting career that I used these products on that had the bores etched by them.

    That may well be your problem.

    If the bore is rough ahead of the throat you may want to have it lapped as well, that will smooth things up.