.280AI Loads

Jpistolero02

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Feb 18, 2013
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95
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Bee Cave, TX
I will try magnum primers as well. Right now I am just running Fed 210M. It looks like finding RE23 is going to be tricky. Thanks for the help guys.
 

manitou1

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Mar 27, 2012
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247
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Wyoming
Man that seems slow. My standard .280s are running 2925 with 160 gr Accubonds and 7828... and both are 1/2" shooters.
 

adk hunter

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Apr 1, 2018
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Chestertown N.Y.
I don't think 3 shots are enough to choose a load. Shoot more it's fun. Then you will have more data points and peace of mind. FWIW I would have a perfect group with RL 26 then 3 or four like your group. That went away when I moved to RL 23. (Thanks to L. Sherm and others)
 

Plinker147

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Feb 7, 2015
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885
I would use your R26 load. I would shoot some more to confirm as others have said. AB don’t expand good when velocity get low that’s why I would take the extra speed. If you stay under 400 both loads would work, but best to have a little more in case the shot is further
 

Ldigio21

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Dec 25, 2011
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10
I ran a few tests at reasonable distance (400 yards) this past weekend to see if I could find a load to use for an elk hunt next fall. Both of these groups were with the 160 Accubond. The first group was RE26 which gets me much better velocity. I felt pretty good on all the shots, but I suppose I could have yipped the first round. The second target with 3 shots at the bottom is 4831SC. I never changed the dope, so you can see the RE26 is slightly more than 1MOA better at that distance. The two shots to the right of the bull on the second target were fired by a buddy who had never shot that far. He probably canted the rifle a little differently from me. Would you guys take the extra velocity with the 26 or the super accuracy of the 4831? For reference, the 4831 group is about 1.75”. I am guessing the outfitter won’t allow me to take shots past 400 yards or so anyway.
Try the same loess with Federal Trophy Bonded Tip bullets. Better BC and much better construction for penetration. I found these to be more accurate in my 280AI
 

Raudy707

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Apr 16, 2018
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327
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Mendo
I've killed a bunch of elk with that bullet. It's a killer for sure. My load is 56 grains of Rldr 17 with a magnum CCI 250 primer. 3060 fps. It has expanded reliably out to 700 yds and its under MOA all the way there. Mine will duplicate that with Rldr 23 or 26 but I couldn't find any. H4831 is always slower but if you pump up the powder charge it will put up some good numbers at the very top end before pressure signs. You're on the right track. Keep shooting.
 
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lancetkenyon

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Jun 3, 2013
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Arizona
What other powders do you have on hand?
I have a load with 160 TMKs and H1000 @ 2997fps that is insanely accurate. Amazing deer and pronghorn load. I loaded them for a buddy's .280AI @ 3035 too, and he has smoked deer and pronghorn with his way out there.

But, my favorite load for my .280AI is a 175 Elite over RL23 @ 2986 suppressed. It is an elk slaying lightning bolt. Not over pressure in my rifle, stable, crazy accurate, and hits like a freight train.
 

Mike Matteson

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Jun 26, 2017
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1,153
I am attaching an extreme rifle powder chart. Look at the RL powders to the H4831SC. Probable you will be hunting in cold weather. Look at how the H4831SC compared other RL powders. Now I don't know if RL-26 is extreme as other of there RL powders are. Wishing that Hodgdon would complete the chart with the reloaders, Hodgdon powders. Some of the newer IMR powder I would like to see there rating also.
 

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Jpistolero02

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Feb 18, 2013
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95
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Bee Cave, TX
Right now about all I have for this caliber would be H4831SC and RE26. I have a ton of Varget and H4350 for some of the other calibers I primarily use. Now I can’t even find find 160 Accubonds, so I am hoping they come back one day.
 

Baylor243

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May 30, 2020
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Location
New Mexico
My dad built two identical 280AI’s for my son and my nephew when they were old enough to tie their own boots, they are both in high school now and in those few short years we have sure killed quite a few truckloads of critters. The 280AI is really one of those special cartridges that just magically does the job without all the hype. For reference, my dad still has a 7mm RUM and most of the time he shoots my sons rifle.

We have killed plenty of elk from 60 yards out to 500 and change with 140’s at moderate speeds and mostly use 4350 or 4831. Easy shooting, easy (was) to find powder and bullets and plenty of power with those loads. I’ve played with 160’s too, but never shot any living creatures with them. I have no doubt they deliver.

I would offer my thoughts to you that it doesn’t really take lots of speed or super fancy bullets, just a decent shot placed in the right spot and notch the tag. Chase speed if you want, but you can be plenty confident in the killing power of that cartridge without it. Find an accurate combination and load up a crate full for a lifetime of fun. Makes life easy.

JM
 

Raudy707

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Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Messages
327
Location
Mendo
Right now about all I have for this caliber would be H4831SC and RE26. I have a ton of Varget and H4350 for some of the other calibers I primarily use. Now I can’t even find find 160 Accubonds, so I am hoping they come back one day.
I have 4 or 500 if you want to purchase a few boxes let me know. Not bullet shortage prices. I can keep you going. DM me.
 
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