.280AI vs. 30.06

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Airborne, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. Airborne

    Airborne Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    I have a great opportunity to change my 30.06 to a .280AI to include truing the action for a very low price. My question is, what would I be giving up? I look at the reloading books and it seems as if these two rounds are almost identical. Am I incorrect? [​IMG]
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Yea their pretty close , The disadvantages I see with the 280Ai are low quality brass (could use 30-06Lapua though)
    and lack of quality factory ammo.
    the 7mm bullets do have better BC to Weight than the 30 cals do and SD is usualy better.

    Personaly my vote goes to the 30-06Ai , I can shoot factory ammo out of it and still keep groups around an inch , but loaded with fireformed Lapua brass and a 180gr Nosler Partition it'll shoot around the 1/2" mark with velocity at the same level as factory 300 win. , all this with less fuss and cuss than the mag , an extra round in the magazine .
    AND their is an almost edless supply of factoy 30-06 ammo that you couyld use in a pinch.

    If you don't mind the little extra work at the reloading bench and fire forming your brass then the 280Ai is supposed to be a great round , about same performance as a fartory 7mm Rem mag
  3. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2007
    Hi Airborne

    I have been recently contemplating a dream rifle for long range deer and elk and ultra long on varmints. I was looking for an easy to form case and something that was less common than 06 or 308 but not something where I would be pioneering the loading data. I also want to be able to shoot it out of a gun that was light enough to carry afield to put down a wounded animal or to walk a short distance from the truck to call in coyotes.

    My friend "Dave in Idaho" told me about an article in Varmint Hunter Magazine by Steve Timm that covered the .280 A.I. so I dug out the article and was quite interested. I searched for info on the internet and liked what I saw. In short I think a .280 A.I. is just my cup of tea.

    Here are a few ballistic highlights that you can compare to the 06.

    I ran numbers for a 140 grain nosler ballistic tip moving at a very realistic 3150 feet per second from the muzzle. The ballistic coeficient is published at .485

    It has 3000+ foot pounds at the muzzle.
    2000+ feet per second at 700 yards.
    1000+ foot pounds at 875 yards.
    Drops below subsonic at around 1600 yards.

    It drops 22 minutes of angle at 1000 yards and 44 minutes at 1400 yards. This means that you could mount a leupold tactical scope with a 1 inch tube over a 40 MOA tapered base and shoot the crosshairs at 1400yards while having enough internal adjustment to come back to a 100 yard zero.

    I dont know how the 06 compares to this but this is all quite exciting to me. All the performance of a 7mm mag with less recoil, less gunpowder, a certain level of uniqueness (is that a word?)and positive reports of tight accuracy and tons of clean kills. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. old fart

    old fart Well-Known Member

    Dec 8, 2003
    Don't forget the " GIBBS "
  5. jon12

    jon12 Well-Known Member

    Jan 24, 2004
    If you have a good opportunity to true your action and rebarrel to 280 AI do it. Youre not doing anything bad except maybe giving up the ability to shoot really heavy bullets, but i believe that is a moot point since bullet contruction has alot more to do with performance than weight.

    There are as many good bullets availible for 7mm as there are for 30 cal. The 280 will kill anything the 30-06 will. The 280 AI will be a better LR hunting cartridge because 7mm bullets have higher BC and the 280 AI is launching them faster, so it shoots flatter, almost as good as the 7mm rem mag. Its supposed to be a really accuracte cartridge too and you will end up with prolly a pretty accurate rig since your action will be trued up, assuming its a decent barrel. Ive never been a big fan of the old slow 30-06 anyway.
  6. Exhaust3

    Exhaust3 Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2003
    I would have to disagree. I have a 30-06AI, and I love it! I shoot the Sierra 190 SMK at a MV of 2950 fps!! Run the numbers on that one! My main reason for going with the 30-06AI was that I wanted some what magnum performance out of a standard length action/cartridge and the ability to shoot factory ammo at the same time, plus I can shoot military tracers (M62, M25) which is alot of fun. Sight in at a know range and watch the tracer to the target. I can't comment on the "slow 30-06" cuz mine ain't!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. Duff

    Duff Well-Known Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Just a word of caution: I don't believe the 30-06 case and the .280 case share the same headspace. I don't think you could use 06 brass to fireform for the 280 AI without forming a false shoulder first. [​IMG]
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Duff , your right about the headspace on the 280 being longer than the 30-06 , you can fireform pretty easly buy just firing the 30-06 brass that was necked down.
    you must use a long bullet and seat it out hard into the lands with a light to moderate load. P.O. Ackley wrote about having to use long bullets seated out far to fire for for the 30-06 Gibbs , he even fired standard military ball ammo in the Gibbs chamber to see if their were any ill effects like case seperation , his finding saw no problems but I still woulden't recomend it !!

    I'll agree with the folks that like the 280 for its high BC bullets but I'm still a fan if the 30-06Ai. I'm sure that a 175gr MK launched at 3000+fps has got to have a enough thump at 1k for just about any deer.
  9. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    I have played with the 30 Gibbs and really like its design. I only used 165gr SST due to barrel twist and recoil issues. At 1km, the 7mm 162gr mk were a much better bullet. The Gibbs was going faster then the 280 by about 200fps. Higher BC wins at long range.

    If you want bullet weight, go 30gibbs. If you want less wind drift, go 7mm. If your hunting is inside 750yds on deer, it just doesn't matter. For longer ranges, get a bigger cased 30.

    All the above caused me to build a 6.5-06 using 140gr SST's. Reason? This is going to be used for clear cut hunting where a long shot is 650yds, most are around 450yds. Wind is a big issue so very high BC is needed. Recoil should be moderate as I don't like hunting with muzzle brakes. Didn't want an improved case due to feeding issues.

    After comparing the reg '06 family, I chose the 6.5 because of bullets - SST are amazingly long. Should have a higher BC then even the 142grMK or Lapua. The SST can also shoot in the .1's as proven in my Mytic wildcat.

    Put the bullet in the boiler room and any properly designed bullet from 6.5 to 30cal will harvest the deer cleanly.

  10. stewh

    stewh Member

    May 31, 2001
    I use RWS brass in my 280. High quality brass is available for the 280, but it is made in Europe.
    I was recently given several hundred once-fired Sako 270 cases. I necked up a sample of them & fireformed with a bullet seated into the lands. They came out perfect.
    Another option would be to form cases from 7X64 Brenneke brass. They are very close in size to 280 Rem, but a little longer. They would probably be ideal for forming 280AI.