6.5-280 AI dies


Well-Known Member
Dec 18, 2008
New Bern, NC
Does anyone know where I can find a set of dies for a 6.5-280AI? I am going to have one built this summer and looking around for the dies. I was going to do a 6.5-06AI which I have found dies for, but then I found out Norma makes 280AI brass so I changed to a 6.5-280AI....that and its something almost no one has heard of (at least the few people I have talked to about it). I am new to reloading and this is my first custom ever so I'm still learning as I go. Thanks for the help!

I looked at the same concept. The dies are what stopped me in my tracks.

the best route is to get custom dies made. someone on here can tell you there's a guy who makes custom dies that are really nice, I forgot the name.

please by all means post on what you end up with, whatever route you choose.

Are you buying the reamer too, or did you find a smith who has one already?
It depends on which smith I choose. I smith said he does have it, while the other said no and he'd have to rent it. However, the one that would have to rent it has other things in stock that I want that the other doesn't.....sooooo, still deciding. I'm still saving up the money for it now, but HOPEFULLY will have the funds by summer. It's my first custom, so I'll make sure to post lots of pics whenever I finally get it lol I still may go back to the 6.5-06AI since dies are cheaper and brass is too, but I like the idea of not fireforming, but on the flip side dies and brass are twice as much.

What did you make instead of a 6.5-280AI?

I wasn't aware that Norma made 280 AI brass. Just checked their website and no mention of it but they do list 280 REM. Is this something new?

I know Nosler makes 280 AI brass as I have a 280 AI and 350 rounds of Nosler 280 AI brass for it.

I've aborted from the project twice actually. The first time I ended up making a 700ADL donor into a 35 whelen that has been a wonderful value priced hog killer. The second time I got a savage 112, sold the components and held the action, then dumped the action to divert funds toward a 260 rem tactical match rifle, fully custom.

The whelen may still re-incarnate one day into its original 6.5 plan... We'll see. That's why I'll be so interested in what route you choose and how it works out. fiftydriver (I think) posted about making 6.5-06ai from 25-06 brass super easy, search around and you'll find it...

if you DO go with 6.5-06ai what choices in dies have you found?
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It's funny you mention the 35 whelen because I was originally going to make it a 338-06 after reading 2 articles that both said it was the round the 35 whelen should have been lol Basically was going to be a bear and hog (if I ever go) gun and could possibly take it after elk (all shots for all game would be less than 200 yards). I can't remember honestly off the top of my head where I saw the 6.5-06AI dies, I'd have to research again. I hate having to wait because I keep changing my mind, I think the 6.5-280AI is about the 10th caliber I've decided on lol
I've never used him, but everyone seems to have great luck dealing with Pacific Tool & Gauge. I think the contact mostly mentioned was Dave (?) Kiff. You might have to put a dummy round together, which wouldn't be difficult and they can make custom reamers. Who knows, they may already have the dimensions. Just a thought.......
Here is the link for the 6.5-06AI dies from RCBS website that goes for $143.95:


Redding also offers it on their website


I still am trying to find the 6.5-280 dies, who does custom ones?

I would get hold of JLC see if he can covert Redding Body die over to the 6.5x280 and see what he would do for a seater. Full-Length Bushing Dies and Die Conversions

Neil Jones Neil Jones Custom Products will make a set of shoulder bumping dies that use a bushing with shoulder angle build into the bushing also the good thing about that die all you have to do is change bushings on the sizer work for the 270/30-06/25-06
If you are set on a 6.5X280 Imp, and I am not arguing that, what I would do is to have a reamer made for you, it will only add about $160.00 to the cost of the build. First thing, buy some brass, decide what bullets you want to shoot, find some way to get a loaded round case neck diameter, then when you call the reamer maker you can get a reamer for YOUR build and you do not have to work around some one else's idea of a reamer. I rented a reamer once, NEVER again.
Redding lists a 280 Ackley Imp 40* dies in there catalogue, I would order a "S" type neck bushing die and a body die, along with the appropriate size bushing(s) for your neck OD.
Then I would order a Forster Micrometer Seater in 260 Rem, 6.5x57, or similar and have your smith ream out the sleeve in the die with your chamber reamer and you should be set.
I am sure there are other ways to skin this cat, just a suggestion.
Anyone have any info or data on a 6.5-280AI ???? I have been considering a 6.5-06 or even the AI version but there isn't much gain.

With the 6.5-280AI I would think there would be much more to be gained.
I wound up putting it on the back burner for another year or 2. I had a really cheap 7WSM fall into my lap and it got sent away instead. So I'll have a semi-custom 7WSM hopefully by this season! I've still been researching this and still think that I might wind up going the 6.5-280AI way. Maybe order the dies next year so by time I finally get around to saving for the build I'll have the dies in hand......or there is always another project I might do instead :D So many projects, so little time/money!!!
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