6.5prc vs 280ai for my specific use case...

XSIVSPD

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So, I'm planning on picking up a savage ultralite for my main "do most things" rifle. I have plenty of bigger stuff for long ranges (300rum, 338lm), plenty of bigger stuff if I need bear stoppers (375h&h, 458win,45-70),plenty of smaller stuff too... Even a 6.5 creedmoor if I need to kill a T-Rex from over a mile away....

I'm looking for something that won't be high recoil so I've limited it to these since the rifle is under 6lbs.

Shots can be anywhere from 40yds to maybe 400-500.

Will mainly be used for caribou, but also for sheep/goats/deer, and maybe moose if it's what I have with me.

I live in ak so bears are an issue, but I'm never without a handgun for them, and I dont hunt them.

The ammo/component shortage won't last forever so that shouldn't matter. I handload, but good, accurate store bought ammo availability is a big plus for me.


So which would you pick and why? I bought a 6.5x284 for my wife so I'm somewhat familiar with the 6.5prc, but I don't know much about the 280ai other than the people that have one seem to absolutely love it.
 

Jakeweb09

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I’d say 280 AI. Prc is not a lot more then the creedmoor you already have. Extra 100 FPS or so. 280ai is an awesome round that has great ballistics with the 180 grain bullet and would be better for those moose opportunities. Still a breeze to shoot as well. Plus maybe search this forum for the article about issues with the PRC case design causing clickers after a few reloads. Major turn off for me there
 

XSIVSPD

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I’d say 280 AI. Prc is not a lot more then the creedmoor you already have. Extra 100 FPS or so. 280ai is an awesome round that has great ballistics with the 180 grain bullet and would be better for those moose opportunities. Still a breeze to shoot as well. Plus maybe search this forum for the article about issues with the PRC case design causing clickers after a few reloads. Major turn off for me there

I thought it was more like 200fps+ over the creed? I know my 6.5x284 is and I'm not pushing it hard.

I've been keeping track of the clickers thread too. I was a machinist and have access to a lathe if I need to polish a couple thou out of the chamber.

For the 280ai, what kind of accuracy & speeds are you getting with a 180?
 

Another Casual

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6 in one hand, half a dozen in the other. Similar trajectory for both when I looked with comparable bullets, more weight and energy on target with the 280ai and more recoil as a result. Not much, but more. For your stated purposes I think either would be a solid choice for your purposes. I do love my 6.5 PRC, I would assume 280AI has better barrel life. If you're looking at factory rifles I'd pick based on the rifle you like best, either caliber will serve you well.
 

nmbarta

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9 twist is perfect for the 280ai imo,
162's or 168'[email protected] 3000 ish is pretty decent energy and very manageable recoil in a light rifle.
For the ranges your talking about, this would be a pretty good choice.
I agree that though the prc offers quite a bit over the cm, the 7mm bullets offer something the 6.5's can't in comparable bullets. (just like 30's offer something that 7's can't)
For the bigger critters I'd lean toward the 280ai out of those two for sure. The 7saum is basically a ballistic twin to the 280ai but a short action, so I prefer it. Not sure if that's an option in the rifle your looking at.
The 7saum will best it in a long action, the 7wsm will beat it. Obviously so will the sherman and many others.
I'm just pointing out what's going to be said, not trying to sway you in any way.
 

DocDoc

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Your 6.5x284 and the 6.5 PRC have near identical case capacity, so you should get close velocities from the same barrel length. The .280 AI should be very close to the 7mm SAUM with almost identical case capacities.

For me, the .280 AI is the better choice, if you might have to argue with a bear.
 

Dmagna

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I have all three 6.5x284, 6.5 prc, 280ai. My 280ai is very fast, beats most 7rem mags with a 26inch barrel. I have had 180s over 3000fps and I currently shoot 175s at 3000out of it now. But I have an extremely long throat which gives me a lot of powder capacity.
 
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Never owned a 280 but have ones a 6.5 prc and a couple 7 mags and the 280ai interests me a lot more that the 6.5prc these days.

Other than a 500 yard shot on deer I’m not sure there is any scenario I’d prefer a prc to a boring old creed/260 but if I was having to ever punch heavy bone I would prefer the larger bullet in the 280. I also think I’d be just as happy with the 280 on the longer deer shot as the 6.5prc. I’m going to have to build a 280ai one of these days it looks like a wonderful do all cartridge
 

Plinker147

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280AI is the perfect “do most things” cartridge. Since you already have 2 6.5’s I would go with 280AI. You can shoot 155-162 grain at 3000 FPS and 175-180 at 2900-3000 depending on barrel length. Moderate recoil and lots of brass and bullet choices
 

Ranger Rick

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Savage has presented you with a good dilemma. I sold my 6.5 Creedmoor after I bought a 6.5 PRC and saw how effective it was on deer and smaller game. It has amazing LR accuracy. Where I hunt in Idaho, most of my shots are under 300 yards (so the PRC’s accuracy is a bonus). For 45 years I’ve hunted with my Remington 700 BDL 7mm mag, and I have rock solid confidence in its killing power on elk. I’ve also heard plenty of positives on the .280ai. However, I eventually chose a 7mm-08 in a 22” barrel for my lightweight, thick country elk rifle. Plus, my wife loves to shoot the 7mm-08.
The Ultralite is light at 5.8# (280ai) with a 22” barrel or 6.0# (6.5PRC) with a 24” barrel, and recoil needs to be managed. Given your scenario and the Ultralite’s specs, I’d lean to the 6.5 PRC. If your wife likes it as much as you probably will, you might sell one or more of your other 6.5’s and consider a .284 (7SAUM, 7mm-08, etc) in the future.
PS You weren’t kidding when you mentioned that you have “plenty of bigger stuff.” :) Have a Merry, White Christmas
 

XSIVSPD

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Thanks for all the replies! This is great!

I should also mention it will wear a brake with a suppressor over it for the overwhelming amount of its trips, so that will add about 14oz to the gun as well as help keep recoil low.

It seems like most people that rave about the 280ai have a 26" barrel. Will I be missing out on a lot of that velocity with the 22 or is the loss not that significant?

When you guys talk about 180s in it which bullets are you using? Something like the eld-m or berger/Sierra? Would the 195 be worth even testing in a 280ai with a 9 twist?

I have some I've been meaning to load in my 28nosler or 7mag/rum


Keep 'em coming please and thanks!
 

Elk Hunter 338

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I’d say 280 AI. Prc is not a lot more then the creedmoor you already have. Extra 100 FPS or so. 280ai is an awesome round that has great ballistics with the 180 grain bullet and would be better for those moose opportunities. Still a breeze to shoot as well. Plus maybe search this forum for the article about issues with the PRC case design causing clickers after a few reloads. Major turn off for me there
its not the case design its the chambers good smiths are cutting that are perfect in every way! to cure the problem most good smiths have changed their reamers to a spec that works and clickers are no more!!
 
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