**Critique my Build ideas Please** 280 Rem


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Mar 30, 2008
Hey guys,

SO I really want to build a hunting rifle. But I am not too familiar with what to do as I really only have heavier tactial and match rifles.

I am going to be using this rifle for hunting only, 25 yards to 800 yards.
Anything from ground hogs, coyotes, deer, elk, moose and everything in between.
I would like it to be somewhat of a lighter rifle. All scoped up, 7-8 pounds would be nice. not looking for heavier than that.

Here are my thoughts!

What I have so far is a Stiller Long action Tac 300 with a 308 bolt face.

Thats it!

I am thinking about this-

Manners ultralight stock with/without mini chasis. It would be nice to have the detachable magazine.

#5 contour fluted barrel to finish at 24 inches or less. .700 at the muzzle with heavy fluting.

.280 rem is what I am thinking, good choice? I thought about going to the Ackley but dont know alot about that.....

I am planning on shooting the Long range 7mm 168 grain accubonds. Until I get them in my hands, I will shoot the 168 Berger.

I think this will be light enough to get in the weight, but I am not sure.

What are your thoughts??

Thanks for looking,

Sounds like a great build. I have a 280 that I use for deer and antelope with the 150 grain BT. I have taken antelope out past 500+ with it and it does fine. I just started to load the 168 bergers and they look promising. I would shoot at coyote, deer and antelope out to 800, but I know I would not try elk or moose. I would use one on my larger calibers. If the latter animals are part of your hunting plan, I would look at the very least to a 7mm mag- 300 Win Mag to 800 yards for elk and moose.

I like the 338 RUM and 338 LM for 800+ distances. That's my 2 cents.
I think the barrel is too heavy to make your goal for weight. The DBM set up will add weight too.
The .280 AI is a great round. Properly loaded it competes with the 7 mag with less powder usage.
Ive used unfluted #4 Brux barrels on my walking rifles so far and am perfectly satisified with them. If I intended on a lot of carrying...Id do a #4 fluted.

Elk and moose out to about 400 yds depending on the guy on the trigger....anything smaller and you can have at it.

Put a good Zeiss scope on it ( wink!) they have become my favorite
+1 280AI -Your build sounds spot on!

I have taken antelope past 700 yds with in mine, but even with 168's I think you would be maxed at 500 for elk or moose.

24" fluted #5 contour 1-9 twist will be awesome, but it will weigh 3.5lbs.
You might need to drop down to a fluted #4 to get between 7-8lbs scoped

Talley lightweights and a Zeiss scope would top it of well.

I can't wait to try out those new LR AB's in my 280AI.
Here is a photo of my 280 that was built by Scorehigh. My guess is this should be close to what you are trying to build. It's a great hiking rifle.


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Here's a photo of mine, along with a 500 yard group.
This rifle runs about 8lbs. as you see it.

Manners Super Light stock
Stiller Predator action
Satern #4 taper fluted barrel, 26"
Jewell trigger
Talley rings and bases
Nightforce 2.5-10 scope
Built by Allen Precision

Mine happens to be chambered in 270 WSM, just .007" short of a 7 Rem mag.
I am a real fan of the 7 mag. , and with the action you are using I would chamber in the .280 improved.
For the weight you want, I think the 5 taper is going to be too heavy. Properly built you should get good accuracy with the 4.
Remember though, we are talking light weight rifles here, not purpose built 10 lb long range rifles. While mine gets great accuracy, it will not shoot with my 13.5 lb long range gun.


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Look hard at weights of components if you are shooting for 7-8 pounds. I weigh pretty much everything, most of my hunts use my back for all transportation Live in ak and try to fly in when I can

Anyway, 7-8 pounds is already heavier than most of the shelf "sporter" rifles. Scopes and ready to go. Even at 8 you are talking a 6.5 factory gun. 7... You are talking a pencil barrel. Not the 5 fluted you mention

Again, weigh your components. Throwing out 7-8 pounds is harder to accomplish than you think.

Think most have a light weight sporter in mind and end up with a 9 ish pound gun.
Thanks for the good advice guys!

So I think I am going to bump my build weight up one full pound.

I keep adding things up, and the lightest I can come up with, using carbon fiber this and that, is 8.75 pounds with scope. That is including the night force scope.

And I can honestly knock a half pound off by not using the night force. But I really like it. I might trade it for a much lighter 2-10 x 32 mil mil NF.
My go to rifle weighs 8.25 pounds with sling, my lightened mods below

Aluminum bolt shroud, triggerguard, talley bases, fluted bolt. Hightech specialties stock (23oz) 26 inch #3 hart barrel with brake. Zeiss 4.5-14
What I have so far is a Stiller Long action Tac 300 with a 308 bolt face.

I used a TAC 300 to build my 280. Got a smokin deal on a couple of Shilen barrels, so I have a #3 sporter 24" long, no flutes. McMillan stock, Jewel trigger. You can see it in my 2012 CO mule deer thread. I also had a 270 built at same time, both identical other than barrels. The 270 has a Krieger.

Here is the link to mine:


I am diggin the 280 so far!

I set it up with a Zeiss Conquest 4.5x14 with Talley mounts.
If you go with a carbon fiber barrel you can still have a stiff bull barrel and not a lot of extre weight,I have a 300 rum with a 26 inch carbon barrel,a brake,fluted bolt,lightened bolt handel,aluminum bolt shroud,bell&carlson alaskan stock and a 20 moa rail it weights 6.6 lbs, with lightweight tally ring/base combos and the right scope you could have it,I would go 280AI also:D
My rum shoots 230g Bergers at 3100 fps 1/2 moa dont be afraid of the carbon barrels good luck with your build
An ABS barrel wouldn't be a bad idea, you get the contour & strength w/o the weight, if used, i'd probably keep it in the 24" area. I would probably avoid the detachable mag unless you can find an H-S Precision. I don't know about everywhere else, but here, you are restricted on how many rounds you can have in the rifle. Plus, they add more weight. The reason I suggested the H-S is the light weight, flush fit design & restricted mag capacity.

If only going to 800 on the lighter stuff, you could probably get away with using the 2.5-10, althought I would personally prefer the 3.5-15. Have Cam Murphy whip you up a Titanum base & ring package, that should cut some weight w/o using aluminum alloy, which I feel is just too weak to be trusted on a hard core hunting rifle.

If your Stiller's bolt is fluted anything like the LoneStars, maybe Boltfluter or Chad DIxon can deepen the flutes for your. I just held a lightweight 280AI that Chad had hollowed out the bolt handle too. Looked awesome & shed some oz's.

The stock is going to be the make it or break it area. Do you remember the LoneWolf Carbon Fiber Stocks? For some reason I think they went under... maybe it was someone else. Do your homework here, I would ditch any bedding blocks etc & opt for Pillars & a good bedding job, shed some more weight.

Hope this helps some. :rolleyes:

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