Loads for 280AI - is 175 too heavy?

kacerrob

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Oct 10, 2016
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I like the versatility of the 280AI. As I start researching various reloading options, maintaining velocities 3000+ fps for 120 through 160 grain bullets are possible. Knowing I would drop close to 300 fps, should I bother loading 175's for distance? Any load advice for a heavier bullet in the 280 ackley?
 

MudRunner2005

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Like was stated, the '06 sized case is very often underrated in today's society, where everyone wants magnums because of the whole "bigger is always better" philosophy. The .280 AI is an awesome cartridge, and one of my personal favorites.

168 VLD's or Elite Hunters would be about the perfect combination of weight and velocity. But I will tell you this, most .30-06 ammo is for 180-class, so I wouldn't see you losing too much velocity with going with Berger 175 Elite Hunters.

If you have a 1:8 twist, I would also try the new Berger 195 Elite Hunters.
 

kacerrob

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1:9 twist - just trying to reach out a little further with my new Montana. Will I get increased accuracy with a heavier bullet out beyond 400 - 500 yds?
 

MudRunner2005

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Not necessarily increased accuracy, but despite the slower muzzle velocity you will get with the heavier bullets, you will actually retain more velocity and kinetic energy at longer ranges, thus allowing your rifle to become effective at farther distances.
 

lancetkenyon

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I just loaded a ladder test set last night with the 175 Elite Hunter for my .280AI to shoot this weekend.

I push the 168 HVLD @ 3020 into the .3s in my .280AI, so I am hoping for an accuracy node of 2950+ with the 175..

Not sure if it will gain me any downrange performance in actual realistic hunting distances or not. I am just one to constantly tinker with my rifles and loads. Since most of my other rifles have their permanent loads worked up, the .280AI and 6.5SS are getting attention in the load development department now that my own hunts are over for the year.

Rifle specs are (built by AxisWorks):
R700LA BDL trued
Fluted bolt w. Carbon fiber knob & alloy shroud, TI firing pin w. Wolff Blitzschnell sping
26" 1:9" Proof Sendero Light w. Hawkins 3 port brake
Manners EH1
Shilen Match trigger @ 1.5#
Seekins alloy 20MOA Picatinny Rail
Seekins alloy 30mm low rings
Premier Heritage Light Tactical 3-15×50
Flatline Ops 30mm level
Total rifle weight w. Scope 8lbs 15oz

L-R: 180 Hybrid, 175 Elite Hunter, 168 HVLD
 

DocDoc

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I just loaded a ladder test set last night with the 175 Elite Hunter for my .280AI to shoot this weekend.

I push the 168 HVLD @ 3020 into the .3s in my .280AI, so I am hoping for an accuracy node of 2950+ with the 175..

Not sure if it will gain me any downrange performance in actual realistic hunting distances or not. I am just one to constantly tinker with my rifles and loads. Since most of my other rifles have their permanent loads worked up, the .280AI and 6.5SS are getting attention in the load development department now that my own hunts are over for the year.

Rifle specs are (built by AxisWorks):
R700LA BDL trued
Fluted bolt w. Carbon fiber knob & alloy shroud, TI firing pin w. Wolff Blitzschnell sping
26" 1:9" Proof Sendero Light w. Hawkins 3 port brake
Manners EH1
Shilen Match trigger @ 1.5#
Seekins alloy 20MOA Picatinny Rail
Seekins alloy 30mm low rings
Premier Heritage Light Tactical 3-15×50
Flatline Ops 30mm level
Total rifle weight w. Scope 8lbs 15oz

L-R: 180 Hybrid, 175 Elite Hunter, 168 HVLD
The 280 AI has the same case capacity as the 7 mm SAUM, so it should give similar velocity with the same barrel length and pressure.
 

kacerrob

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Oct 10, 2016
Messages
33
I just loaded a ladder test set last night with the 175 Elite Hunter for my .280AI to shoot this weekend.

I push the 168 HVLD @ 3020 into the .3s in my .280AI, so I am hoping for an accuracy node of 2950+ with the 175..

Not sure if it will gain me any downrange performance in actual realistic hunting distances or not. I am just one to constantly tinker with my rifles and loads. Since most of my other rifles have their permanent loads worked up, the .280AI and 6.5SS are getting attention in the load development department now that my own hunts are over for the year.

Rifle specs are (built by AxisWorks):
R700LA BDL trued
Fluted bolt w. Carbon fiber knob & alloy shroud, TI firing pin w. Wolff Blitzschnell sping
26" 1:9" Proof Sendero Light w. Hawkins 3 port brake
Manners EH1
Shilen Match trigger @ 1.5#
Seekins alloy 20MOA Picatinny Rail
Seekins alloy 30mm low rings
Premier Heritage Light Tactical 3-15×50
Flatline Ops 30mm level
Total rifle weight w. Scope 8lbs 15oz

L-R: 180 Hybrid, 175 Elite Hunter, 168 HVLD
I would love to hear how the ladder test on the range goes. I would be curious on what powder/ charge was most accurate. Have fun!
 

rcol317

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Feb 23, 2012
Messages
473
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
Yup, the 280AI is a gem! I have two of them and they are my go to rifles for mid sized game. My buddy's ticked because my 280 AI shoots right along side his 7mm Rem Mag and has less recoil and uses less powder. I'm anxious to see how the 175's do. I've had such great luck with 168 HVLD's that haven't thought to push a heavier. I'll be watching.

Curious Lancetkenyon, what powder are you getting 3000+ with 168's?
 

Georgiashooter

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Apr 7, 2017
Messages
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Location
South Georgia
RL17 will get you 3000 with the 168’s. I hit 3000 in one I built with that combo. Another one shoots 162 eld at 2990 with 4831SC
 

lancetkenyon

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Jun 3, 2013
Messages
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Location
Arizona
RL23. I got to 3131fps when I hit pressure. Had a few charge weights that were 3050 & 3075 that showed no pressure, but not as accurate.

I also had some H1000 shooting pretty hot, 2995, 3015, 3040 where I finally hit pressure with a 168 HVLD.

These were all with a .005" jump in a SAAMI chambered Proof 26" 1:9" barrel. I have 152 rounds down the pipe, and it has sped up since new. I had a 168 HVLD loaded over H1000 that went from 2850 to 2920 after the barrel broke in.
Nosler .280AI brass
FedGM210M
RL23
168 HVLD
 

rcol317

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Feb 23, 2012
Messages
473
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
That's what I was afraid, I live in AZ and usually stay away from RL because of pressure spikes in high temperatures in AZ. I shoot RL 26 in one of my 6 XC's and get best velocity but usually H 4350 is the go to powder because of the heat. Thanks for the info.
 

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