Loads for 280AI - is 175 too heavy?

lancetkenyon

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2976fps with the 175 Berger Elite Hunter. Right on the ragged edge of a hot load. No signs of pressure where I am at, but another .5gr shows slight ejector marks on about 1/3 of the cases.
 

CTK

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If I may revive this thread after 2 years....

My new 280ai build is scheduled to be here next week. This will be my 4th 280ai. I went with an 8.7” twist 24” Bartlein 2b contour. The 8.7” twist was what they had available at Bugholes. Seemed to make sense. My hope is that I am able to find a great load with a 160-175 gr bullet and That this rifle will be my go to big game hunting rifle. Very excited that Peterson is now making brass for the 280ai. I have almost the exact duplicate of this rifle in 6.5x47. Only difference in the two will be the color of the stock, an extra inch of barrel on the 280ai, and a Bighorn SR3 vs. SR2. Jon Beanland is the builder on both. Goal is that these will be my 2 main hunting rifles. I am toying with the idea of having a heavier long range hunting/fun target rifle built by Jon. I am far from a long range shooting expert. Here are a few questions as I load for a new 280ai.....

Should I start with the 215M or stick with the 210M primer?

What powder should I start with for a 160gr+ hunting bullet? I have RL23 and 26 as well as H7828sc, IMR 7977 and H1000.

What would be the first hunting bullets that you would try in the 160gr+ range? The 175gr Berger Elite Hunter seems interesting. I had success in a previous 280ai with the HVLD 168gr. but found it to be difficult to initially dial in. I own but have never shot some ELDX bullets and ABLR bullets.

Thanks in advance for advice! I am looking at this new rifle as a clean slate as it relates to load development. I am of the opinion that any modern hunting bullet in the 160gr+ range will perform fine on any game that I will have the opportunity to shoot.
 

adk hunter

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I don't have the vast knowledge as above to say a thing about primers. Lance sure seems to...

RL-23, 26 and 4831powders yup.

In the 160 range (for mine) the two jump to mind first are the Federal premium trophy tipped bonded core and a 143 hammer hunter. Barnes ttsx 150, accubond 160 and 150 nosler partition conform to your opinion which I share. The ABLR may or may not love your barrel and any e-tip I have tried in any rifle was poor at best. I do not shoot paper bullets at game by lord know lots do and haven't had a problem-yet.
 

lancetkenyon

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Arizona
I run a Fed GM210M in my .280AI w. RL23 & 175 Elite @ 2976fps from a 26" 1:9". Tiny groups that hit like a freight train on game. Amazing deer and elk bullet.

My other load is a 160 TMK over H1000 & Fed GM210M @ 2991fps. A buddy runs the same in his, and the TMK is devastating on deer sized game as well. You could also substitute the 165 Sierra TGK (Gamechanger-Tipped Game King).

I have another buddy that I worked up a load for using the 160 NAB over H1000. 2946fps from a 24" 1:9". He has taken some great mule deer and a couple elk with his out to 750ish.
 

1894C

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Jul 15, 2020
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128
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Georgia
If I may revive this thread after 2 years....

My new 280ai build is scheduled to be here next week. This will be my 4th 280ai. I went with an 8.7” twist 24” Bartlein 2b contour. The 8.7” twist was what they had available at Bugholes. Seemed to make sense. My hope is that I am able to find a great load with a 160-175 gr bullet and That this rifle will be my go to big game hunting rifle. Very excited that Peterson is now making brass for the 280ai. I have almost the exact duplicate of this rifle in 6.5x47. Only difference in the two will be the color of the stock, an extra inch of barrel on the 280ai, and a Bighorn SR3 vs. SR2. Jon Beanland is the builder on both. Goal is that these will be my 2 main hunting rifles. I am toying with the idea of having a heavier long range hunting/fun target rifle built by Jon. I am far from a long range shooting expert. Here are a few questions as I load for a new 280ai.....

Should I start with the 215M or stick with the 210M primer?

What powder should I start with for a 160gr+ hunting bullet? I have RL23 and 26 as well as H7828sc, IMR 7977 and H1000.

What would be the first hunting bullets that you would try in the 160gr+ range? The 175gr Berger Elite Hunter seems interesting. I had success in a previous 280ai with the HVLD 168gr. but found it to be difficult to initially dial in. I own but have never shot some ELDX bullets and ABLR bullets.

Thanks in advance for advice! I am looking at this new rifle as a clean slate as it relates to load development. I am of the opinion that any modern hunting bullet in the 160gr+ range will perform fine on any game that I will have the opportunity to shoot.
I have the exact same barrel that you do from bugholes But I took mine down to 23”. Mines on a Remington 700 LA in a mcmillan hunter stock. I have had trouble getting any 160 class bullets to shoot but it loves the 150 Accubonds @ 3115 FPS With rl16. I had good luck with the 175 Elite Hunter and rl23 at 2830 FPS. The only 160 class bullet this gun shoots worth a flip are 160 partitions and while there’s nothing wrong with the partitions I had other plans... probably end up selling this build
 

CTK

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Dec 16, 2017
Messages
362
Location
Memphis, TN
I have the exact same barrel that you do from bugholes But I took mine down to 23”. Mines on a Remington 700 LA in a mcmillan hunter stock. I have had trouble getting any 160 class bullets to shoot but it loves the 150 Accubonds @ 3115 FPS With rl16. I had good luck with the 175 Elite Hunter and rl23 at 2830 FPS. The only 160 class bullet this gun shoots worth a flip are 160 partitions and while there’s nothing wrong with the partitions I had other plans... probably end up selling this build
Both of my rifles are in a McMillan Hunter stock. Have you tried Barnes or the Berger Hybrids/elite hunters?
 

LongWalker

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Aug 6, 2016
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I used Lance's data for the 175 Berger EH and RL-23 and I'm getting 2940 fps with a 24" barrel. I switched to Peterson brass and I'm a full grain under than Nosler brass with no pressure signs.
 

Tidus56

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Feb 1, 2018
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I am also shooting Hybrid 180 Berger with a BR2. I just started load development, so not sure what the end result will be.
 

dougduey

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Apr 11, 2011
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969
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San Antonio, TX
My other load is a 160 TMK over H1000 & Fed GM210M @ 2991fps. A buddy runs the same in his, and the TMK is devastating on deer sized game as well. You could also substitute the 165 Sierra TGK (Gamechanger-Tipped Game King)
The TMK's are a fantastic bullet. Jacket thickness is a little more than the ELDM and a little less than the ELDX
 

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