looking to build a a new better handling rifle

rotorhead

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Messages
240
Location
Texas
This forum is the greatest place to find the information like what you’re seeking. Glad to read that you’ve found the cartridge for the build, that’s a major step for making that special rifle. What I strongly suggest is at least a 24 inch barrel if not a 26 inch barrel to get the full potential out of the .280 AI. I have several rifles that have 26 inch barrels that I hunt with, I really do not notice that much difference between them and their factory 22 inch barrels when I’m hunting. I’m shooting Ruger 77s, .,270AI and 30-06, that I had the barrels contoured to factory specs. The barrels are light and wispy, and as of late I’ve determined that they are 2 shot rifles due to that contour. By this I mean 2 shots will be 3/4 inch, 2 **** group at 300 yards then the 3rd shot will walk about an inch. But that’s with a light factory contoured barrel. I know it’s possible to get more than two shots at a long distance, however I’m not too certain about the possibility of that happening at least fo me. My shooting realist shooting skills are similar to yours, more like 300-400 yards. 300 yards no issues and all day long, 400+ it’s a “maybe” we’ll take the shot depending on the variables. One last consideration that I’d like to suggest is barrel twist and hurling those heavy for caliber bullets. For me personally my .270 AI HAS A 1:10 twist because of my shooting capabilities and what I intend to hunt. I believe that in the .270AI cartridge the 130 for whitetail deer out to 300-400 yards is the optimum we bullet and a realistic choice. A heavy bullet=weight = recoil!! You’ve written that you’ve shot the heavy hitters and you are looking for something more comfortable to shoot. If I were building a 280AI and hunting up to elk I’d be thinking 168-175 grain bullet as an optimum heavy weight bullet for my hunting needs. Good luck with your build.
lenny & Alib. I agree the 270 is a fine rifle and I have had many people ask me what one gun would be best. The old argument of 30-06 or 270 always seams to come up. But for elk and down 270 and elk and bigger in grizzly country 30-06. I really prefer the 270 and will pick it over the 30-06 nearly every time. So you might ask, the doner gun is a 270 and it shoots and groups about .7-.8 MOA which is just fine for hunting. So why not just AI the chamber and run with it? When I built the 6.5-06 I tossed around the 270 or 270AI but at the time the choice of bullets in 27 where limited and I liked the 26 for is high BC. It seams the rest of the world caught up to how I think. The 26 shoots the same weight bullets as the 27 but carries much farther and just silly accurate. My 26 at your typical 100yrd just shoots one hole all day long. So now I have this Sako in 270 and I'm looking for a lighter but not too light big brother to the 26. My first thought was a 7 mag. It is a very good all around hunter for this side of the world, hints the tikka doner but the 280AI gets so close and uses a cartridge so common and familiar to me it just makes sense to me. Plus save a little recoil just adds another feather.
If I were to keep the Tikka I am pretty sure I would make it a 30-338/ 308Norma. To get the BC to an acceptable level the 30 cal needs to be over 200grn. That is the reason I do not want to build a 30. More recoil and cost for my needs. As stated before, I have shot and owned many of these hard hitters warbirds, RUMs Lapua Norma mags etc. I can shoot 1000/1200 and group effectively at those distance but that Kind of power comes at a heavy cost not only money but in gun weight and recoil. I shot very well at distance and I have had many fellas tell me I should compete, it seams that once I got competent at it, it satisfied me. I wanted to shoot well for my Dad who was the best shooter I have ever known. I would rather spend my time hunting.
To bracket in the gun weight and recoil I desire this leaves my effective range about 600. You can pull the trigger a 1000yards from an elk and he can take a step before it gets to him. This equals a bad hit. To close this gap you need speed and the weight to have an acceptable clean kill. No, I'm not necessarily against hunting at this distance but this means you need to have heavy hitter as I call them. I am now paying for all those hard playing days and the hardest recoiler I care to shoot is my O/U 12 ga on ducks. That one pops me hard enough and no I dont shoot the super duper 3-1/2 mag. I call the ducks all the way in and smack them with the good ole 2-3/4.
I have the confidence to shoot out to 600 small groups without issue and and with the -06 family this is reasonable distance but I greatly prefer 3-400 if possible.
So as long as this has gotten; I like the -06 family and I feel its a good performer in a reasonable weight rifle. I could just build a lighter 6.5 and I have all the confidence in the world to take an elk but why, I have one! The 280AI gives me the 160-175 range and the speed I want in a great doner rifle with a long magazine. I will try to get it to match the 7RM but we will have to see how that goes. If it doesnt quiet get there ole well still a solid hunting rifle. Oh yea a 26inh barrel doesn't bother me a bit.
 

Alibiiv

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2013
Messages
1,711
Location
Rhode Island
lenny & Alib. I agree the 270 is a fine rifle and I have had many people ask me what one gun would be best. The old argument of 30-06 or 270 always seams to come up. But for elk and down 270 and elk and bigger in grizzly country 30-06. I really prefer the 270 and will pick it over the 30-06 nearly every time. So you might ask, the doner gun is a 270 and it shoots and groups about .7-.8 MOA which is just fine for hunting. So why not just AI the chamber and run with it? When I built the 6.5-06 I tossed around the 270 or 270AI but at the time the choice of bullets in 27 where limited and I liked the 26 for is high BC. It seams the rest of the world caught up to how I think. The 26 shoots the same weight bullets as the 27 but carries much farther and just silly accurate. My 26 at your typical 100yrd just shoots one hole all day long. So now I have this Sako in 270 and I'm looking for a lighter but not too light big brother to the 26. My first thought was a 7 mag. It is a very good all around hunter for this side of the world, hints the tikka doner but the 280AI gets so close and uses a cartridge so common and familiar to me it just makes sense to me. Plus save a little recoil just adds another feather.
If I were to keep the Tikka I am pretty sure I would make it a 30-338/ 308Norma. To get the BC to an acceptable level the 30 cal needs to be over 200grn. That is the reason I do not want to build a 30. More recoil and cost for my needs. As stated before, I have shot and owned many of these hard hitters warbirds, RUMs Lapua Norma mags etc. I can shoot 1000/1200 and group effectively at those distance but that Kind of power comes at a heavy cost not only money but in gun weight and recoil. I shot very well at distance and I have had many fellas tell me I should compete, it seams that once I got competent at it, it satisfied me. I wanted to shoot well for my Dad who was the best shooter I have ever known. I would rather spend my time hunting.
To bracket in the gun weight and recoil I desire this leaves my effective range about 600. You can pull the trigger a 1000yards from an elk and he can take a step before it gets to him. This equals a bad hit. To close this gap you need speed and the weight to have an acceptable clean kill. No, I'm not necessarily against hunting at this distance but this means you need to have heavy hitter as I call them. I am now paying for all those hard playing days and the hardest recoiler I care to shoot is my O/U 12 ga on ducks. That one pops me hard enough and no I dont shoot the super duper 3-1/2 mag. I call the ducks all the way in and smack them with the good ole 2-3/4.
I have the confidence to shoot out to 600 small groups without issue and and with the -06 family this is reasonable distance but I greatly prefer 3-400 if possible.
So as long as this has gotten; I like the -06 family and I feel its a good performer in a reasonable weight rifle. I could just build a lighter 6.5 and I have all the confidence in the world to take an elk but why, I have one! The 280AI gives me the 160-175 range and the speed I want in a great doner rifle with a long magazine. I will try to get it to match the 7RM but we will have to see how that goes. If it doesnt quiet get there ole well still a solid hunting rifle. Oh yea a 26inh barrel doesn't bother me a bit.
I wrote in a previous reply that I thought the .280 Ackley Improved will be a great choice for a build to meet what you have described you want to hunt. I think it is great that you have identified your "realistic" shooting capabilities and shooting needs. Anyone can build a rifle that will shoot well out to 1000 yards, however are they ever going to use it. I believe that if one wants to shoot the "heavies" in the .270 caliber, that rifle ought to be one that is designated for just that, shooting heavy for caliber rounds. I built the .270 Ackley Improved with shooting the 130-150s for whitetail hunting, or perhaps a mule deer/antelope hunt out west. I also wrote that putting a 26 inch barrel on the .270AI allows me to get as much velocity/horsepower out of the cartridge and I really do not notice the difference between it and the other Ruger 77s in the safe, and most of them are standard factory rifles with the exception of one. Comparing the .280 Ackley to the 7mm RemMag, perhaps the 7mm RemMag might/will be 200fps+-, however out to 600 yards whatever you are hunting will never know the difference. I am a recoil sensitive shooter, sooo.....with that said another cartridge that I considered in the "06" family was the 338/06. I know it sounds like a real mule to shoot, however I did have one in a Thompson Encore with a 26 or 28 inch barrel. That rifle was a shooter and the recoil wasn't that bad at all. I have another Ruger 77 in "06" that I do not know what to do with, and....a 338/06 might be on the horizon. If I did not have a 35 Whelen already in the safe there surely would be a 338-06 in there. The Whelen certainly is not a long range 600 yard gun, however it is a heavy hitter black bear rifle and out to 300 yards I am very comfortable in its capabilities. After 300 yards that round turns into a mortar round. I think you have made a wise choice with the .280 Ackley Improved, good luck with your build.
 

rotorhead

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Messages
240
Location
Texas
I wrote in a previous reply that I thought the .280 Ackley Improved will be a great choice for a build to meet what you have described you want to hunt. I think it is great that you have identified your "realistic" shooting capabilities and shooting needs. Anyone can build a rifle that will shoot well out to 1000 yards, however are they ever going to use it. I believe that if one wants to shoot the "heavies" in the .270 caliber, that rifle ought to be one that is designated for just that, shooting heavy for caliber rounds. I built the .270 Ackley Improved with shooting the 130-150s for whitetail hunting, or perhaps a mule deer/antelope hunt out west. I also wrote that putting a 26 inch barrel on the .270AI allows me to get as much velocity/horsepower out of the cartridge and I really do not notice the difference between it and the other Ruger 77s in the safe, and most of them are standard factory rifles with the exception of one. Comparing the .280 Ackley to the 7mm RemMag, perhaps the 7mm RemMag might/will be 200fps+-, however out to 600 yards whatever you are hunting will never know the difference. I am a recoil sensitive shooter, sooo.....with that said another cartridge that I considered in the "06" family was the 338/06. I know it sounds like a real mule to shoot, however I did have one in a Thompson Encore with a 26 or 28 inch barrel. That rifle was a shooter and the recoil wasn't that bad at all. I have another Ruger 77 in "06" that I do not know what to do with, and....a 338/06 might be on the horizon. If I did not have a 35 Whelen already in the safe there surely would be a 338-06 in there. The Whelen certainly is not a long range 600 yard gun, however it is a heavy hitter black bear rifle and out to 300 yards I am very comfortable in its capabilities. After 300 yards that round turns into a mortar round. I think you have made a wise choice with the .280 Ackley Improved, good luck with your build.
Thank you sir, And thanks to this forum the suggestions as they have helped me focus on what really makes sense. In this world of too many options I guess its great that we get to choose literally 50-200fps apart between cartridges! Its a pool of options that can derail what makes the most sense. I don't think I will ever need anything bigger as I do have a 45-70 levergun if I find myself hunting in dense cover, very versatile mild to wild.
I have found as I get older, I want to hunt more than be a gun/rifle builder these days and I enjoy reloading. I like to hunt yotes to moose these two rifles will certainly do the job well. I do spend quiet a lot of time bird hunting too , upland and ducks. So I am clearing out the safe and leaving myself with a couple good bolt guns a levergun and a 2-3 shotguns. of course a handgun hoping I never have to use it.
I need to free up a little cash and get what I need and a good dog maybe next year.
I'm getting a little excited, I just need to find the right gunsmith that wants to work with me to make this a real tack driver. I still want that absolute precision or as close as possible.
 
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