Non-belted mag for 700yd elk- caliber help

Plinker147

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Joined
Feb 7, 2015
Messages
963
Pretty much any non belted mag from 6.5 to 338 will do what your asking.

You need to decide how heavy a bullet and how fast you want to push it then look what can do that and make your choice.

If you want a bigger mag I think 300 PRC would be excellent choice.

If it was me and having owned 7 mag to 338 rum, I have settled on the non “mag” 280AI. It’s a pleasure to shoot, doesn’t need to have a break( although I do recommend it) and it will kill any elk out to 1k without issue. I like to shoot a lot and to me the big mags just aren’t much fun at the range.

IMO 280AI is the perfect balance of shootable and enough ummph for long range. Great all around cartridge.
 

JBDekes

Active Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
34
Location
WI
Thanks everyone, really appreciate all the feedback. There are some great options here.

As to the edge options, unfortunately I have to pass on those, looking for something with less recoil as I'll have to shoot plenty prior to going out west.

I'm very interested in hearing more about the 280AIs mentioned. Sounds like that may be a good option. Tons of 280 brass locally, easy bullets to source, and sounds like easy to fire form. When looking at that option, there are some nice bullets, but how long can these be seated to fit a standard LA? Would I be better off going to a magnum action?

As for the reason for non-belted, sorry had some issues with them a while back. It was likely my inexperience with reloading at the time.

Again thanks for all the options.
 

Rifleman513

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Joined
Mar 12, 2011
Messages
203
Location
Colorado
280 AI is a great cartridge. I’m using 160 ABs and matching factory 7 mag velocities out a 24” and I’m about a grain under the book max. 10 grains less powder w/ the same result, great efficient round. I cant speak to the longer bullets as I’m running the 160s just over the book COAL. I know a lot of people seem to get the 168s shooting really well in standard LA’s. I favor the accubonds as I have quite a bit of experience w/ them and they have done well for me.

If you have another 300wsm then you know about it. My dad has shot one for about 10 years and really likes it. You step into a different category going with a 30 mag. From all the elk I’ve taken 3-500 yds has been the norm. There’s a lot of options for rounds inside of 500 yds.

I’d say if your spending the coin to build a custom gun go with a cartridge you really like. I waited years to get my 280 AI and I have no regrets with it. Most all my big game hunting has been done w/ the 280 since I got it. Only exception is for pronghorn, something about a 257 wby and pronghorn that I just can’t shake.
 

Backcountry sports

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Joined
Sep 19, 2019
Messages
751
Location
Bend Oregon
Pretty much any non belted mag from 6.5 to 338 will do what your asking.

You need to decide how heavy a bullet and how fast you want to push it then look what can do that and make your choice.

If you want a bigger mag I think 300 PRC would be excellent choice.

If it was me and having owned 7 mag to 338 rum, I have settled on the non “mag” 280AI. It’s a pleasure to shoot, doesn’t need to have a break( although I do recommend it) and it will kill any elk out to 1k without issue. I like to shoot a lot and to me the big mags just aren’t much fun at the range.

IMO 280AI is the perfect balance of shootable and enough ummph for long range. Great all around cartridge.
 

msmith57

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Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
106
Location
western Montana
First off, Thanks for your advice in advance.

My goal is to have a good shooting rifle to take into elk/mulie camp in 2 yrs. Just trying to get ahead of myself a little.

I'm looking to have a custom build done. Its going to be a Stiller action, detachable mags, barrel will be a mid to heavyweight by Kreiger or bartlien (locally made) stock (unknown), 4-16x scope (unknown) or equivalent.

I would like to find a good magnum type caliber that can handle 700 yd shots on elk and mulies. Currently I have a 300 wsm and 30-06, both factory rifles but shoot very well out to 400, after that, the 30-06 just does not group well, 300WSM can average 3" groups if I do my job (still practicing at 5-700 with my .204).

I know both calibers can perform the task at hand, but, if I am going to have a rifle built I'm just wondering if there are better caliber options. I've read lots of stuff on other posts and I'm leaning towards building a 300WSM or 280AI. Am I missing a caliber or 2 that needs to be considered? Greatest concerns are lack of brass available. In my area, local shops are struggling to keep brass in stock for when I need 300wsm. My next build would be nice to have MORE readily available brass locally (don't care if it's a wildcat as long as parent cases can be locally sourced and fireformed.

Again, thank you for your suggestions.
308 Win heavy barrel wood stock and learn to shoot it. Fancy cartridge with fancy gun doesn't make up for bad marksmanship.
 

ThorThor

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Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
87
Location
Knoxville, TN
28 Nosler or 7 ultra mag and Berger 195 will be all you need. That 195 shoots flat wayyyy out without heavy recoil in a reasonable weight rifle. I have a Vias braked 7mm ultra mag that weighs just under 10lbs with a 5-25 Nightforce ATACR, shoots the Berger 195 at 3100. Not bad recoil at all.
 
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Clark

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
762
I built a 280AI last year on a 1949 M70 action.
Nosler makes brass for it. That is big advantage.
https://ammoseek.com/reloading/brass/280-remington-ackley-improved
Win 70 280AI 11 lb 9 oz 20180911_101914.jpg antelope c ..20181019_085440.jpg
 

mindcrime

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Joined
Jun 14, 2002
Messages
579
Location
middle Tennessee
Another hand up for the 280 AI......anything under 700 yards is DOA. If you shoot further, jump on the .338 bandwagon, and the .338 RUM or .338 EDGE can't be beat for portable long range Elk sniping.

I personally have a .338 Allen Express that Kirby put his personal spin on a CZ550 .416 Rigby. No need to carry that heavy gun......pack it in, and shoot to 2000. I can shoot farther, as I have a total of 35 MOA in the base and rings.......2k is pushing it for almost any game animal though. :D
 

J E Custom

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Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
10,718
Location
Texas
I'm with the 338 guys, The 338's and Elk just go together. The distance, the altitude and the size of a bull Elk needs/can use a bigger bullet. One of the best Elk cartridges I ever saw was the 8 mm Remington magnum (A 323 diameter bullet) but the 338 became almost the gold standard so here we are.

I recommend any of the non wildcats for what you want to avoid any issues. I hunted with a 338 RUM foe many years and found it to be great for Elk at distances of up to 1100 yards (That's as far as i had ballistic data for it and that was a very reasonable
distance and capability for the cartridge.

For what you want, I would recommend the 338 RUM or the 338 Lapua. there are other wildcats that will have higher velocities, but the ballistics have very little advantage for the trouble especially if you are new to reloading.

I have many wildcats that are great but can be difficult at times, But there is something to be said for the factory chambers in custom rifles.

J E CUSTOM
 

dougduey

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Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
1,417
Location
San Antonio, TX
.280AI
175 Berger Elite @ 2975fps
Elk magic
Good brass (with factory ammo available)
Great bullet selection
3x barrel life over 28 Nosler
Standard LA cartridge
Relatively low powder charge compared to magnums with 90% of the velocity at significantly less recoil
Sexy and deadly
The reasons listed above are exac
The reasons listed above are exactly why I’m building a 280 AI right now.
 

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