Reloading the 280 AI

mountaincarver

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Jan 24, 2015
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My winter project this year will be reloading the 280 AI. I think it will be a well balanced cartridge to load for. Just picked up a savage LRH and will be working on load development this winter. im not sure what speeds to expect, but i am thinking about 162 eldxs or 175 EOL. My first thought on powder is h4831 or h1000... not sure. Id love to hear from those who have put in some time with this cartridge to give me a good start. what im trying to accomplish with this rifle is to shoot high bc bullets at about 2850 to 2950 fps and thread the needle. Thanks.
 

Rifleman513

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Mine loves the 160 ABs. My AI is a lightweight gun so 500 yds is really the max I plan to ever use it. I use IMR 7828 and the load is right off Noslers website. I would also check hodgdons data and you can get an idea of some other options their. I know a lot of people like the 168 bergers out of the 280s. There’s another current thread here talking about some of the RL powders, though I have limited experience w/ them.
 

Dmagna

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H4831sc and reloder 26 are my go too powders for my 280ai. I have built 2 of them and they both love those powders. I shoot 140 accubonds and 160 accubonds, I like the Berger 168s as well.
 

Hammerhead1971

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I just reloaded my first batch using IMR4831 and eldx 162’s. Used 55.5 gr powder it’s horrible. 100 yds couple hit in a decent group then there is flyers. 200 yds OMG and 300 yds be lucky to hit a pie plate. I shot for 2 years with Nosler factory 150’s and they were great. I’m guessing my barrel doesn’t like the long bullet.

I can’t see powder changes up or down making that much difference.

I don’t mean to hijack a thread.
 

mountaincarver

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I just reloaded my first batch using IMR4831 and eldx 162’s. Used 55.5 gr powder it’s horrible. 100 yds couple hit in a decent group then there is flyers. 200 yds OMG and 300 yds be lucky to hit a pie plate. I shot for 2 years with Nosler factory 150’s and they were great. I’m guessing my barrel doesn’t like the long bullet.

I can’t see powder changes up or down making that much difference.

I don’t mean to hijack a thread.
Thanks for sharing. that is strange... twist rate maybe? I have a 30 cal that wont shoot the 220 similar results, thru em away.
 

mountaincarver

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I just went out and shot my first reloads today. 57 to 60 grains h4831 162 eldx. took the best group (59 grains) and did some seating depth from .010 to .070. didn't matter.... all shot poor. don't think powder will fix it, could be wrong, but gonna try another bullet..
 

Forcedoutage

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I have used RL 26, RL 17, 7828, and 4831. RL 26 and 7828 gave me too much deviation in velocity. 4831 worked best for me. but this was for 139-150 gr bullets. 4831 should still be a top performer with the 162 eLDx's.
 

Capt RB

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Do you have any chrono data to go along with your charge weights? Did you shoot from bottom to top or did you shoot groups at the different charge weights? IMR4831 shot well in a few cartridges at the bottom of the charge weights where as H4831 shot better at better case fills closer to pressure. Rl26 in the 270 is irratic till you get closer to the point it wants to shoot at then like a switch sd's goto low single digits and it hammers with outstanding speed in everything I've shot it in.
6.5 creed 2855fps w/147eldm 24" savage
270 win 3140fps 140 gmechanger 24" Weatherby
6.5/06ai 3120 150 sierra 27" custom
In the 280AI with 162's I'd look at 7977 RL23 rl26 H1000 Retumbo and 4955 for the 162's I'd say that there is an issue if H4831 won't shoot though. Check every screw for torque. check to make sure that there is no interference with the stock and the moving parts bolt trigger bolt stop mag box etc. Once your positive everything you can control is then check your velocities from your charge weights to make sure your getting to pressure. H4831 may not be the fastest powder in the ai but it is damm near the most accurate.
 

mountaincarver

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Do you have any chrono data to go along with your charge weights? Did you shoot from bottom to top or did you shoot groups at the different charge weights? IMR4831 shot well in a few cartridges at the bottom of the charge weights where as H4831 shot better at better case fills closer to pressure. Rl26 in the 270 is irratic till you get closer to the point it wants to shoot at then like a switch sd's goto low single digits and it hammers with outstanding speed in everything I've shot it in.
6.5 creed 2855fps w/147eldm 24" savage
270 win 3140fps 140 gmechanger 24" Weatherby
6.5/06ai 3120 150 sierra 27" custom
In the 280AI with 162's I'd look at 7977 RL23 rl26 H1000 Retumbo and 4955 for the 162's I'd say that there is an issue if H4831 won't shoot though. Check every screw for torque. check to make sure that there is no interference with the stock and the moving parts bolt trigger bolt stop mag box etc. Once your positive everything you can control is then check your velocities from your charge weights to make sure your getting to pressure. H4831 may not be the fastest powder in the ai but it is damm near the most accurate.
I did use a chrono when powder testing. pretty darn stable throughout all the charge weights. 57 grains shot at 2820 fps while 59.5 grains shot at 2880, each group of 4 had low extreme spreads (like 12 fps max). gun new and only about 50 rounds so id imagine ill gain some. 60 grain group started to climb and open up. I have had great results from the 147 in my prc, but not the 220 in the rum. im open to diff powder but would love to stay with h4831 due to the fact my prc loves it too. i may be jumping the gun on giving up on the bullet but, usually i can tell pretty quick if a bullet is gonna shoot .5 moa with work. i removed the stock tonight. its a savage accufit. it takes a lot of torque for the action to spread the outer aluminum rails to seat the bottom of the action to the bedding block (heck of a lot more than 40 in pounds)… so i cranked it down as i know it wasn't contacting from the factory. guess ill re visit and see...
 

Capt RB

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1,905
I did use a chrono when powder testing. pretty darn stable throughout all the charge weights. 57 grains shot at 2820 fps while 59.5 grains shot at 2880, each group of 4 had low extreme spreads (like 12 fps max). gun new and only about 50 rounds so id imagine ill gain some. 60 grain group started to climb and open up. I have had great results from the 147 in my prc, but not the 220 in the rum. im open to diff powder but would love to stay with h4831 due to the fact my prc loves it too. i may be jumping the gun on giving up on the bullet but, usually i can tell pretty quick if a bullet is gonna shoot .5 moa with work. i removed the stock tonight. its a savage accufit. it takes a lot of torque for the action to spread the outer aluminum rails to seat the bottom of the action to the bedding block (heck of a lot more than 40 in pounds)… so i cranked it down as i know it wasn't contacting from the factory. guess ill re visit and see...
The accustock is not like a normal pillar stock. Start here torque the front screw to 25in/# then the back to the same. Now in 5in/# increments bring the front screw to 35 and leave the back screw at 30. This should be your first setting shoot the rifle with a load. then bring the bacl screw up to 35 and shoot the same load go to 40 on the front screw leave the back at 35 and repeat till you get to 55 which is way to high for the accustock to work. Don't screw the front right to 35 to start This stock need to be expanded at the same time for it to work.
Instead of shooting groups with your powder charges shoot the ladder over your chono/radar and look at where the flat spot is in velocity. If you shoot it at 300 or further that will also show up on target.
https://www.accurateshooter.com/technical-articles/savage-action-screw-torque-tuning/
 

Hammerhead1971

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Nov 9, 2019
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Location
Tuscola tx
I haven’t checked anything on the rifle yet. I’ll do that this evening. I’m running on a really low budget now days and I’d kinda like to find a powder combo that would work with what I have but once I’ve exhausted it then I’ll go get some different powders and bullets.

I had a buddy tell me that I could drop down from 55.5 gr to 53.5 and try that. Any thoughts?

I also have found that the shells are tight in the chamber. I marked the shoulders and found that the bottom of the shoulder I’m where the friction is and I don’t know how to readjust my due to fix that. I do trim the cases .003 below factor length so that isn’t it.
Do you have any chrono data to go along with your charge weights? Did you shoot from bottom to top or did you shoot groups at the different charge weights? IMR4831 shot well in a few cartridges at the bottom of the charge weights where as H4831 shot better at better case fills closer to pressure. Rl26 in the 270 is irratic till you get closer to the point it wants to shoot at then like a switch sd's goto low single digits and it hammers with outstanding speed in everything I've shot it in.
6.5 creed 2855fps w/147eldm 24" savage
270 win 3140fps 140 gmechanger 24" Weatherby
6.5/06ai 3120 150 sierra 27" custom
In the 280AI with 162's I'd look at 7977 RL23 rl26 H1000 Retumbo and 4955 for the 162's I'd say that there is an issue if H4831 won't shoot though. Check every screw for torque. check to make sure that there is no interference with the stock and the moving parts bolt trigger bolt stop mag box etc. Once your positive everything you can control is then check your velocities from your charge weights to make sure your getting to pressure. H4831 may not be the fastest powder in the ai but it is damm near the most accurate.
 

mountaincarver

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Jan 24, 2015
Messages
162
Location
colorado
So for those interested, ive been trying a few things. found that the rifle did not like the 162 eldx but likes the 162 eldm. 168 berger hvlds shoot very well. the most accurate so far is the sierra 162 tmk. h1000 seems to be the powder that shoots best with all the bullets tried. im not done tinkering yet but shoots 1.5" at 200 yds. I think I can bring it to .5 moa. not bad for an off the shelfer.
 
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