Which Hammer bullet for 280ai 140 Absolute Hammer or 143 Hammer Hunter


Well-Known Member
May 14, 2020
I was trying to find the same info before i started my build. It seems noone has played with that combo, even Steve at hammer had no answers. So i ended up building a 7rem mag so i could have a little extra case capacity for the 172's. You should be able to get the 155gr absolutes to around 3,100-3,200 iirc. I think that'd be a good load.


Well-Known Member
Feb 12, 2019
Vancouver, WA
Hammer bullets really like more neck tension, that’s why the Lee FCD works really well with them. Read ButterBean’s thread on why he crimps and uses the FCD.
We are finding that magnum primers don’t always need to be used, especially when you get into some of the smaller cartridges. I recently compared the BR2’s to my 215M loads in the 280AI with the 140 Absolute. Velocities were virtually the same and both equally accurate. I switched mainly due to the fact that I have a ton of BR2 and I’m getting low on 215M that I use in a lot of cartridges. Some have found that the standard large rifle primers have better ES/SD and don’t pressure out as quickly as the magnum primers do.

The neck tension you mention makes perfect sense, since these bullets have around half the bearing surface of a regular bullet. Half the gripping area should necessitate around twice as much neck tension for best rests. Steve had told me that the reason for the magnum primer is to have the bullet moving pretty good under a good head of pressure when it first runs contacts the rifling. More neck tension would let prssure build a little before the bullet is released from the case neck. I can see how a crimp would also facilitate this.

I've been following ButterBean's work with the Lee FCD, and that guy has really worked the bugs out of the process. I'll bet that there are no fly-specks in his pepper shaker. He's also worked a lot with the Hammer bullets, and posted a ton of good stuff about it here. I got myself one of the Consistent Crimp tools that enables handloaders to use a specific amount of crimping pressure with this die, which ought to accomplish the same thing as BB's methodology - just in a different manner. ( I learned about that device on this forum as well.) I talked with the guy who sells those and got a lot of good intel on how to use it. ( He also has a really good video on it.) I've got a lot of angles to explore here, and need to bring in the variables one at a time. I plan to start with H4350 and the .003-.004 neck tension that Steve recommended ( with no crimp ) and then work my way into crimping in the first relief groove with a light crimp and progressive heavier crimps until I see what works best for accuracy, SD & ES. Will post results when I have them, and thanks for your input, Sir.


Well-Known Member
Nov 13, 2018
Allen, Tejas
Josh, I'm just down the road from you ... I would like to try the hammers as well.

I have a Kimber Montana which has a 1:9" twist rate and shoots 140AB (1.290" OAL) and 140TSX/TTSX (1.361" OAL) very well.

When I'm ready to try the Hammers, I will give them a call as they are very helpful. having said that, I expect that I may start with the 131 Hammer Hunter if only because it is a similar OAL 1.300" versus what already shoots well in my rifle.


Active Member
Sep 17, 2019
Fort Worth, TX
Need all of your rifle, barrel, twist, OAL, primer, etc info if you want me to post this data.
Savage 110 high country took factory 30-06 barrel off and replaced with a Crown ridge barrel works 23" 8t barrel, Nosler 280ai brass, cci250, 3.380 OAL, 64gr Superformance, 140AH. 0.6 MOA. Recoil less than my unbraked 22creedmoor I was shooting today also with the little bastard brake.


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