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Old June 11, 2011, 09:26 AM   #1
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thoughts on a 280AI

Thinking of a new rifle, maybe in a 280AI, instead of a 270WIN. I do hand load. I am NOT trying to do a 270/7mm debate. Just wonder if the 280AI is worth the extra cost and dicking around. It would be for Elk and Bear in the lower 48. I have a 257AI for deer and varmits. Thoughts please.
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Old June 11, 2011, 12:48 PM   #2
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Not sure why you chose the 280AI? Depending on range to target, I would have consided the 7mm Rem Mag or 300 Win Mag. Why 280 not a user friendly round on recoil.

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Old June 11, 2011, 01:44 PM   #3
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The American Rifleman did an article on the now factory ammo for it. I didn't see anything remarkable in the article. If you keep the old AR mags, I think it was about 2 years ago. Regardless, it is now available as a factory loading in the Nosler ammo. Here's the data sheet on it but I just don't see where a 140 gr bullet at 3150'ps is anything remarkable.
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Old June 11, 2011, 04:28 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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I does have impressive performance for a 7mm bullet but I would personally question if the advantage translates to real life.

At 300 yards, it appears to have about a 3" trajectory advantage over a same weight 7mm-08 and about 400 extra ft/lbs.

To my thinking, the extra energy is "nice" in theory but unnecessary in real life, translating, in the real world, to a disadvantage in terms of recoil while the extra energy is lost in a tree on the other side of the critter.

3 inches of trajectory at 300 yards is an easy compensation, insignificant to me. Maybe, if I were guessing range, I'd take all I could get but I wouldn't even consider a shot at long range without a laser measured distance, so it's no advantage to me.

Short answer, I don't like recoil, I will rarely, if ever, get a shot at beyond 350-ish yards and I don't kill things that require more energy than the 7-08 can provide, so I would go 7mm-08 rather than .280AI. If your considerations are different, your choice might be too.
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Old June 11, 2011, 04:48 PM   #5
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In my view it is not worth the trouble. Many of those wildcats used long barrels and higher pressures to obtain their results. Such cartridges may be fun to fool with, but offer little or no advantage over std cartridges.

I once chronographed a wildcat that was a 30-06 case with the shoulder moved forward. It was touted as equal to a .300 Wby.
The chrono showed standard 30-06 velocities out of the standard 24 inch barrel the guy had.

Unless I just wanted to play with the .280 AI, if I did not want a .280 Rem I would go with the 7MM Rem Mag.

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Old June 11, 2011, 05:14 PM   #6
Jim Watson
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A friend has a plain vanilla .280 that does very well. I don't think the Improved version would be worth the hassle.
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Old June 11, 2011, 05:58 PM   #7
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Let me know if you ever run into someone that failed to take down game of your mentioning because they used .270Win instead of .280AI. I'll be sure to call monkey muffins on that one. You're not gaining anything hunting wise to move to the .280AI, in my opinion...
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Old June 11, 2011, 07:09 PM   #8
William T. Watts
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rbursek the factory 280 Remington ammunition is loaded down in deference to the model 742-7400 Remington auto rifles with pressure held to 49,000 CUP with velocity at or near 2700FPS with a 150gr projectile. In a good modern bolt gun that can be bumped up to 51,000 + CUP with velocity exceeding 2800FPS again with a 150 Nosler (Hodgdon's load data). If you expect to increase the 280AI 200FPS it ain't going to happen. You should expect on the order of 125FPS + or - 25FPS. If a full powered 280Rem isn't enough then I would suggest a 7mm Rem mag which I have owned but the recoil was more than I could handle without flinching. A 7mm Remington Mag will generate on the order of 21 Foot pounds of thrust, that was uncomfortable for me, eventually I sold it. I have a 280Rem in a classic Winchester model 70 featherweight, I have another 280Rem (Ruger) on order that is a stainless with Syn/Stock that I will be using this fall. I am a fan of the 270/280 caliber rifles, with good bullets they can take the smaller bears and up to Elk size critters/animals. The standard 280 has moderate recoil and has sufficent killing power for most big game situations that will be encountered. As an after thought I should mention I built a 280Rem for my son while enrolled at TSJC in their gunsmith program and he loves it. I hope this gives you something to think about! William

Last edited by William T. Watts; June 11, 2011 at 11:25 PM.
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Old June 11, 2011, 09:15 PM   #9
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In equal length barrels, the AI is 100-150fps faster, but the 7mmRM is 100-150fps faster than the AI. The AI can't touch 3250 with 150s or 3050 with 160s. I went through the same gyrations and decided to spend the money on a 26" barrel in 280. 3150 with 140s ain't bad.
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Old June 12, 2011, 12:24 AM   #10
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My perspective is somewhat different from the previous ones. I see the AI case as far superior to the 7MM belted magnum for case life and a hint of accuracy. For me the big question is does the 280 Rem AI have enough advantages to trump either the .270 or the 06? The .270 is so similar ballistically with obvious advantages of ammo availability. The 06 is more versatile while only giving up a slight edge on trajectory. I don't own a .280 rem AI but consider it one of the best designed rounds ever so if I wanted one bad enough I'd do it.
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Old June 12, 2011, 08:48 AM   #11
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Where is the sense of adventure! Does it re-invent the wheel? No, but its a neat round. One of my hunting partners has one, and for antelope, shoots a 100 gr. Barnes, chronographed at just over 3700 fps. Both he and the antelope have been quite impressed. For deer and elk, he runs a 162 gr., but don't know the speeds; it does a fine job, and he loves it. Recoil? Next to nothing, with a Vais muzzle brake.
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Old June 12, 2011, 09:48 AM   #12
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You mentioned the extra cost and extra trouble, and so from the point of view of strictly practical hunting purposes, I agree with the herd, just not enough gain to justify it.

I went down that road with a 6.5 Gibbs once upon a time. It was an interesting project but ultimately, it didn't do much that a plain old 270 couldn't do just as well.

I have no personal experience with them, but I've heard the various 7mm short mags are pretty efficient. Perhaps one of those would give you the little bit of extra panache you seek.
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Old June 23, 2011, 03:28 AM   #13
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Yeah old mate I reckon have a crack at the 280AI ! I have a 270 Win which I love but the 280AI would obviously do everything it can do and a little more.

A bit more versatility with heavier bullets if you need it.
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