.280 or 30-06


September 9, 2004, 07:53 PM
I was going to buy a 30-06 and several people said a 280 is better. they say it shoots flatter than the 06 and has more hand loads than the 270.
any suggestions?

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September 9, 2004, 08:02 PM
.30-06 will be easier to find ammo for. If memory serves, .308 is a decent compromise between punch and flat-trajectory.

September 9, 2004, 08:12 PM
the 280 is ok, but the 30-06 is just as good and has many more bullet weights to choose from.....any gun shop carries '06 and you might have trouble out in the boonies finding ammo for the 280 .....there is only a slight marginal difference, not worth the effort....

September 9, 2004, 08:16 PM
.30-06 all the way. Either that, or a .270. Either will be a lot more common than the .280.

September 9, 2004, 09:18 PM
270 :D

Jim Watson
September 9, 2004, 09:36 PM
As Col Townsend Whelen said many years ago, when the cartridge was new, in an article 'Just a Little Bit Better', he thought the .280 was a more versatile round for North America, but that it would not be worth your while to trade a good .270 or .30-06 to get one.

A friend of mine had a disappointing Ruger 77 rebarrelled from 7x57 to .280. He says it shoots very well but he is not getting the near-magnum velocities you see some places. At one time the .280 nuts were reforming Winchester .270 brass, the toughest then available, to .280 (NOT a simple job.) and loading it hot, hot, hot, to push the 7 Mag with the medium and light weight bullets.

About that time the .280 was very popular among custom riflesmiths and their wealthy customers. Largely because it is a standard case head diameter so they could easily rebarrel a Mauser for it and spend their time and the customer's money making it pretty instead of trying to get it to work with 7 Mag belted rounds. Held an extra shot, too; woo, woo.

September 9, 2004, 09:38 PM

The 280 is a good round and I'm quite sure it will meet your hunting needs excluding the big bears.

I own 6 different calibers of larger calibera above 6.5. My favorite is my CZ 9.62x62mm which I purchased for elk. But If I could only own one rifle it would be an 06. If you're not a hand loader there's are large assortment of ammo and if you are a handloader there's a whole lot bullets to load. Handloading you can push a 165 gr. bullet for the 06 a little faster than a 160 gr. for the 280.

If you want something a little different then the 280 should be your choice that's why I orginally bought the 9.3 just to be little different because my 308, 8x57 or the 06 will kill an elk.

Have a good day.


Remember to pray for our troops

September 9, 2004, 10:04 PM
The .280 is based on the .308 casing, wiich is a shortened 30-06. The 280 will be able to be chambered in a shorter (lighter) action, so easier to carry (see remington's 700 Mountain rifle). The 30-06 will shoot longer, flatter, with more punch.

the 280 will handle most game up to large bear and maybe elk.

Ammunition will always be available for the 30-06 pretty much anywhere. the 280 is not as popular a cartridge, but any decent outdoors store will carry some load for it. The same store in the backwoods will carry 2 or 3 for the 30-06.

To be sure, check the ballistics for both cartridges and make sure what the performance differences are.

September 9, 2004, 10:20 PM
the 280 is based on the 30-06 case necked down to .284

September 9, 2004, 11:02 PM
The .280 is based on the .308 casing, wiich is a shortened 30-06. The 280 will be able to be chambered in a shorter (lighter) action, so easier to carry (see remington's 700 Mountain rifle). The 30-06 will shoot longer, flatter, with more punch.


The 280 is based on the 06 case. For a brief period Remington even headstamped it 7mm-06, bad idea that was quickly discontinued. The 7mm-08 is based on the .308 case. The 280 for all practicle purposes is a 30-06 necked down to .284 diameter, same shoulder angle, the case length is just slightly different.

Bullet selection comparing the 280 to the 270 I will use the 7mm's every time. The 270 is a fine cartridge, much easier to get factory ammo for, but I like the better sectional density of the .284 bullets. There is also better selection.

The 30-06 will not shoot flatter, what makes you think a 180 gr bullet, with a SD of .271 and a BC of .5 traveling at 2800 fps ( 30 cal ) is going to shoot any flatter than a 280 using a 162 gr bullet with SD of .283 and a BC of .514 traveling at 2900 fps. Get on a ballistic calculator your dead wrong.

I think it was said very well by Frank Burns ( or maybe Ken Waters ? ) that any one who thought there was any advantage between the 270, 280, 30-06 was purely in someones mind. And arguing about it was as big a waste of time as trying to determine how many genies inhabit the head of a pin.

Dave R
September 9, 2004, 11:04 PM
If you reload, I would get the .280.

If you don't, I would get the '06.

September 9, 2004, 11:17 PM
Just a brief note, Remington has fallen on their sword a couple of times with the 280 Remington. First it was loaded down so it would work in autoloaders and pumps, then they got the twist rate wrong on the barrels so it wouldn't stabilise heavy bullets. They renamed it 4 times. It is amazing it still survives. One reason, its a great cartridge, and no bungling on Remingtons part seems to kill it.

Jim Watson
September 9, 2004, 11:38 PM
.280 Rem is not a 7mm '06 aka .285 OKH. The shoulder is set .050" forward so that you can't cram a .280 in a .270 or let it rattle down a .30-06 barrel. I guess they had visions of the '03 Springfields blown up by forcing in an 8mm cartridge.

I have never heard of any fluctuations in .280 twist, that was their problem with .244-6mm Rem.

September 10, 2004, 12:52 AM

Thanks for bringing that up, your 100% correct the 7mm-06 and the 280 are not interchangable. That is why the Remington 7mm-06 brass was pulled from the shelves and I understand it is quite collectible now cause most of it was destroyed.

Barrel twist, you cut me to the quick, I know there was a change I just can'tfind the reference right now. But the change was to the 9 1/4 presently used. This wasn't as drastic issue as with the 6mm. My memory right now is fading but 10 or 11 was the first twist rate. I'll dig and post back when I find it, its bugging me right now cause I thought I knew where it was but didn't see it.

There is also one last safety note, the case capacities changed with the headstamps a lot, and the lastest version of the brass it close to a redesign as it has so much more capacity. DO NOT work up hot loads on new brass and substitute older brass in the recipe...Nasty suprises are entirely possible with this mix, and is potentially hazardeous.

September 10, 2004, 02:15 AM
Trust me,
It just doesn't matter. Both will do the same.

September 10, 2004, 08:38 AM
I'd go with the '06. Seriously, there's not really going to be much difference in the field between a .270, .280/7mm-06/7mm Express, a .308, .30/06, .300 Win mag, .300 WSM, or whatever from this general range of cartridges. Lots of overlap in performance and capability.

September 10, 2004, 02:26 PM
I knew I was right on this, it just took a while to find the data:

The 280 Remington did not catch on in 1957 under the name of the 7mm Remington Express and most likely cause of this was the fact Remington used a 1 in 12" twist in barrels for their rifle models 742 and 760 and they would not stabalize heavier bullets, a few years later the twist rate was changed to a 1 in 10" twist in Remington model 725 rifles. When the 280 Remington was reintroduced in 1979 the barrel twist rate was changed again to a 1 in 9 1/2" twist in Remington model 700 rifles and it then began to sell as it would now stabalize heavier hunting bullets.

I do want to agree with some of the previous posts. If your looking at a 280 and want the best this cartridge has to offer, you need to be a handloader. There is some limited availablity of factory ammo, but selection is pretty sparse nowdays.

If your not a reloader get an 30-06 or a 270. If flat shooting is your goal the 270 would get my nod. If you plan on large game hunting, and plan on using heavy bullets get the 30-06.

In the real world though all three are fine cartridges, for non Alaska hunts any of these cartridges are excellent choices.

kayak bum
September 10, 2004, 02:47 PM
The .280 is a good, solid round and mine has served me very well, but is is almost a handload-only deal. If you don't load and dont want an '06 a .270 will probably serve much better.
That being said I am now shopping for an '06 or .308 bolt gun for more casual shooting (ie surplus ammo).

September 10, 2004, 02:57 PM
Since you said you are shopping for a casual rifle, I'll assume the one in question is either for hunting or target shooting.

If it's hunting, the difference is negligible. I like heavy hunting bullets, so the 30-06 will take you farther that direction than the 7mm, but that's just personal preference.

If it's long-range target shooting, there is a difference. Although you can get Scenars or other high-BC options for the 30-06, in general the advantage will be to the 7mm.

September 11, 2004, 12:47 AM
It was the .284 Winchester that was necked down from a .308. The .280 and .270 are necked down from the 06.

The .284 Win. Now there was a magical round that never caught on.

September 11, 2004, 01:20 AM
It was the .284 Winchester that was necked down from a .308.


The 284 Win is a brass family all to its self. It has a rebated rim. Similar to a ol 404 Jeffreys case or the new short mag series. The cartridge holds the odd distinction of the wildcats spawned from the parent are more popular than the original.

If you think finding a 280 rifle is a problem, start looking for a bolt action 284. At least Remington still makes a 280, and Sako is still chambering it. The 284 never was produced to my knowledge in a bolt rifle. All levers, pumps and auto's.

I really want a 284 bolt rifle to replace my old 7 x 57, and have been on the hunt for months. I have seen exactly one, in a custom, with an exotic price tag, and not even configured like I want.

It is ballistically the twin of the 280 in a shorter case. The big benefit is it fits in a short action. The interesting part is cause of the short fat case it is more effiecient in powder burning. Velocities on the 280 drop off pretty serverly when there is a short rifle barrel. The 284 matches the 280 but most of the test rifles are 20-22" barrels with almost identical velocities.

I have just about given up stumbling into one of this and a custom seems to be the really only option on the table.

Edited: Oh I almost forgot the 308 when necked in down in 7mm is a 7mm-08

September 11, 2004, 01:47 AM
The 284 Win is a brass family all to its self. It has a rebated rim. Similar to a ol 404 Jeffreys case or the new short mag series.

Ah ha. I see. I wasn't too entirely sure about the actual origins of the .284. That's a good point, though-- that the .284 is similar to that new line of fat and short Winchester rounds. The sucker was way ahead of its time, I guess.

In any event, it could never revive itself due to the commercial success and genuine efficacy of the 7mm-08.

Bwana John
September 11, 2004, 09:51 AM

September 11, 2004, 11:20 AM
I'm of the opinion that if a 30-06 will kill it, then more than likely a 308, 280, 270 etc would very likely kill it as well.

As to difference in ballistics, my outlook is this... Take the difference in drop between two different cartridges... say at 400 yards, the difference is 7". If you can't consistantly make 7" groups at 400 yards in hunting conditions - that is off hand, sling hold, prone or whatever your hunting area affords you - then the difference aren't worth spending two minutes thinking about.

300 Win Mags and 338 Win Mags and many of the Weatherbys are impressive, but I think of all the moose and elk that have been killed by 6.5x55 and 7x57s not to mention 30-06s, and I wonder if we have not collectively lost our minds in America.

I'd take a 30-06 every time over a 280 or 270 for that matter. Just for easy of finding loaded ammo if nothing else.

September 11, 2004, 12:02 PM

I can't fault your logic on this, its sound and makes a lot of sense.

But then my personal preferences get into the play, I have 30-338 Mags, 30-06s, 308, all fine rifles, but what do I hunt with.....my 7x57. I have hunted with and taken game with all of the above rifles, but when I go to the gun safe to get out a deer rifle the 7x57 is first and something from the above list is a spare. In the last ten years I haven't taken a deer with anything but the 7x57. Some of this I attribute to the rifle, accurate, light, short. But part of the sum of this rifle is the cartridge its chambered for 7mm and light recoil, with excellent performance on game animals. In the last ten years none of the animals have required 2 shots, all one shot clean kills. Maybe I'm lucky, I think not, I think it is the combination of a very good cartridge with good bullet performance. ( incidently Nosler Partitions 140 gr @ 2800 fps )

I really think that finding a rifle you really like in one of these cartridges is more important than the cartridge itself. I like rifles with short barrels, my 7x57 is 20", I am looking to retire my old friend cause it has very fine woodwork on it and I have decided I want to keep it that way. I know I want no longer than a 22" tube. So for my preferences ( I know these are not yours or anyone elses for that matter ) the best choices are either a 284 or a 308 they work best in the short barrels. The 280 is next and the 30-06 and 270 work best in 24" tubes.

I admit I have a 7mm bias, I own a great deal more 30 cals, but the sole 7mm in my collection is like magic.

One last BIG note: I reload, so wildcats, odd ball cartridges, ammo availability, and cartridges the factory underloads mean zero in my book. If you don't reload the 270, 308, or 30-06 are your absolute best options.

Edited: Oh its called "MAGNUMITIS" I think its a disease we all have all caught at one point.

September 11, 2004, 09:28 PM
schromf, i believe ruger made a run of 284 winchester rifles in the '70s or '80s saw one in a gun rag that gunwriter john r. sundra had. i don't think it was a custum i believe it was a factory rifle. also i remember in the late '80s when browning first introduced the micro medalion they showed it available in 284 i don't know if they actually built any though. i wish winchester would make a featherweight and the classic compact in 284 (also 260).

September 11, 2004, 10:19 PM
.30-06 does stand up to the test of time.


September 11, 2004, 10:37 PM
John R. Sundra, interesting you should bring his name up, he is probably the biggest 7mm advocate on the planet. If it said 7mm John probably owned or shot it. Was the article "Make mine a 7' ? I have been digging around for that over the last couple of weeks, I know I have it somewhere:confused:

Browning might have made one, they were chambering the BLR and BAR so it is possible, probably a collectors item if they did.

Yeah I agree 100% on Winchester making one. If they made one in a CRF model 70 I would have one in a heartbeat, a model 70 supergrade would have me ordering one tommorrow, the around 1K version. But Win refuses to chamber bolt rifles for it, always have. Another sweet option would be a Remington 700 mountain rifle in this.

All a pipe dream I am afraid, both are caught up in the short mag frenzy right now, and in non magnum the 7mm-08 seems to be about the only option.:( Although remington makes 1 model of the 280, but I don't like the drop mag, and occasionally somebody will make a 7x57.

September 11, 2004, 11:07 PM
A considerable number of thousand yard shooters really like the 280AI throwing a 175 gr. SMK. However, since I doubt you'll be doing much 1000 yd hunting I'd go with the 30-06.


September 11, 2004, 11:12 PM
You could really go off the beaten path and get an 8mm Mauser. A little less trajectory than the .280 or 30-06, but it packs a pretty big punch.

September 11, 2004, 11:25 PM
I like the 30-06. The loads available for the 30-06 are superior. Also, besides the premium bullets, you have the high energy loads, that will push you close to the 300 Win.

September 12, 2004, 07:52 AM
Get the 30-06.

September 13, 2004, 04:20 AM
I've only shot a .280 once, but it seemed like a nice caliber...

I plan on getting one myself... whenever I can afford one...

.280 is better than .270 if you reload, because of the great selection of 7mm/284 bullets.

If you're a reloader, I would not hesitate to buy a .280


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