What recipe(s) would you recommend in .280 Rem for this situation?


Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
January 26, 2010, 01:31 PM
This is for my new "long range hunter". Just 'completed' today (thank you jkebert!)

Barrel: T/C Encore/ProHunter 28", .280 Rem

Bullet: Hornady 154 gr SST

Desired Accuracy: As much as possible, but happy with 1.0 MOA

Desired Velocity: Anywhere from 2,950 on up. This is on the high side, but I think very doable while retaining accuracy with a 28" bbl and the strength of an Encore.

I would like to achieve 2,950 without pressure signs. This gives me almost *exactly* +3.0" at 150 yards and almost *exactly* -3.0" at 300 yards (700 feet altitude, 70 degrees F, .530 BC), with a 256 yard zero. Perfect 300 yard MPBR setup. Gives me a 6" target zone under ideal range conditions, but factor in a field condition hold (albeit good one), and lack of perfect accuracy of rifle, a reasonable 10" circle could be hit every time with a dead-on hold out to 300 yards (Gives me a plus or minus an extra 2" each way for shooter and rifle error in the field). That's a dead (large) chunk of backstrap every time, if I account for the wind. :)

Thoughts on which to try first? Powder type, amount, and primer?

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January 26, 2010, 01:43 PM
IMR-4350 would be a good place to start for accuracy.

Primer is immaterial as long as it is a standard Lg Rifle.

Your 3,000+ velocity goal seems a little optimistic unless you go to a slower powder then IMR-4350 though.


Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
January 26, 2010, 02:00 PM
Thank you sir!

(Who said anything about 3,000? I want 2,950. :p :) )

January 26, 2010, 02:04 PM
You sir, said 2,950 to 3,050 before you edited your post! :neener:

I may be old, but I ain't that senile yet!


Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
January 26, 2010, 02:46 PM
That's correct. But the minimum was always 2,950 - I ain't greedy, you see! :)

If I can't get 2,950, I'm reaming to .280 AI! :p

January 26, 2010, 02:58 PM
If I can't get 2,950, I'm reaming to .280 AI!

not possible

In order the properly setup an AI chamber to fireform factory brass the bbl has to be set back to facilitate a slight crush fit at the neck shoulder junction. On a break action this is impossible for obvious reasons. The only AI's that work with this platform would be either factory cut chambers or rimmed cartridges.

I'm looking forward to further developments on this setup though, Please keep us posted.

EDIT: A quick look at hodgdon data leads me to think your velocity goal may be a bit optimistic even when factoring in your longer bbl

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
January 26, 2010, 04:25 PM
OK, thanks - didn't know that about the .280 AI.

Would your recomendation change if going with a 139 SST or other 140 bullet, rather than a 154 SST?

What's a slightly slower powder than can take advantage of the full 28" with a 139/140, and still likely deliver nice accuracy?

The 139 (.486 BC) @ 3,000-3,025 is probably more doable than 154 at 2950, and gives very very similar ballistics to 300 yards - compared to the 154 @ 2950 - slightly better up-down trajectory; slightly worse wind drift result. Not enough to make any difference on the externals. Of course, terminal ballistics will be different - the 139 may be a bit iffy on game larger than deer, on quartering shots. The SST is supposed to be significantly tougher and a better penetrator than other ballistic tips, but it ain't *that* tough, I don't think.

krochus, I'm really surprised you didn't mention something about setting up the broad side of a barn on the range at 25 yards, so that my Encore could hit it! :p

I will say that the hinge pin was a BEAST to put into the Encore with the .280 barrel, very unlike the hinge pin on the other Encore I have - this is a GOOD thing for potential accuracy. Dunno if jkebert sent me an oversized one or what, but I like it (now that I have it in - it's not coming out voluntarily now!).

P.S. One ol' boy on the Cabela's forums claims to get 3211 from the .280 AI in a 24" bbl, with 63.3 gr of Vihtavhouri N165 and 140 accubonds, with a 0.206" group at 100 yards, from a Cooper 52. :eek: If so, then 3025 (186 fps slower) should be acheivable with a .280 regular, with this 4 more inches of barrel length, I'd think.

I'd be happy with 3,000 or 3,025, right in there... At 300 yards, with 3,000 fps even MV, this keeps my wind drift at 5.5" with 10mph x-wind, drop less than 3" with 256 yd zero, and around 1870 fpe left @ 2,461 fps.

Just as a sidebar, if I can get it shooting, this rifle will be my new multi-purpose rifle, as a combination:

-Long range (cross-canyon, pronghorn, caribou, etc.)
-Mountain / Long-trek (it ain't exactly LIGHT, but it's light enough to tote a ways, to give a 'mountain gun' designation - well maybe not on second thought)
-All weather (It's my 'rain & snow' rifle - Ugly as it may be, with synthetic furniture & stainless steel. But the plastic furniture on the T/C seems about as solid as they come, so I can deal)
-Politically correct (when I cannot or do not want to use a semi-auto EBR for hunting)
-Medium & Large (but not huge) game (including larger than deer, when the .243 or .260 won't cut the mustard - figure elk is top size game for this one. Bison, moose, big bears, & large African plains game would deserve something larger with a heavier bullet).


Dry weather, smaller animals, shorter hikes, woods hunting with more normal (shorter) ranges, and/or EBR-eligible huntin grounds - those tasks will be delegated to other centerfire rifles, muzzleloading rifles, or the bow/x-bow. :)

As you can probably tell, I'm fired up about this acquisition. Post here or PM me if you want to see pics. If I full-length resize my cases correctly to get the correct headspacing, I should be able to get it to shoot well, krochus's dire warnings notwithstanding. :p

Anyhoo, back to powders....

January 26, 2010, 05:34 PM
I looked at reloadersnest, and they show a couple stout loads using 150gr being pushed to 2900-2950.
I personally think that Rel-22 may have the stuff to get close to your goal, but maximum velocity doesn't always equate to acceptable accuracy. Your 28" barrel can only help with the slow powders, as you know.



January 27, 2010, 07:03 AM
The Hornady #7 Manual shows:
IMR4831 53.9 grs. @ 2900 FPS
RL-22 58.4 grs. @ 2900 FPS

This was out of a Rem 700 22" barrel 1 in 10" Twist
With your 28" barrel you should able to get slightly more than that.

Jimmy K

January 27, 2010, 07:39 AM
Here is another solution "IF" you could get a case made. What "cartridge" do you think this is?

Jimmy K

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
January 27, 2010, 11:36 AM
Hornady claims 3,090 with 139 SSTs with their "Superperformance" ammo, just as a basis of comparison - yeah, they're using special powders, but the Superperformance is actually dumbed down a little from their "Light Magnums".


Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
January 27, 2010, 11:40 AM
Jim, that one is the length of a 7mm Dakota, but otherwise all the dimensions are .284 Win - what the HECK is that?

January 27, 2010, 11:42 AM
I don't think there's anything special about the light mag line. Any cartridge I've tried do duplicate the stuff with has fdone so simply by using the best propellants for the task

January 27, 2010, 12:20 PM
When Jim Carmichael was editor of Outdoor Life magazine he wrote several articles about hunting with the .280. Used it for everything from elk to some sizeable African game and I think he used 140 grain bullets. He was the reason I bought a .280 and I'm very happy with it. A tough cartridge that does everything well.

January 27, 2010, 02:04 PM
Of course, terminal ballistics will be different - the 139 may be a bit iffy on game larger than deer, on quartering shots. The SST is supposed to be significantly tougher and a better penetrator than other ballistic tips, but it ain't *that* tough, I don't think.

Well doc, my experience with the .280 tells me that the SST is NOT what you want. I went the course from the ballistic bomb--- er um I mean TIP to the Hornady SST, figuring the same as you. The interlock is a neat marketing gimmick that just does absolutely nothing to keep the core with the jacket. It over expands, spits the core out, then fragments. So your higher velocities will net you nothing other than getting there faster!

I switched to the H- interbond, which has the same shape minus the cannelure. That bullet stays together, penetrates further, and expands just as well. In fact, the retained weight makes it possible to drop one size smaller in weight, so the 139 interbond will perform as well as the 154 SST. Weight retention in the 80% category up to 90%, will allow deeper penetration.

Most of my .280 loads were using AA,(accurate arms), 4350. This was for 2 .280's, my Ruger tang safety, and a nephews 7400. Game was whitetail deer at moderate ranges in the open, to woods hunting. I never went heavier than 140, except the first loads back in the 80's was with the speer 145 hot core. My suggestion would be to concentrate on the 4831 burn rates, R-19 and R-22.

January 27, 2010, 05:26 PM
It is called the 284 Kirk, how about that for a name! It is a photoshopped 284 Winchester. If someone would make the 284 case 2.5" long it would give the same performance as a Rem 7 MM magnum without the belt. It would also mean that you could use the standard 30/06 bolt face. Neck that sucker to 6.5 and have a heck of long range cartridge. Since I'm a .25 caliber fan, neck it down to .257 and have a 257 Roy without the belt. You may notice that I hate belts.

Jimmy K

25 Kirk, 6.5 Kirk, 270 Kirk, 284 Kirk, ...

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
January 27, 2010, 08:00 PM
Snuffy what about the H - GMX?

Thanks for the excellent info. I've read a LOT of reviews that say the SST gives excellent penetration despite the rapid expansion- many say that it penetrates head and shoulders above ballistic tips like Nosler - no comparison.

The interbonds and GMX are so much more expensive, too; hmmm.

January 28, 2010, 12:12 AM
A 154 grainer at 3,000 fps is within the relm of possiblities with RL-19, H450, or something slower. Your 28" barrel is going to give you a nearly 100 fps boost, over a 24". The .280 Rem doesn't have "bottomless" capacity, like a true magnum case, so the ultra slow powders aren't going to be where it's at.

January 28, 2010, 09:23 AM
IMR4831 or RL22, and IMR7828.
I get 2,775fps from a 7mm-08 and a 20" bbl and 46.0gr of IMR4350 with a 154gr Hornady Interlok. . 3,000fps shouldn't be any big deal from the .280.. The Nosler #4 shows the 160gr Part. at 2,942fps over 58.5gr of IMR7828. The 150's at 2,990fps over 59.0gr. From 26" bbl.

The Hornady's have shorter bearing surfaces, so another 50fps isn't out of the question. Your barrel will be the main variable.

Remember, most of the data available for the .280 is watered down just like the .257Roberts. If you boost the pressures to .270wcf levels, 2,950fps is possible with a 24' bbl, not to mention a 28" tube.

I think you're going to be favorably suprised.

About 10yrs ago, Walmart sold a version of the HandiRifle in .280 with a 26" bbl. I Chrono'd the ammo from one at the range as a curiosity, as I was sighting in a friends 7mmRemMag with a max load of H4831. The .280 was faster, slightly..... At just over 3,000fps. I too was suprised! -At how slow the 7mmMag was...

January 28, 2010, 02:24 PM
Snuffy what about the H - GMX?

Well---here's a couple of 165's fired from my 300 WSM @ 3100 fps into water filled mild jugs.



Weight retention was 100%---except for the loss of the plastic tip. Expansion was .612, penetration was into the forth milk jug. They're laid end-to-end lined up to bullet flight path.

The BC is the same as the SSt and interbond. I haven't played with the 139 in 7mm YET, but the more expensive bullets make that a maybe----sometime!

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
January 28, 2010, 05:38 PM
You guys have been most helpful. Thank you Goosegestapo & snuffy again.

I'll have to decide whether I want to go with cheaper and slower 154 SSTs, or more expensive & faster Interbonds or GMXs. Or even something else like Speer HotCor.

Got to decide whether:

--I want to shoot it a lot between hunts (in which case I'll run with cheaper 154 SSTs or 145 Speer HotCors)


--I want to shoot it just a little bit between hunts (in which case I'll run probably the Interbond 139s).

Regardless of bullet choice, to summarize, I'll be eyeing:

IMR 4350
IMR 4831
RL 19
RL 22
AA 4350
IMR 7828

That it?

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