280. Ackley Improved

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Magnumsrule, May 1, 2008.

  1. I was reading the shooting times magazine for this month and saw that Nosler has got Saami to standardize the round. Nosler has started producing loaded ammo and rifles along with brass. Does anyone have this? I have the feeling that it produces 7mm mag performance but im not sure. What do you guys think?
  2. Midas

    Midas Chief Troll B' Gone Forum Contributor

    It'd be hard to choose the 280 AI, over a 7mm Rem mag, then again, I have never been a big fan of Ackley Improving any cartridge.

  3. Lng Rng

    Lng Rng G&G Newbie

    I am with Midas. If you want 7mm Mag performance, just go get a 7mm Mag. The ammo is available in many different loadings, and there is no shortage of components or reloading info. Not to mention, if it has near 7mm Mag performance, it will have the recoil to go along with it.
  4. AKHunter

    AKHunter G&G Newbie

    .280AI serves no practical purpose IMO when compared to the .280 rem and/or the 7mmRM and again you know by now I dont care much for the 7mmRM.

    Example from Nosler manual :

    .280 rem 160 partition IMR7828 max*58.5 grains 2942fps
    .280AI 160 partition IMR7828 max*59.0 grains 3015fps
    7mmRM 160 partition IMR7828 max*66.5 grains 3090fps

    These 3 loads represent the highest velocity for that bullet listed, the .280AI only has 73fps more than the .280rem and the 7mmRM needs 8 grains more powder for a gain 148fps. Even going to the 175 grain bullet the 7mmRM another 8 grains over the .280rem for 150fps advantage. Most people I know that shoot 7mmRM shoot 160 and or 175 grain bullets the majority of the time, particularly if you are shooting heavy bodied animals. Going down to 140 grain bullets the 7mmRM still only has 166fps over the .280rem with max load RL19 using another 8.5 grains.

    So comparing the .280rem against the 7mmRM leaves no room for consideration where the .280AI is concerned. It is a waste of effort IMO and a wildcat that exists merely for those who want something a bit off the beaten path while caring nothing for availability of components, or ammo.

    My 2cents:drive:
  5. .280Rem

    .280Rem Guest

    Exactly. If you want a 280AI, then by all means get one, but don't expect any magic. Heck, handloaded .280Rem will do what 7mmRM factory ammo will do. But handload the 7mmRM and you get better. I've run 160s right up to 3000fps in the .280Rem with R-22. Best you could safely expect from a 7mmRM is 3100, maybe a wee bit more. Expect the AI to split the difference. Before they made it a factory offering, I never understood people going to all the trouble it took to aquire/fireform brass and load the AI to get a whopping 50fps gain.
  6. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

    AKHUNTER:Great post and demonstration of what is happening in the real world.I have a .280AI and cant tell the difference in performance in it and 7mm rem.mag.The reason I went with the .280AI was for steels at just a little longer range than a .280rem.What I wound up with was an inbetween of the standard .280rem and 7mm.I wouldnt hesitate to go AI for target shooting,but see no practical gain for hunting.The real gain for AI is increasing the capacity of limited capacity cases such as .22-250 or .308 to allow the use of a slower burnrate powder.Increasing capacity on caseings that already have capacity does help,but is marginal at best. sam.
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  7. A bit of history

    I agree with Samuel and the other posters as to the ballistics of the round in question.

    Note, when P. O. Ackley did his cartridge design and when he was at Trinidad Junior College in the post WW2 1940's he was an experimentor and an innovator. In one way you could say he took steps on the road to where we are now with the 7mm mag and several other cartridges that surpass his "improved" designs in power and range. Ackley did not have the powders we have now so we have to wonder where he might have gone with our current variety of commercially available powders.

    So, while there is little demand for his cartridges now, we need to put his work into perspective thus realizing he was an important man.
  8. Thanks for the replies guys. So basically there is no real gains with this cartridge. PLus where i live it would take another year or two before a rifle/ammo shows up.
  9. Ron AKA

    Ron AKA Guest

    Some believe that the belted magnum cannot be chambered as accurately as the non belted (280 or 280AI). However, I suspect to realize that slight gain you would have to get a custom chambered barrel and done by a skilled gunsmith. Also keep in mind 2" more barrel will typically give you 50-60 fps with no more powder, or no larger case.

  10. .280Rem

    .280Rem Guest

    I guess "real gain" is subjective. 50-75fps max. I don't expect to ever find ammo in any good supply for the .280AI. Only Nosler produces a factory rifle for it, and it's not priced for the masses. I'd just hazzard a guess than the majority of those that would have one built, are handloaders because up to now, there was not factory ammo. The .280AI is really non-wildcat wildcat as far as I'm concerned. If you want real gains, see the 7mmRM, 7mmRUM, 7mmWSM, 7mmSAUM. If you want something few people around you will be toting, get a .280AI built. And lastly, most people I've ever seen that loaded them, didn't even load them to what the .280Rem is actually capable of.
  11. rfc357

    rfc357 Guest

    I have three Ackleys. The .338-06 and .35 Whelan allow me to run full-power loads for the standard cartridges at lower pressure. Not much real performance gain so far.

    The real barn-burner is the .22-250 AI. I can get about a 6% bump in velocities over the standard cartridge, with no pressure signs.

    An acquaintance has a .30-06 AI. Last year we were able to work up some loads for the Nosler 190 that were 60 fps below .300 Win Mag, using a lot less powder. Accuracy was under 1.5". One shot crumpled a bull elk in its tracks. Primers were not flattened.

    I'm going to convert a Ruger #1 to .30-06 AI soon.
  12. runfiverun

    runfiverun G&G Evangelist

    the 280 a.i. alreafy had a saami pressure it was the same as the 280.
    the point of p.o.'s improvements were for lower pressure cartridges
    to get more powder into and velocity out of cases that could use them.
    30-30-7x57-etc.. case life in others is just a benefit.
    he even predicted max powder charges for bullet diameters which
    are pretty good, as when you add more the returns are dimenishing for each
    grain added........term overbore.....
  13. Palladin8

    Palladin8 G&G Evangelist

    I had a barrel made for my Thompson/Center Encore. I am still fire forming the brass so I haven't loaded up anything to .280AI standards. The reason I went with the .280AI was simply because I could. I know there are better 7mm calibers out there but this one caught my eye and so far I am very happy with it.
  14. Palladin8

    Palladin8 G&G Evangelist

    Well I went to the range yesterday and shot a few test loads. The wind was steady out of the NE 10-15 and gusting to near 20. Not Ideal but it would die down at times where I could shoot. I tried two powders with several different charges. I also tried three different bullets ranging from the Hornady SST 139gr, Nosler 150gr Ballistic tip and the Sierra 168gr Match King. I also tried some factory Federal .280s with the Barnes 140gr TSX.
    I tried different OALs as well just to see what the effect would do on the accuracy. Over all the most accurate handload was the Sierra loaded slow with IMR 4831 and the OAL of 3.345". The Barnes was the most accurate group but I screwed it up trying to shoot a five shot group.
    Here is a pic of the Sierra Group.

    Attached Files:

  15. AKHunter

    AKHunter G&G Newbie

    Nice group, looks like you found a sweet spot !
  16. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

    Real good,thanks for the picture. sam.
  17. Palladin8

    Palladin8 G&G Evangelist

    Thanks guys. I ordered some Barnes 150's and 140's as well as some Reloader 22. I hope that they group as well as the factory ones did.