6.5PRC vs 280AI

  • 6.5PRC

    Votes: 3 33.3%
  • 280AI

    Votes: 6 66.7%

  • Total voters
    9
As an a-side, I think this thread has helped me work through a recent itch of mine to add a bigger-caliber, dedicated elk rifle to my stable. I was consdering a 300PRC, 28Nosler, 6.5-whatever-big-bubblegum-cased-magnum.

But, being that the longest shot I've ever taken at an elk was 288 yards, it walked 25 feet and dropped dead from my 30-06. It didn't beat me up, is super easy to carry in the woods and I know exactly where that bullet is going to go within 350 yards, why change it? Why spend the extra 2-grand-ish to get something that's not going to do anything different for me?

I'm not knocking those that like the big magnums, but it seems like they just don't fit into my personal needs.

Just a bloviating thought that has nothing to do with your thread. Carry on.
Lot of truth there. I could have killed any animal that I’ve ever killed with any rifle that I’ve ever used. Would not have mattered one bit.

Another thing that’s changed my mind has been recovering bullets. I used to consider the 338s as the best option if I were going to have to take any given shot at game the size of elk or moose. Bigger wound channel/deeper penetration, etc. Then, the .308 200gr Partition came into my life. Fired at a pedestrian 2700fps from a 30-06, it actually expands wider than the 210gr and 225gr partitions I’d used in a 338. It also broke bones and penetrated very well at any angle….at 2/3 the recoil in a rifle that weighed a pound less.
 
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I wouldn’t even worry about twist if you don’t plan on shooting the real high BC stuff at weights above180gr. Standard twist is 1 in 9 to 1 in 9.5
I'll agree with you to a point. Though in my experience, my rifles with a 1:9.5 and 1:9.25 respectively really struggle above 170 which has been frustrating at times. Bought both before I learned about twist rate so that's on me. Strongly considering rebarreling because of it. I do not know how "light" a 1:8 can handle, though it really seems like the better choice with modern bullets
 
Gotta be honest, Im wanting to push my marksmanship skills out to 600yds so that was a factor in choosing these calibers, wanted something that maintains the velocity.
Well, Berger says 1 in 10 is fine for the 168 and 1 in 9 works for the 180. Either of those gets you to 600 easy with plenty of oomph. Bullets from other manufacturers in that class will do fine as well. I used the 150gr Nosler LR Accubond in a 7mm Rem Mag that had no issue at 600.
 
I'll agree with you to a point. Though in my experience, my rifles with a 1:9.5 and 1:9.25 respectively really struggle above 170 which has been frustrating at times. Bought both before I learned about twist rate so that's on me. Strongly considering rebarreling because of it. I do not know how "light" a 1:8 can handle, though it really seems like the better choice with modern bullets
I’m not sure you can really over-twist until you get fast enough to separate jackets. Speed does negate a little bit of twist. You can stabilize with a bit slower twist if you push the bullet faster.
 
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I'll agree with you to a point. Though in my experience, my rifles with a 1:9.5 and 1:9.25 respectively really struggle above 170 which has been frustrating at times. Bought both before I learned about twist rate so that's on me. Strongly considering rebarreling because of it. I do not know how "light" a 1:8 can handle, though it really seems like the better choice with modern bullets
Im in the same camp, my only bolt rifle is old and has a 10twist. Since the barrel (and group size) is worn out im getting it rebarreled in a 7 twist.
I havent been able to find much on the subject of a too fast twist rate for any big game calibers. Forum discussions goes both ways with some saying you cant outspin a good bullet. The higher BC bullets these days all need the faster twist. And FWIW it seems like many rifles are being sold in faster twists like 1:8 even in traditional calibers. My hunting partner just bought a new 7mm, 8 twist. Off the shelf factory actory ammo grouped sub moa.
 
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As an a-side, I think this thread has helped me work through a recent itch of mine to add a bigger-caliber, dedicated elk rifle to my stable. I was consdering a 300PRC, 28Nosler, 6.5-whatever-big-bubblegum-cased-magnum.

But, being that the longest shot I've ever taken at an elk was 288 yards, it walked 25 feet and dropped dead from my 30-06. It didn't beat me up, is super easy to carry in the woods and I know exactly where that bullet is going to go within 350 yards, why change it? Why spend the extra 2-grand-ish to get something that's not going to do anything different for me?

I'm not knocking those that like the big magnums, but it seems like they just don't fit into my personal needs.

Just a bloviating thought that has nothing to do with your thread. Carry on.
Agree. If I already owned an elk gun in any 30 caliber I wouldn't be interested in the new fancy calibers.
 
Im in the same camp, my only bolt rifle is old and has a 10twist. Since the barrel (and group size) is worn out im getting it rebarreled in a 7 twist.
I havent been able to find much on the subject of a too fast twist rate for any big game calibers. Forum discussions goes both ways with some saying you cant outspin a good bullet. The higher BC bullets these days all need the faster twist. And FWIW it seems like many rifles are being sold in faster twists like 1:8 even in traditional calibers. My hunting partner just bought a new 7mm, 8 twist. Off the shelf factory actory ammo grouped sub moa.
Having it won’t hurt. If I were doing a rebarrel, I’d pick the faster twist. But, if I found a factory gun I really liked, I wouldn’t be worried by a 1 in 9.5.
 
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Agree. If I already owned an elk gun in any 30 caliber I wouldn't be interested in the new fancy calibers.
I'm still interested, just part of the hobby. The 6.8 western intrigued me, but I won't really benefit from it's biggest strength, long range effectiveness. Same with the 6.5PRC.

I would get a 280AI in a heartbeat if I had to replace my Tikka. Likely would get a Kimber Mountain Rifle.
 
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I would get a 280AI in a heartbeat if I had to replace my Tikka.
Im in a very unique situation with the idea of a new elk rifle in that Im truly one of those "one gun" hunters but my "one gun" is very undersized for elk so the idea of adding a dedicated elk rifle gives me the opportunity to fill a niche at the longer ranges I have had to pass up on elk rarely unable to stalk closer. That said, if my smith gets it done by this winter I will probably save my money but if its not ready by end of this coming winter Im probably going to add this 280AI rifle to my quiver. I think a few members in this forum know my story... and probably agree with my ideas here.
 
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Im in a very unique situation with the idea of a new elk rifle in that Im truly one of those "one gun" hunters but my "one gun" is very undersized for elk so the idea of adding a dedicated elk rifle gives me the opportunity to fill a niche at the longer ranges I have had to pass up on elk rarely unable to stalk closer. That said, if my smith gets it done by this winter I will probably save my money but if its not ready by end of this coming winter Im probably going to add this 280AI rifle to my quiver. I think a few members in this forum know my story... and probably agree with my ideas here.
I get it. The Tikka is my "one gun" for all big-game hunting. That's not to say I don't have others that could get the job done if needed, just in different platforms. (Lever: 30-30, 45-70, Semi-auto .308), but I don't lug those behemoths around if I can help it. The Tikka is my hunting rifle.

When I sold everything and kept one rifle, one shotgun and one handgun, the -06 was that rifle. That wouldn't change if I had to do it again.
 
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280 ai recoil is also very manageable in a sub 7# rifle. It is not a lot different than my 270 in a Tikka lite.

32B9CE3A-048C-49ED-9612-0824DA50EB63.jpeg
 
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I shoot the standard 280 Remington and it’s quite versatile, especially when loaded to the same pressure as 270. 7mm hunting bullets are second only to 30 caliber in variety and construction.

The 280 AI is “new” as a SAAMI cartridge, but has been a popular wildcat since the 60s. It comes close to a 7mm Rem Mag while using a standard bolt face, allowing for an extra round in the magazine. It’s also beltless and has a 40 degree shoulder that minimizes case stretch.

I like the 280 AI because it fits in a standard long action with room to spare if you want to load close to the lands. You get an extra round in the box. Brass can be formed from 30-06 brass and the other cartridges in that family. I don’t see why a reloader couldn’t safely exceed 2900 fps with a 160gr bullet, especially with Reloader 26. I’ve seen published loads in the 3000-3050 fps range.

The 6.5 PRC is cramped in some short actions and you lose a round because of the fatter case. Components have been more difficult to source and ammo is priced sky-high. Maybe it won’t be in the future.
Exactly the reasons I bought my Savage Timberline 280 AI last year. I wanted one since forever but for many years they were relegated to custom rifles, and I already had rifles that fulfilled that role when Nosler made it "legit".

@Koda - tale a look at the Timberline. It comes on a factory blueprinted action and does not have the characteristic Savage bolt drag. Nope, it's not as smooth as a Tikka, but it's as good as Remington or Ruger classic actions. 1665950370611.png . I got mine through Adaptive Firing solutions at a stupid price. Not in their online catalog, but Steve was happy to track it down. I'm sure Jeremy at Lucky Sporting Goods in Banks would also do the same.

Theres that Nosler brass question that keeps haunting me. I bought a bunch of it for my only bolt rifle but have had issues with it in 2 calibers now. New virgin brass.
anyways, this new rifle idea is pending on if I get my bolt action back from the smith, if I dont have it back by next spring Im probably going to buy a new hunting rifle because Im not going to be without an elk rifle anymore.
How is the recoil on the 280? Ive fired a 7mm Rem Mag and a 300 Mag and I hated the 300 recoil.

I havent purchased a bolt rifle in forever and open to hearing recommendations. Probably in the $1000 range.
Nosler's 280 AI brass is made for them by Lapua. I bought a hundred cases from Midway and some factory 160gr Nosler when I bought the rifle to make sure I had something to put in it. Last December 280 AI was hard to get, so the one thing I will caution is that you order ammo and rifle at the same time. I always factor ammo into the price of a rifle purchase.
 
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I will.stick with 7mm Remington Magnum. I see neither of these two cartridges as a replacement for it.
If I already had a 7mm RM I wouldn't bother looking elsewhere. However consider these positives for the 280 AI in comparison:
  • Shorter barrel = less weight and more compact
  • Twice the barrel life (though most hunters will never shoot out a 7mm RM hunting)
  • Less recoil
  • Can carry one extra round in the magazine
On the other hand, the 7mm RM shines
  • Is 100 fps faster
  • Ammo is available everywhere. In fact, during the ammo panic before the current one I noted that 7mm RM along with 40 S&W were the only cartridges I could find anywhere that sold ammo.
When I went looking for an all around elk capable 7mm I chose the 280 AI. Had it not been available I would certainly not felt let down with a 7mm RM.
 
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Even though 280 ai is a saami cartridge now with factory ammo and brass available, I would choose 7mm Rem mag for an elk cartridge if I were not a reloader. The reason is quite nicely explained in the post above. It just so happens I still have my dad’s original 60’s vintage model 700 in 7mm mag. I used to kill a fair amount of deer, elk and even one moose with it but now it just sits in the safe. I need to dust it off and use it again one of these seasons.
 
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If I already had a 7mm RM I wouldn't bother looking elsewhere.
Theres been a few nods to the 7RM and I agree. If I already had one I wouldnt look at another caliber including the 280AI. The 280AI is just new and I like the idea of reloading for it better than the 7RM, (for what little I know about reloading anyways). Ive advocated for the 7RM for years and in fact persuaded 2 friends to buy one.
the 7RM is on my longer list of calibers to consider for this but I do like the idea of something new.
 
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I have acquired two 7mm RM to me they are a good long range caliber but given the choice I would take a fast 30 magnum for elk. People hunt and kill elk with a 270 ad are successful so a 7mm RM is more than capable but getting a shot on an elk is rare. I like the added insurance of a 30 cal magnum.
 
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Bookmarked, thank you.
Remember now this is a blip on my radar but it will be something Im giving serious consideration in the next 6 months or so.
May consider the potential outcome if 114 passes. Six months from now might yield you a considerable wait for your “permit”. Just a thought.
 

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