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280AI, 26" bbl - you should be able to touch 2800 fps with a 177gr Hammer.

From what I read, Hammers love to be pushed hard, and open up nicely on game. I'm not sure whether or not it matters if it's a Shock Hammer, Absolute Hammer, or whatnot.

I shoot 142gr Cutting Edge bullets. I don't know the MV -- they are scary accurate.
 
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I believe the Hammer Hunters are designed to be run as fast as possible. I have no first hand experience but the threads I have read on long range hunting forum, everyone is chasing speed and going with lighter than typical bullets for the given caliber.

From their website if you haven't already read the breakdown:

Types of Hammer Bullets™



The Shock Hammers are our line of bullets that we designed for normal range hunting, where bc is inconsequential. So for most cartridges 400y or less. The Shock Hammer line is approximately an 80% weight retention bullet that has a larger hollow point for super quick opening on game with high retention for long straight penetration.

The Hammer Hunter line is our long range or high bc line of bullets. This was the original line of bullets. These bullets all have 1.5mm hollow point and are typically 60%-70% weight retention. There is no drop off in terminal performance from the Shock Hammers. The only difference that we see on game is the Shock Hammer will open up slightly quicker. We designed the Hammer Hunter with the 1.5mm hp as it was the smallest that we could get reliable expansion. We tried 1mm hp but it would not always do what we wanted on game. Failure is not an option. As far as we know there is no report of a failure of the Hammer Hunter to expand on game. There is always that chance and the larger hollow point on the Shock Hammers reduces that risk.

I will be changing the name of the Heavy Hammers to Hammer Hunters. They are for all intents and purpose the same. They are bullets that we came up with for customers that had slow for caliber twist rifles. The goal here was to make as heavy a bullet as we could that still has the 1.5mm hollow point and still get as much bc as we could and maintain proper stability for good terminal performance. They typically have shortened boat tails and more baring surface to increase the weight to length ratio.

DeadBlow Hammers are Hammer Hunters that are designed to retain 40%-50% on impact. They simply have a very deep hollow point that causes them to shed much larger nose petals. We have a full line of these ready to go. I just have not had the time to get them up on the website. We hunted with these bullets last fall in MT and had very good results. I'll be honest, it is not exactly what we think a bullet should be, but we are looking to satisfy those who like a frangible bullet. Because they are pure copper they do not disintegrate like lead core bullets, so meat damage is still very light. The shed weight comes of in a few large pieces that do their own work. Think of 4 little 25g bullets along with the retained shank all penetrating deep in the animal. On game performance was actually very good. These bullets will be a bit more expensive due to the fact that is takes so long to drill the deep hole. If anyone is interested in DeadBlows shoot me a note. We can fill orders I just need to know what you are after.

Absolute Hammers are very similar to the Hammer Hunter bullets with the same 1.5mm hollow point and the same basic form. We designed the Absolute Hammer so that it can not be engraved on the ogive of the bullet. The only part of the bullet that encounters the barrel is the PDR drive bands. This greatly reduced the engraving pressure of the bullet which in turn increased the potential velocity in most cartridges. Because of the very low engraving pressure the Absolute Hammers do not line up well with conventional bullet loading data. They should only be loaded by expert reloaders that are capable of working up a load without any supporting data.

Target Hammers are pretty self explanatory. Non expanding bullet designed for shooting targets not game.

All of the Hammer Bullets™ that are designed for hunting are impact tested down to 1800 fps impact velocity for proper deformation. We have not been able to impact a Hammer Bullet at too high of an impact velocity. They will retain the same weight at low and high velocity impacts.
 
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Congrats on the new rifle!

I don't know much about "long range shooting", but if I had me a new .280 Ackley Improved rifle to go elk hunting with, I'd start my loading efforts with some 175 grain Nosler Partitions. I know, I know. Not the latest and greatest, but tried and true for nearly 75 years now. (The Nosler Partition, not me.)
 
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Don't forget the Hornady SST and CX bullet.

Find a weight that works for you and your rifle. My self I use heavy weight bullets so there is more force on impact. Plus it seems to be what both me and my rifles are most accurate with.Since you said it's a new rifle I'd get some factory rounds and match
 
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When I looked up factory ammo I was "blown away" by the price and immediately started shopping for some reloading dies.
Sorry about the long gap above, phone updates been really glitch.
As for factory ammo I'd get at least one box of what you think or know you'll like and copy them. Than compare them with your own and see what you get, than go from there.
 
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Sorry about the long gap above, phone updates been really glitch.
As for factory ammo I'd get at least one box of what you think or know you'll like and copy them. Than compare them with your own and see what you get, than go from there.
the other problem is there is virtually almost no factory ammo available in this caliber, the one box I can find isnt really having a choice. I wouldnt mind having factory ammo to compare to but I have everything I need to handload except projectiles. ..

when I saw your long post I knew it was phone related, I have glitches too when I reply from my phone...
 
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So far, it looks to me like with the fast 8 twist I should start with the heavier options in the monos Im looking at. Some things Im still wondering about, are the heavier bullets better at wind deflection? And they are very long Im wondering if they will fit in a factory AI chamber without seating too deep inside the case?
 
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I did find some recently that wasn't too bad, I think they were around $40, if I find them again I can message you.
As for bullets, it's like I said before go heavy since it has more kinetic force behind it. Have had good luck with the Hornady ELD-X and SST bullets and the Barnes bullets. Not sure fully about the CX bullets yet, still experimenting with them.
 
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The heavier bullets do tend to be less effected bbywind than lighter bullets. As for lenght I think that is more the maker and type of bullets you choose to use.
I just dont know if the throat is deep enough to not have to seat the bullet so dèep it starts to compress the powder..
 
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Again that will have to depend on what bullet you choose, monolithic bullets tend to be longer than lead cores. You should be fine using whichever one that you choose to use, a variety of of similar bullets can help you choose the one you like.
 
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How do you select which bullet weight to use for hunting?

I'm buying components to handload a new 280AI for elk hunting. Ive narrowed down to either a Barnes TTSX or a Hammer Hunter. I'm looking thru the various weights they offer and kinda stalled out on picking the heaviest or choosing a lighter weight. I'm playing around in a ballistic calculator but don't really have a metric to judge a starting velocity for each weight.
Barnes TTSX: 140, 150gr, Hammer Hunters: 146, 155, 169, 177gr.
Nosler partitions. Don't use the Accubonds, had them blow up on me shooting Red Stags in Argentina
 
First thing, which you may have already done, is select a rifle that allows for options. If the barrel is twisted right, the magazine box has some room, the cartridge choice is adequate for the intended game, the caliber has many bullet options, and it doesn’t weigh a ton, you’re already ahead.

Then I consider:
- Anatomy of the intended game (do I need deep penetration or rapid expansion). You want a bullet that will expand at the right time as it drives through. I also recommend something that will exit, giving you two holes to bleed from.

- How far am I shooting? Sometimes raw accuracy and trajectory aren’t the driving factor. For instance, a heavily built big game animal under 300 yards, it might not be. While it may be everything on a small and thin-bodied animal at 500 yards.

- Will you be hunting multiple species with different needs?

Remember that mono-metal bullets don’t need to weigh as much as traditional jacketed bullets because they retain more weight. I use a 180gr bullet in a 30-06 when using cup and core, but move down to 150gr when using Barnes. Mono-metal bullets do require more velocity to reliably expand. This can dramatically affect the range you can use them. I generally limit myself to ranges where the bullet is still going 2000 fps on impact.

If you choose to use a jacketed bullet, it’s smart to use tougher bullets when shooting at close range. This keeps them from expanding too quickly in a big animal and losing penetration.
 

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