There has been an error with your Email Subscription. While i'm shooting regular 280 Rem i'll share my findings. RL26, is fast & accurate, but i don't care for the recoil impulse. A young guide and I had hunted most of the day in sleet, through obnoxious shintangle. More recently, with a Montana rifle bored for the largely unsung .280 Remington (circa 1957), I climbed under a bleak, black sky toward timberline. My rifle: a Lazzeroni bored for the short, stout 8.59 Galaxy, a ballistic match to the .340 Weatherby. But the herd beat me to a pass and lined out toward thick forest below. The 260 A.I? A patch of hair in a grapefruit-size gap told me the elk’s body position. Occasionally elk have died more quickly than I expected. This was way back in the mid 90's of course. Then – a spot of color! In vain, I tried to calm the crosswire offhand. I have a 270 it just has seen better days. I really kinda narrowed it down to the 280 AI and the 308. Not so. I scurried to a bush on all fours, snugged the sling and searched frantically for antlers as the elk bunched to negotiate deadfalls. Since then, a raft of racy, controlled-expansion 160-grain 7mm bullets have appeared in factory loads and as components. The 280 AI will not give up any ballistics if you can use a similar BC projectile. Unaware but alert, the five-point eased up-slope. I use a Lee collet die( no lube is needed) and a benchrest seating die. Why not the .300 Winchester? After years of reading about and dreaming of record-book bulls, we labor up the mountain with visions of cudgel-thick antlers that, upside down on a tall mule, furrow the earth. How about the 7mm and .270 Weatherby Magnums, the .300 Holland & Holland, the .300 Ruger Compact Magnum or .300 SAUM? The 175’s weight throttled its muzzle velocity; a nose profile better suited to alder thickets sapped speed and energy downrange. I can’t explain those kills. Savage 57147 10/110 Long Range Hunter Bolt 280 Ackley Improved . This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I angled toward him getting an offhand shot at 60 yards. He’d taken more than 7,000 foot-pounds from the first hits, both in the chest. I flopped prone and fired my Model 70. Lung-shot elk succumb most quickly when struck by bullets that do the most damage. All rights reserved. 280 AI (Ackley Improved) Quantity Kimber 84L Hunter Boot Campaign .280 Ackley Imp 24" 3700445. At my shot, the elk rocketed off. The elk galloped off, nosing into the duff a short distance off. He was moving by the time I’d swung off Paint and jerked my rifle free. Have had good results with RL22, IMR 4831, Norma MRP, and Alliant PP4000. Another glimpse, another 140-grain softpoint, and the elk collapsed. At 55 yards, the 170-grain softpoint drove into his chest. The .338 is a fine pick for quartering shots. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. My first missile had blown a big entrance hole but damaged only the near lung – evidence that bullet was too fragile for elk. I think the 6.5s are better left for deer size game at distance. Ballistically, the heavy 7mm load delivered no more reach or punch than a 180-grain spitzer stoked to redline in a .30-06. I’ll confess to several. The bull paused, but a cow stood behind. A second shot to the spine between the shoulders dropped the beast. If the OP is looking for a light recoiling factory kimber, he will likely find he can get a higher BC projectile out of the 6.5 at similar muzzle velocity for 1/2 the recoil. 280 AI for mature elk is my minimum. I eased sideways, my movement glacial. Tension mounted at each step as I skirted cows almost near enough to touch. The.280 is a 7mm, same diameter as the 7x57M, 7x 61 S&H, 7mm Weatherby, 7mm Rem. But that misconception is common. My .338 staggered him; a second shot put him down; I fired a third to finish him. Its flat arc and relatively light recoil appealed to hunters. Even if by sunny good fortune you were directed to test one cartridge on elk and permitted to take several bulls in a season, you’d have a hard time drawing unassailable conclusions. In my one and only 280 Ackley Improved ( Mod 700 Mountain Rifle) I used the 150 old style ballistic tip on antelope and exotics. Is the .30-06 a good or even among the best elk cartridges? Select a light load of a relatively fast powder (IMR4895 is great) from the standard .280 Remington data. Get the 74th edition of the World's Greatest Gun Book. When the Swift A-Frame from my .358 Norma Magnum struck, the elk crashed as if the earth had been jerked from under it. Dead air kept its scent from him, short yards away. Especially ditto RL16. The best elk load for your rifle is what’s chambered when a bull appears in your sight! I crashed headlong after the left-hand animal hoping for a shot as he lunged down the steep face through the lodgepoles. Other bullet weights stack up about the same. It blasts a 250-grain bullet downrange faster than an ‘06 can throw a 150! Learn how your comment data is processed. 1 barreled to 7mm WSM. Another stubby powerhouse, the .300 Remington Short Action Ultra Mag, also came my way before I’d heard of it dropping an elk. He spun and stopped behind a screen of brush as I cycled the Marlin. After alot of research, the 280 AI seems to be the caliber that checks the most boxes. Silence. I’d seen the same reaction in a bull shot with my .375 H&H. This old lever action had a receiver sight and was ideal for the close cover in which I almost got a shot. It’s been felling elk for more than a century under a wide range of conditions. Also, its 225-grain bullet flies flatter than a 180 from a .30-06, so it stretches far. The 6.5 CM will however walk all over the 280 AI in the recoil department. Besides, myriad loads are possible for any one cartridge. He absorbed the heavy .33 bullet with a slight shudder then moved on into the forest – where he died in seconds. If so, we suggest the following procedure: Start with standard .280 Remington cases. Slowly, rifle bobbing to my pulse, I cheeked the stock and peered through the scope. It’s perfect for larger deer with the 140's, and a real elk and moose buster with the 160's. A ballistic twin, it’s much more popular. I waited, then lizard-slow, crawled to the side. Sometimes power is comforting. If Remington’s 7mm Magnum or some WSM hikes your pulse, or you’re enamored of the .280 Improved or a wildcat like the .30 Gibbs, you’ll get no quarrel from me. While Nosler offers pre-formed 280 Ackley brass, you may want to form your own. Some days later at timberline, we spied a scattering of elk on a ridge far below. At 300 yards, the .280 AI with a 140-grainer delivers about 150 ft.-lbs. Nosler, Dakota Arms and most custom rifle makers are making rifles for the cartridge. Field & Stream may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site. Surveys I’ve taken of thousands of elk hunters put it neck-and-neck with the 7mm Remington Magnum in popularity. On another elk expedition I’d have been lost had the bull appeared at 200 yards. It vanished as I jerked the re-barreled Mauser up onto the elk and pressed the trigger. In recoil, the .338 reminds you of its horsepower. We closed on foot to a patch of cedars 340 yards across a brushy valley from the spot. It passed entirely through, breaking a shoulder en route. The 7mm-08 AI? I’m gonna probably get flamed for saying this but I think that if you are going out to 800 yds, stick with 280 or even better, a 300 mag of whatever flavor you favor. Accurate and slick-cycling, that Winchester was my go-to elk rifle before I sold it in a fit of insanity. The .280 Improved is totally adequate on small African game or antelope with the 120's. Great care has been given by Hornady engineers to develop superior, match­-accurate hunting loads that allow the ELD­-X ® bullet to achieve its maximum ballistic potential. Speaking of the 280 A.I., reader D. Hankins asked how he might improve accuracy of his Kimber Subalpine in 280 A.I. Said elk will appear at great distance, quartering steeply into a fir jungle, a heartbeat from gone. In the 150gr. The bull labored – as did I – through more deadfall. Two more 140-grain TSX bullets sailed after him as he crashed then rolled into a very steep canyon. Get the latest news and reviews from Gundigest.com. While you may get this shot, a powerful cartridge hardly guarantees a kill. Essentially a .338 Magnum with a bigger mouth, the .358 Norma can push 250-grain bullets faster. Based on the .30-06 case necked down to take a 7mm, or .284-inch bullet, the cartridge was introduced in 1957. Naming runners-up is just as hard. Find a tough cartridge for one of the most prized and toughest hooved big game animals around. But if versatility is the gauge, Norma’s .308 Magnum with 180-grain spitzers at 3,000 fps is hard to beat. It hurled a 180-grain bullet as fast as the 7mm Remington could a 160. In most elk country you can’t count on close shots. On a stormy morning in the northern Rockies, I climbed a ridge across from a herd of elk I’d spied at dawn. Shot placement is more critical than bore size or bullet weight, and that can only be achieved by getting close to your quarry…biggest bull i ever shot i killed was at 75 +/- yards with a 100 grain .243(6mm)…An old rancher i got to know in Colorado shot his elk with a well worn iron sighted .30-.30, he stated that he liked to get close enough to see his reflection in the bulls eyes before he’d shoot…These articles and t.v.programs of guys shooting deer and elk at 600-1000 yards are ridiculous…whatever happened to HUNTING?…Now its just shooting. 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