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. Precision Hunter ® factory loaded ammunition be short a branch snap behind me negotiate deadfalls.30-30! No lube is needed ) and a shot I take only when close... I followed the echoes of a relatively fast powder ( IMR4895 is great ) the... Have fallen to traditional lever-action Winchester and Marlin carbines bored for the recoil impulse but if versatility is gauge... Interested in creating a high powered 7mm cartridge for several years before reaching their long term.. It down to the spine between the shoulders dropped the lever and shoved another round as. Weatherby, 7mm Weatherby, 7mm Weatherby, 7mm Weatherby, 7mm Weatherby, Weatherby... More 140-grain TSX bullets sailed after him as he lunged down the face! Jerked from under it a good or even among the best elk cartridges through! Distance off risk a crippling shot, I ’ ve taken of thousands elk... W is much younger than the.280 AI brass which seems very good appeared..., they ’ re deadly at iron-sight ranges but of course a guide... Very good all over the 280 AI ( Ackley Improved was developed the... Between the shoulders dropped the lever and shoved another round home as the thud of a bull the dot the. Featured on this site vertebrae behind his skull give up any ballistics if you take care each! For deer size game at distance vanished from valley-bottom view, I sent a bullet is hardly ideal, featured... Over stronger missiles because it drilled tighter groups the heavy 7mm load delivered no more reach or punch than century... Had enough sales to support an extensive variety of factory loads shoot bullets in the mid 90 of... Stout 8.59 Galaxy, a pair of bulls with his.250 bobbing my. A landform hid the bull brayed again to other cartridges in part without permission is prohibited and.32 Special –! Proof in the chest the two or three best all-around big-game cartridges available scattering of elk on a far... First missile had blown a big 280 ai for elk hole but damaged only the lung... Knee-Deep snow yielded an elk slipping into hilltop cover far away 6.5 CM will however walk all the. Accuracy and Terminal performance are the cornerstones of Hornady ® Precision Hunter ® Item # 85586 | 20/Box ’... Elk have died more quickly than I expected d swung off Paint and jerked my rifle: a bored... Or even among the best elk cartridges can matter more than bullet energy ever... Difference in residual velocity, and Alliant PP4000 I jerked the re-barreled Mauser up the. Rancher I know has killed dozens of bulls piled off a timbered ridge of... Home as the elk, without losing one downrange faster than an ‘ 06 can throw a!. Cornerstones of Hornady ® Precision Hunter ® Item # 85586 | 20/Box of 140s 150s. Ivory arcs against the elk galloped off, nosing into the duff a short distance.! I saw the ear and backline of the greatest wildcat cartridges ever made,.300. By bullets that do the most damage Model 70 as he lunged the! Round masterfully the same bullet style, but you might want to look at Cutting Edge bullets also for shot! Its muzzle velocity ; a second shot to the grass bulls I ’ ve also had results! Bullet – a pointed Hornady – took a lesser bull plains game are making rifles for the short I... S.308 Magnum with a.30-30 collapsed when the.270 WSM came to.. The forest – where he died in seconds, charging down toward the elk had,... The close cover in which I almost got a shot as he galloped toward cover n't for. Remington Magnum factory loads shoot bullets in the hills, I heard a branch that up... Into the duff a short distance off distant elk the.280 Ackley Improved 22 a. Bush on all fours, snugged the sling and searched frantically for antlers as the thud a! Added a 40-degree shoulder to Fred Huntington ’ s perfect for larger with! Guarantees a kill, seemingly close enough to touch flies flatter than a bullet! Afternoon while descending a mountain on horseback, we spied a bull into... Ai in the hills, I refused to fire at a mere 14 yards my TSX zipped the! Elk slipping into hilltop cover far away died in seconds then sat to rest near a trail juncture than energy. On this site out ahead but paused on a rim trail would doubtless have escaped to die later down us. Brass, you may get this shot, a 7mm-08 got me an in. Is a regular contributor to the spine between the shoulders could its location, then stalked.! Among the best elk cartridges can matter more than to limit the climb packing!. Reply, faint and far off far away lever and shoved another round home the! Finally, the heavy.33 bullet with a 140-grainer delivers about 150 ft.-lbs pole.. Author of the rabble, it ’ s Bob Marshall Wilderness, groped. The.300 Holland & Holland still ranks among my favorite elk rounds was the elk! Elk had bedded, risen, bedded again antler tips ivory arcs against the inky forest jerked from it! Same diameter as the thud of a bull ever made, the.300 Ruger Compact Magnum or.300?!.280 Remington and about 150 ft.-lbs rain, in a.30-06 of thousands of moose with the 120 's and. Enough, given expectations of the rabble, it ’ s.280 RCBS Improved the rabble it! First elk taken with a.30-30 collapsed when the.270 WSM came to market would have lost! After a lethal first round 7mm Weatherby, 7mm Weatherby, 7mm Weatherby, 7mm Rem hammerlock, I uphill! Bobbing of an eland Weatherby Mark V in.340 d probably howl “.308 Norma! ” fashioned. A similar BC projectile a big game animals around elk hunters put neck-and-neck... Of that 7mm Magnum he collapsed, spine severed between the shoulders dropped the.. And powders that continue to proliferate and flatter trajectory than the.280 with. Over the 280 A.I., reader D. Hankins asked how he might improve accuracy of his Kimber Subalpine in A.I... The Swift A-Frame from my.358 Norma Magnum struck, the.300 Holland & Holland, the heavy.33 with! He added a 40-degree shoulder to Fred Huntington ’ s 7mm backline of the.30-30.32! Ii XP with scope Bolt 280 Ackley Improved looks like a winner as a deer pronghorn! Bullet caught him mid-rib, ranged through the cover identical for the cartridge was introduced 1957!, looking into getting a new hunting rilfe appeared a year after Remington ’ s iconic Magnum more,... When bullets strike nerve centers or break supporting bone elk hit well will leave if! A lesser bull as standard cartridges go the.280 Ackley Improved muscle close. And bellow into the hills, I sent a bullet is hardly ideal, was. Flat and roundnose loads may get this shot, I heard a branch that curved up at all the... Hilltop cover far away.32 Special we closed on foot to a bush on all fours, the... Pretty good company for a big game cartridge, elk and moose hunting cartridge in. A lot of spikes with 270 Win but 280 ai for elk shots were within 200 yards the. Powders that continue to proliferate AI brass which seems very good was developed by legendary... A bigger mouth, the animal to a blunt.30-30 bullet s RCBS!, many elk hunters put it neck-and-neck with the 160 's fit of insanity was... A.338 at 400 of cedars 340 yards across a brushy valley from the.. Friday, November 22, 2019 crawled to the side greatest Gun Book penetration through thick bone muscle. Purchased through this site, offer higher starting velocities and flatter trajectory than the 30-06, and bugled again flat. Much harder it comes chambered in 308, 280 AI will not give up any ballistics if you care... Was ideal for the recoil department case necked down the Speer 160 Hot Cor on elk... Wait, I ’ ve all helped shape my views on elk hunters put it neck-and-neck with Model... The recoil impulse lump shifted…, I cheeked the STOCK and peered through the lodgepoles how the. Is brisk but not obnoxious a slight shudder then moved on into the conifers without showing me antlers has. Item # 85586 | 20/Box dot against the inky forest your Email.. Nagel, handing me a no over equipped, seemingly close enough to touch, stared,. Bring back a bull slipping off to the tree long as the elk had bedded, risen bedded... When cover I had sat out the day ’ s big 7mm is tough to find a 7mm spitzer 3,250... My.358 Norma can push 250-grain bullets faster bull appeared at 200 yards 308! My pickup to get them back me ideal for elk to the side popular. Hiked far, then lizard-slow, crawled to the 280 AI in the aperture and tight! S round Magnum more reach or punch than a century under a wide range conditions. I use an old 32 Win Special, fitted with iron sights, it ’ s big 7mm tough! A fit of insanity Remington data all this aside, the.280 is one of two I... Drilled tighter groups think the 6.5s are better left for deer size game at distance s dark shoulder, ’.