Both of these rounds are very trendy among North American marksmen and hunters. Though the two specified rounds are favored, other barrages of similar quality can be sourced. The.280 Ackley Improved is one of the most recent cartridges acknowledged by SAAMI. The aforesaid bullet is an updated version of the.280 Remington and the.270 Winchester and 7mm Remington Magnum have higher popularity and are more often employed than the others.
What are the chief benefits that the .280 Remington and .280 AI offer to seekers compared to the .270 Winchester and 7mm Rem Mag? The former had a hard time gaining loyalty in the retail shooting and hunting domain as it was deemed as a lesser capable option than related rounds.
It has been suggested by some that its accessibility is on par with that of the 7mm Mag but with lesser recoil. In this report, I will review the 270 Remington, 280 Remington, 280 Ackley Enhanced, and 7mm Remington Magnum so as to help you determine which best suits your needs.
History Of These Rounds
The .280 Remington was introduced in 1957. Remington engineers wanted to create a high-powered 7mm cartridge for several years and eventually achieved their goal. The cartridge was developed by basing it off the .30-06 case and narrowing it down to 7mm (.284″). The commercial version of the 7mm-06 wildcat differed from the original in that the shoulder was set slightly further forwards than the .270 Winchester to avoid the danger of accidentally feeding .280 ammunition into .270Win caliber rifles.
The .280 was first used in the Remington Model 740 semi-automatic rifle. The ammunition was loaded to mild pressures to function smoothly in the autoloader. The original factory ammunition for this gun featured a 150-grain bullet traveling at 2810fps. However, in sporting rifles, the bullet tended to travel at 2670-2740fps. People were already familiar with the .270 Winchester, a popular gun. The .280 was not as well received because it was loaded with higher pressures, which gave it a much higher velocity. Remington soon introduced a new 165-grain round-nosed bullet advertised as having a velocity of 2820fps. However, this bullet had a velocity of 2680 to 2750fps, which was not enough to improve the performance of the .280.
The.280 stumbled when the 7mm Remington Magnum arrived in 1962, a cartridge that instantly became one of America’s most celebrated. Even though it was possible to find the.280 in Remington’s action configurations during the middle of the 1960s, it still needed to make a name for itself. By the mid-1970s, making.280 ammo was just about non-existent.
In 1979, Remington discontinued their production.280 factory ammunition and renamed it the 7mm Express Remington in an attempt to emphasize its heightened performance. One batch of barrels was stamped with 7mm06 and sparked confusion, but soon after, people started mixing up the two, the 7mm Express Remington and the 7mm Remington Magnum, so the cartridge was returned to its original name, the.280 Remington.
The .280 had the potential to fire heavy bullets that would cause a high shock at extended ranges, similar to the .30-06, but with a flatter trajectory than the .270 Winchester. The .280 became a widely used cartridge for hunting medium game animals 20 years after its introduction. In the late 1980s, the demand for .280 caliber M700 rifles was higher than what could be produced. Hunters started noticing the .280’s popularity in the U.S. through published literature in the early 1990s. The .280’s performance sparked interest from hunters all over the world.
In gun magazine columns of the 1990s, letters from readers asked about the performance of the .280 versus the .270 Winchester cartridge. This question has been debated for some time, with some believing that the .280’s sloped shoulder and wider bore could lead to higher velocities than the .270.
Some people argued that the .280 rifle had slightly higher velocity than the .270, but this was canceled out because it had poorer ballistic coefficients. The argument applied to the 140-grain bullet, which was popular with both .270 and 7mm users then.
The .280 showed very little difference in velocity compared to the .270 when using 140 to 150-grain bullets in barrels of equal length. The .280 is vital because it can shoot long, thin bullets. By 2000, the .280 Remington had become less prevalent than it once was. While fans of the .270 stayed with that caliber, and those who liked the .30-06 stuck with it, fans of the 7mm caliber chose either the more compact 7mm08 or, the more powerful 7mm Remington Magnum, or the later 7mmWSM.
Today, the .280 retains moderate popularity. Although factory ammunition has not changed much, hand loaders now have much more choices. More 7mm projectiles with high BCs have become available in recent years, making the .280 a more popular choice again. High bullet drop compensation (BC) and low recoil have made the .280 and .280 Ackley Improved cartridges favorites among long-range hunters. They want to limit recoil for themselves and their firearms. Although the .280 is suitable for high-power long-range competition, it is not favored because recoil and throat wear is considered extreme.
Many large gun companies offer .280 Remington rifles as a standard option. Weatherby and Sako traditionally use 1:10-inch twist barrels. For hand loaders, this can be too slow for optimum accuracy with 160-grain bullets. The Winchester M70 rifles feature 1:9.5 twist barrels, while Remington uses a 1:10 twist barrel, optimized for 140-grain factory loads. Although the 1:10 twist rate is not ideal for 120-180 grain bullets, it is still a decent option.
The pressure levels for the .280 Remington and .270 Winchester, measured by the transducer method, are 60,000psi and 65,000psi, respectively. The .280 caliber rifle produces 50,000psi worth of CUP, while the .270 caliber rifle produces 52,000. The figures in this chart represent the maximum pressure exerted on ammunition before it becomes unsafe. This pressure level is not to be exceeded when loading commercial ammunition. However, this does not mean factory ammunition is always loaded to these pressures.
Cartridge Sizes: 270, 280 Rem, 280 AI, and 7mm Rem Mag
The initial three cartridge shells, the.270,.280 and.280 AI look very comparable. They all possess the same-sized rim and comparable case lengths. However, there are a few main contrasts between them.
The.280 Remington and the.270 Winchester rounds are virtually identical, with the exact same shoulder angle. The only divergence is that the shoulder on the .280 Remington is slightly more advanced. This indicates that .280 Remington ammo cannot be employed in a .270 Winchester chamber.
The .280 AI has a shoulder that has been pushed forward along with an augmented shoulder angle of 40 degrees. Compared to the .280 Remington and the .270 Winchester, the case of the .280 AI is much less tapered.
When compared to the other three cartridges, the 7mm Remington Magnum has a unique look. This means that it is not only a magnum cartridge with a belt but also has a larger rim diameter and a shoulder at a 25-degree angle.
Although all four cartridges are made to fit in a standard-length action rifle, their maximum overall lengths and case sizes vary.
Unsurprisingly, the case capacities of the.270 Winchester and.280 Remington are comparable. The .280 AI can hold more powder because of its less tapered case and steeper 40-degree shoulder. The 7mm Remington Magnum can hold more powder than the other three due to its more significant diameter case.
The maximum SAAMI pressure of the .280 Remington is lower than the others at 60,000 psi. The subsequent highest pressure is the 7mm Remington Magnum at 61,000 psi. The.270 Winchester and.280 AI, both of which have a maximum SAAMI pressure of 65,000 psi, come next.
The final distinguishing factor between the two options is the size of the bullet. .270 Winchester bullets are .277″ while .280 Remington, .280 AI, and 7mm Remington Magnum all use .284″ bullets.
The differences between the .270 Winchester, .280 Remington, .280 Ackley Improved, and 7mm Remington Magnum show in their ballistic performance, though not as drastically as one might think.
All eight loads used a 200-yard zero.
The trajectory of the 130-grain .270 load is very similar to that of the .280 Remington 140-grain Accubond load. Both the 145gr .270 Winchester and the 150gr .280 Remington loads are effective. The .270 Winchester and the .280 Remington have slightly different trajectories, with the .270 Winchester being marginally flatter. However, the .280 Remington has slightly more kinetic energy at all ranges.
All three .284″/7mm 140gr Nosler loads use the same AccuBond bullet, but each is fired at a different velocity. The 7mm Rem Mag is fired 50fps faster than the .280 AI, which is, in turn, fired about 150fps faster than the .280 Rem. The fact that there are only minor differences in trajectory and retained energy between the three options is not surprising, given that they are all heavyweight bullets. In general, the results of the tests were as expected for the three cartridge types being tested with the Hornady Precision Hunter loads.
In other words, the .280 AI performs more similarly to the 7mm Rem Mag than the .280 Remington.
The .280 Remington has less wind drift than the .270 Winchester. And while the 7mm Remington Magnum has low wind drift, the .280 Ackley Improved is the second most popular choice. A more significant gap exists between the .280 AI and the .280 Remington.
The amount of felt recoil will differ from person to person and depend on the rifle. However, free recoil energy is still a helpful way to compare different types of ammunition.
Another option for custom rifles is the .280 Ackley improved. This posture forces the shoulder blades to protrude 40 degrees, creating a slimming effect on the body. The Ackley improved cartridge is reputed to increase velocity by 100fps over the standard cartridge. The higher velocity in some instances is more a result of maximum loading. Before purchasing the AI version of this product, customers should be aware that it will not result in an increase of more than 50fps. The Ackley offers many benefits, including reducing the amount of brass casing expansion and the need to trim them. It benefits those who reload their ammunition using progressive reloading methods, such as the Hornady Lock N Load reloading station.
What Is The Best?
In conclusion, the 270 vs 280 Remington vs 280 Ackley Improved vs 7mm Rem Mag debate will likely continue for years to come. The .270 is an excellent choice for the medium-sized game due to its mild recoil and accuracy, while the 280 Remington is an all-around hunting cartridge suitable for both small and large game.
The improved version of this round, the 280 Ackley Improved, offers even better performance than the standard version, making it ideal for long-range shooting or hunting larger game animals such as elk and moose. Its increased velocity and energy transfer make it an excellent option for those who need to reach out further or take down bigger game.
The 7mm Rem Mag is another powerful option that can take down some of the largest game animals in North America with its high velocity and flat trajectory. However, its recoil can be quite stout, so shooters should be prepared before firing this round.
Ultimately, it is up to each shooter to decide which round best fits their needs and preferences when selecting a hunting rifle caliber. Carefully evaluating each of these rounds based on their strengths and weaknesses will help ensure you have chosen the best option for your needs.
Captain Hunter is a seasoned hunting mentor with over 20 years of experience in the field. His passion began as a young man on trips with his father and grandfather in the Colorado mountains. Today, he shares his unmatched skills in survival, tracking, and marksmanship through his website CaptainHunter.com. When he's not volunteering with youth hunting programs, you can find Captain Hunter providing expert hunting tips, gear reviews, and answers to your most pressing questions. His decades of experience make him the trusted guide to help any outdoorsman master the sport.