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Thread: .280 ai

  1. #1

    .280 ai

    Hi
    I'm thinking about getting my Sako rebarrelled in .280 AI and was wondering if anyone on the forum shoots this calibre here in the UK? If so how do you find it and who did you get to build it?
    Cheers
    LJ

  2. #2
    Talk to Brit Hunter. He's got one going on.
    Have you seriously looked at the real-world ballistic comparisons to the standard 280?? You don't get much for your money. A quick look at the 120 gain data from Hodgdons shows a very modest gain for the most part (under 100 fps) but at an additional 5000 PSI pressures. I have built both and wouldn't opt for the AI for a hunting cartridge. JMHO, of course.

    BH and I had this talk but he is going for a nostalgic effect so this is the right cartridge for his project.~Muir

  3. #3
    Well cases are now available stamped .280 AI as Nosler list this chambering in their custom rifle line up. Lee make a set of dies that are reasonably priced but you will probably have to get them from the US yourself. Midway UK carries the brass it seems.

    I have the dies already and once Lincs finally get the finger out of their posterior and finish doing my variation, which I was told was waiting for signing nearly two weeks ago!!, it's then get the reamer and some gauges and Steve Kershaw is going to do the re-chambering to a brand new 7x64 barrel. I am using a mid 1960's BSA Monarch as the donor currently in 270 win but the barrel is fairly worn. It was either a landie rifle of an ex FC one as it's had a hard life from the exterior condition and the wear to the bore from shooting. There was no bluing left between fore stock tip and foresight which speaks of being held a lot in a vehicle? well that's my theory.

    I am buying a brand new CF2 BSA made barrel from Knibbs and having it shipped to Steve who is going to fit it do the re-chamber and of course proof and get it re-finished. I will slightly re-shape the stock and apply a traditional oiled finish.

    The idea is to achieve a modern version of the .280 Ross. I cannot afford a really nice .280 Ross rifle so after many years I will make one up with a similar performance. The .280AI, according the Ackley's note books , loaded right will achieve the Ross velocities. If we don't quite achieve them then all is not lost I will still have a nice rifle with a bit more power than the normal non magnum 7mm.

    The donor rifle cost me 25 some years back and despite it's worn bore still shoots 1 1/2 MOA. I have estimated the finished cost and it's going to be around the 475-575 region depending on the re-finishing cost and the cost of the reamer and gauges. until they arrive we don't know the exact cost of them. I am informed that I will only need a finishing reamer for this conversion so will be only getting that one.

    There you go that's what's in the wind.I am striving to get the required finances together to get the barrel first, then the reamer/gauges then once they are together Steve can do the work and I will have the next instalment figure to work with.

  4. #4
    Thanks chaps!
    Brithunter: Nice write up. Out of interest...will you be buying the reamers new or have you sourced a set here in the UK?
    LJ

  5. #5
    I will be buying an new finishing reamer and a Go gauge and a No-Go gauge. Have asked around and found no one with one in stock that is willing to re-chamber a factory barrel. So I will buy my own and sod em!

    I asked Norman Clark and he does not have one so I asked him if I sullied the reamer would he do it...................................... NO! When pushed he said he would but quoted a stupid price of about 400. Obviously don't need the work. Spoke to Steve and yes he will do it but needs the gauges. Fair enough. I have the temp permit now for the .270 so I can deliver it to Steve and an open slot on the new ticket for the .280. weird all they had to do was put it on the ticket as they know the serial number but??????????

    Not sure how much of a rush your in but I cannot move on it now for a couple of months due to bills waiting. Jeep just Mot's and taxed and as the ticket is here I have to pay the other half and collect the P-H 1200TX that has been waiting for me since April!!! cannot keep the chap waiting any longer. He knows it's the Police that have been the problem all along. Damn the weather is going off and I needed to re-finish the stock on the 1200TX and the warm weather would have been better for it than colder and damp.

    Hmm we are getting on through August now. So realistically it will be October before I can move on the reamer. Unless some P/T work comes my way. Carers don't cover much you see.

  6. #6
    No rush here. I'm still deciding which gunsmith to use but that is probably a thread in itself !

  7. #7
    Hmmm OK not sure if it would help but I have heard that you can chamber even blanks with just the finish reamer. Depends on what you planning using barrel wise. My build has two aims restore the BSA Monarch to use and have a classic stalking rifle with ballistics in line with the classic Ross .280 there is a bit of leeway there as the .280 Ross ran at such high pressures other actions could not handle the pressures without showing signs of stress. Due to this problem Eley introduced the .280 Nitro with was the Ross case but loaded to lower pressures for the actions like the Mauser 98. Proof pressure on the Ross 280 was 28 Tons 270 win is 19 Tons and the magnums I believe were either 20 or 21 tons. The .280 AI will be much lower pressures than the Ross of course.

  8. #8
    You can certainly chamber a rifle barrel with just a finish reamer: I own only one "roughing" reamer and that from a .25 Krag set given to me by an old gunsmith when I was a young man. I have reamed hundreds of chambers with a finish reamer. Use the best cutting fluid you can get, or alternatively, use lard oil mixed with kerosine. Avoid sulfur-based cutting fluids like those used in automatic pipe threaders. Run the lathe in backgear (45 rpm) and take light cuts, cleaning the reamer and barrel in between cuts. I never use a tailstock mounted reamer holder, nor would I ever consider chucking a reamer in a tailstock. () I use a lathe dog on the reamer shank, pushed by the tailstock and held in my hand, which I keep draped over the top slide of the lathe. This allows me to "feel" the reamer cutting through the tail of the dog.

    If you were chambering your barrel yourself I'd tell you how I set up the barrel for reaming. It is an excellent method that delivers a reamer-sized chamber every time with no run-out and was used by the great PO Ackley himself. ~Muir

    PS: I taught a good friend of mine to chamber a .25 cal barrel by hand (without a lathe) using a 25-20 finishing reamer. The chamber was perfect.~M
    Last edited by Muir; 21-08-2010 at 01:44.

  9. #9
    I don't understand why doing something difficult if there is an easy way. If you want a strong 7mm, get a 280 or a 7x64. There will probably be more factory ammo available in Europe in 7x64. If you want a "better" 7 mm get a 7 mm Rem Mag. That does anything you want and cheap and easy to find. Ammo is easely available all over the world.
    The 7 mm RM would be one of my top choices for an allround big game rifle. A strong constructed 175 grain bullet will be very lethal on about anything.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Hales Smut View Post
    I don't understand why doing something difficult if there is an easy way. If you want a strong 7mm, get a 280 or a 7x64. There will probably be more factory ammo available in Europe in 7x64. If you want a "better" 7 mm get a 7 mm Rem Mag. That does anything you want and cheap and easy to find. Ammo is easely available all over the world.
    The 7 mm RM would be one of my top choices for an allround big game rifle. A strong constructed 175 grain bullet will be very lethal on about anything.
    Where's the fun in doing things the easy way !!!!!!!

    7x64 although capable is not a popular calibre here in the UK. Re ammunition availability you can use factory ammunition ie non Ackleyed rounds in an AI chambered rifle and in my experience these will still shoot to a more than acceptable accuracy level.
    I have a 7mm Rem Mag and agree it is a great round but the Sendero in a PSS stock with scope moderator and bipod is a heavy beast to be lugging around.

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