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Thread: .280 AI vs 7x64 - Calibre food fight!

  1. #1

    .280 AI vs 7x64 - Calibre food fight!

    I don't mean to start a calibre fight, but I am planning to build a hunting rifle chambered in a .280 AI as my first venture into 7mm territory and to cover all UK game. As we are in Europe, is there any reason I should consider the 7x64 over it? I already have a 6.5x55/-284, 30-06 and 308, and I reload, but looking for something new in 7mm.

    Thanks,

    Glenn

  2. #2
    Yes is the short and simple answer. 7x64 is what started it all, has been around a very long time and is very useful and versitile cartridge. Go into any European gunshop and a good selction of ammo on the shelf. Go into a good number of UK gunshops that deal with rifles and they too will have 7x64 ammo in stock or reasonably available. The 280 AI is a wildcat and you will have to roll your own ammo - not that that is an issue - but it makes it a much more difficult rifle to sell. In terms of end performance - deer won't know the difference.

  3. #3
    if you want to be different, try the 7x61 Sharpe & Hart..bigger than spanish mauser, and not as brutal as x64.

  4. #4
    Having built a 280 AI and seeing the outcome of the accuracy I'd say the 280 AI has the edge, however off the shelf ammo would be an issue which makes the 7x64 a better option.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by PKL View Post
    if you want to be different, try the 7x61 Sharpe & Hart..bigger than spanish mauser, and not as brutal as x64.
    Not worth a food fight, but if you'd even seen a 7mm S&H case you would eat your words.

    The pecking order is 7x61 S&H, .280 AI, and the 7x64 some way behind. None are common, but then neither is the 7x57 now so in that sense they're all different.
    If I'm going to be accused of it then it's just as well I did it.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Heym SR20 View Post
    Yes is the short and simple answer. 7x64 is what started it all, has been around a very long time and is very useful and versitile cartridge. Go into any European gunshop and a good selction of ammo on the shelf. Go into a good number of UK gunshops that deal with rifles and they too will have 7x64 ammo in stock or reasonably available. The 280 AI is a wildcat and you will have to roll your own ammo - not that that is an issue - but it makes it a much more difficult rifle to sell. In terms of end performance - deer won't know the difference.
    P.

    Nosler made the 280 AI official with SAAMI in Feb 2008 - http://faq.nosler.com/index.php?acti...=39&artlang=en

    so it's not a wildcat any more - http://www.nosler.com/280-remington-ackley-improved

    and ammunition is out there at a price - http://www.midwayusa.com/find?newcat...ensionid=10015

    Regards

    JCS
    Last edited by jcampbellsmith; 19-12-2013 at 18:45.

  7. #7
    I had the same dilemma, and after a good bit of research I went for the .280AI. The only benefit I could see with the 7 x 64 Bren was availability of ammunition, but if you intend to homeload then is is irrelevant anyway! Who would want to pay factory prices for either? Everything else seemed to favour the 280. I have never fired a rifle which is so consistently accurate and I've not even worked up a load or fire-formed all my brass yet! I run it alongside a 25.06 and they both love the same powder (IMR 4350) and I've got them both running at 2900 fps so whichever rifle I pick up shoots virtually the same. Jager SA is just North of you and has a set of .280 AI reamers.
    Here's what he did to my old 30.06!
    http://www.thestalkingdirectory.co.u...t=pimped+rifle
    It's a truly awesome all-round calibre!
    Hope this helps.
    MS

  8. #8
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    I have a .280 Remington and I work in France. So I can tell you that 7x64 ammunition is readily available in that country. 280 Remington also is readily available BUT you need to know why.

    It is used as a substitute for the 30-06 in those AMERICAN self-loading and pump action rifles (that in UK Mrs Thatcher banned whilst the BDS acquiesced by telling Douglas Hogg that they were not necessary for stalking) such as the Remington 740 and 760 where it was a factory calibre.

    I have seen a lot of pump action and self-loading rifles in France in .280 Remington. I don't recall EVER seeing a bolt action rifle in France in that calibre. So very much a niche role there.

    Now that 30-06 is legal in France it is likely that the .280 Remington and the 8x60S will fall in popularity there and within a decade probably be not a regularly stocked off the shelf calibre in French gunshops. In Belgium this has pretty much already happened five years ago.

    As far as any difference is concerned the 280 Remington is slightly more powerful than the 7x64 if loaded either by the factory or the homeloader to its full potential. But no animal will know the difference.

    The 280AI is to my mind neither fish nor fowl in that at the risk of slightly less reliable feeding from the magazine it offers a slight advantage that is easily offset by the lesser cost of standard 280 Remington dies, secondhand, off eBay. And performance wise again no animal will know the difference.

    Nevertheless 280AI does give one more cartridge in the magazine than would 7mm Remington Magnum and no belt issues either.

    My advice would be 280 Remington or 7x64 or if wanting more power either of those in a twenty four inches barrel or 7mm Remington Magnum. 280 Remington has its origin in the wildcat 7mm-06 and it is a good calibre. It just in the UK exists in the shadow of the .270 Winchester and on the continent except in a Niche role in self-loading and pump action American rifles the 7x64.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    ....is there any reason I should consider the 7x64 over it?
    Yes, that gently tapering 7x64 case is just so damned pretty!

  10. #10
    7mm Rem Mag, excellent cartridge, accurate, fast and hard hitting, no problem getting ammo, quality components if you choose to reload and plenty of guns available.

    Ian.

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