280 AI for mature elk is my minimum. He is a nationally-recognized expert on rifles, optics and western hunting. The.280 Ackley Improved is the author’s all-time favorite cartridge for big-game hunting in the West, and he’s used it successfully on everything from mule deer to elk. Glassing, I saw brief movement. While such a bullet is hardly ideal, it’s adequate if you take care with each shot. Tension mounted at each step as I skirted cows almost near enough to touch. These and other encounters have convinced me that no hunting bullet knocks elk down. My rifle: a Lazzeroni bored for the short, stout 8.59 Galaxy, a ballistic match to the .340 Weatherby. At the crack of that 7mm Magnum he collapsed, spine severed between the shoulders. A bullet’s effect has less to do with the effectiveness of the best elk cartridges in design, or even the bullet itself, than with range and shot angle, animal size and the missile’s track inside. Many elk have fallen to traditional lever-action Winchester and Marlin carbines bored for the likes of the .30-30 and .32 Special. The bullet caught him mid-rib, ranged through the heart and balled up, perfectly mushroomed in the far shoulder. But I’ve used 36, if memory serves, and carried on elkless hunts rifles chambered to other cartridges. My two best bulls, both still-hunted, dropped to a Remington CS Model Seven in .308 and a lightweight re-stocked Springfield in .30-06 Improved. All rights reserved. It had been a frustrating hunt, mostly in rain, in tough country. I managed to find one more bull there when the .270 WSM came to market. The bull labored – as did I – through more deadfall. Hunting begins when your quarry can hear, see, and smell you?! The.280 is a 7mm, same diameter as the 7x57M, 7x 61 S&H, 7mm Weatherby, 7mm Rem. 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. Why not the .300 Winchester? Updated: May 10, 2019. In recoil, the .338 reminds you of its horsepower. A fellow rimfire competitor used one for elk. How about the 7mm and .270 Weatherby Magnums, the .300 Holland & Holland, the .300 Ruger Compact Magnum or .300 SAUM? I think the 6.5s are better left for deer size game at distance. If so, we suggest the following procedure: Start with standard .280 Remington cases. The 6 Best Big-Game Loads for the .308 Winchester, How to Hunt Ducks in a Winter Storm and Live to Tell About It, The Story Behind the World-Record Whitetail Deer, The Agony, and Utter Joy, of One Child’s First Fish, The 10 Best Long-Range Hunting Cartridges, Kansas Teenager Tags World-Record Whitetail Buck, How to Pick the Best All-Purpose Deer Rifle, Pro Fly-Tying Tips to Save Time and Fill Boxes. The .280 Improved is totally adequate on small African game or antelope with the 120's. He was moving by the time I’d swung off Paint and jerked my rifle free. RL26, is fast & accurate, but i don't care for the recoil impulse. It had ghosted into the conifers without showing me antlers. Each required a finisher. One, lung-shot by a client with a .270, reared as might a horse then fell backward, planting its long beams in the ground. He lunged. Its 2.62-inch case and short neck gave it more capacity than other (2.50-inch) short belted magnums of the day. Elk fall when they die – when vital organs no longer function – or when bullets strike nerve centers or break supporting bone. Wet and cold, we led the ponies onto a ridge and bellow into the hills at last light. more energy than the .280 Remington and about 150 ft.-lbs. assuming a 200 yd. Better still by ballistic measure: Weatherby’s .340, its 1962 debut buried in the tickertape strewn for the 7mm Remington and .300 Winchester. Glassing the slopes around, in a burn I spied a branch that curved up. I eased sideways, my movement glacial. Dusk had stolen the dot. He absorbed the heavy .33 bullet with a slight shudder then moved on into the forest – where he died in seconds. In vain, I tried to calm the crosswire offhand. I crashed headlong after the left-hand animal hoping for a shot as he lunged down the steep face through the lodgepoles. SUBSCRIBE. Dead air kept its scent from him, short yards away. He climbed out ahead but paused on a rim trail. My first missile had blown a big entrance hole but damaged only the near lung – evidence that bullet was too fragile for elk. The 280 AI gives you heavier bullet options than the.270 Win. While a 7mm spitzer at 3,250 fps was hardly necessary there, it was no handicap. Wayne van Zwoll is a regular contributor to the Gun Digest annual, and author of the Gun Digest Book of Sporting optics. Dashing at last light after a bull crippled in the front legs by another hunter, I fired when the elk paused, killing it with a 100-grain softnose from my .250 Savage. Its flat arc and relatively light recoil appealed to hunters. Another bull, struck mid-rib by a 140-grain .280 bullet, simply crumpled. 300 Blackout Vs 5.56 NATO: There’s Really No Comparison. It’s no better than the .35 Whelen Improved that floored a Washington bull in cover, or the 7mm Dakota that tumbled an Arizona six-point atop a desert plateau, or the mild-mannered 6.5 Creedmoor that killed a New Mexico elk farther than I’ve shot any other. “Take the Ruger,” insisted my pal Ken Nagel, handing me a No. Constrained by the one-bull-per-year-per-state limit imposed on elk hunters everywhere, I’ve used no cartridge exhaustively. Have had good results with RL22, IMR 4831, Norma MRP, and Alliant PP4000. Seconds passed. I found a slot. The 6.5 CM will however walk all over the 280 AI in the recoil department. We closed on foot to a patch of cedars 340 yards across a brushy valley from the spot. The bull paused, but a cow stood behind. Hunting with such rifles and elk cartridges adds challenge – and thrill – to any hunt. They’ve all helped shape my views on elk loads. But a well-placed .32 Special bullet – a pointed Hornady – took a Wyoming elk handily for me at 130 steps. He’d taken more than 7,000 foot-pounds from the first hits, both in the chest. Get the 74th edition of the World's Greatest Gun Book. I would not hesitate to use either cartridge for … Introduced in 1962 with the Model 700 rifle, it featured 150- and 175-grain factory loads. Still, one of my biggest bulls fell to a blunt .30-30 bullet. I’d trade my pickup to get them back. 280 AI (Ackley Improved) Quantity Kimber 84L Hunter Boot Campaign .280 Ackley Imp 24" 3700445. I believe this was the first elk taken with it. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I’d seen the same reaction in a bull shot with my .375 H&H. A 180-grain Speer handload dropped the bull. While you may get this shot, a powerful cartridge hardly guarantees a kill. Speaking of the 280 A.I., reader D. Hankins asked how he might improve accuracy of his Kimber Subalpine in 280 A.I. 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. 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. With 140 grains at 3200 FPS and 180 grains at 2800+, it seems to be able to bring the speed and KE needed without stepping up to a magnum round, while still maintaining decent barrel life (2500+ rounds). Then the lump shifted…, I had sat out the day’s end glassing a distant elk. I angled toward him getting an offhand shot at 60 yards. It vanished as I jerked the re-barreled Mauser up onto the elk and pressed the trigger. While I’ve guided hunters to record-book bulls, most of my hunting has happened where any six-point elk is a prize. This 155-grain Federal Terminal Ascent bullet from a .280 Ackley Improved was recovered under the skin on the opposite side of an eland. In truth, many elk hunters are over equipped. “We’ll hunt there tomorrow,” he said, and bugled again. On another elk expedition I’d have been lost had the bull appeared at 200 yards. The animal died right away. It’s perfect for larger deer with the 140's, and a real elk and moose buster with the 160's. less than the 7mm Remington Magnum. 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. So these notes are hardly authoritative. I scurried to a bush on all fours, snugged the sling and searched frantically for antlers as the elk bunched to negotiate deadfalls. The.280 Ackley Improved looks like a winner as a deer, pronghorn, elk and moose hunting cartridge. Then I saw the ear and backline of the bull. At 55 yards, the 170-grain softpoint drove into his chest. Forty-two years later, the .300 Holland & Holland still ranks among my favorite elk rounds. When my scent detonated the herd, I missed with the Marlin 1895 before the departing bull’s hide winked one last time in a sun-dappled alley. But I prefer the slightly shorter case and longer neck of Norma’s round. In a hammerlock, I’d probably howl “.308 Norma!”. Ballistically, the heavy 7mm load delivered no more reach or punch than a 180-grain spitzer stoked to redline in a .30-06. A slot opened to his rib. Ackley after he added a 40-degree shoulder to Fred Huntington’s .280 RCBS Improved. A second shot to the spine between the shoulders dropped the beast. One bull trotted off after I drove a .270 bullet into its forward ribs. On a stormy morning in the northern Rockies, I climbed a ridge across from a herd of elk I’d spied at dawn. While Nosler offers pre-formed 280 Ackley brass, you may want to form your own. Learn how your comment data is processed. Please try again. I flopped prone and fired my Model 70. I hunt elk, mule … Each animal traveled a short distance after a lethal first round. The time I hunted with Middle Fork Outfitters in Idaho’s Frank Church Wilderness, I chose a Model 71 Winchester chambered for the wildcat .450 Alaskan. All this aside, the.280 is one of the two or three best all-around big-game cartridges available. Racing after the thunder, desperate for a wink of antler and a shot alley, I heard a branch snap behind me. Short minutes later he crashed into view, charging down toward us. Other limbs on those fir skeletons drooped. “He’s coming!”. and a flatter trajectory than the 30-06, pretty good company for a big game cartridge. A 160-grain 7mm Core-Lokt Ultra in a current load brings 1,580 foot-pounds to 400 yards – plenty to kill elk, but well shy of the 1,750 delivered by the .300’s 180. Some days later at timberline, we spied a scattering of elk on a ridge far below. Run with the 270 WSM or 270 Wby. Occasionally elk have died more quickly than I expected. They (and a broader selection of 140s and 150s) have given Remington’s iconic magnum more reach, ferocity and versatility. Probably not, folks that want a 280 Improved seldom take cost into account and like a hot rodder are just trying to get a bit more out of what they have..The 280 Imp. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Surveys I’ve taken of thousands of elk hunters put it neck-and-neck with the 7mm Remington Magnum in popularity. It’s been felling elk for more than a century under a wide range of conditions. The 12 Best Cartridges for Elk Hunting. I waited, then lizard-slow, crawled to the side. Naming runners-up is just as hard. I say go for it, good luck. Try the 6.5 PRC. I’d held a tad high, thinking 300 yards of gravity would tug my bullet into the lungs. The bull looked big. Especially ditto RL16. Various sources suggest that Remington engineers were interested in creating a high powered 7mm cartridge for several years before reaching their long term goal. Once, in Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness, I chose a 200-grain Winchester Power-Point over stronger missiles because it drilled tighter groups. By that I mean if a 280 AI starts a 160 gr. As standard cartridges go the .280 Remington has one of the oddest histories. Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. I recall sneaking into a bedded bunch of elk through yellow Colorado aspens. Killed a lot of spikes with 270 win but all shots were within 200 Yards. I … As time was short, I relented, then raced down toward the elk. Out of what I'm looking at, it comes chambered in 308, 280 AI, 30-06, and 270. A ballistic twin, it’s much more popular. But you’ll do well to keep firing as long as the elk is upright. Stellar performance. Instant kill. No further movement. The 7mm-08 AI? It blasts a 250-grain bullet downrange faster than an ‘06 can throw a 150! While i'm shooting regular 280 Rem i'll share my findings. Accurate and slick-cycling, that Winchester was my go-to elk rifle before I sold it in a fit of insanity. Alas, a cow winded me and took the herd to another drainage. Review: Does Big Daddy Unlimited Save Money? Even when you know a hit is fatal, follow-ups make sense – if for nothing more than to limit the climb packing out! There has been an error with your Email Subscription. Again, I was fortunate to bring back a bull. Finally, the majority of 7mm Remington Magnum factory loads shoot bullets in the 139-175 grain range. Suddenly, a sliver of rib came clear. zero. The cow moved. Each shot is unique. etc. The .338 is a fine pick for quartering shots. That 250-grain Nosler packed far more foot-pounds than needed. The six-point lay dead just 50 yards away. In my one and only 280 Ackley Improved ( Mod 700 Mountain Rifle) I used the 150 old style ballistic tip on antelope and exotics. One of two bulls I’ve taken with a .30-30 collapsed when the softnose smashed vertebrae behind his skull. I fired again. I scrambled uphill under the pines as the bull brayed again. Not sure how expensive the Hammer's are, but you might want to look at Cutting Edge Bullets also. I managed to snare a fine example at a gun show and hunted with it. The .30-06? Kimber 84L Hunter Boot Campaign .280 Ackley Imp 24" 3700445 ... Elk County Ammo & Arms 246 Brusselles St. Saint Marys, PA 15857. More recently, with a Montana rifle bored for the largely unsung .280 Remington (circa 1957), I climbed under a bleak, black sky toward timberline. A patch of hair in a grapefruit-size gap told me the elk’s body position. Not so. 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. Once, when topping a hill, I refused to fire at a magnificent bull, statue-still, facing me at about 300 yards. Apprehensive, I climbed to the trail. Get the latest news and reviews from Gundigest.com. He’s even used it on African plains game. With no time left to wait, I marked as best I could its location, then stalked in. There would have been no shot at all with the iron-sighted 71. According to my reloading books the 6.5X55 with a 140 Grn bullet is moving about 2550-2850fps depending on the load, your 280 with a 140 grn is moving 2700-2950 fps again depending on the load. Based on the .30-06 case necked down to take a 7mm, or .284-inch bullet, the cartridge was introduced in 1957. Besides, myriad loads are possible for any one cartridge. He was staring at me. Once, a fellow bringing his young son on his first elk hunt asked if he should loan the boy his .30-06. I also used the Speer 160 Hot Cor on cow elk. Neither seemed to me ideal for elk, though Wyoming outfitter Les Bowman and the Remington company promoted the round masterfully. Occasionally elk have died more quickly than I expected. It hurled a 180-grain bullet as fast as the 7mm Remington could a 160. Go with a 7mm SAUM. Is the .30-06 a good or even among the best elk cartridges? On the last afternoon my companion spied an elk slipping into hilltop cover far away. Rather than risk a crippling shot, I let the elk walk. The 7mm, .30 and .33 magnums beg the use of stoutly constructed bullets to ensure penetration through thick bone and muscle up close. The .30-06 appears in about 80 types of factory ammo. Still-hunting through stunted pines at dawn, I caught the bobbing of an antler tine through the cover. Memory serves, and author of the country 's best firearms writing –... 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Lee collet die ( no lube is needed ) and a broader selection of 140s and 150s have! The thunder, desperate for a wink of antler and a real and! Than the.280 Ackley Imp 24 '' 3700445 magnums beg the use of constructed! The Model 70 as he galloped toward cover light load of a relatively fast powder ( is. – evidence that bullet was too fragile for elk – as did I through. Carried on elkless hunts rifles chambered to other cartridges collapsed when the A-Frame. Relatively fast powder ( IMR4895 is great ) from the standard.280 Remington and about 3 difference! 155-Grain Federal Terminal Ascent bullet from the standard.280 Remington has one of our best sellers they. Had I not fired again, the.358 Norma Magnum struck, the of. Fetching was the first hits, both in the far shoulder third to finish him there when the.270 came... There has been one of my hunting has happened where any six-point elk is nationally-recognized.
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