280AI vs 6.5 PRC

NC_Surveyor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
611
Reaction score
314
Points
63
I'm having analysis paralysis on choosing the caliber and cartridge for my 2020 custom build. Going to build an all-arounder. I have my 30 cals covered and was originally thinking 6.5 PRC. Now I am drifting towards a 280AI. My reasons being, better performance on larger game?, wide bandwidth of projectiles and weights, and good external ballistics with reasonable barrel life.

I am thinking of going with a 25", #3 bartlein, 8.5 twist 5R, with a vais brake in a manners mcs-eh6 BDL fed for the 280AI and shoot 160-175gr bullets. Is this the right twist for this?

Are there any reasons to go with the 6.5 PRC over the 280AI for all around general purpose hunting? Larger game would include eastern NC black bears. Thanks

 

Broz

LRO Owner~Editor~Long Range Hunting Specilist
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
11,953
Reaction score
5,245
Points
113
Location
Foot of the Big Belt Mountains near Townsend MT.
Well, in full disclosure, I am not fan of a .284 of any flavor. But that mostly stems from my extensive experience with elk. But to me, since you have the 30's already, I would go with a healthy 6.5 and the 156 Berger for the shear lack of recoil if nothing else. The 6.5 bullet selection is second to none and brass selection for the PRC is becoming great as well. We took two large mule deer bucks this year with the 6.5 PRC / 156 berger and there was no tracking of either. Also the new Cutting Edge Lazer Max 140 Grain has peaked my interest too.

I must ask why you would use a Vais brake too? Have you shot behind one before? They are one of my least favorites and I find them pretty rude to the shooter. Dust storms prone to felt percussion to shooter being the worst I have use.

JMO
Jeff
 

Ladd

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
4,491
Reaction score
4,454
Points
113
Location
St. George UT
You’re decision. I would take your 30s out for long range large big game. You could plug info into a ballistics calc and see what both would give you at the distance you were thinking then go for it. I’ve never owned a 280AI but have loved my 6.5 PRC.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

FURMAN

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
2,666
Reaction score
2,225
Points
113
Location
Emporia Ks
I am a fan of the 7s but not the 280 or ai. I would go 6.5 PRC with .188 freebore shooting 156s.
 

NC_Surveyor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
611
Reaction score
314
Points
63
Gotcha. My long shots are out to 700 yards from my hunting spots but we have a 1000 yard range that I don't hunt on. Watched some nice bucks at around 650 this year and a nice bear at 500. Bear was out of season and I shot my 2 bucks at 160 and 305.

I like the vais because I don't take prone shots because the landscape and vegetation does not lend itself to that. I shoot from stands, fence corners, tripod and off my 4 wheeler.

Leaning back toward the 6.5prc
 

NC_Surveyor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
611
Reaction score
314
Points
63
I must ask why you would use a Vais brake too? Have you shot behind one before? They are one of my least favorites and I find them pretty rude to the shooter. Dust storms prone to felt percussion to shooter being the worst I have use.

JMO
Jeff

I have two rifles with vais and another with a generic radial brake. I like that they are theoretically more accurate than a side port. I also shoot with peltor electronic muffs with gel cups. They keep my ears warm and I don't mind having them on. It's not hard to get them on when I'm not wearing them as long as I've got them staged. I've got no problems with radial brakes. Even if I had to go prone, there is not any dust around here.
 

Ladd

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
4,491
Reaction score
4,454
Points
113
Location
St. George UT
I have two rifles with vais and another with a generic radial brake. I like that they are theoretically more accurate than a side port. I also shoot with peltor electronic muffs with gel cups. They keep my ears warm and I don't mind having them on. It's not hard to get them on when I'm not wearing them as long as I've got them staged. I've got no problems with radial brakes. Even if I had to go prone, there is not any dust around here.

I don’t think I agree with radial port brakes being a more accurate brake. You should explain that comment a bit.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

NC_Surveyor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
611
Reaction score
314
Points
63
I don’t think I agree with radial port brakes being a more accurate brake. You should explain that comment a bit.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I have never qualified or quantified it but I've read that the even release of gas in all directions radially has the least chance of disrupting the bullet as it exits the crown because the turbulence is the same all around the base of the exiting bullet.
 

Ladd

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
4,491
Reaction score
4,454
Points
113
Location
St. George UT
I have never qualified or quantified it but I've read that the even release of gas in all directions radially has the least chance of disrupting the bullet as it exits the crown because the turbulence is the same all around the base of the exiting bullet.

Interesting. I wonder if anyone has tested it. Mine have been pretty accurate and they all sport the side port.

I would think that the brake that decreases the felt recoil the most would have the less affect on the shooter.

Having grown up with an un-braked 30-06 the muzzle brake has been the sole thing I can point to that helped me overcome flinching and pulling shots. The side port brakes on my rifles have been very good decreasing felt recoil.

Thanks for the info.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Broz

LRO Owner~Editor~Long Range Hunting Specilist
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
11,953
Reaction score
5,245
Points
113
Location
Foot of the Big Belt Mountains near Townsend MT.
The barrel crown is very important and gasses need to be released behind the bullet evenly. But I think by the time the bullet reaches the first baffle that is all behind it. I have tested numerous rifles with and without the side port brakes to compare groups. I have seen shifts in point of impact, but never a loss of accuracy in a properly installed side port brake.

YMMV

Jeff
 

NC_Surveyor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
611
Reaction score
314
Points
63
My smith only has a 0.130 freebore reamer for the 6.5 prc. How bad will this be? Otherwise, I have to purchase a saami reamer and provide it.
 

NC_Surveyor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
611
Reaction score
314
Points
63
unbraked, what will the recoil be similar to? 270 win?
 

NC_Surveyor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
611
Reaction score
314
Points
63
Yeah i figured for equal weight rifles they pretty much do the same thing, move 140 class bullets at 3000 fps. The 270 is all I could lean on as an example. I'll do a brake on this one threaded at 9/16x24
 

jardo

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
39
Reaction score
1
Points
8
Location
Hawaii
I prefer the 280 ai. I was in you boat a few years ago and decided the 280 ai was a better fit for me.

Handloads performance is equal or better than a 7mm mag. Will easily shoot deer, pig, goat, sheep size game out to 1000 yards. Recoil and muzzle blast is comparable to 270-30 06. And can kill an elk at moderate distance but I’m with Broz on this. Take a 300 win for elk.

For me, it was a good choice for deer and sheep. Just don’t expect to kill elk at 1000 yards but I guess you can’t expect that from a 6.5 either.

I’m happy with my 280 AI.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

dennis280ai

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
63
Reaction score
15
Points
8
c375a5ee619a1eef21a4f780e13fd0b6.jpg

Here is my chart for my 280ai using the 180 grain ELD-m.
26” proof 1-8.4 twist with a A419 hellfire.
You can see there is still plenty of velocity and energy out to a 1000 yards


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

MudRunner2005

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
410
Reaction score
10
Points
18
Location
Alabama
I'll be the odd-man out from my hatred of anything Hornady ripped off, and claimed is their own...

I'd go .280 AI or good ole 7mm RemMag.
 

BClrh

Active member
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
428
Reaction score
67
Points
28
Location
BC, Canada
Something to consider is the 7mm saum. It will have better barrel life than the prc and if you run the 162 eld x or 162eld m you have a decent BC and very little if any recoil difference from the prc with 156's. You also have the option to go to a 180 if you wanted a little more smack for whatever reason. Adg makes brass, good to go.
 

NC_Surveyor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
611
Reaction score
314
Points
63
Something to consider is the 7mm saum. It will have better barrel life than the prc and if you run the 162 eld x or 162eld m you have a decent BC and very little if any recoil difference from the prc with 156's. You also have the option to go to a 180 if you wanted a little more smack for whatever reason. Adg makes brass, good to go.

Too far out of the mainstream for me. Don't get me wrong, I respect the saum's but I personally lean toward something a little more pedestrian like the 280ai.
 

BClrh

Active member
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
428
Reaction score
67
Points
28
Location
BC, Canada
Too far out of the mainstream for me. Don't get me wrong, I respect the saum's but I personally lean toward something a little more pedestrian like the 280ai.
I have never looked into the 280ai much but I think its about the same case capacity as the 7 saum so the same positives would apply. One of the main things I consider when picking a cartridge is what brass is available. For me I personally only want to use lapua brass. What companies are making 280ai
 

NC_Surveyor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
611
Reaction score
314
Points
63
I have never looked into the 280ai much but I think its about the same case capacity as the 7 saum so the same positives would apply. One of the main things I consider when picking a cartridge is what brass is available. For me I personally only want to use lapua brass. What companies are making 280ai
Nosler and Hornady. I too am a lapua brass fan, worth every penny. Another positive is being able to shoot regular 280 in it and fireforming.
 

dennis280ai

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
63
Reaction score
15
Points
8
We all have opinions, but there is a reason why so many PRS competition shooters shoot a 280ai as there hunting rifle. I’m sure they also use different options as well but a lot use the 280ai.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

MudRunner2005

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
410
Reaction score
10
Points
18
Location
Alabama
6.5 sherman short?
I forgot about Rich's cartridges. The 7mm SS or 6.5 SS would also be a great option. So would the .280 Sherman or 6.5 Sherman. 👍🏻
 

NC_Surveyor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
611
Reaction score
314
Points
63
I forgot about Rich's cartridges. The 7mm SS or 6.5 SS would also be a great option. So would the .280 Sherman or 6.5 Sherman. 👍🏻
I was referring to that as the copied cartridge. I actually had no idea that hornady copied the design, I thought the PRC was the evolution of the 6.5 saum 4s.
 

MudRunner2005

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
410
Reaction score
10
Points
18
Location
Alabama
I was referring to that as the copied cartridge. I actually had no idea that hornady copied the design, I thought the PRC was the evolution of the 6.5 saum 4s.
Rich's cartridges were around way before the 6.5 SAUM, 6.5 GAP 4S, and 6.5 PRC. So, technically, they all copied him. 👍🏻
 

FURMAN

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
2,666
Reaction score
2,225
Points
113
Location
Emporia Ks
Someone copied my copy. LOL!

The 6.5 PRC came from the 300 RCM which came from the 375 ruger. All three are Hornady design. The SAUMs came from the RUMs which came from the 404 Jeffrey(with changes and despite what some try to say). With cartridges I would say for the average guy to actually "invent" a new one would be very difficult. Someone somewhere has most likely wildcatted it. If you are wanting a 7 with the case capacity of the 280ai I would go with the SAUM. It will be more accurate and easier to tune on average. As far as brakes I have seen tests done which concluded, if nothing more than anecdotally, that radials were more accurate due to more equal off gassing. I personally will take a side port over a radial any day due to the lack of dirt in my eyes and mouth.
 

NC_Surveyor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
611
Reaction score
314
Points
63
Rifle build as ordered:

25" #3 bartlein w/ vais brake threaded 9/16-24
defiance rebel long action w/ double pinned lug and 15 moa rail
6.5 prc 0.188 freebore with 0.296 (no-turn) neck
triggertech special pro-curved set at 1.5#
manners mcs eh2 elite clear with od green webbing
hawkins oberndorf bdl bottom metal

now the waiting game begins...
 

dennis280ai

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
63
Reaction score
15
Points
8
Now that sounds like it will be an awesome shooter


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

NC_Surveyor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
611
Reaction score
314
Points
63
Thanks to the good advice provided me in this thread, the 6.5 prc build turned out great and I am thoroughly enjoying shooting it. This was 2 weeks ago shooting steel at 428 yards in a new cut-over against the far wood line. That said, the 280 AI itch persisted and I am having one of my 30-06's rebarreled to 280AI. I am going with a 26", #4 bartlein, 8.5 twist. I really like the idea of the 280 AI and hopefully in a month or so, I'll be ready to roll. 428.jpg
 

Cleg

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
35
Reaction score
4
Points
8
I have never looked into the 280ai much but I think its about the same case capacity as the 7 saum so the same positives would apply. One of the main things I consider when picking a cartridge is what brass is available. For me I personally only want to use lapua brass. What companies are making 280ai
Peterson makes 280AI brass right at $1.00 each.
 

gregsjt

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2015
Messages
53
Reaction score
9
Points
8
I'll be the odd-man out from my hatred of anything Hornady ripped off, and claimed is their own...

I'd go .280 AI or good ole 7mm RemMag.
I'm confused? Who did hornady copy with 6.5 PRC?

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

NC_Surveyor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
611
Reaction score
314
Points
63

ABC1000

Active member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
135
Reaction score
39
Points
28
I’ve looked into a 280 AI a couple of times but with 284 win for 1,000 yards and closer w/steel and 28 Nosler for hunting I never moved forward. I have a 7rem Mag that shoots pretty solid as well. I haven’t had any issues on elk with my 7s but haven’t shot beyond 700 yards with them either. I have a 300 PRC that I’m trying to finish tuning or I’ll be shooting the 28 again for elk next week.
I’m curious which bullet you were shooting in a 7mm Broz that didn’t perform on elk?? Was that at ELR distance?
 

NC_Surveyor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
611
Reaction score
314
Points
63
Cool build. Who built it for you? Asking bc i see you live in my neck of the woods. (EASTERN NC)
GA Precision built my 6.5 PRC.
Dan's Custom Gun Service in Youngsville is doing my 280AI re-barrel. Should be ready in a few more weeks. My first project with him.
 

Cleg

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
35
Reaction score
4
Points
8
I'm not sure if I will.like the 280AI I just got it about 3 weeks ago. I have no scope, dies, or 280 factory ammo to even get barrel warm let alone 500 cases of AI. I think I'll wait. :). They did have it in 50 round lots. Thanks for the information.
 

macjensen

New member
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
1
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Love my 280AI. 26" barrel running a 168 VLD @ 2815. 57G of RL26 in Nosler brass with a CCI250. Right at .25" group @100 yards. Shot out to 1200 on rocks. Rifle weighs right at 9.25 lbs with bipod. The low recoil makes it easy to watch bullet impact. Not a hot rod at all but I don't mind dialing a little more elevation and the barrel life is a plus too.

 

Forum Sponsors

Top