280AI 143gr Hammer Hunters powder?

Mthuntr

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So I talked myself into cashing in my Cabelas points and a few gift cards that I was hoarding on a Kimber Hunter Pro in 280AI. I'm hoping I don't have to play Kimber Roulette with this one. My plan is to directly start with 143grain Hammer Hunter bullets although am also interested in the 155s if they'll stabilize. I know there are issues with Kimber magazines being a little short so I may just stick with the 143s. I'm going to fireform some Nosler 280Rem brass because it's available for about 1/2 the cost of their 280AI brass.

Curious if anyone had some thoughts on powder recommendations. I have a bunch of H4350 but I know there has to be something else out there. My preference is almost always Hodgdon powders but am open to trying just about anything
 

JLS

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Looking at specs, your twist isn’t fast enough for the 155. If you want a little heavier just go with the sledge hammer 150.

I’ve had really good luck with RL16 in my .280 Rem. I’d call them up and chat with them, see what their recommendations are.
 

Mthuntr

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Yeah I knew it would be a stretch...the price you pay for factory barrels. The 143s will work perfectly for 99% of my hunting needs so I'll stick with them. Good to know RL16 works. I'm curious about other Reloder powders too so I'll give Alliant a call.
 

cahunter805

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For fireforming I’d grab some cheap bullets and load them touching the lands with a mid weight charge from 280rem data.
H4831SC is a popular powder for the 280AI.
 

Mthuntr

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I heard he can get chatty and I'm not quite ready to talk so I shot him an email. Looks like twist is too slow for 155s. He likes RL26...that stuff is like sasquatch. He said RL16 and RL23 work too.
 

cahunter805

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I fireform all my brass to the chamber on all rifles before I start load development...some would call it unnecessary but it's part of my process (a little OCD :geek:)
I use new brass to do initial powder charge testing in a ladder test. Any fine tuning is done with fire formed brass though for the same OCD reasons!
 

mtmuley

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Yes he does. Worth it though.
Pretty cool to talk with a man that actually makes the bullets with his own hands. Lots of R&D from friends with on game experience has been key for the success of Hammers. Small Montana company that is growing. mtmuley
 

noharleyyet

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Steve’s osmosis is time well spent. He is truly interested in his customers’ success with his product.
 

std7mag

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While i'm shooting regular 280 Rem i'll share my findings.
RL26, is fast & accurate, but i don't care for the recoil impulse.
Especially ditto RL16.
Have had good results with RL22, IMR 4831, Norma MRP, and Alliant PP4000.

Not sure how expensive the Hammer's are, but you might want to look at Cutting Edge Bullets also.
Local people to me, and even the girl at the desk when you walk in knows her stuff!
 

RockyMtnMT

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I think I spoke with the op yesterday.

I just looked up the 280ai on Kimber's site and it looks like they are using a 1-9" twist barrel. This could run our 155g Hammer Hunter If you wanted the heavier bullet. With my personal 280ai I am planning to run the 143g Hammer Hunter. I plan to get out this summer and do some longer range testing with both to confirm my feelings about which will be better. I am fairly sure that the loss in vel of the 155g Hammer Hunter will not over take the 143g Hammer Hunter until beyond the 700y mark. My 280ai was built with a short 22" Proof on a donor Win action with a Boyd's stock, with the purpose of under 700y hunting. The added vel of about 100 fps with the 143g gives higher impact vel through the range until the furthest mark. Since the vast majority of my shots happen under 500y the higher vel bullet has more advantage.

I had my 1st range session with my new rifle and the 143's a couple weeks ago. I tried rl26 on recommendation of a customer. I was sure that there was no way I could get enough in the case, or if i could, I wouldn't have enough barrel to burn it. My hope was to get the 143g to 3100 fps. Rl26 did it with no pressure. It did top out at 3100 fps so gave rl23 a go since no pressure was hit. Rl23 also hit 3100 fps but with a bit of pressure. Ran out of time and did not try rl16. In our 27" barreled 280ai we used rl16 and got a comfortable 3200 fps. I think we will need to try rl26 in the 27".
 

Mthuntr

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Thanks Steve, yeah that was my email. The Kimber site was down yesterday when I tried but I was able to confirm it does have a 1:9 twist...I was certain it was slower. I'll have to give RL26 a shot if I can find some. RL23, RL16, or H4350 may have to suffice due to availability.

I've never shot at an animal that far and I feel with a light rifle like the Kimber that 700 yards could be tough. I saw I could arrange to pick up of an order so I'll give you a call for some 143s and see if I can figure out a way to get your direction when I'm in Missoula next weekend.
 

RockyMtnMT

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Thanks Steve, yeah that was my email. The Kimber site was down yesterday when I tried but I was able to confirm it does have a 1:9 twist...I was certain it was slower. I'll have to give RL26 a shot if I can find some. RL23, RL16, or H4350 may have to suffice due to availability.

I've never shot at an animal that far and I feel with a light rifle like the Kimber that 700 yards could be tough. I saw I could arrange to pick up of an order so I'll give you a call for some 143s and see if I can figure out a way to get your direction when I'm in Missoula next weekend.
Sounds good. Give me a day or so advance that you are coming so I have your order ready when you get here.

I also want to give Norma MRP a try. That is another powder that seems to just work well every time I try it.

Steve
 
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