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Thread: 280 AI or 6.5 Creedmoor

  1. #1
    Sergeant
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    280 AI or 6.5 Creedmoor

    I'd been contemplating building a 280AI for a while now on a Savage action. I even had the gun to build it on, but the gun was in too nice of shape imo for me to just throw away the barrel, stock, etc from so I ended up selling it and putting the build on hold. I figured I'd look for a gun in worse shape for cheaper since all I needed was the action.

    Now that I look around, I'm wondering if a 6.5 Creedmoor won't fit my needs much better. The big advantage I see to the 280AI is that I can shoot regular 280 ammo in it which is fairly easy to find. However, since I reload this isn't a huge concern. I just like the idea of being able to find ammo I can use if I'm on a hunt out of town and run out of ammo. The ammo for the 6.5 Creedmoor seems to be a lot harder to find at least in this area.

    What draws me to the 6.5 Creedmoor is that it seems like should recoil a lot less than the .280AI. While this gun will be used occasionally on a hunt, it will be at the range 90% of the time. I want something accurate with enough power at longer ranges that I can hunt deer with though. Since it will mainly be a range gun I don't want something that will punish my shoulder. After a box or so of 30-06 my shoulder is hurting, and I don't want this gun to do that. I'm thinking the .280 may, but I don't know about the 6.5 Creedmoor.

    Basically I don't really have a good solid reason to pick one over the other and while I thought I'd decided on the .280AI I'm now second guessing myself. Any advice? What are the pros and cons to each round?

  2. #2
    Gunny Sergeant
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    one is a long action, the other is a short action.
    One mimics the 6.5x55 in factory US loads, the other, when loaded near max, approaches the 7mm Magnum.

    Both are very suitable long range calibers. One is more suited to med sized game, the other to medium/large game.

    Can't follow your logic of "I had a nice gun, but I sold it because I didn't want to change it and no longer have it. Now I want to buy a shitty gun and build from there"
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  3. #3
    Mr. 7mm
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    This this recent thread regarding 6.5CM vs. 284 (and bear in mind the 280AI outperforms 284 by a slim but non-disputable margin):

    Looking for REAL range reports for 6.5cm and straight .284

    Key points:

    The 7mm doesn't show its superiority in trajectory/drift until ~750 yards. It isn't significantly superior until past 1000.

    The 7mm will hit game harder for sure, but I would personally trust a 6.5CM to do the job terminally (on a whitetail) @ 1000. I would be a lot more concerned with the marksmanship end of things. This is based on having hit a whitetail with a 180smk from my 308 @ 700 yards.

    The 284/280/280AI recoil is significantly greater than a 6.5CM. Is it too much for you to shoot all day? Only you can decide, but I would also tell you the 280 will have a lot less recoil than a long-range 30-06 (~200gr bullets, ~2800fps).

    If you do decide to go with a 280AI, be sure to do your due diligence on chambers because I think there is a "new" and an "old" 280AI, and the way they work for FF'ing straight 280 brass is a little different, and the new Nosler AI brass might fit one but not the other(?). Sorry, that's as much as I know about it.

  4. #4
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    fdkay pretty much said it. going with 280AI on a savage LA will let you do a bolt head /barrel swap if you want even longer range to push to a higher caliber

    but your shoulder might appreciate the 6.5 a little more if you are going to be lead farming at a high rate.
    Originally Posted By: Lowlight
    You guys are seriously Pussies Elite if you are talking about recoil differences between two different 308 bullets.

    I think I have heard it all and can die now, surely the world can't exist much longer with this line of thinking.


  5. #5
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    I originally set out to build a long distance rifle for none competative target shooting. I don't hunt but wanted to have the satisfaction of knowng that I owned a long distance rifle that was deadly accurate. I figured the 7mm Amax in 162grain had enough energy and optimum flat shooting BC to provide the joy. I first seriously considered the 7mm Mag and even bought a long action rifle for it. Then I decided it was needlessly too powerfull and I downsized to the 280AI which does much of the same without all the powder and that belted case. Then I decided I didn't like the looong powder column of a 280/30-06 based case and I chose a 284 which had the best of all worlds, still using less powder. Being an anal guy with accuracy who wanted a long distance target/police rifle, the 284 made the most sense. My head said "go for it" but my heart wasn't buying it!!! Finally, I got smart and chose the 6.5 Creedmoor.

    The 284 is just too much cartridge to take to the public range for a fun day of target shooting. If a 284 is not going to be "fun" on my shoulder after about 20 rounds, then I certainly wouldn't want to be shooting the 280AI. The 6.5 Creedmoor is super accurate, and with a muzzle brake it should be easy to fire and enjoy a couple of boxes.

    HOWEVER, for your situation in which you intend to use the rifle for hunting too, then a 284 or 280AI makes a lot of sense to me. But, you mntioned 90% of your time will be spent target shooting. So in that case, I'd go with the 284 and put a muzzle brake on it.