Hunting Bullet Guide – 280 Remington

The 280 Remington is based on the 30-06 case necked down to accept 7mm bullets with the shoulder moved forward to prevent chambering in other 30-06 case based cartridges. Remington introduced the 280 Remington in 1957 in their model 740 semi-auto rifle and one year later it was chambered in the Model 725 bolt-action.

S280XA - 280 Remington

  • Ballistic Coefficient: 0.485
  • Product Symbol: SBST280
  • Description: Rapid, controlled expansion. Penetrates thin skin, light muscle and bone. For antelope, deer, black bear.

Rifle Ballistics

Distance (yds) Muzzle 50 100 200 300 400 500
Velocity (fps) 3040 2842 2653 2471 2297 2130
Distance (yds) Muzzle 50 100 200 300 400 500
Energy (ft. lbs.) 2872 2511 2187 1898 1640 1410
Distance (yds)   50 100 150 200 250 300
Short Trajectory (in.)   -0.2 0.0 -0.8 -2.8 -6.0 -10.5
Distance (yds) 100 150 200 250 300 400 500
Long Trajectory (in.) +1.4 +1.3 0.0 -2.5 -6.3 -18.4 -37.0

140 gr. Supreme® Ballistic Silvertip™

Around 1980 Remington changed the name to the 7mm Express in hopes of increasing the popularity of this fine round. This only caused confusion and didn’t help its popularity so the name was changed back to 280 Remington. Around 1985-86 Remington introduced the “Mountain Rifle” a slim and trim version of the model 700 and included the 280 as one of the initial chamberings along with the 270 Winchester and the 30-06 Springfield. This was a real shot in the arm for the 280 Remington. Finally the company that had introduced the round had chambered it in a modern bolt-action hunting rifle. Since then Remington has introduced the round in several other model 700 configurations, including the BDL, BDL SS, and the Classic in 1997. Other manufactures such as Ruger, Winchester, and more offer the 280 Remington and it seems it is more popular now than ever. In my opinion the 280 Remington has all the advantages of the 270 Winchester and the 30-06 Springfield, incorporating the flat trajectory of the 270 with the power of the 30-06. Being 7mm not only gives the 280 Remington more bullet choices than the 25-06 Remington or the 270 Winchester, but greater range in weights of bullets plus a larger frontal diameter. Which lends to better performance on game larger and heavier than the White-tailed deer. It is also kinder to the shoulder than the 30-06 or 7mm Remington Magnum when fired in a comparable weight rifle. The 280’s real world performance is equal to that of the 7mm Remington Magnum (with 140 to 150-grain bullets). When both cartridges are loaded to maximum, with Reloader 19 powder and using a 140-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, the 280 is only 150 fps behind the 7mm Remington Magnum, also the 7mm Magnum is only 1.5” flatter in trajectory at 300 yards (based on a 100 yard zero). The 280 Remington holds pace with the magnum and does it with 9-grains less powder and, as mentioned earlier, less recoil and muzzle blast. The first high-powered rifle I ever owned was a 280 Remington in a model 700 “Mountain Rifle” topped with a 6x42mm Leupold scope. This sleek little rifle/scope combo when loaded and sling attached tipped the scales at just over 7 ¼ pounds. This type rifle is ideal for hunting situations where country is rough and covering a lot of ground is the name of the game. Recoil, however is brutal. When chambered in a “full-size” rifle, weighing around 9 pounds with scope, recoil becomes manageable. I believe the 280 Remington is at its best when loaded with bullets weighing between 140 and 165 grains. Federal loads a 150-grain Nosler Partition; this is an outstanding factory load for the 280 Remington. My favorite hand loads consisted of a 140-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip and a 162-grain boat-tailed soft point from Hornady. A maximum charge of IMR 4831 under the 140-grain Ballistic Tip produced the best accuracy. While the Hornady bullet liked a case full of Reloader 19 for its work. The 280 Remington as plenty of power to any North American game when properly loaded, but is most a home with the White-tailed deer and similar game.

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