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What is the best twist reate for the 7mm/280 rem?

25 Aug 2011
@ 05:03 pm (GMT)

Vincent Yarrow

Nathan as you know I am thinking of building a rifle in .280 Rem with either a 24 or 26 inch 1/9 twist barrel. MAB Now Total Solutions Engineering can make and fit the barrel for me for $570 Chrome molly and $700 stainess fitted.

Total cost of the build using the Savage 111 would be about $1650 Plus Scope.

For the Savage 116 weather warrior would about $1800 Plus Scope

While doing the research I have found that Remington already makes a rifle ( M 700 XCR II ) with a 24 inch barrel that I can get brand new for $1435 at Cleaver firearms here in brisbane/redcliffe.

The only problem I have is that the standard twist rate ( M 700 XCR II ) is 1/10 would this be suitable for the heavier projectiles or will I be limted to 150 grains or less?

Any Advice would be greatfully received.

Thanks Regards Vince.


26 Aug 2011
@ 09:30 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: What is the best twist reate for the 7mm/280 rem?
Tough call.

The 1:10 twist rate is more suited to 150gr bullets or lighter. In some instances however, the rifle may group between .6 and .9", acceptable for ordinary hunting and intermediate long range hunting but it can get right under your skin when chasing accuracy if you have a goal of shooting .5" or less.

The Remington would be good as a long term proposition, with the goal to re-barrel eventually. However, the black Trinite coating over stainless is therefore unnecessary as the finish will be altered during re-barreling. Actually its unnecessary in the first place, the rust that occurs is often a reflection of either cross contaminated garnet used at the Remington factory or simply, using course garnet to save time (ass opposed to finer glass bead), the course finish eventually becoming contaminated. Off topic, a garnet finish can be smoothed by lightly rubbing autosol onto the steel with a soft rag.

I think you may be better off going the custom route. I prefer to build custom rifles on the M700 action but this is perhaps more personal and biased. Also, in this instance, the cost of re-barreling a new M700 is prohibitive. Go with the Savage and build yourself a decent rifle, you will be very happy with the results. As for twist rate, a straight 1:9 will be optimal. This is also an opportunity to get a bit of meat in the barrel, some weight out front to keep recoil down. As for length, if you can live with it, a 26" barrel would be useful for long range.
26 Aug 2011
@ 12:52 pm (GMT)

Vincent Yarrow

Re: What is the best twist reate for the 7mm/280 rem?
Thanks Nathan !

That answered all my questions. It seems to me also that the full custom build is the better option, Being on a tight budget I wanted to cross all the t's and dot all the i's before I lay down my hard earned cash.

Now all I have to do is finish paying for the savage model 10 predator .223 I have on layby and start saving again for the .280 Rem build.

I will probabley go with a chrom-moly barrel for the first sporter weight version 26" and then later when I build a serious target rifle I will build a match grade stainless heavy barrel.

For now I just want something that I can take into the bush that is ethical on animals like deer if I get the chance at a shot.

I'll let you know How it turns out. That could take a few months though Budget and the wheels of government allowing maybe this time next year LOL.

Thanks !

Regards Vince.

26 Aug 2011
@ 02:41 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: What is the best twist reate for the 7mm/280 rem?
Good stuff. regarding the barrel weight, sorry, I should have been more specific. Yes, a portable .280 is very practical. By 'meat' in the barrel, I meant that you have the option of choosing a medium contour as opposed to the ultra lights we see. Next time you are at a gun store, have a look at two things- the knox on the gun barrels (the first 1" or so of the barrel) and also the contour. On the traditional Sako's, the contour is a #3 with about a 25mm long parallel at the knox. On the SPS and ruger rifles, note how the barrel begins to taper immediately, becoming extremely fine at the muzzle, described as a #2 contour.

Some meat at the knox is a great thing, after all, there is a 52k explosion going on this area, its bound to create vibrations. On your custom barrel, you can specify a long parallel at the knox, True-Flite barrels for example, retain a fat parallel for a good 2". These are things which you have fine control over and can really make a big difference, resulting not just in a portable rifle, but also an immensely effective long range rifle- without the weight of a full contour bull barrel.
28 Aug 2011
@ 10:59 pm (GMT)

Vincent Yarrow

Re: What is the best twist reate for the 7mm/280 rem?
Actually I was thinking about their MAB/ total solutions engineering standard #5 profile 1.240" at the knox for 2.5" then down to .900" after 7.5" tapering to .700 at the muzzle for approx 2.05KG Not TOO Heavy not TOO Light if you know what I mean :D

As 90% of this rifles life is going to be spent at the range punching holes in paper and I am 6 ft 2" and 100KG the weight wasn't really a huge concern as most of the bush hunting here I can do from a quad bike or 4X4 with maybe a few Km of walking thrown in the mix.

If it turns out to be more that 9.5lbs It won't kill me as long as it stays under 10 lbs.

Plus I intend to buy a Ruger scout as my main go to hunting rifle for everything bigger than small goats up Insert ( Pig Killer ) to sambar.

Another project I have floating in my head is a long action Standard Head size ( 30-06 ) short cartridge .338 Federal / .358 Winchester long throated to take advantage of the Barnes TSX range of bullets for a heavy hitter on the water buffalo and other top end Bovines we have here in the northern territory.

Probabley with a 22" barrel. Total weight about 9.5 to 10 pounds with a synthetic / fibreglass stock.

Yeah I know I could go with the 375H&H or similar But I want to be able use it for more than just a sighting session and then once a year hunt.

I hate having safe queens Space in my rifle safe is Limited by not only budget but practical uses as well.

Regards Vince.

Any thoughts?
29 Aug 2011
@ 07:38 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: What is the best twist reate for the 7mm/280 rem?
Sounds like a very good barrel contour, it will be great for plinking or culling goats and pigs at long ranges.

For scrub bulls and buff, there are two considerations, the smaller you go in bore diameter, the more narrow the wound and the slower you go, the more narrow the wound. Barnes TSX bullets tend to be exponentially more violent as velocity is increased above 2400fps. So lets put this into practice:

In the .30-06, you would have an all around rifle, pigs, Sambar, scrub bulls etc, plus long range capability on medium to light body weights. But on the scrub bulls, neck or head shots will give best results.

Of the medium bores, the .35 Whelen in a bolt action rifle is pretty outstanding. Providing magazine length is long enough, the .35 already has the throat length you want, avoiding any powder cramping. The .35 Whelen and the Barnes work well together out to moderate ranges. On medium to light game, the Whelen can be pretty spectacular at times. You also have the choice of Woodleigh bullets and even the light 225gr RN penetrates well on cattle, though I do prefer the more thorough 250gr weight. The Whelen fits the bill if you want to go with a standard bolt face. You also have the option of the 9.3x62 or the newer 9.3x66 with a solid and reliable RWS importer in Australia (as well as Woodleigh and Barnes supporting the 9.3)

Looking at the wider, faster .375 H&H and .375 Ruger, yes, they can be once a year guns but that is up to you. There were times when I was testing the .44's and .45-70 for example, when I thought, I know these are good cartridges but I really do like the way I can reach out a bit with the .375. It might seem over the top, but it isn't. The .375 is well balanced for scrub work on any game, allowing you to also shoot across clearings etc. Of course, the Whelen is capable of reaching out as well.

29 Aug 2011
@ 05:28 pm (GMT)

Vincent Yarrow

Re: What is the best twist reate for the 7mm/280 rem?
Actually I never even considered the .35 Whelen or the .375 ruger.

What I was thinking about was using the 30-06 length action and magazine space for the .308 based .338 Federal / .358 Winchester long throated to take advantage of the Barnes TSX range of bullets or the longer woodleigh's for that matter.

For shots from no further than say 75 meters You can get REALLY Up close and Personal with a big buffalo before you even realize he is there up in the NT!
Plus you can also stalk to within 20 meters if you are careful about the wind and only moving when the Buff is not looking They have really only average eyesight But they can smell you coming from a LONG WAY OFF if you get the wind wrong.

Also I was thinking of keeping the head size the same as the 30-06 so I don't have any issues with getting the bolt face altered.

Sorry I wasn't really all that good at explaining what I had in mind.

Although the .35 Whelen has some interesting aspects.

That I will have to do more research on before making a decision.

As for the .375's I don't see a use for them here ( Unless you hunt Buffs ALOT ) when the biggest beast we have can be handled pretty well with the .35 caliber or even a 30-06 with the right load and shot placement. IE; The woodleigh PPSN or the newer Hydrostatic Brass bullet from woodleigh.

Still food for thought The whelen is another nights reading added to an already long list LOL's..



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