6.5×280 Ackley Improved
This cartridge is the king of non-magnum 6.5’s. We designed our reamer for this cartridge around the 140 grain Berger VLD Hunting bullet, and we have also seen excellent results with the tradition 140 grain Nosler Accubond. With the 140 VLD, overall length is approximately 3.520” to touch the lands, so it can be used in a standard Remington style long action magazine box, as well as feed from currently available detachable mag systems from Accuracy International, HS Precision, and Wyatt’s Outdoor. In a 26” barrel the 140 grain Berger can be driven to 3200FPS without excess pressure, equaling the ballistic ability of the .264 Win mag while using 7-10 grains less powder to do so. With the introduction of the Hornady 143gr ELD-X and the forthcoming 147 ELD-match, this chambering just keeps getting more fun. Customers have also reported excellent results using the Matrix 160gr VLD’s out of Canada. If you plan to shoot the 160, please let us know prior to chambering as we can lengthen the throat for more optimal bullet position.
Full custom dies are not required for the 6.5x280AI.We recommend using a Redding Type S .280 Ackley Improved bushing sizer die, with a .292” Neck bushing and 6.5mm expander/decapper assembly. One pass through the sizing die forms the neck to the proper diameter, no fireforming required. We use Nosler Custom .280AI brass, but if you don’t mind fireforming you can make brass from Norma .280 Remington or Lapua .30-06 brass(neck will be slightly shorter when using the .30-06 case).