.280 Remington / 7mm Express Remington (using Sierra bullets)
Date: May 11 2016
The .280 Remington can be traced back to wildcat cartridges developed around World War II, such as the .285 O.K.H., 7mm-06 Mashburn and 7mm-06. Each of these are variations of the .30-06 case necked to 7mm. Remington recognized the value of this cartridge and in 1957 offered .280 Remington rifles and ammunition commercially. Its version was based on the .30-03 case (precursor to the .30-06) and is around .046 inch longer. Unfortunately, rather than loading it to 54,000 CUP - the same as the .270 Winchester - it was loaded to 50,000 CUP. This limited the true performance potential of the .280 cartridge. Nonetheless, it can be safely handloaded to the same pressure levels as the .270 Winchester that is currently established at 52,000 CUP.
The .280 Remington was not marketed well and competed directly with the well-established .270 Winchester, all of which resulted in modest sales. In an effort to revitalize sales, in 1979 the .280 was renamed 7mm Remington Express without any other changes. This resulted in some confusion with the 7mm Remington Magnum, and its name was soon changed back to .280 Remington.
Among savvy riflemen, the .280 Remington is generally held in high regard. It is an excellent deer cartridge, and when stoked with premium bullets it will cleanly take elk, moose and African plains game while offering comparatively mild recoil. Bullet selection is broad, which makes it even more versatile than the .270 Winchester. In long-range competition, wherein shot-to-shot consistency is critical, the .280 is a proven winner. It has won in 1000-yard Open F-Class while competing against much larger cartridges.
Due to the shorter case length of the .30-06, it should not be necked down to create .280 brass. Several companies load ammunition, and new brass is readily available, so there is really no reason to form cases. Powders with a burn rate similar to the various 4350s will give the best general performance with 140-through 160-grain bullets.