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  #1  
Old 11-27-2011, 06:47 PM
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Ruger M77 .280


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Hey Guys,



I'm looking at a Ruger Hawkeye in .280 rem and thought it might make a good Elk rifle. Any experience with the rifle and or caliber for Elk? I do handload so I figure I can work up some decent loads for it.

-Kevin
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2011, 04:01 PM
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Kmittleman

I have two of them one in a tang safety M77, and another in a brushed stainless M77 Hawkeye. Both are shooters, Hand loaded they are hard to beat. I've taken over 80 head of big game with the .280, from goats, to whitetails, mule deer and elk.

My Son prefers 154grain Hornadys, I like 140 grain Nosler BT's for goats and deer. For Elk I have killed them with both the 162grain Hornady BTSP, and 160grain Speer grand slams. I actually preferred the Hornady round for elk.

The last 6 -7 years I've been using the 35 whelen on everything except goats. Its almost always one or the other when I'm hunting.

You can't go wrong with the 280 especially if your handloading. Yeah I'm alot biased towards the 280 but that's because it is really an all around round.

Good luck
GF
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2011, 04:48 PM
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Great round, just keep in mind that factory ammo is loaded to a slightly lower pressure than comparable rounds (.270), so if you have to switch to factory ammo in a pinch the POI might change more than you'd suspect.
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  #4  
Old 11-28-2011, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guidedfishing View Post
Kmittleman

I have two of them one in a tang safety M77, and another in a brushed stainless M77 Hawkeye. Both are shooters, Hand loaded they are hard to beat. I've taken over 80 head of big game with the .280, from goats, to whitetails, mule deer and elk.

My Son prefers 154grain Hornadys, I like 140 grain Nosler BT's for goats and deer. For Elk I have killed them with both the 162grain Hornady BTSP, and 160grain Speer grand slams. I actually preferred the Hornady round for elk.

The last 6 -7 years I've been using the 35 whelen on everything except goats. Its almost always one or the other when I'm hunting.

You can't go wrong with the 280 especially if your handloading. Yeah I'm alot biased towards the 280 but that's because it is really an all around round.

Good luck
GF
I enjoyed your post, BUT would you not suggest he looked into a Whelen for his hunting purposes??
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2011, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guidedfishing View Post
The last 6 -7 years I've been using the 35 whelen on everything except goats. Its almost always one or the other when I'm hunting.

You can't go wrong with the 280 especially if your handloading. Yeah I'm alot biased towards the 280 but that's because it is really an all around round.
I have a couple Whelen's, they are my elk rifles. My 7mm Magnum turned into a .280 Mtn rifle, as hunting with a serious .280 fan, I found that the difference on elk or deer was pretty much invisible, and the .280 was quite a bit handier. If I loaded it up for elk, I'd likely go with a 162gr Hornady, as it's a very sturdy bullet, or maybe break down and buy a box of 160gr Nosler Partitions or Speer GS's.
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2011, 07:11 PM
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TnHunter, as much as I love my 35 Whelen, I would hate to turn someone away from one of my favorite and possibly one of the best all around cartridges in the 280. Had he said he was looking at a 35 Whelen I would of answered just as enthusiastically. We should really talk him into getting one of each. I can't think of a better two gun big game battery, if I was limited to just two.

I'm a 35 guy but can't turn my back on the 280, or 257Rbts for that matter. ; )

shoot straight and shoot often
GF
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2011, 11:19 AM
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The 280 is wonderful, and Ruger makes a darn solid rifle.
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  #8  
Old 11-29-2011, 06:53 PM
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I have not used the 280 for anything larger then whitetail deer. For deer, the 280 is an excellent round. One of the reasons why I went with the 280 over the 270, is because of the heavier bullets then say the 270.

The only issue I have is finding ammo. the only store that sells the stuff is academy sports and outdoors in beaumont texas, and then its $25 a box.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2011, 10:15 PM
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the 280 rem. Is a great round for anything on the n. American continent (with maybe the exception of the big bears) i was fortunate to be able to hunt and take big game up to and including alaskan moose. With the appropriate handloads(using barnes x bullets), i have hunted grizzlys. Using the right weight barnes tsx bullets the 280 is more than adaquate for elk. These days i shoot a 35 whelen ackley improved built on a tikka action. But still love the 280 for open terrain in eastern montana. The ruger hawkeye is a great rifle, i had one in a 35 whelen. But do not care for the safety, trigger, nor the postive feed bolt. Tikka does not offer the 280, but they do offer the 7x64, essentially the ballistic twin to the 280.
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2011, 10:25 PM
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i absolutly, positively agree. Since i retired from the army in 93, i have been fortunate to be able to aquire, shoot, and hunt with a wide variety of rifles chambered in many different calibers. I also handload and used most of the components available on the market just out of curosity and mostly because it was and is just plain old fun!!
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  #11  
Old 02-17-2013, 08:22 AM
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I just acquired a Ruger M77, tang safety, in .280, and my first time at the range was very disappointing. I'm used to shooting <1" with my Vanguard 06. That gun is very accurate with sub .5" groups fairly common. So, the poor results with the Rem. corlkt factory 140 gr., > than 2" has me wondering if this rifle should be traded in like right now. The crown doesn't look so good, and that may be the problem, or maybe it just doesn't like 140s. But at $32 a box for some basic Rem. at Bass pro, experimenting could get pricey.
I thoroughly cleaned the bore before firing. I fired 2 5 shot groups. Both over 2". What to do??
Bob
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  #12  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:02 AM
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The 280 is a great and versatile round, out of all my hunting rifles my go to rifle is my Ruger MKII stainless 280. I have killed everything from ground hogs to Asiatic water buffalo. It is a great elk gun!
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  #13  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob hardy View Post
I just acquired a Ruger M77, tang safety, in .280, and my first time at the range was very disappointing. I'm used to shooting <1" with my Vanguard 06. That gun is very accurate with sub .5" groups fairly common. So, the poor results with the Rem. corlkt factory 140 gr., > than 2" has me wondering if this rifle should be traded in like right now. The crown doesn't look so good, and that may be the problem, or maybe it just doesn't like 140s. But at $32 a box for some basic Rem. at Bass pro, experimenting could get pricey.
I thoroughly cleaned the bore before firing. I fired 2 5 shot groups. Both over 2". What to do??
Bob
Regaurdless of what it cost, you have to find what it likes, very few rifles will shoot everything you put in it. I suggest start handloading, that is the only way to take advantage of a 280, factory loads are very weak, you might as well be shooting a 7-08 if you are shooting factory loaded 280's.
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  #14  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:55 AM
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I have worked with a tang safety M77 in .30-06 for many years. Belongs to a friend. It's one of the best shooting hunting rifles I've ever shot. And it shoots just about anything it's fed.

I also have a .280 M700 Mtn Rifle. The Remington factory ammo I picked up to use as handloading control rounds, pretty mediocre accuracy, about what you're getting. The same rifle is an honest 1"er with the combinations of MR3100, and IMR7828 using 139/140gr bullets, 154gr bullets and 162gr bullets.

In my experience, 10rds of anything does not make a reasonable evaluation of any rifle. I've had pretty good accuracy from Remington factory ammo in most flavors, but not all. If I were to place a bet on a single brand, I'd go with Federal. I've had more rifles shoot well to extremely well with that than any other single brand, but not all.
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  #15  
Old 02-17-2013, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob hardy View Post
I just acquired a Ruger M77, tang safety, in .280, and my first time at the range was very disappointing. I'm used to shooting <1" with my Vanguard 06. That gun is very accurate with sub .5" groups fairly common. So, the poor results with the Rem. corlkt factory 140 gr., > than 2" has me wondering if this rifle should be traded in like right now. The crown doesn't look so good, and that may be the problem, or maybe it just doesn't like 140s. But at $32 a box for some basic Rem. at Bass pro, experimenting could get pricey.
I thoroughly cleaned the bore before firing. I fired 2 5 shot groups. Both over 2". What to do??
Bob
First, it's an older gun. So clean it thoroughly with a good copper solvent.

Second, if the crown looks dinged up, that won't help. Get it recrowned if needed.

Third, try some different ammo.

Last, you'll probably have to start playing with the bedding, if the first three steps don't help.

Same advice would be given for any make/model of rifle. Good luck.....
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  #16  
Old 02-17-2013, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob hardy View Post
I just acquired a Ruger M77, tang safety, in .280, and my first time at the range was very disappointing. I'm used to shooting <1" with my Vanguard 06. That gun is very accurate with sub .5" groups fairly common. So, the poor results with the Rem. corlkt factory 140 gr., > than 2" has me wondering if this rifle should be traded in like right now. The crown doesn't look so good, and that may be the problem, or maybe it just doesn't like 140s. But at $32 a box for some basic Rem. at Bass pro, experimenting could get pricey.
I thoroughly cleaned the bore before firing. I fired 2 5 shot groups. Both over 2". What to do??
Bob
Midway USA has some Federal Premium, Hornady Superformane, and Winchester Supreme priced between $30-$35 a box, as suggested trying multiple types of ammo is the best thing to do. Have a gunsmith take a look at the crown as mike suggested.
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  #17  
Old 02-17-2013, 12:14 PM
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The Ruger M77 MKII that I had in .280 Rem liked 150gr Federal ammo the best, for what that's worth. Also, as far as I'm concerned, I see no reason to use 5 shot groups to check any big game hunting rifle's accuracy. I use 3 shot groups with a little time between shots (usually under 1 min) figuring by the 5th shot, I'm sending a wing and a prayer anyway.

Just a thought. I hope you find a load she likes pretty quick!
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  #18  
Old 02-17-2013, 12:15 PM
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I am in agreement with TNhunter concerning the bigger calibers and large, big game. There is a certain flair of finality when stuff, elk sized and bigger get tagged with a mid-bore rifle. Not to say the .280 isn't a fine round but I just like bigger holes.

The .280 is like the .257 Roberts, it really shines as a handloader round.
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  #19  
Old 02-17-2013, 01:15 PM
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Just for the heck of it make sure the diagonal bedding screw is tight, sometimes that can make all the difference in the world. My M77 tag safety .280 seems to like the 150 - 154 gr bullets best, and it took some playing around with 160, and 162 grainers to get them to fly acceptable.

And with this old girl the groups get tighter as the rounds get loaded hotter. Everything has its limits...

Good luck I hope you can get it doped out.

GF
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  #20  
Old 02-17-2013, 01:28 PM
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love the 280 it will take anything that I hunt for. My first 280 was a Ruger mk2 stainless with the cut out stock. It was not a good shooter greater than 2" for 3 shots at 100 yards were the best groups. The 2nd one was a H&R handi again not a good shooter. My 3rd and best is a Remington 7600 that will shoot less than 1" all day. To date I have had several Ruger rifles and the only one the only one that had acceptable accuracy was a tang safety in 284 win.
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