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Hello,

This is my first time on this board. I'm looking for any and all information on the .280 Dubiel Magnum that Elmer Keith wrote about on occasion. Info that I have gleaned so far suggests that this cartridge is a .300 H&H Mag. necked to .288 (original) or .284 with no other changes to the case other than the length which is 2.870" If anyone has any other info. to share I would greatly appreciate it. I am presently Working with a couple other wildcats including the very obscure .35 Apex Magnum.

Thankyou in advance for any replies.

Scott
 

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While probably not the info you are looking for, the 280 Dubiel seems similar to the 275 H&H, though not exactly the same. I believe CH4D makes dies for it and even think Quality Cartridge provides loaded ammo. Wasn't Keith's rifle a Champlin? You may be able to contact any of the above references (especially CH4D) get more info.

It's not much, but I hope this helps.
 

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Elmer's .280 Dubiel was a Magnum Mauser with a 28" heavy sporter weight barrel. Elmer had a Winchester A5 scope on it to start with then went to a Lyman 8X Targetspot. From what he wrote about this wildcat, he was very impressed with it's speed and accuracy. Elmer reported 150gr. bullets in the 3200 - 3300 fps. range. Very impressive indeed for the early 1930's.
 

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While probably not the info you are looking for, the 280 Dubiel seems similar to the 275 H&H, though not exactly the same. I believe CH4D makes dies for it and even think Quality Cartridge provides loaded ammo. Wasn't Keith's rifle a Champlin? You may be able to contact any of the above references (especially CH4D) get more info.

It's not much, but I hope this helps.
There is no relationship of the .280 Dubiel and the .275 H&H except for the .288 bullet diameter. I have a set of Pacific .280 dies. Factory Western .275 H&H primed cases resized to .276 Dubiel and the .276 rifle.

Thinking of making a .280 Dubiel using .284 bullets. There seems to be a lot of confusion by some people between the .276 and .280 Dubiels, totally different critters.
 

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Hello,

I recently acquired Elmer Keith's heavy barrel experimental 280 OKH rifle. I expect it is nearly identicle to the 280 Dubiel. Would you have any loading data?
 

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The dubiel was originally a .288" bullet might want to slug the bore to verify this 280 OKH is .284". Guns magazine has pdf files on line that have several mentions of 280 OKH and 280 Dubiel. With some loading data in Keith's column Keith Says. The powders available in the 40's were not really suitable for this capacity case so it probably contributed to the demise of the 280 OKH in favor of his .285 OKH which was similar to the 7mm-06 and 7mm-06 Mashburn. Except for the slight increase in capacity of the 280 and headspace datum, the 285 OKH was essentially became the commercial 280 Rem (aka 7mm Express). You might check AmmoGuide is now... "Interactive"! for data on the 280 Dubiel. A chamber cast and bore slug would be the first steps in getting this shooting. If this is based on the H&H case, a 300 H&H necked and trimmed to provide a crush fit in the chamber then fire-formed should be a fairly simple and straight forward process to making some cases. Programs like Quick Load and Load From A Disk can be a tremendous help in providing start loads and performance expectations. With accurate data (case dimensions, chamber dimension etc.) input they can be very accurate in predictions of performance. Albert "Bert" Shay produced ammo for the Dubiel back in the late 40's -early 50's on a custom basis. Some internet sleuthing should reveal some tidbit of info on the 280 OKH. From my reading it seems to have been abandoned in favor of the 285 OKH. I would not be surprised if your rifle is the only survivor in this caliber. I am sure other variations on this cartridge were attempted by O'Neil and Hopkins, perhaps shoulder angle and case length variations... It is after all, a wildcat and very few gunsmiths stuck to an absolute when it came to 'their' variation of a wildcat. The markings on the barrel of your rifle(assuming this is the rifle auctioned recently) indicate that maybe other chambering or modification may have taken place in the development. The 280-300-ccc Indicates that this was a tube primed experiment that Keith and O'Neil and Hopkins were tinkering with using duplex loads and trying to get more uniform ignition in this long case By igniting the powder from the front of the case in similar fashion to artillery shells. An interesting and historic rifle and cartridge. Looks like fun. I suspect that since the Dubiel round already existed that further development of the OKH round was redundant. As in most cases of wildcat cartridge design, someone has more than likely already been there, done that, and little is usually gained in terms of performance.

http://iaaforum.org/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=10331&p=95681#p95681
check out this link to the IAA forum on 280 Dubiel very similar round to the 280 OKH
 

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This rifle uses the 180g .288 dia bullet. The rifle came with bout 450 of them.

I agree it was likely a one-of-a-kind experimental rifle that went through various testing changes over the years. I'm guessing 2 or perhaps 3 caliber changes.

Not sure which came first, the 280 OKH chambering or the 280-300-CCC chambering. Both are still marked on the barrel. And the 280 O.K.H stamping looks like it may have been added in place of a previous stamping since removed.

As soon as my ordered Cerrosafe arrives, I will do a chamber cast.
 

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Did the rifle come with loading dies? If so I am curious as to who made them. I would assume O'Neil. I have a set of dies that were made by an Edw. Nickerson, Buffalo, NY, for a .333 OKH supposedly for Fred Barnes. Nickerson had a number of wildcats and was a contemporary of The OKH crew. I am always curious about these one-off wildcats as I have several rifles from that 40's period by Gradle, Hauck and Shay and Nickerson. All of these guys seem to know each other. I am currently tinkering with loads for a 7mm Gradle Express Rimmed. (essentially the precursor to the 7WSM by 40+years, slightly larger case capacity and longer neck and will outperform the 7WSM and the Rem Mag.) Round is based on the 348Win as the parent case. There are numerous rimless rifle of his but this may be the only rimmed version. Chambered in a Wilbur Hauck single shot. The 275 H&H would have been the only moderately successful 7mm based on the H&H case but powder limitations at the time restricted its performance also. I suspect case life on the 280 OKH and the H&H round was short as the taper to the case lent itself to stretching. Proper head-spacing on the shoulder will be critical to case life. Probably fed smoothly. Would be interested to hear how load development goes. You might want to post your load data on Ammoguide.com. I have found this site to be a great source of info on wildcats and similar capacity rounds for comparative info. Good luck.

I believe the 280-300-CCC was simply a reference to the tube priming system. as it would, as I understand it, have not altered the dimensions of the round. 4350 was about the slowest burn rate powder at the time. Had slower propellants been available the round may not have passed into obscurity.
 

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Unfortunately, no loading dies with the rifle. A penciled note stated 55g 4350 in one of the bullet boxes that came with the rifle. Also got 100 Western 300 H&H cases.

I'm not sure if the 55g load was intended as loaded in the modified 300 H&H cases (seems kind of low for such a big case) or if it might have been the intended load with the OKH "primer tube" in place which would have reduced the capacity.

As far as I have been able to research, the 280-300-CCC marking would indicate P.M.V.F., an earlier nomenclature meaning Powell, Miller, Venturi, Freebore. This was changed to CCC, Controlled Combustion Chamber when Hollywood Tool took over the use thereof. This would indicate a radius at the neck / shoulder junction. (not the shoulder / body junction)
 

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Unfortunately, no loading dies with the rifle. A penciled note stated 55g 4350 in one of the bullet boxes that came with the rifle. Also got 100 Western 300 H&H cases.

I'm not sure if the 55g load was intended as loaded in the modified 300 H&H cases (seems kind of low for such a big case) or if it might have been the intended load with the OKH "primer tube" in place which would have reduced the capacity.
This goes to the powder limitations of the time. While the tube would take up some space, the reduced volume would still put max pressures not much above the 55 to 58 grain of 4350. 4831 or similar burn rate will probably make this a fine performer. I use AA3100 and RL 19 and RL 22 in a 300 H&H with 180 gr.. the AA3100 in my Ruger #1, 300H&H is extraordinarily accurate. I believe The 280 Dubiel, I have seen old loads published with 58 gr of IMR 4350. But performance was not much better than the 280 Rem or a hot 7x57.
There are some very knowledgable people on the IAA forum who are Wildcat 'experts' that may have some data filed away. They will not discuss load data.
 

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There are some very knowledgable people on the IAA forum who are Wildcat 'experts' that may have some data filed away. They will not discuss load data.
I'm not as concerned with load data as I am trying to identify the cartridge itself.
 

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Why were cartridges so long in those days? The Dubiel is as long as a 300RUM. Powder technology, maybe?
 

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The parent .300 H&H Magnum (the first belted magnum, I believe) was announced in 1925. That was still pretty early in smokeless powder development - not long from the blackpowder days. These were the days when the slow powders we enjoy today for similar rounds were only being developed. Smaller bore rounds (.30 and below) may have been designed a little larger/longer than necessary to try to get additional performance from powders that were non-optimal (i.e, too fast in burn rate for the case volume-to-bore ratios employed).

Cases with larger case volume-to-bore ratios (.220 Swift, .257 Roberts, etc) really benefited from the introduction of slow smokeless powder, such as H-4831.

I've always thought, with that sloping case body, this cartridge series must generate much greater bolt thrust for a given chamber pressure.

-Mike
 

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I thought it was because the powder was cordite, which I think is a "cord" of sorts of flammable material that had to be put into the cases by hand lest it broke and became unusable or less utilitarian. Whatever the reason, I am beyond gratified we have things so much better than in the good, old days...
 

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The parent .300 H&H Magnum (the first belted magnum, I believe) was announced in 1925. That was still pretty early in smokeless powder development - not long from the blackpowder days. These were the days when the slow powders we enjoy today for similar rounds were only being developed. Smaller bore rounds (.30 and below) may have been designed a little larger/longer than necessary to try to get additional performance from powders that were non-optimal (i.e, too fast in burn rate for the case volume-to-bore ratios employed).

Cases with larger case volume-to-bore ratios (.220 Swift, .257 Roberts, etc) really benefited from the introduction of slow smokeless powder, such as H-4831.

I've always thought, with that sloping case body, this cartridge series must generate much greater bolt thrust for a given chamber pressure.

-Mike
The 375 H&H, developed in 1912, (belted case design preceded this, some early artillery cases were belted)was the parent case for the 300H&H aka 30 Super. Cordite was the reason for the long case. Mike you are correct the bolt thrust factor in the long tapered case was and still is a problem with this and similar cases. Especially since no standardization for chamber dimensions (SAAMI or CIP) were in effect. Many manufacturers made the cartridges to what were considered minimal spec to allow chambering in the majority of firearms. Head-space issues are common with the 300H&H and similar rounds with resulting short case life. Thanks Mike for the great web site Ammoguide.com!!
 

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I thought it was because the powder was cordite, which I think is a "cord" of sorts of flammable material that had to be put into the cases by hand lest it broke and became unusable or less utilitarian. Whatever the reason, I am beyond gratified we have things so much better than in the good, old days...
Cordite took all kinds of shape or form. From chopped flake to spaghetti like strands to flat sheet depending on the application. It is tan or amber in color and and can be slightly translucent. It is a Nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine compound that burned very hot and became less stable as extremes in temperature were encountered. Combined with corrosive priming it was highly effective in washing out the bore on rifles of the day. Eley and Kynoch loaded hot weather loads for use in Africa and India as the regular loads had the unpleasant habit of failing to extract when the heat caused the pressures to rise and your bolt magazine, double rifle or large bore single shot became a club when rifle couldn't be opened. Usually when a large, unhappy critter was intent on ruining your day. In cartridges like the 300H&H it was cut to the length of the internal dimensions from base of case to base of bullet. It was hand weighed and loaded. Pictures can be found on the web showing examples of Cordite.
 

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Great info, sportclay! Just great!! Never knew any of that...
 
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