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.280 Ross

This is a discussion on .280 Ross within the Up To .375 forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; .280 Ross The .280 Ross, also known as the .280 Nitro, .280 Rimless Nitro Express Ross (CIP) and .280 Rimless ...

  1. #1
    monish's Avatar
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    Default .280 Ross

    .280 Ross

    The .280 Ross, also known as the .280 Nitro, .280 Rimless Nitro Express Ross (CIP) and .280 Rimless cartridge, is an approximately 7mm bullet diameter rifle round developed in Canada by F.W. Jones as a consultant to Sir Charles Ross Bart and his Ross Rifle Company of Quebec, Canada for use as a Canadian military cartridge as a replacement for the .303 British, and in a civilianised and sporterised version of his controversial Mark II and Mk III Ross rifle, and first commercially produced by Eley Brothers of London, England, in late 1907.

    The .280 Ross was the first practical cartridge to reach the edge of 3,000 ft/s (910 m/s). Sir Charles Ross did many attempts while in the process of creating the "perfect cartridge", one of them leading to the creation of the .28-1906 in November 1906.
    Ross also tried to convince the British War Department to adopt the .280 Ross (and his rifle) as the new service cartridge, but World War I came along and broke his hope.

    The .280 also paved the way for Sir Charles' newly designed bullets such "Full Metal Patch" and "Metal Covered Hollow Point". The Ross Mk III rifle was especially developed to handle the .280. The .280 (and the Ross Rifle) won the famous Bisley international matches in 1908, 1912 and 1913 (King's Prize) plus many other prizes in different competitions on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Firing a 140-grain (9.1 g) bullet at a muzzle velocity of 2,900 ft/s (880 m/s), the new cartridge qualified for the contemporary designation "magnum". It was used as a military sniper's cartridge, in addition to achieving some celebrity as an African plains game cartridge in the years immediately following the First World War. However the large capacity case was capable of moving the bullets available at that time faster than would be desirable for reliable expansion, causing them to fragment rather than penetrate properly.

    Ballistically, the .280 Ross cartridge's performance was broadly comparable to that of the more modern .280 Remington / 7mm Express Remington. It also works well on most North American game when used with an appropriate bullet.

    As a commercially manufactured item this cartridge has been obsolete for some years, because of the inappropriate bullets often used in it originally, as well as problems associated with the Ross rifle that it was normally chambered in. Handloaders continue to load successfully for it, by removing the belt from 7mm Remington Magnum or .300 Holland & Holland before resizing or by using swaged and necked-down .300 Remington Ultra Magnum cases and bullets more suitable for its high velocity. The German round .280 Halger Magnum is based on the .280 Ross case.

    Type rifle
    • Place of origin: Canada
    • Service history: Canada
    • Production history: Designer: F.W. Jones
    • Designed: 1906
    • Manufacturer: Ross Rifle Company
    • Designed: 1906
    • Variants: 280 Flanged (280 Lancaster)

    • Case type: Semi-rimmed, bottleneck
    • Bullet diameter: .287 in (7.3 mm)
    • Neck diameter: .317 in (8.1 mm)
    • Shoulder diameter: .404 in (10.3 mm)
    • Base diameter: .534 in (13.6 mm)
    • Rim diameter: .556 in (14.1 mm)
    • Case length: 2.59 in (66 mm)
    • Overall length: 3.50 in (89 mm)
    • Primer type: Berdan #59
    • Overall length: 3.50 in (89 mm)
    • Maximum pressure: 47,200 psi (325 MPa)

    Ballistic performance
    Bullet weight/type - Velocity - Energy
    • 140 gr (9.1 g) SP - 2,900 ft/s (880 m/s) - 2,620 ft•lbf (3,550 J)
    • 150 gr (9.7 g) SP - 2,800 ft/s (850 m/s) - 2,610 ft•lbf (3,540 J)
    • 160 gr (10 g) SP - 2,700 ft/s (820 m/s) - 2,600 ft•lbf (3,500 J)
    • 180 gr (12 g) SP - 2,550 ft/s (780 m/s) - 2,600 ft•lbf (3,500 J)

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    Last edited by monish; 09-23-2010 at 10:18 PM. Reason: spellings

  2. #2
    Double D's Avatar
    Double D is offline AH Senior Member
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    Default Thanks for the post Monish!

    Being Canadian I have always had a intrest in the Ross rifle and cartridge. I once even drove 300 miles just to look at one that was for sale in a small gun shop in Alberta. I didnt buy it because there was no brass and the bullets were hard or impossible to get. I always wish I had bought the darn thing. From what I understand it realy was good cartridge but finaly got a bad rap because someone thought he could shoot a lion with it. Go figure? Now that I have more time on my hands it would be a good project to work on.

  3. #3
    monish's Avatar
    monish is offline AH Elite
    Sep 2009

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    Hi Double D,

    Yes it had been a very versatile caliber & had been very popular in India during the Princely & British rule for hunting Black bucks , Indian Gazelle & other game species .
    I had once owned a beautiful .280 Nitro Express DBBL hammered rifle chambered for flanged cartridge, in 23 inch barrels with battle sights leafs from 100 to 500 yards , by J.W. Tolley which I bought from one erstwhile Ruling Chiefs in Central India, but had to part with it due to non availability of ammo. Had fired few rounds , it must have been a killer caliber at long ranges.
    Do let us know when you put your hands on some rifle chambered for this old trusty caliber.



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