Near the end of 2013, Nosler released the 26 Nosler cartridge, which they called the “world’s most powerful 6.5mm commercial cartridge.”
There have been other 6.5mm cartridges that can compete with Nosler’s 26, but this one is notable because it set the standard for a series of cartridges that have become popular among shooters and hunters.
The 28 Nosler— MightJust Be The Best Of The Nosler Lineup
The Nosler 27 and 33 are both new, but the Nosler 28, which is currently in second place, may be the best of the bunch. Almost every new rifle cartridge will be made in both a.30-caliber and a 7mm version. Both have a lot of fans, and their bore diameters are among the most popular for hunting big game.
The 7mm bullet range is very useful for everything from small animals like deer and pronghorn to bigger ones like moose, elk, and bears. The 7mm cartridges are versatile and common.
They can use bullets with weights from 100 to 175 grains (or even more), and the best bullets for long-range shooting of big animals are those with a high Ballistic Coefficient (BC).
The Structure Of 28 Nosler
The Nosler cartridge family is based on the time-tested.404 Jeffery case, which has been shortened to.30-06 length and blown out to increase capacity. The Dakota brand of cartridges used a similar idea, but for some reason, they were never used by most people.
The length of the case for the first two Nosler cartridges is 2.59 inches. This makes them a little longer than the.30-06 Springfield but the same length overall, at 3.34 inches.
The Nosler cases have a 35-degree shoulder for headspacing and are made the same way as the.404 Jeffery, which is without a rim. However, the Nosler cases are bigger, which makes the shoulder act like a rebated rim.
Even though Nosler’s 0.276-inch neck length is shorter than the ideal length of one caliber, it still has enough tension to hold the bullets in place.
Because the Nosler 28 was made to work with a 1:9-inch twist rate, it has no trouble firing 175-grain bullets with the highest BC. Nosler’s AccuBond Long Range has a G1 BC of 0.648 and a jacket that is chemically bonded to the lead core.
This makes it resistant to the high impact speeds of magnum cartridges at close range while still giving good expansion at lower speeds and farther distances.
It’s perfect for the 28 Nosler, whose large case can move the bullet at 3125 fps with Nosler’s factory load and even faster with handloads.
If you use a 200-yard zero and print an inch high at 100 yards, you’ll need to hold 5.5 inches high at 300 yards and 15.9 inches high at 400 yards. At 600 yards, you’ll need just under 54 inches of elevation to hit the target, which is the same as the holdover at 500 yards (31.7 inches).
At the muzzle, the 28 Nosler will have just under 3,800 ft.-lbs. of energy. However, at 600 yards, that slim ABLR will still have almost 2,000 ft.-lbs. of energy. The 28 Nosler has a lot of muzzle energy, but the recoil isn’t so bad that it’s hard to handle, which gives any hunter a lot of confidence.
Nosler makes factory ammunition. They make the 175-grain ABLR, the 160-grain Partition and AccuBond, the 168-grain hollowpoint boat tail, and the 185-grain RDF hollowpoint boat tail for their target market.
But factory ammunition from Hornady, Federal, and Browning is also available, which shows how durable and popular the cartridge is.
Hornady uses the 162-grain ELD-X bullet in their Long Range Pro (LRP) brand of ammunition, Federal uses the excellent 155-grain Terminal Ascent bullet, and Browning, in an interesting choice, uses the 160-grain Sierra Tipped MatchKing bullet. Even though it’s a target bullet, it will be a great way to test how well your gun hits its target.
I highly recommend Nosler’s excellent component brass for handloaders. It’s one of the few types that works well right out of the box for me.
To light those powder loads, you’ll need a big rifle magnum primer. My favorite is the Federal Gold Medal Match GM215M. Some of the powders that burn slowly are IMR 7828, IMR 7977, Reloder 25, 26, and 33, and Hodgdon’s Retumbo.
In recent years, the belted magnum case has become less popular as designers look for other options that don’t cause the cartridge to expand.
If you agree with this, you might be interested in the 28 Nosler, which is in the same caliber group as the 7mm STW but doesn’t need a belt.
Can we soon expect the magnum market to be dominated by Nosler? We’ll have to wait and see if they stay, but I don’t think so.