Understanding 28 Nosler: The Ultimate Long-Range Cartridge


Hello, fellow shooting enthusiasts! Today at KIR Ammo, we’re diving deep into the world of the 28 Nosler, a cartridge that has been making waves for its long-range capabilities. Whether you’re a hunter, sport shooter, or just a fan of precision shooting, the 28 Nosler offers something for everyone. So, why has this round caught the attention of the shooting community? Read on to discover the incredible features, history, and performance of this modern cartridge.

Why Choose the 28 Nosler

  1. Long-Range Hunting: One of the most common applications for the 28 Nosler is big game hunting at extended ranges. The cartridge’s flat trajectory and high energy make it a favorite for hunting elk, mule deer, and other large game.
  2. Precision Shooting: The cartridge’s impressive ballistics also make it a popular choice in precision shooting competitions. Its high velocity, flat trajectory, and low wind drift are significant advantages in this setting.
  3. Tactical Applications: While not as commonly used for tactical scenarios, the 28 Nosler’s long-range capabilities have attracted interest in military and law enforcement communities for potential long-range sniper applications.
  4. Sport Shooting: Due to its remarkable long-range capabilities, the 28 Nosler is also finding its way into more casual sport shooting, especially those events focused on long-range targets.
  5. Handloading: The 28 Nosler has become popular among handloaders, who appreciate the cartridge’s capacity for customization, given its range of compatible bullet weights and styles.
  6. Varmint Hunting: Though considered overkill by some, the 28 Nosler’s speed and accuracy can also make it a choice for varmint hunting, especially when lesser cartridges might not reach the required distances.

In summary, the 28 Nosler is most renowned for its capabilities in long-range hunting and precision shooting but is versatile enough for other specialized applications as well.

History of 28 Nosler

The 28 Nosler was born out of a desire to push the limits of long-range shooting. Introduced by Nosler Inc. in 2015, this cartridge was designed to optimize velocity, accuracy, and energy efficiency. Named after its .284-inch diameter bullet, the 28 Nosler quickly gained traction as a potent round, effective for both hunting and precision shooting. Over the years, it has built a reputation as a reliable and versatile option for those who require performance at extended distances.

The 28 Nosler was predicated by the 26 Nosler, which was recognized as a success by shooters as it was sometimes called the “World’s Most Powerful 6.5mm commercial cartridge”. Like the 26 Nosler, the 28 Nosler utilizes a modified 404 Jeffery casing, which has been altered and reduced to fit a standard 30-06 action length. A 1:9 twist rate was selected for the rifling, designed to optimize the performance of long, high ballistic coefficient bullets, such as their 175-grain AccuBond Long Range. This design allows for impressive muzzle speeds exceeding 3,100 feet per second when using heavy, aerodynamic projectiles. Additionally, the cartridge can propel lighter 140-grain, 150-grain, and 160-grain bullets at speeds around 200-300 feet per second faster than the older 7mm Remington Magnum.

What Makes 28 Nosler Unique?

So, what sets the 28 Nosler apart in a world teeming with various cartridges designed for long-range shooting and hunting? Well, there are several factors that make this cartridge a standout option:

  1. Efficiency: One of the most striking features of the 28 Nosler is its efficiency. This round delivers a high level of energy on target, with less wind drift and drop compared to many other rounds in its class. It’s optimized to provide a flat trajectory, which is a huge advantage for long-range shooters.
  2. High Velocity: The 28 Nosler is renowned for its high muzzle velocity. With the right load, this cartridge can easily achieve velocities over 3,000 feet per second, making it an ideal round for those who crave speed in their shooting.
  3. Cartridge Design: The 28 Nosler utilizes a beltless, rebated-rim centerfire bottleneck design, providing superior case alignment. This design also allows for greater powder capacity, contributing to the cartridge’s high velocity and long-range performance.
  4. Versatility: While the 28 Nosler was initially designed with long-range hunting in mind, its features have made it popular in other shooting sports as well. It has proven itself in competitions and is even being considered for tactical scenarios by some experts.
  5. Availability: Although it’s a specialized cartridge, the 28 Nosler has seen increasing production, making it more readily available for consumers. Here at KIR Ammo, we take pride in offering a variety of 28 Nosler options to meet the diverse needs of our shooting community.
  6. Optimized for Modern Rifles: The 28 Nosler is designed to be compatible with modern, long-action rifles. This makes it a plug-and-play option for many shooters, as it doesn’t require specialized equipment or modifications.
  7. Bullet Choices: With a .284-inch diameter, the 28 Nosler offers a broad range of bullet weight options, ranging from 120 to 195 grains. This makes it a versatile choice for everything from varmint shooting to taking down big game.
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In a nutshell, the 28 Nosler’s unique blend of efficiency, speed, and versatility make it a go-to choice for serious long-range enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to make a precise shot at a distant target or bring down that elusive big game, the 28 Nosler has the credentials to deliver.

Ballistic Capabilities of 28 Nosler:

If you’re interested in the numbers—those juicy specs that really allow a cartridge to shine—then you’re going to love this section. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of what the 28 Nosler can do ballistically:

  1. Muzzle Velocity: One of the hallmarks of the 28 Nosler is its impressive muzzle velocity. Depending on the bullet weight and powder charge, this cartridge can achieve muzzle velocities upwards of 3,000 to 3,200 feet per second. This high speed contributes to a flatter trajectory and decreased time-to-target, critical factors in long-range shooting.
  2. Energy: The 28 Nosler packs a serious punch. With energy outputs that can exceed 4,000 foot-pounds at the muzzle, it’s clear that this cartridge has the muscle to bring down big game effectively. This high energy also ensures better penetration and a more ethical kill when hunting.
  3. Trajectory: What makes a cartridge truly exceptional for long-range shooting is its trajectory, and the 28 Nosler doesn’t disappoint. Known for its flat trajectory, the 28 Nosler minimizes bullet drop over distance, making it easier to hit your target without having to adjust your aim excessively. This is a major feature of this cartridge.
  4. Wind Drift: The bane of any long-range shooter is wind drift. But worry not; the 28 Nosler’s high ballistic coefficient and velocity help to minimize wind drift, giving you a more predictable and accurate shot in various weather conditions.
  5. Effective Range: While it’s hard to pin down a single “effective range” due to variables like bullet choice and environmental conditions, many shooters have found the 28 Nosler effective beyond 800 yards, and some even beyond 1,000 yards. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone who is looking to stretch the limits of their long-range shooting capabilities.
  6. Recoil: One might think that a cartridge with such high velocity and energy would come with punishing recoil. However, many shooters report that the 28 Nosler offers a manageable recoil, especially when compared to other long-range options like the .338 Lapua. This makes it easier to maintain accuracy during rapid or extended shooting sessions.

To sum it up, the 28 Nosler’s ballistic profile offers a compelling mix of speed, power, and accuracy. It’s a cartridge designed to meet the rigorous demands of long-range shooting, all while providing the versatility to excel in a variety of applications.

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28 Nosler vs. Other Long-Range Cartridges

If you’re a seasoned shooter, chances are you’ve experimented with or at least heard of other long-range cartridges like the 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 Winchester Magnum, or .338 Lapua Magnum. So, how does the 28 Nosler stack up against these renowned rounds? Let’s break it down:

  1. 28 Nosler vs. 6.5 Creedmoor: The 6.5 Creedmoor is often praised for its long-range accuracy and moderate recoil. However, when it comes to raw speed and energy, the 28 Nosler has a definite edge. While the 6.5 Creedmoor may offer slightly less recoil and is generally more economical, the 28 Nosler provides superior energy and a flatter trajectory, making it a preferred choice for big-game hunting and extreme long-range shooting.
  2. 28 Nosler vs. .300 Winchester Magnum: The .300 Win Mag is a time-tested cartridge famous for its power and range. It offers high energy but typically at the cost of heavier recoil. The 28 Nosler gives you similar or even superior ballistic performance, with generally less felt recoil, making it an excellent alternative for those who desire power without the punch. The 300 Win Mag does often provide a heavier bullet than the 28 Nosler. Other differences are Nosler has a slightly larger capacity and can hold more powder than the Win Mag and the Nosler is also generally loaded to a slightly larger pressure.
  3. 28 Nosler vs. .338 Lapua Magnum: The .338 Lapua Magnum is renowned for its incredible long-range capabilities and is often used in military sniping scenarios. While the 28 Nosler may not match the extreme ranges and energy of the .338 Lapua, it comes close in many ballistic aspects and does so with significantly less recoil and lower ammunition cost.
  4. Availability and Cost: The 28 Nosler ammunition is generally more expensive than rounds like the 6.5 Creedmoor but less costly than specialized cartridges like the .338 Lapua Magnum. Its growing popularity means it’s becoming more readily available, which could lead to more competitive pricing in the future. But, as of 2024 this cartridge is fairly expensive — though some might argue the extra cost is worth the performance.
  5. Rifle Compatibility: Most long-range cartridges require specific rifle configurations or even custom builds. The 28 Nosler, designed to fit standard long-action rifles, provides an easier entry point for shooters looking to get into long-range shooting without heavily modifying their existing setups.
  6. Bullet Selection: The .284-inch diameter of the 28 Nosler offers a wide range of bullet weights and styles. This makes it incredibly versatile and customizable, allowing you to fine-tune your load for specific shooting scenarios, something that may be limited with other specialized long-range cartridges.

In summary, the 28 Nosler holds its own impressively against other popular long-range cartridges. It offers a unique blend of velocity, energy, and accuracy, all while providing a more manageable recoil and broader bullet selection. If you’re looking to up your long-range game, the 28 Nosler is a strong contender that should not be overlooked.

28 Nosler Frequently Asked Questions:

The 28 Nosler has sparked a lot of conversations, and we’ve seen many questions arise within our community of shooting enthusiasts. Here, we address some of the most frequently asked questions to provide you with the most accurate and comprehensive information about this exceptional cartridge.

  1. What is a 28 Nosler equivalent to? The 28 Nosler can be considered roughly equivalent to cartridges like the .300 Winchester Magnum in terms of range and energy but with generally less felt recoil.
  2. What is a 28 Nosler good for? The 28 Nosler excels in long-range shooting applications, including big game hunting, precision shooting competitions, and potentially even tactical scenarios.
  3. Why is 28 Nosler so expensive? The 28 Nosler tends to be on the pricier side due to its specialized ballistic features, quality of materials, and production costs, which often include premium powder and bullets. There is also a general shortage of this ammunition, which keeps the prices high.
  4. Is 28 Nosler too much for deer? While it certainly packs a punch, the 28 Nosler can be used for deer hunting if you choose an appropriate bullet weight and style to minimize over-penetration and meat damage.
  5. How bad does a 28 Nosler kick? Despite its high performance, the 28 Nosler is reported to have a manageable recoil, especially when compared to other high-power, long-range cartridges like the .338 Lapua Magnum.
  6. How far does a 28 Nosler drop at 500 yards? Bullet drop at 500 yards will depend on various factors like bullet weight, muzzle velocity, and atmospheric conditions. However, the 28 Nosler is known for its flat trajectory, and with the right load, bullet drop can be less than 40 inches at that distance.
  7. Why is 28 Nosler so hard to find? The 28 Nosler’s specialized nature and growing popularity can sometimes lead to high demand and low supply, making it occasionally difficult to find and raising the average price.
  8. What is the difference between 7mm 300 Win Mag and 28 Nosler? While both cartridges offer excellent long-range capabilities, the 28 Nosler tends to have a higher velocity and flatter trajectory compared to the 7mm 300 Win Mag. Recoil and cost can also be differentiating factors.
  9. How long does a barrel last on a 28 Nosler? Barrel life can vary but expect around 1,000 to 1,500 rounds for a 28 Nosler barrel under typical conditions.
  10. Is 28 Nosler good for bear? Yes, the 28 Nosler is suitable for bear hunting, especially when loaded with heavy, controlled-expansion bullets designed for penetrating thick hide and muscle.
  11. Is a 28 Nosler considered a Magnum? While the 28 Nosler offers magnum-like performance, it technically isn’t designated as a magnum cartridge. It doesn’t use a belted case, which is commonly associated with magnum cartridges.
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We hope this FAQ section has cleared up any questions you might have about the 28 Nosler. This cartridge has proven to be a remarkable option for a wide range of shooting applications, offering an excellent blend of power, accuracy, and range. Stay tuned for the concluding thoughts on why the 28 Nosler is a strong contender in the world of long-range cartridges.

There’s a lot to admire about the 28 Nosler. From its origins as a specialized long-range cartridge to its impressive ballistic capabilities, it’s no wonder this round has garnered such attention and praise. Whether you’re an avid hunter looking to take down big game at extended distances, a sport shooter aiming to push the boundaries of your skills, or someone simply fascinated by the science of ballistics, the 28 Nosler offers a compelling package of power, precision, and versatility. As we’ve explored today, it holds its own impressively against other long-range cartridges, and it certainly deserves a spot in any serious shooter’s arsenal. So, if you’re ready to elevate your long-range shooting experience, it might be time to give the 28 Nosler a shot—literally.

Thank you for joining us on this deep dive into the 28 Nosler. We hope you found this article informative and useful. As always, feel free to reach out to us at KIR Ammo for any of your ammunition needs, including a selection of high-quality 28 Nosler rounds. Until next time, happy shooting!