The .284 Winchester

By Chuck Hawks

Winchester introduced the .284 in 1963. Their intention was to duplicate .270 Winchester ballistics in a cartridge short enough to function through Winchester's short action Model 88 lever and Model 100 semi-automatic rifles. The .284 was a commercial flop from the outset. Today it is almost obsolete, replaced in most hunter's affections by the later 7mm-08 Remington.

Oddly, the greatest interest in the .284 case has come from wildcatters, who have gleefully necked it up and down. Today, the most popular and useful .284-case based cartridge is not the original, but rather the 6.5mm-284 Norma. This former wildcat rules F-Class long range competition.

As I write this the only remaining Winchester factory load drives a 150 grain Power Point bullet at a MV of 2860 fps and ME of 2724 ft. lbs. from a 24" test barrel. At 200 yards the figures are 2344 fps and 1830 ft. lbs. The Winchester trajectory figures look like this: +2.1" at 100 yards, 0 at 200 yards, -3.4" at 250 yards, and -8.5" at 300 yards.

These ballistics make it clear that the .284 is still every bit as good as the .280 Remington with the same weight bullet. Of course the short, handy mountain rifles for which the .284 seems best suited seldom come with 24" barrels. As far as I know, aside from Winchester, no other major company has ever loaded factory ammunition for the .284.

According to the second edition of the Sierra Reloading Manual their sleek 140 grain boat-tail spitzer bullet can be driven to a MV of 2400 fps by 46.3 grains of IMR 4350 powder, and 2900 fps by 54.9 grains of IMR 4350. At a MV of 2900 fps this bullet has ME of 2614 ft. lbs. At 200 yards the figures are 2524 fps and 1981 ft. lbs. The trajectory of that load looks like this: +3" at 100 yards, +2.7" at 200 yards, +0.6" at 250 yards, -2.9" at 300 yards, and -8" at 350 yards. Clearly, with this bullet the .284 Winchester is a good 300 yard deer, antelope, sheep, and goat cartridge.

Note: The complete article about the .284 Winchester can be found in its entirety on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

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Copyright 2004, 2012 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.