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Thread: 7mm dakota

  1. #1

    Default 7mm dakota

    What is the most economical way to get a 7mm dakota. I am interested in this round but do not like the prices of Dakota rifles. Could I potentially get a custom made rifle in that chamber for under 1000? Not that I cannot find a more economical round that will do the same thing and more but I was just curious.

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    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    I have a .330 Dakota that's just a Winchester M70 magnum that was rebarreled and tuned. I think any .300 or .338 Win Mag would be a good candidate for a rebarrel and some fine tuning.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elhewman View Post
    What is the most economical way to get a 7mm dakota. I am interested in this round but do not like the prices of Dakota rifles. Could I potentially get a custom made rifle in that chamber for under 1000? Not that I cannot find a more economical round that will do the same thing and more but I was just curious.
    The easiest and cheapest way to get into a 7mm Dakota is to modify an existing 7mm Remington Magnum. You should be able to get a 7mm RM rechambered and the bolt altered for under $200. Likewise, you should have no problem getting a rifle assembled for less than a 1000$ if that's your goal.

    I will mention that brass is neither common or inexpensive at more than 2$ apiece. A possible compromise would be to have the rifle rechambered for the Dakota and keep the bolt face unmodified. You could then form your brass from the Ultra Series and have an intermediate length 7mm Ultra Mag; your brass would cost about half as much, but the trade off would be a lot of work. Another option would be some kind of 7mm wildcat on the 375 Ruger for similar ballistics. Where's Murphy to weigh in on this?

    I considered the Dakota as I built a hyper velocity 7mm, but ultimately decided that the easiest thing to do was either use a 7mm Ultra or a 7mm STW and save the headache of finding and paying for the Dakota brass. The Dakota line is certainly exciting in that it provides a lot of external ballistics in a 3.35 length action, but what happens when the brass gets even more difficult to find than it is now?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    The easiest and cheapest way to get into a 7mm Dakota is to modify an existing 7mm Remington Magnum. You should be able to get a 7mm RM rechambered and the bolt altered for under $200. Likewise, you should have no problem getting a rifle assembled for less than a 1000$ if that's your goal.

    I will mention that brass is neither common or inexpensive at more than 2$ apiece. A possible compromise would be to have the rifle rechambered for the Dakota and keep the bolt face unmodified. You could then form your brass from the Ultra Series and have an intermediate length 7mm Ultra Mag; your brass would cost about half as much, but the trade off would be a lot of work. Another option would be some kind of 7mm wildcat on the 375 Ruger for similar ballistics. Where's Murphy to weigh in on this?

    I considered the Dakota as I built a hyper velocity 7mm, but ultimately decided that the easiest thing to do was either use a 7mm Ultra or a 7mm STW and save the headache of finding and paying for the Dakota brass. The Dakota line is certainly exciting in that it provides a lot of external ballistics in a 3.35 length action, but what happens when the brass gets even more difficult to find than it is now?
    Plus one...

    I've looked quite a bit at doing this with a Ruger M77 7 RM. The rim of the RM is .532 and the rin of the Dakota is .545. You may or may not need your bolt face opened up depending on the maunufacturere and individual bolt. In any case it would be a simlpe thing to do. The 300 and 338 WM have the same case as the 7 RM and the RUMs have a .534 rim which would work as well, so there are a lot of donor options.

    You can get the brass for $1.65 each if you order in lots of a 100 or more and IMO, it's a better way to go than forming Ultra brass because it is better quality than the REM brass, being made by Norma or Hornady, and the costs in powder, primers, throat wear, time and trouble, etc. Rem Ultra brass costs $1.00 ea, so I see very little savings in fire forming.

    The 7 Dakota lies evenly between the 7 RM and 7 RUM in performance and is basically the ballistic twin of the STW. I prefer it to the STW because it has a shorter, fatter case and no belt. An easier and cheaper option is the 7 RUM loaded down a little, but I like my cases full as possible with powder. One thing that intrigs me about the 7 Dakota is that RL 17 will likey do well in it and probably give performance very close to the 7 RUM with a good bit less powder and longer barrel life and the abiltiy to seat ullets to the lands and load them in the mag box.

    Another option is the 7-375 Ruger. It would be very close to the 7 Dakota in performance and brass is easy to get.

    I wonder what Murphy would say???

    Mark

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    Default Well I'll be dipped...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kay9Cop View Post
    I have a .330 Dakota that's just a Winchester M70 magnum that was rebarreled and tuned. I think any .300 or .338 Win Mag would be a good candidate for a rebarrel and some fine tuning.
    You have a 330 Dakota as well... The interior is blessed!


    And I believe Murphy would tell you anything can be done...then to call Ward at Dakota and ask him about the realities of this working. Ward will be honest...he isn't a salesman; he is whats left of the Don Allen knowledge.
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKArcher View Post
    And I believe Murphy would tell you anything can be done...then to call Ward at Dakota and ask him about the realities of this working. Ward will be honest...he isn't a salesman; he is whats left of the Don Allen knowledge.
    Yup.... I believe you are right...

  7. #7

    Default 7mm Dakota

    The fastest way to get a 7mm Dakota is to buy a 7mm WSM in the rifle of your choosing. They are both based on a shortened 404 case and both are proprietary rounds.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Several good points MR. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    I've looked quite a bit at doing this with a Ruger M77 7 RM. The rim of the RM is .532 and the rin of the Dakota is .545. You may or may not need your bolt face opened up depending on the maunufacturere and individual bolt. In any case it would be a simlpe thing to do. The 300 and 338 WM have the same case as the 7 RM and the RUMs have a .534 rim which would work as well, so there are a lot of donor options.
    You are right to suggest that all bolt faces may not need work, but most will and there may be other things to consider to make the Dakota feed properly, i.e. feed rails, magazine box, bolt stop.

    You can get the brass for $1.65 each if you order in lots of a 100 or more and IMO, it's a better way to go than forming Ultra brass because it is better quality than the REM brass, being made by Norma or Hornady, and the costs in powder, primers, throat wear, time and trouble, etc. Rem Ultra brass costs $1.00 ea, so I see very little savings in fire forming.
    I've not seen Dakota brass that cheap, but since I buy brass in bulk anyway that would indeed be a bargain. Availability is another issue altogether, with Dakota brass that is often a problem. I've recently bought RUM brass for less than $0.80 apiece and it's readily available. The reworking of RUM to Dakota should not require fireforming, but would certainly require neck reaming and annealing. As I mentioned it would be labor intensive. It's advantage would be available brass for the foreseeable future and I think the cost would be about half (not counting the time for your labor).

    The 7 Dakota lies evenly between the 7 RM and 7 RUM in performance and is basically the ballistic twin of the STW. I prefer it to the STW because it has a shorter, fatter case and no belt.
    The 7mm Dakota is very similar to the 7mm STW, but it is always a tad slower. There is certainly a push toward shorter, fatter cases sans belt, but in cases this big I've not seen a verifiable difference in accuracy. Among the big .30s I'll take the 300 Weatherby every time. It is a legend at the 1000 yard game (rifles under 17 lbs) 2.825" case and belt not withstanding. Personally, I think the STW makes the most sense. It fits in most actions easily, it is based on the H&H case so brass is widely available, brass is cheap and brass can be had in every level of quality. If you must have a bit more velocity, lengthen the barrel a couple of inches and 3400+ is on tap with a 160-168 grain bullet. The Dakota is neat and certainly a good idea for a 3.35 length action, but if you weigh performance against cost the STW wins hands down.

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    Default Thoughts...

    I am sure there are plenty of ways to get the same performance out of like cartridges that you would out of the 7mm Dakota cartridge...

    But you won't get quality of the Dakota with out having one.

    As those of you have often wondered what Murphy would say... there is a lot to be said when he designed his own caliber (416 Murphy) he had Dakota make it.
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    The fastest way to get a 7mm Dakota is to buy a 7mm WSM in the rifle of your choosing. They are both based on a shortened 404 case and both are proprietary rounds.
    You're on target brav01. However the difference in velocity is about 150-200 fps in favor of the larger case. While this may or may not be significant to some shooters, the WSM lacks the capacity of the Dakota designed case and most closely parallels the 7mm Remington Magnum in external ballistics.

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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    I have and reload for: 7 mag, 7 Dakota, 7 STW, and 7 RUM. There is not a lot of difference between the last three. The bigger the case, the better it will handle a heavier bullet. The "most economical" way to shoot a 7 Dakota is have a 7 mag rechambered to 7 Dakota. You will lose one round from the mag capacity and you will most likely have to have the bolt face opened up a bit - up to 0.012 inch depending on the starting measurement. The length of the 7 WSM is shorter than the 7 Dakota so I do not think if a 7 WSM in a short action were rechambered to 7 Dakota, that the 7 Dakota would work in the 7 WSM magazine. I have had several different rifles rechambered to 7 Dakota (Win Md 70 and ULA) and other than the changes mentioned above they have worked fine for me. There were plans to have Lapua supply all the Dakota brass but that has not come to fruition to date as far as I know - if it ever will with the recent reorganization. Both Jamison and Norma has recently supplied 7 Dakota brass but I do not know for sure who the current supplier is. My recommendation would be to just out right buy 7 Dakota brass if you want a rifle chambered in that round - the cost just goes with the territory as far as I am concerned. Good luck.

  12. #12

    Default YEP

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    You're on target brav01. However the difference in velocity is about 150-200 fps in favor of the larger case. While this may or may not be significant to some shooters, the WSM lacks the capacity of the Dakota designed case and most closely parallels the 7mm Remington Magnum in external ballistics.
    BUT, the 7mm WSM is an overbore cartridge and the case capacity of the 7mm Dakota is even larger. Many shooters report their 7mmWSM barrels have short lives 700-900 rds. The 7mm Dakota's life would be further reduced if that were the case.

    http://www.6mmbr.com/7mm284.html

    Good luck whichever gun/caliber you choose !
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    BUT, the 7mm WSM is an overbore cartridge and the case capacity of the 7mm Dakota is even larger. Many shooters report their 7mmWSM barrels have short lives 700-900 rds. The 7mm Dakota's life would be further reduced if that were the case.

    http://www.6mmbr.com/7mm284.html

    Good luck whichever gun/caliber you choose !
    These reports are no doubt true, but are not indicative of useful hunting accuracy. The obsession with barrel life is concerned with BR gilt edge accuracy. How many situations in the field can a shooter discern POI shifts in .025 increments at 100 yards? For some few shooters this may cause a problem in BR, but practically speaking all of these cartridges have a sporting life of several (2-5000) thousand rounds. Barrel life and accuracy in a hunting rifle for one of these cartridges is much more dependent upon initial barrel quality, gunsmithing work and the firing practices of the shooter than it is upon the particular cartridge.

    Personally, I do not worry about barrel life in a hunting/sporter rifle. I know of a 7mm RM (ballistic twin to the WSM) that has been fired 2000+ times and will shoot MOA at 100 yards. It is not a BR rifle, but it shoots as well now as it did 25 years ago eroded throat or not.

  14. #14

    Default True

    I believe that most people who would attempt to shoot for accuracy and kept quality records probably would choose a quality barrel.
    Again you are correct that a 7mm RM might still shoot accurate enough for field service after 2000 rounds; but the 7mm Dakota haveing a larger powder capacity than the 7mm RM would be far more errosive and barrel would suffer accordingly.
    Then again some people would never shoot 6 or 700 rounds in a lifetime either; So it becomes a moot point. Myself I like to shoot a lot and often.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  15. #15

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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    You are right to suggest that all bolt faces may not need work, but most will and there may be other things to consider to make the Dakota feed properly, i.e. feed rails, magazine box, bolt stop.
    I would think that a REM 700 (or any action) chambered for any RUM would work fine since the case diameters are almost identical, but maybe there's more to it than I realise? And just a guess here, but I think there's a fair chance the bolt face for a RUM would not have to be opened up although there is a .011 dif in rim diameter. There seems to be enough play with my RUM cases in the bolt face that I think a Dakota would fit just fine. I could be wrong.

    I've not seen Dakota brass that cheap, but since I buy brass in bulk anyway that would indeed be a bargain. Availability is another issue altogether, with Dakota brass that is often a problem. I've recently bought RUM brass for less than $0.80 apiece and it's readily available. The reworking of RUM to Dakota should not require fireforming, but would certainly require neck reaming and annealing. As I mentioned it would be labor intensive. It's advantage would be available brass for the foreseeable future and I think the cost would be about half (not counting the time for your labor).
    I actually called Dakota about their brass last week and that's where I got the price. For less than 100 lots, it's just over $2.00 ea. I have never ordered any brass from Dakota and I didn't ask the question but I think availablity would good. At least good enough for me to have brass by the time my rifle was chambered and fitted with a custom barrel. The brass would be a little better than Rem although I have heard some good things about the Rem Ultra brass. Mine seems to be doing well other than a few over pressured pieces. A 100 pieces should easily last the life of the barrel if not abused and more so if bushing sized. A 100 peices of Ultra brass would probably out last the barrel as well. All things considered, I think I would go with the Dakota brass, but that's just me. A tinkerer would probably enjoy preping the brass.... I probably would too for that matter.

    The 7mm Dakota is very similar to the 7mm STW, but it is always a tad slower.
    I'm not going to dispute this because I have very little info on it and no first or second experience. Dakota lists 3200 fps for a 160 bullet out of a 25" barrel and that seems to be confirmed on Reloader's nest. On the Nosler and hodgdon sites (which unfortunatelty do list the 7 Dakota) The top velocites for the STW are about 3150, and that's probably out of a 24" barrel. On the LRH forum, where both of these cartridges are not uncommon, the consensus seems to be that they are ballistic twins. Do you know the case capacities of each? I tried to google it up but couldn't find it for the Dakota. If the STW had 5% or more case capacity, i would agree there's a good chance it's going to be a little faster. That could be remedied by going to the 7-300 Dakota if velocity were an issue.

    There is certainly a push toward shorter, fatter cases sans belt, but in cases this big I've not seen a verifiable difference in accuracy. Among the big .30s I'll take the 300 Weatherby every time. It is a legend at the 1000 yard game
    I think the quality of components and craftsmanship of a rile are a lot more important to accuracy than the shape of the case. I do think there may be something to the short fat cases being a little more effiicient in burning powder and getting a better velocity, but I'm not totally sure on it. I have yet to hear of a 300 WM that can push a 180 bullet 3190 fps in a 24" barrel.

    Personally, I think the STW makes the most sense. It fits in most actions easily, it is based on the H&H case so brass is widely available, brass is cheap and brass can be had in every level of quality. If you must have a bit more velocity, lengthen the barrel a couple of inches and 3400+ is on tap with a 160-168 grain bullet. The Dakota is neat and certainly a good idea for a 3.35 length action, but if you weigh performance against cost the STW wins hands down.
    Good points. I think the quality of brass for the Dakota is very good, but it is costly. Depending on your action and chamber, it might be difficult to load bullets out to the lands and have them fit in the mag box with the STW. And.... I just do not like belted cartridges although I shot one for a number of years.

    Finally... a Dakota is... well... A Dakota

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    BUT, the 7mm WSM is an overbore cartridge and the case capacity of the 7mm Dakota is even larger. Many shooters report their 7mmWSM barrels have short lives 700-900 rds. The 7mm Dakota's life would be further reduced if that were the case.

    http://www.6mmbr.com/7mm284.html

    Good luck whichever gun/caliber you choose !
    All the 7 mags are overbore. Some are just more so than others and if you take care you can get a lot of years of shooting out of most. Especially if you have a 308 to shoot on the side

  17. #17
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    The case capacity for the 7 STW is slightly more than the 7 Dakota. The Barnes Reloading Manual (#3 I think - currently at work so I can't check) lists the grams of water each will hold with the 7 STW slightly exceeding the 7 Dakota. Another note, the quality of Dakota brass is not stellar - certainly serviceable but not on par with Lapua or Norma (although Norma has made some of the Dakota brass in the past). Their original brass turned out by Bell Extrusion Labs was excellent.

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    Confirmed today that Norma is the manufacturer for currently available Dakota 7mm and 330 brass, while Hornaday is supplying the 300, 375, and 404 brass.

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