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Len Backus- Please tell us about the 7mm Dakota

 
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  #1  
Old 03-01-2005, 12:10 PM
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Len Backus- Please tell us about the 7mm Dakota

Hello Len,

From what I've read, you have 1-3 rifles set up in 7mm Dakota.

Please tell us a little about your cartridge choice, brass quality and real world velocities (compared to 7mmSTW or RUM).

Finally, why the 7mm Dakota vs. the .300 Dakota?

I also read that it is possible to form Dakota brass from Ultra mag. cases by using a redding case forming die in .404J. Is this doable?

Big Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2005, 06:43 AM
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Re: Len Backus- Please tell us about the 7mm Dakota

CL

I've been a 7 Dakota user for about 3 years or so. I would consider it to be a ballistic twin of the 7 STW since the case capacity is within 1 grain. I got started on it when I bought an in-stock custom rifle. I was asking around for an available rifle in 7 STW and got steared toward a great rifle in 7 Dakota.

I buy the Dakota brass through Midway...around $26 for 20 pieces if I remember. I don't shoot brass all that long but I think you could get around 20 firings if you weren't pushing pressures too high. Initial case neck runout is around 6 or 7. I once challenged Don Allen about this and he took some of my high-runout returned brass and fired a .3 something group with it.

I bought 200 pieces from someone on LRH.com a couple months back and the runout was around 2. So maybe I just got 6 or 7 unlucky lots over the 3 years?? Anyway, the initial runout doesn't matter after the first firing. The cases also seem to be too short for saami specs. They always stretch in base to shoulder length about 15 or 20 thousandths at first...and this is with rifles chambered with reamers from 3 different sources.

With a 176 grain Cauterucio (.750 bc) and 76 grains of H1000 I get between 3100 and 3150 with a 26 inch barrel. It varies a little depending on the barrel. These are fairly hot loads. Minor casehead marks and an occasional sticky extraction.

I never considered the .308 version because I have always been a proponent of using the best bullet BC and the .284 is quite superior to the .308 given the same bullet weight. And of course, you can drive a given weight .284 bullet faster than with a .308 bullet.

Don't know about the case forming question.
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Old 03-02-2005, 11:05 AM
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Re: Len Backus- Please tell us about the 7mm Dakota

If I may bud in, you can form Dakota brass from RUM. Base dimensions are different but not a big deal. Just big work.

I am looking into a similar project and going to stick with the STW because brass is dirt cheap and I still have some from my Wby days.

Also, my barrel will be long (28 to 32"). Or else, there isn't that big a gain over the 7RM with 160 class bullets. Get's tough buying these boutique bullets in Canada. Hornady stuff is readily available as is Wildcat bullets.

Richard may be making some heavy 7mm. Don't know for sure.

Ballistically, the 6.5 and 7mm are way better then the 30 or 338 cal until you get into their heaviest bullets. Recoil is substantially higher too.

I use the 300RUM and 338 Mystic simply because I want a really big bullet arriving at the LR game. Otherwise, I shoot my 6.5 and get the same ballistics. The 7mm simply fills the missing calibre gap in my gun chest.

Jerry
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:59 PM
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Re: Len Backus- Please tell us about the 7mm Dakota

And of course, you can drive a given weight .284 bullet faster than with a .308 bullet.

Len,

Are you saying a 180 gr bullet out of a 7mm can be driven as fast as a 180 gr bullet from a 30 cal at the same pressure? I do realize the BC of 30 cal in the same weight bullet will be lower than the 7mm. Same case, same powder, a .338 will drive a 180gr faster than a 30 cal due to friction and other factors which make it more efficient.

I can get 3250-3300 with a 180 in the 26" bbl 300 Ultra, not sure what the 7 Ultra would.
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Old 03-02-2005, 06:39 PM
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Re: Len Backus- Please tell us about the 7mm Dakota

Brent, my brain is still recovering from my trip and that was a totally wrong statement by me. I know better. Thanks for correcting me.
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  #6  
Old 03-03-2005, 05:25 AM
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Re: Len Backus- Please tell us about the 7mm Dakota

Seriously, I thought you were onto something, Len, and was really interested in what you were seeing with your 7's, even though it did go against conventional wisdom so to speak. Now I'm friggin disappointed! I'm still doin a 176 throated 7 Ultra, dammit! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-03-2005, 11:11 AM
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Re: Len Backus- Please tell us about the 7mm Dakota

Brent,

I get a comfortable 3,360fps with a 176C from my 30" barrelled 7mmRUM. 5010 pulldown works best, but Retumbo is OK.
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