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Are post-Remington Dakotas as good as pre?

 
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  #1  
Old 09-22-2013, 11:07 PM
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Are post-Remington Dakotas as good as pre?

In the 1990s, Dakota Arms was "family owned" and the rifles acquired a good reputation. The holding company that owns Remington bought Dakota in 2009. Does this mean the bean counters are going to squeeze quality and increase volume? Are the older Dakotas going to be better than those post-Remington?

I am really disappointed with the accuracy I'm getting from my year-old Weatherby Accumark (300 Win Mag) and am looking at Dakota as a step up in a hunting rifle...
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:45 PM
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Re: Are post-Remington Dakotas as good as pre?

Have you tried bedding the recoil lug and the action before giving up on it?

My .257 Wby Accumark only shoots 1/2-3/4 MOA @ 100 yards depending on what mood it's in that day...I am going to be bedding the action and lug soon to see if that helps. I've read alot of guys having good luck after bedding just the lug, but I will be bedding both just to cover all bases.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:29 AM
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Re: Are post-Remington Dakotas as good as pre?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRHChinook View Post
In the 1990s, Dakota Arms was "family owned" and the rifles acquired a good reputation. The holding company that owns Remington bought Dakota in 2009. Does this mean the bean counters are going to squeeze quality and increase volume? Are the older Dakotas going to be better than those post-Remington?

I am really disappointed with the accuracy I'm getting from my year-old Weatherby Accumark (300 Win Mag) and am looking at Dakota as a step up in a hunting rifle...
I can't really speak to pre and post Cerberus Dakota quality. Dakotas are more of a high end fit and finish type rifle vs a precision shooting rifle. They offer no accuracy guarantee that I am aware of. Most of their customers are look for a high end big game or safari type rifle and not a precision long range type rifle.

For the price, I would be looking at a Cooper which is a relatively small manufacturer of fine precision rifles. The gun makers there do put a premium on quality including fit anf finish as well as accuracy. They guarantee their rifles to shoot 1/2" or better @ 100 yds in calibers 308 and less and pack a factory fired target with each rifle.

I personally have little faith and trust in big corporate business mentality. The bottom line is the bottom line for them and I just don't see the pride of craftsmanship being encouraged and fostered in that type of setting.

If you want real quality and precision go to Kirby Allen or Shawn Carlock or a number of other fine smiths who interact right here in these forums. If you're looking for all the bells and whistles, look at a Cooper. You can customize your own rifle.

As far as Weatherbys go, they are a bigger outfit but seem to put a little more pride in their rifles than the other big company gun makers. I would wager that if you randomly took 5 300 WM Vanguards off the shelf priced at about $500 and took 5 300 WM Accumarks priced at almost $2000, and test fired them all, you would see very little difference in accuracy and on average in the sub MOA range. However, they are mass produced rifles and as such, quality may suffer somewhat. Lemons will slip through.

SAKO has a vary good rep for quality but I can tell you for certain that they let some lemons out of the factory. I have one that shoots 1 1/2 - 3 MOA and trying to deal with Beretta customer service has been a real nightmare for me. Never again. I will never buy another mass produced high dollar rifle from a big corporate manufacturer again.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:43 AM
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Re: Are post-Remington Dakotas as good as pre?

Quote:
Have you tried bedding the recoil lug and the action before giving up on it?
I understood Accumarks were free floated with an aluminum bedding plate. 1) Would you bed the barrel and eliminate the free-float? 2) How can fiberglass bedding help if there's already an aluminum bedding plate?

To be honest, I haven't even taken the action out of the stock to look. I am going to get into the innerds of my Accumark shortly as I've ordered a replacement trigger spring. But that's the gist for another thread...

Another question: I know there are a number of sponsors to this forum that make custom rifles. But only Long Range Rifles LLC has a direct link in the header. How does this work? And LRR was not one of the makers suggested by Mark. Why?

Last edited by LRHChinook; 09-23-2013 at 10:00 AM. Reason: additional question
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:49 AM
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Re: Are post-Remington Dakotas as good as pre?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRHChinook View Post
I understood Accumarks were free floated with an aluminum bedding plate. 1) Would you bed the barrel and eliminate the free-float? 2) How can fiberglass bedding help if there's already an aluminum bedding plate?

To be honest, I haven't even taken the action out of the stock to look. I am going to get into the innerds of my Accumark shortly as I've ordered a replacement trigger spring. But that's the gist for another thread...

Another question: I know there are a number of sponsors to this forum that make custom rifles. But only Long Range Rifles LLC has a direct link in the header. How does this work? And LRR was not one of the makers suggested by Mark. Why?
Long Range Rifles LLC is owned by Len Backus who also owns the LRH site. They make fine rifles as well. I didn't mention all the smiths and companies by name as it would take some typing. If you check out the sponsor's list you'll see more.

Even an aluminum bedded action can benefit from a skim bed job to better bed the action. It may or may not help your rifle. The most common configuration is to bed the action and the first inch or so of the barrel to where it starts to taper and free float the rest of the barrel. What accuracy are you getting?
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:39 AM
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Re: Are post-Remington Dakotas as good as pre?

Quote:
What accuracy are you getting?
I'll try to summarize. I very carefully reload and have tried both Sierra Pro Hunter 180 and Berger VLD 168 and 185. The reason for only trying 2 bullet types is I also have a Weatherby V .257 WM and have tried just about every bullet made in that. Both my Weatherby's have their characteristically long throats and seem to like the same bullets so I'm basing my .300 bullets on the results of my .257. Anyway, there are so many combination of bullet/powder that it's so hard to try them all. Also, the Accumark ALWAYS shoots best with a max powder charge; I have tested this many times.

For the Accumark, the best I got with the Pro Hunter was 1.6 moa. I have done most of my testing with the Berger 185 (best with the Berger 168 was 1.5 moa but the variation with that bullet was large). For the 185, I can usually get 1.2 moa but again, this has been as large is 2.5 moa.

All my bench rest shooting is done slowly with at least 3 minutes between shots and 30 minute breaks every 20 rounds. The barrel does get hot but I'm thinking the free-float should help that.

Optics are Swarovski...
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  #7  
Old 09-23-2013, 11:52 AM
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Re: Are post-Remington Dakotas as good as pre?

Your problem could be a number of things. Recently, Kirby Allen commented in a thread that the multiple lugs of the Mark V actions can be problematic in that is almost impossible to get good contact on all of them. He said in his experience about 1 in 10 would not shoot less than 1 MOA because of this. You might also have a bad barrel which is probably the problem with my SAKO. Or a bedding job might cure it. That's where I would start. It could turn into a money pit trying to fix it and if it is the lugs, you'll never get it to shoot. Have you contacted Weatherby?
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