The 7mm Dakota will not match the RUM for ballistics but it will match or slighly beat the 7mm STW.
ITs advantage is no belt and a short 2.550" case length so it will fit in standard length receivers such as the Ruger M77 and Win M70 standard action.
This give you true full length belted magnum performance in a standard length receiver.
The Hornady #5 manual has alot of data for the 7mm Dakota. THey are listing 3000 fps with a 175 class bullet so it would definately get this with a 180 gr Berger if that is what you were looking at. This was out of a 25" barrel. I would suspect you could drive the 180 gr pills to close to 3100 fps in a 26" barrel with upper end loads.
It a good round, dies are not terribly cheap but neither are 270 AM dies!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
Or for that matter 338 AM dies [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]!!!
One time investment though.
If your looking to build a light weight big game rifle, this round would be a great option. I would personally build it so that it would handle any bullet from the 140 gr Accubond to the 200 gr ULD RBBT.
Also, I happen to know someone with a very accurate reamer [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]!!
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
I also have have 7 Dakota (albeit in a center-grip Rem. XP-100).
My barrel is just hair short of 18 inches and I have only used 200 WC's with my accurate load running just over 2700 FPS (Lilja 1-7 twist) using Retumbo. I have never even used another bullet to date and don't plan to either. But the 162 AMax, 175 SMK and the 178 Carteruchio would also be bullets to use. I have also spoke with Dakota Arms about components and recieved the very same response as Kirby did. Kirby built my XP. Redding makes a shoulder bump body die for the 7mm Dakota and then I had Kirby ream out a comp set of Redding 7mm RM dies. This XP could embarrass a lot of rifles (I'm not talking about the rigs you LR guys use here) with it's accuracy/high BC bullet.
It will be my cow elk/muley buck rig for Colorado this year. I have never had such confidence at longer ranges as I do with this rig. If conditions are good and I don't pull a stupid it should shine well for LR specialty handgun.
How are you getting 2700fps with the big 200g out of a little 18" pipe? Im not calling you a liar by no means, just curious as to how thats possible. I've been wondering if my 7 mag would be able to stabilize them. If they were to shoot, anyone have a guess as to how fast a 24" 7 mag would push a 200g??? I'm thinking since your getting 2700, I should be able to at least get that or 2750fps. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]