Are post-Remington Dakotas as good as pre?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by LRHChinook, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. LRHChinook

    LRHChinook Member

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    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...
     
  2. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

  3. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  4. LRHChinook

    LRHChinook Member

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    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: Sep 23, 2013
  5. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  6. LRHChinook

    LRHChinook Member

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    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...
     
  7. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  8. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    The barrel shohld be free floated, the recoil lug should be bedded, and the action should be skim bedded. That's how precision rifles work, regardless of aluminum bed blocks of not. The aluminum helps, and makes them very strong and rigid...But it's not always a drop-in and go situation. And I'm seeing more and more Accumarks needing the lugs and actions bedded, which leads me to believe this could be a persistant factory issue.
     
  9. LRHChinook

    LRHChinook Member

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    Yes. They asked if I'd confirmed the problem using their premium ammunition ($$$). I had not.

    Following that, I did find some Weatherby .257 ammo at Cabelas and bought 2 boxes. Remember, my .257 does shoot sub-moa using my hand loads. But with the Weatherby ammo, it only shot 3.3 moa. OK, I shot 6 shots and 4 of them were sub-moa but two were way out and it was not the last two (#1 and #6 were outside the group). So much for Weatherby "premium" ammo... I have 34 rounds left to give to someone :)

    I guess if I want to pursue this with Weatherby, I'll have to spring for some Weatherby ammo in 300 Win Mag (I have not seen that lately...) and even if I do that and confirm there's a problem, I'm not optimistic at getting a resolution.
     
  10. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Well, anything you do to "modify" the rifle will undoubtedly void any warrantee. So if you think there is any hope of getting resolution with Weatherby, the best thing to do is probably by the premium Weatherby ammo and fire it. If it doesn't shoot and you don't get satisfaction from Weatherby you can either try to sell it or fix it. I was in the same dilemma. I have tried both to a degree. I'm honest about how it shoots so no one has wanted to take it on. Next step for me is a new barrel and stock.

    If you decide to keep it and try to fix it the first thing I would do is bed it and also check the contact of the lugs. It's fairly simple to do and there are you tube tutorials on it. If you find they need lapping, you can attempt that as well or give it to a smith. Not too hard to do on simple 2 lug bolts but probably a little tricky on the Mark V actions. Next step would be full out acculturation and new barrel. I know a good smith who loves Mark V's and if anyone can make one shoot, he can.
     
  11. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Free .257 Wby ammo you say? I'll take them...

    Also, if you rebarrel either of your .257 or .300 Wby, I'll take the old Accuamark barrels, if you're chunking them...I can use them to ream the chamber and fireform brass for my wildcat calibers, since accuracy and stability is not important...I am mainly interested in the stainless fluted Accumark barrels.

    Please let me know what shipping will cost and what you want for them and we'll work out a deal.
     
  12. LRHChinook

    LRHChinook Member

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    Thanks for all the replies to my Weatherby problem. I'll PM to close out the questions asked.

    But... we definitely got sidetracked from my ACTUAL question, which was are the new, guided by Remington, Dakotas as good as the older ones?

    Does anyone have any experience on this?

    Thanks