7mm dakota or 7mm stw or 7.21 firebird


Well-Known Member
Oct 26, 2012
A friend of mine is talking about getting a custom rifle built by mcwhorter rifles. He asked me his thoughts on 3 rifles he wanted and i told him i really didn't know that i would get on here and ask..he is wanting a 7mm dakota, 7mm stw or the 7.21 firebird. He hunts deer here in tennessee over clear cuts and he does go to alaska every year on do it urself hunts. he said the 7mm rum really didn't peak his interest. anyones thoughts.. he said his barrel of choice would be a 28" hart interrupted fluted barrel w/ muzzle brake.. my thought would be the 7mm dakota but dang brass is high fer it to reload.
Not very familiar with the 7.21, but have shot the stw. I would go with the Dakota, it has no belt and I have always liked its ballistics. The brass is high, but I hear it is good brass that will last a while.
Im sorta partial but the Dakota all the way, I've had a bunch of STW's no lazz's tho. If I'm spending $1000's on a gun I'm not gonna worry about $2 a piece brass. The brass I've gotten for my dakota was top notch, I have no complaints on the quality what so ever.

My dakota will push the 180 berger hybrids easily to 3080-3100 out of 27.5" brux barrel and put them into tiny groups. Have Jim See build it for him, he built the one I've got and I can't say enough about it.

This is all MHO tho so take it for what it's worth, as I said I'm kinda partial to the dakota.

The 7stw is the only one of the three I'd even look at. The others are proprietary and will likely have brass accessibility issues if history repeats at all.
The 7stw can be made from 300h@h, 375h@h, 300 roy, 8mm rem, 416 rem, etc. so even if you have issues getting proper headstamp you will still be shooting. As said before, the dakota is close, but it takes a longer barrel for it to get up to 3100 fps with 175 class bullets than the 7stw. I'm able to get 171's and 175's to 3100 fps with a 24" barrel in my rifle without issues; I usually shoot the accuracy node with my 171's at 2950 fps which is mid-load.
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Then I guess i'll have to vote for the Lazz :D Just to keep it interesting of course! It should have more velocity than the Dakota or STW with same pressures due to powder capacity alone. Lazzeroni brass is now made by Hornady, which isn't going anywhere in the near future. Unfortunately, I can't tell you where Dakota brass is made, I haven't the foggiest idea.

So... +1 for the Lazz for me. If somebody else has got it, I don't want it.:rolleyes:

Before you buy any of them you need to know if it will fit in the rifle you choose.
What bullets will you want to shoot? If you want some energy left and low wind deflection at long range you need long VLDs like the 180 Berger. The cartridge overall length with VLDs will be well over the SAAMI length for any of those cartridges.. The 7mm Dakota is the shortest of those cartridges and it's the only one listed that isn;t cramped in a 3.6" magazine. Even it will need a custom chamber and throat. If you just want a super velocity medium range varminter any of hem will work. You could even choose a 7mm-378 Wby or a 7mm Rem Ultra. I my opinion the 7mm STW is about all the case capacity a 7mm can use, but with VLD bullets most actions simply won't work.
No, with the mentioned cartridges, most "normal" action won't Mag Feed. Far cry from Won't Work. Most LRH or ELR Uber Mags are slinging them single shot, it keeps weight down & allows the end user to tweak to his hearts desire. With any of the 7mms discussed, you are going to be chasing the lands, even if it starts out fitting in your 3.600" mag, seated to the lands, you may run out of mag box room anywho... eventually.

Install a Wyatts extended mag box, that'll get you a bit further yet.

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