Is anyone aware of any 7mm wildcat cartridge that will push a 160 to 3200 fps with a 2.50" case? (other than the 7mm Dakota)
I would like to keep the barrel at 26" max.
Not a 2.500 case, but 2.620. I am playing with a 7mm-300 win. I have seen over 3200 with 180 Bergers. But they were showing a bit of crater on the primer. I backed them down and they were happier around 3100 and change. So I would think a 165 could get real close to 3200 in it. I do have a 28" barrel though.
That sure sounds like a lot less brain damage than cutting down and forming cases.
You might consider a 7mm-375 Ruger. It has almost the same capacity as the Dakota and should get you to 3200 fps with a 160 bullet. The brass (375 Ruger) is made by Hornady and is much cheaper than the Dakota brass. You could neck it down with a bushing die and a series of bushings.
Mainly the excessively high cost of the brass and dies.