Input on 7mm Dakota barrel options


Well-Known Member
May 4, 2011
Stillwater Pa.
In the process of putting a list of components together for a 7mm Dakota. I'll be using a stiller predator long action in left hand. I would like some input on barrel manufactures, length of barrel, and contour. I'm thinking 1 in 9 or faster, and possibly a med palma barrel. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Will be used as a heavy carry hunting rifle. Thanks, Craig
I had Nate from SSG build a rifle in 7mmDakota for me a few years ago. It is very very accurate and a great example what custom rifles should be. I used a Bartlein fluted barrel with a heavy sporter contour. The twist is 1-9 with the 5R rifling which was made famous by Boots Obermeyer from Obermeyer rifle barrels in Wisconsin. There are quite a few folks producing very good barrels out there and even though wait times have gotten better your challenge will be the lag time to have your smith receive the barrel. I prefer cut rifling, but that's just me. Folks who come to mind are Bartlein, Krieger, and Obermeyer for your barrel. I am sure others are also good, but I know all three of these outfits offer 5R rifling. Load information is a bit scarce. With the recent availability of Norma powders, I have started working on some loads with MRP. Initial results are very promising.
Good luck with your project, you will need lots of patience.
Sorry, just looked back at your original thread. My barrel is 25" with one of Nate's muzzle breaks in totals 26". Since the rifle has some weight to it, I probably didn't need the break but as I get older I am finding recoil more bothersome at the range. In the field, no big deal if you do your par,t it should be a one shot story :)
I have a 7mm Dakota with a 1 in 9" twist 5R Bartlein barrel also finished at 26" #6 contour. I got the 5R rifling because they are suppose to be easier on thin jacketed bullets. I got 1 in 9" twist so I could shoot the 180 grain Bergers but I have found out I like the 168s better and have been working with the new 168 grain Accubond LR. I have only used Retumbo, but velocity and accuracy have been great.
Great info,and I originally told Nate I was going to concentrate on Bergers. I have been working with 160gr Northforks as an elk bullet. They are very very pricey, especially for load work up. Having said that, elk hunts aren't cheap. Bullets can be a challenge for tuning in for acceptable accuracy, but they are a hard hitting
affair. Attending SHOT here in Las Vegas next week, should be interesting. I know that many folks from Long Range Hunting will be there. Just wish there was a good way to hook up.
I wasn't completely happy with the terminal effects of the Bergers. I shot a five point bull elk with the Accubond LRs and a mule deer buck this fall. So far they are looking like the will perform well.
I have a 7 Dakota, with a 1:9 tube from Bartlein. Shoots great and runs the Berger 180s, Sierra 180s, and Cauterucio 189s like no body's business.

Lots of barrel makers might be acceptable. I prefer cut barrels, specifically Krieger and Bartlein. Boots Obermeyer would also be good.

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