The .300 Dakota

By Chuck Hawks

.300 Dakota
Illustration courtesy of Dakota Arms

Because the .300 Dakota has a larger rim diameter than the standard belted magnum cartridges, it requires a bolt specially manufactured or modified to match. No doubt this has limited the popularity of the .300 Dakota.

.300 Dakota factory loads are currently offered with a 165 grain and two 180 grain bullets. The 165 grain A-Frame bullet has an advertised muzzle velocity (MV) of 3200 fps and muzzle energy (ME) of 3751 ft. lbs. At 200 yards the figures are 2769 fps and 2809 ft. lbs.

The 180 grain A-Frame bullet has an advertised MV of 3100 fps and ME of 3840 ft. lbs. At 200 yards the figures are 2644 fps and 2794 ft. lbs. If this load is zeroed to hit 2.5" high at 100 yards it will impact 3" high at 150 yards, 2.3" high at 200 yards, and 2.9" low at 300 yards. The maximum point blank range (MPBR) +/- 3" is 301 yards. This should be a very fine load for large (CXP3 class) game.

The Sixth Edition of the Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading shows loads for their various 180 grain bullets at MV's from 2800 fps to 3200 fps. Winchester WMR is one of the more versatile powders for the .300 Dakota. 70.8 grains of WMR behind a 180 grain Hornady Spire Point Interlock bullet gives a MV of 2800 fps. 78.4 grains of WMR gives a MV of 3100 fps with the same bullet. The trajectory of the latter will be similar to that of the 180 grain factory load. These Hornady loads used Dakota cases and Federal 215 primers and were chronographed in the 26" barrel of a Dakota 76 rifle.

Note: A complete article about the .300 Dakota can be found on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

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Copyright 2004, 2012 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.