The .330 Dakota

By Chuck Hawks

.330 Dakota
Illustration courtesy of Dakota Arms

This article is about the .330 Dakota. The .330 designation refers to the bore diameter; the cartridge uses standard .338" diameter bullets.

.330 Dakota factory loads are currently offered with 230 grain CT Fail Safe and 250 grain Swift A-Frame bullets. The 250 grain bullet has a rather optimistic advertised muzzle velocity (MV) of 2900 fps and muzzle energy (ME) of 4668 ft. lbs. (The hottest reloading data I can find anywhere, including from Dakota, claims 2878 fps and 4595 ft. lbs. for a 250 grain bullet.) The trajectory of the 250 grain A-Frame bullet at a MV of 2900 fps should look like this: +2.6" at 100 yards, +2.9" at 150 yards, +2.0" at 200 yards, -0.4" at 250 yards, and -4.3" at 300 yards. The maximum point blank range (MPBR) of this load is 285 yards, +/- 3".

The Sixth Edition of the Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading shows .330 Dakota loads for their 225 grain bullets at MV's from 2400 fps to 2900 fps with a half-dozen powders. Hornady reports good results with RL-19 powder behind their 225 grain bullet and RL-22 powder with their 250 grain bullets.

65.9 grains of RL-19 behind a 225 grain Hornady Spire Point Interlock bullet gives a MV of 2400 fps. A maximum charge of 79.7 grains of the same powder gives a MV of 2900 fps and a ME of 4201 ft. lbs. with the 225 grain bullet. The trajectory of that load looks like this: +2.6" at 100 yards, +2.9" at 150 yards, +1.9" at 200 yards, -0.5" at 250 yards, and -4.6" at 300 yards. The MPBR (+/- 3") of that load is 282 yards. These Hornady loads used Dakota cases and Federal 215 primers and were chronographed in the 25" barrel of a Dakota 76 rifle.

Note: The complete article about the .330 Dakota can be found in its entirety on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

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Copyright 2004, 2013 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.