The .375 Dakota

By Chuck Hawks

.375 Dakota
Illustration courtesy of Dakota Arms

Dakota offers a line of proprietary magnum hunting cartridges designed by Don Allen and based on the big .404 Jeffery case shortened to function in standard (.30-06) length actions. These come in 7mm, .300, .330, and .375 calibers. Factory loaded ammunition for all of these is supplied only by Dakota Arms.

The 300 grain bullets have an advertised muzzle velocity (MV) of 2600 fps and muzzle energy (ME) of 4502 ft. lbs. The trajectory of the 300 grain A-Frame semi-spitzer at a MV of 2600 fps should look like this: +2.8" at 100 yards, +2.7" at 150 yards, +0.7" at 200 yards, -3.1" at 250 yards, and -9.1" at 300 yards. The maximum point blank range (MPBR) of this load is 249 yards, +/- 3".

The handloader has more bullet choices. Projectiles from 225 to 300 grains (and sometimes heavier) are commonly available, but for a case the size of the .375 Dakota the 250, 270 and 300 grain bullets make the most sense.

The Sixth Edition of the Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading shows .375 Dakota loads for their 270 grain bullets at MV's from 2300 fps to 2800 fps with several powders. 58.2 grains of RL-15 powder behind a 270 grain Hornady Spire Point Interlock bullet gives a MV of 2300 fps. A charge of 70.5 grains of the same powder gives a very practical MV of 2700 fps and ME of 4370 ft. lbs. with the 227 grain bullet. The trajectory of that load looks like this: +2.7" at 100 yards, +2.8" at 150 yards, +1.3" at 200 yards, -2.0" at 250 yards, and -7.0" at 300 yards. The MPBR (+/- 3") of that load is 262 yards. This seems like a good general purpose load for a .375 Dakota rifle. These Hornady loads used Dakota cases and Federal 215 primers and were chronographed in the 25" barrel of a Dakota 76 rifle.

Note: The full length article about the .375 Dakota can be found on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

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