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While im on the subject of redding dies...
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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yooperchuck
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Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:11 am    Post subject: While im on the subject of redding dies... Reply with quote

I am still stumbling around with the micrometer setting on my redding competition seating die. Anyone using one of these? I was under the impression i could "dial in" the OAL I wanted and start pumping out loaded ammo. I dont understand how to use the micrometer. I see it go up and down when I turn it. I see numbers appear but Im feeling like a virgin on a pirate ship. Anybody care to help this yooper?

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Daveyboy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 2:19 am    Post subject: Re: While im on the subject of redding dies... Reply with quote

Hi Yooper

First thing you need to know is "What is the overall lenght that I am looking for". Make a round of ammo with just the bullet and the brass and have the sat bullet quite extended. Try to chamber the round and feel for the point of contact where the bullet starts to touch the barrel. You can rub some black marker pen on the bullet and see how much it touches. Don't force it or you'll get a bullet stuck in the barrel ! don't ask e how I know, I just know...

Or, use a columinmeter (?) and a modified case. You get these from Stoney point. A little washer thing sits on the ogive of the bullet and it gives you an overall length. You measure this with a Micrometer.

You want the bullet to be sat about 0.003 - 0.005 of an inch back from the lands (the rifling) - or just off touching if you want to be spot on. Double check this amount as it's early in the morning here. Why? This is so when the bullet leaves the brass, it doesn't jump from the case to the barrel. What we want is for when the bullet is leaving the brass, it's already in the barrel. the bullet sits straight in the barrel and not canted at an angle.

When you know how long the overall length is you can put the seating die in the press.

Set the seating die with the lock ring and set it up as close to the OAL of the cartridge as you possibly can. Use the micrometer to finely adjust the seating. This is going to take a couple of attempts to get it right. Use a inverted hammer to get the cases apart and you're not using any powder so far.

So, in short, the micrometer allows you to finely adjust the case OAL. That's all it does.

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:33 am    Post subject: Re: While im on the subject of redding dies... Reply with quote

Yooperchuck,

Daveyboy is giving you all the right information if you have a sporting arm without a long freebore! If you have a military surplus gun like my old '06 then you can't do things like "seat the bullet within .003 to .005 inches from the lands unless you are using a really LONG bullet. My old '06 has so much freebore that I would have to seat a 190 grain bullet about 1/2 caliber deep to do what he is suggesting. Brand new Weatherby Magnums have long freebores as well so it won't work on them either. If your loading ammo has a recommended OAL (over-all length) then use it to start with and don't seat your bullet too far out from that point or you could end up with a detonation like I had in my '06. I was seating a 180 grain bullet to touch the lands by actually seating the bullet when I closed the bolt - the first time I fired a round it seemed "odd" but I fired another round which sounded a bit like a flintlock - I heard the primer followed by the rifle firing. If I had stopped there I would never have known what a detonation was like - but I was yound and didn't know any better - so I fired the third round. It went "pop" and then I waited about one full second and it made the loudest "BOOM" I had ever heard with ear-muffs on. The bolt lifted extremely hard and when I got the case out of my gun the primer fell out onto the ground, the case head had expanded well beyond recognition and the case was ruined. I took the gun to a smith with the round and he explained that this can happen with light loads and incomplete ignition.
I was using the recommended starting load - of W760 powder - a slow powder - in a case that basically didn't have a bullet seated more than a minimal amount.
My smith figured that the primer blew the powder all over in the airspace and just ignited a few grains but pushed the bullet into the rifling. The powder burned from the front and back - progressively faster until the burn met in the middle and detonated all the powder left at once. My gun was OK but I learned my lesson. if you have a long freebore then stick with the tested data. I get sub-MOA accuracy with the bullet seated to the length specified in the manual when loaded with the right amount of the right powder for my gun. It takes a little work but finding that "magic" load is half the fun of getting all you can out of your gun.

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Speer, Lyman, Hodgdon, Sierra, and Hornady = reliable loading data
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Daveyboy
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Joined: Jan 22, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:39 am    Post subject: Re: While im on the subject of redding dies... Reply with quote

Hi Paul

Dead on. Nearly just 'dead' but hey! that's life!

Those books that Hornady and Speer publish - reloading manuals, I think they're called - are a wealth of information. I take 1 grain less then their recommended maximum load and that's good for me.

The thing you experienced is called a 'flash over' and it happens when you don't have enough powder in the case. The powder settles flat and horizontal. The primer goes 'bang' and the top layer ignites. Then the bullet starts to move and then the case says "Hey! You forgot about all that other powder!" Boom number 2 and the bullet has yet to leave the barrel! So you sort of get two ignitions.

If you want to get really picky, aim for a compressed load which is still under the maximum load details and still allows you to seat the bullet for the right OAL.

Yooper. I hope you're reading all this!

D

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ripper007
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Joined: Mar 05, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:59 am    Post subject: Re: While im on the subject of redding dies... Reply with quote

very good info,

being new to relaoding, all this is perfect pointers to remember.

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yooperchuck
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:01 pm    Post subject: Re: While im on the subject of redding dies... Reply with quote

Hey !!!!!!!!! Thanks all for the great information. I am shooting a remington bdl vs .308 with a mil dot scope. I have noticed that the IMR 4895 powder at 43.5 grains just barely gets to the neck of the case. And this is nowhere near the max load limit I have read about. I have a chrony coming hope this will help with some shooting decisions. It seems if i load to near max I wont have the powder rattling around in the case. Should be tight. Im not a load to the max and let heaven decide the outcome. I just want consistant reliable loads to work with. I love this rifle. I shot a lot of hornady 110 v-max using blc-2 51 grains of powder. The accuracy with this combo was great. Hitting one pound propane tanks at 300 yards was commonplace. I am going to try the IMR 4895 with the hornady 110's to see how they get along. I would like to stay with one powder but think that may not be realistic. I will keep plugging along and listening to you all. thanks for all the information.

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PaulS
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Joined: Feb 18, 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 2:01 am    Post subject: Re: While im on the subject of redding dies... Reply with quote

Yooperchuck,

The powder you are using is not over-sensitive to the volume and I found that somewhere between 90 and 95 % of maximum loads is where I got my best accuracy. Not the fastest powder but it will shoot small groups for you when you get the load right. This is one of the most consistant powders made by IMR - I just hope it is one that Hodgdon keeps now that they own the IMR powders.

Paul

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Paul
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Speer, Lyman, Hodgdon, Sierra, and Hornady = reliable loading data
So and So's pages on the internet = NOT reliable loading data
Always check data against manuals
NEVER exceed maximum listed loads
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Daveyboy
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Joined: Jan 22, 2006
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 5:29 am    Post subject: Re: While im on the subject of redding dies... Reply with quote

I've got about 8 part cans of different powders. Varget to N160 so what I do is load up 5 rounds and keep everything else the same. I know how long the case is going to be and I know what primers I've got so if you're thinking of moving over to a new bullet, say from Speer to Barnes, then load up 5 of each with the only difference being the type of powder and go to the range. It may seem like a wasted day 'cos you're only shooting say 40 rounds but you'll know what works.

Funny thing is that changing the amount of powder doesn't seem to change a lot. Changing whattype of powder changes everything.

If you are short of powder then ask your shooting buddies for some. You know what it's like, mention in the pub that you're going to change the oil in your truck and next thing you know you're doing it with a crowd watching you.

D

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