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Bullet seating depth
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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Blaine
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Joined: Feb 24, 2005
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Location: Maine

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:01 pm    Post subject: Bullet seating depth Reply with quote

I was just wondering what everyone uses for a "rule of thumb" for bullet seating. Specifically, what is the minimum amount you seat your bullet into the neck. I usually try to seat the bullet so that it is about as much into the neck as the diameter of the bullet. But when using lighter bullets in my 308's (especially with boat tails), if I do that, the bullet sets too far off the lands (more than I'd like anyway). I have tried to reach a happy medium, but I've about decided to go with heavier bullets that will give me a little more bearing surface to work with. Its either that or go with flat base bullets in the lighter weights.

All the best.......Blaine

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shrpshtrjoe
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Bullet seating depth Reply with quote

Howdy Blaine i try to use the the same method as you for hunting loads if it's just for the range it doesn't bother me to out a little farther. I guess ive bin lucky i haven't ran into that problem yet with any of my rifles the lightest load i have loaded in 308 is 150gr. Are you haveing accuracy problems with them seated to that depth?

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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 2:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Bullet seating depth Reply with quote

My approach is similar. I tend to keep the overall length a few hundredths below maximum as long as the rounds function well in the magazine. All the best...
Gil

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DallanC
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Bullet seating depth Reply with quote

Hunting bullets I want'em as deep as I can to hold the bullet securely. I agree with seating them as deep as the caliber diameter is wide rule of thumb.

In my .22-250 with the etched in throat however, for maximum accuracy I have to seat very very short distances into the case. These are "bench" only rounds that just survive from the press to the stationary place I'll be firing them.

For my 7STW I'm completely limited by the magazine and have to seat quite deep unfortunately.


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calsibley
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 4:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Bullet seating depth Reply with quote

I think the general rule of thumb calls for insertion of one bullet diameter into the case. That usually comes to about 1/3rd. of an inch. Since most of my shooting is from the bench all I want is for the bullet to be in the case just enough to get a good grip on the bullet. I feed everything in single shot fashion so I'm not concerned with the magazine length being a problem. I think each shooter has his own preference in terms of seating depth. Best wishes.

Cal - Montreal
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Blaine
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Bullet seating depth Reply with quote

I agree with what everybody is saying. The other question I have is regarding "release pressure". If the bullet doesn't seat into the neck far enough, does the load develop an adequate amount of pressure before releasing the bullet from the neck? In the case of my 300 Winnie, the neck length is less than a bullet diameter to begin with, so the amount the bullet seats need not be any greater than the length of the neck. Complicating the issue is that some boat tails (I'm thinking of the Hornady SST for example) have a more "drawn out" tail as opposed to (for example) a Nosler Accubond in which the tail drops off more sharply. This allows for more bearing surface and eases the condition. I talked to one fellow who said he used the finger pull method. In other words he tried to pull the seated bullet out with his fingers.....if he couldn't, the bullet was seated far enough. Anyway, thanks for all your inputs. All the best.......Blaine

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GroovyJack
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Joined: May 21, 2005
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2005 6:35 am    Post subject: Re: Bullet seating depth Reply with quote

I have also heard for many years to seat caliber depth , but I dont do it always , depends on caliber and action ..
In the Ruger 1 .375 H@H I can seat some bullets out to almost 3.800 COAL , which is .200 longer than the magazine guns COAL . In the .375 with all bullets I seat at .300 which is the length of the neck .. No issues ..
Jack

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Flint54
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2005 8:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Bullet seating depth Reply with quote

Before I select a seating depth I take into account a few fixed measurements and also what the load is designed for. Before I load for any rifle I get the measurement to the beginning of the lands. There are many ways that this measurement can be obtained but the easiest for me is to us ethe Sinclair Cartridge Legnth Gauge and their bullet compairitor. This will give you the total legnth of the cartridge/chamber legnth to the lands. With using a compairitor you can determine the bullet seating depth so that you may seat it to within however many thousandths off the lands that you desire. This is used mainly for target and maximum accuracy rounds. For hunting rounds I always load the round to where it will completly function through the magazine of the rifle, this usually is @ .10 shorter than the maximum legnth of the magazine or to the center of the crimping groove on bullets that may have one. Wink
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