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Load development and seating depth?

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  #1  
Unread 03-30-2011, 09:26 AM
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Load development and seating depth?

I'm plannin on developing a new load and through my past reloading I have never been too concerned with seating depth. Usually through charge adjustments I could attain the accuracy I was looking for. I've raised my standards much much higher and realize that seating depth is quite important. So....
My question is should a guy develop his powder/primer/bullet combo then adjust seating depth or vice versa?
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  •   #2  
    Unread 03-30-2011, 03:13 PM
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    Re: Load development and seating depth?

    yes, develop cartridge recipe, that will give you a good indication of accuracy, THEN play on seating depth (or oal to lands).
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    Unread 03-30-2011, 04:44 PM
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    Re: Load development and seating depth?

    Nope, adjust seating depth first.
    Best seating does not change with powder(amount or type), but powder IS affected by seating..

    I know,,, it's counter to all herd murmuring....
    But hey, you asked
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    Unread 03-30-2011, 07:00 PM
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    Re: Load development and seating depth?

    With my bolt guns I agree with what Mike stated, whether they are gonna be mag fed or loaded single shot. I find the max oal then the max load of a given powder, primer and bullet combo.
    With my AR I get the oal that will work reliably in the mag then adjust the powder or primer till I get the accuracy with the bullet I chose. Then change bullets if that doesn't work. There doesn't seem to be a lot of play in workable oal.
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    Unread 03-30-2011, 07:22 PM
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    Re: Load development and seating depth?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mikecr View Post
    Nope, adjust seating depth first.
    Best seating does not change with powder(amount or type), but powder IS affected by seating..

    I know,,, it's counter to all herd murmuring....
    But hey, you asked
    I've done it both ways but I would agree that it's probably best to do seating depth first because the best depth will likely be the best with all powders. If you think about it powders are highly dependent on case capacity and useable capacity can vary a fair amount when changing seating depths especially with the longer bullets we typically use so it's best to vary you powders after you get your depth (and capacity) set. Chaning seating depths also can change pressures for the same reasons so your max load at one depth may be over max at another.
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    Unread 03-30-2011, 09:13 PM
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    Re: Load development and seating depth?

    moooo (making herd murmuring noises)

    The way I do it is to run an Audette at 300 yards. That is to load each case with a progressively higher powder charge. The point of impact will progressively rise and theoretically there will be 3 or 4 shots that level off and group closer. Sometimes it seems to work but it is like reading tea leaves



    My main purpose is to find the velocity I want. Then I load sets of 4 or 5 shots at different seating depths to look at the accuracy



    Varying seating depth will change the velocity and the timing of the muzzle exit but to a lesser degree than varying powder charge. So IMO powder charge is macro tuning and seating depth is fine tuning.

    IME it is 2 variables both of which have an effect on accuracy and a variation in powder charge or seating depth will change group size and POI.
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    Last edited by woods; 03-30-2011 at 09:22 PM.
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      #7  
    Unread 03-31-2011, 05:56 AM
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    Re: Load development and seating depth?

    I've done load development both ways, powder charge first then seating depth and vice versa. I am not convinced that it really matters. I have had good results either way.

    More and more, I am convinced that developing a consistent and methodical approach that works for you is more important than what variable you change first.

    FWIW, I do my initial work up using the OCW method found here:

    OCW Overview - Dan Newberry's OCW Load Development System

    Following that, I fine tune my seating depth using the procedure recommended by Berger Bullets for use with their VLD's. I have found Berger's method of tuning seating depth to be effective with a variety of bullets.

    That is my little "rain dance" and it works for me. My advice is to develop a "rain dance" that works for you and tweak as needed.
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