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Measuring Bullet Seating off the Lands

 
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  #1  
Old 05-20-2010, 11:25 PM
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Measuring Bullet Seating off the Lands

Most of my reloading career I have more or less went off recomended COAL. Im working up some loads with Berger 185 VLD's and having little luck in getting them to group very well out of my Sendero 300RUM. I have had the same luck with heavier VLD's and want to give them an honest effort as I have had GREAT luck with them in the past in other calibers.
When Berger recomends holding them off the lands, how exactly do I measure this (.020 or whatever), this might be a dumb question but Im a little stumped??? Im what I consider a NEWBIE at this longrange reloading stuff so bear with me. Thanks ahead of time.
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:43 PM
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Re: Measuring Bullet Seating off the Lands

I read an article explaining how to adjust seating depth for Bergers on the Berger web site. Check it out.
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:44 PM
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Re: Measuring Bullet Seating off the Lands

Quote:
Originally Posted by ntrl_brn_rebel View Post
Most of my reloading career I have more or less went off recomended COAL. Im working up some loads with Berger 185 VLD's and having little luck in getting them to group very well out of my Sendero 300RUM. I have had the same luck with heavier VLD's and want to give them an honest effort as I have had GREAT luck with them in the past in other calibers.
When Berger recomends holding them off the lands, how exactly do I measure this (.020 or whatever), this might be a dumb question but Im a little stumped??? Im what I consider a NEWBIE at this longrange reloading stuff so bear with me. Thanks ahead of time.
The first thing you need is a comparator to accurately measure oal. Berger bullets can vary substantially in length due to the hollow point, so simply measuring the length of the entire bullet will cause your oal to be inconsistent. Next, the oal tool from hornady is best but you can use the old trick with a bullet colored with a marker if you don't want to purchase the tool. The tool simply gives you a way to measure the length of a cartridge when the bullet is pushed up against the rifling, so you can then set your seating die for the bullet to be the desired distance from the rifliing. For example, my 300win mag with 210 vld shoots best at 0.025 off of the rifling. I hope this helps, I am sure others will chime in with more useful tips.
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Old 05-21-2010, 03:40 AM
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Re: Measuring Bullet Seating off the Lands

Optimizing Precision And Accuracy From VLD Bullets
By Eric Stecker
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2010, 05:56 AM
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Re: Measuring Bullet Seating off the Lands

I find this very helpful, give it a try ...

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Good luck!

Ed
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  #6  
Old 05-21-2010, 06:28 AM
Miller Outdoors
 
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Re: Measuring Bullet Seating off the Lands

Take a small round file and file a slot in the middle of the case neck all the way down to the shoulder. Size the case and slide in your bullet just enough so it stays put. Chamber the round and the rifling will seat the bullet. Measure the ovarall lenght. Pull the bullet part way out and do this three or four times and measure the overall length each time. This will show you how long the round must be to touch the lands., Load some right at that length, some at .02 shorter and some .04 shorter than that length. Shoot some groups and see what your gun likes.

Last edited by Miller Outdoors; 05-21-2010 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:53 AM
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Re: Measuring Bullet Seating off the Lands

Let me offer some perspective on the good stuff above.

First, underatand that finding the precise OAL to the lands for each bullet is much less critical than some seem to think. I have all the tools for measuring max OAL and tried using each, including averaging the results to reduce effective errors on my part. Finally realized I was chasing a meaningless dimension. I've gone back to the marked cleaning rod (a wooden dowel actually). It's plenty precise and I only do it once, no averaging.

All we need to do is find a close approximation (if that) to use as a reference starting OAL. From that, we will back off until we find the best shooting point. I start seating tests from about 15 thou off the lands so any ogive to lands accuracy better than +/- 10 thou instantly becomes meaningless, it's just a reference point with no other value.

I do my seating tests in 5 thou steps until I find the best shooting depth. Final results can easily vary from .015" to as much as .100" off the lands, thus measuring to a specific starting distance off the lands within +/- half a gnat's azz is pointless.

You will likely find the "best OAL" is NOT a specific point. More likely it will be a range several thousants wide in which accuracy is the same. Seat in the middle of that range and later tiny variations in seating and throat errosion won't mean a thing. Seat on the ragged edge of that range and your loads will be quirky no matter how precisely you made the starting measurement.
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