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Reloading Berger Bullets


Seating Bullet

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Unread 02-27-2008, 12:42 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Fort St. John, BC
Posts: 8
Seating Bullet

I am looking for the easiest way to accurately seat a bullet. I have read a lot on this subject. How do you accurately know how close to your lands you are? I have tried several tricks to test rifle for seating depth and I know I can do better. I am going more by factory loads, feel and research. I need the easiest technical way to get best seating depth for your rifle.
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Unread 02-27-2008, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: N.GA
Posts: 139
stoney point gage works very well..
A Bullet Smith...
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Unread 02-29-2008, 08:50 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 167
Different barrels like bullets set at different jumps to the lands so if you know what 1 barrel is doing it will not nessarly hold true for another. I have plaied with my .22-6mm a fair amount and found that different load and powders shoot best with different jumps, and some jammed into the lands, with the same bullet. To know exactly How far your jumping is not critical, it is only nessary that you know what AOL shoot best with what load.
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Unread 03-11-2008, 02:39 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mountians of SW NC, near Asheville
Posts: 1,595
The ONLY way to learn the best seating depth for your rifle is to experiment with it. There are no secret ways to do anything.
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Unread 03-11-2008, 02:56 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 827
Check out these two links. This will get you started. You will also need to buy the empty cartridge for your particular round that you are reloading for. Also, call Hornady after looking this over and they will tell you exactly what to get. Hope this helps.

MidwayUSA - Hornady Lock-N-Load Overall Length Gage Bolt Action

MidwayUSA - Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Comparator Basic Set with 6 Inserts
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Unread 03-11-2008, 03:42 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2007
Location: California
Posts: 458
Originally Posted by boomtube View Post
The ONLY way to learn the best seating depth for your rifle is to experiment with it. There are no secret ways to do anything.
Right. Years ago some benchrest shooters who set up a 100 yrd range inside a warehouse (in St. Louis, as I recall) found best accuracy with lands just engraving the bullet. Anyway, that's a starting point.

Polish dummy round bullet with 4-0 steel wool between various depth settings, and record length of engraved mark.

Five rounds each at various settings (on an off lands) should indicate a "sweet spot" for that particular load/rifle.

Caveat: don't set out so far that (1) the bullet sticks in lands and is pulled from the case when cartridge is extracted (this yields receiver full of powder and much cursing). (2) make sure your reloaded cartridge is not too long for the magazine box.
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Unread 03-14-2008, 11:19 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 47
I do all my bullet seating depth with the comparator. The Stoney point comparator is now the Hornady Comparator. You still need to figure out where the ogive of the bullet your loading touches the lands in that rifle though. I did the cleaning rod method and that worked good but I also did it the way the Lyman's 48th edition suggested to do it to measure where your ogive makes contact with the lands and I personally feel is an accurate way. Take a unsized case (aka fired formed) that the bullet your loading will slide into easily and without the bullet in it make a very slight indention on the case neck by just slightly putting pressure on the side of the case neck against your bench, this will flatten the case neck just enough to make the bullet stay in the case but not very tight. Put the bullet just barely into the case just enough to hold it. Then blacken the bullet with a felt marker and gently put it into the chamber of your rifle and carefully close the bolt and lock it. This will push the bullet back into the case as it touches the lands. Take it out being careful not to disturb the bullet and carefully pull the bullet back out of the case so you can see where the black has been scraped off or the line made by the bullet being pushed back into the case. Push the bullet back into the case exactly to where you can see the line in the black and the case mouth line up. Now measure the OAL of your bullet (I use a comparator and measure the ogive). They recommend you do this procedure 3-5 times measuring everytime to make sure you get a consistant measurement and that will be the precise measurement of the distance between your bolt face and the lands of your rifle. You will need to do this for each different bullet you load. I found too that depending on bullet model and guns you can't always seat just off the lands. I am reloading a Rem 700 bdl 300 saum with 165 gr Scirocco II and can only seat them a little bit farther out than factory to still be able to get them to cycle through my magazine. If I seat them just off the lands they won't even come close to fitting in the magazine. Could use it as a single shot I guess.

Last edited by sjadventures; 03-14-2008 at 11:23 PM.
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