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Reloading Berger Bullets


Seating depth...

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Unread 06-24-2005, 07:25 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 33
Seating depth...


I am curious if any of you encounter this inconsistency when reloading.
I am using Nosler 100g Bal. Tip. for my 25-06.
Anyhow my problem is that a lot of the loaded ammos can differ by as much as .015" in OAL, even when I measure from the orgive by using my Stoney Point tool.
Suggestion please...
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Unread 06-24-2005, 08:07 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Yakima, Washington
Posts: 3,775
Re: Seating depth...


This is something that I have been measuring and tracking for quite some time. If you could make every round absolutely the same length, measured to the ogive, then each bullet would be the same distance away or into the lands as the case may be.

If you take this very precisely controlled batch of ammo and vary the length by .005” to .030” (I’ve seen up to .030” variation) in small groups of rounds loaded to each different length, you might see groups varying up to an inch or more apart vertically because of the reaction of the gun to the seating length. This vertical variance will vary from gun to gun but normally you will see bullets seated to different lengths off of or into the lands printing different vertically. If your particular gun happens to group the .005” at a certain point and the .030” at a point 1” or more away then if you happened to load all of them and never check the OAL you would have a built in variance to your loads and groups of 1” before you even start shooting, because of the variation in OAL. I’m not saying the variation will be 1”, I’m just using that as an example. I have had a couple of guns that would group Ύ” apart by varying the oal by .030”

What I do is set my seater to seat the bullets about .005” long and then seat all the rounds I’m loading at the time. I then measure them with my Stoney Point gage and separate them in groups of .001”. Out of 50 to 100 there will probably be 5 or 6 or even more different measured group lengths. Almost all of the time they will be too long without fail. I then adjust the seater to make up for the difference in the groups seated depth and re-seat them. Depending on how much time I have and how anal I’m feeling I may take them all down to within .001”-.002”.

What causes this I’m not absolutely sure of but some reasons could be the shape of the bullet and any variations in the shape, neck tension, neck friction, case shoulder flex etc. I don’t know that you can prove what causes it, because in any batch you are loading I think there will be more than one reason for the variation, but I know how to control it. Another thing to make sure is that the seater in your die is not interfering in any way with the tip of your bullet.

Good luck with your measuring and testing and if you try what I’ve mentioned and test your gun with different loaded lengths then you will know the built in variation for your particular gun and I believe you can eliminate a lot of the variation which should result in correspondingly reduced group sizes.

Maybe this will help you and maybe it won't. Might just be psychological but I believe it works and if there's something I can to produce a more consistent and precise round then I do it.
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Unread 06-24-2005, 08:16 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: El Reno,Ok.
Posts: 281
Re: Seating depth...

I've had a similar problem when changing from one lot of ballistic tips to another lot of ballistic tips. (same weight)

When loading up a new batch of bt's, I measured using a bullet comparator (similar to the stoney point tool, I think) and realized that that I was seating .015" deeper. I knew the ogive had changed as I use a wilson chamber die that has not been adjusted since load developement.
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Unread 06-26-2005, 09:11 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 1,244
Re: Seating depth...

Yeah, I've seen that lot to lot variation with a lot of manufacturers, even JLK's. Actually Mic McPherson had an article on that OAL variation after seating in 1 of the PS Publications maybe a yr. or so ago, if u can dig it up. It was a good article as i remember.
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