how to load "just off the lands"?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by jonado, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. jonado

    jonado Member

    Messages:
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    Nov 10, 2005
    how to load \"just off the lands\"?

    I read alot about loading certain bullets just off the lands to get best accuracy. how do people do this? what I do is use my press to very slowly seat a bullet into an empty case (starting long), try to load it using the bolt. any resistance, I try to seat the bullet alittle deeper until the bolt just closes like it is supposed to. this is the cartridge length I use as my starting point for off the lands. is this the correct way or am I doing something drastically wrong? is there a tool/guage available to do this and make this simpler?
     
  2. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Oct 7, 2005
    Re: how to load \"just off the lands\"?

    That method will get you close. You will typically end up with a cartridge that is a little longer than the lands, since you've touched the lands and likely embedded the bullet a couple thousandths into the lands.

    There are several methods that can be used, with tools and without. For years, I used a method very similar to yours, however, I would blacken the bullet with either a candle, black Sharpie marker etc. So I could tell when I got it short enough not to touch the lands.

    There are several tools out there that also "get you close" but with much less trial and error. I use a sinclair tool
    http://www.sinclairintl.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=RESDTSD&item=09-417&type=store

    But there are others (many folks say the Stoney point tool is easier/faster).

    With any of the tools, I verify the length with a blackened bullet to see if it touches the lands.

    Hope that helps,
    Don
     

  3. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Jun 12, 2001
    Re: how to load \"just off the lands\"?

    Once you find the lands, you can use a Stoney Point to measure the case base to ogive distance and write that in your reloading manual. Then if you change bullets you can still determine the correct seating depth by just measuring the loaded bullet. Because many bullets will have an ogive to tip variation caused by the meplat forming it is preferrable to use the ogive as a reference.
     
  4. Alan Griffith

    Alan Griffith Well-Known Member

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    Re: how to load \"just off the lands\"?

    Jonando,

    Here is what I do. I purchased a

    C.O.L. E-Z Check from

    R-P Products
    PO Box 7692
    8010 Dixie Blanchard Rd
    Shreveport, LA 71107
    Phone # 318-424-7867

    for something like $25. Don't quote me on that price.

    It is a 30-1/2", .187" diameter steel rod. One end is threaded and has, what appears to be a brass tip, .25" diameter x 1" in lenth, threaded onto the end. On the rod are two steel sliding rod stops with set screws.

    Instructions:

    1. Check to insure firearm is unloaded.

    2. Close the bolt and insert the rod down the bore till contact is made w/ the bolt face. (Small end for .22-.26 bores, large end for .27-.45 bores)

    3. Slide both gauge stops down the rod until in contact with the muzzle. Tighten set screw on the top gauge stop (the one farthest from the firearm), the remove the rod. (I just slide it out about 10")

    4. Select "a" bullet from the box to be fired, with an undamaged tip, insert the bullet into the chamber to firmly contact the rifling. Using an unsharped pencil or wooden dowel, hold the bullet against the rifling.

    5. Reinsert rod, same end as before, till contact is made w/ the bullet. Slide the guage stop down to contact the muzzle. Tighten the set screw. I perform this several times, getting an average measurement.

    6. Remove the rod and using dial or digital calipers, take an "inside" measurement between the two gauge stops. This is the maximum cartridge overall length for this particular bullet in this rifle.

    7. Use the "same" bullet and seat into a dummy cartridge case so the OAL is the same as the measurement you just took.

    8. Then use some kind of OAL gauge. I use the Stoney Pt. comparator. Take the meaurement and write that # down in your reloading log. This is your "dead length" (DL) seating depth and all further depths should be adjusted from here. Example, my 30-06 Ackley IMP "DL" with the Nosler 180 BT is 3.760" w/ the comparator yet 3.393" bullet tip cartridge base. Last month I performed a seating depth test for accuracy by shooting 3-shot groups starting w/ my depth at 3.765", or .005" into the lands. I then worked my way "in", away from the land, in .005" increments, finding a sweet spot .015" (3.745") off the lands. Groups were running 1/2" to 3/4" MOA out to 300 yds.

    Hints!

    1. Use the same bullet and dummy case to set up your seating dies.
    2. Make sure your OAL will fit into your magazine box.
    3. Once you find a seating depth that works well, keep the accuracy at top notch by tracking the wear of the rifled lands by checking the running 1-6 again about every 300-500 shots. You might need to adjust the seating depth of the COL longer by a few thou to keep that "just perfect" distance to the lands.


    You asked! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  5. CatShooter

    CatShooter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,053
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    May 8, 2001
    Re: how to load \"just off the lands\"?

    [ QUOTE ]
    Jonando,

    Here is what I do. I purchased a

    C.O.L. E-Z Check from

    R-P Products
    PO Box 7692
    8010 Dixie Blanchard Rd
    Shreveport, LA 71107
    Phone # 318-424-7867

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I have one of those tools and they are G-R-E-A-T.

    Best $25 I ever spent on loading tools.
     
  6. philny1

    philny1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    698
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Re: how to load \"just off the lands\"?

    Frankfort Arsenal makes a set of clamps that attach to your cleaning rod. Midway has them.
     
  7. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    965
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Re: how to load \"just off the lands\"?

    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Jonando,

    Here is what I do. I purchased a

    C.O.L. E-Z Check from

    R-P Products
    PO Box 7692
    8010 Dixie Blanchard Rd
    Shreveport, LA 71107
    Phone # 318-424-7867

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I have one of those tools and they are G-R-E-A-T.

    Best $25 I ever spent on loading tools.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    +3. Here is a pic of the Stoney Point (Hornady) OAL Gauge and the R-P Product

    [​IMG]

    I use them both. The Stoney Point makes a great device for holding the bullet against the lands while you measure it with the R-P rod.