Seating Die inconsistency

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Deadeye, May 3, 2003.

  1. Deadeye

    Deadeye Member

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    I currently use RCBS and Lee dies for .224 reloading and when seating Nosler, Hornady, and Sierra bullets none will seat to the exact depth every time. Some will be off by as much as .008. Is this because the die seating stem does not touch the bullet's ogive. If so could a person drill out enough to correct this or is there a seating die that contacts the ogive only. Thanks, Deadeye
     

  2. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    Are you measuring seating depth off the ogive or OAL?
     

  3. NUN

    NUN Member

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    Deadeye. Here is something to think about. I measured several boxes of Nosler bullets, BT and Parts in several calibers. Most of the BT's, between 85 to 95 percent all measured the same bullet length while the other percent ran up to +/- 0.005". I shot two 5 shot groups with 22, 6mm and 338 BT's with the uniform length bullets and one 5 shot group with the variable length bullets at 200 yds and I couldn't really tell any difference in group size. May not be totally scientific but I'm not out to do Nosler's QC.

    But......I do use measurements from the ogive of the bullet, NOT the OAL of the loaded round. Get a Stoney Point OAL gauge and you will find your seating dies becoming more uniform.

    That is not to say that the ogives are precise either because, again, I have measured boxes of different brand bullets, different calibers and found variation in the diameter of the ogive at the point of measurment in all of them. One box of Speer 50 TNT had only 58 that measured the same. They all shot within the capabilities of the particular rifle I was using, that is, the TNT's wasted 92 potguts, a couple of magpies, a crow, 3 starlings and 3 misses, there were 101 in that box.

    Over all I found Nosler to be the most consistently uniform bullets in length, weight, ogive and accuracy and I can get them about half price so I use them more than any other brand, but I also like Hornady and Sierra for certain rifles.

    For long range stuff I weigh and measure the OAL, diameter and ogive and use the most uniform. The others get to be sighters, foulers, key chains etc.
     
  4. Deadeye

    Deadeye Member

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    BountyHunter- I measure from the ogive once I seat the bullet for a consistent seat. If I measure from the tip I get a varience of OAL. This does take time. This is for my Kimber 84M 22.250 because it is real fussy about what I feed it. My Savage .223 eats anything I feed it with much enthusiasm.
    BOONYTOO- I guess your method is what I will have to do. I was hoping for some timesaving on reloading since it is not as much a hobby now since I shoot several thousand rds. in a summer on Pdogs. I will check in to some Nosler bullets more now. I have been told that Nosler was more consistent but my majority of bullets is Horn. Vmax.
    Thanks guys for the answers. It is appreciated!
     
  5. NUN

    NUN Member

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    Deadeye

    Treating your rifle as a multi-component system and reducing variability in every component is the key to uniformity, and unifority is the key to the winners circle. It doesn't matter whether you're bowling, golfing or doing the grand.

    Learning which variable is the most important and carries the most weight is difficult to find. Some of the information is a jealously guarded secret because it keeps you in the winners circle, but a lot of it is getting loose now because of the 'net.

    You found one of the variables, don't let it go. Keep looking, measure everything you can get your hands on, question everyone and test it thouroughly. Search the net thoroughly, most of the secrets have been told, but remember, disinformation is part and parcel of this game and human nature.

    I take great care loading for long range, less for close work. Every component is as close to the next as I can get it, within the boundries I set for that activity, i.e., to 300 yds, 300 to 500 yds, 500 to 1000yds and beyond.

    To 300 is basically grab a box of bullets, a can of powder, some primers and a bag of brass and get to loading. I check a dozen or so brass out of a 100 to see the variability, Rem or Win brass, it doesn't seem to matter much. I shoot a few 5 shot groups with known good loads to see if they are still good loads for that rifle, load 2 or 3 hundred and go shooting. A squirrel doesn't know or care what the seating variability or ogive point was whatsoever.

    Out past 300 to 5-600 yds I start getting more careful with all the system components and moreso with the ammo. The brass gets uniformed, separated closer by weight, necks turned, primer pockets and flash holes cleaned up, pretty much all the standard practices, bullets get a closer once over and the extremes tossed into the short range bin.

    When I am going for over 500 yd specifically, I have a couple of full blown basically BR rifles and everything is designed for small targets at long range and I get real extreme with the ammo uniformity. 50 some years of knowledge, tools, a failed marriage and total and complete malevolence goes into each and every round because each is designed for only one thing and missing a target brings out the dark side and Mr. Vader...for a few seconds anyway, I have mellowed out quite a bit since the hair turned white.

    Good rifles with good tubes can be a bit finicky sometimes, arguably. Maybe they need less variability to shoot to their potential.

    Enjoy your toys.