Bullet depth

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by dracer173, Feb 12, 2019.


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  1. dracer173

    dracer173 Member

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    I'm very new at this just trying to learn, If I get a load for a rifle from Nosler load Data for what ever bullet I will be using and it gives the OAL for that load do I have to measure bullet depth in my rifle? also on my 338-378wby same question only not sure how to measure it because of all the free bore ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  2. ShtrRdy

    ShtrRdy Well-Known Member

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    When you say "bullet depth" are you wondering about the depth of the bullet in the case?
     
  3. dracer173

    dracer173 Member

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    Yes, dose that have to be checked in my rifle or can I just make sure the oal length is the same as it is in the loading manual
     
  4. birdiemc

    birdiemc Well-Known Member

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    When you are just starting out reloading the best thing to do is set your bullet seating depth to achieve the COAL listed in your reloading manual. There's plenty of crazy confusing things to get into later, and spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on, but for now since you are just starting out go with overal length and you'll have fun.
     
  5. dracer173

    dracer173 Member

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    Thank You
     
  6. RegionRat

    RegionRat Well-Known Member

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    More or less, by using the seating depth of a manual without knowing the details of the reamer and chamber they used to run that data, you should be okay in terms of trusting that you won’t get a pressure that is too high. Most of the major manufacturers use conservative approaches to what they publish in their manuals. This philosophy includes giving some description of what they use to test in terms of example rifles or test bbls.

    Once you read enough and start down your road of learning to develop loads, you will get the hang of what the shared data really means and what you should expect to get. I tell beginners to start with a 5.56, .308, or .30-06 for the sole purpose of getting their learning curve under the benefit of a huge body of standardized test beds and pet loads. Once they survive their learning curve, they have the experience to go off into less charted territory with much higher confidence and safety.

    Never get complacent, you are born with your fingers and your eyes, make sure you keep them there...
     
    Gregg C likes this.
  7. dracer173

    dracer173 Member

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    Thank for your help
     
  8. Deviant

    Deviant Well-Known Member

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    That will work but if I were you I would buy a bullet comparator and an OAL gauge and measure to the lands of your rifle. Then you can use the bullet comparator to measure base to ogive and adjust for accuracy as needed. Seating depth will tighten up your groups more than anything else so you might as well learn how to do it right awsy.
     
  9. birdiemc

    birdiemc Well-Known Member

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    While I agree 100% with this, I know starting out it easy to get overwhelmed with the flood of information coming at you on reloading. When i first started, the best advice i received was to just start simple, as problems arise you bring the problem to the group and everybody floods you with hundreds of solutions. Then you get to weed through the advice and try something. Take note of the results, if good move ahead. If not trying something different. I have learned so much from the guys here, but if I had tried from day 1 to do what I'm trying to do now, I probably would have just given up and went back to factory ammo.
     
    Gregg C and bob4 like this.
  10. bob4

    bob4 Well-Known Member

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    You can certainly start with data in the manual. Don't get overwhelmed to early on.
     
  11. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest you seat a bullet in an empty cartridge out as far as the magazine will allow it to fit and feed. Then polish the bullet jacket with fine steel wool and carefully place the cartridge into the chamber, close bolt and carefully remove so you don't make extra marks on the bullet jacket. Look at the bullet for indications that the bullet is making contact with the lands of the rifling. If it is making contact there will be evenly spaced square or rectangular marks around the circumference of the bullet.

    If the bullet has no marks it isn't touching the rifling. If the bullet is making contact then seat the bullet deeper till it no longer contacts lands. Once you know the bullet is not touching go ahead and work up a load. Use the lower starting powder charge weights recommended by a powder manufacturer.
     
    Gregg C likes this.
  12. Pete FARR

    Pete FARR Active Member

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    I asked Weatherby that question about free bore. Their answer was use SAAMI specs.
     
  13. Gregg C

    Gregg C Well-Known Member

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    Yep, it is easy to get overwhelmed with information. In the long run, tho, it should be worth it. What components are you starting with ? Are you a note taker ? I am not, by nature, but that has bit me on the arse enough. I had to start over almost from scratch 4 times in my load development project on my 338-378 WBY because I lost notes or couldn't make sense from the notes I did have. Finally bought a hard bound journal, and keep it in my shooting bag. That way I can always find it, and I try to write down EVERYTHING that is happening, even my thoughts and musings. Maybe not good note taking practice, more like a story, I guess, but at least I'm understanding where I'm at.
    Have you shot that bad boy much ? What is your rifle ? Love mine, I call it my 338 Tinkeree. Cause I'm always tinkering with it !
     
  14. Locknload

    Locknload Well-Known Member

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    I would make very sure that were I to follow a reloading manual, I would use exactly the same bullet and exactly the same powder they use in the manual’s load development. The shape of the same weight bullets can be very different from make to make, requiring the ojive (curve to point) to make contact with the lands at different lengths.

    With a Weatherby, part of the velocity achieved is due to freebore or lead. It is not there to be used in reloading, it is there for the rifle to use to “build up steam”, if you will.
    Ed