Distance from Lands


Active Member
Feb 13, 2012
I'm fairly new to reloading so please bear with me. My first hunting load I've loaded up for my 280 is 162g SST's. I'm .03 off the lands with my load. The problem is that my magazine in my Ruger M77 wont' take it because it's too long. Obviously I will seat it more so it will fit in the magazine, I'm not going to make a single shooter out of it. It is my hunting rifle. I'm wondering what impact moving my bullet farther away from the lands will have. Of course I won't know till I go shoot them, but we're talking thousands...I don't forsee this as being too much of an issue as there is no way all the factory loads can be exactly a perfect distance from every model rifle they are shot int...but we're reloading right, we need accurancy! The Mark II has more room in their magazine, they must have had an epiphany. I'm sure it's the higher BC, ballistic tip, and slimmer bullet that is creating this issue, as the fatter speers I used to use had no problem.

Thanks for any insight or experience you can give me. I was looking for an actual number for this magazine length somewhere for this rifle, but am unable to find it. I'll just keep seating them deeper till they fit and see what I come up with.
This is not the rule by any means but typically a lead core bullet such as the SST will shoot more accurately closer to the lands like .010 sometimes even into the lands. magazine length is always the issue it seems. so you have options.
1. Load it to magazine length with the SST get as good as you can and call it good.
2. switch to something stubbier like a Partition of a game king
3. Switch to a Barnes tsx, ttsx or lrx which typically shoot extremely well when seated way off the lands. they recommend .030-.070

I shoot barnes is most of my rifles and they shoot very well, and kill extremely well.
When I used SST's in my 7mag I seated them as long as my mag would alow, I got 1/2MOA out of em, but they where very very accurate down range. One of my finest shots was made with this load. Cow elk at 300yrds facing dead away looking at me over her back, with about a 1 1/2ft window through the brush on her side of the coulee. I hit her right where the skull and spine meet. gun)
The others are right. Get it shooting. A bit of jump isn't going to amount to a hill of beans if it dumps 5 into 1/2" or so at 100. I've had 1/2" jumps with some bullets in the 7mmultra, and they would clover-leaf 3 and do sub moa for 8.
Thanks for the advice. I was worried there might be more of an issue, but it sounds like things might be ok. I'll verify at the range though.

Curious though, I have loaded them at 55g, and am getting 2922fps out of them. Will seating them deeper have an effect on this...i'm sure it might build up more pressure before the bullet leaves?
actually pressure will be lower because the bullet gets more momentum before it hits the lands resulting in lower pressure which means lower velocities.
actually pressure will be lower because the bullet gets more momentum before it hits the lands resulting in lower pressure which means lower velocities.
It's kind of a weird thing. You seat rifle bullets in it lowers pressure(especially the initial spike as the bullet engraves) because it gives them more run at the rifling. The opposite is true with small-capacity pistol though(think 9mm Luger). If you seat those bullets too deep, you might just blow up your pistol because case volume has fallen so dramatically. It really depends on what you are loading for.
I didnt know that. I dont reload any pistol cartridges. The only pistol we own is a 357 mag but we havent shot it in 3 years. :rolleyes:

I just had to see how they were made inside.Photo is a 270 cal 140gr Match Grade VLD Hunting bullet.Looks like they are well made with a fairly thick jacket.I tried them out and they shot really well.If you play with the seating depth and find the sweet spot they shoot really tight.See link on seating

Shot a one ragged hole three shot group at 200 yards.I was well pleased.

I'm finding one rifle I've been working with shoots substantially better at .080 off the lands.Another rifle likes to be .020 off the lands.I used to adjust the powder charge to help tighten my groups,now I'm finding that adjusting the seating depth on a load has the same affect.I used the method in the link on my post.This works with all bullets,not just Bergers.Finding that .030 -.040 wide sweet spot really opens your eyes when you see your groups shrink.I'm also seeing as much as 50fps change in .040 seating depth change.That's like a 1/2 a grain or so of powder.I guess it has a lot to do with pressure and barrel harmonics.
I didnt know that. I dont reload any pistol cartridges. The only pistol we own is a 357 mag but we havent shot it in 3 years. :rolleyes:
The 380,9mm, and 40 smith are the worst on this, The safe bet on these is to load to book length or the length of the mag with a bit of clearance as long as it feeds well. I don't shoot any auto pistols at present, but load for a 44mag.
I ended up a lot further from the lands then I expected, but nothing I can do about it with this particular bullet. I will be closer with smaller grain bullets. Now that I know what my max length is to fit into my magazine. Thanks for all the info. I'll shoot them this weekend and see if there is any kind of change in performance or velocity.
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