Newbie Reloader with Questions

MBD

Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
9
Location
Sparks, Nevada
New reloader here and I’ve got some questions:
- For the life of me I can’t get an accurate chamber length measurement. I use an OAL gauge, and there are variances every time. Some are hundredths of an inch.
Is there a top quality gauge out there?
Is there a trick I’m missing?
Tonight I purposely loaded an unprimed, no powder round, “long” and set it in the chamber, gently working the bolt to see if it would close. When it didn’t, removed the cartridge, and re-set the die down as close to 1,000th of an inch as I could, and pressed the round; then repeated the process.I ended up doing this several times before the bolt would close safely.
Measured that round (OAL 3.285 for a 7mm Mag).
Since the bolt closed safely and easily (not having to force or crank down on the bolt handle), is it safe to assume the round is not in contact with the lands and grooves, or should I back it off another 1,000th ?

- I am using the standard RCBS dies, and I’m finding out setting the bullet depth is well, a royal pain. I’m getting inconsistencies in ogive length on rounds.
I ordered the Redding Micrometer dies. Will this make it easier to get the correct length?
How hard is it to set the Redding dies to the desired OAL?

Thanks for the help
 

Barrelnut

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Dec 16, 2013
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4,477
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End of the Oregon Trail
- I am using the standard RCBS dies, and I’m finding out setting the bullet depth is well, a royal pain. I’m getting inconsistencies in ogive length on rounds.
I ordered the Redding Micrometer dies. Will this make it easier to get the correct length?
How hard is it to set the Redding dies to the desired OAL?

This is usually caused by the brass having varying amounts of hardness in the neck. This makes the resistance to seating the bullet different on each neck and the result is different seating depths. Brass "work hardens" each time it is fired. You should always keep your brass sorted by the number of firings, so the hardness will be about the same. Also, research annealing brass, it will be something you need to learn about too.

The micrometer dies make fine adjustment easier. They can help with varying neck hardness by backing off the seating depth each time a few thou and seating and measuring and seating and measuring each time so you can kinda walk in the exact seating depth each time, but this is tedious at best, and will cause deviations in bullet velocity which can wreck havoc on long range accuracy.
 
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MBD

Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
9
Location
Sparks, Nevada
Thanks for the info.
I did a lot of homework and was able to dial in the CBTO.
I will be headed out tomorrow to run loads and see which depth works best.
 

Buck Buster

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Jan 3, 2017
Messages
629
MBD: A method I was shown at a 1000 yard shoot, and use when finding the total length of a shell and the seating depth is to used a fired casing from the rifle and resize the neck just enough to hold a bullet. Then I lay it in the chamber and feed it forward and seat the bullet. This I have only done with bolt action rifles. Now you put this shell in your press with the seat of the die backed out and screw it in till it touches the bullet, then I lower the shell and screw the center of the seat die in a little at a time to get the length that shoots best. You will have rifling marks on the bullet that you seated in the gun, you can use that as a guide watch for the marks to disappear as you seat the bullets deeper or maybe your gun will like the bullet touching the lands. As mentioned, in some guns bullets will not fit into your magazine if seated out this far. I will add that many of the 1000 yard shooters ( competition ) would seat each round they shot this way, they would push it in and fire it in competition. This was at the Original 1000 yard bench rest club near Williamsport, PA back in the 70's .
 

Skimafia

Active Member
Joined
May 10, 2018
Messages
37
Location
Utah
Make sure you remember that the 'touch number' will be different for different bullets.

I have used the method above in the youtube video with a lot of success. It is not as tedious if you have a micrometer seating die too.
 

TheDude270

Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Messages
10
Location
Hillsboro, OR
I've heard a million ways, you just have to do what works for you. I've used a lot of methods and so far the old school way works best for me.

I take a somewhat loose necked case with no primer like you mentioned that can still grab a bullet and I set it for a bit less then what I assume is the base to ogive measurement and measure with comparator, I stick it in with my finger really tight and tip the gun barrel up and usually the bullet and case will fall out, I catch it, then I tap the round out a bit so it's about a tad longer and repeat process. I document each measurement before I stick it in and if it sticks or falls. When it starts to stick, that is loosely what the base to ogive measurement is for that particular bullet combination with your chamber. This requires practically no special tools and is fast, accurate and easy.
 

WildRose

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Feb 3, 2011
Messages
12,075
Location
N. Texas and S. Africa
You can literally go crazy chasing the lans.

I have hornady gagues and they work fine but what works best for me is to pretty well load everything to magazine length, find an accurate load and then tweak the seating depth. I don't shoot VLD's so I don't have to worry about finicky seating depth sensitive bullets.
 
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ar10ar15man

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Aug 22, 2018
Messages
883
Location
az
first question, before giving directions,
is this a single shot hunting rifle, a mag fed hunting rifle, or a target rifle?
 

ar10ar15man

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Aug 22, 2018
Messages
883
Location
az
with a mag fed hunting rifle, you really have limits.
mag length is the biggie.
so pick a bullet and look and see what the difference is between mag length and touching the lands..
now decide it you want to stay with the bullet or look for something that may get you closer to the lands at mag length.
if you hunt short range, fat round nose bullets will be close to the lands and have excellent short range accuracy ( i have put 4 174's in one hole at 100 yds).
so pick an approach and work up a load.
hunting loads do not have to be target loads. look at hos you actually hunt and work on a functional load.

You can literally crazy chasing the lans.

I have hornady gagues and they work fine but what works best for me is to pretty well load everything to magazine length, find an accurate load and then tweak the seating depth. I don't shoot VLD's so I don't have to worry about finicky seating depth sensitive bullets.
 

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