No Tool Seating Depth Method

BFD Guns

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Mar 2, 2020
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Illinois
A bullet is seated long into an empty case. With bolt removed from the gun, the round is pushed into the chamber with a pinky finger pressing the case into the chamber as far as possible. Seating depth is reduced .002-.003 until the round falls freely from the chamber when the gun is tilted muzzle upward. So, essentially, you're finding that spot where the bullet no longer gets held in the rifling. Until that is found, each stuck round is lightly tapped out of the chamber with a cleaning rod.

In order to make this method as accurate as possible I would think one would need their brass sized and head spaced uniformly. However, there seems to be a universal standard of giving some length of bullet jump usually starting with .010 to .020. I can see this pinky procedure having an error of .002 with the jacket crushing ever so slight if one bullet were reused for all the measurements. However, I think it might be so slight to make no appreciable difference since it is common to adjust bullet seating depth in increments of at .010" to find that bughole grouping round.

I'd like to see some input on this. Pros and cons. Thanks!
 

LaHunter

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Sep 30, 2012
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N.E. Louisiana
I use the ‘Alex Wheeler’ method. In my opinion, precision reloading requires tools and there are ‘best practices’ on achieving certain levels of precision. The ‘pinky method’ may possibly work, but I would not consider it a ‘best practice’. In many of the threads that I read through where guys are asking for advise to fix a problem they are experiencing, most times it comes down to a flaw in their process
 

Lefty38-55

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Feb 17, 2016
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I use the good ol' Stoney Point (now Hornady) tools and start 0.020" off then set the final after I determine the 'best' from Dan Newberry's Optimal Charge Weight (OCW) method. Man, that OCW process justflat out works!

FYI, I use the tool to 'compare' variation to the ogive of whatever batch of bullets I'm using, by a sample of 10, setting up on the longest, but I find the bullets I buy to be very consistent. Besides ...I'm a 'tool whore' anyway, LOL!
 

MagnumManiac

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Feb 25, 2008
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4,155
I use a sized split neck case to ascertain touch. Using a Dremel with a 1mm (.040”) cut-off wheel, I make 2 slits opposite each other in the case, clean the burrs up, size it and seat a bullet long and chamber it slowly and carefully. Remove it carefully and then use my bullet comparator to measure CBTO. I also measure OAL for a datum point for that cartridge/chamber.
This method has proven very accurate for me, as I can do this several times and get the exact same results.
The only issue I run into was a rough end to a chamber that grasped the bullets and pulled them from the case…this was quickly found and fixed however with a light polishing with scotch brite pads on a dowel.

Cheers.
 

1varmint

Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2011
Messages
34
I use a sized split neck case to ascertain touch. Using a Dremel with a 1mm (.040”) cut-off wheel, I make 2 slits opposite each other in the case, clean the burrs up, size it and seat a bullet long and chamber it slowly and carefully. Remove it carefully and then use my bullet comparator to measure CBTO. I also measure OAL for a datum point for that cartridge/chamber.
This method has proven very accurate for me, as I can do this several times and get the exact same results.
The only issue I run into was a rough end to a chamber that grasped the bullets and pulled them from the case…this was quickly found and fixed however with a light polishing with scotch brite pads on a dowel.

Cheers.
Buy this man a cigar…I dip the projectile in layout dye to know exactly when I have left the lands
 

ButterBean

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Feb 5, 2012
Messages
5,857
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West Terre Haute Indiana
I use a sized split neck case to ascertain touch. Using a Dremel with a 1mm (.040”) cut-off wheel, I make 2 slits opposite each other in the case, clean the burrs up, size it and seat a bullet long and chamber it slowly and carefully. Remove it carefully and then use my bullet comparator to measure CBTO. I also measure OAL for a datum point for that cartridge/chamber.
This method has proven very accurate for me, as I can do this several times and get the exact same results.
The only issue I run into was a rough end to a chamber that grasped the bullets and pulled them from the case…this was quickly found and fixed however with a light polishing with scotch brite pads on a dowel.

Cheers.
X-2
 

Rflamm250

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Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
307
Location
Florida
A bullet is seated long into an empty case. With bolt removed from the gun, the round is pushed into the chamber with a pinky finger pressing the case into the chamber as far as possible. Seating depth is reduced .002-.003 until the round falls freely from the chamber when the gun is tilted muzzle upward. So, essentially, you're finding that spot where the bullet no longer gets held in the rifling. Until that is found, each stuck round is lightly tapped out of the chamber with a cleaning rod.

In order to make this method as accurate as possible I would think one would need their brass sized and head spaced uniformly. However, there seems to be a universal standard of giving some length of bullet jump usually starting with .010 to .020. I can see this pinky procedure having an error of .002 with the jacket crushing ever so slight if one bullet were reused for all the measurements. However, I think it might be so slight to make no appreciable difference since it is common to adjust bullet seating depth in increments of at .010" to find that bughole grouping round.

I'd like to see some input on this. Pros and cons. Thanks!
The process you described is a very accurate and repeatable way of measuring a round. I have a Stoney point/Hornady gauge and used that method for years until I was introduced to the" pinky method" What I found doing both methods is the pinky method will usually be .002 -.005 deeper in the case vs the gauge. The most important part is having a clean barrel and a case sized correctly. Best part about the "pinky method" is you don't have to have a modified case for every cartridge and no math involved.
 

The Oregonian

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Jul 20, 2012
Messages
1,748
Location
Missoula, Montana
This makes no sense to me. Why split the case neck when one can load as I described. No worries about the bullet sticking in the rifling.
To me it is easier to do something once and then measure it to get the results than it is to seat long and work backwards a handful of times until you get it right, but that’s just my opinion.
 

ButterBean

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Feb 5, 2012
Messages
5,857
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West Terre Haute Indiana
This makes no sense to me. Why split the case neck when one can load as I described. No worries about the bullet sticking in the rifling.

To me it is easier to do something once and then measure it to get the results than it is to seat long and work backwards a handful of times until you get it right, but that’s just my opinion.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
 

ButterBean

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Feb 5, 2012
Messages
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Location
West Terre Haute Indiana
So the time it takes to demel the case case and dick around is the time it takes to seat a bullet a few times. I know we all clock into the reloading room don't we! LOL
It takes about 5 seconds to cut a case and the n your done, put a bullet in, close the bolt , open and measure, No bolt removal and no pinky finger involved, Fast, simple and accurate
 

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