Seating depth vs powder

Badlands Griz

Mar 24, 2020
Northern plains
Should have my homemade annealing machine put together tomorrow. Neck sizing mandrels will arrive in a few days. I think neck tension has been a stumbling point for my grouping. So I'm going to cure that.
What do you guys usually start with; seating depth or powder charge? I did a ladder test a while back, and I think I have a harmonics/ accuracy node for charge weight (although that may change). I'm very curious as to which of these you would start with, and why.


Well-Known Member
Jan 5, 2004
Search is definitely a good idea. I still am willing to add PTO the discussion.

im a fairly experienced reloader/shooter trying to up my game to match my rifles. I’ve had to go through my shooting and reloading techniques.

In reloading, I’ve worked on my seating depth method. So, my hypothesis was that getting full bearing surface contact with the neck. So, I figure out min/max oal for each bullet based bearing surface having contact with the whole neck. Then I start loading at lands -0.030”, mag length, or the max from the previous min/max oal determination.

Then I determine max load with a 1 shot ladder into individual aiming points, looking for smashed primers, bolt lift force change. Then I back off about 1/2 gr from max. Afterwards, I look at the targets for places where 3 shots make a decent grouping.

Then I load 3 shot groups around those groupings. Maybe 5 groups, sometimes 15 groups.

Then I will run some groups with oal adjusted in 0.005” - 0.010” increments depending upon how well the 3 round stuff does. If the 3 round groups are good, I may skip this step.

Then I load 5 groups of 5 of one load to really know consistency of groups, velocity for the kestrel and true Sd.


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