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bullets seating at different depths

29 Mar 2015
@ 01:09 pm (GMT)

Mario Ribicic

Hi guys

Below is my haiku of my headache. LOL

I've got a lee breech lock press lee dies. Currently im reloading 150gn Nosler BT. Coal is at 87.19mm and ive got the seating die set at 86.80mm. Ive got a digital set of calipers. I loaded up 6 rounds 53 grains of AR2209 and all 6 bullet seating depths are different by 0.2 0.3mm.

Brass is once fired winchester. What am I doing wrong??

Please help.


29 Mar 2015
@ 02:06 pm (GMT)

Thomas Pavelka

Re: bullets seating at different depths
Mario, you may not be doing anything wrong at all. Most seating dies contact the bullet at a point well below the tip. But we measure at the tip of the bullet when it is seated in the cartridge case.

I have seen much as you say, but mostly with lead tipped bullets. Here in the US we take great strides in bullet manufacture to obtain zero run out and perfect jacket thickness. And then, they either but the precise bullets loose in boxes of 100, or loaded ammunition in boxes of 20. Then the horror of it all begins. The boxes in either case are thrown around, dropped, beat up. And then when we get the product the tips are deformed, some of the bullets have dents in them. Seating depths can and are pretty much all over the place. Further, some rifles are quite brutal on loaded ammunition when they are in the clips or magazines too.

The polymer or plastic tipped bullets I thought got rid of a lot of these problems, but if bullet makers are getting sloppy with this it could explain the variance in your case.

In any event, when I was doing much reloading I got around this dilemma by placing a ring over the bullet and then checking with a height gage. This took erratic tips out of the picture entirely. After all, the "jump" is made by the ogive of the bullet to the leade of the particular rifle rather than from the tip of the bullet.

I am sure Nathan and others will have much more input.
29 Mar 2015
@ 08:45 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: bullets seating at different depths
Hi Mario, it is as Thomas suggested. The reloading book goes into great detail on this subject if you want to pursue it in more detail.

Please do not seat everything so that the cartridges are the same length. If you do, they will actually all be of differing COAL's to the ogive.

30 Mar 2015
@ 01:23 am (GMT)

Mario Ribicic

Re: bullets seating at different depths
Thanks Thomas and Nathan

Yea I've purchased the reloading book from you Nathan but still reading it



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