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Thread: Bullet seating a bit frustrating..

  1. #1
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    Red face Bullet seating a bit frustrating..

    Have a problem in seating bullets and getting the same coal with the same bullet.
    Using the Hornady New Dimension die and RCBS micrometer on top to dial in exact length.
    Once i have it adjusted and set to what i want and procede to the next cartridge, they seem to be either under or slightly over what was dialed in.
    Now i check each of them with micrometer and either re-adjust dial in or pull the bullet if under in length.
    Frustrating as heck and have checked the dies and everything is clean and there is nothing i can see that should cause this.
    Has anyone experienced this??? And if so how can i correct the problem so i don't have to Mic every round??
    Everything is clean and set up as recomended.
    My only thought is that the bullets are off spec, but i know better than to believe that.
    They are all in seperate boxes and the bullets are not mixed up.
    There are only three that i use, they are Acu-bonds, Barnes, and A-frames.
    Only working on 325 and trying to figure out what im doing wrong.
    Would appreciate any help available out there..
    Vic

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    Quote Originally Posted by furbearer View Post
    Have a problem in seating bullets and getting the same coal with the same bullet.
    Using the Hornady New Dimension die and RCBS micrometer on top to dial in exact length.
    Once i have it adjusted and set to what i want and procede to the next cartridge, they seem to be either under or slightly over what was dialed in.
    Now i check each of them with micrometer and either re-adjust dial in or pull the bullet if under in length.
    Frustrating as heck and have checked the dies and everything is clean and there is nothing i can see that should cause this.
    Has anyone experienced this??? And if so how can i correct the problem so i don't have to Mic every round??
    Everything is clean and set up as recomended.
    My only thought is that the bullets are off spec, but i know better than to believe that.
    They are all in seperate boxes and the bullets are not mixed up.
    There are only three that i use, they are Acu-bonds, Barnes, and A-frames.
    Only working on 325 and trying to figure out what im doing wrong.
    Would appreciate any help available out there..
    Vic
    I doubt that you are doin anything Rong.

    I think you will always have some variance, due to the differences in bullet lengths, OR if you're measuring COAL to the Ogive, differences in the Ogive.

    Measure each bullet for length, and see.

    There can be huge differences in bullets from one box, or one run of bullets to the next.

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    Like Smitty, I doubt that you're doing anything wrong...assuming that you're case prepping for uniformity.

    I always have some slight variation in COAL when loading up a batch of ammunition. After loading a batch, I measure each one and sort them according to the COAL. I'm looking for the desired seating depth that I set +/- an acceptable variance. Anything longer than that acceptable interval gets run back through the seating die, and I often have to run the die down a bit to hit the interval I'm looking for. Shorter ones get placed in the puller for a few taps to lengthen them and then I seat them to the desired interval.

    I've always just assumed that what I described is part of reloading.

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    Look at the ogives of bullets already seated. A little ring should show where they contacted the seating stem, probably a sixteenth to an eighth below the tip. This distance from case base to ogive should be consistent, and is the measurement that counts, unless the OAL is too great to work through the magazine. The amount of tip that sticks out beyond the ogive length really doesn't effect anything but magazine length. Just pick a seating depth that allows ALL the cartridges to cycle and stick with it. Adjusting the die for OAL consistency will make inaccurate loads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drow View Post
    Look at the ogives of bullets already seated. A little ring should show where they contacted the seating stem, probably a sixteenth to an eighth below the tip. This distance from case base to ogive should be consistent, and is the measurement that counts, unless the OAL is too great to work through the magazine. The amount of tip that sticks out beyond the ogive length really doesn't effect anything but magazine length. Just pick a seating depth that allows ALL the cartridges to cycle and stick with it. Adjusting the die for OAL consistency will make inaccurate loads.
    Side note (for those of us who are 'AR'): In handloading, the ogive is used to refer to the point on the conical fore end of the bullet at which it will make contact with the lands. The seating stem will not likely be the same diameter as the lands. Thus while the light ring produced by the seating stem as described above may provide a consistent reference mark for some measurement, it should not be confused with the ogive relative to the lands.
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    Thanks for the clarification, taiga, I'm not an AR guy.

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    furbearer, this:

    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Side note (for those of us who are 'AR'): In handloading, the ogive is used to refer to the point on the conical fore end of the bullet at which it will make contact with the lands. The seating stem will not likely be the same diameter as the lands. Thus while the light ring produced by the seating stem as described above may provide a consistent reference mark for some measurement, it should not be confused with the ogive relative to the lands.
    I am one of the AR guys I bet. When I am loading for accuracy I seat all the bullets about 030" too long, than I use a bullet comparator to measure from the case head to the ogive point on the curvy business end of the bullet. With everything in the batch sorted by length, i start with the short ones that need to go maybe 025" deeper, set the seating die for that, seat those, then lower the seating plunger 002 for the ones that needed to be 027 shorter, etcetera.

    In my experience Hornady bullets have good consistency this way. I plink mostly with Sierra bulleets. Sierras, I find, tend to have very consistent weights, but the shape of the curved pointy end of the bullet can vary a lot. Hornadys i find are pretty much shaped the same, but the weight can vary.

    I measured up a box of 100 Sierras in .224" for my AR15, I think last year. The distance between the tip of the bullet and the point on the curve where the bullet would eventually meet the rifling varied by .015" so even if you load all those to the same COAL, the gun is going to "see" or "feel" rounds that vary in legth by .015"

    Using a bullet comparator I got my AR15 to group into 3/4" at 100 yards; without it, just loading to COAL it is a 3MOA gun.

    HTH,
    S

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    PS: You don't want the seating stem to push on the bullet at the same point where the rifling will eventually meet the lands. It will mess up the gliding metal surface at exactly the wrong sopt, and if you try walking it through your process you will find the math isn't really any easier.

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    If measuring an A-Frame for COAL the variance in the soft lead nose will drive you nuts. The bullet is excellent quality and the ogive will be +/- .004 from the bullet base if using a bullet comparator. Accept the COAL variations as long as the cartridge will feed from your magazine.

    The Accubonds are fairly consistent since the plastic tips are virtually identical. Their ogive is +/- .002 from the base for the majority of the bullets in the box.

    I have had great success with the Barnes bullets but they are the worst when it comes to weight and length matching in any box I've compared. Accuracy has been very good within +/- .010 COAL once the seating depth has been dialed in.

    The bullets you have mentioned are hunting bullets and better than needed for acceptable hunting accuracy. If you have taken the time to dial in a powder charge and seating depth that provides you the best accuracy for your combination the small variations in weight and length will be of little importance at typical hunting distances.

    Target bullets such as Sierra Match King, Nosler Custom Competition and Berger VLD's will be very closely matched in weight, length and ogive curve within any given lot. I generally clean the meplet with a Sinclair trimmer on these pointed bullets and sort by weight and length, they are typically +/- .1gr and +/- .001 but a poor choice for hunting thick skin long hair game.

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    How accurate do you want your bullets? 1 moa, 1/2, 1/4? How far are you going to shoot? What are you going to shoot? Do you have a factory gun or custom? It makes a difference on how exact you need to be at the reloading bench. I have guns that I get good velocity and 2" moa and am happy, takes me about 1/2 a days work and I have ammo as good or better than factory stuff. I have a 300 win that I load to be about 1 moa. It is a reasonably accurate factory gun with a good scope. I carry it for a back up on long boat trips and can shoot it 300 yards on deer size targets consistently. I have a custom 300 RUM that is very accurate and is my 500 yrd gun for paper and maybe an animal that far some day. I spend most all of my time fretting over all the little details with this gun. My point is.... what do you expect to get for accuracy and is it realistic. Accept some variances in COL and all other sorts of details that might affect accuracy if you are hunting large targets at realistic ranges. Accept no compromise if perfection is your goal. By the way, that gets expensive and is more frustrating than golf.

    I agree with Marshall, Barnes bullets are all over the place, but still shoot good. Anything with a lead tip will not be exact with COL. I know he shoots E-tips. I wonder how consistent they are?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    I agree with Marshall, Barnes bullets are all over the place, but still shoot good. Anything with a lead tip will not be exact with COL. I know he shoots E-tips. I wonder how consistent they are?
    The E-tips are a bit out of whack on weight consistency within a box of 50 but ogive consistency is in line with Accubonds. My last box was 179.4 - 181.3 for 180gr bullets. I'm a bit anal but these are plenty close for shots under 500 yards from a good rifle with a patient shooter. I took an Elk with a 180gr E-Tip load last month at 296 yards.

    An interesting note about the E-Tips. I measured 150gr, 168gr and 180gr .308 diameter E-Tips with a bullet comparator from base to ogive and subtracted that number from each bullets base to tip length, the numbers were within .002 between the three different weights. What that means is that regardless which bullet is selected if they are loaded to the same COAL they will be the same distance from the lands. Nosler used the same ogive profile on all of the .308 diameter E-Tip bullets.

  12. #12

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    How far do you try to get your bullet from the lands? I just bought a over all length gauge and a bullet comparator today. I loaded a few rounds of 22-250 a few minutes ago and loaded them 0.005 and 0.010 from the lands to see if it would make a difference. That is closer to the lands than I have been loading them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cast Iron View Post
    How far do you try to get your bullet from the lands? I just bought a over all length gauge and a bullet comparator today. I loaded a few rounds of 22-250 a few minutes ago and loaded them 0.005 and 0.010 from the lands to see if it would make a difference. That is closer to the lands than I have been loading them.

    I don't know if you are loading E-Tips or not, but if you are be very careful getting them close to the lands. E-tips are known for higher pressures than other bullets. Also my experience with them and Barnes monolithic bullets is that they are more accurate seated a lot farther from the lands than bullets like Accubonds that do better in the 0.005 and 0.010 range.

    I have had better accuracy with E-Tips and TSXs seated in the .075 to .100 range.

    I have also noticed that E-Tips max out pressure wise with much LOWER powder charges than other bullets.

    If you are loading E-Tip and want to try them close, I would drop the charge down some until you see how they do.

    Good Luck and be safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cast Iron View Post
    How far do you try to get your bullet from the lands? I just bought a over all length gauge and a bullet comparator today. I loaded a few rounds of 22-250 a few minutes ago and loaded them 0.005 and 0.010 from the lands to see if it would make a difference. That is closer to the lands than I have been loading them.
    .030 oughta do it.

    .005 to .010 doesn't give you much lee way, for errors in measuring, and/or seating.

    IME, it's unneccessary to seat very close to the lands for accuracy, no matter how many times I hear that.

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    I loaded some 53gr. Sierra match bullets at .010 off the lands and some 55gr. Hornady V-Max bullets at .005 off the lands. These are mid range loads, at least a couple grains off max. When you speak of e-tip bullets are you talking about all plastic tipped bullets or a certain brand? I have shot both of these loads with the bullet seated a little deeper and had no pressure signs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cast Iron View Post
    I loaded some 53gr. Sierra match bullets at .010 off the lands and some 55gr. Hornady V-Max bullets at .005 off the lands. These are mid range loads, at least a couple grains off max. When you speak of e-tip bullets are you talking about all plastic tipped bullets or a certain brand? I have shot both of these loads with the bullet seated a little deeper and had no pressure signs.
    Yes Sir, E-Tips are Nosler's version of a monolithic all brass bullet like the Barne's TSX. The bullets you mention should be good to go.

    http://www.nosler.com/bullets/e-tip-lead-free.aspx

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    Thanks stid. I know Nosler made the e-tip but wanted to make sure you did not mean all plastic tipped bullets. I have never loaded this close to the lands except to fire form brass with a reduced load. The reason I bought the measuring tools was because a friend of mine loads a 700 Rem. in 22-250 with the 55gr. V-max about .002 off the lands with a mid range load. His gun shoots usually under 1/2 inch at 100 yards. The farther he backs his bullet away from the lands the bigger his group gets. I am just trying to work up a good load for this rifle so I can carry it on my trap line in a couple weeks.

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    Have you shot anything with your 22-250??? I bought one for predator hunting and it literally vaporized the fox I shot with it. Have not used it since for fur. I believe I was using V-Max factory loads with it.

    I bought an AR-15 and a 22LR conversion bolt so I can switch back on forth from 223 to 22LR as needed, but have not tried it yet.

    Good Luck and let us know how it works for ya.

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    I just bought mine about two weeks ago. Have only shot paper so far. I have a .223 that I use for calling that does fair about not tearing the fur up. I trap a large tract of land trying to thin the coyotes out and not to concearned about the fur on them. Picked the two prettist ones I caught last year and skinned, fleshed, and streched and dried there fur. They brought seven and fourteen dollars. They tell us there is no market for our coyotte. The 22-250 I bought is a 700 Remington with synthetic stock. The .223 is bull barrell and very heavy. To tell the truth I just needed a good excuse to buy another gun.

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