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Thread: loading question

  1. #1
    Member ironartist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Meadow Lakes

    Default loading question

    I would like to know when I handload bullets if this is alright. I read in the book to measure the lands? of the chamber. I just don't understand. I trim my shot rounds after I resize them to the same length as a factory round and when I seat the lead I also set it the same as a factory round then make sure they fit my magazine. Does this sound alright?
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  2. #2
    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Southeast Alaska


    What you're doing sounds plenty safe.

    Factory rounds are loaded to an Overall Length that is safe in virtually every rifle.

    The tradeoff is that you give up some case capacity if you load the round shorter than you have to. You may also give up some accuracy potential from adjusting the seating depth.

    There are tools for measuring the length at which a given bullet is seated 'into the lands' in a given chamber. You don't want your bullet seated that far out, because if it can't 'jump' a little before engaging the rifling, you can get dangerous spikes in chamber pressure.

    Or, you can seat a bullet in an empty, unprimed case at a ridiculously long OAL. Black the whole bullet with a candle, and chamber it. If the bolt is tough to close - or won't close - and the bullet comes out with shiny marks from the rifling, seat it a little deeper, re-black it, and try again.

    The OAL where that bullet's ogive juuust engages the lands is what they're talking about in your loading manual. Generally, one wants to start .050" shorter than that.

    If you're loading 110 grain bullets for a .300 Win, you may not be able to seat 'em that far out. If you're loading 220 grain bullets for a .308, you'll want to seat 'em as far out as is safe to maximize usable case capacity.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Anchorage, Alaska

    Thumbs up

    Mauser gave you some very good information. The technique he described for measuring the distance to the lands does work, and it doesn't cost additional money. However, I personally like using a Stoney-Point OAL Gauge. You can read about them in many catalogues, e.g., Cabella's. If you don't typically measure the distance to the lands, then be sure to stay within the maximum overall length published for the cartridge you're loading. However, measuring the distance to the lands in your rifle and adjusting the OAL of the cartridge is an important part of the formula when developing highly accurate, custom loads for your rifle and a specific bullet. It's part of the fun. Read up on lands and grooves, chamber throats, and bullet seating distance from the lands for the specific bullets you're loading...and be sure not to seat the bullet so long that it actually contacts the lands when the round is chambered...that is a no-no.


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