acceptable seating depth variations
What is your allowable seating depth variations for Hunting rounds. I am shooting a 300 win mag. these days with 180gr Barnes TTSX.
I try to be .001 +/-. I throw some rounds out and tinker a bit with the die.
It takes a while to load a bunch of rounds. I would like to speed up the process a bit.
Also, I think the Tipped TSX bullets are different lengths occasionally. There is a small space under the plastic tip on some of them. I have not measured this though. I am looking more closely now at each bullet. This will obviously mess with the COL. The bullet should hit the lands the same though I would guess.
For my hunting rifles, I like to start with the longest OAL that will fit in the magazine. Then I experiment with "shorter" OAL loads to see if accuracy improves. (Sometimes it will improve.) That way I can always use the magazine. I take measurements on the bullet ogive to get consistent readings from varying bullet tips.
For my long range rifles (with no magazine), I start with the loads about -.001" behind the rifling. Again, I shorten the OAL in .003" increments and shoot groups to find the most accurate load.
I also like to have -.001" to -.002" chamber clearance (at the case shoulder), and I use the same tool to get all of these measurements. Check it out on my website. WWW.LARRYWILLIS.COM
As marshall said, the length to the ogive is truly what matters, as it is the distance from the lands and grooves. I was pulling my hair out on some Nosler Custom Competitions because I couldn't get consistent with OAL within .004". I actually bought 2 more sets of dies, thinking the seating dies were pieces of crap. I finally got a Hornady comparator set, and low and behold, they all had consistent ogive depths to the nearest .001". This makes sense, since the seating die doesn't push on the tip, it pushes farther down. As long as the ogive seating depths are the same, I've noticed no accuracy differences. Which, by the way, my Kimber hates Nosler bullets, and I wasted my time anyway... Only Barnes TTSX's are good enough for my stuck up rifle.