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Old 06-03-2012, 04:07 PM   #1
mdslammer
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Default Bullet Seating Depth

I finally took the plunge to start reloading. So here's a newbie question that
maybe you can help me with.

I'm reloading for my Remington 700 .308.
Using Varget Powder, 178gr. A-MAX bullets
Win Primers and once fired Federal brass.

I wanted to get your imput as to what seating depth you recommend?
I was told that .005" off the lands is a good place to start and that every
rifle will be a bit different as to what it likes.

A little more bullet jump. A little less. Anyway, I was going to load a few at
.005", .007", .009" and then .0010" and compare groups.

Am I approaching this correctly or not? Would there be any reason to exceed
.0010"? Any other advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.
MDslammer
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:02 PM   #2
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#1 - Start off with the recommended case over-all length (C.O.L.) by the reloading manuals.

#2 - To check your chamber free length (shoulder to rifle lands) use a resized case and place a bullet (your chosen) started in the neck to hold it in place.

Chamber it & close the bolt and lock it down and extract in hand.

Measure the C.O.L. to find out how much play area* you have for seating depth.

* I've read some 18+ odd years ago that loading with the bullet just able to touch the lands is okay, provided the rounds cycle through the bolt action sequence. But the practice is questionable at best

#3 - Load the recommended C.O.L. and adjust the powder weight up and down. This is the method I use to dial in a loading with a particular bullet weight, primer and powder combo. Change one component aspect and you have to start all over again to dial it in.
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:09 PM   #3
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Mark, The 178 A-Max has a very forgiving ogive.
Load to 2.810 O.A.C.L and let it rip.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Sammy View Post
Mark, The 178 A-Max has a very forgiving ogive.
Load to 2.810 O.A.C.L and let it rip.
Dave,

Using the Hornady Lock and Load O.A.L. tool, my O.A.L. to the lands is
2.317.
If I seat the bullet .005" off the lands, my measurement would be 2.312 correct?
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:59 PM   #5
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md: In my experience it is quicker to start back a ways with the COL and move forward in increments of 0.005". I use the rule of thumb that if the caliber is .30" then I start 0.030" short and work forward, etc. At the mark that you believe the accuracy is best start over and work closer by increments of 0.002" for 0.004" total and then try backwards by the same increments. I use three shot groups to minimize the total number of rounds down range to preserve the accuracy of the barrel as long as possible. If your rifle and load is to be used hunting you need to watch COL so as to not get too long in the magazine. As you said, every rifle is a law unto itself. I made a mistake one time (I know, hard to believe) and loaded some 6mmX.223 that had a 0.125" jump to the lands. That particular bolt rifle loved them!
I always felt a little ill while loading for that rifle but the result in the P.Dog fields was worth it. .............. Big Cholla
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdslammer View Post
Dave,

Using the Hornady Lock and Load O.A.L. tool, my O.A.L. to the lands is
2.317.
If I seat the bullet .005" off the lands, my measurement would be 2.312 correct?
Something is wrong here...
My Lyman Manual has the OAL for your bullet at 2.780
Hodgdon load data has it at 2.800

I personally load my at 2.800 with good results. (I have acheived .3 MOA with my reloads shotting a Tikka T3 CTR Scout) You could go longer and may follows Sonic sammy's adivice with no problems.

I also am a newby to reloading.. but I belive the manuals have max lengths listed for a reason.

What I have learned for sure is to start at the min and work your way up in small increments... And have fun like I have safely developing your loads.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ericnvegas View Post
Something is wrong here...
My Lyman Manual has the OAL for your bullet at 2.780
Hodgdon load data has it at 2.800

I personally load my at 2.800 with good results. (I have acheived .3 MOA with my reloads shotting a Tikka T3 CTR Scout) You could go longer and may follows Sonic sammy's adivice with no problems.

I also am a newby to reloading.. but I belive the manuals have max lengths listed for a reason.

What I have learned for sure is to start at the min and work your way up in small increments... And have fun like I have safely developing your loads.
Eric,

I'm going to remeasure my O.A.L. again with the Hornaday O.A.L. guage to
verify the O.A.L. My buddy helped me the first time we did it. We measured
it several times to get the same number. Maybe I misread it or didn't use it
properly.

However, I did a batch of reloads a few times with that number and the ammo
appeared to be OK.

I will say I've shot close to 4500 rounds thru my rifle since I first got it almost
two years back. Maybe I've worn the damn thing out!!!!

Thanks.

Mark
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdslammer View Post
Eric,

I'm going to remeasure my O.A.L. again with the Hornaday O.A.L. guage to
verify the O.A.L. My buddy helped me the first time we did it. We measured
it several times to get the same number. Maybe I misread it or didn't use it
properly.

However, I did a batch of reloads a few times with that number and the ammo
appeared to be OK.

I will say I've shot close to 4500 rounds thru my rifle since I first got it almost
two years back. Maybe I've worn the damn thing out!!!!

Thanks.

Mark
Most likely measured 2.817 which would put you at 2.812 using the minus .005 as you mentioned...

I will tell you one thing, there definately is a big difference in shooting the reloads... I always thought people were B.S'ing until I saw it with my own eyes....
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericnvegas View Post
Most likely measured 2.817 which would put you at 2.812 using the minus .005 as you mentioned...

I will tell you one thing, there definately is a big difference in shooting the reloads... I always thought people were B.S'ing until I saw it with my own eyes....
Will recheck and see tomorrow Eric. Yeah, I've been watching a few buddies
shoot their reloads with very good accuracy. Loads finely loaded specifically
for their stick with great results.

My problem was just finding a place in my home to setup and area to start
reloading which I have done. I'm really looking forward to learning as much
as possible so I can also enjoy better shooting.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdslammer View Post
Dave,

Using the Hornady Lock and Load O.A.L. tool, my O.A.L. to the lands is
2.317.
If I seat the bullet .005" off the lands, my measurement would be 2.312 correct?
You have it right.
But you will not be able to fit a cartridge that long into the mag of the rifle and make it feed..
That is unless you plan on top loading each round.

I think you will find 2.810 will work well for you
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