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Thread: Bullet seating question

  1. #1
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    Dec 1969
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    Question Bullet seating question

    I am a new reloader and am attempting to load my first shells, starting with .30-06. I am using Lee dies. I also have Richard Lee's book on reloading that came with my Lee Anniversary kit. After following the instructions on setting up the bullet seating die, my first several attempts seated the bullet much too deep (the cartridge on the left) so I backed the seating die off until I got the case mouth to line up with the cannelure (the cartridge on the right.) I had to unscrew the bullet seating die probably 5 or more turns to get the case mouth to line up with the cannelure that way. Is the bullet on the right seated correctly?

    Oops! Forgot the pic. Here it is.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0687.JPG  
    Last edited by darwin; 11-17-2007 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Adding picture

  2. #2
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    You should seat the bullet deep enough to achive a stated over all cartridge length.
    The cannelure may or may not be in the correct location on the bullet for any given cartridge.
    Gregg

  3. #3
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    Buy one of the 15.00 dollar bullet pullers from Midway,or one of the other venders so you can save your mistakes. Seating too deep can raise pressure which is much like using too much powder.The type of rifle you shoot has a bit to do with how deep you seat the bullet. For a Auto loader like the M1 I seat to the factory spec"s to make sure it all feeds well.On a bolt rifle you can seat the bullet out farther,closer to the rifling.This helps accuracy since the bullet doesnt have to jump far to the rifling.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by darwin View Post
    I am a new reloader and am attempting to load my first shells, starting with .30-06. I am using Lee dies. I also have Richard Lee's book on reloading that came with my Lee Anniversary kit. After following the instructions on setting up the bullet seating die, my first several attempts seated the bullet much too deep (the cartridge on the left) so I backed the seating die off until I got the case mouth to line up with the cannelure (the cartridge on the right.) I had to unscrew the bullet seating die probably 5 or more turns to get the case mouth to line up with the cannelure that way. Is the bullet on the right seated correctly?
    OK ! Is it me ?? Where are the pictures ???


    regards....roger
    "The only time I ever said "no" to drink was when I misunderstood the question."

    Will Sinclair

  5. #5
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    Dec 1969
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    Bullet on the left looks too deep to me. Bullet on the right could go a bit deeper by the looks of the crimp groove,but again if you shoot a bolt rifle it could be just fine.If it chambers ,and just shows a slight mark from touching the rifling seat it just a bit deeper so it doesnt.

  6. #6
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    In my honest opinion, the bullet manufacturers know what they're doing when they build a bullet, so it's best to use a cannelure as judge for your OAL. if it's present. If you seat a bullet to the cannelure, then start at minimum and build up until you find the best accuracy and/or pressure warning signs. Using a factory crimp die and seating to cannelure depth can make for some VERY consistent, and ideally accurate ammunition. Use OAL measurements in manuals if there is no cannelure present. If there IS a cannelure, use that, but build up carefully. If loading for a rifle with a tight chamber, build according to the chamber dimensions (about .010" to .030" off the lands).

    Remember, accuracy and consistency are paramount when loading ammunition, NOT fps. or muzzle energy. What good is that extra 150 fps. and 100 lb/ft of energy if you're shooting 4" groups at 50 yards?
    "A lot of people go through life doing things badly. Racing is important to men who do it well. When you're racing, it's LIFE. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting."
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  7. #7
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    Using the cannelure as a guide is okay if you have trimmed your brass to a consistent length. If your brass is not all the same length then the cannelure will not really be much of a guide. I seat my bullets according to the manuals and more often than not the manual OAL will align the trimmed brass with the cannelure of the bullet. IMHO, OAL is more important than aligning the brass with the cannelure. As previously stated, bolt actions are much more forgiving when it comes to OAL so it is possible to experiment more when using a bolt action.

  8. #8
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    you can also use a factory load or a load you have made at some other sitting, place it it you bullet seat die and run it down till it stops. take the loaded round out and try a seating, you may have to fine tune just a little.

  9. #9
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    Darwin: Have you actually read the text in that book? All of your questions are answered in there. ~Andy

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMMOe View Post
    Darwin: Have you actually read the text in that book? All of your questions are answered in there. ~Andy
    Yes, I have read the text in the book but I went back again and realized I had misunderstood a key part of the set up. I see now where I was making this much harder than it needed to be.

    Thanks.

  11. #11
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    You have received excellent advice. Don't exceed in the COAL and don't count on the cannalure to determine depth. As you were instructed, buy a bullet puller to save the case, powder, and projectile.
    I load 30-06 for hunting. 54.8 gr. IMR 4350 w/165 Sierra HPBT.
    Good luck reloading.
    " Until now, we knew that Greeks were fighting like heroes; from now on we shall say that the heroes fight like Greeks."
    Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Britain - 1940.

    "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
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