View Full Version : Reloading -- help

bob hardy
06-28-2010, 04:29 PM
I am fairly new to rifle reloading, and I seem to pick up something new each time I read something here or in a mag. Should I purchase micro adjustable bullet seater dies for my 3 calibers. The Lee die set includes a bullet seater of course, but I've noticed that the OAL seems to vary from one cartidge to the next. Not greatly, but measurable. Any thoughts and/or recommendations.?

Dick Grosbier
06-28-2010, 06:10 PM
How much variation and measured where to where ?

Montana Pete
06-28-2010, 07:33 PM
I do not have the micrometer type seater, but am thinking about getting one. My conventional RCBS seater requires quite a bit of fussing and several small turns of the stem to get the OAL where I want it. Measuring after each adjustment, of course. Once I get it right, if I lock up the stem good and continue using the same bullets, it stays good. Once you change bullets, of course, you are back to tweaking again.

The micrometer seater would simplify and be more precise. Problem is, the micrometer seater would cost more than the entire standard die set! Only worth it, I think, if it is used with a caliber that profits with accurizing details, such as a BR rifle or vaminter. For a hunting rifle just used for some casual shooting, unsure if that level of precision would be worth it.

The only reliable OAL measurement would require a caliper used with a bullet comparator device. That's how I do it.

Joe S
06-28-2010, 10:01 PM
If you`re measuring from bullet tip to base of case the difference is the variation in the bullet and not the fault of the seater. Seating plugs work of the ogive not the tip and you need to measure from base of case to the bullet ogive to get a proper measurement.

06-28-2010, 11:37 PM
Just for your own education measure ten bullets out of a box of over the counter bullets, Hornady, Sierra, etc. You will be amazed (appalled) at the variation in over all length.

Pete Wass
06-29-2010, 08:05 AM
Neck tension: Varying neck tension will give one different OAL's measured at or near where the ogive will touch the lands. This varaition can be caused by work hardned necks or the build up of carbon in the necks.

Ogive length of bullets: It is rare to find a box, any box of bullets that have the same exact length of ogive when measured from the beginning of the ogive at the bullet body to where most stems will touch the ogive. This is the most likely contributor to varying OAL's measured where the ogive touches the lands. If one is depending on exact OAL's for their tune they need to sort their bullets or find a stem that touches the bullet where the bullet will touch the lands.

If one is jamming the heck out of their bullets and finding their tune with their powder charge none of this makes any difference.

bob hardy
06-29-2010, 12:01 PM
Thanks for the prompt replies. I see your point about hunting rifles not needing such a device. I only have one target rifle. It's a Savage 12 in .223. If I do get a micro seater, any brand recommendations?

06-29-2010, 12:08 PM
Should I purchase micro adjustable bullet seater dies for my 3 calibers. Any thoughts and/or recommendations?

A seater die with a micro adjustable top will make life simple. Keep records of your settings for the various bullets you may use and the next time you switch bullets the task will be a piece of cake. My preference is the Wilson Micrometer Seater shown below. :)

06-29-2010, 02:42 PM
I have three Redding micrometers. To be honest i'd just as soon have a standard seater.
On my standard seaters I put a small O-ring between the die body and the stem locknut. This makes small adjustments much easier without the need to lock and unlock the nut.
The micrometers are great for seating depth tests, no doubt about it.
While most folks look at the spring loaded sleeve on a micrometer as a plus I prefer it not be there. Much easier to feel seating pressure variations with the standard die.
This can alert you to problems such as Pete mentioned long before you might notice with a spring added. Thats just me tho.