Inconsistent Bullet Seating Depth.

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Indy Bob, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Indy Bob

    Indy Bob Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Indianapolis IN
    I am getting inconsistent bullet seating depth, and was "chasing" the setting knob. I have the Lee Dead Length seating die.
    So I do not bore you with all the details, Lee customer service actually proved to me that the culprit was the bullets not being consistent in shape at the tip. (ogive?). I did the test they told me to do at home and I was a believer.

    I have been shooting Hornady Match HP 53 gr. (flat bottom), in my custom built, 22-250 with a 1 in 14 twist, 26" barrel.
    I am returning 2 - 100 bullet boxes to MidwayUSA for a store credit.

    I am strictly a target shooter .... not benchrest competition, but serious shooting for myself trying for "super small groups"!:)

    Knowing my shooting style .... can someone give me some ideas for your favorite .224 .... 52 to 55 grain bullets for serious target shooting?
    I was looking at Speer or probably Sierra.

    Thanks in advance,
    Indy Bob
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  2. bntyhntr6975

    bntyhntr6975 Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    572
    Location:
    Wichita, Ks.
    Personally, I prefer Nosler. They seem to be more consistent and definitely shoot better for me. But, thats in my .308. The 168g BTHP form Nosler is by far better that the Sierra 168g BTHP, but again, thats for that particular rifle. My usual load is 150 NBTs that no Sierra has been able to touch. As for the .22-250, mine really likes the little 50g super explosive point (can't remember just what its called) but its also not recomended for the high velocities of the .22-250. I'm using Redding dies for both and I also have a couple thousandths variance in overall length, more with other bullets. So there are slight differences. But find a length slot that works for you and just use it. You can also use a bullet comparator to measure from the ogives instead of the overall. Most of the differences I've seen have been from the bullet tips themselves though. Assuming your dies are good, and most are, lock it down where you want it and its going to do its job. As for bullets, they will vary some. The higher quality bullets, the more consistent they should be. But I've used very little of the high quality stuff, so I really can't say much about them.
  3. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,759
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Even the best bullets will vary in OAL when measured off the tip of the bullet. If you want to measure your OAL for precision loads you need to measure off the ogive not the tip. To do this you need a "bullet comparator" like the Hornady/Stoney Point gauge.
  4. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    3,332
    Location:
    ND, USA
    Ditto what Steve said.
  5. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    3,332
    Location:
    ND, USA
    Oops, forgot to list my favorite .224" bullets.

    Nosler and Sierra seem to have been the most consistent in my experience. Hornady is next, followed by the Winchesters. Lowest on my list of the big US brands are Speer and Remington...those are horribly inconsistent.

    Remington even seems to vary their ogive shape from lot to lot at times too...so measuring the at-the-ogive length as Steve suggests will give you some very different at-the-tip overall lengths.
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,924
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    A couple of years ago I bought some repackaged Remington Bulk bullets from my regular supplier. He apparently mixed lots in the process of re-baging them and I got bullets with completely different nose shapes and cannelure positions. The end result is I had to go through them and separate them (it was obvious when you knew what to look for) and set up the seating die separately for the two styles of nose and cannelure position. For the gun that was using this ammo it had to be crimped into the cannelure so I had to resort to the above approach.

    But the dimension that counts, as others have stated, can only be determined by the distance from the ogive to the start of the rifling. It takes a special gage for each caliber to get it right. Most "good" reloading dies seat the bullet by using a cup in the seating die whose size is close to the correct dimension of the entrance to the rifling in the barrel. The cup is deep enough or that the bullet nose does not bottom in it. This ends up with ammo that has varying cartridge OAL differences. I use this measurement tool(s) for every caliber where I can.The exception is when the cartridges absolutely need to be crimped then the crimp cannelure determines the cartridge OAL. Be aware that every lot of bullets may be different.

    LDBennett
  7. Sherrer1*

    Sherrer1* Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Selma Alabama
    I like the speer 52.gr BTHP.I shoot it in a 223 and I got a 1/2 group at 200 yds.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Inconsistent bullet seating Dec 4, 2010
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Inconsistent bullet seating on .308's Mar 17, 2008
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Case length inconsistent Jul 12, 2014
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Lee Classic Turret- inconsistent OAL Jul 14, 2010
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Made Bullets as a Gift Friday at 11:48 PM

Share This Page