I'm new to reloading and have gotten to deciding on seating depth and I really don't have a warm-fuzzy about it right now. Given the safety factor (touching lands=greater pressure), I'd appreciate a little feedback before I go any further.
Today I cut a 30-06 case, put a 165gr Nosler BT in it and closed the bolt softly, open it softly and try to catch the round as it ejected. Starting a COAL of about 3.65", it would push the bullet in consistently to COAL of 3.477-3.479".
Here is the case I was using:
The bullet sat in the case firmly enough that it didn't move at just any bump, but it did take some effort to pull it out or push it further. I don't see any noticeable marks on the bullet from the lands. I tried pushing the bullet in even farther, and the pressure seems to be even to get it to go basically all the way into the cartridge.
The length is longer than I was expecting. I know throats vary.. that's just higher than I thought. The upside is that the COAL was very consistent.
I measured the OTS rounds I have. They have a COAL of 3.22" (165 Rem Accutip) and 3.29" (168 BH A-Max). The Accutips shoot worse than CoreLocks and the BH is OK. Most accurate I've ever shot was 168 Federal GMM, but I don't any to measure right now.
I know you have to experiment to find the best seating depth for your exact rifle, but I was planning on going with .020" off the lands, as that seems like a pretty common starting point. If that's advisable, that means I would need a COAL of 3.457".
I have an older Remington 700 ADL in .30-06. Am I on the right track? Thanks!