The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 23, 2000, 03:11 AM   #1
DAL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 15, 1999
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Posts: 653
I hope that some of you old hands at reloading can help me with this. Are cartridges supposed to vary in length even when no adjustment has been made to the seating die? Without making any changes while seating the same bullets from the same box, I often can have as much as +/- .002" to .005" amount of variance in the OAL of the finished cartridge. Is this normal? Will this small amount of difference cause any detrimental effect on accuracy?
DAL

P.S. I trimmed all of my brass to the same length.

------------------
Reading "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal," by Ayn Rand, should be required of every politician and in every high school.
GOA, JPFO, PPFC, CSSA, LP, NRA
DAL is offline  
Old May 23, 2000, 05:49 AM   #2
Bud Helms
Staff
 
Join Date: December 31, 1999
Location: Middle Georgia
Posts: 12,995
DAL,

That's not uncommon. It's usually not that much of a problem unless you're trying for extreme accuracy. In that case, the fly sh!t and the pepper definitely have to be separated. Those variations are why I don't try to get the bullet any closer than .010 to the lands.

You didn't say what you were reloading. Good quality jacketed bullets and starting out with a clean seating plug that matches your bullet is the easiest way to avoid the variations. It can make a BIG difference.


[This message has been edited by sensop (edited May 23, 2000).]
Bud Helms is offline  
Old May 23, 2000, 09:14 AM   #3
Banzai
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 29, 2000
Posts: 275
It's pretty common, although i'd say that .005 would be a lot. Mine, rifle or pistol, average in teh +/- .002.
Take a look at the tips of your bullets and you'll see that most of the ones that are different from the average probably have damaged or different tips for some reason or another. This is especially true of soft point rifle bullets delicate tip hollow points, and some types of pistol bullets where the lead protrudes above the folds of the copper jacket.
Make sure that your seating plug matches the bullets as close as possible, too. It may be dirty. Another thing, make sure you're consistent with the handle stroke! I've caused myself much pain and anguish in the past with variable OAL just as you described by not being firm and consistent with my technique.
I wouldn't worry about it unless you're shooting benchrest!!

Tom


------------------
A "Miss" is the ultimate overpenetration!
You can never be too rich, too skinny, or too well armed!
Wake up and realize that you have the moral imperative of action..!!!
Banzai is offline  
Old May 23, 2000, 09:32 AM   #4
Bill Hebert
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 15, 1999
Posts: 180
DAL, the amount of pressure you exert on the reloading handle is transferred to the bullet and accounts for some of the variation. Also, if you're reloading lead bullets, lead can build up inside the die causing the OAL to decrease as you reload more rounds. After I finish reloading the lead bullets I now have, I will only use copper plated. Do not treat OAL lightly or you do so at your own and your weapon's risk. Good luck. Bill
Bill Hebert is offline  
Old May 23, 2000, 05:53 PM   #5
DAL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 15, 1999
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Posts: 653
I'm reloading 165 gr. BT soft points from Speer for my .30-06 bolt action. Some of the soft points are slightly deformed from who- knows-what. I'm sure that accounts for most of the difference. When I get my Stoney Point OAL guage, and I can figure out the best OAL for my rifle, much of this will probably become largely inconsequential (I hope).

I'll keep an eye out for any build up of residue on the seating plug.

Thanks, guys!
DAL

------------------
Reading "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal," by Ayn Rand, should be required of every politician and in every high school.
GOA, JPFO, PPFC, CSSA, LP, NRA
DAL is offline  
Old May 23, 2000, 09:07 PM   #6
dongun
Member
 
Join Date: May 7, 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 76
I've also experienced this problem and tracked it down to differences in bullet length. I was using 165gr Sierra Spitzer BTs. I measured about 20 bullets and most were within .002, but varied by .005" from shortest to longest. I tried Noslers and they were more consisent (makes sense, they cost about twice as much). However, my .308 likes the Sierras better than the Noslers (go figure). Them dead whitetails couldn't detect the difference. Good luck.
dongun is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.05852 seconds with 7 queries