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Old November 27, 2011, 07:28 PM   #1
will99
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inconsistent seating depth

Seating semi-wadcutter bullets for the .380 at .930 they can range from .922 to .935. This problem occurs with two other rounds I currently load also but to a lesser extent. The .380 bullets have an unusual tip and don't fit the cup well and have lube that gums up the die. Do you have to get a custom cup for each style bullet? Is there anyone who gets exact lengths every time without constant measuring and tweaking every round? Do you just let it go if they vary by several thousandths?
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Old November 27, 2011, 09:07 PM   #2
k4swb
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Seater Stems

On flat tip handgun bullets, SWC, WC, Flat point, I use just the flat bottomed punch. If I'm having trouble with HP or RN bullets I sometimes mix up some epoxy and use a bullet and mold my own insert for my punch. For plinking ammo a few thousands doesn't matter (to me) much.

As long as it fits the magazine and chambers OK, stays in the case and doesn't fall out it is fine.

I'd like them all to be exactly the same but sometimes I'll get a slight variance.

Nowadays with the way I shake while shooting a couple or three thousands difference in seating depth don't make much difference in my results.
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Old November 27, 2011, 09:41 PM   #3
jepp2
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Quote:
Is there anyone who gets exact lengths every time without constant measuring and tweaking every round?
First, are you measuring to the tip or the ogive? Bullet lengths will vary and if you are seating from the ogive of the bullet, measuring to the tip may not be as accurate. To measure the OAL to the ogive you need a comparator.

Realistically, I would never see any difference in accuracy in a 380 given the difference in OAL as measured to the bullet tip as you describe.

You also mentioned lube building up in the bullet seater. As lube builds up, it will result in the bullet being seated deeper in the case as lube builds up increases. It shouldn't vary so much round to round, but if you don't clean it out, it will continue to shorten your OAL.
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Old November 27, 2011, 09:52 PM   #4
briandg
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You're talking about appr 1/100th of an inch. this is meaningless. This is not 1k yard match ammo, this is pistol ammo meant to be fired at 50 feet or so. this much deviation will not be capable of altering pressures significantly, or altering feed significantly, either.
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Old November 28, 2011, 01:31 AM   #5
1SOW
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The smaller the case, the more important oal becomes. In a 45acp .01 isn't that big of a deal, but in a 380 it can be a very big deal, especially if you're in the upper mid-max load range.

-Plus or minus .004" or .005" should be a reasonable max. limit, and most should be better than that.
-Case length and bullet length does not affect "COAL". The distance from the die anvil to case bottom (case holder) should not change. Bullet seating depth changes with case/bullet length changes.
-Your handle pull CAN cause deeper or shallower seating due to some flex in many presses and the way the anvil seats on the bullet. You do need a steady consistent handle pull on any press for best results.

-A flat anvil may be the solution, the cup may not fit the flat tip of the bullet close enough to get consistency. You can pull it out and look at how it hits/fits the nose.

Hope this makes sense.

Last edited by 1SOW; November 28, 2011 at 01:44 AM.
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Old November 28, 2011, 10:36 AM   #6
frank_1947
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no matter what bullet you load if you measure from tip of bullet you will get variation you can seperate bullets by length or buy a comparator i use hornady
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Old November 29, 2011, 12:09 AM   #7
1SOW
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Quote:
no matter what bullet you load if you measure from tip of bullet you will get variation you can seperate bullets by length or buy a comparator i use hornady
IMHO, For straight wall pistol rounds using a comparator is like driving a Ferrari to Wal-Mart for groceries.

I have loaded at least 30K 9mm rds on a turret press using multiple bullet brands, types and nose shapes. I have 1400 on my bench NOW. You can pick up any one you like and the MAX variation will be less than .002". Most will be +/- .001".

Normal bullet length variations do not affect COAL, or there is something wrong with your press or seating die. It WILL affect seating depth.

Last edited by 1SOW; November 29, 2011 at 12:19 AM.
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