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Old September 20, 2000, 01:49 PM   #1
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After looking at the seating depths listed in my manuals, and some conversation here about how sensitive a round can be to the seating depth, I started paying more attention to where my press was set.

However after 20 rounds, I find that my press is seating them to a depth of between 1.10 and 1.20. Is that an acceptable variation?
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Old September 20, 2000, 03:46 PM   #2
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My maybe off by .0005 sometimes, check your shell plate, your shell plate bolt maybe to loose.
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Old September 20, 2000, 05:41 PM   #3
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A tenth of an inch??? No way, something is loose! I'd check the shell plate first, then the seating die. It should be pretty obvious.
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Old September 20, 2000, 06:09 PM   #4
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Loading cast?Some cast with lots of lube on them will get into the die and make it seat deeper.Check the inside of the die if you can't find anything else.

Bob--- Age and deceit will overcome youth and speed.
I'm old and deceitful.
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Old September 20, 2000, 06:16 PM   #5
Big Bunny
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Could there be "slop" in the press linkages, are all the pins OK?
Otherwise, I concurr with all the above wisdom.

Glad you were wise enough to check your finished rounds... as in the field this is the type of error that lends to accidents -and also lost tophies.

(Yes, I've been there. )BB.

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Old September 20, 2000, 07:42 PM   #6
Good Guy
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I saw a question like yours on a gun BBS' reloading forum. Unfortunately, I don't remember which one and I didn't copy the post. It may have even been here at TFL. Anyway, the poster called Dillon's tech. Dillon said (if I remember correctly) that a small variation in seating depth is normal, something on the order of .005" to .010", I believe. This was due to play in the toolhead fit to press, small bullet to bullet variations, etc.

I have noticed seating depth variations of as much as .003" to .005" in my reloads at times when using my 550. Nothing to be concerned with, unless you are playing with MAXIMUM rifle loads seated out to and touching the rifling lands. This is of no consequence with conventional handgun reloading, but might get you in trouble with tempermental magnum level rifle cartridges.

I would NOT consider seating depth variations of .100" acceptable, and depending on paticulars, even dangerous. An extra .100" of an inch is enough "extra" to tie up some revolvers due to bullets protruding past the cylinder face.

Check out what the guys above have suggested. If all else fails, give Dillon a call. They're more than happy to help.

Just one of the Good Guys
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Old September 20, 2000, 08:10 PM   #7
Patrick Graham
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I'm wondering if some of that seating depth measurement variation could be due to variations in the bullets themselves... or perhaps, as beemerb said, gunk on the seater.
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Old September 21, 2000, 06:35 AM   #8
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Agree with all of the above (have had my seating die gunk up). Let us know what you find out, .10 is way to much variation. Good luck.
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Old September 21, 2000, 08:51 AM   #9
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I've noticed this also ...although not as extreme, I was thinking of swithching dies to a redding competition Micro adjustable seating die .. any one use one of these ???
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Old September 21, 2000, 09:17 AM   #10
Ron Ankeny
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I have the same problem all the time. Gunk in the seater from lead bullets. Believe it or not, I load 200 grain lswc (.45 auto) and when I set the die I now just visually inspect the depth. I set it with the shoulder of the bullet protruding above the case mouth about the thickness of my thumbnail.

My pistol will feed rounds seated out even further and it even feeds with the shoulder slightly below the case mouth, although it is never recommended. The difference in accuracy at IPSC ranges between the long seating depth and shallow depth is not even noticeable.

Having said all of that, do try to maintain high quality reloads. However, if you have a good pistol and a safe load to begin with (again .45 auto low pressure loads) if things get gunked up it really doesn't make any difference.
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Old September 25, 2000, 11:31 AM   #11
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Thank you all for your help. I finally got to look at it this weekend. It turns out that I was stupid (I hate admitting that). I wasn't varying anywhere near what I said I was.

From the last twenty rounds that I loaded (close to minimum OAL) I was between 1.100 and 1.108. That is higher than what char923 mentioned, but much lower than I was remembering (maybe I should cut back my electroshock therapy ).

I'd still like to get the depths closer together than this, but from Good Guy's post, it seems that I won't be with the 500B.
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Old September 25, 2000, 12:06 PM   #12
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I get the least amount of seating variation when I have the resizing die set for firm (not crushing) contact with the shell plate. Double-check for light passing between the shell plate and the die when all four stations are "occupied." If it's still contacting with stress from those four stations, your linkage and toolhead slop will be eliminated from the mix.

Then the variations will come from variations in bullet nose, gunk (if any) in the seating plug, and whether there's a granule of powder underneath the case. Maybe differences in neck tension between cases will have some effect too...

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