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Old February 25, 2013, 11:12 PM   #1
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Seating height for a new bullet

Getting ready to vary from the book and try a new recipie for reloading, just a new projectile. I would like to use a hornady A-Max 168gr bullet for my .308. How do I know what the exact seating height is for this projectile in particular? I don't see anythng on their site, and my book has nothing for this bullet just similar?

Do I need to buy their book? Or can I cross reference multiple similar projectiles out of the books I have now? Still learning, thanks for the info in advance the knowledge here has been amazing!
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Old February 26, 2013, 12:02 AM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Seating height for a new bullet

Load it to a length that fits in your gun/magazine, start the listed starting load in an official source and go shoot it.
OAL listed in manuals is meaningless for your gun.
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Old February 26, 2013, 01:04 AM   #3
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I am new to reloading also, but I have learned a lot in a short period. From what I have learned is that factory ammo is loaded to a OAL that is pretty much safe and functions in all firearms, but doesn't necessarily give the best accuracy it can because every firearm is different in the amount of "jump" to the rifle lands that it requires for best accuracy. You could seat the bullet where it actually touches the rifle lands, but then that will create excess pressure that could become dangerous if you didn't back down on the powder charge. In the Hornady reloading manual they suggest seating the bullet from .020-.030 off the rifle lands to give it just enough "bullet jump" for best accuracy. There is a lot to bullet seating depth and is probably one of the biggest things a re loader can do to improve accuracy.

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Last edited by Palmetto-Pride; February 26, 2013 at 01:11 AM.
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Old February 26, 2013, 01:35 AM   #4
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Re: Seating height for a new bullet

Hornady book lists it at 2.775"
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Old February 26, 2013, 08:09 AM   #5
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Here is how one manual says to find the OAL for your choice of bullet and YOUR rifle. Me, I use the Hornady gauge, it's faster and easier.
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Old February 26, 2013, 09:53 AM   #6
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Manuals list cartridge lengths as a standard for which a loader can basically go by, they are not meaningless, however in most cases the handloader developes his own lengths after testing. Palmetto, Hornady gives that basic figure (.020-.030) as a guidline for they're bullets. I measure bullets in a modified case from Hornady using their comparator and LNL Overall Cartridge guage, But not everyone has that tool, Hence the listed COAL's, every handloader definetly needs a decent caliper,(dial or digital), and a feeler guage. ( See F. Guffeys comments)

When you go buy ammo at walmart it is loaded to basic lengths, the magic of the handloader is taking the loaded cartridge he contrives and adjusting it for his or her own rifle, therefore making it more shootable in their own rifle.
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Last edited by hooligan1; February 26, 2013 at 03:25 PM. Reason: bad speilin
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Old February 26, 2013, 01:07 PM   #7
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What everyone else has said is true, but, keep in mind that when you fine tune your ammo to your gun it may not function in other rifles. Me, I keep mine at factory spec and get great accuracy but my kids and grandkids also shoot them from their guns.
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