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Old September 24, 2011, 04:07 PM   #1
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9MM Seating Depth

I have run into a bit of an oddity in that my new bullet seater is a bit erratic with seating depth (taking it out I can see why as it contacts the end of the bullet not the ogive/ i.e. sides).

Having done so with rifles in the past I thought I would see what the lead bullet depth relationship was and see if my variation was ok.

Does not seem to have hit the lead with the bullet a long ways out (In this case Hornady XTP 124 gr.

I am not going to do anything like seat them out deliberately further, I will continue to seat as close to the specification as possible (1.060 in this case).

I am curious if there is any wisdom as to what latitude there is for seating depth for the 9mm. I know you don't want to go significantly shorter, but have not ever read anything about going longer.

ergo, if there is going to be a variation, are you better off letting it fall on the long side rather than the short side? + .020 is about the max too long I am seeing.

I plan on getting custom cut bullet seater for just that bullet from Lee as I plan on using it a lot. I do want to keep a generic one for seating other bullets.
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Old September 24, 2011, 06:30 PM   #2
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Check to see if there is an extra seating stem in you die box. Some come with two. Some have two ends one for flat and one for round noses.
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Old September 24, 2011, 07:09 PM   #3
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No, just the one. Lee says they make it as "universal" as possible.

Send em a bullet and $13 and they will make one for that bullet.

Will do so.

Mistated the variation (not sure where my brain was. Better for plain numbers and not plus and minus.

It range from 1.057 to 1.065 with 1.060 being listed as COAL by Hornady for that bullet. That is not a whole lot of variation, but am curious if there is some knowledge which way the .008 should fall, too long or too short or just not enough to make any difference?

Seems to be an extremely wide range of seating depths listed with bullets that look very close and not having encountered any lands resistance by leaving it out past 1.100.
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Old September 24, 2011, 09:53 PM   #4
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I run into the same thing with my Hornady dies. Hornady wants, if I remember, $45 to make a seater plug/pin. Yea, I would pay the $13 and get a more consistent seating depth. I also had pretty good luck using the flat seater plug, my Hornady set came with 2, but some where still off a little. I later found out that most of the ends of bullets are not the same. (Has something to do with casting them and getting them to come out of a mold) Again, you are not the only one with this problem. (Anyway, at least there are 2 of us )
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Old September 24, 2011, 10:15 PM   #5
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Any thoughts on which way to bias the offset?

It will be a week before I get the bullet sent off and 4-6 weeks to get it back.

Going to move to some 90 gr bullets I have left over from .380 days (I must have been nuts to load those itty bitty things!).

Will see if it works any better on them.
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Old September 25, 2011, 01:27 AM   #6
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The long end (vs. shorter COL ) of a spectrum will result in lower averaged pressures.
Myself, I would prefer to err toward a lower pressure than a higher pressure (danger !).
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Old September 25, 2011, 02:04 AM   #7
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I load my 124 HAP(XTP's basicaly) at 1.125 so they are about .02 off both my barrels lands. You don't have to seat any bullet to the oal in the manual as long as it fits in your chamber,but you have to be mindful of the pressure changes the difference seating depths creates and adjust powder charge accordingly.
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Old September 25, 2011, 03:24 PM   #8
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It's probably going to be cheaper to buy a couple of extra bullet seater plugs and modify yours to match your bullet using epoxy. Just make sure to use a release agent on your bullet.
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Old September 26, 2011, 08:18 AM   #9
Don P
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I load all my semi-auto rounds as long as possible. I am loading hard cast lead and find by doing so it helped with accuracy and stopped the key holing. I started long and continued dropping the round into a barrel and when it chambered with that distinctive sound that is where I locked down the die.
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