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Old November 29, 2019, 05:19 PM   #1
Davidsc88
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New to reloading and having a problem

Hello all,
I am new to reloading and trying to learn as I go. I have been very slow to try this because I want to insure that I do it 100% correct.

Loading for a 30-06 round. For a Savage 110.
Using Lee Reloader with Lee Precision Dies.
Lee 30-06 case length Gauge.
Load Data (Modern Reloading Second Edition)

Powder: IMR 4064 Smokeless Powder
Bullet: 150 Grain Hornady SP (#3031)

Actions:
I sized two used brass.
Used Case Length gauge to trim length, Final trim length 2.490
Installed primer
I put exactly 47.5 grains of powder in shell.

Seated bullet.

The length of the round after seating the bullet to the middle of cantilure was 3.228 It fit fine in the test block and in the rifle.

The Load data says that the Min OAL is 3.300

I pulled the bullet back out and seated to 3.304. The cantilure is not close to the neck of the case. It fits the size testing block but the bolt will not close, the bullet sticks. After which I noticed the lead tip of the bullet is nicked.

When I measure both:
30-06 Federal FMJ Round is 3.193
30-06 Remington 150 Grain softpoint is 3.192

Why is the overall length so different from factory rounds to my rounds? What might I be doing wrong on the depth of bullet seating?

If anybody could give some guidance as to what I might be doing wrong I would really appreciate it.

Thank you in advance.
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Old November 29, 2019, 05:44 PM   #2
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David,
I am not sure where you might be getting the 3.300 min COAL. The max for the cartridge is 3.340, and a lot of bullets do not come close to that. By my Hornady data, their length for the 150 sp is 3.210. That is quite close to where you were. 47.5 of IMR 4064 is a middle of the road charge, safe to start out. Sounds like you were doing okay until you ran across this min length number that by all the 30.06 data I know is bogus. Where did you get that min length number from? Do you have a good data book to work from?
Oh, I see it now, Modern Reloading...sorry, but their min length is not appropriate for the Hornady bullet, and quite honestly, a bit odd at best.
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Old November 29, 2019, 05:57 PM   #3
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Davidsc88,

Welcome to the forum.

Quite a few people are confused by how SAAMI uses tolerances. It is a standard engineering practice not to use plus or minus if one end of the dimension range is more critical than the other. In that case you give the value of the critical end of the range with a unilateral tolerance in the other direction. In cartridges, the critical linear dimensions are all maximums, above which the cartridge may not fit in a magazine or perhaps not even the chamber (the problem that makes the greatest length critical). A cartridge that is too small will still fit both the magazine and chamber, even if it doesn't perform optimally. So, for the cartridge overall length (COL), SAAMI gives you the maximum value of 3.340" because anything longer is not certain to fit in a magazine and still feed. For a minimum value, they give you 2.940". That minimum is to be sure a tubular magazine gun's carrier won't be jammed by the next cartridge. In your Savage 110 or any other gun with a box magazine, you can go a good deal shorter and it will still work fine.
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Old November 29, 2019, 06:01 PM   #4
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Folks l\oad bullets from 110 gr to 220 gr in the 30-06. Those bullets are different lengths.

Some bullets are long,skinny Very low Drag boat tails. Some are flat base with a more blunt shape. Some have plastic nose cones,which effect length.

With magazine rifles,you must load (ordinarily) to fit and function with the magazine.

And,there is the beginning of the rifling,which must engrave into the bullet. Ordinarily some jump to the rifling is desireable.

The "ogive" ,or the shaped part of the bullet forward of the full diameter cylindrical portion of the bullet will vary.

Now you have another variable. The cannelure. These are typically placed for some firearm application.

Odds are good a cannelure for a 150 gr 308 bullet will be positioned for the 7.62 NATO round ,which has a different neck length than the 30-06.

A load manual specific LOA will apply to the specific bullet(s) used to test that load for the manual. Another bullet might be best with a different LOA.

There are times,such as when loading handgun ammo,that length is critical from a pressure standpoint.

Your 30-06 is more forgiving.

If you choose to load your 150 gr bullets to cannelure length,you will be fine. Crimping into thhe cannelure is unnecessary. Crimping can be troublesome. Myself,I'd avoid it.Be sure to read your seating die instructions.I'm not sure about your Lee setup,but in typical 2 die reloading sets,the crimp function is in the seater die. Be aware of that

You can ignore the cannelure,and seat to spec'd length. Not a problem.

I generally consider seating the full cylindrical diameter of the bullet in the neck. That holds the bullet the most firmly and tends to be the "straightest"
I'll let a boat tail hang below the neck.

Folks do search for accuracy by fine tuning the length of "jump" to the rifling. At this point,you might focus on just making safe,functional ammo.

You want to seat deep enough you aren't jamming the bullet into the rifling. That can cause problems,including increased pressure..If you try magic marker on the ogive of the bullet,it will show you rifling contact.

The bullet manufacturer's loading data will give you a good LOA to work with.I prefer to have data from both my bullet manufacturer and my powder manufacturer.

Recap: Generally,if you seat the bullet base to the neck base,you are probably good.

Generally,if you seat to the cannelure,you are OK. In both cases,be sure you aren't jamming into the rifling.

Do measure and record your length.

The 30-06 is a balanced cartridge that is relatively forgiving.

Use recommended components,recomended charge weights,working up toward MAX with caution, and you'll be in the "safe" zone.

You have some flexibility with ovearall loaded length . It will vary,as bullets vary.

Last edited by HiBC; November 29, 2019 at 06:23 PM.
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Old November 29, 2019, 09:20 PM   #5
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Old November 29, 2019, 10:00 PM   #6
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First get another manual or two.

Second, realize that manuals are guidelines, and not holy writ handed down from the Almighty.

If you get the same data, or nearly the same, from two or more manuals, you can probably trust it.
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Old November 30, 2019, 05:31 PM   #7
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Old November 30, 2019, 09:23 PM   #8
Davidsc88
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Thank you all for your help. I was able to prepare 10 rounds. 5 Hornady 150GR SP, 5 Hornaday 150GR BTSP. We shall see in the next couple days how they shoot.

What are good books or resources for load data? Any of you have your favorites?
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Old November 30, 2019, 09:53 PM   #9
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Since you are loading Hornady bullets, start with their manual. You might add Speer and Sierra. Hodgdon is also a good reference.
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Old December 1, 2019, 12:48 AM   #10
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Load manuals give a minimum length for one important reason. It is used to define how deep the bullet seats into the case. It is a poor measure, because they do not tell you the length of the bullet they used, but it is what they use.

For many rounds, seating a bullet a little deeper does not make a lot of difference. If you start at 10% below max for a powder charge, the extra space generated by the reduce volume of powder makes up for the difference. For many loads, there is also plenty of free space so that the reduction in free space of a deep seated bullet is a small percentage.

Now all of the above goes out the window if you get unlucky and "stack uncertainties" for the few examples that do matter. Say your are loading with a powder that spikes real bad when compressed. Say the max load listed is at 100% load density (no free space). Say that your lot of powder burns faster than normal and uses up some of that 10% starting margin. Say that your brass has only 90% internal volume compared to the cases used to develop the load. Say that you are getting +/- 2% variations on charging volume and you choose to start at 92% of max for some reason. Say that your gun is on the weak end of the spectrum for your particular round.

For a 30-06, it really should not matter at all. The case is big enough such that only slow rifle powders approach 100% load density. Slow rifle powders are pretty forgiving. Load with the bullet deep enough to chamber easily. Go the the cannelure if you want to. If you think the base of your bullet is deeper in the case than what they used, back off a little more than normal on your starting load. Work up in small increments and expect to hit your max at a little less that the manual said.

I will also second the recommendation that you should normally go to the bullet vendors web site and see what they have for load data. Using data for your exact bullet will normally avoid any confusion for proper COL. However, Hornady does not give out their 30-06 load data on the web. They want you to buy their load data manual.

Now things matter more if you were loading a case that starts out with a very small space for powder (9mm, 380, etc.). Seating too deep in these can and has caused problems.

Last edited by P Flados; December 1, 2019 at 01:06 AM.
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Old December 1, 2019, 02:57 PM   #11
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"...trim length 2.490"..." Trim-to is 2.484". SAAMI Max case length is 2.494". Minimum Case length is 2.474". So 2.484" will do nicely. If the cases measure that now though, they'll require trimming next time.
47.5 grains of IMR4064 is .5 over minimum. Perfectly safe, but when you're working up a load, begin with the Start load. Do not just pick one.
"...middle of cantilure..." Forget the cannelure and load to 3.340" OAL. That's the SAMMI Max OAL for the .30-06. It works every time out of any action.
"...loading Hornady bullets, start with their manual..." You do not need bullet specific data. You load according to the bullet weight, not who made it or its shape.
"...how SAAMI uses tolerances..." They use tolerances just like everybody else. For example, 2.494 -.020 means 2.494 minus 20 thou is the minimum case length.
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Old December 1, 2019, 03:19 PM   #12
reynolds357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidsc88 View Post
Hello all,
I am new to reloading and trying to learn as I go. I have been very slow to try this because I want to insure that I do it 100% correct.

Loading for a 30-06 round. For a Savage 110.
Using Lee Reloader with Lee Precision Dies.
Lee 30-06 case length Gauge.
Load Data (Modern Reloading Second Edition)

Powder: IMR 4064 Smokeless Powder
Bullet: 150 Grain Hornady SP (#3031)

Actions:
I sized two used brass.
Used Case Length gauge to trim length, Final trim length 2.490
Installed primer
I put exactly 47.5 grains of powder in shell.

Seated bullet.

The length of the round after seating the bullet to the middle of cantilure was 3.228 It fit fine in the test block and in the rifle.

The Load data says that the Min OAL is 3.300

I pulled the bullet back out and seated to 3.304. The cantilure is not close to the neck of the case. It fits the size testing block but the bolt will not close, the bullet sticks. After which I noticed the lead tip of the bullet is nicked.

When I measure both:
30-06 Federal FMJ Round is 3.193
30-06 Remington 150 Grain softpoint is 3.192

Why is the overall length so different from factory rounds to my rounds? What might I be doing wrong on the depth of bullet seating?

If anybody could give some guidance as to what I might be doing wrong I would really appreciate it.

Thank you in advance.
Seat it to 3.210.
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Old December 1, 2019, 11:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Hier
Forget the cannelure and load to 3.340" OAL. That's the SAMMI Max OAL for the .30-06. It works every time out of any action.
Completely incorrect and potentially dangerous nonsense. Lots of Garand shooters experiment with the little 110-grain carbine bullets for 100 yard reduced target shooting, and if you tried to seat one of those to 3.340" it won't even be inside the case mouth. Some bullets have a very short ogive, and even if they are long enough to seat them to 3.340" you can find they are jamming into the rifling. We just this past week or two had a thread in which a beginner tried to load the Hornady 150-grain FMJ to 3.340" and wound up with jams and spilled powder all over the inside of his Garand because that length had the bullet seated too shallowly for the case to hang onto it against the feeding forces and to get through the feeding cycle without being bent to the side and falling out.

To start, the cannelure is a good indicator of how deeply the bullet maker wanted the bullet to be seated. With the Hornady 150-grain FMJ in the 30-06, that is a COL of 3.185". The military bullets have a 7 caliber radius tangent ogive. The bearing surface sticks out about .1 inches and you don't want any bullet to have that bearing surface/shoulder ogive sticking out further than that to avoid jams in the Garand. Try to avoid seating the bearing surface of the bullet less than about 0.2 inches into the case for reliable Garand feeding, with 0.3" being better.
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Old December 2, 2019, 02:13 PM   #14
HiBC
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Quote:
What are good books or resources for load data? Any of you have your favorites?
OP: Per your post,you seem to be loading Hornady bullets. Hornady makes good bullets and they also make a good loading manual .

That manual will have loads tested and developed with Hornady bullets.

Along with good loading data,the reloading manuals are a "textbook" for the reloading process.

Just about any question you might have regarding reloading will be answered in the text of the loading manual. Think of it as a "How to"

IMO,its not wrong to have a Sierra,a Nosler,a Hornady,and a Hogdon manual.

I'm not saying you need them all,but each one has its own gold nuggets inside.

IMO,if you look around you can find Hogdon's Reloading Annual. Its in the format of a magazine. It does not cost a lot,and it has the most current powder info.
That would be a good supplement to a Hornady manual. That would be a good,basic set.

Also available are what is sold as a "Loadbook".

They are cartridge specific. You can get a "Loadbook" for 30-06.

Think of it as a supplement to your Hornady manual.

The Loadbook gives you a Readers Digest version of a compilation of data from several different loading manuals all in one booklet.

A caution is that these are not updated often,and may contain data 20 yars old,or not contain the newest powders and bullets. They are pretty cheap.

50 years ago,when I started loading,there were no forums. I had no one to teach me,but the manuals,folks like P.O.Ackley and Elmer Kieth had Q ans A columns in gun magazines,and the Olde Gunsmiths,Like Claude and Louie...
Who sold me bulk Hogdon powder for $1.60 a lb....bring my own bleach bottle....were someone I could ask.

So many questions we answer here have answers that can be found in the load manuals or die instructions.

Its like folks buy flour,eggs,sugar ,butter,and decide to try baking cakes.

AFTER running into problems they decide to get a "Joy of Cooking" and a "Betty Crocker" cookbook.

Last edited by HiBC; December 2, 2019 at 02:20 PM.
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Old December 3, 2019, 08:34 AM   #15
Davidsc88
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Thank you everyone for your post this is all very good information and has been a huge help. I was able to go the the range and fire 5 rounds. Everything went as planned except I couldn’t hit the target at 100 yards. I’m not sure if it was the difference in bullet/ velocity compared to the factory loads that the rifle was sighted with. I will return possibly this week with a box factory rounds to compare and or possibly sight rifle in. I did pick up the Hornady book this weekend as well as the loadbook. The data in the books was a lot better than the book I had been referencing. Before this thread I did not realize the loads were bullet specific. The book I was referencing gave just a bullet weight for loads and only had two powder measurements a start and max load.

Couple of new questions if you all have time.

I set the seating die and was pressing bullets. I comparing each length and noticed that the length was not always dead on consistent. The die had not been moved. I then measured various bullets from the same box and they did not always seem the same length. The diameter was dead on so I don’t think it is my gauge. Have any of you seen this?

A couple of you were discussing working your way up on load weights. Are you meaning working my weight up on velocity increments? I was going to try and load the same velocity as a factory load that I had been using.

When I was at the range I fired a BT SP as well as an SP Hornady 150 gn with the same load measurement back to back. The BT seemed a lot louder. I was curious if it was the difference in bullet or if the seating depth can make that difference to in sound.

Sorry in my delays in responding. I keep thinking I will get updates emailed and then remember that I have to log on and check.

Thank you
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Old December 3, 2019, 09:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidsc88 View Post
Thank you everyone for your post this is all very good information and has been a huge help. I was able to go the the range and fire 5 rounds. Everything went as planned except I couldn’t hit the target at 100 yards. I’m not sure if it was the difference in bullet/ velocity compared to the factory loads that the rifle was sighted with. I will return possibly this week with a box factory rounds to compare and or possibly sight rifle in. I did pick up the Hornady book this weekend as well as the loadbook. The data in the books was a lot better than the book I had been referencing. Before this thread I did not realize the loads were bullet specific. The book I was referencing gave just a bullet weight for loads and only had two powder measurements a start and max load.

Couple of new questions if you all have time.

I set the seating die and was pressing bullets. I comparing each length and noticed that the length was not always dead on consistent. The die had not been moved. I then measured various bullets from the same box and they did not always seem the same length. The diameter was dead on so I don’t think it is my gauge. Have any of you seen this?

A couple of you were discussing working your way up on load weights. Are you meaning working my weight up on velocity increments? I was going to try and load the same velocity as a factory load that I had been using.

When I was at the range I fired a BT SP as well as an SP Hornady 150 gn with the same load measurement back to back. The BT seemed a lot louder. I was curious if it was the difference in bullet or if the seating depth can make that difference to in sound.

Sorry in my delays in responding. I keep thinking I will get updates emailed and then remember that I have to log on and check.

Thank you
The coal will vary when using non match bullets, can even vary when using crappy match bullets.
POI varies more with barrel whip due to harmonics created by pressure than it does velocity.
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Old December 3, 2019, 11:45 AM   #17
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Hint; use the Hornady data for OAL for your Hornady bullets, for the specific bullet you choose. At least for starters. Then later you can play with OAL if you choose (for me/my guns "adjusting" distance to lands is the last step in finding "the load")...
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Old December 3, 2019, 08:35 PM   #18
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Davidsc88, when I began reloading in 1976 I found this book which is still available on amazon.com:

The complete book of practical handloading
by John Wootters | Jan 1, 1976
5.0 out of 5 stars 10
Hardcover
More Buying Choices
$7.99 (27 used offers)
Paperback
More Buying Choices
$22.79 (15 used & new offers)

I read the first 17 of 28 chapters in 2 nights and it answered every question I ran into over the next 20 years. You'll be off to a fabulous start by reading it.
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Old December 4, 2019, 05:23 AM   #19
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I remember the joys and fears of creating my own Ammo for the first times. It still tingles anytime I begin reloading for a new rifle/round. Some tips that helped me:

Create a good workspace- clean and organize it to your brainwaves. It’s what makes sense to you but clean is the non-negotiable aspect.

Put a whiteboard close by and buy a stack or notebooks. The whiteboard is for writing down your process in the beginning and being able to keep track of your steps and order/tweak as you go until you feel you have a good repeatable and comfortable process for you. Notebooks are for load development for each weapon you load for.

Load manuals, eventually just get them all. A good library is never a bad thing. With holidays and birthdays I have acquired 8 manuals ( some are caliber specific like the Grendel) and I use them all. Some of the manufacturers went full web /free manuals which is awesome and I keep my old tablet nearby to access them until I decide to print out the manuals in their entirety. I did buy a bunch of binders while at the dollar store and use them to store printed pages that are of “high access” such as the 308, 30-06 etc.

The 30-06 you have begun with is a amazingly great round to learn on, equal to the 308. It has such a large variety of applications and the design allows you to perfect your new hobby and not be discouraged if you are a little off in your trims, shoulder numbs and seating depths.
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Old December 4, 2019, 04:20 PM   #20
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Bullets are not dead on consistent....the seating stem is also not a perfect match in the die , the press has a certian amount of play and give (slop) , it all combines and that's where the inconsistencies show up .

Unless you use all match grade dies , press and components ... and do a lot of precision case preparation you will see variances , it's normal . Don't get all hung up on exact numbers perfect consistency for hunting / range / plinking ammo ... that's for bench rest shooters.
Set to seat the bullet into the center of the cannelure , lock down your dies , load ammo and don't measure them...just go shooting !
Gary
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Old December 4, 2019, 08:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
IMO,its not wrong to have a Sierra,a Nosler,a Hornady,and a Hogdon manual.

I'm not saying you need them all,but each one has its own gold nuggets inside.
They make good bathroom reading, too. Hornady's 5th and Lee's books have a lot of material on the "why" of things, with lots of interesting anecdotes ...... good stuff to know and food for thought.
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Old December 5, 2019, 09:41 PM   #22
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Lots of long answers. Try this - put a factory 150 in your shell holder and screw down the seating die until it contacts the bullet. Lock the die and you're ready. 4064 is my favorite powder for 150s. Some of the old manuals show 53gr as Max, but newer manuals show less. In four rifles over the years, I used 52 for 2950 and 30fps Extreme Spread. Showed no pressure and shot 3/4" all day long.
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