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Old March 28, 2001, 04:28 PM   #1
Join Date: February 17, 2000
Posts: 82
Alright... the weather is finally warming up so I am starting to work on reloading. I have a couple of questions.

I am reloading for my 308 - When seating the bullet, how how far should I seat it. I check to see if its under the 2.800" or whatever it is. But I am not sure weather or not this is correct. I think most of mine are right at 2.8" If I left it too long I could get pressure problems... Correct? I am using 169 gr sierra match.. with 42 gr of IMR 4895. In Lake City brass. Oh yeah... Also is there something I should be considering when using lake city match brass. Isn't it thicker or something.. so could 42gr be too much?

Ok.. on to the second question. I am loading 44 mag for my dad. I think its 6.6 gr of Unique behind a 240 gr cast SWC. I am using Lee Carbide Dies for the seating. This is a stupid question but when I seat the die it seems like the crimp is pushing in to the sides of the bullet a noticable amount on some. I adjusted it so it crimped less and the finished product looks really good. I was just wondering if there it is dangerous if the crimps are fairly tight?

Sorry if some of these questions are stupid but I don't want to blow up any of my guns or myself. Thanks Larz
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Old March 28, 2001, 05:10 PM   #2
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I'll give this a shot....

You should probably check your rifle and figure out the appropriate OAL for the rounds you'll be shooting. Those shooters with magazine-fed weapons are at a bit of a disadvantage due to feeding through the mag unless they are firing single shot. The 2.800 cartridge OAL is what's listed in Sierra's manual, but your rifle could be better seved with something else. You may also want to use a comparator to check the length of your rounds. The actual ogive to tip length of some bullets can vary by as much as .015". A comparator will measure the lenght of your round at the point where it will start to touch the rifling, and will give a much more accurate mesurement of the relationship between the ogive and the barrel, vs the cartridge's actual length. Do a search on TFL for OAL, and you'll find some ideas for obtaining it.

As for the LC brass, I think it is Mil-Spec, since that's where it's been used most frequently. The general rule of thumb is to decrease your load by 15% when loading military brass. Again from Sierra's manual, it looks like 42gr of IMR 4895 is about at the max load for .308 Win using 168gr HPBT MatchKing, if that's what you're using. Have you used this load in your rifle before? If not, it might be a good idea to try a lighter load first, then work your way up to a load that's the most accurate. High pressure, (i.e. a powered weapon disasssembly), can just ruin your day.

Can't really help with the 44 mag questions. I don't reload for pistol.
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Old March 28, 2001, 05:34 PM   #3
Bill in NM
Join Date: January 21, 2000
Posts: 95
Since I don't have a loading manual handy, I won't try to answer with actual numbers as far as OAL goes, but your manual should list a recommended OAL for that round/bullet combination. You can usually lenghten your OAL to suit your rifle, but it's usually not a good idea to shorten the OAL below what is recommended due to pressure increase. EchoMike gave good advice, a comparator is a good idea.
As far as the .44mag goes, you can create problems with too light of a crimp. What happens is that the bullet in the other 5 chambers of the cylinder can be pushed back further into the casing under recoil. This can create high pressure problems. The bullets can also come further out of the case, creating problems by hitting the frame of the pistol. Especially with heavy recoiling revolver rounds, you want a good solid crimp on them. I sounds as if your brass may be of varying lenghts. This would account for the lighter and heavier crimps.
Hope this helps.
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Old March 28, 2001, 05:46 PM   #4
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Larz, as Bill and Echo3Mike mentioned, you can seat your bullets out further than the recommended OAL (usually). If you have a bolt-action or single shot this can give you a little boost in accuracy. RCBS, as well as other companies, make case mics that you can use to measure your chamber. You can also try the following if you don't want to spend $25 on a case mic: seat your bullet in a _dummy_ round out ten to fifteen thousandths longer than recommended OAL. Then, using a match, put some soot on the bullet and carefully insert it into a chamber, and close the bolt. Extract the dummy round and look for a ring on the the bullet from where the rifling begins. If the ring is farther back than the ogive, seat the bullet a little further in and repeat. Once you have your seating to the point where the ring is on the ogive, seat the bullet five, ten or even fifteen thousandths deeper. I go ten thousandths just to allow for a "fudge factor." The case mic method, though, is a lot faster.

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Old March 28, 2001, 05:56 PM   #5
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Bill in NM,
"What happens is that the bullet in the other 5 chambers of the cylinder can be pushed back further into the casing under recoil. This can create high pressure problems. The bullets can also come further out of the case, creating problems by hitting the frame of the pistol."

What happens in a revolver is the latter - not the former. The bullet's mass inclines it to stay put under recoil - essentially an inertial bullet puller.

As Bill mentioned, increasingly longer catridges (every time the revolver recoils) may eventually lock up the cylinder.
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Old March 29, 2001, 08:00 AM   #6
Join Date: February 17, 2000
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Thanks for the replies! The deeper crimps were just different settings on my dies. I have gotten it to a point where the crimp is very solid but doesnt seem like it is digging into the soft lead too much. One of my early tries was a little too deep I think. I will probably pull the 4 rounds I loaded with 42gr of IMR 4895 for my 308. I'll probably try 37 or so. I tink 44 is listed as the max for normal cases. Does 37 seem a little light? I'll try the match trick for my OAL. Thanks again for the inputs. Later, Larz
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