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Thread: 243 for a complete novice

  1. #1

    243 for a complete novice

    Hello all i am brand new to reloading. just aquired some gear(still looking for bits). I am looking to load a 70 or 75 grn ballistic tipped round (mainly fox). my friend uses hogdgons varget powder aprox 36grn. i have also been advised on again the same weight heads (nosler)but with vit160 powder. oh and i will be using cci bench rest primers. Also how do i find out what depth i need to seat the bullet head. I would rather just end up with 1 type of powder as funds dont allow me to experiment.These i suppose will be the 1st few of many questions thanks in advance for any replies

  2. #2
    Unless you are a very lucky chappie, you will spend a little more than you think on this one, all down to your rifle I'm afraid, seating depth can be determined only by shooting some & comparing results, just remember the minimum rec depth is = to one calibre measure, a good start would be to borrow or buy a chamber measuring kit, or if funds are really tight make up a dummy round & mark / paint the bullet all over with ink or engineer's blue & load the dummy, then withdraw & examine for witness marks in the ink.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  3. #3
    To do it cheaply you will have to sacrifice a cartridge case. Resize a case then with a junior hack saw cut two slits lengthwise in the neck down the to shouder junction. Make the slits oppositite one another and file the burrs off inside and outside. Then put a bullet in the case so it only just holds then carefully chamber the case in the rifle and then extract the case and measure the Overall length. The bullet will have been pushed back when chambered assuming it it long enough to actually hit the leade.

    Do this a couple of times to check your getting the same reading and you now know the maximum COL for THAT BULLET having the bullet touching or jammed into the leade can result in higher pressures. Some claim that seating 0.005" off the leade gives best accuracy, something than I cannot agree with as nearly all my rifles have provided best precision with the bullet seated deeper and not only that but normal hunting/varmint bullets will vary probably more than 0.005" in the position of the exact diameter where it will contact your barrels leade (throat) due to minute differences in the ogive of the bullet.

    Of course if you have been using factory ammunition and it shoots quite well then choose a similar bullet and start with it seated to the same depth ans the factory ammo then test with the bullet seated out another 0.20" and so on until you get the grouping you want or hit the COL maximum length. If you don't get the accuracy then it's time to consider a different powder. and start over again............................. Fun Huh?

  4. #4
    Mosa: Prepare for the American version!

    No one is going to be able to tell you what will work. Buy a pound of powder of your choice and get to reloading. If you look at the reloading data (you'd better have a good manual by now, if not, shame on you!) and find a powder that works for the range of bullets you want to shoot.

    Next is a question: If you're on a budget, why are you shooting BR primers? Did the retailer talk you into them? Or do you think the words "Bench Rest" will make them work better?? Save your money. Match components for match loads from match rifles. I have four thousand Federal Match primers that I've had for 15 years. I never think to use them in hunting rifles but I would if I ran out of other primers, without expecting any real increase in accuracy or performance.

    Seating to OAL is easy. Start with the magazine length or, as Finn said, one caliber depth: whichever is deepest. Adjust inward from there in whatever increments you choose. You can buy gauges to determine maximm OAL for that bullet in your throat (leade) but it is seldom the place you want to be. You can make one as Brit describes from a cartridge casing too. I once posted a design for a tool that I used to sell from my gunsmithing business. I can post it again if you wish. It's easy to make if you have a drill handy.~Muir

    This is it.
    Two pieces of wood or metal cross drilled for your cleaning rod. Drilled and tapped for locking screws.

    Place the A&B on the rod with a flat ended jag in place. Run the arrangement up to the bolt face on an empty chamber with the striker cocked. (Keeps the firing pin tip out of the way)
    Push A&B up against the muzzle and lock "B".
    Retract rod, remove bolt, and drop the projectile of choice into the empty chamber. Lay the rifle on a flat surface and, pushing the projectile into the leade with a short bit of rod, insert the cleaning rod assembly into the bore again until the jag touches the projectile. Move "A" up against the muzzle and lock into place. The distance between the two is the approximate maximum OAL. How "approximate" depends on how well you make it. Takes longer to explain than to use. ~M
    Last edited by Muir; 16-05-2010 at 16:55.

  5. #5
    As pointed out, the max COL is academic at times as it's unlikely it'll fit in the magazine.
    Still useful to know though!

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