with all the crappy weather i thought would retreat to the garage and reload some more rounds .
i am still tweaking my c.o.l so i have loaded up 4 batches of 3 rounds dropping from 3.130 " in .005 " intervals to 3.100" .
now after ajusting the seating die and making a dummy round for each round as i go i couldnt belive the varing lengths of the nosler 140 gn tips ! some i have found are up to .001 " longer than others and some are .001" shorter !
I'm loading .243 and .308 soft points, if you look at at soft point head, no 2 are the same length, but when you load into your case, the die pushes down on the side of the round and not the top, so all your loads will be seated to the same depth in the case...
If you used Ballistic Tip or target shooting FMJ you'd probably find, these would all be the same length from base of case to the tip of the head.
I hope I'm right , that's what I persuaded my self was the case anyway
I find the same thing when using soft points. All different OAL but I assume they all hit the lands at the same point, though I dont know exactly what the distance from ogive to lands is. I just know that an average OAL of .2750 when I make a batch fits in the mag and shoots alright
I find the Hornady spire points I'm loading in 308W give me an OAL that varies by about .003. Even with the eye you can see that the lead tips vary a bit in shape and size.
I'm far from an expert but I just load to the length the manual states as near as I can. As a result they all fit in the mag and I can eject unfired rounds as well. My guess is they are nowhere near close to the lands.
You cant measure the oal from bullet tip to base of case because the lead tip varies from head to head, I've taken the inside out of an old Lee bullet seater, this pushes down on the bullet below the tip, once youve seated on the lands, measure it then adjust depth of seating 10 thou 20 thou etc, Lee, I can show you if you want. Deerwarden.
A simple way of finding if you are on/in the lands is to take a felt tip marker pen & paint your round from the tip down to the case mouth, load the round (in a safe direction) & eject, examine under a magnifying glass/reader, if you see a mark/s in the ink it will be obvious how far in you are.
This is a crude drawing of a gadget I used to sell at gunshows. It is two blocks of extruded aluminum (tho any material would work) cross-drilled for my cleaning rod, with two set screws at right angles to the hole for the rod to lock the position. In use, you put a flat ended jag on your rod and run it up to the bolt face of your unloaded rifle. With both set screws loose, push both blocks up against the muzzle and lock block "B" s position on the rod. Remove the assembly. Remove the bolt. Drop a bullet ("head" to you) nose first into the chamber and hold it against the lands with a short bit of rod. Run the assembly back into the barrel until the jag touches the bullet. Lock part "A" into place agains the muzzle. The distance between the blocks is the max OAL for that bullet. Takes longer to explain than to actually do.
It is not micrometer accurate, obviously, but neither are the ogives of most bullets and frankly, most stalking rifles don't need such accuracy. How accurate it is depends on the skill of the maker and the care taken in use. I shoot cast bullets which requires that the bullet be seated into the leade for best accuracy. This tool does the trick. ~Muir