I thought I'd give some non-lead bullets a whirl in the .308, so acquired a box of Barnes TXSs.
These are obviously quite short (1.047"), but not much more so than the Nosler 125-grain BTs (1.060").
What I have found, however, is that my RCBS dies can't seat them deep enough in the case (and the cases -Remington- are FL resized and trimmed to the correct OAL), to make Barnes' recommended OAL of 2.700". The shortest OAL I can get is 2.739".
If I wind the die down closer to the shell-holder, I can get 2.720" but this deforms the case mouth into the forward cannelure, effectively creating a crimp. Backing off the die to the point where this doesn't happen brings me to my previously-mentioned 2.739" OAL, which leaves about half the forward cannelure clear of the case mouth.
I should say that I've not shot any of these loads yet, and that my dissatisfaction with this state of affairs is both mild and primarily aesthetic in origin (the lack of a smooth transition from case to curve is irksomely graceless). But I'm intrigued as to whether other makes/models of seating die are more accommodating when it comes to loading short bullets. Does anyone have any experience of similar problems, or recommendations for dies that don't present them?
As it happens, albeit more predictably, I had the same problem with Speer's 100-grain round-nose Plinkers the last time I tried to load something small/light for the .308: even with the die all the way down to just before the crimping point they only just seated deep enough in the case to stay put.
A final note about the TSXs is that I found I needed to chamfer the case mouth more than usual -even with a flat-base bullet- to achieve smooth seating. Not a problem this one, just an observation.
Oh, and before I receive what I agree would in other circumstances be justified ridicule for not using better-quality dies or brass, may I say in my defence that we're not talking precision or long-range shooting here, just a bit of hand-loading fun? Of course, if one of the permutations proves to be a pearl, I'll no doubt take it more seriously!