Quick question for anyone who can give me a hint one way or the other.
For better or worse, I use a Lee seating die. It was impressed upon me very early in my reloading career that a consistent OAL is as important as being consistent in other ways, if one wants to load consistent, hopefully accurate ammunition.
I've since learned that seating to ogive is harder (i.e. more tools) but tends to give improved results.
I have a box of 35-odd rounds which were the first reload I came up with. These were all constructed with OAL within 0.001"-0.002" as I'd been told. The thing that's been bugging me though, is that they're all soft-points and the tips on them are all slightly different lengths ("slightly" meaning a lot more variation than 0.002"). This means that though my OAL for these rounds is consistent, the seating depth probably varies quite a bit.
It occurred to me that the Lee Die operates on a sort of "blind" seat-to-ogive principle. I.e. the tip of the bullet falls within a cylinder in the die and it pushes not the tip, but a ring around the jacket lower down the bullet.
Am I likely to get better results if I set the die with the first few rounds and then seat all of the bullets to that depth, not worrying if the OAL varies a lot because of the differences in bullet tips? Or is it better to load every round to the same OAL, compensating for the differences in tip length?
I was thinking that if it's the former, I could part-extract the bullets from those rounds and then re-seat the bullets in all of them using one setting on the die and hopefully improve their accuracy. I wasn't happy with the way they performed when I zeroed the rifle before my stalk yesterday - adequate to kill deer, but not accurate enough to do so if a long shot was required (c. 2" group at 100m). They performed better on the range when I tested them as I worked them up, but that may have been lucky shooting and I want to do better.
Thanks for any insights anyone can offer.