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Thread: .17 Rem Bullet Seating

  1. #1

    .17 Rem Bullet Seating

    Gents,

    I had a few accuracy issues with my Remington 700 LVSF in .17Rem (1:9 twist) when I initially loaded some 25grn V-Maxes at the SAMMI standard COAL of 2.150". These initally produced very poor groups of around 11/2 - 2" at 100yds, similar to the factory ammo that was given to me with the rifle. I changed to 25grn Berger Varmint Match, same COAL and things dramatically improved. I am assuming that the V-Maxes were seated much deeper in the case due to the Ballistic Tip and that this was the reason for the poor accuracy due to too big a jump to the lands?

    I am intending on accurately measuring the distance to the lands for my rifle and have an OAL gauge on order, but am interested to know what distance from the lands I should initially load to and then what increments to move back by? I'm guessing that I might actually get several very different recommendations regarding this!

    There is another thread currently running regarding the myth of running with a small gap to the lands, but I would be really interested to know (particularly from any other .17Rem owners) where they think I should start please.

  2. #2
    I have the same rifle what powder are you using ? i use 25gn vmax with H4895 to good effect, sorry i cant measure or remember my COL as im away till end of the month.

  3. #3
    I have never loaded for 17 rem but the shape of the ogive is likely to be different between bullets, this means that the VLD will probably have a greater or lesser jump to the rifling than the Vmax which may influence accuracy. A comparator would help measure more consistently. My take on the bullet seating depth is this...the aim is to get the bullet to enter the throat perfectly square each time, where you seat close to the lands there is less chance that the bullet will skew between the case and the throat. If you seat deep then the case neck will guide the bullet for a greater length and so hopefully improve the odds of entry square into the throat at the expense of a greater bullet jump. Either will work but close to the lands is more in vogue. I tend to seat short bullets deep in the case but longer bullets within 10 thou of the rifling. I then adjust powder charge first until I find the most accurate load with the same seating depth, then and only then do i vary seating depth. One thought that I have had is how difficult is it to seat such small bullets square in the case mouth. I certainly find nice long bullets easier to seat square than short tiddlers
    Last edited by srvet; 11-05-2013 at 08:54. Reason: typo

  4. #4
    I'm running the 25g VMAX at 5 thou off the Lands OAL: 2.255" and they are shooting really well. You need an OAL gauge, don't go off anyone else's quoted depths, mine is a custom barrel. The 25g VMAX are quite a long bullet for the cal so they seat nicely even right up to the lands like I have them.
    Last edited by 204 Ruger; 12-05-2013 at 18:50.

  5. #5
    Thanks for the info gents. I received a couple of days ago my OAL gauge from the Shooting Shed. I've just had a quick try and measured one of my loaded rounds at 2.154" (Berger 25grn Varmint Match). I then had a few attempts at measuring the OAL to the lands with the gauge and the dummy case and the same bullet. Pushing the bullet gently forward until it stopped and then tightening the lock-screw I was very surprised (and a little horrified!) to find this is coming out at around 2.133", which would suggest I am currently running with the bullet well jammed into the lands - could this be possible with a standard factory rifle considering that the SAMMI OAL for .17Rem is 2.150?

    The few rounds loaded as above I have so far tried have shown no signs whatsoever of issues with excessive pressures and have been very accurate. There doesnt seem to be any stiffening of the bolt as I chamber a round either? I will re-try measuring the OAL again to make sure I have not made any mistakes and then perhaps try loading the next batch to about 2.123", but in the meantime would really welcome any comments.... My calipers are a fairly cheap and cheerful digital set - I am now wondering whether these are actually accurate enough?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Dodder View Post
    Thanks for the info gents. I received a couple of days ago my OAL gauge from the Shooting Shed. I've just had a quick try and measured one of my loaded rounds at 2.154" (Berger 25grn Varmint Match). I then had a few attempts at measuring the OAL to the lands with the gauge and the dummy case and the same bullet. Pushing the bullet gently forward until it stopped and then tightening the lock-screw I was very surprised (and a little horrified!) to find this is coming out at around 2.133", which would suggest I am currently running with the bullet well jammed into the lands - could this be possible with a standard factory rifle considering that the SAMMI OAL for .17Rem is 2.150?

    The few rounds loaded as above I have so far tried have shown no signs whatsoever of issues with excessive pressures and have been very accurate. There doesnt seem to be any stiffening of the bolt as I chamber a round either? I will re-try measuring the OAL again to make sure I have not made any mistakes and then perhaps try loading the next batch to about 2.123", but in the meantime would really welcome any comments.... My calipers are a fairly cheap and cheerful digital set - I am now wondering whether these are actually accurate enough?
    2.133" to the lands doesn't sound right mate. Give it another go, maybe your calliper s weren't zeroed correctly? Your bullets would be well jammed in the lands if those measurements were right.

  7. #7
    I have two threaded cases for my Shooting Shed OAL gauge. I have spent a little time re-measuring over the weekend and the first case I tried as above does indeed give me a measured distance to the lands with the 25Grn Berger Match of around 2.133"(!). However..... when I tried the second case I got a much more sensible 2.163", although I cant for the life of me imagine how this can be 30thou different when they are both fired cases from the same rifle? I have measured them and they seem pretty identical in all dimensions, so I really dont know what is going on... The only good thing is that it means my previously loaded rounds at an OAL of around 2.152" are therefore around 10 thou off of the lands and these seemed pretty accurate as one of the last three rabbits I shot was at 372yds.

    I measured the distance to the lands with the 25grn V-Maxes and got about 2.182" which means that the previously loaded rounds with these were some 30thou from the lands but these shot terrible 2" groups at 100yds. I will try some of these at 2.172" and see how I get on. This reloading lark really is a bit of a black art....

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dodder View Post
    I have two threaded cases for my Shooting Shed OAL gauge. I have spent a little time re-measuring over the weekend and the first case I tried as above does indeed give me a measured distance to the lands with the 25Grn Berger Match of around 2.133"(!). However..... when I tried the second case I got a much more sensible 2.163", although I cant for the life of me imagine how this can be 30thou different when they are both fired cases from the same rifle? I have measured them and they seem pretty identical in all dimensions, so I really dont know what is going on..
    that is weird!!

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