Seating into the lands?


March 11, 2005, 01:42 AM
A friend of mine says he always seats his bullets .005 into the lands in bolt action rifles. He says they shoot better when seated into the lands. Is this right? Does anyone else do this?

If you enjoyed reading about "Seating into the lands?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Ol` Joe
March 11, 2005, 03:33 AM
Benchrest shooters often-not always- seat into the lands as it helps aline the bullet to the bore and will aid in achiveing uniform tension on the bullet during ignition when properly done. This helps them with accuracy but concider they can win matches by 0.0001" and ANY little bit of improvement they can find is worth while to them. The average person with a factory rifle will never notice the differance in accuracy over a bullet seated to the rifle "sweet spot" if there is any.

The bullet in the bore seating also means you have to shoot the cartridge once it`s chambered. The rifleing will pull the bullet in some cases and dump powder in the action and leave a bore obstruction. Not good thing when breaking for lunch on a hunt. If the bullet stays in the case it`s likely it has moved and is now not going to be chambered to the same depth as the last time. You`ve just changed tension on the bullet and possibly pressures.

I always seat to at least 0.010 in my rifles and in a couple of them best accuracy seems to come a whole lot closer to 0.10" then "just off the lands". I don`t have the numbers in front of me at the moment but a 6.5x55 in a Shilen barreled Mk X likes the bullet best ~.070" as I remember. Weatherby has so much "free bore" in their rifles you usually can`t touch the lands and still keep a bullet in the case mouth except for possibly the heaviest wgts.

March 11, 2005, 04:28 AM
You'd want to be really careful in seating a bullet into the lands, pressure wise. I'd hate to think what would happen if you handloaded a case to a max powder charge and then set the overall length and then jam the bullet into the rifling. The pressure spike is going to be immediate and high.

Ol'e Joe makes a good case in point. Weatherby rifles are designed with a lot of free bore on purpose, and if you have ever shot a Weatherby, they are generally pretty accurate rifles. However, the loading manuals have a cautionary note about going to max charges in a custom chamber which does not have the free bore Weatherby rifles have. You'll put yer eye out :what:

For most of us shooting off the shelf grade rifles, a bullet jump of about .030-.050 is generally where you'll find the best accuracy without the danger. No hard and fast rule about it-you have to experiment in order to see what works best.

Personally, I think your friend may be handicapping himself. Assuming he is adjusting his powder charge to keep from blowing it up, he is losing velocity by going to a reduced charge. That may or may not make a difference to him, but I would not shoot his handloads on a bet.

Steve Smith
March 11, 2005, 08:35 AM
Competitive shooters will play with this often. However, it takes a lot of understanding and scientific testing to really make it benefit you. I would say that by the time you are really ready to delve into this you will have experimented with many other aspects of handloading first.

March 11, 2005, 10:13 PM
For myself I think I'll stay out of the lands for now.

March 11, 2005, 10:32 PM
Benchrest I ain't !!! Give me a few thou of jump any day! :D

The Bushmaster
March 11, 2005, 10:35 PM
Seating into the lands seems a little dangerous if you ask me. Of course I just hunt with my eyes closed and still never miss. I tend to set my .30-06 at about .005 from the lands. That seems to be about the sweetest spot I have been able to find so far on that Browning.

March 11, 2005, 10:44 PM
Depending on the gun, and what you are satisfied, the best accuracy may or may not be with the bullet touching the lands. Only way to tell for sure in your gun is to play around with it. My .223 CZ just so happens to like bullets .020" off the lands, but it varies with other guns.

If you enjoyed reading about "Seating into the lands?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!