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Bullet seating depth: How deep is safe?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by P51D, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. P51D

    P51D Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    I'm new to reloading rifle cartridges, and I've been reading a lot (e.g, ABC's of Reloading, Speer reloading manuals, plus many others). For bottle-neck rifle cartridges, I've read that you should not seat a bullet deeper than the length of the neck of the cartridge case. Unfortunately, I don't remember where I read it. I've also heard "rules of thumb" that say no deeper than the caliber of the bullet.

    I'm starting to reload .243 Winchester and I've seen published reloading data that would put the bullet well deeper than those guidelines above. One load for the 100 gr Hornady #2450 soft point bullet, based on the Cartridge Overall Length, would put the bullet .477" into the case. That actually puts it about even with the shoulder. No indication that it was a compressed load, and looking at the powder and weight of the charge, I would say it indeed was not compressed.

    So, are the guidlelines I refer to in my first paragraph "old wives' tales"?


  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    Fer Sure!

    Many of the "latest greatest & most efficient" short & super-short Mangle-ms have a bunch of bullet shank in the powder space.

    It started 75+ years ago with the invention of the .257 Roberts, and later invention of the .308 Win. case, and has continued to escalate to this day.

    That, or a compressed charge is not a problem if you are following tested load data seating depth.


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