Bullet Seating Question

Not open for further replies.


Sep 13, 2003
FOID card (Read:Jewish armband) Illinois
I use the same gun to plink and defend the homestead.

I seldom shoot the 75c/shot hollowpoints that reside in gun on nightstand.

To go plinking and then return to night-duty I reload the same two hollowpoint rounds in the chamber as they trade places from chamber to top of mag and back.

They tend to get shorter. The bullets are being compressed into the cases.

How far before I have a dangerous situation?

Anybody else seen similar problems?
Yes, it's dangerous. Bullet setback that produces a cartridge with an overall length under minimum can produce higher and sometimes dangerously higher pressures. In some calibers (.40 S&W for instance), these pressures can occur with even slightly out of spec cartridges. I've heard of similar setback occuring due to recoil in high powered rifles. Can't say I've heard of it in pistols, however. My advice is to not fire those cartridges.
Are these Commerical loads

where the bullets are being compressed back into the case? Yes I think it is a problem and they should not be moving at all if properly seated. The only time I have experienced this are on handloads where I had resized the case mouth too much.
Very dangerous! As they get shorter, the pressures can go right through the roof, and can destroy the gun. :eek:

Do you have a kinetic bullet puller? You might be able to move the bullets forward with that.

In any case, the cartridge that goes through the cycle gets battered, it's usually a good idea to shoot those up, you don't want your self defense ammo getting old anyway. When you take the gun out to shoot, go ahead and use the cartridge that's in the chamber, you can follow that up with your plinking ammo for the duration.
Bullet set back, as previously stated, greatly raises the operating pressures to the point of damage or destruction of the firearm. I recommend not chambering the same round more than twice and chambering only once is really the best plan.
more specifically, seating depth can cause high pressures when the gunpowder becomes compressed. if you've got a lot of room in your cases, it may not be a problem. i probably wouldn't take the chance.

are these handloads or factory? does your bullet have a cannelure and are you crimping them? maybe not enough?
If you're talking about factory ammunition, bullets set back into the cartridge cases can very well pose a problem. If you're talking about your own hald-loaded ammunition, it's going to depend whether you're using fast or slow burning powders, how much, what kind or primers, et cetera.

I'd be inclined to try a bit of judicious work with a bullet puller.
These are Winchester Super X... where's the box?...

They are commercially loaded.

I will shoot the chambered round from now on when going plinking. I have file-thirteened the offending shorties. Thank you for saving me a possible equipment catastrophe and concurrent injury!!! :eek:

Fresh ammo is a good idea!
Not open for further replies.