Some times a bit of planning ahead will save a lot of hassle in the end. When setting up your bullet seating die, having a sample cartridge can save a lot of time and hassle! If you plan ahead and save sample cartridges, your bullet seating die depth adjustment can be set in just seconds as demonstrated in this Quick Tip video:
To summarize, here’s the parameters and process:
- Setup the press with dies and components for the cartridge you’re loading
- Back out the seating plug most of the way
- Put a sample cartridge (same brass length, same bullet you want to load) into the bullet seating station
- Raise the ram to the top of the stroke
- Turn down the seating plug until you feel it contact the bullet
- Turn down the seating plug a tad more (very slight) to account for compression
- Load a cartridge
- Measure the Cartridge Overall Length (COL) and compare to the spec you’re loading to
- Make minute adjustments as needed
Sounds like a lot of steps, but can be done in about 30 seconds. Note that this can only be done if you have a sample cartridge (factory or reloads) on hand to use as reference.
Here’s a great example of where this would be helpful: In this lineup of 500 S&W bullets from Matt’s Bullets, I can leave the press setup the same for each bullet, only changing the charge weight (powder measure), and the bullet seating depth. The seater, the expander, the powder measure height, and the crimping station can remain as-is (with the exception that crimp may need slight adjustment from one bullet to the next depending on crimp groove profile and depth).
More on 500 S&W cast bullets coming up shortly!
Hope this tip helps! This is the way I like to set my seating depth. Have a seating depth tip/trick to share? Please leave a comment!