Hands-On: SAC “The” Seating Die

Short Action Customs has a seating die like no other: “THE” Seating Die. Geared towards 308 case rim cartridges, this die has some unique features and construction details you’ll want to see. All that in this story!

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About the Short Action Custom Seating Die

From the Short Action Customs Web Page:

WHY DOES SHORT ACTION CUSTOMS MAKE A BULLET SEATING DIE?

We make a bullet seating die because like you, we are passionate about precision shooting and reloading. Much like our ground breaking bullet jump research we believe in challenging the status quo, we believe in thinking differently.

This obsession has lead us to these questions:

    • Why do I need a bullet seating die for each cartridge that I shoot?
    • How does a bullet seating die affect cartridge neck and bullet runout?
    • Why do I have to modify or buy custom bullet seating stems to prevent damage to my bullet?

The Bullet Seating Die is designed to be the only bullet seating die you will ever need for a family of cartridge bodies. For example, with out purchasing any additional parts, you can easily and precisely seat bullets in any cartridge body which has a base diameter (.200″ above the bolt face) of .470″ to .473″ in diameter.  That is virtually every short action, standard bolt face cartridge!!!

Here is how The Bullet Seating Die works. The center bore of the die body is drilled and bored to ensure concentricity and parallelism to the bottom of the die and 7/8 x 14 threads. Next we precision ream the center bore for a perfect finish, lastly the hole is internally burnished for a mirror like surface finish while controlling the inside diameter to a tolerance of +/-.0002″.  This precision guide channel only has .001″ to .002″ total clearance around the base of the cartridge, properly locating the cartridge in the die body.

Next the spring loaded Cartridge Shoulder Sleeve and precision guided Bullet Seating Sleeve are held concentric and are guided by this precision cartridge bore in the die body. This ensures the absolute most concentric and true assembly.

Furthermore, we top off The Bullet Seating Die with a Mitutoyo Micrometer head which has .001″ graduations for a total travel of .500″ for the more precise bullet seating adjustments. Lastly, we incorporated a micrometer tension system to achieve a very positive feel when turning the micrometer head and prevent accidental movement.

The Bullet Seating Die can properly seat 22 cal, 6mm, 25 cal, 6.5mm, 7mm, and 30 caliber bullets!

Bullet Seating Stems

Model 1: Works best with 22 cal to 6.5mm bullets. *** As of 10/28/2020, we updated the Model 1 bullet seating stem to have a “Tapered Funnel” at the mouth to prevent any damage to bullet tips due to the larger flat face on the previous Model 1 seating stem. Model 1 seating stems shipped out after September 1, 2020 which have a nominal body diameter of .346” only apply. See pictures below to identify a Model 1 stem that can benefit from this upgrade.

Model 2: Works best with 6.5mm to 30 cal bullets. We have seated 6mm bullets with the Model 2 with no issues.

What is in the box

As pictured above, here’s what comes with “THE” Seating Die:

  • Seating die body with Mitutoyo micro adjusting top
  • Model 1 bullet seater .22-6.5 cal
  • Model 2 bullet seater 6.5-.30 cal

About this die

There is a reason that SAC calls this “The” Seating Die. This seating die with the two seating stems is the only die you will need for a family of cartridges.  Seating bullets for your 6 Dasher, 6.5 PRC or your .308 only takes a few adjustments. Simple and effective!

Again just like all of the other SAC’s tools you find exacting machinists tools built into them. On top of the seating die sits a Mitutoyo micrometer dial. Once again this will make adjustments simple and exacting. A very well thought out tool. 

Results

Impressed that is what I will say! The bullet runout for this SAC seating die is some of the best we have seen- total indicator reader under 0.001″! The results are due to a combo of premium tools. When reloading with Alpha brass (top tier), annealed on the AMP Mark II (top tier), sized on a Turban Prazzi Press (top tier), resized with the Short Action Customs Sizing die (again, top tier) and then seating very concentric bullets from Berger with SAC’s “THE” Seating die the results are as you would expect Top Tier! Run out was 0.005 on multiple loaded cartridges we tested, these are results we love seeing!

Get the Gear

Here’s the gear we used in this story!

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Thanks,
Travis Fox

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