Whats a good rule of thumb when seating bullets to proper depth? I've heard that you should keep bullet approximately .010 - .020 inches from rifling, would seating bullet at c.o.l., then seat bullet at .010 - .020 from rifling work?
Mike, there are a lot of 'what ifs' in that question, but I'll try to help you get started.
Assuming you are talking jacketed bullets with centerfire cartridges, I ALWAYS start out 0.020" from the rifling, EXCEPT when using the Barnes "X" as they recommend a minimum of 0.050".
This has little or nothing to do with the OAL, as the OAL requirement is to ensure that the round will fit the mag and feed properly.
Now..... all is well and good if the rounds at that particular length fit the mag, AND the bullet is deep enough in the case so that it won't fall out with normal handling. I have one gun that the throat is so far out you can't find bullets that are long enough, and another that is real close to that description. So in those cases I just load the max OAL that I am comfortable with.
Figure out what length will give 0.020" jump (or 0.050" for 'X' bullets) from the rifling with the bullets you choose for that particular gun, start your load development at that OAL, and proceed from there.
When you have an accurate load worked up, you can later try seating the bullet deeper 0.005" at a time and see if that makes any real difference.
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