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Question about bullet seating depth/coal

This is a discussion on Question about bullet seating depth/coal within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; After going through 3 reloading manuals concering information for a load of a 185 grain JHP for a 45ACP round, I am confused. The Speer ...

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Old October 26th, 2010, 11:44 AM   #1
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Question about bullet seating depth/coal

After going through 3 reloading manuals concering information for a load of a 185 grain JHP for a 45ACP round, I am confused. The Speer #14, Hornady 7th edition, and Lyman 49th edition all have different dimensions listed for the same bullet using the same powder but different volumes and different speeds. All have different overall cartridge lengths with Lyman showing the shortest length at 1.175 and Hornady the longest at 1.230 which is all a factor of the seated bullet depth.
My queston is does the seating depth control the amount of pressure generated along with the FPS? I noticed that a longer OAL shows a larger volume of powder with more speed, but is the pressure generated in proportion to the speed?
Hornady shows the max charge of Bullseye powder to be 7.0 grains, Speer has it at 6.4, and Lyman shows what do you do?...start with one at the start charge and work up and try all 3?..or just pick one?

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Old October 26th, 2010, 12:01 PM   #2
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I'm thinking that you shouldn't be concerned about the maximum powder charges listed
but start near or at the lowest powder charge listed for the particular powder that you choose to reload with and work upwards in 1/2 gr, increments until you reach the performance level you are satisfied with the bullet you are using to reload with never substitute the suggested amount of powder of one brand of powder when using another brand go with the suggested levels of powder of that particular powder and never mix powders even powders of the same name and brand.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 12:15 PM   #3
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I think you need to look at the particulars and parameters each of the manuals used when making up their loads. What bullet did they use? Did they use an actual gun or a universal receiver? What was the barrel length? What primer was used -- standard or magnum? Was pressure measured in PSI or CUP? It's all there in every manual.

Hornady and Speer -- which manufacture bullets -- most likely are using their bullets whereas Lyman -- which doesn't make bullets -- is probably using a generic bullet, unless they specified one in particular.

Different cartridge overall lengths are due to different bullet designs and manufacturer.

Yes, seating depth will affect pressure.

Start on the low end with the load that most closely matches your bullet and work up from there, never exceeding the maximum load.

Hope this helps.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #4
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I use 7.5Gr of Unique under a 185Gr Nosler HP.
It is less than maximum load (by my manual), yet generates 1,000 fps in a 5", 910 fps in a 4" and 830 fps in a 3".
I use a 1.25 OAL.

It easily makes major (185, when 160 is minimum major PF) if you shoot IPSC yet doesn't punish the gun or you.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 02:01 PM   #5
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Okay, maybe I need to clarify my question....I'm not concerned with the max or min powder charge as I know how to work up a load from start, and the other components and test gun used are not an issue....what my question is, is what overall length do you use...1.175, 1.200, or 1.230?...this has to be a factor of the seating depth and the seating depth has an effect on the pressure generated. My Ruger P90 will feed any of these lengths. Lyman uses the same exact bullet that Hornady does...the HP/XTP #45100... and Speer uses a GDHP, yet Lyman and Hornady have different overall lengths with Lyman only showing the pressure rating in C.U.P. units.
I only used Bullseye as an example since all 3 manuals had this load listed. I'm thinking of using the longer oal since I assume it generates less pressure with a shorter seating depth.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 03:23 PM   #6
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pigeon48, The reason different manuals show a different OAL is because the bullets specified may be longer or shorter. Always go with a reloading manual that is the same company as your bullet. In this case, your 185 gr Hornady XTP should be seated to an OAL of 1.230".
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Old October 26th, 2010, 05:07 PM   #7
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Iowegan....okay, thanks...I was kinda leaning towards that anyway even though Lyman lists a shorter oal for that particular bullet but with a lighter powder charge.
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