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Steve's Rifle Cartridge Reloading

These are the techniques and equipment that I use to produce reloaded cartridges for bolt and semi-automatic rifles. Other techniques and equipment may be: better/worse, cheaper/costlier, safer/more dangerous or whatever. Read this stuff and use it or not, at your own risk!

Seating the Bullet

with an

RCBS Competition Die


Some of the die manufacturers offer higher quality seating dies with more features than are found in their $20 die sets. Some of the additional features include easy adjust seating depth and some exotic case-to-bullet alignment schemes. I am using the RCBS version, but they all do a good job.

The RCBS die uses an extended shell holder, has a micrometer adjustable seating depth adjustment (big knob on top0), and sliding case-to-bullet alignment sleeve and a "window" to feed the bullet.

In use, a case is placed in the shell holder and raised until the sleeve is raised a "mite". Then a bullet is dropped into the window, and then it passes into the alignment sleeve.

The ram is raised and the bullet is seated. The knob at the top adjusts the seating depth. It is calibrated in thousandths of an inch and has click stops. When first starting, the big depth knob is screwed way high (minimum seating depth).

The semi-seated case/bullet are placed into a bullet micrometer (looks like a case mic, but it is measuring to the ogive of the bullet rather than the case shoulder) and the bullet-base dimension is determined. This round is destined to be used in a rifle that likes a bullet-base dimension of 150. The mic is reading 248, so the bullet must be seated an additional 98 thousandths. So the big seating depth knob is screwed in (down) 98 thousandths.

And now the mic reads 150, just what the rifle likes J .

This is the seated bullet compared to the bullet itself. Note the line on the nose of the bullet. This is made by the seating stem, it needs some lathe work J .

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