Rifle Bullet Seating Depth

When Deeper Is Better

Back in Handloading 101 most of us were taught to seat rifle bullets as close to the lands as possible. This supposedly resulted in the best accuracy because the bullet wasn’t allowed to rattle down the chamber throat before entering the rifling, ending up pointing in who-knows-what direction.

Most advice suggested .03″ off the lands, about 1/32″, instead of the bullet actually touching the lands. A bullet jammed into the lands, we were warned, not only raised pressures but could result in a real mess if we attempted to eject an unfired round. The bullet could stick in the lands and only the case would be extracted (if the round could be extracted at all), dumping powder all over the inside of the rifle’s action.

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