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Howdy guys,
how do you best determine the oal of your reloads,as we arn't constrained by magazine length, the only contraint being throat depth ie where the lands start, I have in the past (bolt actions) got a unprimed sized case,partially seated the bullet, put it into the chamber and gently closed the action several times,measure the oal and then seat the bullet in the reloads 2000" deeper in the case, in theory the bullet seated just off the lands with as little jump to the rifling as possible.will this work with Handi rifles? do Handi rifles have short, standard or long throats in your experience? Suppose I will find out when mine arrives tomorrow.
Thanks Howard :)
 

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Hi Howard,

I can't reach the lands on my .243 and .223 when I reload. in fact I called NEF and I was told I would never be able to. I did however try different oal's to find the load that shot more accurate. I belive there are a couple of calibers in handi rifles you can touch the lands, but not sure which ones.

Norse
 

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My 308 Survivor bull barrel...I could only reach the lands with 200 grain match bullets,the standard was better but still a-little longish.....the 35 Whelen,,.my 2-30-06's Ulta-Comps and 1-standard barrel.....2-270's Ulta-Comps,2-30-30's,243 and 25-06 barrels is not a problem reaching the lands...I don't know about the rest of the calibers...but I here some of the 45-70's...are actually short throated...Even though I was told by a NEF tech..that they purposely long throat the barrels...I am more inclined to see this as a Quality Control problem...nothing more...

Good Luck with yours :D

Mac
 

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i've found that with the Handi's i've never needed to worry about over-all length. i've loaded the .223's with excellent results using Hornady spire points thus far, with no crimping grooves...and haven't seen a problem even with a relatively short 'oal'.

surprising? i'd say so, except that you can find a number of Remington Model 700's that won't let you load to/near the lands because of the magazine length being too short. but they shoot like a house of fire if you find a bullet and powder that they like. i believe the angle of the leade has a lot to do with that accuracy....

i'd use a Lee factory crimp die on any rounds loaded for a Handi' that You feel you Must crimp. otherwise, i'd skip the crimps on single-shot rifles, and would load to SAAMI max' length if it will chamber properly. also -- use a powder that will give you good loading density so that the case is full enough to provide consistent ignition from one shot to another.

good luck,

ss'
 

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Bullet Seating Depth and OAL

My .223 Handi has a VERY long throat. I can't reach it with a 55 gr. Hornady Vmax which has a relatively short secant ogive. Since I haven't been able to find a decent recipe for any reload yet I'm sticking with the Winchester white box 45gr's. They shoot better than anything I've reloaded( avg. less than 1 inch).

McL
 

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I gan get to the groves with my 204, I handload to .010 but the hornady factory 32's have in excess of .035 and it took me a few tries to beat thier accuracy.

I have been finding powder charge and to a lesser extent what powder seems to be the major contributer to accuracy. With my 204 0.2 of a grain either side of the sweet spot the groups doubled. My bold guns never seemed to be that particular (I think, needless to say there will be some re-testing)

I did the standard, max - 10% increase up by .5 til max- 1 grain then up by .2, I was schocked to see the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
bullet seating and oal

As usual it seems careful and planned experimentation will in order to get the best results, looking forward to it, thanks for the imput and ideas
Regards Howard.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
bullet seating depth and oal

Got the rifle home and checked oal with 100gr hornady and they touch the lands 2 .870"oal, so off to a good start, will seat the bullets 2.850"oal to begin with.
Regards Howard.
 

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howard NZ
If you can reach the lands you should try to seat the bullets 10 Thou into the lands. I load and tune all my ammo, where I can, 10-15 thou into the lands. Some Barnes-X bullets excepted.

This greatly improves concentricity by aligning the bullet with the bore.
There is a slight increase in pressure and may require a very small reduction in powder.

With the liberal throat and lead dimension in Handis the increase in pressure I believe is nothing to worry about. Nevertheless it is prudent to start with lower charges. Besides Handis like lower pressure.

I start load development with a 5-10% reduction in powder charge but start with the bullets into the lands. To improve this system further I also do a minimal outside neck reaming. That is about 75% of the neck perimeter. This will greatly improve accuracy in varmint class calibers where you want all the accuracy you can get.
 

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What is the minimum that a bullet should be seated into the case? I've loaded up some .223 seated long, and the ones about .010 from the lands don't have a lot of depth.
 

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Thanks Fred for your message, tell me and anyone else who wishes to , which do you do first during testing? different powder amounts, shoot to find the tightest group then start testing with that load with different bullet seating depth to further enhance accuracy.
Regards Howard.
 

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Coastwatcher.

What is the minimum that a bullet should be seated into the case?
That is a very good question. If you had a custom reamed chamber throat and lead, you could seat a bullet into the barrel lead and not at all being in the case neck. This is done with some Schützen rifle cartridges, some benchrest shooters have experimented with a partial concept of this.

The bad news about this is if you have to unload without firing the rifle, the bullet gets stuck in the lead and you may spill powder all over the action if don't hold the barrel up straight.

That is to seat the bullet just enough to hold it in place and then chamber the round. Works ok. The 25-06 Ultra I had did have a long throat and I got away with seating the bullets only 1/8 into the case neck and into the lands with long 117gr bullets.

If you can with that, get into the lands, you can get uniform resistance for good ignition to make up for the loss of neck tension. If you get accuracy with that all is well otherwise you better go for a long jump with neck tension.

Neck tension is only required for uniformity of ignition.
 

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Thanks Fred. Thats along the way I was thinking. Obviously seating too deep could cause excessive pressure, but I couldn't think of any reason why not to seat long. The V-Maxs I'm using are enough into the case to stay put, but thats about all. Going to try them tomorrow.
 

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Howard NZ.

tell me and anyone else who wishes to , which do you do first during testing?
We are talking about the Handi rifle in 243. Lets say you want a light big game load and chose from various different 100 gr bullets I would start with a 100gr Hornady Interlock or the 100gr Hornady Interbond two most excellent bullets and very accurate in most 243 rifles.

I guess you would use the the Aussie (Hodgdon powders). If you use other powders start with the slowest burner minus 10%. The load listed in the Hodgdon manual is 47gr @ 49800 CUP with H1000 at 3000ft this way too hot for the Handi, me thinks? But with a bit of oversize chamber, throat and free bore this could be ok. For the Handi I always use the slowest powders.

Another reason for H1000 is, the pressure curve is longer and places the max pressure nearly outside the case mouth. This also creates lower chamber pressure and burns more powder in the barrel for higher velocities.

Lower chamber pressure also reduces the barrel vibration which theoretically increases accuracy. The Handi lock-up is very susceptical to excessive barrel vibrations. OAL comes after you get some decent groups with the bullets as far out as practical 10 thou into the lands if possible.

Tweaking a Handi for accuracy can be taxing, Handies have button rifled barrels, shallow grooves and what I have seen have pretty smooth finishes. It should not take more than 40 rounds to break in the barrel. For the first 20 rounds clean the barrel with J-B paste frequently.


If the rifle does not shoot good groups after that, start looking for loose spots, gaps and latch engagement, a light trigger helps too.
Try to make your rifle shoot with somewhat reduced pressure.

Look at my web page for some ideas of tweaking the H&R Ultra.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Fred,
interesting and helpful, I have ADI 2209 powder, which is the equivelent to H414/ H4340, I have found good in previous rifles, Sako .243 and Remington 788 in 250-3000, never considered ADI 2217 which is the same as H1000, The ADI manual shows the same max load for 100gr bullets as your Hodgson manual 47.0 compressed for 3000fps (24" barrel), with 2209 from previous loadings 40gr is the max load for 2973fps(24" barrel) but there is still a bit of air in the case with the bullet seated out to touch the lands. I will now consider getting some ADI 2217 for my 95 and 100gr loads, a full case should offer better accuracy(consistant burn), .10 thou into the lands, what is the process you use to do this, Found your web site, lots of stuff for me to read as time allows,
thanks Howard.
 

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Howard NZ

Adi-Hodgdon is my #1 powder for most uses. reloader 22 for the 25-06 and vita Vuori N133 for the 6ppc. You can try all you want but you wont find anything much better.

Here is my super expensive OAL gage to find out where the lands are.

One full sized case without the primer. One 3" #8 wood screw ( for Handis and Ruger#1) screw the wood screw into the primer pocket for a handle.
Slit the neck and part of the shoulder with a very thin cutting wheel (part of a Dremel Grinder tool kit). squeeze the neck a bit so a inserted bullet will be held friction tight.

Feed that into the chamber, when the bullet hits the lands it will push into the case. Bingo you have OAL measure, add 0.010" and you are into the lands. Set you seating die with the SAME bullet and you are in business.

A micrometer seating die will greatly enhance seating depth settings and is of recordable value for multible bullet settings.

I use the same system with bolt action rifles without the wood screw and feed the dummy in with the bolt but do this 3-4 times to check and varify
dimensions. Once you have the length to the lands you can add or deduct for what shoots best.
 
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