Primer Seat Depth, Consistency and ES

Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
3,459
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Woodland Park, Colorado
Wanted to see from the forum if anyone has done any testing with your hunting load.
Specifically

1) Has anyone taken their brass and measured primer pocket depths for consistency?

2) Have you then seated your primers exactly 3 to 4 thousands deeper than the case? Or have found a node measured by depth that produced really low ES?

3) Have you seen a drastic reduction in ES when doing the above.

As some of you have already guessed and discussed with me I'm upgrading the reloading bench and getting some more education from my PRS/Benchrest brothers. I'm really impressed with the attention to detail and their ability to produce alot of rounds that are very consistent.
 

Sawfish

Very Active Member
Jun 9, 2011
761
110
Peoples Republik of Kalifornia
Wanted to see from the forum if anyone has done any testing with your hunting load.
Specifically

1) Has anyone taken their brass and measured primer pocket depths for consistency?

2) Have you then seated your primers exactly 3 to 4 thousands deeper than the case? Or have found a node measured by depth that produced really low ES?

3) Have you seen a drastic reduction in ES when doing the above.

As some of you have already guessed and discussed with me I'm upgrading the reloading bench and getting some more education from my PRS/Benchrest brothers. I'm really impressed with the attention to detail and their ability to produce alot of rounds that are very consistent.
I seat my primers by hand with an RCBS primer tool (and before that a Lee primer tool). I have been doing it that way for over 50 years. I have a good feel of the seating process and can feel when the primer is seated in the the primer pocket. I can also feel when something is wrong without tearing down a press.
 

Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
7,623
3,190
80
Dolores, Colorado
I seat my primers flush with the case. I use my Rock Chucker. I generally don't measure, trim or change the primer pocket once I've measured it and started using it. If the pocket changes, I can feel it when I am seating the primer. Been doing it this way since I started.

I used to use a lot of National Match cases and had to trim the staking off the primer pocket. Have not used surplus military cases in many years.
 

Bonecollector

Veteran member
Mar 9, 2014
5,770
3,516
Ohio
I seat my primers by hand with an RCBS primer tool (and before that a Lee primer tool). I have been doing it that way for over 50 years. I have a good feel of the seating process and can feel when the primer is seated in the the primer pocket. I can also feel when something is wrong without tearing down a press.
this is also how I perform the task.
 
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mallardsx2

Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
3,237
2,252
I use a carbide primer pocket uniformer in my station.

I measure my primer depth with my calipers.
Mine are seated .005 deep from the ass of the case.

Truthfully I don’t know if it matters. But it makes me all warm and fuzzy knowing that everything is consistent.

Personally if I was going to chase the node I would do it with bullet seating depth and leave everything else consistently. But hey, I’m no ribbon chaser.

Chasing anything more than bullet seating depth and powder charges seems like a lot of trial and error and expensive. Then by the time you figure out you barrel is shot out and your wallet is empty.

Do you watch many videos from Eric Cortina? Love his videos on reloading.
 
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Prerylyon

Veteran member
Apr 25, 2016
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48
Cedar Rapids, IA
I use a carbide primer pocket uniformer in my station.

I measure my primer depth with my calipers.
Mine are seated .005 deep from the ass of the case.

Truthfully I don’t know if it matters. But it makes me all warm and fuzzy knowing that everything is consistent.

Personally if I was going to chase the node I would do it with bullet seating depth and leave everything else consistently. But hey, I’m no ribbon chaser.

Chasing anything more than bullet seating depth and powder charges seems like a lot of trial and error and expensive. Then by the time you figure out you barrel is shot out and your wallet is empty.

Do you watch many videos from Eric Cortina? Love his videos on reloading.
Some of you guys are probably way more experienced than me with all this, but so far, I just mess with powder charge, then the seating depth to find a 'node'. I guess I mess a little with barrel length/harmonics/optimal timing to get a list of powders to start off. It also helps reading old reloading magazine articles where folks developed accurate loads for my same rifle, odds are good I can replicate it.

Once I get close to 1 MOA at the range, I call it good and go hunting.
 
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