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GUNS Magazine Digital February 2011 - Page 10
• J O H N B A R S N E S S • buffalo or Alaskan brown bear we don’t much care whether groups are consistently sub-MOA. Then there are Weatherby rifles, with their very long chamber throats called “freebore.” There’s no way to seat bullets anywhere close to ack in Handloading 101 most of us were taught to seat the lands in any Weatherby rifle chambered for one of Roy’s rounds. rifle bullets as close to the lands as possible. This This can also happen with some other supposedly resulted in the best accuracy because the rifles and cartridges as well. In my bullet wasn’t allowed to rattle down the chamber throat modest collection are a CZ 550 9.3x62 before entering the rifling, ending up pointing in whoMauser and a Remington 760 .35 Whelen. In both rifles the throat is so knows-what direction. long, standard spitzers can’t be seated Most advice suggested .03" off crimped. Many lever actions with tube anywhere near the lands and still fit the lands, about 1/32", instead of the magazines will only function with into the magazine. bullet actually touching the lands. A bullets seated in a relatively narrow Despite this long jump, however, bullet jammed into the lands, we were range, the reason round- and flat- many such rifles shoot remarkably warned, not only raised pressures nosed bullets designed for cartridges well. I own three Weatherby rifles, but could result in a real mess if we like the .30-30 have their cannelures chambered in the .240, .257 and .270 attempted to eject an unfired round. placed at a certain distance from the Weatherby Magnums, and all group The bullet could stick in the lands and nose of the bullet. well under a MOA. The CZ 9.3x62 and only the case would be extracted (if Also, once recoil surpasses the .375 Remington 760 .35 Whelen also shoot the round could be extracted at all), H&H level it’s a good idea to crimp very well. The reason is that all five dumping powder all over the inside of bullets for use in magazine rifles, rifles have throats barely wider than the rifle’s action. because repeated firing can pound the bullet diameter, so bullets don’t get a Well, as with many introductory rounds in the magazine so severely chance to wobble before entering the courses, we afterward learned the that bullets get pushed deeper into rifling. exceptions to this rule—or at least the case. This is why most bullets for There’s also another exception most of them. It turned out that really powerful rounds of .40 and to the seat-’em-out rule: Many rifles many handloaders do seat bullets above also feature crimping grooves or actually shoot better if bullets are into the lands, in particular benchrest cannelures. While the crimped bullets seated deeper. This is a hard one for competitors. However, benchrest may not seat exactly the right distance many older handloaders to bend shooters hardly ever go anywhere from the lands for the finest accuracy, their minds around, but it’s true. without a cleaning rod, so they can in rifles designed to really shoot Cape I’ve seen it most often with the longknock an unfired case out ogive spitzers often used of the chamber with no these days, especially danger of spewing 8208 those “monometal” into their Stolle action. bullets without cores Black powder cartridge such as the Barnes Tripleshooters also frequently Shock X-Bullet and the seat bullets into the lands, Nosler E-Tip. In fact, the but cast bullets are soft manufacturers of such enough so they don’t get bullets often recommend stuck. the starting distance The magazines of from the lands be a little repeating actions also deeper than .03", giving create an exception, the “hard” bullet a little especially with many of more run before entering today’s bullets with very the lands, reducing peak long tapered ogives. Often pressures. However, we have to seat the bullet deeper seating also often more than .03" away from works with bullets as soft the lands, simply to allow as the Berger VLD, with rounds to fit into the very thin jackets and magazine. almost pure-lead cores. This also applies to any The .270 Wby Mag delivered a group just more than 1/2" after the bullets were A recent example rifle where bullets must be seated a little deeper. occurred with my new rifLe BuLLet seatinG dePth When deeper is better. B 10 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM•FEBRUARY2011