Force measuring seaters worth it?

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by fatelvis, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. fatelvis

    fatelvis Silver $$ Contributor

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    Have any of you guys noticed a increase in accuracy, when you use a arbor press that measures seating force? I am thinking of buying one, and want to know the real world improvements, if any. Thanks!
     
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  2. ahusted1978

    ahusted1978 F/TR in Pa Silver $$ Contributor

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    I have a KM with the standard force gauge and love it. It helps keep everything the same, as far as neck tension/seating tension
     
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  3. milanuk

    milanuk Gold $$ Contributor

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    ...but can you see a measurable difference downrange, on target?

    If someone handed you the ammo, with no cues (double-blind), could you tell the difference?
     
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  4. dogdude

    dogdude Egan O'Brien Gold $$ Contributor

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    Just bought my second K&M, standard force for cartridges that need a little ''grip.''
    I see the difference on paper @1,000..easily.
     
  5. ahusted1978

    ahusted1978 F/TR in Pa Silver $$ Contributor

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    Being able to categorize my hand loads by any difference in neck tension, to me at least, helps with consistency. Then, when that 1 flyer falls in the 9 ring, I can be mad at myself for breaking a bad shot
     
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  6. Medic505

    Medic505 Dean Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

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    Dang it, there you go again. Discouraging a high dollar purchase of very desirable loading equipment.....

    I don't own one because it's just something else to worry about that's not worth fretting over.
     
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  7. damoncali

    damoncali Bullet Maker Site $$ Sponsor

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    It's bordering on voodoo in my opinion. I'm all for measuring stuff, but there comes a point where you have too much information to make sense of.
     
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  8. Scott Harris

    Scott Harris Gold $$ Contributor

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    Show me the test results..... If that was followed, the amount of time spent reloading would go down dramatically!
     
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  9. tom

    tom Gold $$ Contributor

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    Consistent neck tension is important, but seating "force" is about 10% tension and 90% friction. The friction portion has almost no perceivable value on "vertical at distance". I do in fact use one, but I needed an arbor press when I bought it. It does allow me to share notes with fellow shooters as one of the benefits. As with any of all the stupid crap we do, it won't have a bigger effect than getting the seating and powder right.


    Tom
     
  10. David Christian

    David Christian Gold $$ Contributor

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  11. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

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    Can anyone tell the difference on the target between powder weighed to +/- one kernel versus +/- 0.1 gr? FWIW - 0.1 gr is about equal to 5 kernels of Varget. If not, the money that many have spent on expensive balances may have been wasted. Uh...wait a second...LOL.

    The fact is that many of us carry out individual sorting/measuring/weighing/etc steps during the reloading process for which we may not be able to readily quantify some difference on the target. Sources of error are generally additive, going beyond the minimum resolution necessary in any single process is not necessarily a waste of time as the end result will be at least the sum of all individual sources of error. Further, there is something to be said for the peace of mind knowing that your ammo is as god as you can possibly make it. I don't personally worry about measuring seating force, but I totally get it when someone is considering making it a part of their reloading process.
     
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  12. Medic505

    Medic505 Dean Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

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    After careful analysis of your data, the only suggestion I have is you should consider dropping $500 on a lab radar and pitch the magneto speed. After all, it is the latest-greatest do-dad in the chronograph world.

    I have a hard time wrapping my head around the effects of 2 or 3 pounds of slow controlled pressure going in is going to have on 62,000+ pounds in a millisecond going out.
     
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  13. Immike

    Immike Gold $$ Contributor

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    I think all sorting has a measurable effect on some level. Confindence of course but measurable at times.
     
  14. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Gold $$ Contributor

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    The games we play with these rifles are often won by condition reading; not by having ammo that's measured 15 different ways.

    I suspect in a lot of cases, provided the shoulder bump, seating depth, and neck tension are relatively consistent (and in the ball park of 'in tune'), the winners of a good portion of matches would have won even if they had working with a set of standard lee dies to prep/seat their components. You'll never catch me stooping to that level though. ;)

    That said, when I look down the line at most matches, I see a good bit of money tied up in rigs, and untold thousands tied up in components, travel, equipment etc. In the grand scheme of things, the cost of an arbor press & some dies are like a couple of rain drops in the ocean.

    Some folks are just weirdos (myself included) that actually like reloading to gnats ass level detail. Even though you might not always get the condition to shoot the difference, there's still something to be said for going to the line with a *perfectly* consistent product (whether that product is in perfect tune with the rifle is another story).

    It's basic variable management really....you've got X days before a match, and you can dedicate some of that time to removing any level of variable before you set foot on the line, then why wouldn't you?

    Who here hasn't shot a 10 that broke the line by the skin of its teeth? What if you hadn't annealed that case? What if you had an extra 3-4 kernels in there? What if.... what if....

    The answer is you'll never know. Go to the line with what gives you confidence, and hope the guys next to ya drank too much coffee that morning. :)
     
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  15. milanuk

    milanuk Gold $$ Contributor

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    I wasn't necessarily 'discouraging' anything. I was more honestly curious about repeatable results. I've seen any number of folks claim to sort their loaded rounds by seating force, within some arbitrary metric - say 2-5 psi - and some of them are indeed very good shooters. But I'm not sure I've ever seen actual A-B test results that show the juice is worth the squeeze at those small steps. Larger increments, yes - see below.

    Like a number of folks here, I think a good portion of what we do matters primarily 'in our heads' i.e. because we want it to, and if it can't actually hurt, then why not...

    That said... I have had some ammo problems (including recently, in the last year or so) where I ended up using my K&M (originally with a Force Pack, now with a DC hydraulic base) to help diagnose some seating force issues. But these were fairly severe instances where it had gotten to the point where I could feel the difference on a threaded press like a Co-Ax or a 550, and a person could have easily 'sorted' the bad rounds into a separate batch just off of feel.

    I had a rare opportunity to test some of those during a practice @ Ben Avery, and there *was* a significant difference in POI at the target - and not in the way I had expected. Again, this was a fairly severe circumstance - the difference between an average seating force of ~30-40 psi, and 50-60+ with a tactile 'pop' as the bullet passed the case mouth - not your usual sorting / use case for a hydro seater.
     
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  16. 1shot

    1shot

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    I use a hydro seater w/gage for sorting purposes. I clean my brass with a U-S cleaner so the necks don't have any residual carbon left on them. Because of that, I shoot moly bullets to get an equal seating force from one round to the next. If my seating force runs about 25 lbs. and I get one that is significantly over or under the number, I put it in my sighter row of my cartridge box. Do the sighters shoot on call? Most of the time, but not always. I'm a sling/coat shooter with a generous target as compared to the F-class shooters, so does it matter? To me it's one more variable that I have taken out of the equation, and that makes me sleep better at night.
    I hope this helps,

    Lloyd
     
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  17. carlsbad

    carlsbad Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep. Gold $$ Contributor

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    So anyone in this thread who has given up on seating force as voodoo have an arbor press with force measurement for sale? If so, please PM me. thanks, Jerry
     
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  18. mktacop

    mktacop NRA Life Member Gold $$ Contributor

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    I'll second that and be number 2 in line ;)
     
  19. SPJ

    SPJ Gold $$ Contributor

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    Jerry
    You could make your own..
    Sit an arbor press on a bathroom scale an pull the handle, it works just fine
     

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  20. Alex Wheeler

    Alex Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

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    As was already said, you just need to know what your actually measuring and how it plays out on target. I have had the K&M for a long time and I still use it. Its similar to a chronograph in that its interesting data but I will not directly base anything tune wise from it. You can take cases that all have the same neck tension and make them show 100lb. different seating force by what you do to the inside of the neck, without changing actual neck tension.
     
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