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Thread: COL on new Sako Rifles

  1. #1
    Junior Member coldsmoke's Avatar
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    COL on new Sako Rifles

    Forgive me if this item has been mentioned before, yet I have searched for it all over the web and this seems to be the best source of information on these rifles. I own an 85 synthetic & stainless in .270 win caliber, I suspect manufactured in 2011. Do not know how to verify this, yet date is probably within a couple of years. My concern is the fact that I have deciced to now load all of my rounds. After reading every benchrest article on how to load the best ammo for rifles, I was a bit disturbed to learn that to "kiss the lands" on my .270 meant to seat the Sierra 135 grain BTHP to the point that it was not seated to it's correct depth. I have, after some direction from this forum, learned that my rifle wishes to kiss the lands at about 3.469". The SAAMI overall cartidge length is 3.340". I have never shot this rifle anywhere except the range, and don't expect to. Yet when people at the range learn that I am shooting a Sako, they all wish to know all about it's shooting ability. I have read online that the new Sako throats have a forcing cone, which helps center the bullet before entering the lands. This is thought to be a great improvement over the past, yet I still can not believe there are not bullet seating depths which help. I appreciate each who have read this, and more who have considered it. Please help before I reload.

    Last edited by coldsmoke; 8th April 2012 at 22:59.

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    Hello coldsmoke. I am always happy to learn that some one is embarking into the wonderful world of reloading. I would like to respectfully tell you first of all that it is a very enjoyable but serious hobby. 1. There are a number of safety concerns that must be followed. Please study the subject and learn how to recognize excessive pressure signs. There are many good articles available on the web. Most of the bullet and powder manufacturers sell reloading manuals that are a very good place to start. I own about 24 of them and I use them constantly for reference after 40+ years of reloading. 2. "Kiss the lands" is a term for "free bore" distance or clearance. This is one of the most influencial and critical adjustments in reloading other than load selection for fine tuning to get the "sweet load" for a rifle. It is also the last adjustment. Most modern rifles are designed to a specific free bore dimention to allow the bullet to gain movement before engaging the lands to prevent increasing pressure prematurely. I suggest that you follow the COL until you have a reasonably good load worked up and then find some one who is very experienced at reloading to help you with setting the free bore. Most rifle mags are designed to limit the COL for the rifle free bore requirements. 3. Critical measurements: Case cleaning, trimming, inspection, bullet weighing, powder weighing, seating depth are all very important steps to get the best results for your efforts. 4. "Forcing Cone"- I have not heard of this term before. In my opinion the Sako is a top of the line shooting rifle that has near perfect chamber to bore alignment and if the bullet is seated in the correct alignment to the case the bullet will enter the bore in correct alignment before the riflings are contacted. Hope that this helps a little. Good luck and enjoy the process. sakojim.

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    Senior Member bloorooster's Avatar
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    coldsmoke- First I will say Welcome to the Sako Collectors Club! I have just started handloading myself, so I can't give specific measurements on the .270 yet. What I have been doing with mine is actually measuring the inside length of the rifle's magazine, then dropping off 3/1000's from that and the results have not been bad...some times when a developed round kisses the lands and is then backed off so that it wont stick in the lands and empty your charge down the mag box, it is still too long to fit the magazine....so, to me measuring the magazine box saves a little time! The loads I have played with (from .222 rem up to .308 win have shown groups in the 5's and less...not bad in my book ( my book has mostly pictures) I found also that when you change bullets (type or brand) it changes the seating depth so that part has to be readjusted-Bloo
    "Honesty may be the best policy, but its important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy."
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    Cold smoke. I neglected to mention one other important factor about reloading. It is a important fact that there is a big variation between the ogives of the various brands of bullets. The newer plastic tipped bullets usually have a more tapered frontal area which moves the point of contact of the ogive to lands rearward if set to the COL and does change the free bore compared to some of the older style blunter bullets. When reloading I have found some slight variation between same brand boxes. I have always checked the free bore of every new box of bullets to set to my specs. There are several ways to measure and set free bore. Check the net for some very good info on that. sakojim.

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    Senior Member cmjr's Avatar
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    Lot of good advice here but the one thing that I keep getting hung up on is you have a synthetic sporter in 270 and your trying to reach the lands?? I could see it if you were talking about a rifle that you were competing with but your talking about a hunting rifle in a hunting configuration. I would be surprised if you could load the magazine with rounds set up to kiss the lands and I'm assuming you've had to do this for accuracy,it didn't shoot well before? Have you ever chambered a round into the lands to have to take it out and leave the bullet in the barrel and dump the powder charge rendering the rifle useless untill you get it back home to clear the powder. Believe me, anyone that loads into the lands knows exactly what I'm talking about. As mentioned the ojive changes, even on the same bullet. If your an experienced reloader, shoot competitively, messing with COL by setting into the lands can improve a load but not all will improve. The 204 is notorious for shooting with a lot of jump so don't think that by putting it into the lands you'll always improve the performance.
    USA, North Texas

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    All- what you should be using to determine seating depth is an over all length gauge in conjunction with a modified case. You will also need a good set of calipers which you will find many uses for. Stoney Point makes a simple gauge, and then get the modofied case. So, once you determine the length to the lands, you can back of a few thousands depending on your preferability.

    The instructions are good; I'm sure there are demos on you tube as well.

    Dave
    USA

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    Senior Member bloorooster's Avatar
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    cmjr has touched on a important note in this thread, unless one is shooting serious competition, kissing the lands is really un-needed in a rifle that is gonna be used for hunting or general shooting. I have yet to actually try to set my bullets out far enough to touch the lands, thats why I have been measuring the magazine boxes on each rifle I load for and build the round to fit with minimal clearance. I hunt with all my rifles at one time or another, and with the loads I have been coming up with all my guns shoot sub MOA which is plenty good for any hunting situation...Sure, printing a 5 shot, one hole group is fantastic...but try shooting clays on their sides at 200-300 yrds with any gun you hunt with, when you can bust 'em with one shot no matter where they lay...you got the gun where you need it when it comes to putting meat in the freezer and bone on the wall!-Bloo
    "Honesty may be the best policy, but its important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy."
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  8. #8
    Junior Member coldsmoke's Avatar
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    Hello sakojim, I thank you (and all others) for your replies. I will post this paragraph from another site. For openers, your SAKO has a unique throat not found in American made rifles. They use a forcing cone much like a revolver. This helps center the bullet without deforming it no matter if the bullet is seated deeper or not. This is great new technology and will probably start showing up in American made guns. The "forcing cone" technique requires a very hard barrel because it is more prone to throat erosion. Now this was from http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/index.php?topic=92921.0 I certainly do not know of it's validity one way or the other, yet find it interesting. I suspected this sakocollectors site would know more about our rifles than any other.
    Yes, I do realize this is a hunting rifle and not a benchrest gun, but do wish to see it do all it can! As stated in original post, I doubt if I will ever hunt with this rifle so magazine length is not the greatest concern. Of course this would have been, and perhaps will be, the starting point if I can't find someone who has been exactly where I am now. Once again thanks, I appreciate you all. Coldsmoke

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    I don't know beans about the currently produced Sakos, and can't tell you whether there is any substance to the "forcing cone" hypothesis, but I can tell you that it sounds like either typical Urban Legend or baseless advertising hype.

    Nonetheless, in regard to COL, that SAAMI standard is the maximum length to which a factory cartidge may be loaded and still fit inside the shortest rifle magazine which also meets SAAMI standards. That's all. It has nothing to do with cartridge performance and that length may be much shorter with lighter, shorter bullets. It cannot be longer, except when the cartridge is handloaded and both the magazine and the chamber (leade) allow a longer COL. Which the 3.65" Sako magazines and chambering leades normally do.

    In regard to "kissing the lands": Most loads tend to perform best when the jump between the bullet location and the lands is minimized. TEND TO, that is. My favorite load for my (pre-Garcia) Sako .270 happens to run about 3.29", which happens to be within the SAAMI standard. This is a conventional 130 grain bullet, so it doesn't "need" to be very long. If, on the other hand, I were shooting a 150 grain polycarbonate tipped bullet, it would probably do better with a seating depth of more like 3.45" or so -- and I suspect that at that length it would not engage the lands.
    Texas Hill Country

  10. #10
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    "Kissing the Lands" is not necessarily a technique that always improves accuracy, but it is always a technique that can lead to pressure spikes above the design limits of the case or rifle if done incorrectly. Throw your reloading manual away if you seat on the lands because you have added a variable not considered when the load data was established. Seating on or into the lands is a technique best left to the benchrest crowd & has no real advantage to the sport shooter. Most rifles have a sweet spot of bullet jump that produces good accuracy. It varies from rifle to rifle & load to load. Mine vary from .030" to .120" depending on the gun & load. Some rifles show no difference in accuracy. Seating too long to fit the magazine makes your repeater hunting rifle a single shot, which doesn't make sense in the field. Haven't heard about the "Forcing Cone" thing, but suspect it has more to do with preventing excess pressure spike problems from reloaded ammo done by the inexperienced or unknowledgeable than it does accuracy. Liability concerns are usually the reason behind the so called "improvements", no matter how they are marketed.
    Hawkeye Bottoms- Iowa, USA

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