Load Force 250 Product
If you are a neck tension
enthusiast, here is the tool that might interest you. The Load
Force 250 measures in pounds the dynamic force it takes to seat your
bullet by using a small flat load cell as the shell holder. Using
neck dimensions for neck tension is the common practice and has its
limitations. Neck size dimensions may or may not relate actual
bullet seating force changes. Especially on repeated firings as
the brass, work hardens. Varying the neck wall thickness by neck
turning also changes the hoop strength and bullet seating force.
So read on about how the new Load Force 250 has been working for me and
how it may help you.
A few years ago, when I started
shooting some of the 600 Yard Practice sessions at my local club, I was
interested in what some of the other good shooters were doing.
Neck tension and bullet seating forces came up now and then. In
fact, one veteran shooter got me thinking about bullet seating forces
it to the point I tried to measure bullet forces using various
methods. First I tried a torque wrench fasten to my reloading
press which was somewhat like what he was doing using an arbor
press. Then I made a cantilever scale to measure the bullet
seating force, which actually worked fairly well, however it only
yielded the force to final seat the bullet after an initial
seating. Here is a link to an article on my Cantilever Scale to
Bullet Seating Forces.
The Load Force 250 measures and
captures the complete dynamic force used to seat the bullet during the
complete press seating cycle. Best of all, it is connected to
your standard seating press or arbor press, not like my cantilever
Therefore, if you have been
wondering, what is the affect of different sizing bushing, neck
turning, seating depth, or brass aging on neck tension? Now here
is that tool that can actually make those measurements to answer your
questions. A simple to use and easy to set up tool that will
measure the dynamic force it takes to seat your bullets.
The Load Force 250 maybe used with
ether Wilson type straight seating dies in an arbor press or used with
conventional or competition seating dies in a regular reloading
press. You may also display the dynamic bullet seating force
graph on your computer screen. Included in the Load Force 250
package is all the cables, adapters, and software needed to connect to
your computer. Having the Dynamic Bullet seating force graph
shown on the computer screen is especially useful if you are going to
use it with an arbor press as I am doing most of the time. The
first 100 rounds I seated used the Load Force 200 were some 223 with 80
grain Sierra MatchKings. After seating just a few bullets and
looking at the dynamic force chart on the computer screen, I was
quickly able to see the spike in the seating force when the seating die
bottomed out. Using the arbor press, the seating die will bottom
out at the end of each bullet seating operation and this causes a spike
in the dynamic force. What you want is the maximum force used to
seat the bullet just before or as the seating die bottoms outs. I
found it very easy to see this spike on the computer screen.
When I first started to use the Load
Force 200 to measure the bullet seating force I found that it require
some additional time. I tried to pace my self-different allowing
the Load Force 200 read the dynamic seating force. When I placed
the Wilson Die under the Arbor Press, it would trigger a reading and I
would then have to wait for that reading to clear before starting the
actual bullet seating operation. However, time, revisions, and
upgrades have fixed the bugs and now it is almost seamless in my
reloading sequence. My unit has made a few trips back to the
manufacturer over the past couple of years, however I can say now that
I have a good, reliable, and accurate tool to measure the dynamic
bullet seating force.
I like to use it along with the
software package to see the dynamic forces plotted on the computer
screen when I use my arbor press. However, the unit displays the
dynamic bullet seating force. However, I do not agree with the
point the unit as picked sometimes. I just click and move the red
lines to the point on the curve I like and the computer screen shows
the new bullet seating force. The Load Force 250 maybe battery
operated using a nine Volt battery and used on the range. When I
load my 6XC rounds, I must use my regular press, I do not use my
computer to double check the units displayed value. I checked it
out once and displays the numbers I agree with.
I do not know or have any documented
proof if doing all this measuring helps accuracy, however is been fun
using the Load Force 250 and measuring the force it takes to seat
bullets. However, I can say that my brass and neck tension is not
as good as I thought it might be. I am seeing more variation in
the bullet seating force than I thought it would be.
Therefore, for now I am just
measuring the bullet seating force and sorting the rounds by seating
force. The placing the sorting rounds into my MTM boxes and
shooting them from the lightest to heaviest bullet seating force.
While using the Load Force 250 I noticed some rough loading bullets,
which lead me to discover that my outside case neck chamfering
operation was messing things up and taught me “How
Not to Seat
Bullets”. This also started me a quest for “The
Perfect Case Neck
My conclusions to date:
1. The bullet seating forces
seems to reduce somewhat on my repeated firings and reloading.
However, the standard deviation is also getting smaller so my brass is
actually improving somewhat with each use.
2. My case trimming and neck
chamfering operations had more effect on bullet seating forces than I
could have imagined. The case neck inside chaffer is very
important. I now set my K&M tapered reamer so a gage pin one
thousandth larger than the bullet diameter will just fit into the
chaffered portion on the neck opening. This produces nice smooth
dynamic force graphs, and minimum scratching of the bullets outside
3. The bullet seating dynamics
can very the results, especially when using the Load Force 250 with an
arbor press, I found that I got the best results after I fasten
my arbor press to my work bench and adjusted the arm on the arbor press
to be straight up when the seating die bottomed out.
4. I am still thinking.
Link to Load Force 250 Manufacturer
Any Questions or
Web Page Comments
August 20, 2006
Revised - August 20, 2006