We recommended that when loading a Very Low Drag (VLD) bullet, Hybrid bullet, or any bullet that has a secant ogive, that you use a seating stem or reloading die that was made specifically to match a secant shape. While traditional bullets have a tangent ogive (nose) shape, a VLD bullet has a secant ogive shape and a Hybrid bullet has a blend of both. Traditional seating stems will have an inside chamfer to meet the angle of the tangent ogive, while a VLD seating stem will have a more aggressive shape to meet the more aggressive design of a secant bullet. If you load a VLD or Hybrid bullet using a traditional seating stem, you may find that you are having a hard time keeping your loads at a consistent seating depth, see small marks on your bullet ogives after seating them, or even end up deforming the ogive of the bullet.
A VLD bullet put into a traditional seating stem (left) and a VLD seating stem (right).
Most die manufacturers sell some seating stems that are made for loading secant ogive bullets. Below are links to some examples.
- Redding Reloading VLD Seating Stems
- Wilson VLD Drift Seating Stem
- Whidden Gunworks Custom Bullet Seating Stems
- Forster Bench Rest Seating Stems (for Bench Rest Competition)
- RCBS Custom VLD Seating Stems (available by request only)
- Hornady Custom Bullet Seating Stems (ELD and ELD-X stems are comparable)