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Old 12-04-2012, 21:55   #61
SBray
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Originally Posted by dhgeyer View Post
EDIT: How deep to seat a bullet in a semi-auto pistol case is a balancing act between fitting in the magazine, having some, but not excessive freebore, seating deep enough to hold the bullet securely, not seating so deep as to raise chamber pressure, and, finally, finding an overall length that feeds well.
So, how do most people reloading for pistols go about fine tuning the OAL? Obviously it will be different for weights of bullets and powders used. I get the impression that most do not spend so much time setting the OAL like benchrest shooters do.
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Old 12-04-2012, 22:22   #62
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Load a round too long. Remove the flare but don't crimp inward. Take your barrel out. Drop it in the barrel. It should not go in all the way. Reduce OAL about .010" at a time on that round till it goes THUNK when you drop it in the barrel. That is your MAX oal length for that bullet and your barrel.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:13   #63
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So, how do most people reloading for pistols go about fine tuning the OAL? Obviously it will be different for weights of bullets and powders used. I get the impression that most do not spend so much time setting the OAL like benchrest shooters do.
Well, fortunately it's a balancing act but not rocket science. I think the guy who asked the question (thread hijack) in the first place was on the right track. Look at a couple of different sources and compare them. What I do when I'm trying to establish an OAL for, round nose bullets as an example, is look at factory loaded rounds of the same bullet weight. I look for a nose shape that is as close as possible to the bullets I want to load. There's quite a variation in different brands. WWB, with a fairly pointy nose, measures 1.168" if I remember correctly. Rem/UMC is more in the 1.120" range, but the bullet nose is a lot blunter. So, as I say, I check the manuals, look at some factory rounds with similar bullets and arrive at a length to test. I'm not starting out with the max load anyway (closer to the min), so if I'm too deep (short) it won't hurt the gun. I do the drop in the chamber test, check feeding, shoot a few to see how they are, and go from there.

As long as you're not way off I don't think you will have a problem.

Last edited by dhgeyer; 12-05-2012 at 07:15..
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:21   #64
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Generally, pistols won't fit a round in the mag that touches the rifling, but not always. Some guns, like CZ 75's are known for having short throats that won't accommodate rounds that will fit in the mag.
SAme for the XD line. It's why OAL can NOT be take from a book as gospel.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:24   #65
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Generally, pistols won't fit a round in the mag that touches the rifling, but not always. Some guns, like CZ 75's are known for having short throats that won't accommodate rounds that will fit in the mag.
That depends a great deal on bullet profile. The longer the bearing surface, the greater the odds of it hitting the rifling before being too long for the mags.
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Old 12-05-2012, 19:39   #66
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Sorry for the hijack guys and thank you for the replies.

I decided to take the advice of loading some dummy rounds. To me, it made sense. Since the Hornady manual states C.O.L.: 1.230 and the Lyman manual states C.O.L.: 1.272. I went with the C.O.L. of the UMC factory loaded ammunition. That is C.O.L.: 1.253. I wanted to see the results of splitting the difference.

I removed the barrels from my Glock G30 and G36. I inserted a clean empty piece of brass into the chamber and looked down the barrel for a reference point. I then inserted the factory UMC round into the chamber. I was able to see past the bullet and see the edge of the brass. I repeated this step with the dummy rounds. I was still able the see the edge of the brass case in the chamber.

Next, I used calipers to measure how much of the case was protruding from the chamber end of the barrel. My dummy rounds measured the same as the factory ammunition. I then, loaded some rounds into a magazine from each gun. I then manually worked back the slides and let it go forward on its own looking for any problems. Each round chambered and ejected smoothly without any binding.
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Old 12-05-2012, 21:02   #67
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^^THIS^^^ More guys should learn this proper methode for determinging the correct OAL for their guns. BTW< the LYman OAL is SAAMI max, not necessarily what they used. Very few bullet & gun combos will accept 1.272" OAL.
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Old 12-05-2012, 21:06   #68
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Sorry for the hijack guys and thank you for the replies.

I decided to take the advice of loading some dummy rounds. To me, it made sense. Since the Hornady manual states C.O.L.: 1.230” and the Lyman manual states C.O.L.: 1.272”. I went with the C.O.L. of the UMC factory loaded ammunition. That is C.O.L.: 1.253”. I wanted to see the results of splitting the difference.

I removed the barrels from my Glock G30 and G36. I inserted a clean empty piece of brass into the chamber and looked down the barrel for a reference point. I then inserted the factory UMC round into the chamber. I was able to see past the bullet and see the edge of the brass. I repeated this step with the dummy rounds. I was still able the see the edge of the brass case in the chamber.

Next, I used calipers to measure how much of the case was protruding from the chamber end of the barrel. My dummy rounds measured the same as the factory ammunition. I then, loaded some rounds into a magazine from each gun. I then manually worked back the slides and let it go forward on its own looking for any problems. Each round chambered and ejected smoothly without any binding.
Yeah, that'll work. The acid test is to shoot a few. If they shoot well, I'd say you can declare victory. You can spend time playing with it a few thousandths at a time to see if you get any better accuracy. In a rifle that would make sense. In a pistol, unless you're doing some extreme accuracy shooting, I doubt you'd see any noticeable improvement. Playing with the powder charge would probably be more productive, though. That can make a big difference.

Oh, and don't worry too much about the thread hijack. Seems like most of them get hijacked. I probably shouldn't have even mentioned it.

Last edited by dhgeyer; 12-05-2012 at 21:08..
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Old 12-06-2012, 13:22   #69
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Tonight Ill load a box of 50 rounds at my adjustments. I am taking a half day at work tomorrow to burn up some vacation time and then Ill be heading to the range to check my reloads.

This may sound corny but should I start a thread with pics of my target and what load I went with?
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Old 12-06-2012, 13:57   #70
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Tonight I’ll load a box of 50 rounds at my adjustments. I am taking a half day at work tomorrow to burn up some vacation time and then I’ll be heading to the range to check my reloads.

This may sound corny but should I start a thread with pics of my target and what load I went with?
Target pics are always fun, just remember to post the distance. I see a lot of targets & guys think they are shooting really well, then tell you the targets are at 7yds. No one seriously tests accuracy at any distance shorter than 50ft. A crappy gun & crappy ammo will shoot into on ragged hole @ 21ft w/ a good shooter.
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Last edited by fredj338; 12-06-2012 at 14:13..
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Old 12-06-2012, 14:28   #71
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Target pics are always fun, just remember to post the distance. I see a lot of targets & guys think they are shooting really well, then tell you the targets are at 7yds. No one seriously tests accuracy at any distance shorter than 50ft. A crappy gun & crappy ammo will shoot into on ragged hole @ 21ft w/ a good shooter.

I'll test my load at 25 yards.
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Old 12-06-2012, 15:55   #72
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I'll test my load at 25 yards.
An even better test of gun & ammo, as well as shooter. When I had younger eyes, I would shoot all my test groups @ 25yds for service guns. Now I have dropped back to 50ft, just easier to see things. I do still shoot the hunting guns all the way out to 100yds, but diff tool for diff task.
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Last edited by fredj338; 12-06-2012 at 15:55..
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Old 12-06-2012, 17:02   #73
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...I see a lot of targets & guys think they are shooting really well, then tell you the targets are at 7yds. No one seriously tests accuracy at any distance shorter than 50ft. A crappy gun & crappy ammo will shoot into on ragged hole @ 21ft w/ a good shooter.
Accuracy for me is based on action-pistol, which is loosely based on SD. A fist-sized group, offhand, at 35 yds (max IDPA) is darn good to me. Some days I achieve it - my ammo always does.
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Old 12-06-2012, 17:21   #74
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Target pics are always fun, just remember to post the distance. I see a lot of targets & guys think they are shooting really well, then tell you the targets are at 7yds. No one seriously tests accuracy at any distance shorter than 50ft. A crappy gun & crappy ammo will shoot into on ragged hole @ 21ft w/ a good shooter.
I love the "one ragged hole" description people use. They fire 300 rounds at a target and call it "one ragged hole". The hole is 12" across, but it's "one ragged hole".
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Old 12-07-2012, 14:26   #75
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I love the "one ragged hole" description people use. They fire 300 rounds at a target and call it "one ragged hole". The hole is 12" across, but it's "one ragged hole".
True, but I am talking one hole, maybe a 25c piece could cover. Accuracy @ 21ft is an oximoron IMO, because most guns & ammo will shoot into a 25c peice group @ 21ft for a decent shooter. It's why testing ammo @ that distance is pointless. Yes, one ragged hole can be fist size, but too many can't believe you can shoot small groups like that @ 21ft w/ a service gun.
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Accuracy for me is based on action-pistol, which is loosely based on SD. A fist-sized group, offhand, at 35 yds (max IDPA) is darn good to me. Some days I achieve it - my ammo always does.
Yep, practical accuracy vs mechanical accuracy. Most would not test ammo offhand @ any distance. I'm all for being able to hit the 8" IDPA sweet spot out to 40yds, about as far as one is likey to shoot a service handgun. Still, it's nice to play @ longer distance so if you have to, you can actually hit things. I used to shoot a lot of met sil, out to 220yds, open sights. I still shoot my service guns out to 100yds on occasion just to remind myself of the sight pic needed to get a hit on a man size target. Not much of a challenge to break clay targets @ 50yds w/ decent ammo in a service gun. One just never knows.
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Last edited by fredj338; 12-08-2012 at 12:57..
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Old 12-07-2012, 18:46   #76
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Old 12-07-2012, 20:01   #77
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case gauge it and shoot it.
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