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Old 12-04-2012, 16:12   #51
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Originally Posted by smokin762 View Post
Thank you for the response.

I have the Lyman and Hornady manuals. Some of the information to me is a little confusing. I am starting out on .45 ACP. I am using Accurate #5 with Hornady 230 gr FMJ.

With the powder and bullet weight I am using, the Hornady manual reads, C.O.L..1.230”

With the powder I am using, the Lyman manual only lists a 225 gr.FMJ Bullet and it reads, C.O.L..1.272” OAL.

I am using mixed brass and the case lengths do vary. I’m not really sure which C.O.L. length to go with. I measured some factory UMC 230 gr FMJ and varied from C.O.L..1.253”- 1.262”.

Do I go with the Hornady manual or do I go with the Lyman manual? Is it safe to split the difference?

You should dance with the one that brought you!

If you are using a bullet that matches the Hornady manual and you are using their load data, it makes sense to use their OAL. Dance with them!

Of couse the Lyman manual will be longer! The bullet is heavier, therefore longer, and they need to maintain case volume.

I load 230 gr LRN and FMJ as well as 200 gr LSWC to 1.250"

You need to be certain that you don't load too short as that will increase pressure. You also need to be certain you don't load too long or a) the rounds won't fit in the magazine or b) the bullet will impact the rifling.

But, when you think about it, what's 0.020"? Hornady says 1.230" and I use 1.250". I doubt there's a whit of difference.

You will also find that Hornady is often VERY conservative when compared to something like Speer #14. No guarantees, of course, but you are unlikely to get an overpressure situation using Hornady data, as published.

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Old 12-04-2012, 17:40   #52
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You should dance with the one that brought you!

If you are using a bullet that matches the Hornady manual and you are using their load data, it makes sense to use their OAL. Dance with them!

Of couse the Lyman manual will be longer! The bullet is heavier, therefore longer, and they need to maintain case volume.

I load 230 gr LRN and FMJ as well as 200 gr LSWC to 1.250"

You need to be certain that you don't load too short as that will increase pressure. You also need to be certain you don't load too long or a) the rounds won't fit in the magazine or b) the bullet will impact the rifling.

But, when you think about it, what's 0.020"? Hornady says 1.230" and I use 1.250". I doubt there's a whit of difference.

You will also find that Hornady is often VERY conservative when compared to something like Speer #14. No guarantees, of course, but you are unlikely to get an overpressure situation using Hornady data, as published.

Richard
Thank you,

I never heard of the term bullet impacting the rifling. What is that? How do I check for that? So much to learn.
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Old 12-04-2012, 17:54   #53
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Thank you,

I never heard of the term bullet impacting the rifling. What is that? How do I check for that? So much to learn.
It is when the bullet touches the lands of the barrel as it sits in the chamber.

Editted, to "lands", not "landing". Thank you Fred!

Last edited by SBray; 12-04-2012 at 18:22.. Reason: wrong word
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Old 12-04-2012, 18:12   #54
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It is when the bullet touches the landings of the barrel as it sits in the chamber.
Not landing but lands Just trying to help.
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Old 12-04-2012, 18:14   #55
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Originally Posted by smokin762 View Post
Thank you for the response.

I have the Lyman and Hornady manuals. Some of the information to me is a little confusing. I am starting out on .45 ACP. I am using Accurate #5 with Hornady 230 gr FMJ.

With the powder and bullet weight I am using, the Hornady manual reads, C.O.L..1.230”

With the powder I am using, the Lyman manual only lists a 225 gr.FMJ Bullet and it reads, C.O.L..1.272” OAL.

I am using mixed brass and the case lengths do vary. I’m not really sure which C.O.L. length to go with. I measured some factory UMC 230 gr FMJ and varied from C.O.L..1.253”- 1.262”.

Do I go with the Hornady manual or do I go with the Lyman manual? Is it safe to split the difference?
Just keep in mind OAL is ALWAYS bullet & gun specific. So the OAL in any manual is a guide not gosspel. SO make a dummy round, drop it into your removed bbl. If it fits, then try the mag, loaded fully. If it's shorter than the data you are using, you want to approach max carefully, pressures are higher as a handgun bullet seats deeper.
BTW, 0.020" can make a diff in some guns, so always check YOUR bbl. Loads that fit all my 1911s would just come up a bit long for my XD. So now I seat them all 0.020" deeper.
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Old 12-04-2012, 18:18   #56
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Thank you,

I never heard of the term bullet impacting the rifling. What is that? How do I check for that? So much to learn.
Stoney Point once made an O.A. L. gauge that I used when setting up the overall length of a rifle bullet I was loading in a bolt action rifle. It was a mock-up of a rifle bullet that had a threaded end that their tool screwed into various commonly used rifle cases. A bullet was placed in the mouth of this case, and the whole piece was inserted into the chamber. The user would then slide the plastic rod into the case and push the bullet forward until it touched the lands of the chamber. The user then gently tighten down a set screw and withdrew the unit. The user was then left with a sample of the overall length of the bullet (as it touched the lands) to begin determining what OAL to be setup.

I have attached a photo of one of these gauges.
Attached Thumbnails
Reloading - Click for larger version  

Last edited by SBray; 12-04-2012 at 18:24.. Reason: added info
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Old 12-04-2012, 18:42   #57
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Stoney Point once made an O.A. L. gauge that I used when setting up the overall length of a rifle bullet I was loading in a bolt action rifle. It was a mock-up of a rifle bullet that had a threaded end that their tool screwed into various commonly used rifle cases. A bullet was placed in the mouth of this case, and the whole piece was inserted into the chamber. The user would then slide the plastic rod into the case and push the bullet forward until it touched the lands of the chamber. The user then gently tighten down a set screw and withdrew the unit. The user was then left with a sample of the overall length of the bullet (as it touched the lands) to begin determining what OAL to be setup.

I have attached a photo of one of these gauges.
Hornady sells them now

Richard
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Old 12-04-2012, 18:43   #58
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It is when the bullet touches the landings of the barrel as it sits in the chamber.
Airplanes have landings. Rifled barrels have lands. And grooves. Except polygonal rifling, which has neither. It has more like, well, sides.

Normally you don't want the bullet to be seated out so far that it contacts the rifling. Rifling doesn't start abruptly at the shoulder of the chamber. It kind of ramps in from the end of the chamber. This part of the barrel is called the throat. That's hard to see with Glock rifling, but you can detect it. If you look at the barrel, out of the gun, from the front against a moderately strong plain light source you see the bore at the muzzle is an octagon. If you turn the barrel around and look at the bore right at the step at the shoulder of the chamber, it's a circle.

In a semi-auto pistol having the bullet protrude into the throat far enough to contact the rifling would be very bad, for two reasons. It would prevent the cartridge from headspacing on the case mouth as it is supposed to do, and it would raise chamber pressure. Such rounds likely wouldn't fit in the magazine anyway. And if they did, they might not feed well.

Back in the day the way you determined how deep to seat bottleneck rifle bullets in an individual rifle was to put a bullet in an empty cartridge that was slightly deformed, just enough to hold the bullet with some tension. You would just insert the bullet in the case a little bit. Then you would chamber the dummy round and extract it. This would give you the overall length if the bullet went to the end of the throat and contacted the rifling. You would then seat your real rounds a bit deeper than that. How far the bullet travels from its seated position in the cartridge until it hits the rifling is called freebore. More freebore yields greater velocity at lower pressures, but is not great for accuracy. Some bench rest shooters insisted that using the original length, where the bullet was slightly engraved by the rifling, improved accuracy. One would have to compensate load data, as this would also raise chamber pressure.

More than anyone wanted to know, I'm sure.

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.

Last edited by dhgeyer; 12-04-2012 at 18:57..
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Old 12-04-2012, 18:52   #59
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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.
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Old 12-04-2012, 19:12   #60
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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.
Now, my CZ85 Combat won't feed Rem/UMC range ammo. It's too short. The cartridges wind up jammed up against the barrel hood. In experimenting with trying to correct this, I also found that the neck tension on Rem/UMC is not too strong. When I kept using the same rounds to test with, I found they were getting shorter as the bullets were getting beaten back into the cases. I didn't shoot those! Needless to say I use other brands or handloads in the CZ.
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Old 12-04-2012, 20:55   #61
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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, 21:22   #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, 06:13   #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 06:15..
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:21   #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, 09:24   #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, 18:39   #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, 20:02   #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, 20:06   #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.

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Old 12-06-2012, 12:22   #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, 12:57   #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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Old 12-06-2012, 13:28   #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, 14:55   #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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Old 12-06-2012, 16:02   #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, 16:21   #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, 13:26   #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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