Originally Posted by jcorn
Forgive my newness, but that gives me a COAL of 3.5" which is .160 over the book value. Sound right? I am sure it is but just check'n. Also I guess that would make the 81gr load a non-compressed load as it is compressed with their dimensions.
Sounds as though you are working with a factory rifle and barrel. Typically factory rifles have long throats in them. I had a Rem700 in 308 and the throat on it was very long. When I seated 175grain VLDs so they were .010 off the lands there was barely .250 of the bullet in the case. Factory specs on the 308 says the COAL should be 2.80" and my load was 3.XXX (can't remember exactly).
This is a long way to say that I can't say if COAL of 3.5" in your rifle is 'right'. (what cartridge are you reloading?). What I can say is that it is not surprising especially if we are talking about a factory rifle. Also, having a long COAL would only really be a problem if the COAL exceeds the length that will fit in your magazine. In the case of my 308, the COAL didn't matter to me because I single loaded the rifle anyway.
The beauty of being able to seat your bullets way out there, is that it does give you more case capacity.