Coal

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Tadd, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Tadd

    Tadd New Member

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    Aug 8, 2011
    I am just getting restarted into reloading, and have historically seated my bullets to the "recommended" COAL. I recently purchased a Hornady Lock-n-Load Overall Length Gage, and much to my surprise it appears that (for my 700 Rem. in 243 Win) using Berger 95 grain VLD's, or Barnes 80 grain TTSX bullets, my measured COAL, all the way to the lands, "jammed", would create 0.154" or .157" of jump at the recommended COAL's in the various publications. Also, it appears that there would be 0.111" of jump in my Win 70 in 270 WSM relative to the max COAL of 2.860" from Nosler (for the 140 gr AB). Does that sound reasonable, or is it more likely that I am not measureing the distance to my lands correctly? Based on something I read from a Master Bulletsmith, Eric Stecker, on the internet titled "Getting the Best Precision and Accuracy from Berger VLD bullets in Your Rifle", he recommends experimenting (for hunting) by loading rounds anywhere from .01" to .13" off the lands to find the most accurate seating depth. If I did this, based on my measurements, my COAL would be much longer than the max COAL's in the bullet publications, and I just don't want to do something dangerous. I understand that if the round is too long, it would "jam" the bullet in the lands, and I would feel that when I tried to close the bolt. I am just looking for some general feedback on my seating depth to see if my measurements seem reasonable. Any help would be appreciated. Sincerely, Tadd
     
  2. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

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    The COAL listed in the manuals has to do with SAAMI specifications. Most of the time you will find that if you load to these lengths there will be a significant "jump" to get to the lands, so what you're finding with your rifles is not uncommon at all. The ogive of the Bergers and other VLD bullets is very long and to seat them to the lands they have to be way longer than the max COAL according to the manuals.

    If you measure maximum COAL for "YOUR" rifle using the lock-n-load gauge you will find it will be different for almost every different bullet you try. I use my gauge to find the length to the lands (the max COAL for my rifles) with any bullet I plan on using and then I write them all down in my book so that I can look at them anytime I want and know how long I can seat them.

    Using this information for your rifle you can load your shells safely. It is not a problem at all that your loads are longer than what is listed as max in the books, as long as you stay off the lands just a little bit and work up to the max loads listed in the manuals. Stop before reaching the max loads if you start to experience high pressure signs which can occur due to many different factors.

    Enjoy learning all you can about reloading, you are about to embark on one of the most addicting/enjoyable (and at times frustrating) hobby you've ever had.
     

  3. Tadd

    Tadd New Member

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    Thank you for your help.
     
  4. Loner

    Loner Well-Known Member

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    Coal is minimum, not maximum length. If you load shorter your pressures will rise
    higher than what the loads were tested at.
     
  5. newmexkid

    newmexkid Well-Known Member

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    Apr 11, 2011
    What he said. Just make sure they will fit in the magazine.
     
  6. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    " I am just looking for some general feedback on my seating depth to see if my measurements seem reasonable."

    You are looking for something that sounds logical but isn't; there is no effective 'general' seating depth. Your observation of from .010" to .130" off the lands is about as precise as it can get.