Overall length what is too long?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by SofaKing, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. SofaKing

    SofaKing Well-Known Member

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    New to reloading and not too sure what's too long for overall case length? I've read about guys being .005 off lands in a rifle, but I hate to say how do you know when to stay at factory length? I'm getting ready to load my first 7mm and 300 magnum loads.


    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. djtjr

    djtjr Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on getting into it you will have some fun. There are a couple of answers to your question so i hope i don't confuse things. First what are you looking to be able to do? If you want to be able to feed from a magazine you will have to limit the oal to something just under the internal dimensions of the mag. If you don't care about being able to feed from a mag the oal is much less relevant as there is not real outer limit so long as the bullet is held in the case neck. You can play with into the lands touching the lands and off of the lands in various increments till you find what your gun likes. Some mags or calibers it wont make a difference ie you can seat a bullet very long to be able to get you into the lands of your barrel and still be able to feed from your mags other calibers and rifle setups that are mag fed will almost ensure that you will have some level of jump to the lands. I often find most of my best loads are into the lands with Long Range VLD style bullets BUT NOT ALWAYS and i have also found other accuracy nodes that worked with a lot of jump. I know some who shoot short action rounds in a long action just so that they can use the mag. If its a true long range gun you likely arent giving up much having your OAL turn your gun effectively into a single shot due to oal. in LR my opinion is that accuracy and finding the best load is more important than saving a second on the reload. if you're shooting 1000yds and your first hit is off throwing another round downrange without other adjustments is not wise so again a second isn't going to change much.
    Sinclair sells a great tool that will show you how to get to the lands touching then take that oal and add or subtract length off of that with your seater die to start experimenting. also to be more precise use a comparator to measure bullet OAL as the tips on many bullets vary enough to make a difference and measuring length off the ogive will give you better and more repeatable results.
    Hope this helps as a starting point.
    don
     

  3. djtjr

    djtjr Well-Known Member

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    also since i likely took that further than you asked factory length really means nothing other that it will feed from virtually all mags but i can usually always seat bullets further out than sammi spec and not induce feed issues. It can be a safe place to start but technically doesn't really mean much as each rifle setup is unique. starting there may be a great OAL accuracy node but it could also be a place your rifle hates.
     
  4. SofaKing

    SofaKing Well-Known Member

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    The tool on the Sinclair website is it a oal gauge / bullet seating depth tool you mentioned ?

    My hope is to reload for LRH in Wyoming with my savage 111 long range hunter in 300 win mag and Remington 700 bdl in 7mm rem mag for my dad. We were both thrown to the wolves as our first shots were 352 yds. That's 152 yds more than we'd ever practiced. But the experience has us both hooked.
     
  5. g0rd0

    g0rd0 Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on getting into it you will have some fun. There are a couple of answers to your question so i hope i don't confuse things. First what are you looking to be able to do? If you want to be able to feed from a magazine you will have to limit the oal to something just under the internal dimensions of the mag. If you don't care about being able to feed from a mag the oal is much less relevant as there is not real outer limit so long as the bullet is held in the case neck. You can play with into the lands touching the lands and off of the lands in various increments till you find what your gun likes. Some mags or calibers it wont make a difference ie you can seat a bullet very long to be able to get you into the lands of your barrel and still be able to feed from your mags other calibers and rifle setups that are mag fed will almost ensure that you will have some level of jump to the lands. I often find most of my best loads are into the lands with Long Range VLD style bullets BUT NOT ALWAYS and i have also found other accuracy nodes that worked with a lot of jump. I know some who shoot short action rounds in a long action just so that they can use the mag. If its a true long range gun you likely arent giving up much having your OAL turn your gun effectively into a single shot due to oal. in LR my opinion is that accuracy and finding the best load is more important than saving a second on the reload. if you're shooting 1000yds and your first hit is off throwing another round downrange without other adjustments is not wise so again a second isn't going to change much.
    Sinclair sells a great tool that will show you how to get to the lands touching then take that oal and add or subtract length off of that with your seater die to start experimenting. also to be more precise use a comparator to measure bullet OAL as the tips on many bullets vary enough to make a difference and measuring length off the ogive will give you better and more repeatable results.
    Hope this helps as a starting point.


    I agree! But here is a way to measure your oal for each bullet.
    1. resize a brass Donot prime or powder it but lube the inside of the neck
    2. place a bullet on the brass and put into the seat die just enough to hold it and no more
    3. pointing in a safe direction chamber it, the bullet will seat itself at the lands, now place it back into the seat die with the seat adjust all the way out and screw it down on the bullet
    4. measure this then repeat step 3 and screw it down (a 1/8th turn then measure), until you are down 5 or 10 thou off the grooves
    5. place this dummy in with the box of bullets for die setup
    when I have loaded the 99th out of the box I pull that dummy and load it.
    I do this for every package I buy, all of my loads are 5 thou off lands and this method saves me a lot of time with die setup
     
  6. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    If you are fairly new to reloading I would highly recommend getting the "reloading for long range hunting" DVD from Defensive Edge.

    Shawn Carlock, owner of Defensive Edge, goes thru everything step by step and does it in a way that is easily understandable. It also helps to actually see things being done as they are talking about it. Being able to put the visual part of learning along with the terminology is very helpful and will only accelerate your learning curve. Nice thing about owning the DVD is you can watch it over and over and as your reloading knowledge grows you'll be surprised at what you will pick up on ever time you watch it.

    Reloading for Long Range Hunting
     
  7. gaps

    gaps Well-Known Member

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    Good thread, I'm in the same boat. I was going to buy the one he uses in this clip on amazon for $18.

    [ame]http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9OZ8u8e7mSc[/ame]

    But after reading this I may just make a dummy round.....

    Has anyone used this product?
     
  8. SofaKing

    SofaKing Well-Known Member

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    Awesome video. For the $18 I might just pick one up.
     
  9. SofaKing

    SofaKing Well-Known Member

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TE_Cn22qJ3c]Reloading Measuring Cartridge Overall Length Without a Gauge - YouTube[/ame]

    This seems like a good method on the cheap.
     
  10. g0rd0

    g0rd0 Well-Known Member

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    sofaking, that video that you posted pretty much covers how I do it. With 1 exception I collet size a case from my rifle and LIGHTLY lube the inside of the neck to allow the bullet to enter the case.
     
  11. Kennibear

    Kennibear Well-Known Member

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    Single shot LR rifle is no handicap. The O.A.L. should be driven by accuracy unless there is a reason to have to feed up through the magazine. Ditto's to the others who pointed this out. You have to think outside the box (magazine).

    I use an old school method that still works. No case required. Needed:
    Selection of bullets
    New pencil w/ erasure
    Cleaning rod
    Cleaning jag w/ flat tip. Cut off any pointy thing and make sure it's flat and square
    Drill stop collar the diameter of the cleaning rod. Looks like a short round nut w/ slit and bolt to clamp around the rod
    Measuring Caliper

    1)With the bolt in the gun put the rod/jag down the bore from the muzzle with the stop collar slid up to the rod handle. Slide the drill stop down and carefully tighten the collar flat on the muzzle with the rod/jag pushed against the bolt face. This is your barrel length and case head location. The bolt should be cocked so the firing pin does not protrude.

    2)Remove the bolt from the gun and push a bullet into the lands lightly with the eraser side of the pencil muzzle pointing up. You have to juggle this around to do it with one hand. I spring clamp the gun to a table. The rod/jag should move freely up out of the barrel. Move the pencil up and down to lightly contact the rifling with the bullet, the bullet should be able to move back and not be held by the rifling.

    3) With the caliper measure the distance between the muzzle and bottom of the stop collar. This is the O.A.L. of the round to bullet engagement of the rifling, e.i. "jammed".

    You can do every bullet in that caliber in ten minutes. I write that measure for each bullet inside the top of the reloading die box on a shipping label.

    You do this because it is possible to have a bullet that "jams" before max cartridge length in reached. Nosler has a warning using the 375 cal 260gr Partition in the 375 Ruger. Can't use the crimping groove or it may jam tight raising pressure. In my barrel the Nosler jams @ 3.331" and w/ 2.580" brass and bullet crimped into the groove the C.O.A.L. is 3.300" for a jump of 0.031". Just got lucky as Savage uses a different throat leade than Nosler's test barrel.

    Most reloaders never do this important step. It speaks well of you that you are pursuing this step.

    KB
     
  12. djtjr

    djtjr Well-Known Member

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    This seems like a great way to do a bunch of bullets fast. I do know with my sinclair tool i do an average of 3 measurements as they can and do come out a bit different but i can usually keep it to .003 how close does the above get you KB?
     
  13. gunsmith

    gunsmith Active Member

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    Overall length of the rifle is up to your taste. Overall length of the barrell finds most barrels under 32.5 inches, although there is room for improvement on large cartridges that spit most of the powder out the muzzle, like the .284 Win Mag. I'd love to try that old barrel burner out at a longer length!

    Overall length on individual cartridges are defined when the gunsmith drills the bore out with the form cutter for that specific bullet. If you load one longer that the hole by a couple of thousandths, the bolt will compress it. This could be very dangerous, resulting in an unintended firing with the bolt not locked down. A thumb is sometimes broken when the bolt comes flying back if it is left above the helix, but the guy down range is the unlucky one.
     
  14. Kennibear

    Kennibear Well-Known Member

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    Repeat ability is dependent on you using the caliper. The anvils sit on top of the muzzle and under the stop collar. You have to just touch the stop collar. The biggest drawback is mangled bullet noses. Lead tipped suck in this respect but fully half of what I shoot these days have Nylon tips. The tipped bullets are dead nuts repeatable.

    It is a simple but very effective way to measure. Started using it back when we built the Pyramids for Pharaoh......

    KB