OAL

missedshot

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
14
Location
pa
My .223 won't group no matter what I do. I checked their overall length and they were 2.16 in. The book calls for 2.26 in. Could this be part of the problem???
 

QuietHunter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2002
Messages
273
Location
Colorado
What kind of groups are you getting, what is your setup and what else have you tried?

Books have been written on accuracy and one can spend a lot of time trying to attain tight groups with some rifles. Having a OAL that is .10 off from what it should be in a reloading manual is a small part of it.

OAL is usually dependent on the rifle. Use a Stoney Point OAL gauge or similar means to determine what the distance is to the lands with each bullet. Use this as a guideline and play with different seating depths based on your readings. Some perform best touching the lands, some in the lands and some just off. Some rifles have deep throats and bullets cannont be seated to touch them or are to long for the magazine if they are. Many will shoot fine as long as it is consistent.
 

missedshot

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
14
Location
pa
3-4 in groups at 100, yds. tried new powders, different charges, different bullet types and weights. everything except wraping the barrel around a tree. Might try that next!!
 

deergrunt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2003
Messages
90
Location
New York
What is the rifle? I have a 223 in a 700VLS. A good load that always worked for me is 52 grain A-max, 26.5 grains of H-Varget, and CCI bench rest primers. I make them long, .005" jump. A Stoney Point OAL gauge is the best tool you can have to help you with OAL. Don't give up! The best part of reloading is finding that magic load. Good luck.
 

QuietHunter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2002
Messages
273
Location
Colorado
Always 3-4"? I would start by looking at the gun - not the ammo. Make sure everything is clean, check the barrel for free float, check stock screws. Make sure mounts are tight and scope is all secure. If it is a very lightweight barrel, try a pressure point at the end of the stock to see if that helps (not a permanent solution, but helps diagnose). Have a gunsmith check it out if necessary.
If the gun looks good and you still question the reloads, try a box of Federal Premiums to see what they can do. Should be less than 2 inches. If not, sell the gun.
 

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