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Old May 15, 2007, 10:42 AM   #1
KD5NRH
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OAL quick reference for factory ammo?

OK, so it's not a reloading question, but something reloaders are more likely to know.

Is there a good place to look for factory OAL specs for various ammo? I'm looking for something that would give me a way to check setback on rounds of various brands/profiles that may or may not have been chambered too many times in a carry piece, etc.

Failing that, anybody got some new-in-box Golden Sabers in 125gr 9mm and 230gr .45ACP they could give me a quick measurement of, and an educated guess as to the minimum safe OAL for those rounds?
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Old May 15, 2007, 06:18 PM   #2
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It's a good question because the short straight and nearly straight cases see significant pressure increase as bullets are pushed back into them and powder space is lost. A standard military copy load of 5 grains of Bullseye under a 230 grains round ball bullet will see a presure increase of 50% if the bullet is pushed an extra 0.1 inch into the case.

One safeguard in the .45 ACP is that the case web thickens below the normal hardball seating depth. Thus, if you seat much deeper than normal the bullet pushes that thicker wall out and round quickly begins to have trouble chambering. If you take a caliper and compare the diameter of your questionable rounds with good rounds, you will see an increase if the bullet is pushed in much.

Since it sounds like you don't have a new round to compare with, I would call the factory to ask about the specific round you want to know about? If the bullets have been pushed back in normal firing, they will want to know about it anyway.
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Old May 22, 2007, 09:40 PM   #3
KD5NRH
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The ammo in question is carry ammo that I just haven't restocked lately. Every round of those brands that I have is in mags ready to go, and most of it has been dumped during range trips to load up on range ammo. Hence, I have no idea which rounds have been chambered at some point and which haven't.

I guess when I restock, I can measure several brand new rounds to get a good average and upper/lower OAL limits for each type, but for some, I end up having to make a run to the city or special order to get the brands I prefer locally.

Of course, in the meantime, I've been carrying my .357 more often than the autos, so it may be a moot point.
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Old May 23, 2007, 02:24 PM   #4
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Sounds like you're on the right path. The other thing you can do, if you have much of the stuff, is measure it all to see that the lengths match pretty well. The idea is just that it is unlikely they would all be pushed back the exact same amount. Set aside anything more than about 0.010" shorter than the rest until you can check that new restocked ammo.
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