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Old March 11, 2013, 10:57 PM   #1
cdbeagle
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Need to measure OAL

Just getting in to reloading and all me equipment came today. The only thing I am missing is a way to measure the OAL in my CZ 6.5x55. I want to purchase the Hornady® Lock-N-Load™ OAL Gauge which I can find but the Hornady® Lock-N-Load O.A.L. Gauge Modified Case I need for the caliber is back-ordered for months everywhere I have looked.

Any suggestions on how I can measure it or does anyone have gauge case for sale, or rent?
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Old March 11, 2013, 11:14 PM   #2
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call here and see if it is in stock.

http://www.gunstop.com/Store/Reloadi...-Mfg/HORB65X55
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Old March 11, 2013, 11:34 PM   #3
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The tap is just 5/16-36 and will pay for itself in short order as you can make any number of "modified cases" with it.

I believe you're going to need some kind of a bullet comparator to actually measure to the ogive, once you extract the modified case.

(I'm aware there are various photos showing measuring the OAL to the tip of the bullet, as the name of the product implies, but this can vary considerably between bullets even from the same manufacturing run. The ogive is the part that touches the lands.)
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Old March 11, 2013, 11:53 PM   #4
cdbeagle
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Quote:
call here and see if it is in stock.

http://www.gunstop.com/Store/Reloadi...-Mfg/HORB65X55
I will call them in the morning.

Quote:
The tap is just 5/16-36 and will pay for itself in short order as you can make any number of "modified cases" with it.
I do not own a drill press and am not good at making things.
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Old March 12, 2013, 12:03 AM   #5
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You don't need a drill press. If you can reload for rifle, you can definitely drill and tap a hole in a piece of brass.

A hand drill, the drill bit and tap mentioned above (right next to the taps at the hardware store they will have a little clamp to hold the tap while you put the threads in by hand), and a few fired cases is all you will need.

Drill a hole in the bottom of the case, use the tap to thread it, and you should be good to go. You might need to put a little crimp in the fired case mouth to give a little tension to hold the bullet. You should also make sure the the fired cases aren't too big to go back in the chamber before you drill them.

-J.
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Old March 12, 2013, 02:01 AM   #6
cdbeagle
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Quote:
The tap is just 5/16-36 and will pay for itself in short order as you can make any number of "modified cases" with it.

I believe you're going to need some kind of a bullet comparator to actually measure to the ogive, once you extract the modified case.

(I'm aware there are various photos showing measuring the OAL to the tip of the bullet, as the name of the product implies, but this can vary considerably between bullets even from the same manufacturing run. The ogive is the part that touches the lands.)
Is there some info missing from here? Also, I need pictures b/c I am not good at visualizing instructions that I read.
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Old March 12, 2013, 04:39 AM   #7
Nathan
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You can send Hornady a couple fired cases from your gun and they will do it for you.
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Old March 12, 2013, 08:06 AM   #8
Bart B.
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OAL, or Over All Length, is measured from case head to the bullet's tip. Any caliper can do that easily.

Is this what you want to measure?
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Old March 12, 2013, 08:14 AM   #9
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_Roosa View Post

Drill a hole in the bottom of the case, use the tap to thread it, and you should be good to go. You might need to put a little crimp in the fired case mouth to give a little tension to hold the bullet. You should also make sure the the fired cases aren't too big to go back in the chamber before you drill them.

-J.

You definitely do NOT want to crimp the case. The whole point of the comparator is that the bullet slides easily back and forth and doesn't stick.

You can use a fired, unsized case if it slides easily into the chamber and the bullet slides easily in the neck. You'd be better off if you had a Redding body die, so you could size the body and bump the shoulder back .001 but maintain the loose neck.

Drilling the case and tapping it should be fairly simple. It's probably easier to hold while drilling if you have a small strap wrench. Might be tough to hold with your fingers.

----

Another method for determining max OAL is to get a wooden dowel small enough to fit down the barrel and longer than the barrel, most any hardware store has them at 48" for under $1. Cut one piece off long enough to reach into the chamber from the bolt end.

Close the bolt and slide the square end of the dowel down the muzzle until it touches the breach face. Use a razor blade and mark the dowel right at the muzzle.

The second part is a lot easier if you have help...

Tape a bullet to the end of the cut piece. Slide it GENTLY into the chamber until it GENTLY touches the rifling. Slide the same end of the dowel as used in step one down the muzzle again until it touches the bullet. Be careful to make sure it's touching but not pushing the bullet away from the rifling. It's not hard to do. Have your helper mark the dowel at the muzzle with razor blade.

The distance between the marks is the max OAL with that bullet.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; March 12, 2013 at 10:10 AM.
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Old March 12, 2013, 11:13 AM   #10
wogpotter
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It seems you're a bit confused.
OAL is total length stem to stern & so you don't need anything other than a caliper to measure that.
Measuring devices like comparitors are used for measuring things like Length to ogive, ot headspacing on rimless cases.

What are you actually trying to measure?
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Old March 12, 2013, 02:07 PM   #11
cdbeagle
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I am wanting to seat bullets as close to the lands as possible so I need a measurement to do that.
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Old March 12, 2013, 02:26 PM   #12
Brian Pfleuger
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See the second half of my post above, do that. Viola. You're done.

The downside is that it has to be redone for every bullet type. With the comparator, the ogive is the ogive is the ogive. All bullets seated with a certain head-to-ogive length will be the same distance from the rifling.
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Old March 12, 2013, 03:39 PM   #13
Lucas McCain
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Damzur is right,c get your self a 5/16-36 tap ( special thread you will have to buy it from a machine tool supplier, I got mine on-line) and the correct drill size for the tap. Its easy to do. I full length size my case and then take my dremel tool and a fine cutting wheel and cut a slot in the case neck down to the start of the shoiulder. the tension is perfect. You may have to de-burr the edge with a small file. You can make any number of modified cases when you need them.
IMHO all reloading benchs should have a dremel tool on it. I would be lost and hamstrung without mine.
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Old March 12, 2013, 04:01 PM   #14
wogpotter
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OK, you need to set up with the comparitor to set the distance from ogive to throat. Then you measure the OAL at that setting & load to that OAL when using that bullet.

Try the local car repair place if you're not comfortable drilling & tapping, frequently they'll do little jobs like this for $5.00, or so!
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Old March 12, 2013, 11:09 PM   #15
cdbeagle
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Quote:
Damzur is right,c get your self a 5/16-36 tap ( special thread you will have to buy it from a machine tool supplier, I got mine on-line) and the correct drill size for the tap. Its easy to do. I full length size my case and then take my dremel tool and a fine cutting wheel and cut a slot in the case neck down to the start of the shoiulder. the tension is perfect. You may have to de-burr the edge with a small file. You can make any number of modified cases when you need them.
IMHO all reloading benchs should have a dremel tool on it. I would be lost and hamstrung without mine.
I will try this method. I do have a dremel tool.
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Old March 13, 2013, 07:06 AM   #16
Bart B.
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Remember that as the barrel wears, you'll need to seat bullets out further to touch the lands.
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Old March 13, 2013, 09:52 AM   #17
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You could do it the old fashioned way, which I think is outlined in the Nosler reloading book. Insert a cleaning rod (with solid tip attached) into barrel till it touches the face of the bolt (rifle needs to be cocked). While fully inserted, use a fine marker to put a line around the rod at the face of the barrel crown. Remove and sit rod aside. Remove bolt from action and drop a bullet into the action, where it will sit against the lands. Tap bullet gently with the cleaning rod so that it'll stay lightly wedged against the lands. Then take rod, insert from muzzle end (with solid tip attached) till it touches the tip of the bullet and again mark the rod with a fine marker. There is your max overall length, marked on the rod. Measure with calipers, but be sure to measure from the same side of both marks. This isn't as accurate as using the Hornady/Stoney Point tool, but if you're careful with marking and measuring, it's plenty accurate.
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Old March 13, 2013, 10:45 PM   #18
cdbeagle
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Okay I ordered tap, actually ordered two b/c they have an order minimum. Do I use a 5/16 drill bit?
https://www.eastonsupply.com/779516-36p.aspx
I have ordered the OAL Gauge and the Comparator from Hornady, they aren't back ordered, just the cases. I also watched an excellent video on YouTube on how to use them together.
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Last edited by cdbeagle; March 13, 2013 at 10:52 PM.
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Old March 13, 2013, 11:11 PM   #19
Lucas McCain
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No, if you use a 5/16 drill there won't be any parent metal remaining to cut the threads into. The tap drill is a 9/32 size according to my chart
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Old March 13, 2013, 11:47 PM   #20
cdbeagle
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No, if you use a 5/16 drill there won't be any parent metal remaining to cut the threads into. The tap drill is a 9/32 size according to my chart
I figured you needed to go a size smaller on the drill bit but I would rather come across as stupid than make a mistake.
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