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Old October 25, 2006, 02:55 PM   #1
hazrd
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Join Date: August 26, 2006
Location: MD
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Question about O.A.L

So, in effort to try and get some base from which to start, I made up a dummy round, cut the slit in the side of the case, and chambered it. Opened the bolt, and the bullet was stuck.

After removing the bullet, decided to hold the bullet just on the lands, or I should say, as far forward as I could get it to go without lots of pressure, and shoved a cleaning rod down the barrel. Marked it, and then removed the bullet, closed the bolt, and repeated the cleaning rod.

With my 190 grain Sierra MKs, the OAL I measure is 2.9. I went back to my Sierra manual, and noticed for the first time, (dumb me I am sure) that one of the first parts of the load data mentions C.O.A.L. of 2.9. Does this mean I shouldn't load mine up to be shorter? I couldn't find anything in rereading the intro parts of the manual talking about that part of their load data.

I know 2.860 is the Max OAL, but that is for magazine functin, right? My last loads of 2.875 worked out ok, but always looking for improvement. I'll post a link to my load results when I get the spreadsheet finished, but input on OAL would be appreciated.

tim
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Old October 25, 2006, 05:40 PM   #2
azredhawk44
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What caliber/what rifle we talking about here?

I'm not sure I would cut a slit in my brass... that would make extraction tricky, I think.

Are we talking .308? I limit myself to 2.800" COAL for reliable magazine feed in my M1A. If you want to seat further forward due to having a longer magazine well and the ability to do so (bolt action probably), you can re-size the case neck and seat a bullet to about 2.950" or so COAL, deliberately neglecting to crimp the bullet in. Work the bolt slowly and easily to closed position with this dummy cartridge, then extract it and measure. You should see little marks on the face of the bullet where it began to engage the lands of the rifling.
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Old October 25, 2006, 06:13 PM   #3
kingudaroad
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It doesn't sound to me like you got an accurate measurement of your maximum oal that will function in your rifle.Max oal in your manual is not the only safe oal for your rifle, and the oal in your manual has nothing to do with the max oal that will function in your magazine.

Try making a dummy round that is long, say 3.1 or 3.2. Hopefully it will be too long to chamber. Now you can increase the depth of the bullet little by little until it chambers easily. This should put you just off the lands. Now insert the dummy round in your magazine and make sure it fits and functions in there. Now you can experiment by making a few rounds of that oal and then some .03 shorter etc etc. This way you can try to find the sweet spot for that bullet in your rifle.

Changing oal can also change pressures so you may want to back off your charge and work back up if you are at or near max. Be safe and have fun.
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Old October 26, 2006, 08:18 PM   #4
hazrd
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oops

Forgot to mention is is a 300WSM.

King, leave it to me to miss the simple. I kept trying to force the bolt on a long dummy round, rather than stopping and reseating the bullet until the bolt closes. Thanks for the obvious, Ill play with that when I get home. tomorrow.
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