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Old August 25, 2011, 11:06 PM   #1
LAlineman
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Hornady O.A.L. Gauge troubles

Well, I got out my New Remington 700 and thought I,d load some custom rounds. I followed the instructions to the tee.( I believe). Screwed on Dummy .308 round provided by Hornady ,inserted a bullet in loosely and placed the Gauge in the Chamber. Pushed the bullet adjustment rod slowly until it stoppped against the rifling. I then tightened the set screw and removed the Gauge. Problem is: The bullet is still way out of the case ! The Hornady book for 168gr. A-Max is 2.800. This was : 3.300. Whats Up ? I tried it a few times thinking the bullet was hung up, but no, its in against the rifling.
Could it be the type of Chamber on the 700 ,which does,nt allow this gauge to work ? I have a box of Hornady 168gr. A-max and A.O.L is 2.745 on most. They work just fine. Just trying to load up some good custom loads for hunting!

Any thoughts much appreciated !
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Old August 26, 2011, 12:11 AM   #2
mehavey
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A chamber is a chamber is a chamber in order to safely headspace the cartridge case. I doubt either your chamber or the Hornady gauge is the problem.

Are you sure the case is inserted all the way up into and against the chamber shoulder stops?

1. With the rod about a half inch below the neck, tighten the set screw so nothing can move.

2. Insert the bullet into the case. (It will be waaaay deep at this point)

3. With the setscrew still tight, use the rod to run the case completely into the chamber until the shoulder meets a hard stop. You can back it out/in again ~⅛" a few times to assure yourself it's really seated against the shoulder of the chamber.

4. Now loosen the set screw, push the bullet in until it just barely seats, and tighten the screw again. (You'll soon learn a technique where one finger holds the case tightly in the chamber while unscrewing/screwing the set screw and pushing the rod in with the other hand.)

5. Using a cleaning rod down the barrel, withdraw the case using cleaning rod pressure to keep the bullet seated in the case.

6. Now measure.
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Old August 26, 2011, 01:10 AM   #3
LAlineman
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Thanks, I,ll give it a try !
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Old August 26, 2011, 08:08 AM   #4
243winxb
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Finding COL in a Bottle Neck Cartridge-Poor Man Method

The throat might be that long? I find the COL by pinching the fired case neck with plyers. Place bullet in case mouth at the longest setting. Insert dummy round into rifle. Extract dummy while holdin case with fingers so the ejector does not push it against the side of the receiver. Do this many times till you get the same COL measurement. For hunting, set the bullet at least .010" deeper or till dummy round fits the magazine.

Last edited by 243winxb; August 26, 2011 at 08:42 PM.
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Old August 26, 2011, 09:09 AM   #5
wncchester
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"Could it be the type of Chamber on the 700 ,which does,nt allow this gauge to work ?"

No. Your gage is working fine and your chamber is fine. You have just found why trying to load with BR methods by seating to the lands rarely works with factory rifles with deep throats made so any round ever made can be safely chambered and fired. There is a rarely understood but significant difference between the maximum possible OAL and what is reasonable and what actually works best for an individual rifle and load; all your gage can tell you is the max possible. Few factory sporter rifles shoot best at or really near the lands anyway. If the loaded bullet is seated too far out to feed through the magazine OR if the bullets can be dislodged with normal handling you must seat deeper.

Start by seating as long as practical and develop your best shooting charge, then experiment with seating deeper in 5 or 10 thou steps until you find the best OAL.
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Old August 26, 2011, 11:09 AM   #6
PA-Joe
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Hornady does not make a OAL Gauge. What you are measuring has nothing to do with OAL or COL measurements. You cannot use this to set bullet to the manufacturer's recommended COL/OAL.

It is a bullet comparator that will give you the ogive length.

Sounds like your chamber has a very long thoat. Chances are your COL will be limited by what will feed from the magazine.

I always take about 10 sets of measurements using different bullets of the same make and style, and then use the average. Do not rely on the measurement using only one bullet from the box.
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Old August 26, 2011, 12:36 PM   #7
wncchester
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PA, You raise a technical issue of sematics so let's think of this:


"Hornady does not make a OAL Gauge."

Tecnically, that's incorrect. Hornady does indeed sell a 6" precision caliper and that is the correct tool to measure OAL.


"What you are measuring has nothing to do with OAL or COL measurements."

Technically, that's true by definition but meaningless in application except as a matter of sematics. Both terms refer to exactly the same end goal but each is measured and expressed differently. I suspect LAlineman understands that.


"You cannot use this to set bullet to the manufacturer's recommended COL/OAL."

Technically, that's not an issue. By SAMMI standards, gun makers may cut their chamber leade as long as they wish passed minimum. Bullet manufactors do not recommend any OAL/COL because they can't have a clue how our chambers are cut. An OAL is freqently listed in loading manuals but some don't mention it at all and it's not a recommendation, as such, when it is. Book OAL is just what the book makers used to develop the listed data and it means no more than that. Our firearms are different from their's so our best OAL will probably need to be different.


"It is a bullet comparator that will give you the ogive length."

Technically, cartridge ogive length is the distance from body diameter of the bullet to its meplat.

Once the best OAL or ogive seated length is determined it can usually be duplicated as well as most rifles need simply by the OAL. Truth be told, using an ogive seating length tool is fun for the anal among us but we can easily obtain all the bullet jump precision most factory sporter rifles need with the caliper alone. Contrary to popular opinion, if a load is properly developed and assembled then any small OAL variations due to meplats will rarely have a visible effect on accuracy.
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Old August 26, 2011, 03:26 PM   #8
mehavey
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For what it's worth guys, the OP stated
Quote:
"...The Hornady book for 168gr. A-Max is 2.800. This [measured]: 3.300."
That's a full half inch longer than book standard, so I doubt that the factory throat was actually that long.

As to the Stoney Point [Hornady] tool not being an OAL gauge, well, the resulting case/bullet combination that results from its proper use does become the true "gauge" for overall "distance-to-lands" -- enabling the shooter to set the OAL of the assembled cartridge to best advantage.

`Works for me.








ps: I also use the comparator for precision seating, so I know what you're trying to say.

Last edited by mehavey; August 26, 2011 at 03:35 PM.
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Old August 26, 2011, 03:37 PM   #9
wncchester
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"... I doubt that the factory throat was actually that long."

I don't. Don't like it but it's sure possible.
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Old August 26, 2011, 03:39 PM   #10
mehavey
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Let's hope not.
(Even Weatherbys are only supposed to be ~ 3/8" freebore)

http://www.weatherby.com/support/faq/item/view/44332

Last edited by mehavey; August 26, 2011 at 03:45 PM.
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Old August 26, 2011, 05:29 PM   #11
Unclenick
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LAlineman,

I haven't bought a new Remington for awhile, but I keep hearing about extra deep throats in current ones, so, like the others, while I don't want to think it's that deep, I can't dismiss the possibility out of hand. Some lawyer somewhere would like the resulting lower pressure.

Lets try something simple. Load a round to 2.800" COL. Push it into the chamber with your finger until it stops. Drop a dowel rod down the barrel until it stops on the bullet (with your finger still pushing the cartridge forward) and mark the rod with a pencil flush with the muzzle. Next, put just a bullet in the chamber and use the eraser end of a pencil to push it into contact with the lands. Drop the same rod in and while pushing the bullet forward, again mark the rod flush with the muzzle. The distance between the two marks will be how much longer than 2.800" COL you can go to kissing the lands.

If it turns out the throat really is very long (that difference being half an inch), then your bullet just can't touch the lands and stay inside the case with the barrel and chamber you have. In that instance, IME, it is best to start with the top of the bullet bearing surface (the cylindrical portion) seated flush with the mouth, then try it in 0.030" steps further forward until you get to where the bearing surface is about half a caliber into the case mouth. Shallower than that is perfectly possible, but your case really doesn't have very good hold on the bullet then. So, see if you don't find a depth that's better than the others for accuracy in that range. If you do, then go out a couple of 0.010" steps either side of that best value to see if anything better shows up. You want to be in the middle of the best range.

Litz put the ogive and nose length on the 168 grain Hornady A-max at 0.660" length and the bearing surface at 0.472". If you trim your cases to 2.005" long, then 2.665" will be your starting COL, and you can go forward from there to about 2.995, which is just under half a caliber, but gives you 11 even 0.030" steps forward to try. If, in the process, you find a round getting hard to chamber, then you'll know something went wrong with the gauge measurement.

Because of the deep starting seating depth, use only a starting load for this test, 10% below maximum for your bullet, powder, case and primer combination.


243winxb,

You'll want to read this board rule.
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Last edited by Unclenick; August 27, 2011 at 08:54 AM. Reason: typo fix
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Old August 27, 2011, 03:38 AM   #12
F. Guffey
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" ,inserted a bullet in loosely and placed the Gauge in the Chamber. Pushed the bullet adjustment rod slowly until it stoppped against the rifling. I then" ?

If there is mortal combat between the rifling and the operator of the tool, I win, because I am the fan of bullet hold, I want all the bullet hold I an get, after I determine the maximum length of the chamber from the bolt face to the rifling I turn the test case into a transfer, I transfer the measurement from the chamber to the seating die, this is possible because all my seater dies are micro adjust.

I would suggest Hornady/Sinclair 'tuffen' that tool up, 'bullet in loosely' I suppose with bullet hold the adjusting rod could go into some kind of a bind.

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Old August 27, 2011, 07:13 AM   #13
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Also, Lineman, make sure that your new chamber is perfectly clean, sometimes that's all it takes to screw up the fit of that modified case.
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Old August 27, 2011, 08:51 AM   #14
Jim243
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Quote:
Well, I got out my New Remington 700

Did you buy it new or used?

Jim
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Old August 27, 2011, 09:32 AM   #15
PawPaw
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I've got a Remington 700, built in 1983. It's a .308 ADL and I bought it last year at a pawn shop. Tried the same exercise and was astonished to find that I had a long throat. Real long. At the SAAMI standard of 2.800 I started measuring and nearly pushed the bullet out of the case. When I got out my trust-rusty caliper, I measured the COL at 2.966 and I had no where near one caliber in the case neck. I said to hell with it and loaded the ammo to 2.900.

When the stars align and my indifferent bench technique combines with calm winds, it'll occasionally put them into one inch. However, it is a really consistent 1.5" rifle. I bought it to pass along to a grandkid and I'm sure that it will serve him just fine. If, twenty years from now he wants to re-barrel it, he can have the freebore set wherever he wants it.
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