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Old November 14, 2012, 11:57 AM   #1
JRoss214
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Seating depth for .45 ACP 230 gr RN

Good morning everyone! I want to get everyone's opinion on seating depth for .45 ACP. I'm using Hornady 230gr RN and according to their website it shows an OAL of 1.230 in. A friend and I have reloaded 230 gr before and we used an OAL of 1.270 in. I even called Hornady tech support and the technician was very adamant about seating the bullet to 1.230 in. So, I followed his advice and loaded 20 rounds. I have only shot 5 so far and no issues. The only thing I noticed is that at the depth is seemed like the cases were slightly bulging out from where the bullet was seated compared to the case below that point and my concern was will it be a safety issue. My question is will it make a big difference in safety, accuracy, etc. if I decide to seat the bullet a little shallower lets's say at 1.250 in or even at 1.270 in like I have used before? I checked my Lyman 49th edition and it says 1.275 in for 230 gr. If anyone can shed a little light I'd be grateful. Thanks in advance!

JR
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Old November 14, 2012, 12:03 PM   #2
loademwell
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I say go for what the gun likes. If you can read it in any (Published) book, I see no problems in it.
Have you shoot the longer rounds through your gun? If so You know that:
-they are safe,
-that they shoot better
-And you get better case use.
Half the time, I wonder how many of them people with Tech. Support actually know all the steps and do it themselves on their "off" time.
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Old November 14, 2012, 12:06 PM   #3
JRoss214
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I've shot a little over 1000 rounds with them seated at 1.270 in and never had any problems with them cycling, FTF, FTE, etc. I appreciate the advice. I think I'll back it out and seat them longer.
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Old November 14, 2012, 12:09 PM   #4
loademwell
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Just looked it up in my charts.... I too get OAL at 1.23 But for some of the heavy loads are looking like they can be OAL of 1.275....

Does it truly matter? For other posters, what does OAL really give you?
Same load data on some guns are showing a huge difference in OAL.

How do you load your gun to the grove thing I hear people talking about?
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Old November 14, 2012, 12:20 PM   #5
Unclenick
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The military ammo I've measured has all been 1.260"-1.270". 1.275" is just a not-to-exceed maximum that is set to insure fit in all magazines and chambers.

The main issue is nose form. The military bullets use a 234 grain bullet that is 0.680" long and have an elliptical nose profile that is longer and skinnier than the hemispherical profiles you see on some makes of bullets. The Hornady bullet is 230 grains and 0.640" long, so it's nose is likely somewhere inbetween. What Hornady is doing with 1.230" COL is copying the military bullet seating depth.

Seating Depth = Bullet Length + Case Length - COL

Hornady's load data will have been developed with the 1.230" length, so if you are using their data you will possibly get lower velocities with a longer seating depth. It will tend to lower start pressure until it gets so long it jams into the lands. If the Hornady nose form is a less elongated ellipse than the military nose, them seating them out may jam them into the lands of some barrel's throats, causing possible pressure of lock-up issues.

To test for this, remove the barrel from your gun. Pick a round seated to 1.270" and drop it into the chamber and measure how deeply the bottom of the case has gone into the chamber. Seat the bullet deeper to 1.230" and drop the cartridge back in. If the case head is no further into the chamber, then these bullets fit your chamber anywhere in the COL range.

I think the bottom line is you test which COL gives you best accuracy in your gun.
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Old November 14, 2012, 12:26 PM   #6
JRoss214
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Loademwell and UncleNick,

Thanks again. I'll try measuring the depth that they sit in the barrel. I don't want to reload 1K rounds and find out I might have to redo them.
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Old November 14, 2012, 01:01 PM   #7
Spammy_H
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I had problems with feeding at 1.275".

Using Hodgdon's data for 230 lrn. I backed down to a COL of 1.200" and never had any problems since.
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