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Old April 15, 2011, 01:39 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: December 2, 2007
Location: South TX
Posts: 269
Mr. Martigan, The nose shape of the bullet generally drives the 'max' oal you can run in 'THAT GUN with 'THAT" specific bullet.

A simple way to determine your 'MAX' oal is to use the barrel removed from the pistol as a gage.

Take a "spent/fired" case and gently insert the bullet you're testing far enough into the case to just hold. Carefully insert the bullet into the chamber and slowly push it all the way in until the case seats on the case mouth.

Gently remove the case without disturbing the bullet. Measure it. Do that 4 or 5 times to find a consistent length. That is the length that is "touching" the rifling. Subtract about .015" and that is the "MAXIMUM" oal that gun will run with that bullet. A different 'brand' of bullet will not be the same. Each different nose shape and brand has to be tested.

The .015" shorter length allows for the oal variation of your press, variations in the bullet nose shape and some 'head space' (distance to the lands/rifling) for your bullet.

What works in your XD may not work in you tactical or vice-versa. With more than one 9mm, test both pistols and load the shortest oal of the two and you can use the bullets in both guns.

With a FP or HP nose bullet, the oal will end up much shorter than a RN bullet of the same weight.

The Berry 124HP maxes out (in MY gun) at 1.06" so I run 1.045" oal in my pistol.

Hope this makes sense.

Last edited by 1SOW; April 15, 2011 at 10:45 PM.
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