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Old January 28, 2012, 10:07 AM   #1
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Join Date: January 28, 2012
Posts: 215
Newbie with OAL questions

I'm brand new to reloading. I've read a fair amount, but I'm getting mixed information with OAL. I'm loading on a Lee Pro 1000 using mixed .45 ACP brass, CCI primers and J&K Bullets 230 grain lead round nose bullets. I'm starting with Win 231 powder and their loading data suggests 4.3-5.3 grains of powder for this combination. I'll be shooting these loads from a 3" Ultra Carry II. The 3" 1911s are known for being finicky about feeding reliably so I'm planning on starting with 4.9-5.0 grains of powder for a little hotter load but still well under max load. These are just rounds for shooting at the range. That gets the basic info out of the way, on to my questions concerning OAL.

Their load data specifies a max OAL of 1.2". I tried that and it looks very short. The factory ammo I've been shooting measures 1.264"-1.273". If I load to the factory length, the shoulder of the bullet is slightly above the mouth of the case. Loading to where the shoulder is even with the case mouth gives me an OAL of 1.228". Loading to that length would seem right to me, but I'm a newbie.

Why would the reloading manual suggest a max OAL of 1.2"? I understand that loading to an OAL shorter than suggested would raise the pressure and could be dangerous, but how would loading to a longer OAL than suggested change things?
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