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Old October 17, 2004, 08:07 PM   #1
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Location: Nampa ID
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issue figureing overall length

so I have decided to take the plunge and start reloading after much reading i decided I was ready and slowly worked my way through the steps My first batch was better than any factory rounds and so I was happy

However I am not entirely confident that I have figured out the correct length o should set my die to the particular round I am using

the rifle is a savage 110C 30-06
the brass is winchester
the bullet is hornady 180gr SST

Based on what I read in several reloading guides I have tried several ways to decide what length to set my reloads.

the first was to take a round that had been fired from my rifle and then camfer the edges and then put a small dent in the brass to hold the bullet. mark the bullet with ink and then chamber the round. this was a complete failure. I ended up getting the bullet and brass wedged in the chamber and then getting a rod wedged in the barrel rather than screw it up more i had the barrel removed by a gunsmith and then he pulled the round out.

the second was to press a bullet into the brass just under the SAMMI length and try and chamber it with ink on the bullet. I have ran the length down to 3.253 and I am still getting marks in the ink on the brass. I dont get a concentric ring around the bullet its just in a few spots. I would suspect that I want to use the measurement where I have a concentric ring and then subtract .010-.030 but i am not positive so can anyone shed some light give me some tips etc?

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Old October 17, 2004, 08:38 PM   #2
.45 Vet
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Your second method is what a lot of guys do. This is similar to a chamber gauge. But bear in mind that your measurement might very well change every time you change bullet weight or manufacturer.

You can then back off .025/.030" and load four or five rounds each in lengths varying .005/.010" to find a sweet spot for that rifle. Then start playing around with different powders,primers,and types of brass.

Hopefully what you end up with, will shoot well in your rifle and still be short enough to fit in your magazine...
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Old October 17, 2004, 09:20 PM   #3
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.45 vet. Thanks, Yea I have figured out its gonne be different for each round. I will probably stick with my second method for the time as I have screwed anything up...yet. what happens if i end up with a set of rounds that are touching the lands of the breech? am i gonna blow something up or lodge a round in the barrel?

I am starting to winder if the reason i am getting marks only in two or three spots is possibly due to abnormalities or wear on the breech. and if so should i not then take the measurement from where i get a full touch ring around the bulletthen back off from that.
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Old October 17, 2004, 09:25 PM   #4
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I dont get a concentric ring around the bullet its just in a few spots.
You should not get a concentric ring around the bullet. What you should be seeing is a number of bright marks around the bullet, which are the rifle lands. You could just load to the spec listed in your reloading manual for overall length and see what kind of group you get. Another thing to consider is your magazine length. Unless you are willing to use your rifle as a single shot, you'll want the loaded round to fit the box.

I think the easiest way to figure OAL is to buy the Stony Point overall chamber gauge. Its pretty foolproof and not expensive to buy. I would add that you measure several bullets of the type you intend to load just to make sure the measurement is correct.
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Old October 18, 2004, 02:22 PM   #5
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Second the Stoney Point gauge. It is much easier to "feel" the bullet contact the lands with this setup. About .010" off the lands will usually give the best results. If the bullet is touching the lands when the round is fired, it doesn't get to jump to the lands and you will get a large pressure spike that could rupture the case and damge the rifle or you.
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