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Old January 20, 2006, 03:45 AM   #1
Larry Herren
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Bullet over all length?

I'm new to reloading and find case over all length data in loading manuals confusing.. I have recently read information and data from quit a few reloading manuals. Seating a bullet to deep can decrease case volume and increase pressure. So to me it would seem length is very important. Most disagree on the length of the loaded round, even minimum length. I'll be loading 45 ACP so I'll use a 230gr FMJ an example. I checked a flat nose .615 and a round nose .660 from the same company. The longer bullet would seat .045 deeper. Lee's length is 1.260 to 1.190 for that bullet depending on which powder is used, not even listing types round nose, flat or any other. There must de a difference. Others list the type of bullets used. Speer's length of the round tested exceeds Lee's limits.Even powder charge for Bullseye Lee 5,0 to never exceed 5.0 gr. Speer 5.2 to 5.7gr. How is someone starting to reload figure all this out when even the ones writing the manuals do even seem agree?
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Old January 20, 2006, 08:47 AM   #2
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Larry, the loading manual lists COL for each different bullet. So the JFP would list a different case overall length than a FMJ. The publishers of these manuals take bullet length into account.

Your job is to read carefully, from several sources if necessary, to make sure your COL data is for the proper bullet.

The LoadBooks series from MidwayUSA is most useful to me: one book per caliber, with many load sources in each book.

Check it out here:
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Old January 20, 2006, 03:32 PM   #3
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How is someone starting to reload figure all this out when even the ones writing the manuals do even seem agree?
The manuals are best used to make very educated guesses based on both the manual and other information that you've learned about how each reloading variable raises pressure. Loading from one manual gives a very narrow perspective. It's best to have at least two as a newbie,then compare and contrast them. Find out why load A is higher than load B, though they show similar pressure. That's how we learn what the unstated variables affect pressure.
Short list of those variables: crimp,bearing length of the bullet, lot of powder used, seating depth, how long your barrel's throat is,etc.
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Old January 20, 2006, 03:34 PM   #4
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In the case of the .45 ACP, the maximum overall length is specified to load into a magazine and up the load ramp without interference. If you try to seat a blunt bullet shape out that far it won't feed reliably.

Since round nose ball is the orignial round, a good starting point is to take its OAL and subtract the difference in the length of the blunt round. This will put both the same distance into the case and leave you with the same powder space. In this case, 0.660"-0.615"=0.045". Subtract 0.045" from the maximum OAL recommended for the same-weight round nose bullet. SAMMI max for round nose is 1.275", so use 1.275"-0.045"=1.225" for your new OAL max. Try to get bullet within 0.010" of that length (in other words, 1.215" ±0.005".

It takes a whole 0.100" from recommended depth to raise the pressure of a ball load 3000 PSI, so you could use the 0.015" shorter Lee number without consequence.

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Old January 22, 2006, 12:05 PM   #5
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whoa there !!!!!!!!!!!

It takes considerably less than .100" to raise pressure by 3K PSI in the 45 ACP case.

We don't do pressure, we do safe.

Easier guide: for 230g RN highly recommend an OAL of 1.240--1.265", based on YOUR gun.
Start at 1.250".

For other bullet shapes ask the specific bullet mqanufacturer, or even ask here.

200g LSWC = 1.255".

230g Golden Saber = 1.215" (just the bullet, not R-P factory loading).

250g LSWC = 1.190" (but you better be careful....)
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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