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Old September 24, 2000, 12:46 AM   #1
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Join Date: November 14, 1999
Posts: 1,573
I only own one reloading manual (Lee's), so this might be part of my problem ... if so, I'm willing to hear it. Now that I have that out of the way, I am a little frustrated by the use of "minimum overall length" in the loading info that I've seen in print ... I usually get my loads directly from the powder manufacturers, not the manual anyway. I usually see one load (two on occasion) for a given powder and bullet weight ... yet in many cases there are several geometries for bullets in a given weight (Hollow point, truncated cone, semi-wad, round nose ... you get the idea) and each geometry has a different length for the bullet in that weight and some geometries have more than one ... there are lots of different ways to make a JHP! Apart from guaranteeing that the rounds fit in the magazine, OAL is primarily used to specify a minimum case volume after seating the bullet. What the manuals are trying to say is "Leave this much room behind the bullet." My frustration is that telling me the minimum OAL doesn't tell me anything unless I am loading the exact same tip geometry as the load in the table ... ever tried to load a 150 grain round nose in a .308 with the minimum O.A.L. listed for a 150 grain spitzer ... damned thing doesn't even touch the case! Anyway, enough of a rant ... does anyone have a reference that lists the length of common bullets so that I can back calculate the more useful "minimum distance behind the bullet?" I have started to put together my own list of dimensions ... but it will be slow, and I'm not willing to buy a box of 115 grain jacketed round nose in 9mm just to see how long they are!
Thanks in advance ... sorry that my frustration is showing, I'm just trying to be safe and the commercial guys are making it difficult.

saands is offline  
Old September 24, 2000, 07:13 PM   #2
Join Date: September 1, 2000
Posts: 74
The listing of specs with oal dimensions, etc., borders on useless.

Especially for autoloading pistols, the bullet shape and the feeding characteristics of the specific autoloader is the more critical consideration.

I have some 200gr .45cal SWC bullets that just won't reliably function with my Para P12. I've played with seating depth to the point that that the case mouth is even with the bullet shoulder, and I still get feed problems with these bullets.

Other SWC .45 bullets function reliably, but these are just no-go.

You'll need to experiment a bit to find:
1) Bullet style and weight and seating depth combination that reliably feeds with the pistol, for practice rounds.
2) Commercial carry-loads that function reliably with your pistol, for carry use.

bad4u is offline  
Old September 24, 2000, 09:31 PM   #3
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Yeah ... I understand the reliability part ... fortunately my HK and Sig have eaten everything that I throw at them My real issue is to be better able to match the laods in the manuals instead of working up a load on what is essentially a new caliber if I miss the boat on case volume. Judging from the lack of responses to this question, I think it might be one of those things that everyone has just resigned themselves to accept.
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