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Old May 2, 2007, 07:59 PM   #1
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overall length inquiry

Hi All;

I'm just getting into reloading, and I have been studying overall lengths of a case with bullet seated using a particular charge. I am loading 7mm Rem Mag. I am using 61 grains of Hodgdon H4831SC, with a Sierra 140-grain Pro-Hunter jacketed bullet.

My reloading handbook states 3.240" as COAL for my combo. However, I have measured a factory bullet COAL at 3.143". Now, the COAL of the factory load isn't anywhere close to any numbers in my reloading manual.

Why the big difference, and whom should I trust?

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Old May 2, 2007, 09:00 PM   #2
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Trust the reloading manual, you don't know what the factory load has in it or why they loaded it that way. The reloading manual gives data for what they used and how they loaded it.
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Old May 3, 2007, 12:31 PM   #3
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I think some folks get far too "hung up" on COAL. Yes, it matters. But it's not nearly as critical as some seem to believe.

If you are loading the same weight and bullet shape as factory ammo, and you set your seating die by a factory round, the distance from the point on the ogive of the bullet where it enlarges to bore diameter will will be the same distance from the origin of the rifling regardless of COAL.

And if your bullet is cannelured, crimp in the cannelure and don't worry about COAL.
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Old May 3, 2007, 01:32 PM   #4
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Factories load the shortest lenght cartridge possible so they will fit in the maximum number of magazines out there.

Your optimum COL may not fit your magazine, if you start experimenting with the distance to the lands vs accuracy.
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Old May 3, 2007, 05:23 PM   #5
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OAL's in books don't mean very much to me. In fact, unless I was reloading for someone else, and didn't know the max OAL for their gun, published OAL would mean nothing. For bottleneck cartridges that is. Find the max OAL in your gun and go from there.
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