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Old March 28, 2013, 09:06 PM   #1
Join Date: January 9, 2013
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When loading .223 or any other caliber the load data tells you the max overall case lenght. Do you seat the bullet to that depth? I have been seating about .005" less then the max. What is the normal practice?
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Old March 28, 2013, 09:14 PM   #2
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Whose load data are you using?

Usually, the data gives the minimum OAL, not the maximum. Maximum OAL is determined by what will fit in your magazine and reliably cycle into the chamber. The minimum is specified because going shorter can increase pressures drastically.
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Old March 28, 2013, 09:33 PM   #3
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Nosler's web site says 55 gr ballistic silver tip has a cartridge max OAL of 2.260"
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Old March 28, 2013, 09:47 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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OAL listed in rifle data serves only to confuse the novice reloader.

The number listed in the book is meaningless to you and your rifle.

Your best bet would be to have a Hornday OAL Gage and modified case. Absent that, get a small wooden dowel from a hardware store that will fit down your barrel. Close the action and slide the dowel down the barrel until it touches the breech. Use a razor blade to mark the dowel at the muzzle. Now, remove the bolt and slide a bullet into the chamber while using a piece of a cleaning rod or cut off piece of the dowel to GENTLY hold it against the rifling. Slide the original dowel down the muzzle and mark it when it touches the bullet. The distance between the marks is the max OAL in your gun with that bullet.

This technique is easier with two people.

Subtract .020 from that measurement and see if it fits and functions in your gun.

Ultimately, if it fits and functions in your gun, nothing else matters. Pick a length, start at minimum, starting loads and work up. Be happy.
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Old March 30, 2013, 06:17 PM   #5
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In addition, each bullet maker uses a different shape bullet and will therefore require a different COL. You must use the bullet makers data or as noted measure it for your barrel.
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Old March 31, 2013, 07:48 AM   #6
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Do you seat the bullet to that depth?
No Never, I ignore the OAL listed in all manuals and on-line data. It has nothing to do with me and my rifles. Some manuals, Nosler, don't even list the OAL tested it is that unimportant.
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