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Thread: Minimum OAL is too long, now what?

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Default Minimum OAL is too long, now what?

    I ran into a slight problem with 200 gr. Nosler partitions in my Marlin 30-06. The minimum recommended COAL is too long for my chamber. Is there a formula somewhere for how much to reduce the powder charge so I can reduce the OAL in order to prevent exceeding pressure limits?

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    Dunno of any formula other than this: Start at minimum recommended charges and work up slow.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Minimum OAL is too long, now what?

    I am in my first year of reloading (haven't blown myself up just yet) so take my post with that in mind...

    First off how much bullet is seated down in the case? The COAL in the book as is a little gray anyway since it usually accounts for the tip of the bullet which doesn't technically matter since it never contacts the lands anyway.

    I suppose that the 200 partition just has an ogive that is further forward than the bullet used to specify COAL. For pressure as long as you are not jammed into the lands then what really matters is how deep the bullet is seated into the casing. I would try a couple lighter bullets and see how deep they seat when set at the min COAL to get a better idea whether or not you are actually using more case capacity by seating the partitions deeper. I would bet that the partition seated under min COAL still uses less case capacity than a monolithic boat tail 180 set to book spec. In the end a hornady OAL gauge used to find COAL to the ogive, back off 10 to 15 thousandths then start low and work up.

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    Yea start low and work up.

    The things to think about is how much are you reducing the case volume. How much too long are we talking setting it back, (.100“ .300“?) and how big is the case . . . Is it reducing the total volume in there by 3% or 30%? A 3% reduction isn’t ever going to be an issue but 30% sure could. If setting it way back you can compare the case volume your using to other data of similar case volume and bullet weight to help you guess if your safe or not.

    With 30-06 you should be fine, its a big case and a little bullet butt your pushing in there . . . just start low and work it up. The % of case volume you loose by moving an 06 bullet back isn’t going to be much BUT move something like a 9X18 back .300” (big bullet in a little case) and it would reduce the volume by like 25-30% and that could be spooky.
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    The length issue is due to the wider ogive nearer to the tip of the bullet compared with the 180 gr. NPs. I loaded them to exactly minimum COAL, and they were hitting the rifling, making the bolt very hard to close. No - go. What I was hoping for was that there might be some kind of formula out there which states "reducing the COAL by X % means you should reduce both the minimum and maximum powder charges by X %". I guess that would be impossible now that I think about it though, since the formula would be different for every powder.

    I understand the start at minimum and work up idea, I was just hoping to take the guess work out of it. I dislike the prospect of getting pressure signs as my first indication of a potentially dangerous load. I prefer to work within known, tested limits.

    Andy - that makes sense. I didn't think I had anything to worry about, just never encountered this particular issue before. My Marlin likes the heavy bullets. (Best group yet was obtained with 180 gr. Partitions and I've shot several other weights, including as light as 150 grs.) I figure I might get even better yet with some 200 grainers.

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    AK, without any intent to insult, what is the over all length of the cartridge now that won't fit? What did you size the brass to? Did you full length size or neck size? Chamber clear?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armymark View Post
    AK, without any intent to insult, what is the over all length of the cartridge now that won't fit? What did you size the brass to? Did you full length size or neck size? Chamber clear?
    No insult taken - it never hurts to review the basics. COAL of the ones that won't fit is 3.340 as per load data for 200 gr. jacketed bullet using IMR 4350 in the Lee second edition manual. I could use a different powder and seat them deeper, but the next powder I had on the list that would permit a shorter OAL (3.300) was RL 15, which is 130 fps slower with a max charge than the IMR 4350.

    Brass was all second use Winchester brass and none of it was over the 2.494" in the Lee book, so I didn't bother to trim. I did measure them all and make sure none of them were excessively short either. I always neck size only unless I'm loading for a rifle the case hasn't yet been fired out of. These were neck sized, and the first firing was from the same rifle.

    Chamber was clear.

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    You might contact both Nosler and I think it is Hodgdon that owns/labels IMR powders.

    You are probably not the first person to run into this problem. FWIW I have found telephoning Sierra to be much quicker than emailing Hodgdon, never had to contact Nosler before.

    Best of luck, you are going about this safely and responsibly it seems like.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Are the book specs just for a general 200 grain bullet or is it specifically for the Partition?

    One of the key points will be the bullet length if it is not a specific bullet identified in that spec. I did a quick search and found some specs to compare. The Accubond is .140 longer than the Partition for instance so stuffing an Accubond in to the minimum COAL for a 200 grain bullet would put .140 more bullet in the case than the partition at the same COAL. There would be some fudge factor due to the boat tail on the Accubond regarding the true change to case volume but I doubt that it would amount to much. My take is that the larger blunt nose of the partition and flat base are not what they were expecting when they developed the spec.


    200 Accubonds
    Caliber: 30
    Bullet Diameter: 0.308
    Bullet Weight: 200 Grains
    Bullet Length: 1.490"
    Bullet Style: Ballistic Tip Spitzer Boat Tail
    Bullet Coating: Non-Coated


    200 Partition
    Caliber: 30
    Bullet Diameter: 0.308
    Bullet Weight: 200 Grains
    Bullet Length: 1.350"
    Bullet Style: Spitzer
    Bullet Coating: Non-Coated




    Here is a resource for other bullet lengths.
    http://www.jbmballistics.com/ballist.../lengths.shtml

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    Default Minimum OAL is too long, now what?

    Sounds to me like you make have gotten short stroked on the bore reahmer from the factory. 90% of the time you have to put magazine extenders in factory guns to even come close to the lanze. I have my barrels reahmed short so I can touch the lanze. It was and still is my opinion in most modern bolt action rifles the bores are over reahmed as designed by the attorneys, so people cant blow themselves up. Is isnt uncommon to get a short stroke on the go no go gauges used to reahm factory firearms.
    Just a possibility?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Are the book specs just for a general 200 grain bullet or is it specifically for the Partition?

    One of the key points will be the bullet length if it is not a specific bullet identified in that spec. I did a quick search and found some specs to compare. The Accubond is .140 longer than the Partition for instance so stuffing an Accubond in to the minimum COAL for a 200 grain bullet would put .140 more bullet in the case than the partition at the same COAL. There would be some fudge factor due to the boat tail on the Accubond regarding the true change to case volume but I doubt that it would amount to much. My take is that the larger blunt nose of the partition and flat base are not what they were expecting when they developed the spec.


    200 Accubonds
    Caliber: 30
    Bullet Diameter: 0.308
    Bullet Weight: 200 Grains
    Bullet Length: 1.490"
    Bullet Style: Ballistic Tip Spitzer Boat Tail
    Bullet Coating: Non-Coated


    200 Partition
    Caliber: 30
    Bullet Diameter: 0.308
    Bullet Weight: 200 Grains
    Bullet Length: 1.350"
    Bullet Style: Spitzer
    Bullet Coating: Non-Coated




    Here is a resource for other bullet lengths.
    http://www.jbmballistics.com/ballist.../lengths.shtml
    Thanks for the links - those will serve me well! I tried to rep you, but it seems I need to spread the "love" a bit before I can hit you again. I really like the bullet length knowledge. What a tool for hand - loaders! Somebody hit LuJon with some rep for me, please.

    The book specs are for "generic" 200 gr. jacketed bullets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aktbird View Post
    Sounds to me like you make have gotten short stroked on the bore reahmer from the factory. 90% of the time you have to put magazine extenders in factory guns to even come close to the lanze. I have my barrels reahmed short so I can touch the lanze. It was and still is my opinion in most modern bolt action rifles the bores are over reahmed as designed by the attorneys, so people cant blow themselves up. Is isnt uncommon to get a short stroke on the go no go gauges used to reahm factory firearms.
    Just a possibility?
    I guess it's possible my chamber was bored short. I think that's what you're saying. I have already achieved incredible accuracy though, with some not - so - accurate bullets. Sub - MOA with NPs at 100 yards is pretty impressive in my book. I'm looking for knowledge on the possibility of running long bullets, seated deep - to achieve better accuracy and knock - down power.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I don't have the modified 30-06 case but I do have the hornady COAL gauge. If you grabbed the modified case from sportsmans or Arctic ammo you are welcome to bring the setup by and take some measurements of your chamber. I am really curious what the ogive to bullet base measurement is on the 200 partitions vs the 180's.

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    Default Minimum OAL is too long, now what?

    I ran into this with my Remington 700 30-06. Took a lot of trouble shooting but we got it. Color your entire bullet with a black marker, we did it with no powder. Chamber a round and see where it rubs, most likely it will be on the lead. Adjust your depth accordingly.

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    Default Minimum OAL is too long, now what?

    One way i see to figure this out. Crimp the neck slightly on a fired case and put a bullet in the mouth of the case by hand should be hard but not require seating dies.
    No primer or powder put the cartridge in the chamber and seat the bullet with the lanze by closing bolt. Now measure and make sure that the base of the bullet does not seat any deeper than the base of the neck on the case. If its deeper than the base of the neck on the case then you have a bore issue. Imo.
    Also make sure said cartridge will fit in Mag.
    This is not a shootable depth only a seating reference point. Now you are as they say into the lanze. Very dangerous place to be. Now with a new case, no powder, primer seat bullet with die to depth determined with prior test discussed. With a black marker coat bullet and close bolt pull cartridge, examine bullet for marks on ogive.Clean. Bullet with solvent, Repeat process in .005 to .010 increments and keep repeating the process and checking for marks on the bullet from the lanze.Once there is no sign of Contact, play with it and find the exact measurement and write it down, where you found the end of the lanze. Back out .010 from that number and thats where you start. Make sure your not deeper than base of case neck! I shoot 200 AB out of my 300 RUM and they like to be .002 off, however if you start playing that game you will want the hornady bullet comparator. To much variation in Those plastic tips.
    Good luck, hope this helps. Clear as mud!

  16. #16

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    Cartridge Overall Length is determined by the length of the magazine, that's what holds the ammo. The Chamber Overall Length is the length of the loaded ammo from bolt face to bullet ogive/land engagement in the rifle, not the point of the bullet. The bullet profile will change from a pointed bullet(Accubond/Amax) design to the Remington Round Nosed and NP style. There is a gauge that measures the cartridge length from bolt face to ogive. This is the ONLY way to load ammo that matches each individual rifle chamber based on bullet ogive, and allows precise seating die adjustment on all styles of bullets. Once you know a chambers length you just adjust the die to seat the bullets below the maximum Chamber Overall Length and ALL ammo then fits your rifle every time you change/load bullets.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/348...ith-14-inserts

    These fit in a set of dial calipers to measure your Chamber Overall Length and allow you to adjust your seating depth accordingly.
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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Minimum OAL is too long, now what?

    brav01, The book spec that he is dealing with is clearly focused on Cartridge overall length since the problem is that the bullet when seated to the shortest allowable spec is still to long to chamber. A do agree with the premise of your statement however which is why offered up the use of my Hornady tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    brav01, The book spec that he is dealing with is clearly focused on Cartridge overall length since the problem is that the bullet when seated to the shortest allowable spec is still to long to chamber. A do agree with the premise of your statement however which is why offered up the use of my Hornady tool.
    Agreed, However his ammo is too short because his bullet has an ogive that doesn't match his reloading book profile,Change the profile or bullet length and the problem might be solved. Also later when he changes bullets again he may well exceed maximum cartridge overall length and not get close to the lands because his ogive profile is different.
    NOT trying to be an ***** here but this might be a recurring problem due as much to chamber length, profile of land taper/to bullet ogive engagement; meaning the lands could actually be tapered for a Accubond profile rather than a Round Nosed/Partition style of bullet, or they might not be tapered at all thus having an abrupt edge to engage the ogive.
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I don't have the modified 30-06 case but I do have the hornady COAL gauge. If you grabbed the modified case from sportsmans or Arctic ammo you are welcome to bring the setup by and take some measurements of your chamber. I am really curious what the ogive to bullet base measurement is on the 200 partitions vs the 180's.
    LuJon try this take your comparator to SW or a gun shop and measure the Cartridge Overall Length and the bolt face to Ogive length on 180 and 200 grn NP's and see how they compare to the loading manual , then compare to AKsoldiers OAL; That would be a good starting place as both Nosler and Hornaday will load to specs. Also when he neck sized did he bulge the case at the shoulder/case wall junction this will stop a round from fitting in the chamber as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    Cartridge Overall Length is determined by the length of the magazine, that's what holds the ammo. The Chamber Overall Length is the length of the loaded ammo from bolt face to bullet ogive/land engagement in the rifle, not the point of the bullet. The bullet profile will change from a pointed bullet(Accubond/Amax) design to the Remington Round Nosed and NP style. There is a gauge that measures the cartridge length from bolt face to ogive. This is the ONLY way to load ammo that matches each individual rifle chamber based on bullet ogive, and allows precise seating die adjustment on all styles of bullets. Once you know a chambers length you just adjust the die to seat the bullets below the maximum Chamber Overall Length and ALL ammo then fits your rifle every time you change/load bullets.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/348...ith-14-inserts

    These fit in a set of dial calipers to measure your Chamber Overall Length and allow you to adjust your seating depth accordingly.
    I own the same tool and agree with all of the above. Except I saved a few bucks (5) by buying the comparator and three inserts I use the most often separately, and I don't have a bunch of inserts I don't need cluttering up my bench.

    What I did - no powder - no primer - double check yourself, was load 3 each of the bullets I use into prepped brass, only seated way too long and no crimp on the case neck. By chambering each of those dummy rounds and ejecting, the lands and bolt face seated the bullet to my maximum chamber length.

    I had to use a good strong light to find the tiny little marks in the bullet ogives, but they are there. Then I noticed my Hornady .338 insert didn't fall in exactly the same place on every bullet relative to the tiny little marks - so different bullets have different curves between case diameter and tip. I also found one of my bullets hung up on the rifling and came out a little bit "longer" than the others.

    Finally I made another dummy that should have been .005" off the lands, worked over the bullet with a sharpie, chambered it and found no flaws in the ink on ejection, so I fell pretty good about knowing how far from the bolt face my rifling starts in my rifle.

    However, I can not that I know of buy a micrometer seating die in .338 Federal without having one custom made. In real life with limited human patience I can get all my loads within .005" without too much trouble - I seat long, sort by length and then lower my seating plunger in my plain jane seating die a smidge at a time. Getting all my loaded rounds within .003" is a major pain in the tuckus.


    Nosler's phone number is 1800-285-3701. No need to re-invent the wheel without at least trying the free phone call.

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