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Thread: Case Over All Length

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    Default Case Over All Length

    I was loading some .223 Hornady FMJ-BT last night and I notice that when I use the COAL recommended in the manual for a 55gr. Nosler BT, I was a bit short of the cannelure on the Hornady bullet I was using. How important is it to maintain a COAL as directed in the manual, versus seating the bullet to the cannelure?

    I've only been reloading a few years and the other cannelured bullets I have used have been .375 H&H or .44mag and seating to the cannelure was within a couple hundreths of the COAL pulished so I never worried about it, in this case it was more like .05 difference, is this significnat?

    Thanks in advance for you thoughts!

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    Are you crimping the bullets? Also, why are you using data for a bullet your not using? Your best to stick with the data for the bullet it was produced and tested for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskabliss View Post
    Are you crimping the bullets? Also, why are you using data for a bullet your not using? Your best to stick with the data for the bullet it was produced and tested for.
    I'm putting a little bit of a crimp on them, my books don't have data for the hornady FMJ, so I used the closest thing I could find, which was the Nosler BT in the same weight.

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    As long as the bullet is off the lands, you should be alright.

    The only reason to seat to the cannelure is when you're gonna crimp.

    COAL in the loading manuals is there for reference, I guess. Rifles have different length throats.

    It might even be unsafe, if it's too long.

    Anyway, COAL should be tailored to your rifle.

    Factory Loads have short COALs, so they will fit all rifles

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    As long as the bullet is off the lands, you should be alright.

    The only reason to seat to the cannelure is when you're gonna crimp.

    COAL in the loading manuals is there for reference, I guess. Rifles have different length throats.

    It might even be unsafe, if it's too long.

    Anyway, COAL should be tailored to your rifle.

    Factory Loads have short COALs, so they will fit all rifles

    SOTN
    Thanks Smitty, the COAL seemed to me to be a guideline too. On all the bullets i'm loading, running them all the way to the cannelure seems to produce a shorter COAL, which is where my question came from. I'm not getting any pressure signs and I stay a grain or so away from max generally. Most of my loads are mins to mid load actually. The only load i'm running close to max is .375H&H 250gr. TTSX. They seem to like to be pushed fast in my gun.

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    I can't remember ever crimping for a rifle so the cannelure means nothing to me. As far as sticking with the exact receipt in a loading manual, I can't imagine why unless you are using the same rifle or test gun that was used for the original testing. Even when using the same components and data from a manual, you should still start low and work up. Different components will surely change pressure some but starting low and working up will account for that as well.

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    Good advise so far. You didn't say what you're launching the .223 from. Gotta watch for mag length if feeding from a semi. Shouldn't be a problem with 55 grain but can if heavier bullets are used.

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    Too slow to edit:

    My Hornady 4th Edition lists COL at 2.200" for all their 55 grain bullets. Nosler #3 doesn't list COL, but I have some notes from a latter manual for the 60 grain Part. (longer bullet) at 2.260" For the shortest mag. I have , a well used and beat up Adventure Line, 2.260" just clears.

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    I hasten to add,,,,

    Like LeonardC says, sometimes COAL is restricted by magazine length.

    I usually load a bit less than max, myself.

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    limon32, one of the things I do when I start to work up a load is to take a cleaning rod and with the bolt closed run the rod down the bbl until it stops against the bolt face, mark the rod at the end of the bbl. Now take an empty case and stick a bullet in that you are going to work with. Just stick it in the case until it feels secure leaving it protruding a lot. Now, carefully slip it into the chamber and when it stops due to ogive making contact stick the marked rod back into the bbl and when it stops this time it will be against the tip of the bullet, mark rod again. Now the distance between your 2 marks will be a pretty accurate OAL to work from. Like others have stated your magazine may be the deciding factor with what you can do? Load a round at 2.20 col and slip it into the magazine and look at it to see if there is any room to play with....
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    limon32, one of the things I do when I start to work up a load is to take a cleaning rod and with the bolt closed run the rod down the bbl until it stops against the bolt face, mark the rod at the end of the bbl. Now take an empty case and stick a bullet in that you are going to work with. Just stick it in the case until it feels secure leaving it protruding a lot. Now, carefully slip it into the chamber and when it stops due to ogive making contact stick the marked rod back into the bbl and when it stops this time it will be against the tip of the bullet, mark rod again. Now the distance between your 2 marks will be a pretty accurate OAL to work from. Like others have stated your magazine may be the deciding factor with what you can do? Load a round at 2.20 col and slip it into the magazine and look at it to see if there is any room to play with....
    Thanks Smokey! I have been getting decent results, I consider MOA good enough for my hunting loads. I was mostly curious if loading at a slightly different COAL was some how dangerous? Seems I'm ok, both through my testing and comments here.

    I'm going try your method for measuring and record it in case I get bored this winter and want to play with some different seating depths to try and improve my pet loads. In particular I have had trouble getting partitions to shoot well in both my .223 and my .375H&H. Might try moving those around a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Thanks Smokey! I have been getting decent results, I consider MOA good enough for my hunting loads. I was mostly curious if loading at a slightly different COAL was some how dangerous? Seems I'm ok, both through my testing and comments here.

    I'm going try your method for measuring and record it in case I get bored this winter and want to play with some different seating depths to try and improve my pet loads. In particular I have had trouble getting partitions to shoot well in both my .223 and my .375H&H. Might try moving those around a bit.
    Remember that each time you change bullets the shape of it will change the COAL from slightly, to a lot, depending on the shape of the ogive, so don't assume one measurement is ok to use for all bullets. That's part of the reason the COL listed in manuals is done to error on the safe side. You can get serious pressure changes if you seat that bullet out and it contacts the rifleing....
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Remember that each time you change bullets the shape of it will change the COAL from slightly, to a lot, depending on the shape of the ogive, so don't assume one measurement is ok to use for all bullets. That's part of the reason the COL listed in manuals is done to error on the safe side. You can get serious pressure changes if you seat that bullet out and it contacts the rifleing....
    Thanks, I'll keep that in mind, I like to tend toward safer!

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    I will also try Smokey's suggestion to find COAL.

    I have been using a Hornady OAL gauge, and like the concept. I was very surprised to find .338 Barnes TSX and TTSX to vary so much in shape, and it is nice to quantify it. Does anybody use an OAL gauge they really like? I'm not entirely satisfied with the Hornady gauge.

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