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Thread: Overall Bullet Length Concerns

  1. #1

    Default Overall Bullet Length Concerns

    I'm about as new to reloading as it gets and I have an issue that I think needs to be addressed before I decide to shoot the rounds that I just made.

    I'm reloading a .350 Remington Mag that I'm going to be shooting out of a Ruger M77 MKII with 225 Grain Barnes TSX and IMR 4320. I wanted to start out light so I only loaded it with 55 grains of powder (very conservative according to my manual).

    The problem I'm having is that my end result is exactly 0.1 inch longer than what my manual and dies state should be the maximum overall length of 2.8 inches. After making a few rounds and having them all come out to 2.9 inches, I started doing some research online and came across a few articles that talked about how the Barnes .35 caliber bullets were designed to shoot in the longer action of the 35 Whelen and not the short action of my rifle (the bullet itself is pretty long).

    The mag well on my rilfe is actually a little longer than on the Remington rifles and my rifle cycled all ten of the rounds I made with no issues at all. Is this something I should be concerned about?

    Also, the case length stated in my reloading manual is actually shorter than the cases I'm using on unfired factory ammunition. With these longer bullets should I be worried about overpressuring the load if I actually trim the cases down to what the manual says I should? Like I said I'm pretty green to reloading so any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Jon

  2. #2
    Member Doug in Alaska's Avatar
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    You can take a resized piece of brass and using a dremel tool, make two cuts down the neck to the shoulder. These cuts should be directly across the neck from each other (180˚). Some people make four cuts, I used to but now prefer just two. Clean all burrs from the inside and outside of the case. Place a bullet in the case (by hand) and chamber the round in your rifle. Carefully and slowly eject the round into your hand. In other words, don't sling it out onto the floor. This will give you the length, where the bullet is contacting the lands. This will tell you if you are seating your bullets out too far. If you want to really be consistent, you will need a bullet comparator for future reloading. As long as you aren't contacting the lands, I wouldn't worry about the overall length causing pressure problems.

    The OAL stated in the manuals is a standard length, set to work in most rifles of this caliber, without contacting the lands and perhaps causing unacceptably high pressure.

    I expect your OAL is fine. Usually if you are jamming the bullet into the lands, you'll feel it when you eject the round or notice marking on your bullets. This is an assumption, as you've stated all ten rounds cycled with no issues. When you trim your cases to specified length, use the same method for determining maximum OAL.

    This is just my opinion judged on my experiences.
    Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

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    You are over thinking things. Me I seat the bullet off the magazine length. Some cases I cannot do this do to the rifle having a short throat. I don't really follow overall length listed in a manual. I know alot of folks follow this like gospel.

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    You need to know more about bullets before you start worrying about ogives length. Is this and ogival bullet or a me plate bullet? When you have the answer to these two simple question you will know if the rifle you are using needs you to know the answer.

    Kind of spoils your fun, huh?
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    Member Doug in Alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    You need to know more about bullets before you start worrying about ogives length. Is this and ogival bullet or a me plate bullet? When you have the answer to these two simple question you will know if the rifle you are using needs you to know the answer.

    Kind of spoils your fun, huh?
    OP stated 225 grain Barnes TSX bullets so I'd definitely consider ogive when determining OAL. He also mentioned a longer magazine in a Ruger M77.
    Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

  6. #6

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    Ya they all cycled fine. They actually cycled a lot smoother than Remington factory loaded ammo. I did a little more digging online and have found a lot of guys who use that bullet without issue. From what I've read the guys who own that caliber in the Remington 600, 670, or 700 use the same bullet in a 200 grain. I'm guessing it's a hair shorter. I might try those as well, but first I gotta find someone locally who carries them. I wish I knew someone who reloaded this caliber, but as you're probably well aware of it's a rare breed.

  7. #7
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    Listen to Doug:

    The important thing is to KNOW, that your bullet, in a completed round, is not touching the lands. There are lots of ways to determine the Length to the Lands, and reportedly, the way he mentioned is a good one.

    When you learn the Length to the lands, you should seat the bullet deeper than that, maybe .030 off the lands, and that is the OAL for your load.

    You should READ AGAIN, in your loading manual, as to how to set your Cartridge Over All Length. (OAL) This is a very important thing, and you shouldn't be handloading without understanding it.

    I wouldn’t set OAL by magazine length, unless I knew, it would result in a length shorter than one that would contact the lands.

    I wouldn’t use the OAL found in the loading data either, because your rifle chamber could be very different than the one used to obtain the data.

    I wouldn’t use a factory round to set the OAL because your bullet may be different too.

    I can give an example of why it’s wise to seat your bullet according to your rifle chamber. It is not a given, that you would run into a situation like I’ve described, but I was looking at 7mm RM loading data, and all the loads had an OAL of 3.290, which is the Industry Max OAL for that Cartridge. If I had loaded the particular bullet to that length, they would have been too long for the short throat of my rifle.

    When I chambered a round, the bullet would have been pushed back into the case, very probably resulting in dangerous pressure, due to less capacity for the powder charge, and other stuff.

    Smitty of the North
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    Well, It's not that rare. There's probably a dozen people that are on this forum frequently that shoot and load for the 350Rem myself included. I don't use the Barnes bullet though. I do have a case that has been cut to use for finding maximum oal. Or if you want, bring over the gun and a bullet that you want to use and I'll show you how to find oal. I live in Chugiak. Send me a PM if interested.

  9. #9
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    Jensen41455

    Lot of good people on here. Update your location info and someone will help you get started if you're in the area. Reloading brings hours of pleasure and moments of confusion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Listen to Doug:

    The important thing is to KNOW, that your bullet, in a completed round, is not touching the lands. There are lots of ways to determine the Length to the Lands, and reportedly, the way he mentioned is a good one.

    When you learn the Length to the lands, you should seat the bullet deeper than that, maybe .030 off the lands, and that is the OAL for your load.

    You should READ AGAIN, in your loading manual, as to how to set your Cartridge Over All Length. (OAL) This is a very important thing, and you shouldn't be handloading without understanding it.

    I wouldn’t set OAL by magazine length, unless I knew, it would result in a length shorter than one that would contact the lands.

    I wouldn’t use the OAL found in the loading data either, because your rifle chamber could be very different than the one used to obtain the data.

    I wouldn’t use a factory round to set the OAL because your bullet may be different too.

    I can give an example of why it’s wise to seat your bullet according to your rifle chamber. It is not a given, that you would run into a situation like I’ve described, but I was looking at 7mm RM loading data, and all the loads had an OAL of 3.290, which is the Industry Max OAL for that Cartridge. If I had loaded the particular bullet to that length, they would have been too long for the short throat of my rifle.

    When I chambered a round, the bullet would have been pushed back into the case, very probably resulting in dangerous pressure, due to less capacity for the powder charge, and other stuff.

    Smitty of the North
    The guns I have had built (my wildcats) all have freebore so I do have the luxuary of going off what the magazine box will allow me.

  11. #11

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    I live in Wasilla. I've been wanting to get in to reloading now for a few years but have never had anyone to "show me the ropes". I decided to just try and tackle the project myself but have found reading instructions to be a little confusing at times. Reading and watching are two different things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jensen41455 View Post
    I live in Wasilla. I've been wanting to get in to reloading now for a few years but have never had anyone to "show me the ropes". I decided to just try and tackle the project myself but have found reading instructions to be a little confusing at times. Reading and watching are two different things.
    I live in Wasilla too.

    Instructions can be confusing, alright.

    Which Handloading Manual are you using?

    Smitty of the North
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    Quote Originally Posted by 323 View Post
    The guns I have had built (my wildcats) all have freebore so I do have the luxuary of going off what the magazine box will allow me.
    I have a 7mm Weatherby Magnum, MK V, and it has Freebore.

    If I seat to have the bullet touch the lands, it's so long that a loaded round won't extract from the action. I set the OAL to the TIP, to 3.360, which is the Industry Max OAL.

    I understand that due to action length, and throat lengths, there are situations where the magazine length is the limiting factor, as to how far out, you can seat bullets.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    Member Doug in Alaska's Avatar
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    I also live in Wasilla. Send me a PM; you are more than welcome to come out to the house and check-out my set up. I've been reloading since I was 10 years old and I'm now 52. I still have a lot to learn and I'm not claiming to be an expert but I'm willing to share what I know. I don't have dies for the .350 Rem Mag but if you have them, bring them out and well roll a few. Otherwise, I've always got a batch of brass ready to be loaded.
    Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

  15. #15

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    I'm currently using the Lyman manual. They don't really have a whole lot in there for this caliber, but it had a bunch of stuff on calibers that I plan on reloading in the future. I've glanced through a few others and have spent a lot of time behind the computer, but I'm always leary about what I read that other people are doing on the internet.

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    I have both Lyman manuals 47th and 49th.

    Neither of them tell much about how to determine seating depth. They’re instructions are contrary to some of my beliefs too. I'm gonna stop recommending that manual.

    The following is concocted from another post.

    There are various ways to determine the OAL to the lands in your particular rifle without using one of the special tools, and they may work the best, too.

    You can seat a bullet long and chamber it, and the bullet seats against the lands, and can be measured, IF IT DIDN'T MOVE on ya. Most people have some way of making the bullet loose enough to move in the neck when the round is chambered, and tight enough so it won't stick in the barrel and lengthen when you take it out. I size a small portion of the neck. Some people split a sized case neck. (The way that Doug mentioned.)

    I sometimes size a tiny portion of the neck to hold the bullet with a little tension. On occasion, I’ve even used a fired case without any sizing, IF the bullet fits tight enough.

    Reportedly, some smoke the bullet or use a Sharpie on it, trying different seating depths until they can barely see marks from the lands on the bullet.

    “A SIMPLE way, I’ve been using of late, is to put a bullet in the chamber, and hold it there. (With a Pencil, if you have a Bolt Action rifle.

    Put a wooden dowel down the barrel to touch the bullet, and mark the dowel at the end of the barrel with a knife. Then take the bullet out, and close the bolt and push the dowel against the bolt, and mark it again.

    The Max OAL for (a cartridge with) this bullet is the distance between the marks. You can measure that with a Dial Caliper”.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  17. #17

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    That is a pretty simple way. I just picked up another rifle today that I'll be relaoding for eventually as well so I can definitely use all the help I can get.

    Smitty, I see farther down you said you have a Weatherby Mark V in a 7mm Weatherby Mag...... How do you like that rifle? I just picked up a Weatherby Mark V Accumark in a .338-06 for dirt cheap and figured if I didn't like it I could make a profit on it easy, but I'm hoping I like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jensen41455 View Post
    That is a pretty simple way. I just picked up another rifle today that I'll be relaoding for eventually as well so I can definitely use all the help I can get.

    Smitty, I see farther down you said you have a Weatherby Mark V in a 7mm Weatherby Mag...... How do you like that rifle? I just picked up a Weatherby Mark V Accumark in a .338-06 for dirt cheap and figured if I didn't like it I could make a profit on it easy, but I'm hoping I like it.
    I like it Mighty Fine.

    While the 7mm Weatherby Mag. may be the least popular of the Weatherby cartridges, it's my favorite. I don't have any other Weatherby rifles. This gun is SS, and has a black Synthetic stock, so it's pretty rugged.

    It's accurate, and powerful, and pleasant to shoot because of the 26" barrel. The Weatherby stock design fits me very well, too.

    Factory loads are about $75.00 a box, so I've never bought any. I got 100 cases and handload for it. Load developement, was a dream. I decided on a load, with H1000 and 160 grain Nosler Partition, tested it to be accurate, chronoed it for 3000 fps, and used it for caribou hunting for 4 years.

    I made another 100 cases from 7mm Rem. Mag. brass, for experimenting, with other loads.

    The only downside, for some, might be the weight. Complete with Scope, Mounts, Sling, and 3 rounds in the magazine, it weighs 10 lbs on my wife's Food Scale.

    I've had it a while, and I'm still excited about it.

    I think that a 338-06 is a great cartridge.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  19. #19

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    “A SIMPLE way, I’ve been using of late, is to put a bullet in the chamber, and hold it there. (With a Pencil, if you have a Bolt Action rifle.

    Put a wooden dowel down the barrel to touch the bullet, and mark the dowel at the end of the barrel with a knife. Then take the bullet out, and close the bolt and push the dowel against the bolt, and mark it again.

    The Max OAL for (a cartridge with) this bullet is the distance between the marks. You can measure that with a Dial Caliper”.

    Smitty of the North


    I have always used this method. Tried a col gauge but didn't like it. Regardless, you absolutely have to measure your COAL (cartridge overall length) touching the lands, so that you can ensure that you are not touching or jamming the lands and inviting dangerous pressure with your loaded ammo. IMHO you just can't guess based on magazine length or manual data.

  20. #20

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    Ya I'm gonna try this as soon as I get a little bit of free time. Work has been getting in the way of real life so not much time in the last couple days to do any loading.

    As far as the 338-06 goes, the one apealing factor to me is the fact that 06 cases can be found pretty easy and it's not a belted cartridge so the brass should last a lot longer. I love my 350, but I've only found brass on Midway (always out of stock) and factory Remington ammo is now at $50.00 a box and it's nothing special by any means.

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