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Thread: New Load Work, COAL, where to start ?

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default New Load Work, COAL, where to start ?

    I'm working on a new bullet, Hornady 150gr SST Interlock for .270wsm
    wanting to learn more about the COAL affect, this winter,

    So, where do I start for the OAL with these stats in mind?
    my rifle has a long throat, much longer than the Magazine so seating to the lands is a non issue,
    The Max magazine length is 2.93,
    the Book has a COAL of 2.785, which buries the bullet way deep, (.675 inside the neck)

    total bullet length is 1.367
    If I just go Max Mag length I have .53 of the bullet inside the case neck.

    So where do you guys start with something like this, at the book recommended length, or somewhere in between?

    Only reason I am not necessarily going Max Mag length is that I see the tips of other bullets slightly deformed by the recoil against the front of the Magazine when firing with full mag while hunting, so I am interested in going deeper, since I'm so far from the lands anyway and having no problems achieving good accuracy with "Jump to the lands," on many other bullets
    Advice ? Thanks

    These Interlocks do have a plastic (or polymer or something) tip so maybe they'll ride out at max mag fine?
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    kodiakrain,

    Opinions are like behinds, we all have one.

    With your example if it was dropped in my hands I would start at .050 short of the max magazine as long as I had at least .270 of the non boat tail portion in the neck and no lands interference.

    I would then start with a preferred powder obtained by looking at a variety of resources. I would start at the low charge setting and come up in .7gr increments. It has been my experience that two charges in sequence will print better groups than the others. I then load a test batch at a charge in between those two so a +/-.1gr variation won't be an issue in future loads with that powder since you have already saw two good groups with a .7gr spread.

    If more accuracy is desired take the lower of those two charges and adjust seating depths in .020 variations. Once a good one is found go .010 each side of it and you will have a winner.

    Just my .02

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    I'm working on a new bullet, Hornady 150gr SST Interlock for .270wsm
    wanting to learn more about the COAL affect, this winter,

    So, where do I start for the OAL with these stats in mind?
    my rifle has a long throat, much longer than the Magazine so seating to the lands is a non issue,
    The Max magazine length is 2.93,
    the Book has a COAL of 2.785, which buries the bullet way deep, (.675 inside the neck)

    total bullet length is 1.367
    If I just go Max Mag length I have .53 of the bullet inside the case neck.

    So where do you guys start with something like this, at the book recommended length, or somewhere in between?

    Only reason I am not necessarily going Max Mag length is that I see the tips of other bullets slightly deformed by the recoil against the front of the Magazine when firing with full mag while hunting, so I am interested in going deeper, since I'm so far from the lands anyway and having no problems achieving good accuracy with "Jump to the lands," on many other bullets
    Advice ? Thanks

    These Interlocks do have a plastic (or polymer or something) tip so maybe they'll ride out at max mag fine?
    I do not worry too much about how much bullet is in the case. For years it seems the rule of thumb is one caliber of bullet in the case for proper tension. I've no idea how that arbitrary rule came about, but I'd file it alongside the innumerable wives tales I've heard. Proper and consistent neck tension is a real concern with accurate ammunition, but in a factory chambered rifle this is normally not a problem. So long as the bullet is not moving in the case during recoil I'm happy. I've found neck tension is more problematic as the caliber increases, especially in cartridges .358 and above. The increased bullet weight & recoil certainly enhances the tendency for the bullet to walk in the case and I tend to crimp all of these cartridges to prevent walking and increase reliability. I've never experienced this in smaller calibers.

    I'd load the SSTs as long as they will function 100% reliably and make good with the extra powder space. I do not think you can damage the tips of the SSTs sufficiently to cause accuracy issues--the base of the bullet is much more important for accuracy especially at ranges under 4-500 yards.

    Just for conversation sake, I've loaded competition rifles with less than .15 bullet (.284 & .308 caliber) in the neck while chasing the lands in well worn barrels. So loaded, those rifles produced groups equal to any in their past. Sufficient and consistent tension is necessary, but once you have enough that's all you need.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    I use the Hornady throat gauge to determine my throat and work from there

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the replies,
    I do have a Hornady gauge and have found the lands for several bullets of similar length, it's way out there, like 3.16 or something, as my Magazine max is 2.93 and I am working hunting loads exclusively, I have to decide between the book recommendation,(that's a minimum I imagine) and the magazine length maximum. The Lands is not an option for this rifle.

    So my main question, if you are not near compressing loads, have plenty of cartridge space for the powder, as a rule, "should I always seat Longer" out to what it takes to get a good Neck Tension?

    I know I'm probably opening a can of worms, just trying to understand the effect that a deeply seated bullet has versus one that is just barely (as in .27" bullet width) inside the neck.
    I would imagine, the longer seated bullet is launched cleaner than one that has the neck wrapped around the middle of the bullet.
    Just imagining but it seems you'd always want to go longer towards the throat, rather than deeper in the cartridge.
    Less "Jump to the Lands" is better ?
    Ideas on that concept are where I'm at.
    Again thanks Loads
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    I use the Hornady throat gauge to determine my throat and work from there
    Since the OP stated that his rifle has a very long throat, and that his loaded cartridge length is limited by the magazine length, that method will only work if he plans on loading only one at a time.

    Kodiakrain: You said that you had pretty good accuracy with other loads [at factory length]. I certainly wouldn't want to create any loading or chambering issues just to try to get a little better performance by extending the cartridge to the maximum possible length. But, if I was going to do it, I'd make up a set of dummy rounds just shy of the magazine length and spend some time loading and chambering a full magazine. If you have ANY issues loading, or have ANY feed problems, shorten 'em up a bit and try again. Once you've found a length that you're confident won't have any issues either loading or chambering, you have found your new max cartridge length. Then, split the difference with as many increments as you want, and test various lengths to your heart's content. If you want, you can stick a dummy round (of the same length) in the bottom of the magazine as you're doing your testing. That way, you'll be able to see if there's any significant tip deformation you need to be worried about at that particular length.
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
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    Since the OP stated that his rifle has a very long throat, and that his loaded cartridge length is limited by the magazine length, that method will only work if he plans on loading only one at a time.
    Correct. Since he has measured and will not reach the lands in view of mag limitations, then he should "load for the mag". My rule of thumb is is 10 off, so if his mag is 2.93, he should load to 2.80.

    Kodiak, if you post your load, I can QL the various legnths for you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    Correct. Since he has measured and will not reach the lands in view of mag limitations, then he should "load for the mag". My rule of thumb is is 10 off, so if his mag is 2.93, he should load to 2.80.
    I'm not a math genius Ken, but I can't determine how 2.93 becomes 2.80 following your rule of thumb of "10 off." I think that .010 is sufficient to function in most magazines, but that makes 2.92. Or perhaps you allow .100 in the magazine box for an OAL of 2.83. IMO .130 is unnecessary clearance in the magazine. I'd probably load 2.92; if there is an issue with functioning I'd decrease length incrementally until the issue is resolved.
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    I'm not a math genius Ken, but I can't determine how 2.93 becomes 2.80 following your rule of thumb of "10 off."
    You forgot to make allowance for ken cant type (especially when he is multitasking)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    You forgot to make allowance for ken cant type (especially when he is multitasking)
    No harm, no foul. You really need to get some training on how to answer three phone calls at once while responding to a half dozen emails in the midst of your in-house duties Ken. I guess from someone else it wouldn't matter as much, but I simply expect more from you...
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    I think that .010 is sufficient to function in most magazines,
    I agree, I tried .010 short of max magazine with my 338 Lapua and it loads fine. However, it won't feed at that length.

    I'm at .050 short of max magazine for reliable feeding and .015 off the lands with single loads for best accuracy.

    By the way, in my example the long load uses .4gr less powder to achieve the same speed and shoots better groups with an improved ES.

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    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    **Thread hijack alert**

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    ... By the way, in my example the long load uses .4gr less powder to achieve the same speed and shoots better groups with an improved ES.
    That may explain why I had problems with my E-Tip load work-up in the .270 a couple of weeks ago... I loaded 'em WAY longer than factory (at least .25 longer ... that Remington sure has a looooong throat) and still had .07 to the lands (Nosler recommends .1 to .05 off the lands for the E-tip). I had my best (although not great) groups at my starting load, and as I worked up, the "groups" started looking more and more like "patterns". Maybe I should either lower the powder charge a little, or seat the bullet deeper and give it another try. The problem I see with using less powder is that I'm afraid that there would be too much air space. ... Sure wish I had a chrony...

    By the way, what does the term "ES" refer to in the above quote?
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod in Wasilla View Post
    Sure wish I had a chrony...
    Without a chronograph, handloading is a lot like shooting in the dark.

    By the way, what does the term "ES" refer to in the above quote?
    Extreme Spread--the amount of variation between the fastest and slowest shots fired in the string.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Rod,

    ES is extreme spread. It's the difference between the slowest and the fastest round in the test string with equal charges. It's a way to evaluate your load consistency. A wide ES will not show up as a poor group at close range but groups with large ES's will get worse at long range. For example, a 308 shooting at 2600fps - 2650fps will have a .25" difference in trajectory at 200 yards with 100 yard zero's but a 3" difference at 500 yards. If your trying to group this rifle at long range your ES better be in the single digits.

    Sorry Cor, I was typing while your post answered.

    Rod, PM me about your loading issues. I'll give you my cell number and a few ideas. I've had very good results with E-Tips lately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    Without a chronograph, handloading is a lot like shooting in the dark. Sure, but what good is shooting fast if you can't shoot tight? Besides, I'm just starting this crazy new hobby and I can't buy all the fancy toys at once, right?

    Extreme Spread--the amount of variation between the fastest and slowest shots fired in the string. Ahh, yes. I knew that. Just drew a blank when I read it. Thanks guys.
    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    Rod, PM me about your loading issues. I'll give you my cell number and a few ideas. I've had very good results with E-Tips lately. Thanks for the offer marshall. I'll check my notes and shoot you a PM in a day or two.
    **Hijack complete**
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    Kodiak, if you post your load, I can QL the various legnths for you
    Thanks for the offer Wild, at this point I am beginning the load work for this bullet, so have no load #'s to send beyond the entire spread of Min 55gr and Max 61 grains, I'm using H4831sc for this workup
    So am wondering at the very start, where to begin for length, I'll send you asap the best two loads when I refine to that point, it'll be a few weeks probably.


    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    I'd probably load 2.92; if there is an issue with functioning I'd decrease length incrementally until the issue is resolved.
    So to clarify, when I say Max mag length is 2.93 that is already .01 less than the magazine itself, I have had at least two loads working in the field succesfully at this length (160gr partition and 150gr Ballistic Silvertip) so I have already eliminated the potential for chambering problems,

    That being said, I was concerned about the Partition having the tips flattened a bit while riding in the Mag while firing the first shot in a hunt. Sounds like this may not affect accuracy enough to worry about ?

    The Ballistic Silvertip did not suffer any deformation, also did not get pushed back into the case. Tho I only fired one shot with the mag full. May have to recheck that but I don't remember any problems with those sitting at 2.93 (again that's .01 less than the magazine front wall) When at the range I never have a mag loaded, do you guys do that sometimes to see the affect of recoil on the softer tips like those of the Partition?

    So, sounds like I can stick with that as my COAL to start? 2.93
    Unless, (checking one more time that I am understanding this), you guys think I should go back to 2.88 or .05 from front of Mag to protect those tips ?
    If as 1 Cor 15 mentioned it's not going to affect accuracy much, and as Marshall mentions the extra space is an advantage (in that rifle anyway right?) then I'll go out to my max length to begin testing.

    Thanks for all the info, by the way, no problems with Hijacks on my end Rod, I'm learning from all of it

    One last comment/Question, the book recommended COAL in Hornady's book is the SAAMI Maximum? Just read that in their manual, I had thought that was maybe a starting pt. length or a minimum.
    I do understand how the book is info for every .270wsm out there so is not really applicable to my specific rifle, is that just a non issue then, the book COAL?
    I mentioned in the OP that book COAL is 2.785, and seats the bullet so far into the case it seems crazy, nearly half the bullet length is inside the case neck.
    So, If you have a long throat rifle, just go out as long as you can with enough bullet inside the case (.27 of non boattail part) to seat well, right?
    Again, I have plenty, at 2.93 OAL, there is .53 of this bullet, seated in the neck
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod in Wasilla View Post
    Sure, but what good is shooting fast if you can't shoot tight? Besides, I'm just starting this crazy new hobby and I can't buy all the fancy toys at once, right?
    There are toys and there are tools; IMO a chronograph is among the latter category. IME, contrary to popular opinion, accuracy is not at odds with velocity. In fact, I can't recall having to choose between velocity or accuracy in sporting rifles. YMMV.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    So to clarify, when I say Max mag length is 2.93 that is already .01 less than the magazine itself, I have had at least two loads working in the field succesfully at this length (160gr partition and 150gr Ballistic Silvertip) so I have already eliminated the potential for chambering problems.
    So you are saying your actual mag length is 2.94? Regardless, if it works I wouldn't change it. IMO long is not a problem so long as you do not run into either pressure or feeding issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    That being said, I was concerned about the Partition having the tips flattened a bit while riding in the Mag while firing the first shot in a hunt. Sounds like this may not affect accuracy enough to worry about?
    Flattened tips are not the red-headed step child that some make them out to be. For years and years shooters/hunters used these projectiles with nary a problem. I'm not arguing that there is no benefit to sleek pointed bullets, but in hunting rifles you'll get along fine even if the tips are deformed/flattened a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    When at the range I never have a mag loaded, do you guys do that sometimes to see the affect of recoil on the softer tips like those of the Partition?
    In a hunting rifle I think it is always wise to shoot from the magazine and to manipulate the bolt quickly after firing. IMO it helps to form good shooting technique by being ready for a second shot immediately. Firing from the magazine as often as possible also helps to insure that the rifle and ammunition are performing properly before you get that combination into the field. As a young hunter I had a rifle fail to feed in the field and I was unaware of any issue because I only loaded one round into the chamber at a time while working up hunting loads; it cost me a shot at a buck but I learned a valuable lesson. IMO hunting rifles should always be treated like hunting rifles and that means loading from the magazine and preparing for a follow-up shot after each round down range.

    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    One last comment/Question, the book recommended COAL in Hornady's book is the SAAMI Maximum? So, If you have a long throat rifle, just go out as long as you can with enough bullet inside the case (.27 of non boattail part) to seat well, right? Again, I have plenty, at 2.93 OAL, there is .53 of this bullet, seated in the neck
    If you load ammunition that is longer than SAAMI specs then it may or may not function properly in other 270 WSMs. If that is a concern then I'd load according to SAAMI maximum. For my part, when I load ammo for individual rifles I disregard SAAMI specs concerning COAL and tailor my cartridges to the specific rifle/chamber.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    KR: The published COAL is really a number only relevant to the manufacturers (or, I suppose, hand loaders who won't/can't measure throat length). It ensures that all manufactured ammunition will safely function in all firearms chambered for that round. Ammo manufacturers can't exceed that length, and firearm manufacturers can't make chambers shorter than that length.

    Every hand loader should determine the optimum overall length for the particular gun and bullet combination they are loading for, on a case by case basis. This includes (among other things) verifying that there is enough seating depth to ensure good alignment, sufficient neck tension, proper functioning through the magazine, and, ultimately, acceptable performance. So, yeah, published COAL is basically a non-issue for the hand loader.
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    So you are saying your actual mag length is 2.94? Regardless, if it works I wouldn't change it. IMO long is not a problem so long as you do not run into either pressure or feeding issues.

    Basically yes, 2.93 is what I call Max Mag because it is what I can work through the magazine with no feeding issues, just fits with little extra, works fine, so is Maximum Functioning Length for a cartridge.

    In a hunting rifle I think it is always wise to shoot from the magazine and to manipulate the bolt quickly after firing. IMO it helps to form good shooting technique by being ready for a second shot immediately. Firing from the magazine as often as possible also helps to insure that the rifle and ammunition are performing properly before you get that combination into the field. As a young hunter I had a rifle fail to feed in the field and I was unaware of any issue because I only loaded one round into the chamber at a time while working up hunting loads; it cost me a shot at a buck but I learned a valuable lesson. IMO hunting rifles should always be treated like hunting rifles and that means loading from the magazine and preparing for a follow-up shot after each round down range.
    This is really good advice, I had not really thought of since watching reloaders, slowly ejecting their brass at the range, just figured that was the thing to do, keep it clean, so I was going one at a time.
    Excellent point, recieved, I'll be changing that....

    Thanks also for the tip on Tips, I was figuring it may be a non issue but was a mental thing looking at the flattened tip, thinking too much

    Also I am loading for only one rifle, and I get the scoop on the SAAMI specs now, Thanks helps clear that all up
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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