Re: Case length and OACL
If you seat a bullet to less than the MAX Cartridge Overal Length (COL) you are pretty much assured the cartridge will fit any rifle. If you seat the bullets to the length listed individually for each bullet in the appropriate reloading manual then you are assured there is enough of the bullet in the case such that it will not easily fall out with relatively rough handling, especially if you crimp into a cannelure.
It is a fact that through testing and adjustment of the COL you may increase the accuracy somewhat. But for hunting there is only one COL that is right and that is the one listed by the bullet manufacture. That is because reliability trumps super accuracy. When bullets are seated to almost touch the rifling they can be, for some guns, poorly supported by the neck of the case as very little of that bullet is in the case. Any rough handling like you would do hunting might have the bullets falling out. If you are target shooting in controlled conditions the fragility of the cartridges is not much of an issue.
You obviously are a successful hunter. Just keep reloading the way you did to get that success. Save bullet seating experiments for a target rifle and understand that some guns just can not handle bullets seated to the rifling because they have a particularly long chamber. No two guns will have the same length to the rifling and each gun has to be measured to determine what COL gives a bullet near the rifling. Even if you are able to get to a COL that allows that, it may not be the most accurate seating depth. Some guns like a good run to the rifling. Some guns might like as much as 0.050 inches to the rifling (??). Other like the bullet to almost touch the rifling. Others still like something in between (??). Only testing will find that out.
Just keep doing what you have been successful with all these years for hunting ammo. You got it nailed....don't screw it up with too much thinking.