Determining rifle specific COAL

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by JLA, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Just thinkin this would be useful to our reloaders here. Steve does well to post it when the subject arises, in fact I saved his file off a thread he posted it in a long while ago. Very useful method of obtianing bullet jam for your specific rifle with a specific bullet.

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  2. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Thanks for posting that Josh. It's understandably difficult for handloaders to understand that OAL is rifle specific and not manual specific, most manuals are very vague on the subjuct . Nosler does a good job, but many new and old timers alike are still confused as to what OAL is all about and how the handloader can taylor his or her round to fit a specific chamber.

    Now, lets do handgun rounds, specifically semi-auto handguns that headspace on the case mouth. How about a thread/post on how to determine proper OAL for feed/function and pressure in a straight walled pistol round. IMO, OAL in a straight walled pistol round is more of a PIA to figure out than a simple rifle round. Yet, many handgun loaders use the OAL listed in the manual and then have FTF, FTE etc., not knowing that OAL is pistol specific and not manual specific.
  3. Caneman

    Caneman Active Member

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    i would like to learn about this as well...
  4. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    I like my stony point (AKA Hornady LNL cartridge OAL)....
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Sounds good to me steve, fire up a thread like this one and post that chart you have with the 1911 barrels showing the cartridge depth in the chamber. I dont have that one saved.

    FInding the OAL the weapon likes is the single most important part of trouble free reloading IMO.
  6. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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  7. dbach

    dbach Member

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    yup, thats it. Thanks ... I needed that.
  8. merbeau

    merbeau New Member

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    For my handgun loads I used the barrel method for obtaining the proper seating depth.

    Step 1. First step is to obtain the brass that you will be using
    Step 2. Obtain the bullet you want to use.
    Step 3. Resize your brass
    Step 4. Disassemble your handgun and insert your resized blank case into the barrel chamber and note the distance on the head. See first figure.
    Step 5. Seat bullet in increments into the case until it measures the same as the unfired brass. See second figure.
    Step 6. Measure you OAL to make sure it conforms to the published values.

    I have used this technique on my Smith Wesson 52, Smith Wesson 952 and Smith Wesson 945 with success.

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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I like that barrel holder merbeau. ;)
  10. merbeau

    merbeau New Member

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    The barrel holder is part of a Weatherby stock that was cut off a 20 ga shotgun when I was setting up a skeet gun for my wife. It really has come in handy for several odds and ends uses. The ironic part is after skeet shooting I took her to the pistol range and she fell in love with my SW 52 and has become rather proficient with and likes Bullseye (at least shooting the 22 and 38 but not the 45). I can always use the shortened stock shotgun to have for my grandchidren to learn from as they grow older.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
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