Max cartridge length in bolt action rifles?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by elkhntr, Sep 14, 2003.

  1. elkhntr

    elkhntr New Member

    Sep 14, 2003
    I am new to reloading, and need some clarification on max cartridge length. I shoot a Savage Model 116 in 300 Winchester Mag. My reloading manual states that max cartridge length is 3.340 inches. I use Barnes bullets and they recommend seating the bullet .05 off the rifling. In my rifle I can seat bullets at 3.368 without touching the rifling. I turned the die down one turn at a time until I could close the bolt, then blacked the bullet to make sure It's not touching the rifling. Can bullets be seated over the max cartridge lenght in a bolt action rifle and still be safe (assuming they dont touch the rifling)?:confused:
  2. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Max OAL is usually there to provide you with the SAAMI standard for the cartridge. A bolt action can be +/- this due to manufacturing tolerances. If you go over max OAL and the cartridge still chambers easily, make sure that it fits in the magazine. If it fits, then there should be no problem.

    Welcome to TFF elkhntr, glad to have you aboard!
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2003

  3. elkhntr

    elkhntr New Member

    Sep 14, 2003

    Thank you for the reply. I assumed this was the case, but assumptions are never a good idea while reloading. Thanks again.
  4. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    Welome to TFF, elkhntr. :) :) :)

    Hope you will join us often and post often. We have a real congenial bunch of knuckleheads here and they are all very knowledgable to boot.
  5. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location
    Re: thanks


    Good to have you aboard.
  6. misiu

    misiu New Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    British Columbia
    Overall length

    Welcome to TFF:

    Like your handle-I am also an avid elk hunter (been fortunate enough to harvest 15 over the years and hopefully am not done yet) My response to your question is basically the same as above-the max overall length is usually determined based on 2 criteria- the first being able to chamber properly ( and you have addressed that area) and the second is seating in the magazine. Do not forget that even though the cartridges may fit in the magazine they may be so tight that they don't feed properly and also (especially with a 300 Win Mag-which I have owned for over 30 years) if you are using lead tipped bullets the recoil will flatten them out substantially and thus reduce accuracy and balistic coefficient.

    Remember there are no dumb questions-just dumb answers-keep asking and we will do our best to help.

    Best regards:
  7. shooter22

    shooter22 Guest

    The only problem is that if the seating depth is a bit longerr than the reccommended depth is that the pressure could change a little due to more area in the case. Also how much the case is holding the bullet. Just keep a look out for signs of excess pressure. Also if you have a chrony, check for pressure drops.

    Otherwise, if it fits in the magazine, and chambers ok, go for it.
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