OAL Question on 223

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by gsewell, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. gsewell

    gsewell New Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Yesterday I went to the local Cabela's and purchased the Hornady OAL Gauge. This is the tool that allows you to insert the test case into the breach, and by using a flexible cable, move the bullet up next to the rifling in the chamber. In other articles I have read, this is the best place to set your OAL.

    Now first, I have a new Colt LE6920 AR15, so the amount of wear is not an issue. After following the instructions of inserting the gauge into the gun, the measurements I got were eye opening: The measured OAL was 2.38 inches, and at that length the 55 grain FMJ-BT bullet was just inside the case!! I have tried it many times and get the same results.

    So, has anyone else used this tool, and what were the results?
  2. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Your rifle has excessive free bore. AR 15 rifles will not function from the magazine with cartridges that are longer than 2.26 inches. Your best bet is to seat to nominal OAL, crimp your bullets, and hope for the best.

    Seating to just off the lands is best for bolt guns since they can be operated more easily in single shot and are more generous in the magazine length. You can indeed operate an AR single shot but its a pain in the arse

  3. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
    +1, seat so the round fits into the Mag and cycles properly. Seating out to the lands does not always produce the best accuracy. Here is an article by Barnes on OAL and accuracy. Scroll down to "From the Lab". You will see that most rifles have more than one OAL sweet spot, one close to the lands and one much shorter.

  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    My AR-15 shoots best with a COAL of 2.200, My Father in law shoots the same load combination I shoot from his AR except his uses a tad more powder and a COAL of 2.250. Both guns will shoot 3/4 MOA with their loads, if we switch, both groups go to pot... Just one example of how certain guns, although they are of the same design and fire the same caliber, can be choosy of the ammo they shoot well.;)
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