Reloading Manual Question

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by jpg5324, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. jpg5324

    jpg5324 Member

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    I have a Lyman 49th ed., I have read it cover to cover (several times).
    My question is..for example, page 354 (38 special), 158gr Jacket HP..under that 1.480"OAL (is this the MINUMUM length for this Cartridge with that bullet???...across from that, BC: .206 and SD: .177 (what are these Dimensions???).

    Thanks:confused:
  2. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    O.A.L.= Overall Length which is the length of the bullet after it is to completion. Hornady and other companies refer to it as C.O.L, which means Correct Overall Length.

    B.C.= Ballistic Coefficient. I will direct you to Wikipedia and sources of that nature for the explanation. For reloading purposes I never pay attention to it.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
  3. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    NO, it is neither a Minimum or a Maximum, it is simply the OAL (Overall Length)/COL( Cartridge Overall Length) that was used when they did their testing. It has little to do with the handloader and how he tailors a round to Fit-Feed-Fire in his or her firearm. In fact some manuals do not even list an OAL/COL in their data it is that unimportant to your specific firearm.

    Find the best OAL/COl that works in YOUR firearm and Start low and work up.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
  4. oldgunfan

    oldgunfan Member

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    SD is (sectional density) A bullet's weight in pounds divided by the square of it's diameter in inches. or it's weight per cross-sectional area. I my be wrong but I think that is the balance of the bullet. I'm sure L.D. or J.L.A can set us strait. :):)
  5. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    You are right about that which is why I seat the bullet as close to the C.O.L. as I can but as long as I am in the cannelure that is fine.
  6. oldgunfan

    oldgunfan Member

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    Just to add to that if it's an semi-auto you should put it at the forward part of the cannelure, if it's a revolver put it at the rear most part of the cannelure.
  7. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    Correct, each bullet weight data column provides an OAL which should be read as "do not seat bullet shorter than"
  8. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    I respectfully disagree.

    OAL is ALWAYS bullet & gun specific, regardless of what the manual says. The bullet has to fit your gun. If you are loading shorter than published OAL, then you need to reduce your charge wt to compensate for the shorter length. If using starting data, shorter OAL doesn't matter as much. If working to the top end, everything matters.
  9. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    jpg5324:

    If you have never reloaded before and want to do it successfully from the start then use the reloading manual as a recipe. That is, follow it exactly: Same bullet, same powder, same primer, same dimensions for Cartridge Overall Length (COL).

    In the beginning there is too much to learn. Deviating from the "recipes" might get you in trouble. As time goes by and you start reading everything reloading and produce some good reloads, you'll increase your knowledge to the point where you can change up some the recipe without hurting yourself or the gun.

    When we reload cartridge the pressures vary from less than 15,000 psi to over 60,000 psi. If that pressure gets out of the cartridge other than out the muzzle of the gun, it can and may do some serious damage to you and the gun. BE SAFE. Follow the reloading manuals exactly in the beginning and use the starting loads and not more than midway between the starting load and max load of powder as you progress in reloading. Success in reloading is more important than bragging rights for a hot reload.

    SD and BC are used to mathematically determine the performance of the bullet. SD measures indicates the slimness for a given mass of the bullet. BC measure indicates its aerodynamics or ability to move through the air. Neither serves you any purpose at this point.

    LDBennett
  10. carver

    carver Moderator

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    The ballistic coefficient (BC) of a body is a measure of its ability to overcome air resistance in flight. It can be very important to what you are trying to achieve, especially in long range shooting! Doesn't mean anything to the beginner.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  11. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    Just remember, to be safe, the deeper you seat
    the projectile [in a given recipe] the more you
    increase the internal pressure.
    OAL [COL] can be very critical in the way a round feeds
    in a semi-auto, yet not hardly any issue in a revolver.
    The info in the manual is a 'test' round that has a very
    specific recipe, including what the round was fired in,
    and deemed 'safe' for modern arms in good shape.
    Seating, crimping, primer, powder, OAL, style and length
    of barrel, etc. were all directly related to the results.
  12. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    As most handloaders know this is impossible, it is impossible to follow load data exactly as there are to many variables, lot to lot variations in both powder and primers, different Test barrels/firearms used, temperature, altitude and even the manuals themselves.

    For example here is the OAL for the 158gr XTP in 38 special.
    Hodgdon=1.455

    Lyman 48=1.480

    Hornady#7=1.450

    Ramshot=1.434

    Accurate=1.455

    Powder charges will also vary making a "Recipe" impossible.
    Hornady #7, 158gr XTP, Power Pistol=4.4gr-6.0gr at 1.450 inches.

    Lyman 48, 158gr XTP, Power Pistol=4.3gr-4.8gr at 1.480 inches.

    Note: the Hornady manual lists a "Shorter" OAL but a much high max powder charge than the longer Lyman data. Both cannot be a "Recipe" for your gun. One or both of them have to be wrong.

    The worst thing a beginning handloader can do is treat load data as gospel or a "recipe". Doing so assumes that published data will be safe in your firearms. Every manual will explain that load data is only a Guideline and must be treated as such. If it were a "recipe" then data would not vary from manual to manual and firearm to firearm.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  13. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Both of them are correct! Reloading manuals varry in that the load they publish is never minimum, or maximum. They have no idea what you will be shooting the load in, and they have no idea how accurate your measurements will be for powder, OAL, or the condition of your brass. They will not publish anything that will get you in trouble! They don't want to be sued! What they do publish is a "recipe" that will be safe in anything except a broke, or damaged gun! I would not hesitate to shoot the Hornady #7, 158gr XTP, Power Pistol load at 6.0grs, in a modern, well functioning, gun.
  14. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Ahh, but which one is the "Recipe" the OP should follow "to the letter"? Can't follow them both as they are completely different. Flip a coin?
  15. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    Why ,why, why do we gotta go HERE.....again ??? :(
  16. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    steve4102:

    While reloading manuals vary, the safest thing for a new reloader is to follow one, any one, exactly. Allowing a person, newly to reloading, the flexibility to vary only invites a mistake. We are not optimizing a load for a particular gun but getting his feet wet and doing it totally safely.

    I did not suggest that he use the same gun or barrel or even case as the recipe calls out but only:

    "Same bullet, same powder, same primer, same dimensions for Cartridge Overall Length (COL)"

    Deviations from the recipes lies in the future of the new reloader and should not be suggest as a starting point as a new reloader has no idea what is sensitive and could cause a serious problem. I personally will not take the legal responsibility to recommend anything different. Now if you want to take on that responsibility be my guest and be sure to give the new reloader your name and address so his lawyer can contact you if there is a problem.

    Reloading if done wrong can be dangerous. Reloading manual publishers list recipes known to be safe in most any gun or they might be held legally responsible for any blowup. BE SAFE!

    LDBennett
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  17. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Flip a coin would work, but, at my house I only have a few different powders on hand. If I want to reload, I check the manual for the recipe provided for the powders that I have on hand. If you asked me for a recipe for a .45ACP round, I would give you something from the AA reloading manual, because that's the powder I use for .45APC. If you have a specific bullet weight, say 230gr FMJ, then you would get:
    AA No.2, 230gr SIE FMJ, 4.6grs min, @ 769fps, to 5.4grs, max, @ 881fps, max load = 20,800psi, 1.250 col, or you could get:
    AA No.5, 230gr NOS FMJ, 7.8grs, @ 816fps, 8.7grs, @ 927fps, max load = 19,300psi, 1.250 col.

    When I started reloading I wanted cheap, so I could shoot more. I didn't really care what powder gave the best results in the .44 Mag Ruger Black Hawk. I knew I couldn't shoot the gun as well as a master shooter, so accuracy wasn't the goal, it was shoot more for less money! I still use that principle today!
  18. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    carver:

    Are you new to reloading? The poster is. The poster needs to work in some confinement to assure no problems and reasonable results. I too would flip a coin as to which manual to use but also suggest starting loads and keep to the recipe listed there.

    All the variability suggested by others here is perfectly good recommendations for a reloader with some experience but not for someone who is new to reloading. We should not be recommending anything that could even possibly get that new reloader into trouble (down playing the exact recipe gives him the freedom to make a serious mistake). The manual publishers risk law suits so you can be sure their recipes are safe, extra safe, when the starting loads are used.

    It is wise to explain that some variability is allowed but not in the first reloads from the new reloader.

    This is my opinion and others obviously have a different outlook on safety than me. The new reloaders can decide for themselves. I only offer what I think to be safe.

    LDBennett
  19. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    You are disagreeing with lab tested inoformation published in the Lyman 49th reloading manual, I'm not offended. Although I'm interested why you would try to lead a new reloader in a direction away from the guidlines of safety and lab tested information.

    +1

    +2
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  20. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    The tested information was not tested in the OP's firearm. The Tested OAL may not function correctly in the OP's firearm. Although this is less of a issue in a revolver, it is a huge issue in a semi-auto. First and foremost the handloaded ammo has to Fit-Feed-Fire. After all, if it does not fit-feed and fire there is no need to worry about pressures is there.
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