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OK guys I have yet another newbie question. Loading is for 30-06. 150 gn Hornady BTSP. From reading here I have learned to start a bullet into an empty case and chamber it in the rifle to determine OAL. My Winchester 70 came out 3.224, My Ruger M77 MKII came out 3.233, my Remington 700 came out 3.337. My Lee manual calls for 3.3-3.4, the few I loaded before checking are 3.252. These loads chamber fine even in the Winchester that checked 3.224 but there does seem to be some really light marks where I assume the bullet is touching the lands. Question is what length should I use in each rifle? Is there a better way to check for OAL? I would like to use one length for the M70 and M77 if possible. The M700 I know is a good bit longer so I will load for it seperate. I haven't got to test fire any rounds yet since it is raining to the point of flooding in my area and has been for several days. Thanks in advance for the help.
They should just leave the OLL data out of the book's. What work's in one rifle doesn't necessarily work in another. What you really need to do is measure your own chamber. Now measuring to the point of the bullet will get you close but it's not consistent. To be right you need to measure to the bullet ogive which means you need one of those deals from Sinclair that clamps onto your calipers. That is really nice for target work but most of us only want good hunting or varmit loads. For that you really don't need it.
I've never owned one of those things, but have considered it. I've tried about every method around to figure out that dimention and have had very poor luck with most. Either I'd stick the bullet in the lands and pull it or I'd run the case in and the damn bullet would fall out removing the case. What I do now is to remove the bolt and drop a bullet into the chamber. Then with a new pencil, hold the bullet in the lands while inserting a cleaning rod in the barrel. There's a flat tip on the jag so that the tip of the bullet will stop it. When it stop's, mark the cleaning rod right at the barrel. Then remove the bullet and put the bolt back in and close the action. Run the cleaning rod in again and this time the bolt face will stop it. Again mark the cleaning rod. Now take your caliper's and measure the distence between the mark's. That's gonna be awful close to OLL for YOUR rifle. But the bullet's some times vary just a bit in length, very little. So load up a round like that and try it in your rifle. Should work and just touch the lands. After you've loaded up a box, run all of them thru the chamber. Find even one that sticks a bit to the lands, screw in the seater plug just a bit and re-seat that bullet till the action closes easily. Once it does, re-seat every other bullet in the box. Keep that OLL and use it with that bullet in that rifle every time, if it shoots well. Or experiment with seating depth but keep it wrote down where the best accuray occured and use that every time after that.
Keep in mind that ALL the data in a reloading manual is really only about the rifle that the loads were tested in on the day they were tested. Your max loads may vary, either higher or lower. And so may your OLL.
Last edited on Mon Sep 21st, 2009 08:54 PM by Don Fischer
____________________ I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!
I own or have tried all the methods and tools available for finding the MAX OAL to the lands. Have reverted back to the old "rod" method described by Mr. Fisher. Except I use a wood dowel rod instead of a cleaning rod and make small knife marks exactly across the muzzle. It's as accurate as any other, better than some, quick, easy, inexpensive.
It need NOT be accurate to a half gnats azz anyway. I find my best seating to run from .030" to as much as .200" off the lands. So, all I need is a close approximation that I can then use with my other tools to read off the ogive at the seated length I wish to use. Precison duplication of the optimum depth found by experimentation on targets is the key to seating correctly.