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The Elusive OAL
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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MacD
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:47 am    Post subject: The Elusive OAL Reply with quote

While doing some research I stumbled upon this drawing. Thought I would share with due credit to "Unclenik" the originator. This is for lead bullets but is a good way to also set max OAL in a barrel for other types.



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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:41 am    Post subject: Re: The Elusive OAL Reply with quote

Nothing wrong with headspacing on the bullet (lead of course) as long as loads are kept reasonable and your rounds feed properly. Accuracy is usually enhanced, as noted on your chart. Pressure is likely to skyrocket if you try the same thing with jacketed bullets.

Good info.

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wncchester
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:06 pm    Post subject: Re: The Elusive OAL Reply with quote

OAL for anything really isn't very elusive to anyone who has even a dim idea of what it's all about. I think. ??
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PaulS
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:09 pm    Post subject: Re: The Elusive OAL Reply with quote

Each gun is different, each chamber is one of a kind. I usually start with the load data and the listed OAL in the recipe. If I get groups that are less than MOA then I can further develope the load from there. My rifles seem to like a bit of a jump from the case to the riffling - especially my old 03A3 Springfield. I tried once to seat the bullet near the lands and found I couldn't unless I went to bullets heavier than 180 grain. The 165 grain BTSP was out of the case before it ever hit the lands. It doesn't seem to limit my accuracy though - most of my loads make groups under 3/4" at 100 yards (the ones I keep anyway)
I keep copies of all the loads I have ever fired - just so I don't make the same mistake again.

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MacD
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: The Elusive OAL Reply with quote

wncchester wrote:
OAL for anything really isn't very elusive to anyone who has even a dim idea of what it's all about. I think. ??

Anyone who has an idea realizes that OAL is a key factor in both function and accuracy. Getting it right is one of the variables that makes reloading and shooting your own ammo so much fun.

I would thank you for your input but you added nothing to this discussion.

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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Re: The Elusive OAL Reply with quote

I have one M700 chambered in 30/06 that has a max saami spec chamber and shoots excellent with certain loads seated out .003 above normal OAL lengths and gives my rifle the best moa at 200 yards. Like Paul said, each rifle is it's own individual.

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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:37 am    Post subject: Re: The Elusive OAL Reply with quote

MacD wrote:

Anyone who has an idea realizes that OAL is a key factor in both function and accuracy. Getting it right is one of the variables that makes reloading and shooting your own ammo so much fun.


Exactly. Each firearm is a law unto itself. I have had apparently identical rifles that, due to chambering differences, require different OALs. Chambering reamers wear, headspace can be set maximum or minimum, and a host of other issues cause each to have its own sweet spot. If all you want is a cartridge to go "bang", anything will mostly work. If you are looking for the best accuracy for a given firearm, it takes effort. As you said, that's what makes it fun.

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:37 am    Post subject: Re: The Elusive OAL Reply with quote

the cleaning rod method seems simple enough. I guess Im one of the "just make it go bang" crowd as Ive never bothered to muck around with it. I usually keep a good acurate factory round to set my seating die with and go with that length. if it fits in the mag and chambers smoothly are the most important things for me.

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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:48 am    Post subject: Re: The Elusive OAL Reply with quote

Elvis wrote:
the cleaning rod method seems simple enough. I guess Im one of the "just make it go bang" crowd as Ive never bothered to muck around with it. I usually keep a good acurate factory round to set my seating die with and go with that length. if it fits in the mag and chambers smoothly are the most important things for me.

It all depends on what one wants out of their firearms. If reasonable hunting accuracy is your goal and your method works, no problem. If you are one of those (and here I plead guilty) that obsesses on trying to shave that last little bit from those groups, OAL, primers, powders, case length, bullet and style, primer pocket cleaning, neck-sizing, re-bedding or even re-barreling is all part of the quest. Nothing wrong with either goal...just a matter of to each his own.

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