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Old 11-11-2011, 04:20 AM   #1
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Default How far is too far? 223 reloading question.

Guys I'm experimenting with different 223 loads. I just got done with a batch of shells with 40gn match bullets that were really short in overall length. (Not much bullet sticking out of the brass.)
I'm wondering HOW FAR my bullet HAS TO or SHOULD stick out past my brass?
Anybody know? What the MINIMUM it has to go IN my brass?

Thanks!
Glen

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Last edited by Brother_COM; 11-11-2011 at 04:21 AM. Reason: added more info.
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:24 PM   #2
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So many variables...

My rule of thumb is about the same amount of jacket/bullet should contact neck as the diameter of the neck. 30 Cal, about .3 inches of bullet in the brass. This is more obvious with larger calibers.

Short enough that the loaded round fits in the magazine freely.

For positive function of the action.

No contact between the rifling and the bullet. Engraving rifling on the bullet when chambered, could make for some unexpected pressures.

I have found that consistency is more important than the actual seating depth. Remember, when making more than a very minor change in a loading, it is a new load and must be verified as safe. Compression, bullet contact or reduction in space for the powder, will change the burning characteristics.

Most people want to load with the bullet out as far as practical. This gives more room for powder and lots of people want to super speed their shots. But, compressed/smaller case volume and powder with the proper burning rates can and do push the same bullets about as fast. Think 30-06 and 308. And the general view is that they are more accurate (I'm not going there).

I hope this has helped in your quest.

Enjoy and be safe,

OSOK

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Old 11-11-2011, 10:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Brother_COM View Post
Guys I'm experimenting with different 223 loads. I just got done with a batch of shells with 40gn match bullets that were really short in overall length. (Not much bullet sticking out of the brass.)
I'm wondering HOW FAR my bullet HAS TO or SHOULD stick out past my brass?
Anybody know? What the MINIMUM it has to go IN my brass?

Thanks!
Glen
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:55 PM   #4
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Maxmum overall length OAL for 40gr. V-Max 2.215" per the Lyman 49th Edition. What did they mic out at when you were done, What powder are you using, What primer and specifically what bullet?

Then, What gun are you shooting these reloads in and what standard are you using to gauge the bullet depth or OAL?

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Old 11-12-2011, 01:28 PM   #5
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"I'm wondering HOW FAR my bullet HAS TO or SHOULD stick out past my "brass?

It's not automatically critical; if the bullets fall out - or in - you've gone too far. If your bullets have a cannalure use that as a guide. If not, use a factory round to compare.

All any 'book OAL' means is that's the lenght the book makers used to develop the data using their components in their firearm and they didn't have ours to work with so book length is neither a rule nor even a strong suggestion that it will be good or bad for the rest of us. But, for anyone nervous about it, book length will usually work okay as a starting point.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother_COM View Post
I'm wondering HOW FAR my bullet HAS TO or SHOULD stick out past my brass?
Anybody know? What the MINIMUM it has to go IN my brass?

Thanks!
Glen
Ideally, the OAL of the cartridge would be where the bullet touches the lands of the barrel, then backed off about 3 thousandths of an inch. The ogive of every bullet is different, therefore you would have to do a measurement for each type of bullet you shoot and record the OAL for each, loading the same way every time for each bullet.

But, as a previous poster said,.....read a manual or two!!!
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:48 AM   #7
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"Ideally, the OAL of the cartridge would be where the bullet touches the lands of the barrel, then backed off about 3 thousandths of an inch."

Really? That's quite easy; I've been doing this a very long time, wonder why none of the dozen or so highly rated books or perhaps hundreds of magazine articles I've read on accuracy reloading never told me that. ??
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Old 11-13-2011, 02:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1hole
"Ideally, the OAL of the cartridge would be where the bullet touches the lands of the barrel, then backed off about 3 thousandths of an inch."

Really? That's quite easy; I've been doing this a very long time, wonder why none of the dozen or so highly rated books or perhaps hundreds of magazine articles I've read on accuracy reloading never told me that. ??
One reason that they don't print that kind of info is that if someone else shoots your rounds the bullet might be touching the lands which could be a pressure issue

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Old 11-13-2011, 06:36 PM   #9
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"One reason that they don't print that kind of info is that if someone else shoots your rounds the bullet might be touching the lands which could be a pressure issue"

Well yeah, but that's clearly true of all handloads for a variety of reasons, is it not? No matter what "they" do or don't say, the issue here is how ONE guy - Brother_COM - should seat HIS bullets for his rifle, not everyone elses. And, with some 46 years of reloading for everything that goes BANG behind me, anyone making a flat statement that the "ideal" is to seat 3 thou off the lands is totally unique; even serious BR competitors aren't all that certain about seating!
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonyaeger View Post
Ideally, the OAL of the cartridge would be where the bullet touches the lands of the barrel, then backed off about 3 thousandths of an inch. The ogive of every bullet is different, therefore you would have to do a measurement for each type of bullet you shoot and record the OAL for each, loading the same way every time for each bullet.

But, as a previous poster said,.....read a manual or two!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
"Ideally, the OAL of the cartridge would be where the bullet touches the lands of the barrel, then backed off about 3 thousandths of an inch."

Really? That's quite easy; I've been doing this a very long time, wonder why none of the dozen or so highly rated books or perhaps hundreds of magazine articles I've read on accuracy reloading never told me that. ??
Lee's Manual discusses it. I have read it other places as well. Different
theories and different set backs all with a different reason. I have tried
many, and personally in my rifles, have found that any set back is fine
as long as it is consistant. Keep in mind I do not compete at bench
rest.

I determine the distance by applying Dykem to a bullet, just seat the bullet
enough in the case mouth to hold it in place and load the round in the rifle
and finish seating the bullet with the bolt, I do not do this with ammo for my
semi's. I use an unprimed case for this. The Dykem gets scraped off by the
case mouth and you can see exactly what your seat depth is with the ogive
touching the lands. Adjust to your preference from there.
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