Minimum OAL


June 14, 2006, 07:34 PM
In my Lee manual the min OAL is given and in others it is not. Is the general rule of thumb to keep it close to the max OAL? For bullets like the 125g 357 you pretty much have to get it close to the min OAL to get a good seat and crimp.

If you enjoyed reading about "Minimum OAL" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
The Bushmaster
June 14, 2006, 08:02 PM
This is a revolver cartrage. It doesn't know what OAL is. As long as the cartradge fits in the chamber of the revolver and doesn't stop the cylinder rotation. No problem. crimp it in the cannelure and let it go at that. I recommend a Lee FCD (Factory Crimp Die) for the job. Unless you are messing with a real exotic bullet. Crimping at the cannelure is more then likely the proper length. I have never measured for OAL for any of my .38 Special or .357 magnums.:D

June 14, 2006, 09:50 PM
I agree with the revolver statement but I still mic out the length when setting up the dies. Use a case gauge also. With auto loaders this would be critical. I load 45 as well. My thinking with length was that it had something to do with pressures as well as having the proper amout of bullet seated in the case. The bullets that I use, Rainier for 38/357, 44sp and mag, and fmj for 45. don't have the cannalure.
What got me curious was that the 125g 357 has to be close to the min OAL stated in the LEE manual. If it were to approach the max OAL it will come out of the case when the other round in the cylinder are fired.
I had this happen once(and only once).

Ol` Joe
June 15, 2006, 12:25 AM
First let me state I do not know the following for sure, but am guessing from what I do know ofthe Lee manual.

The Lee book is built on data from the various powder company load pamplets and old bullet manufactures data that they have released to Lee. The data isn`t bullet specific, that is it doesn`t list Bullet brand "X" as the bullet used in the data. They list a load as from "A" to "X" amount of powder with generic brand bullet of "Y" weight. The min/max COLs given are the I THINK shortest and longest COL found in the data they compiled from the multiple companies data used to arrive at the min/max powder charge and pressure values.

Once more! I may be wrong, this is just a guess.
I am quite sure though the data they use has been compiled from other multiple sources; IE: Hodgdon, Speer, Alliant, Ramshot, ect. None of it is from Lees own lab.

If you enjoyed reading about "Minimum OAL" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!