I am fairly new to reloading. I watched my dad do it since I was little but no matter how hard he tried, I never really paid much attention. I have reloaded with my brother for a few years but again, I never really paid much attention. I just followed his lead. So my question is... how important is the listed C.O.L. in the reloading manuals. I loaded up 50 rounds of .25-06 a couple weeks ago. I didn't have a caliper at the time. I finally got one today and I checked the C.O.L. and my rounds are a little short. The listed C.O.L. is 3.17. Mine are right at 3.086. I loaded 117gr Hornady SST's. I will be shooting them out of a Savage BVSS. Sorry for the newby question. And thanks in advance for any help.
BTW, I am using H4831. Max load is 54.7grs. I loaded them using 53grs.
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February 1, 2010, 08:19 PM
Most don't load at shorter than the manuals C.O.L. spec. If it were me I would probably yank the bullets and seat them at least at the recommended C.O.L. Many reloaders load longer than the listed C.O.L. as they try to seat the bullet closer to the lands in their rifles. This can improve accuracy.
The big problem with loading your bullets too short is you reduce the volume without reducing the charge. This can raise pressure too much.
I would also start the loads at 10% under the max recommended charge and work up to the most accurate load. This process is called load development. I wrote an article on how I do load development (www.rifles-shooting-reloading.com/load-development.html) on my website.
Hope that helps.
February 1, 2010, 08:28 PM
So you're 0.084" (~2mm) short which to me is significant, even at your mid-range load.
I think I'd elongate the little jewels, just to be on the safe side. You need not pull the rounds completely apart. If you have a kinetic hammer, you can knock them once or twice and remeasure. Most bullets will walk out willingly.
February 2, 2010, 05:02 PM
If you developed your loads properly, by starting low and only increasing the charges until you reach book max OR encountering pressure signs, the OAL won't matter.
February 2, 2010, 05:38 PM
I'd take my Impact bullet puller and give them a "rap" to "grow" the length a little...
Then seat at the proper length with the seating die. I would not pull the bullets out unless I had to. You may have to "play" to get how hard to "rap" the hammer. It has worked for me before.
February 2, 2010, 05:44 PM
I think it is time to recomend a loading manual would be an excellant purchase
February 2, 2010, 05:50 PM
All you're going to lose is accuracy. You want the bullet to be a couple hundredths from the lands, which is probably going to be a smidge longer than COL. COL is set with the goal that all rounds will feed properly in all guns in that caliber... your best accuracy will have more to do with bullet distance to lands, which is subjective to each firearm.