More on OAL for 230gr LRN for 45 ACP


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Rule3
October 26, 2010, 01:33 PM
I found it interesting and confusing at the same time all the different OAL for a common 230 gr LRN in a 45 ACP.

Yes, there are different test parameters and slight differences in the bullets but really, how much difference is there in brands of 230 gr RN?

Yes, I know about dropping the bullet in the barrels for determining best fit, but for such a common bullet shouldn't there be more consistency??

Hodgdons list 1.200 for any and all 230 gr lead or FMJ

Accurate lists 1.230 for LRN

Alliant lists 1.270 (same as Speer #14)

Lyman only has a 225 gr and it is at 1.272, but their FMJ is at 1.275 but the same Speer bullet in the Speer manual is 1.260?)

So I know I am OCD about these things, but how can there be this much variance? Especially Hodgdons which seems very short??

So, what are you loading say a MBC 230 gr softball at???:)

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Jwbfx4
October 26, 2010, 01:47 PM
I load the 230 gr. RN at 1.265. Feeds and functions fine in my gun.

My gun will feed up to 1.275, but just a little more 1.28 or so does not always feed well. So I aim for 1.265 and then if I have a little variance on OAL they all still should feed properly.

rcmodel
October 26, 2010, 01:53 PM
Bullets that match the GI hardball RN-FMJ shape should be seated to 1.266" - 1.271" to match factory GI ammo length.

Cast bullet 230 RN OAL depends on the ogive shape, and whether there is a full dia. driving band shoulder before the beginning of the ogive.

In that case, the bullet needs to be seated to the edge of the driving band, whatever OAL that turns out to be.

rc

Bula
October 26, 2010, 02:03 PM
Yup, it has everything to do with bullet profile, mold makers vary quite a bit in their interpretations of "ball" profile. Stand 5 different 230 gr bullets from, lee, rcbs, lyman, H&G and Saeco next to one another--they vary in overall height, maybe not so much in weight. Best bet is to load the longest OAL as will work reliably.

Rule3
October 26, 2010, 02:12 PM
Where oh where does Hodgdons get 1.200 for all 230 gr bullets on their data base?? I called them yesterday and they state that was the SAAMI spec?

I have shot thousands of them at 1.260.

If the max OAL is 1.275 is Hodgdon then giving the Minimum??

I looked here (long pdf) but can not find anything on OAL

http://www.saami.org/specifications_and_information/publications/index.cfm

Bula
October 26, 2010, 07:44 PM
my 230g cast load will only function at 1.19-1.20", but thats a Lee Truncated cone.

Skip_a_roo
October 27, 2010, 07:00 AM
My homecast Saeco 496BB (225gr RN) is seated at 1.250", period. If the recipe calls for a shorter OAL, I still use the 1.250" because that is what feeds in my firearms well.

Theoretically, I can up the charge weight some if the recipe calls for a shorter OAL than I am using. Most of the time though, I am shooting target loads and that isn't needed.

bds
October 27, 2010, 09:53 AM
Bula:
Stand 5 different 230 gr bullets from, lee, rcbs, lyman, H&G and Saeco next to one another--they vary in overall height, maybe not so much in weight.OCD1:
I found it interesting and confusing at the same time all the different OAL for a common 230 gr LRN in a 45 ACP.

Yes, there are different test parameters and slight differences in the bullets but really, how much difference is there in brands of 230 gr RN?

Yes, I know about dropping the bullet in the barrels for determining best fit, but for such a common bullet shouldn't there be more consistency?
OCD1, when powder manufacturers test their powders using different types and make of bullets, they don't even use pistols - they use different length barrel "fixtures" that were designed to measure chamber pressure.

As Bula posted, different bullet types have varying lengths and differ as to how much of the base will be seated inside the case. How deep the base of the bullet is seated directly affects chamber pressure and burn characteristics of powder.

I bet you the powder manufacturers identify the starting load and OAL of the particular bullet tested based on the minimum chamber pressure that produced reliable powder burn and consistent shot groups. Of course, they would identify the max load and OAL that did not exceed the SAAMI limits for that particular caliber case design. They may do some testing in some pistols to determine reliable slide cycling and case ejection but not how well the loaded rounds will feed/chamber from the magazine for all pistol/barrel combinations. Their job is to provide safe chamber pressure data without exceeding the SAAMI limits. For OAL determination that feed/chamber well in our pistols/barrels, THAT's the reloader's job.

Max load definition from SAAMI glossary page (http://www.saami.org/glossary/display.cfm?letter=A):
CHARGE, MAXIMUM
The greatest charge weight, in grains, of a particular propellant that may be used with other specified ammunition components without exceeding the safe, maximum, allowable pressure limit for the specific cartridge or shell being loaded.

For me, I first determine the OAL that feeds/chambers well from the magazine for a particular pistol/barrel combination then work up the powder charge from the starting load that produce the most accurate shot groups without exceeding the max load.

You are always going to have an OAL range that will feed/chamber reliably for a particular caliber of bullet and pistol/barrel combination. For 230 gr RN 45ACP, I have loaded them from 1.245" to 1.27" OAL in various pistols/barrels reliably.

So, if you are reloading your own rounds, what determines the final/optimal OAL that you end up using? Well, since I use Pro Auto Disk with pre-set powder charge drops, I may adjust the OAL to "fine tune" my chamber pressure - accuracy of shot groups.

Example:
If a particular load I want for a specified bullet calls for 5.0 gr at 1.26" OAL but Pro Auto Disk will drop 4.9 gr, I may decrease the OAL just a bit (say 1.25" vs 1.26"). If the next Auto Disk hole drops 5.1 gr, I may increase the OAL to 1.27" vs 1.26".

In general, longer the OAL, the more accurate the load will be since the bullet's bearing surface will engage the rifling sooner without having to "hop" into the rifling.
BEARING SURFACE
That portion of a bullet’s outer surface that comes into direct contact with the interior surface of the barrel bore when moving through the barrel.

But this is not often the case. When I first ordered my test 45ACP lead bullets from Missouri Bullets last year to try them out, I ordered 18 BHN 200 gr SWC and 200 gr RN (I had plenty of 230 gr RN from my retired lead bullet caster at that time so I didn't order any). I knew that 200 gr SWC has been a known accurate bullet design, but wanted to try the 200 gr RN for other shooters who shot XD pistols. Well, I tried different OALs from 1.190" to 1.25" using 4.9 gr W231/HP38 and found the shorter 1.190"-1.195" still fed/chambered well in my pistols (especially in XDs) and produced the most accurate shot groups from test loads that rivaled SWC shot groups. This maybe due to increased chamber pressure from bullet seated deeper into the case and resulting in more accurate shot groups. So, as long as the OALs feed/chamber well in your pistol/barrel combination, determine the final OAL that produce the most accurate shot groups. I use the longest OAL that will feed/chamber well for specific purpose pistol/barrel combo - like match shooting/match practice ammo.

But for "general purpose range/plinking loads" to shoot in multiple pistol make/models, I use the following to ensure they'll feed/chamber well.

9mm RN - 1.125" OAL
40S&W TCFP - 1.125" OAL
45ACP RN - 1.25" OAL

243winxb
October 27, 2010, 12:02 PM
So, what are you loading say a MBC 230 gr softball at??? What ever fits the barrel. All barrels/gun are different. :D http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/th_45seatingpossibilitiesxn.jpg (http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/45seatingpossibilitiesxn.jpg) ;)

Rule3
October 27, 2010, 02:03 PM
I guess I wasn't clear in my post. I have loaded and shot thousands of 45 ACP bullets of different makes and weights. Many different guns. I also use the drop in the barrel test method.

My main question or concern was Hodgdons load data, (which I use a lot) showing a 1.200 OAL for ALL 230 gr bullets.?

Also Speer #14 uses a Sig220 for testing their 45 ACP bullets and use a 1.270 OAL for their 230gr LRN

So if I buy Speers bullet and crunch it down to 1.200 based on the Powder Companies data (they do not say what bullet) The .070 difference is not going to change the pressure????? To me, that's a big variance.

243winxb
October 27, 2010, 02:10 PM
You were clear. Simple answer is start low on the powder charge after finding you perfect COL for the bullet your using. Pressure is not a problem with this method.

rcmodel
October 27, 2010, 02:18 PM
So if I buy Speers bullet and crunch it down to 1.200 based on the Powder Companies data (they do not say what bullet) The .070 difference is not going to change the pressure????? Yes, it will change the pressure.

Maybe the powder companys short OAL is to allow for pressure increase and still not exceed SAAMI pressure with a set-back bullet during feeding??

rc

SSN Vet
October 27, 2010, 03:30 PM
I thought the published COAL was a minimum number, to avoid overpressure.... not necessarily a recommended number.

rcmodel
October 27, 2010, 03:36 PM
It depends.

Of all the calibers, I see the .45 ACP 230 RN COL listed wrong more then anything else.

In about every other caliber, and especially in revolver calibers, the COL is actually usually pretty close to right.

I guess it has to be right for revolvers where correct COL is determined by the location of the crimp groove or cannulure on the bullet.

rc

SSN Vet
October 27, 2010, 03:44 PM
I guess it was worth getting out of bed this morning then, as I've learned something knew today (actually, a couple things).

Anyhow... 1.25" has been my standard with Berry's 230 gr. RN.

I bought the Lee mold to cast my own, but I have got a lot of clean up and organizing to do in the basement b4 I can fire up the pot...

Rule3
October 27, 2010, 03:51 PM
Yes, it will change the pressure.

Maybe the powder companys short OAL is to allow for pressure increase and still not exceed SAAMI pressure with a set-back bullet during feeding??

rc
You are so wise rcmodel.

I just got of the phone after a long chat with Hodgdon's. The 1.200 they use ON THEIR DATA is Saami spec for the cartridge OAL for the 45 ACP.

Neither min nor max just it is what Saami says it is.

If using THEIR powder any of the bullets listed on their web site data can be loaded safely at their published cartridge OAL

Keeping in mind that they feed in you gun, mag and barrel.

rcmodel
October 27, 2010, 04:02 PM
Well, I don't care what Hodgdon's guy thinks it is.
1.200" is not SAAMI spec for the .45 ACP with a 230 grain RN-FMJ bullet.

SAAMI MAX length is 1.275" with that bullet, as shown on every SAAMI drawing, in every reloading manual published that has SAAMI drawings in it.
SAAMI does not specify any other length with any other bullet, only the 1.275" max length with the GI 230 RN-FMJ design.

Actual length, as used in militry issue GI hardball & National Match ammo with that bullet, is 1.266" Min - 1.271" MAX, in all the GI ammo I have personally measured myself.

rc

Rule3
October 27, 2010, 07:50 PM
Yes 1.275 is the MAX and I am not arguing with you. Just letting you know what he stated. For a company as large as Hodgdons/IMR/Win. They would not publish a 1.200 OAL on their load data if it was not correct. I do not have access to the Saami data as I am not a member and did not buy their book of data. As Hodgdon also explained, even being a member they need to purchase the books of stats as it is not printed on their web site which I linked to.

This is what he stated Saami mandated they test their powder at.

rcmodel
October 28, 2010, 02:13 PM
Then it is done to prevent excess pressure in the event of bullet set-back during feeding, as I guessed in post #12?


That still doesn't make it the proper length for the 230 RN-FMJ GI bullet shown in the SAAMI drawing.

That bullet, seated to 1.20", would leave a gap between the case mouth and the bullet ogive.

rc

ranger335v
October 28, 2010, 10:47 PM
If an OAL allows the ammo to feed and chamber reliabily it's right.

Anyone needing a book to tell him what his OAL should be probably needs to buy ammo and find another way to pass time.

Pete D.
October 29, 2010, 08:14 AM
If an OAL allows the ammo to feed and chamber reliabily it's right.

Anyone needing a book to tell him what his OAL should be probably needs to buy ammo and find another way to pass time.

That made me smile.
Without being critical of what other shooters do as part of their hobby, I have never measured the OAL of any of the 60K rounds of .45 ACP that I have loaded up till now. If they fit into the magazine and chamber properly, they are good to go. Generally, I will seat them as far out as I can and still fit them into the magazine.
Pete

bds
October 29, 2010, 11:25 AM
I started reloading because when I started match shooting, I couldn't afford to shoot factory ammo (back 15 years ago about 500-1000 rounds a month).

Also, other experienced match shooters told me they shot reloads because factory ammo simply could not shoot as accurate as good reloads. This is sooooo true as I was using PMC ammo and when I started reloading, my comparison shot groups decreased (my recent M&P45 test last month with PMC 230 FMJ and reloads reaffirmed this). Believe me, I shot numerous other factory ammo for comparison and picked PMC because it was more accurate than others.

As to OP, I tell new reloaders I teach to aim for the most accurate load in OAL range that will reliably feed in their pistols/barrels. There is no specific OAL we need to use for specific weight/nose profile of the bullet as accuracy of shot groups trump everything else.

Who cares how well it feeds or light the recoil is if your shot group looks like a shot gun blast? I want my fast draw COM speed shot groups at reasonable tactical distances (7-10 yards) to look more like the size of my fist, which happens to be the size of our heart.

ConcernedCitizen
October 30, 2010, 01:02 AM
Now that I'm finally done with my summer projects, I have been getting back into reloading, and ran into the same question.

I'm loading Missouri Bullet Company's 230 gr. LRN, and ran into a small issue with the seating depth.

At 1.270", it sits just a hair above the barrel hood on my 1911 barrel. It seems okay with the XD-45, but maybe a hair high. At 1.250", the 1911 is flush or a hair below, and the XD-45 is below flush.

This seems like a good depth, but if I push the cartridge into the chamber with just a little pressure, it doesn't want to fall out with gravity alone, and needs to be pulled out of the chamber by hand. It doesn't need much force to remove, but will not fall out on it's own.

If I seat to 1.230", it drops into and out of both barrels freely.

I've also noticed that the MBC 230 gr. LRN has a slight shoulder where the body transitions to the ogive. At 1.270", the shoulder is quite a bit above the case mouth. At 1.230", it is almost flush with the case mouth. This seems to be the best option, but it is noticeably shorter than factory ammo.

Since I am starting from scratch, and working my way up from the minimum loads, I'm not worried about excess pressure from the seating depth. I just wanted to know what other people have experienced, and if 1.230" seems to be the proper seating depth.

Any opinions?

I'll try to post pictures later when I get a chance. Thanks!

rcmodel
October 30, 2010, 03:01 PM
If the 230 RN cast bullet design has a shoulder transition from full dia to ogive curve you will need to seat it deeper so it can clear the rifling leade.

Not necessary on GI type RN-FMJ, because the ogive has no driving band behind it to make a shoulder like the lead bullet.

As such, your 1.230" COL should be just fine with that bullet.

rc

ConcernedCitizen
October 30, 2010, 10:23 PM
Rcmodel,

Thanks for the input. I thought as much, based on your previous comment regarding seating to the edge of the driving band.

Here's a link to the bullet in question, for anyone interested:

http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=59&category=5&secondary=13&keywords=

I just find it confusing that many experienced people here seem to have no trouble seating further out with a similar style bullet, but it just goes to show that every firearm is different. I guess my 1911 barrel must be a bit on the tight side, perhaps. The XD-45 doesn't seem to be near as finicky.

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