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9mm length...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by gilly6993, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. gilly6993

    gilly6993 Well-Known Member

    what's a good range for total length of a 9mm round.....did a lot of searching but couldn't find anything definative....
  2. mdi

    mdi Well-Known Member

    All reloading manuals have the overall length of the loaded cartridge listed for each bullet. You are using your reloading manual, aren't you?:confused:
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Correct OAL depends entirely on the shape & weight of the bullet you are using, and the gun you are loading it for.

    Nobody can tell you what to use without knowing those things.

    And I second the "look at your reloading manual" for the OAL of the bullet you are using.

  4. Yarddog

    Yarddog Well-Known Member

    Some Data shows Min & Max. And some just gives a COL ; ) PS Get a manual & READ Please, For your safety and others
  5. gilly6993

    gilly6993 Well-Known Member

    I know most give a length of 1.169"....I was wondering if there is a range....I ahve multiple manuals but was just inquiring if there was any other info out there.....thanks
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    1.169" is not a suggested COL.

    That is the SAAMI spec MAX length for any loaded cartridge.

    Some light bullet weights and shapes would fall out of the case at that length however!!

    If you have multiple manuals, surely one of them has a suggested COL in the data section for a similar bullet to the one you are using.
    And I can assure you it will not be 1.169"!
  7. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    "...did a lot of searching but couldn't find anything definative...."

    That's because there is no "definative." If your ammo feeds through the magazine and chambers reliably it's right.
  8. ArtP

    ArtP Well-Known Member

    For the guy who only has one or two reloading manuals but loads bullets from many different manufacturers, there is nothing wrong or unethical about writing the bullet manufacturer and asking for their proprietary load data for powder/charge/OAL that comes straight out of their "for sale" load manuals. They readily will send you the chapter from their manuals for the bullets you buy from them.

    Example; I don't own a Speer manual, but have the chapters from Speer pertaining to the Speer bullets I use. Speer emailed me those chapters.
  9. Sediment

    Sediment Well-Known Member

    From reloader to reloader,

    Please either contact the bullet manufacturer via email, phone or website.


    Shell out the $30 or less for the loading manual.

    I personally own 7 manuals since I load many different calibers and most bullet manufacturers make bullets the same size and weight, but the powder weights and OAL can be different. Manuals usually include a do and don'ts list as well as some "gee whiz" information and history on the company.

    Loading for 9mm is a small range of differences, but I would stress that accepting a "good enough" mentality is foolhardy at a best and lethal at worst.
  10. 1SOW

    1SOW Well-Known Member

    To directly answer your question "in general": expect oal ranges varying from 1.09 to 1.15" DEPENDING on the bullet shape and gun you're using.

    The type of bullet, powder and your specific gun will determine the range of oal needed. The manuals give you a starting point/range that keep case pressures safe and you and your gun in one piece..

    The cartridge has to be able to drop into the chamber fully without engaging/touching the lands/rifling. Hollow point & flat point bullets will have to be loaded 'shorter' to prevent hitting the rifling when chambered because the bullet reaches full diameter close to the tip. A JHP in Your gun may hit the rifling at 1.105" oal, but a Glock may not hit until 1.12 or more. For a FMJ round nose, you usually load much longer oals because the bullet nose tapers and won't hit the rifling as soon as a JHP--the manuals give many at 1.142 or even longer.

    All this and more is why you need to depend on reliable load manuals to get started loading your new rounds. After loading a few starting at the 'low' end of the manuals recommended load range, you test to make sure the cartridge will feed and 'drop in' your chamber without hitting the rifling.

    Hope this makes sense.
  11. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    +1 on Rcmodel.

    1.169 inches, or 29.7mm, is the maximum length you can use if you expect to use your magazine. OALs are chosen based on the bullet and the barrel. It has to be short enough to chamber correctly; it has to be long enough to feed correctly.

    Although most bullet manufacturers will suggest an OAL, that does not mean it will work in every 9mm since chamber shapes and dimensions vary from gun manufacturer to gun manufacturer. The graphic below shows 1) what can happen if you blindly follow OAL suggestions, and 2) why different bullets may require different OALs in the same gun.


    And now for the small print....
    Some testing is needed. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Void where prohibited by law. Do not remove this tag under penalty. Not for sale to minors. Not available in California. Nov 2 is closer than it appears in mirror.

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  12. Deavis

    Deavis Well-Known Member

    Does it fit into your magazine? Does it feed reliably? Does it have good resistance to setback? Is it longer than the listed length for the load you chose? If so, relax and go shooting.
  13. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Short answer: I start at 1.125" OAL.

    You will get vague answers because the final OAL depends on the bullet nose profile used and the pistol it will be loaded from to feed/chamber reliably.

    For "Round Nose" bullets, 1.125" - 1.15" will usually work well.

    For "Jacketed Hollow Point" bullets, shorter/longer OAL may be required to feed/chamber reliably from the magazine.

    Ultimately, it will be the OAL that will be determined by the magazine/pistol/ramp/barrel.

    If you want to load a round that will feed in most pistols, 1.125" OAL.
  14. BigBob3006

    BigBob3006 Well-Known Member


    A good rule of thumb is that a loaded round fits into the magazine and doesn't interfere with the feeding of rounds of rounds higher in the mag. Load a magazine with as many rounds as it is supposed to hold and shoot until empty. Good luck.

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