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OAL question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by brow_tines, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. brow_tines

    brow_tines New Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    I'm in the middle of reloading some rounds for my hunting rifle (Remington 700 30-06 ADL). Should I just use the OAL of what the manuals say, or should I use this method? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECOaoFPAtNE and if I use this method what brass do I use, he said not to resize so do I use and brass, range pick-up or what?

    BTW I'm using Hornady 150 grain SST, IMR 4064, and CCI primers
  2. MEHavey

    MEHavey Senior Member

    Jul 27, 2010
    The "Manuals" are a good starting point, but as I posted in an earlier entry, even the manuals occasionally jam things into the lands.
    The dice are loaded in your favor to be sure using "the books", but you still roll them vis-a-vis what you actual rifle's throat might be cut to.

    I have always been a bit leery of the slip`n slide method shown in the U-Tube film (although it's
    a pretty slick production:)). Reason being that I could not repeatedly control either
    (a) how much the bullet impinged against the lands, nor ...
    (b) how much the cartridge extraction might pull the bullet out before it freed itself from the lands.

    For a long time I used the "smoked bullet" technique, which was "successful" to my youthful eyes
    but still left things open to interpretation. Then I got the Honady/Stoney Point gauge and never
    looked back. :D


    But lacking the Hornady/Stoneypoint gauge, there is another way to approximate your maximum
    cartridge/bullet length. It uses a cleaning rod and is only moderately less precise. It's used this way:

    1. Take a wooden dowel and gently press a bullet (only) into the chamber until it stops up against the rifling. Insert a plain-base cleaning rod (no jag and with any socket securely plugged/taped) down the barrel until it meets bullet.

    2. Rock the bullet back & forth a bit with one hand on the rod and one on the dowel until you're comfortable it's gently seated but not 'jammed' into the rifling

    3. With a razor blade, mark the cleaning rod exactly at barrel's end. This is your reference point for zero clearance.

    4. Pull the rod out and mark another reference point 30 thousandths further out on the rod. (In case you're wondering, that's about the diameter of a standard office 1-1/4" paper clip wire.) http://www.whimsie.com/gauge wire.html

    5. Seat a dummy cartridge/bullet (OAL 3.30" to start) in the chamber and use the cleaning rod to see where the bullet tip is relative to the mark. If the rod is pushed out past the zero-clearance mark, the bullet is jammed into the rifling.

    6. (Assuming the cartridge OAL is too long) gradually seat the bullet further into/out of the case until the rod's second (paper-clip) mark is at the muzzle. You've now got 30 thousandths (approximately) standoff from the lands. Measure the cartridge OAL and that's where you stay (for that bullet) until you get a Hornady gauge (and the modified case it requires).
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  3. fguffey

    fguffey Senior Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    COL, case overall length, Max. COL for the chamber, MAX. COL for the magazine:

    A friend called and was having problems, seems he build 5 03A3 Springfields into sporters, 5 magnificent sproters, one rifle was giving him problems, he called me and ask me where I would start. I said I would take his ‘formed to his chamber' cases and drill out the flash hole-primer pockets to a diameter that would accommodate a cleaning rod, I would then seat bullets, all kind of bullets, some were 170 grain, does not sound like much but the chamber was a 7mm Wildcat that was between a 7mm/06 and a 7mm Gibbs. I then explained I would remove the bolt, chamber the round then use a cleaning rod to push the bullet out of the case until it hit the lands.

    He was hesitant to give up the formed cases, he came over, I drilled the primer pocket/flash hole, seated a bullet deep enough to allow chambering, then pushed the bullet forward until it came out of the case and continued forward another +.200 thousands, they made the reamer, he built the rifle, he had the rifle bore scoped, again a magnificent rifle. Anyhow I want to know where the rifling begins, I want to know the length of the chamber from the bolt face to the rifling, to accomplish this I determine head space first.

    Against the lands? I am not a fan of seating the bullet against the lands, time is a factor, I do not like the ideal the bullet is setting against the lands at a dead stop when the primer ignites the powder, time is a factor, I am a big fan of the ‘jump’ start, I want by bullet to have a running start before it hits the lands.

    By drilling the primer pocket/flash hole the max COL is obtained for the bullet to be used, after pushing the bullet to the lands a reloader can use the modified case as a transfer, simply place the test case in the shell holder, raise the ram, then adjust the die to ‘off the shoulder to prevent crimping, then adjust the seater plug stem down to the pullet, then stop, secure the lock ring on the die to the press, secure the lock nut on the seater stem to the top of the die, (then the tough part) Measure the height of the stem above the die, .000 (zero) the dial caliper, this method allows the reloader to go from the chamber, to the die and back top the chamber with a measurement that is .000 off the lands without the added expense of extra tools.

    Save the test case/transfer for future use. I suggest it is not necessary to shred the neck of the case for to allow for ease of bullet travel, I am a big fan of bullet hold, I want all the bullet hold I can get, I like bullet hold, I can measure bullet hold in pounds, neck tension sounds good but, how is tension measured? In thousands? In that situation I would think neck tension would be referred to as interference fit or crush fit.

    And when he formed his cases by ‘fire forming, 6 put of 10 had case head separation (insipient) with new cases.

    F. Guffey
  4. USSR

    USSR Mentor

    Jul 7, 2005

    I'm at work, so I can't see the youtube video, but I suspect it is the 'po man's method of seating a bullet out till it touches the lands. Forget about it, you've got a Remington 700 with a throat you'll never reach with the bullet still in the neck. Just seat your bullet in the neck 1 caliber (.308), not including the boattail if your bullet has one.

  5. Deavis

    Deavis Participating Member

    Nov 21, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    That tool is great and if you want to play with OALs in other calibers and guns in the future, it is really nice to have. You only buy a new case for the caliber and the tool isn't too expensive.

    First, why not just try working from the max/suggested OAL and see how your gun shoots, it may be good enough for your hunting. It isn't benchrest shooting, right?
  6. jcwit

    jcwit Mentor

    Oct 19, 2007
    Great state of Indiana
    My Remington 700 will allow my to seat a bullet against the lands and still have plenty left for the case. Course its a .223 but I'm only using a Sierra 53 gr. flat base.
  7. USSR

    USSR Mentor

    Jul 7, 2005

    The long throated M700's tend to be the larger cartridges.

  8. Lazerbeans

    Lazerbeans New Member

    Jan 22, 2011
    Wichita, KS
    I have hit the lands on my Remington M700 ADL .30-06 just fine, lucky I guess. I seat my Hornady SST's at 3.350 and the chamber measured 3.422

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