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OAL for 45 ACP

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by gregj, Jan 13, 2010.

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  1. gregj

    gregj Member

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    **Warning, long post** Sorry, but I felt the details were warranted.

    I received an order of Rainier 45ACP 200g TCJ RN bullets. I realize these are plated and the mfgr recommends use a load for lead bullets, so I plan on using the load data from Hodgen, I will be loading with W231. The gun they will be used in is a Kimber Custom Classic Target.

    200 GR. CAST LSWC Winchester 231 .451" 1.225" 4.4 771 11,000 CUP 5.6 914 16,900 CUP

    My issue is trying to find the right OAL/COAL for this load using the RN bullets. I have not been able to find one anywhere. I am aware of the perils of reducing the OAL too much and the resulting increased pressure, though the risk is less in .45 rounds. It would be nice if more information were provided by some of the site/manuals. I just subscribed to loaddata.com, and rather disappointed in the general lack of OAL (at least for the 9mm and 45ACP loads).

    I have tried Lyman, Speer, Sierra, Hornady, Loaddata.com (they dont list COALs at all), Handloaders.com, Hodgon/Winchester load center. I thought the 200g would be a good and economical target/practice load.

    Since I know my COAL of 1.260 feeds and ejects well in my Kimber
    I have been using 1.260 OAL for my 45ACP 200g FMJ-RN loads in my Kimber, with 6.1g of Power Pistol and 6.5g of WSF, with extremely accurate results. I've read W231 meters better, and is a little cleaner, so I want to try it.

    So, not being able to find a COAL/OAL, and fearing the present OAL I was using might be a little long, I set out doing a lot of research and taking several measurements.

    I measured the length of 10 Rocky Mountain Bullets FMJ-RN ENC (jacketed) and 10 bullets from Rainier TCJ-RN (plated), both 200g. I then averaged the 10 measurements of each.

    RMR avg length = .5619"
    Rainier avg length = .5986"

    The Rainier bullets on average are .0367" longer than the RMR bullets.

    The COL used with the RMR bullets (with good results) was 1.260 (though I fear a little long). This means the seating depth with the RMR bullets should have been approx .6981". Adding this to the avg length of the Rainier plated bullets, yields a OAL of 1.2967". Longer than the max of 1.275 . Oviously I probably shouldnt use this OAL .


    Searching for COALs for my 200g bullets, I found an interesting post on 1911forum.com.

    http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?p=2394680 Post #3, also #30 on page 2.





    So I set off to take more measurements.

    First off, I measured some of the rounds I had already made with a COAL of 1.260, by placing the round in the clean barrel of my Kimber (after it's been field stripped), and measuring whether the headstamp was above or below the barrel hood, and by how much. These bullets were 200g FMJ-RN jacketed from Rocky Mountain Reloading (RMR).

    The rounds I had made were above the hood by approx .0125" It also tended to stick in the chamber, so I know the headspace was not on the case mouth as it should be.

    Then I took an empty case and ran it through all the resizing dies, including the FCD. I placed it in the barrel, and it was .0250" below the hood. I know the empty case headspaced on the mouth as it should, and now I have a measurement to work from.

    Next I made a dummy round using a 200g FMJ-RN from RMR (jacketed). I started with the COAL at 1.260 and measured the distance between the headstamp and the barrel hood. Below are the numbers:

    COAL
    1.260 above hood by .0125
    1.250 below hood by .0005
    1.240 below hood by .0175
    1.230 below hood by .0175
    1.220 below hood by .0175
    1.210 below hood by .0175

    So, it looks like for the bullet above, the optimum COAL is approx 1.235. This should allow for deviations in case length, bullet length, bullet jump, etc.


    I did the same thing using 200g TCJ-RN from Rainier (plated). Below are the numbers:

    Empty case was .0190" below barrel hood.

    After seating bullet:
    COAL
    1.260 above hood by .0145 **
    1.250 below hood by .0175
    1.240 below hood by .0175
    1.235 below hood by .0175
    1.200 below hood by .0175

    ** This COAL felt like the case was headspacing like it should, it did not stick in the chamber. So there must be a difference in the shape of the RN bullet between the two mfgrs.

    So, I think it looks like a OAL/COAL of 1.235 would also be good with a 200g from either mfgr. I'm very interested in any feedback, if I've gone about this wrong, I certainly want to know. The loads I use are typically at the mid range, or slightly below.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Take the barrel out of your gun and use it as a guage at the reloading bench.

    The correct OAL is as long as you can get it and not have the full diameter of the bullet hit the rifling leade before the round can fully chamber & headspace on the case mouth.

    Keep seating slightly deeper until that doesn't happen, and that's the correct OAL for your gun.

    Longer will generally feed better then shorter in any gun.

    rc
     
  3. gregj

    gregj Member

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    That's exactly what I did. I know I got a little bogged down in the details, but I thought it was important to note, sorry about that.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I must admit I didn't read it all!

    Exceeded my limited attention span about the third paragraph. :D

    rc
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I "sped red" it myself too. Do as rc posted, and you will be good to go. Worst case is you will have to tweak it shorter by a bit, but probably not.
     
  6. jem375

    jem375 Member

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    Since the info I have on Rainier bullets, the max OAL of 45ACP seems to be 1.275", so your OAL of 1.260" would be fine...............
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    1.275" is SAAMI MAX length for any bullet weight or style so they will fit in the magazine.

    That length would have no bearing on a lighter bullet, or one with a different shape then a FMJ-RN.

    1.275" would be stuck in the rifling with a SWC or most JHP bullets for instance.

    rc
     
  8. gregj

    gregj Member

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    What I found with the jacketed bullets from Rocky Mountain was that 1.260 was too long and the bullet was sticking in the chamber. Using the same OAL with Rainer plated, the bullet did not stick in the chamber. I took a few rounds from an earlier batch of Rocky Mountain bullets that had a 1.260 OAL and reseated to 1.235 and will try them. This OAL seemed to fit both bullets in my Kimber's chamber.
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    If you are talking about the Ranier 200 Gr Truncated Cone Flat Point (TrFP) style bullet, when I tried them I seated them at 1.235. Fed fine for me. Shot OK. I like the Ranier 200 Gr SWC much better though.
     
  10. soloban

    soloban Member

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    I use 230 GR Ranier FMJs in my SA 1911 and I seat them to 1.2" OAL they work great.
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    That's mighty short.
     
  12. gregj

    gregj Member

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    No, I'm talking about the 200g RN.
     
  13. Wilburt

    Wilburt Member

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    I'm worse. I look at the replies hoping to figure out the question to see if there was anything I could add. :D
     
  14. gregj

    gregj Member

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    Man, you guys are tough. I try to be methodical, and explain what I did, looking for guidance to make sure I was on the right track. I've seen too many incomplete posts that had partial information, and the following responses were mostly filling in the blanks that shouldnt have been blank in the first place. I thought I had put an apology in advance for being lengthy, but I guess it didnt make the cut&paste. Sorry it was so lengthy, I'll be sure and short and concise next time.
     
  15. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    That post could have been shortened to 5 words.

    :neener:
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Tough, and thorough, but we mean well. :D
     
  17. gregj

    gregj Member

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    Funny, thorough was what I was trying to be. Thanks for the validation on my findings.
     
  18. Dan The Goat

    Dan The Goat Member

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    OAL

    Not by any means a pro at reloading, but I use the same bullets in my Kimber Custom Target II and it likes 1.24" OAL.

    I tried 1.26 and 1.25 first BTW
     
  19. nulfisin

    nulfisin Member

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    I use the same bullets in 230 grains. The OAL is generally about 1.2 on the low end and 1.26 on the high end, depending on how I set the die that day. Generally, I aim for 1.25.
     
  20. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I usually use a OAL of between 1.250" and 1.270" depending upon the bullet. That's just my preference and it may not work for you.
    If your concerned about the correct OAL and want to be sure it doesn't adversely effect your ammo why not just use the 1.225" OAL listed in the load data you are quoting?
     
  21. gregj

    gregj Member

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    Because that data was for a lead semi wad cutter, and I'm using jacketed and plated round nose. That OAL would make the jacketed round seat on the bullet, but the plated round seat on the case mouth. 1.235 seems to fit just right in the Kimber.
     
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