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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Loading my first batch of 6.5CM for my Ruger American. Using load data from Hornady’s 11th manual for 140bthp’s over 35.6gr of H4350 to use a COL of 2.8”. When I did this I had trouble closing my bolt. So I reset my dies according to the instructions. Same result. Used my Lee load data book and the closest comparable data I could find was 142 jacketed over 38.8gr of H4350 and they listed a minimum OAL of 2.780”. I lowered my seating stem and to 2.78 and it chambered correctly. This seemed to make sense because i thought I could see marks on my longer cartridges like they were hitting the rifling. But that confused me because saami lists max COL at 2.825”. Lol. Can someone explain COL/OAL? How much wiggle room is there? Why does it seem that the chamber is shorter than saami spec?
 

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Over-All Length (OAL) and Cartridge Over-all Length basically are the same thing - the measurement from the cartridge base to the bullet's tip. What can cause problems with chambering when reloading is the ogive (shape of the bullet). For example, a spire-point or spitzer-shaped bullet may go further into the chamber throat without touching the lands than a round-nose bullet.

Maximum OAL is usually to SAAMI specs. It also pertains to the fit of the cartridge into the magazine. Obviously, a cartridge must fit in the magazine.

Minimum OAL has to do with how deeply the bullet is seated into the case. The deeper the bullet is seated, the pressure increases (lowers the case volume).

Generally, the bullet manufacturer's specs in their manuals, such as Hornady, are the ones to use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Over-All Length (OAL) and Cartridge Over-all Length basically are the same thing - the measurement from the cartridge base to the bullet's tip. What can cause problems with chambering when reloading is the ogive (shape of the bullet). For example, a spire-point or spitzer-shaped bullet may go further into the chamber throat without touching the lands than a round-nose bullet.

Maximum OAL is usually to SAAMI specs. It also pertains to the fit of the cartridge into the magazine. Obviously, a cartridge must fit in the magazine.

Minimum OAL has to do with how deeply the bullet is seated into the case. The deeper the bullet is seated, the pressure increases (lowers the case volume).

Generally, the bullet manufacturer's specs in their manuals, such as Hornady, are the ones to use.
I’m using once fired Hornady brass, sized, trimmed, and stuffed with a Hornady bullet. You’re saying that using their spec it should fit, so I have a different problem ?
 

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Lol while I agree with you. You boys need help. With either reading or getting something to help you stay on topic!
sorry man just got a chuckle! I am not a good reloading source but cartridge length is used to determine if you can use a longer bullet for a shorter case or vice/verse and your individual headspacing, where as oal is for both mag fit and standard chambering. At least, that is how it was explained to me, again, I leave reloading to much smarter folks as my attention span is too short to safely do it, obviously!!
 

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I’m using once fired Hornady brass, sized, trimmed, and stuffed with a Hornady bullet. You’re saying that using their spec it should fit, so I have a different problem ?
I’m using once fired Hornady brass, sized, trimmed, and stuffed with a Hornady bullet. You’re saying that using their spec it should fit, so I have a different problem ?
Not necessarily. Without hands on the rifle, though, I don't know the cause of the problem. An over-all-length gauge would help. A go/no-go gauge would also help.
 

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Guys, cut the political stuff in the reloading forum. I deleted the inappropriate comments. Keep it in the minefield.

@bowsandguns question for you, are you using the exact bullet the load in the Hornady manual lists? Bullets have different ogives as mentioned above, and the best load data is from a manual using the exact bullet you are loading. Yes, seating a bullet too deep can raise pressures, but not as much as jamming the bullet into the lands. If you are seating the bullet within spec, you should be fine as long as you are closing without final seating of the bullet. The other issue it can cause is that if you are hunting for instance and you have the bullet pushed into the lands to the point it is leaving marks on the bullet, when you go to unload the rifle, you can pull the bullet, leaving it stuck in the throat as well as having an action full of powder.
As far as the rifle, you may have a throat that is on the short side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Guys, cut the political stuff in the reloading forum. I deleted the inappropriate comments. Keep it in the minefield.

@bowsandguns question for you, are you using the exact bullet the load in the Hornady manual lists? Bullets have different ogives as mentioned above, and the best load data is from a manual using the exact bullet you are loading. Yes, seating a bullet too deep can raise pressures, but not as much as jamming the bullet into the lands. If you are seating the bullet within spec, you should be fine as long as you are closing without final seating of the bullet. The other issue it can cause is that if you are hunting for instance and you have the bullet pushed into the lands to the point it is leaving marks on the bullet, when you go to unload the rifle, you can pull the bullet, leaving it stuck in the throat as well as having an action full of powder.
As far as the rifle, you may have a throat that is on the short side.

Yes exact bullet. I’m obviously new to reloading but i was trying to figure why Hornady lists an exact COL while Lee gives you a max/min range. And how much room a guy has to play with that OAL
 

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The answer is why Hornady lists an exact OAL. Hornady is listing the exact OAL that was used for the load data listed. As mentioned above, changing OAL (among many, countless other factors) changes pressure. So Hornady is listing the exact recipe for their load, brass, primer, case, OAL, everything. Any changes will affect things, so Hornady is listing as many of the parameters and variables as possible to recreate the performance they have in their manual.
 

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Yes exact bullet. I’m obviously new to reloading but i was trying to figure why Hornady lists an exact COL while Lee gives you a max/min range. And how much room a guy has to play with that OAL
Lee does not specify an exact bullet, only a "142 gr. jacketed" bullet, which covers a lot of different bullet shapes. That is why Lee's spec's are max/min.

What you said you are doing in your original post, lowering the seating stem until you can chamber the bullet and the bullet is not touching the lands, is the right thing to do. You stated you are not going below the Lee min length, so you should be okay.

If possible though, use an over-all-length gauge to check out the chamber.
 

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@Bowsnguns, this isn’t a major issue, but if you want some answers do this….fully resize a case, take a dremel and make 3 relief cuts on the case mouth, (start shallow) start the bullet and chamber the round. Open the bolt, remove the cartridge and measure the OAL. This will give you a measurement from the bolt face to the point where the bullet contacts the lands, it’s actually making contact with the Ogive, but it will still give you a fairly accurate reading of the max length you can load a particular bullet. I say particular because that number will change when you change bullet style/profile. Take that number, reduce it by .005”, load 3 up and shoot ‘em. I’d also bump your H4350 charge up to 40.4 and start there. You’re gonna go through a lot of powder starting that low initially.

Yes loading into the lands can spike your initial pressure, as much as 7k PSI, but with no crimp and .002” neck tension, (which is average) the bullet’s not coming out should you need to eject an unfired round. Loading into the lands is a bench rest shooters trick because they run minimal neck tension, as in less than a .001”. The “Jam” in the lands is their crimp so to speak so the chances of the bullet getting stuck in the lands is a real thing upon removal. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with jamming the lands, provided the load was developed that way, and yes, I’ve done it.
 

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The COAL is actually not that important, different companies' chambers are not consistent and some bullets are varying lengths depending on the tip.
The first barrel I bought (in 6.5 Grendel) had a chamber so short it might have been dangerous to fire regular cartridges. I checked and caught it and sent it back to be fixed.
As chamber reamers wear the lead-in to the lands can shorten.

What really matters is where the ogive of the bullet matches up with the start of the rifling. Hornady makes a whole series of tools that allow you to precisely measure and set this up.
Lock-N-Load® O.A.L. Gauges & Modified Cases - Hornady Manufacturing, Inc

I understand that you are new to reloading but for the most accurate ammo the bullet-to-lands relationship is important.
 

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Bowsnguns, if were me I'd telephone Ruger, them what you told us and see what they say. I would try some random factory rounds to see if they fit and maybe send the rifle back. I don't want to be locked in to a specific length until I've determined the best length for my self. The Hornady gauge is great but get a 1/4" dowel to push the trial bullets out of the chamber 'cause it won't stay in the gauge.
Good Luck have fun and Be SAFE.
 

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This advice...
If possible though, use an over-all-length gauge to check out the chamber.
or this advice...
.fully resize a case, take a dremel and make 3 relief cuts on the case mouth, (start shallow) start the bullet and chamber the round. Open the bolt, remove the cartridge and measure the OAL. This will give you a measurement from the bolt face to the point where the bullet contacts the lands, it’s actually making contact with the Ogive, but it will still give you a fairly accurate reading of the max length you can load a particular bullet.
All chambers are not created equal. Cartridge base to ogive of the specific bullet you are loading in your specific chamber is the number you want.
 

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Awesome. Thank you all. I’ll be picking up a OAL gauge tomorrow

Just a heads up......You have to buy a specific modified 6.5 CM case for use with the tool also. The case has the primer pocket drilled out and is threaded for mounting on the tool. The length rod goes through the case and pushes the bullet to the lands. You can then measure.

Hornady offers the modified cases for most popular calibers. They did not offer one for my 7-30 Waters. I had to send them a virgin case and they drilled and tapped it for me. Cheap money and fast turn around.

Bepe
 

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The COAL is actually not that important...
It is important when you want your cartridges to fit in your rifle's magazine. I experimented with seating a bullet out from the case until there was only about 0.015" clearance from the lands. But at that COAL/COL, the cartridge would not fit in the magazine.
 

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Far be it for me to say anything about this subject, But, it can be as simple as a digital caliper to measure OAL. But an entirely different and more complicated AND more accurate to use the method BR shooters use. Not needed if you only want a hunting round out to a couple hundred yards to take a game animal.

Real reloading for an accurate round no matter the CF Rifle caliber. You must use what people use to get to that level. Hornady makes several tools to get you there. OAL case guage (threaded primer pockets) for the rifle caliber your using, Comparator gauges, for measuring. Hornady Lock-N-Load Overall Length Gauge kit. At least that way you know when/where the bullet you want to use IS at the rifle land/grove. If you choose, you can back it off 1 or 2 thousandths'. But for just a hunting round close to Factory for your firearm is fine. You want to really reach out and touch the target? Then do what the pros do.
 
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