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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

Just got a Hornady O.A.L. gauge and bullet comparator. When trying to measure free bore on my 308 win RAR I got results that surprised me. With Barnes 150 gr tipped triple shocks and also a Nosler 130 gr it seems the lands start "way out there". That is both bullet styles would just barely be in the neck when seated out on the lands. It seems both would be at least 1/8 inch longer than I have been seating them. Even the commercial loads I have used would likely need to be much longer than indicated by this checking.

I did seem to get a positive feel when both bullets hit the lands, or came to a stop and I was careful not to force anything.

Question is is this uncommon or is it possible to mishandle the gauge?

The rifle shoots fine, sub MOA happens with both commercial and reloads, even got one group of three all touching with the barnes bullets the other day, the one the OAL gauge seems to indicate could be 1/8 longer. So no accuracy issues with the rifle just questions and a surprising measurement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes I understand the different ogive issue, however both of the bullets checked indicated that the lands were way out there. That is both would seem to need to be loaded MUCH longer than manuals would indicate if the object was to load them .02 or so short of the lands.
 

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Some rifles are just produced with "deep throats" :)p). I have not determined for my self the accuracy advantage of "near the lands" reloading but there is a lot written about it. I have determined the max. OAL for my rifles with a Hornady tool, but have not decided if seating to the lands (or .010" or .015" or .020" off) does me any good. I normally use the bullet manufacturer's recommendations for OAL...

FWIW I can get 3/4" groups with handloads in my .308 Win. Ruger American using 155 A-Max and Hornady specs...
 

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AMax and even rimfire bullets of the same design are not as accurate as a PSP boatail bullet. My 270 goes wild with Amax bullets. I never even tried an Amax in my 30/06. The only thing I have seen that shoots Amax bullets well is a single shot 243. That 243 must be golden. Everything about it is screwed up and it still shoots good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
mikid

Thanks, apparently my RAR is a deep throat version. I checked a Savage .223 and got results indicating nowhere near as much apparent free bore as the Ruger.

I hope to check out the effect, if any, of seating depth on the Savage and just stick with the bullet suppliers OAL recommendations with the Ruger.
 

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Ruger's and Weatherby's are notorious for having.......shall we say VERY generous throats. Nothing unusual. To try and load something "touching" or right off the lands in this rifle, will be about impossible. You might be closer to the lands with something really heavy, like a 200gr Match King, but not a light bullet.

Saying that across the board, the A-max is not as accurate as other bullets, is not a true statement. While A-max may not shoot the best with every load, neither do match kings, partitions, Bergers, or anything else. There is no ONE bullet that's best. If it were, that's what we would all use
 

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The OAL gauge is useless unless you correct for headpace. The control dimension is between where the modified case headspaces on the datum of the shoulder and where the bullet ogive contacts the lands. If your actual case doesn't have the exact same headspace dimension as the modified case, then the OAL measurement is absolutely useless. (Unless you correct for your headspace differential).

EDIT: To be clear, I love having access to headspace comparators and OAL gauges, so don't get me wrong here - the tool is not useless. But... The measurements you take are useless if you aren't measuring properly, and by design, you need additional tools to measure properly.
 
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