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Posted: 12/12/2013 6:46:23 PM EST
Tired of trying to find consistent information on this. So here goes. What should the OAL be for my 55gr reloads? I'm pretty new to reloading but I have done a lot of research. My lyman handbook says OAL should be 2.260". My mags easly accept 2.260" (as they should), so my question is....why does everyone here seem to load to 2.250" ??? Wouldn't you want to load to industry standard?? And there is talk of 2.260 possibly being dangerous? How is that possible? Lyman would have been sued by now...lol

So frustrating
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 7:01:40 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/12/2013 7:08:35 PM EST by bloodsport2885]
I'm new too and from what I've gathered, rifle rounds are more forgiving than pistol rounds to being loaded short on COAL. In fact, pressure can increase as the bullet is loaded closer to the rifling of the chamber.

Most of the old timers told me to load my bullets so that the neck is in the middle of the cannelure and crimp. Or if my bullet doesn't have one, load to a little under mag length and carry on.

Since I'm new too, might want to check with Dryflash.


Link Posted: 12/12/2013 7:03:24 PM EST
2.260 is max length. 2.250 allows for some runout (components and process) and gives a bit of "wiggle room" so there is no binding in the mag.
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 7:14:39 PM EST
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Originally Posted By goldeyeslayer:
2.260 is max length. 2.250 allows for some runout (components and process) and gives a bit of "wiggle room" so there is no binding in the mag.
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+1
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 7:40:13 PM EST
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Originally Posted By goldeyeslayer:
2.260 is max length. 2.250 allows for some runout (components and process) and gives a bit of "wiggle room" so there is no binding in the mag.
View Quote


This. Most bullets vary a good bit in ogive and/or meplat which can make for considerable differences in COAL.

Not all but many 55gr bullets have a cannelure, in which case normal procedure would be to seat to a length that places the case mouth in about the middle of the cannelure. I pretty much seat anything 55gr and up without a cannelure to 2.25 for ARs, lighter bullets usually need a little less COAL to attain sufficient seating depth.
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 7:50:16 PM EST
I follow load data specs and adjust from there.
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 7:55:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/12/2013 7:56:56 PM EST by dryflash3]
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 8:42:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/12/2013 8:43:14 PM EST by mwolverine8]
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Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Mag length is 2.260, I load to a max of 2.250 with the longer (heavier than 62 gr) bullets. Shorter (lighter) bullets I follow load data OAL.

This ensures every round will feed in any of my AR's or mags even if bullet varies a little.

No accuracy is gained by seating to 2.260 as the throat in the AR is deep and you will never reach the lands with a round that feeds from a mag.

Follow the data for OAL for the bullet you are loading.


Case trimmed to 1.750 (trim to length) and 55 gr Hornady FMJBT seated to mid cannelure. No where near 2.260, and this length shoots very well.

OAL in bottleneck rifle rounds is not critical. Follow what your data says.

AOL in straight sided pistol rounds is critical (high pressure) as there is not as much case volume as a bottleneck rifle round.
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Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Originally Posted By mwolverine8:
Tired of trying to find consistent information on this. So here goes. What should the OAL be for my 55gr reloads? I'm pretty new to reloading but I have done a lot of research. My lyman handbook says OAL should be 2.260". My mags easly accept 2.260" (as they should), so my question is....why does everyone here seem to load to 2.250" ??? Wouldn't you want to load to industry standard?? And there is talk of 2.260 possibly being dangerous? How is that possible? Lyman would have been sued by now...lol

So frustrating
Mag length is 2.260, I load to a max of 2.250 with the longer (heavier than 62 gr) bullets. Shorter (lighter) bullets I follow load data OAL.

This ensures every round will feed in any of my AR's or mags even if bullet varies a little.

No accuracy is gained by seating to 2.260 as the throat in the AR is deep and you will never reach the lands with a round that feeds from a mag.

Follow the data for OAL for the bullet you are loading.


Case trimmed to 1.750 (trim to length) and 55 gr Hornady FMJBT seated to mid cannelure. No where near 2.260, and this length shoots very well.

OAL in bottleneck rifle rounds is not critical. Follow what your data says.

AOL in straight sided pistol rounds is critical (high pressure) as there is not as much case volume as a bottleneck rifle round.

You're a saint. Actually you're all saints, but many thanks to clearing this up. I was trying to seat as close to mag length as possible to lessen the bullet jump to the lands in hope to increase accuracy. Since you said that it doesn't affect accuracy, I'm totally done with that endeavor now haha.

Just curious: I'm hoping to achieve, (with some practice) about ~0.5 MOA accuracy eventually once I've fine tuned these hand loads to my rifle. Is that a realistic expectation in a semi-auto rifle?
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 8:48:26 PM EST
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Originally Posted By bloodsport2885:
I'm new too and from what I've gathered, rifle rounds are more forgiving than pistol rounds to being loaded short on COAL. In fact, pressure can increase as the bullet is loaded closer to the rifling of the chamber.

Most of the old timers told me to load my bullets so that the neck is in the middle of the cannelure and crimp. Or if my bullet doesn't have one, load to a little under mag length and carry on.




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You have learned well Grasshopper.
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 8:54:34 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Alpha82:


This. Most bullets vary a good bit in ogive and/or meplat which can make for considerable differences in COAL.

Not all but many 55gr bullets have a cannelure, in which case normal procedure would be to seat to a length that places the case mouth in about the middle of the cannelure. I pretty much seat anything 55gr and up without a cannelure to 2.25 for ARs, lighter bullets usually need a little less COAL to attain sufficient seating depth.
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Originally Posted By Alpha82:
Originally Posted By goldeyeslayer:
2.260 is max length. 2.250 allows for some runout (components and process) and gives a bit of "wiggle room" so there is no binding in the mag.


This. Most bullets vary a good bit in ogive and/or meplat which can make for considerable differences in COAL.

Not all but many 55gr bullets have a cannelure, in which case normal procedure would be to seat to a length that places the case mouth in about the middle of the cannelure. I pretty much seat anything 55gr and up without a cannelure to 2.25 for ARs, lighter bullets usually need a little less COAL to attain sufficient seating depth.


Oh like HP/SP/FMJ all have different ogives is what you're saying right? I see what you mean. And about the cannelure: If I seat to the bullet's cannelure, that's usually way below 2.250" (at least for my rounds). So is it OKAY to seat BELOW the cannelure? It's just so hard for me to seat below 2.250", I feel like its too short then. Is there any benefit to seating/crimping AT the cannelure?

Also, I'm using a taper crimp at 1/8 turn after it meets the case (said RCBS manual). I honestly have heard crimps are optional, though some say necessary. How much crimp is enough/how much is too much? I don't know what to look for in a taper crimp - I'm kind of just going on faith that it crimped and pushing the round into the table to test tension haha..

I'm a very young grasshopper...
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 8:57:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/12/2013 9:04:29 PM EST by rg1]
At 2.260" which is maximum magazine length some mags with some bullets may be unreliable and 2.250" allows a little more reliability. Trying to seat to 2.260 and you will have a few bullets come out longer than 2.260" Seating .010" shorter will give more room should a few bullets be longer than others. That's one reason. I even seat my heavy 77 gr. BTHP's to 2.250" for extra space. Most magazines have no problems seating to max recommended length or maybe even longer but some mags over the years are more reliable not seating max length. Generally it's best to seat a bullet to their manufacturers recommended oal. Due to the blunt rounded tips of Hornady 55 FMJ's Hornady recommends seating to 2.200" while other more sharply pointed 55 grain FMJ bullets would be seated to 2.250". I have one AR that doesn't like 77 BTHP match bullets at max length but feeds them reliably at 2.250" or as close as I can get them. I tested 2 popular AR's with Hornady's 55 FMJ's and to touch the lands the oal was 2.370 and the other was 2.390" so you're a long way off the lands at 2.260".
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 2:46:41 AM EST
I have seated 55"s as short as 2.210 Most of them I seat at 2.220 to 2.225. I have some 65gr I seat out to 2.255. Short blunt tip bullets need to be seated to a shorter OAL to keep enough of the bullet inside the case neck for good neck tension.

I rarely crimp rifle rounds.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 3:13:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/13/2013 3:14:05 AM EST by xXNuggettXx]
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Originally Posted By mwolverine8:
I'm hoping to achieve, (with some practice) about ~0.5 MOA accuracy eventually once I've fine tuned these hand loads to my rifle. Is that a realistic expectation in a semi-auto rifle?
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In my opinion, the short answer is no. The longer answer is that it depends on many more factors like barrel length, type of barrel, gas system type, trigger, component quality, powder, etc. Not to mention the loose nut behind the gun.

Is it possible to shoot some groups at 0.5 MOA? Of course. But to consistently shoot that well in semi is very difficult and requires very top shelf stuff and years of experience.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 4:05:41 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 9:31:42 AM EST
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Originally Posted By KyGolf:
I have seated 55"s as short as 2.210 Most of them I seat at 2.220 to 2.225. I have some 65gr I seat out to 2.255. Short blunt tip bullets need to be seated to a shorter OAL to keep enough of the bullet inside the case neck for good neck tension.

I rarely crimp rifle rounds.
View Quote


What kind of accuracy do you get with seating that short? I know the throat is deep so wouldn't you want to minimize the bullet jump to the rifling as much as possible?

It's just cause that's all I read - "get your bullet close as possible to the lands!"
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 9:33:44 AM EST
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Originally Posted By AeroE:


It's reasonable from an AR with a good barrel shooting good bullets. Don't expect that from a rack grade barrel.

A "good" barrel starts with a blank from Hart, or Krieger, or Shilen, etc, then gets a correctly machined chamber and crown. The good news is that a free floated rack grade barrel will often produce 3/4 inch groups with handloads.

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Originally Posted By AeroE:
Originally Posted By mwolverine8:
...

Just curious: I'm hoping to achieve, (with some practice) about ~0.5 MOA accuracy eventually once I've fine tuned these hand loads to my rifle. Is that a realistic expectation in a semi-auto rifle?


It's reasonable from an AR with a good barrel shooting good bullets. Don't expect that from a rack grade barrel.

A "good" barrel starts with a blank from Hart, or Krieger, or Shilen, etc, then gets a correctly machined chamber and crown. The good news is that a free floated rack grade barrel will often produce 3/4 inch groups with handloads.


3/4 inch you say? I'm definitely okay with that. With factory ammo I can't score better than sub MOA. Which is a combination of my rifle, me, and the quality of ammo i purchase. I will never spend a $1 per rd for 223 unless it was match... That's just a sin in my book.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 9:39:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/13/2013 9:39:47 AM EST by steve4102]
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Originally Posted By mwolverine8:


What kind of accuracy do you get with seating that short? I know the throat is deep so wouldn't you want to minimize the bullet jump to the rifling as much as possible?

It's just cause that's all I read - "get your bullet close as possible to the lands!"
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Originally Posted By mwolverine8:
Originally Posted By KyGolf:
I have seated 55"s as short as 2.210 Most of them I seat at 2.220 to 2.225. I have some 65gr I seat out to 2.255. Short blunt tip bullets need to be seated to a shorter OAL to keep enough of the bullet inside the case neck for good neck tension.

I rarely crimp rifle rounds.


What kind of accuracy do you get with seating that short? I know the throat is deep so wouldn't you want to minimize the bullet jump to the rifling as much as possible?

It's just cause that's all I read - "get your bullet close as possible to the lands!"


Forget about the lands in a 5.56. They are far far away and the only way to get close is to load single shot with long heavy bullets.

The distance to the lands is only but one Small aspect in the quest for accuracy. In fact, in most of my rifles it's the last thing on the list I deal with. Bullet selection, bullet weight, powder, powder charge, primer and case can have a hell of a lot more affect on accuracy then OAL in an AR.


Link Posted: 12/13/2013 2:26:02 PM EST
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Originally Posted By mwolverine8:


What kind of accuracy do you get with seating that short? I know the throat is deep so wouldn't you want to minimize the bullet jump to the rifling as much as possible?

It's just cause that's all I read - "get your bullet close as possible to the lands!"
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Originally Posted By mwolverine8:
Originally Posted By KyGolf:
I have seated 55"s as short as 2.210 Most of them I seat at 2.220 to 2.225. I have some 65gr I seat out to 2.255. Short blunt tip bullets need to be seated to a shorter OAL to keep enough of the bullet inside the case neck for good neck tension.

I rarely crimp rifle rounds.


What kind of accuracy do you get with seating that short? I know the throat is deep so wouldn't you want to minimize the bullet jump to the rifling as much as possible?

It's just cause that's all I read - "get your bullet close as possible to the lands!"



One ragged hole at 50 yds. They were 55 gr Hornady FMJ -BT bullets, that is at the forward end of the cannelure. They are a short stubby bullet, if you tried to get them out to the lands there wouldn't be much bullet left in the neck.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 6:44:17 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/14/2013 1:47:31 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/14/2013 1:48:10 PM EST
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