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45 ACP - OAL 1.125 "or shorter"?


ntphd

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I had a recent conversation with someone who has every reason to know what he's talking about, and I'm a relative newbie to reloading. What he said was so different from everything I've read, however, I thought I would check with you folks.

I'm loading 230gr RN FP moly-coated. When I mentioned my problems (some failure-to-feed; also, once the gun gets hot it's difficult to show clear at the end of the stage--last round sticks in chamber making it very difficult to pull the slide back and eject), he said it sounded like my oal was the problem. He said that I should be loading to oal 1.125 "or shorter."

Everything I've read in manuals, on powder manufacturer sites, and on this forum suggests that a minimum oal would be ~1.20. Most posts I read here, and most guys I talk with at matches, advocate an oal longer than 1.20.

Any thoughts?

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Correction:

"Everything I've read in manuals, on powder manufacturer sites, and on this forum suggests that a minimum oal would be ~1.20."

I should have said that these sources recommend oal 1.20 or longer. I don't think any of them use the word "minimum."

My bad . . .

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Your guy is confused, he probably meant 1.250 or shorter which would be spot on, Your problem probably isnt length, but a sizing, beeling, seating crimping issue. Basically over diameter. Are you using a Dillon seating die?

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if your round is sticking in the chamber, the round is too long. you have not said how long your loaded rounds are.

remove the barrel from your gun. drop loaded round in the chamber and checked it drops in and drops out, if not, shorten till it does.

among other things, oal is determined by the bullet shape and your chamber length.

Edited by wanderer
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among other things, oal is determined by the bullet shape and your chamber length.

This is worth emphasizing. Don't assume that just because brand A 230 gr bullets run at 1.25 that brand B will run at 1.25. I can run Bootheel Bullets 230s at 1.27 if I want, but Precision 230s have to be shortened to 1.22 to run reliably in my gun.

Edited by bbbean
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I ran into similar problems with 200gr SWC in my Kimber.

1) I found that crimps .471 or more tended to cause FTF, or 3-point-jams. The larger the crimp, the worst the jams got. Really bad at .472 and .473. At .469-.470 I have no issues.

2) OALs longer than 1.250 tended to hang up in my Kimbers when ejecting a live round (as in showing clear at end of stage). After a lot of testing with dummy rounds at various OALs, I have settled on an OAL of 1.245 for 200gr SWC, and my guns seem to like it as well.

A search on this subforum should come up with a few posts of mine on these issues.

Basically, you need to experiment and find the right combo that works for your gun.

One of the best investments you can make that will help you produce quality reloads is a Wilson cartridge gauge.

:cheers:

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Thanks for the feeback. I'll play around with shorter oal and check crimp again.

BTW, Greg, is a Wilson gauge better than/different from a Dillon gauge? The reason I ask is that the rounds I'm using drop easily into my Dillon gauge, but still manifest the problems described above.

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I Didn't see any data on powders used. If your gun runs hot too quickly because the load is "hot" you can also run into feeding and clearing problems. Don't reduce OAL until you chrono some rounds. Keep an eye on over pressure signs such as flat primers or powder around the primer. OAL issues are easily fixed by gauging to your barrel. High pressure can hurt. :cheers:

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Thanks for the feeback. I'll play around with shorter oal and check crimp again.

BTW, Greg, is a Wilson gauge better than/different from a Dillon gauge? The reason I ask is that the rounds I'm using drop easily into my Dillon gauge, but still manifest the problems described above.

I'm sure they are the same thing, but I only have experience with the Wilson. I belive you could still have a round with too large of a crimp for your gun (within specs but enough to cause FTF jam as mentioned above), but will still drop into the cartridge gauge. The gauge is based off SAAMI max specs, but that doesnt necessarily mean what will work in your gun. This is the important part, finding what your gun likes.

It's the last check I do for match loads, and so far as been worth the extra step.

Edited by GregJ
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I had a follow up conversation with the person mentioned in the op. He said he meant 1.225, not 1.125. Sounds much closer to what some have mentioned in this thread.

Thanks again for the feedback. This forum is great. I've read a few posts from folks talking about what it was like to learn to reload before the internet. Not to be self-deprecating, but I'm sure I would have become frustrated and quit. . . Or maybe taken a second job so I could afford factory ammo. . . Or maybe would have continued to use my inferior rounds at matches and just cussed a lot about it . . . Anyway, thanks.

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I had a follow up conversation with the person mentioned in the op. He said he meant 1.225, not 1.125. Sounds much closer to what some have mentioned in this thread.

Thanks again for the feedback. This forum is great. I've read a few posts from folks talking about what it was like to learn to reload before the internet. Not to be self-deprecating, but I'm sure I would have become frustrated and quit. . . Or maybe taken a second job so I could afford factory ammo. . . Or maybe would have continued to use my inferior rounds at matches and just cussed a lot about it . . . Anyway, thanks.

I have to run a 230gr LRN at/under 1.235 for a LWD barrel in a Glock 30. I'll run them down to 1.225 which is right at the driving band.

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