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Questions On Oal...


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I am loading 223 on an XL650. I was having trouble with OAL using some cheap bullets from IMI. OAL varied long or short by as much as .015", so I bought some 55 grain FMJBT from Winchester figuring they would do better. Set up OAL at 2.215 with cases in each station and started cranking. You guessed it---OAL varies by +.005" to minus .010". I am using a light load of 23 grains so it shouldn't make much difference, but I want to work up to a max load.

I can't figure out what is going on. The bench is rock solid, nothing slips and the only consistent thing is that no two cartridge OAL's are the same. I have been using Dillon's dies and changed to a Lee seating die thinking that might make a difference. Can someone explain to me what is happening and how to correct it?

Thanks!

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I am loading 223 on an XL650. I was having trouble with OAL using some cheap bullets from IMI. OAL varied long or short by as much as .015", so I bought some 55 grain FMJBT from Winchester figuring they would do better. Set up OAL at 2.215 with cases in each station and started cranking. You guessed it---OAL varies by +.005" to minus .010". I am using a light load of 23 grains so it shouldn't make much difference, but I want to work up to a max load.

I can't figure out what is going on. The bench is rock solid, nothing slips and the only consistent thing is that no two cartridge OAL's are the same. I have been using Dillon's dies and changed to a Lee seating die thinking that might make a difference. Can someone explain to me what is happening and how to correct it?

Thanks!

My experience with those particular bullets is that they very in length and in other dimensions. I've tried measuring on the bearing surface as well and got a more consistent measurement but still not as good as with higher quality bullets. Considering how inexpensive the IMI where the last time I bought them I figured the OAL variance wasn't that big of a deal. I don't know how to correct it other than to set the seating depth a little deeper to ensure that none exceeded the maximum length that I decided on.

I don't think its your equipment or technique.

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I would expect up to .020" OAL variation with these bullets. It helps if during setup you make sure you have a fired case in station one when adjusting the seating depth. Doing this ensures the toolhead is always loaded to the top.

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I would expect up to .020" OAL variation with these bullets. It helps if during setup you make sure you have a fired case in station one when adjusting the seating depth. Doing this ensures the toolhead is always loaded to the top.

I size riflle brass on a separate tool head, so station one is empty. I do have a fired case in each of the other stations, except for the crimp station which has a completed round to be crimped. How do I seat bullets accurately on a progressive if I am to expect a .020" variation in OAL? With a heavy charge I am afraid of too much pressure. Do I just give up loading accurate rifle ammo on a progressive or load it but never go above the minimum charge of powder? Or is it the bullets? :huh:

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  • 4 weeks later...
I am loading 223 on an XL650. I was having trouble with OAL using some cheap bullets from IMI. OAL varied long or short by as much as .015", so I bought some 55 grain FMJBT from Winchester figuring they would do better. Set up OAL at 2.215 with cases in each station and started cranking. You guessed it---OAL varies by +.005" to minus .010". I am using a light load of 23 grains so it shouldn't make much difference, but I want to work up to a max load.

I can't figure out what is going on. The bench is rock solid, nothing slips and the only consistent thing is that no two cartridge OAL's are the same. I have been using Dillon's dies and changed to a Lee seating die thinking that might make a difference. Can someone explain to me what is happening and how to correct it?

Thanks!

I've had the same problem, at first, I thought it was the bullets too, but bought some 69gr SMK's and the problem is even worse with them. I even bought a micrometer competition seating dye, still no difference. Then I noticed it's doing the same thing in .308 Win. I'm using a Dillon 550b, but also have an old Lee hand press, I tried seating a few bullets with it, and found no variation. I've come to the conclusion, that it is a result of play between the Dillon tool head, and the frame. I have not decided what to do about it yet, but am considering resigning the Dillon exclusively to load pistol cartriges, and getting a single stage or turett press for loading rifle.

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I am loading 223 on an XL650. I was having trouble with OAL using some cheap bullets from IMI. OAL varied long or short by as much as .015", so I bought some 55 grain FMJBT from Winchester figuring they would do better. Set up OAL at 2.215 with cases in each station and started cranking. You guessed it---OAL varies by +.005" to minus .010". I am using a light load of 23 grains so it shouldn't make much difference, but I want to work up to a max load.

I can't figure out what is going on. The bench is rock solid, nothing slips and the only consistent thing is that no two cartridge OAL's are the same. I have been using Dillon's dies and changed to a Lee seating die thinking that might make a difference. Can someone explain to me what is happening and how to correct it?

Thanks!

Suggest you try posing this question in the Dillon reloading section and see what the horse's mouth has to say.

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