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Tommycourt
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This question may sound dumb to some but I need to know what the right answer is. I have been reloading .45 cal for my SR1911's using W231 and Bullseye. Next I will be using Power Pistol (6.9 grns) and the COAL that I use on Berry 230gr. RN is right at 1.250. In reading other forums, I have seen people who are using 1.2 as the OAL. Some are using Bullseye and some use W231. Are they saying that 1.200 is the actual bullet length? I TRY to keep mine all at 1.245 min. and 1.255 at max length. With a 1.200 doesn't that drive up the CUP pressure? Why is there such a disparity in bullet length. I know that many use SWC 180 grn. and some at 1.85 grn. but I have a real problem with the length being so short. What is the rule of thumb when it comes to the correct length. I know the type of powder and bullet size make a difference but .45-.55 is quite a difference. My pistols take 1.250 and they seem to feed fine and eject fine. Can someone set me on the right track?
Tommy
 

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This question may sound dumb to some but I need to know what the right answer is. I have been reloading .45 cal for my SR1911's using W231 and Bullseye. Next I will be using Power Pistol (6.9 grns) and the COAL that I use on Berry 230gr. RN is right at 1.250. In reading other forums, I have seen people who are using 1.2 as the OAL. Some are using Bullseye and some use W231. Are they saying that 1.200 is the actual bullet length? I TRY to keep mine all at 1.245 min. and 1.255 at max length. With a 1.200 doesn't that drive up the CUP pressure? Why is there such a disparity in bullet length. I know that many use SWC 180 grn. and some at 1.85 grn. but I have a real problem with the length being so short. What is the rule of thumb when it comes to the correct length. I know the type of powder and bullet size make a difference but .45-.55 is quite a difference. My pistols take 1.250 and they seem to feed fine and eject fine. Can someone set me on the right track?
Tommy
COAL

Lyman says, for the 230 grain RN TMJ, 1.275. For the Lyman #452374 lead 225 grain RN, 1.272. These must be maximums, but I don't know the why; See the Hornady data below for the practical procedure for your gun.

Now for the logical part:

Hornady lists a specific COAL for each weight and shape... and for the 230 grain RN it is 1.210, for both FMJ and lead. They say that length is for min spec chambers, and reloaders may need to load longer to feed properly.

So... I suggest you set up for 1.250, because you know it will feed properly, and fits your chamber.

In any case, for any shape bullet, you can determine the max COAL that will feed from your magazine, and plunk test to be sure that COAL isn't too long for your chamber. Then you can adjust from there for reliable feeding. You won't be exceeding max chamber pressures* if the cartridge will chamber (the plunk test).

* Ahem... that is if you throw the charge right.
 

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Your can also - for any shape bullet - do the plunk test first, starting with a long (but under 1.275) seating, and seating deeper as necessary to get a Good Plunk. Then work on the reliable feeding part. You don't need to do that for your 230 grain RN though.
 

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Tommycourt
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I looked at some more of the other threads and they have the COAL @ 1.90 and I believe that was for a beveled SWC. Then I looked at SAAMI which really doesn't mean anything anymore as they show the specs that were used for RN during WWII. But like Bob says: use the 1.250 as it fits my chamber fine. I am not understanding the disparity of lengths and especially with all the new powders that are coming out. And some of the powder manufacturers are not even publishing any literature except the sales part on how well their powder is made. Berry bullets recommends a max length of 1.250 on the 230grn. RN. I don't mind experimenting, but I don't want something I can't trust. Besides with the powder shortage and cost going up again, I don't have the money or availability of being able to try out something different all the time.
Tommy
 

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Hah. Tommy, I think you are suffering from Data Overload. Survival requires that you winnow out the stuff that is 'extra'.

Now I will add yet another datum: Some folks measure a few factory loads that have the bullet shape they are interested in, and seat their reloads to that. (They even do that for rifle cartridges). I just measured a round from a Remington box of 230 grain RN; it measured 1.235. I am pretty sure this falls in the 'extra' category.
 

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I looked at some more of the other threads and they have the COAL @ 1.90 and I believe that was for a beveled SWC. Then I looked at SAAMI which really doesn't mean anything anymore as they show the specs that were used for RN during WWII. But like Bob says: use the 1.250 as it fits my chamber fine. I am not understanding the disparity of lengths and especially with all the new powders that are coming out. And some of the powder manufacturers are not even publishing any literature except the sales part on how well their powder is made. Berry bullets recommends a max length of 1.250 on the 230grn. RN. I don't mind experimenting, but I don't want something I can't trust. Besides with the powder shortage and cost going up again, I don't have the money or availability of being able to try out something different all the time.
Tommy
Maybe you're in the twilight zone.:D
 

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The rule of thumb is, does the round feed from the magazine, up the ramp and into the chamber ? Does the round extract and eject? If the answer is yes to both questions ....then that is the correct length.
When ever I'm working with a new bullet, I load a round or two, sans powder and primer ( dummy ), seat the bullet to where it looks right, maybe a tad long. Load those two in a magazine and manually retract the slide and let it slam forward. If it hangs up , seat the bullet deeper and try again. When it feeds and extracts cleanly, by manually cycling the action then load up a few with powder to test.
I save the dummies to set my dies next time I want to load that bullet.
Using a factory round to set your die with is also a good idea, especially if the factory loads work in your gun. This is old school die adjustment / bullet seating depth method, but still works just fine.
Gary
 

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Tommycourt
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The rule of thumb is, does the round feed from the magazine, up the ramp and into the chamber ? Does the round extract and eject? If the answer is yes to both questions ....then that is the correct length.
When ever I'm working with a new bullet, I load a round or two, sans powder and primer ( dummy ), seat the bullet to where it looks right, maybe a tad long. Load those two in a magazine and manually retract the slide and let it slam forward. If it hangs up , seat the bullet deeper and try again. When it feeds and extracts cleanly, by manually cycling the action then load up a few with powder to test.
I save the dummies to set my dies next time I want to load that bullet.
Using a factory round to set your die with is also a good idea, especially if the factory loads work in your gun. This is old school die adjustment / bullet seating depth method, but still works just fine.
Gary
That is kind of what I have been doing. I also gauge all my rounds and at times I will do the plunk test to see how the rounds fit in the barrel. So far my COAL seems to be right at 1.250 and they seem to fire and eject correctly. I may vary at times, depending on the powder .003-.005 in length, longest is 1.255 and they seem to work well. Changing powders though, I like to make sure the sizing is correct. The part that bothers me is with the different powders, the COAL jumps all over. My rounds are range and plinking rounds only! But you and I are thinking along the same lines and that helps give me some assurance which is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Tommy
 

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Tommycourt
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hah. Tommy, I think you are suffering from Data Overload. Survival requires that you winnow out the stuff that is 'extra'.

Now I will add yet another datum: Some folks measure a few factory loads that have the bullet shape they are interested in, and seat their reloads to that. (They even do that for rifle cartridges). I just measured a round from a Remington box of 230 grain RN; it measured 1.235. I am pretty sure this falls in the 'extra' category.
Bob,
I bought some Remington's and they measured 1.252-1.256 and then I bought some Magtechs and they all measured 1.260+. Go figure, it must be the powder they use and they won't disclose that. I guess we expect too much anymore from manufacturers and everything has to be a trade secret.
Tommy
 

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my manuals list a minimum COAL, and I try to stay well over that number. some powders and charge weights will give way too much pressure if you get them too short. my rule of thumb is also to load a few and fire a few. check feed and function of course but aslo look for any sign of too much pressure. it ain't like baking a cake, a little too much and maybe a nice weapon can be destroyed, or maybe worse. when you are satisfied with those details, tweaking the load for better accuracy is always fun. I have also measured factory rounds, and find a lot of variation with them. more than I tolerate in my dungeon.
 
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