Confused (I think) about OAL for 45 acp loads

This is a discussion on Confused (I think) about OAL for 45 acp loads within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I posted this on another forum. Interested to hear as many thoughts as possible: I have been reloading for a while 9mm only. I am ...

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Thread: Confused (I think) about OAL for 45 acp loads

  1. #1
    Member Array waketurb007's Avatar
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    Confused (I think) about OAL for 45 acp loads

    I posted this on another forum. Interested to hear as many thoughts as possible:

    I have been reloading for a while 9mm only. I am setting up my press to now do 45 acp. I will be loading 230 gn. FMJ with Bullseye powder. According to my Lyman Pistol and Revolver handbook, the OAL for this bullet (using TMJ data) is 1.275

    IIRC, the published OAL is the MINIMUM. In the case of the 230 gn. FMJ, the 1.275 OAL is also the MAXIMUM case length for the 45 acp. Does this mean that I have to load this right at 1.275 OAL. I am thinking it does.

    For comparison sake I checked a factory 230 FMJ round. It has a OAL of 1.258. Now I am really confused! Anyone have any insight?

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    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    I believe that is the max, but certainly not the minimum. My 5" 1911 prefers 1.263 (+/- .003"). A word of caution - I measured 20 randomly selected rounds from 2 different case lots of WWB and the variance is scary! The shortest measured 1.254" and the longest measured 1.265". That's pretty sloppy by anyone's standards. I found it best to call the manufacturer for specs. Hornady, for example, stated the max for the 230 XTP JHP was something like 1.235". It has to do with the different ogives on each specific bullet. The FMJ you're loading might just be maxed out at 1.275".

    Just check the manufacturer and several manuals and ALWAYS BE SAFE while reloading!
    Tim
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    Member Array Emrah's Avatar
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    What he said.

    Emrah

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    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    For 230grain FMJ, I load to a length of 1.260..

    The bullets that measure out to 1.275 all have odd shapes where the front of the bullet is more narrow than the actual bullet's diameter (like semi-wadcutter). These fit in the pistol chamber without contacting the rifled part of the barrel.

    bosco
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    Member Array waketurb007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boscobeans View Post
    For 230grain FMJ, I load to a length of 1.260..

    The bullets that measure out to 1.275 all have odd shapes where the front of the bullet is more narrow than the actual bullet's diameter (like semi-wadcutter). These fit in the pistol chamber without contacting the rifled part of the barrel.

    bosco
    Bosco,

    This is a reply that I got on the other forum that I posted this on:

    "According to Quickload, a 230gr Speer TMJ seated to 1.275 over 5.8gr Bulleyes should produce 20999psi, right at max PSI for the 45acp. That same bullet over the same charge seated just .015 deeper, at 1.260, shows 22217psi, which is 5% over max pressure."

    My reloading manual (Lyman's Pistol and Handgun Reloading) gives a OAL of 1.275 which is also the max OAL for the 45 acp.

    For the sake of comparison my 9mm loads the manual shows a OAL of 1.090 for a 115 grain bullet with the max OAL 1.169 for the 9mm. I reload my 9mm to 1.14 which is within this range.

    Back to the 45acp, what I still do not understand is how I can SAFELY seat the bullet deeper then 1.275 and be within limits.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Lee Manual is showing a 230 grain fmj 5.0 grains bullseye w/minimum OAL 1.190
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    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    I dug out my Speer reloading manual. For their 230gr TMJ bullet they show the following load for Bullseye..

    MAXIMUM LOAD- 5.7 GRAINS Bullseye
    Overall length - 1.260inches
    Should give a velocity of 840fps.

    As for the 9mm OAL I do not find any loadings for bullets over 100grains to be that low...From 110 grain and up the OAL's are all 1.120 or longer...

    The 100gr JHP is shown to loaded to an OAL of 1.050. I have never used QuickLoad but from what I have read it is a computer based system and can be off the mark to some degree... Here is a warning I found concerning it's use.

    "WARNING: QuickLOAD is a computer simulation of centerfire cartridge performance. YOU MUST NEVER just "plug in the numbers" and use QuickLOAD's output for a load recipe. That is foolish and dangerous. There are many reasons why the data QuickLOAD generates may not be safe in YOUR gun. Before loading live ammunition, you should always check with the powder-makers' most recent load data. In fact, you should check multiple sources if possible, and consult with individuals who actually load for that cartridge. Sierra Bullets offers free load maps which, in general, are fairly conservative. Even when using manufacturers' load data, start 10% low and work up. Differences in brass, primer brand, and seating depth can make huge differences in pressure. Always reload conservatively and always double- and triple-check QuickLOAD's output against reliable load data supplied by the powder-makers."

    OMO

    bosco

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array TheShadow's Avatar
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    I've been reloading Zero brand 230gr FMJ's at 1.262 and they have been performing well in a 3" 1911


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