Let me bug you about OAL once again

Let me bug you about OAL once again

This is a discussion on Let me bug you about OAL once again within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; My Lee manual for .357mag gives 15.0gr min to 16.9gr max for H110 with a 158gr XTP and a MIN OAL of 1.580 I've noticed ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array likesbigbullets's Avatar
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    Let me bug you about OAL once again

    My Lee manual for .357mag gives 15.0gr min to 16.9gr max for H110 with a 158gr XTP and a MIN OAL of 1.580

    I've noticed that after I trim my brass with Lee's Shell Length Gage and Trimmer and run it through the sizer that it becomes very difficult to seat the bullets at the cannelure without falling .003 short of the MIN OAL.

    I'm only loading to 15.5, well below the max. Should this be a problem?

    Would you recomend that I don't trim the cases? (virgin starline)


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    Are you deburring and chamfering your brass after you trim?

    Also what does your bell look like?

    Can you post a pic of your brass before you seat the bullet we could probably solve your problem very quickly.

    I guess I don't understand why you are trimming straight wall pistol cases.
    “Are you a thermometer or a thermostat, do you reflect or become what is happening in the room or do you change the atmosphere, reset the temperature when you come into the room”?--Chuck Swindoll

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  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    .003 to .005" short is not going to hurt you at the lower end. At the upper end of that load "If" the case was full and the bullet was compressing the powder that small difference could raise the pressures. One thing Ive noticed about Lees loads is they are fairly conservative even at the max end. They give good performance but they are not on the ragged edge. Id go ahead and seat on the groove if it were me. DR

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    Member Array likesbigbullets's Avatar
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    Very cool. Thanks! think I'll be able to rest peacefully now.

    These "smile" options are hilarious!
    Last edited by likesbigbullets; May 9th, 2013 at 11:15 PM. Reason: spelling

  5. #5
    Member Array likesbigbullets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob99VMI04 View Post
    Are you deburring and chamfering your brass after you trim?

    Also what does your bell look like?

    Can you post a pic of your brass before you seat the bullet we could probably solve your problem very quickly.

    I guess I don't understand why you are trimming straight wall pistol cases.
    Yes, I'm deburing and chafering. I was trimming them because I was under the impression that I might not get a consistent crimp if I didn't. Hindsight 20/20... It was probably not worth the trouble.

  6. #6
    Member Array Aquaman's Avatar
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    20 years ago I reloaded thousands of rounds of .357mag and .38spl and never trimmed my brass. I always seated in the cannelure and never had any issues with OAL.

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquaman View Post
    20 years ago I reloaded thousands of rounds of .357mag and .38spl and never trimmed my brass. I always seated in the cannelure and never had any issues with OAL.
    If I were loading plinking or practice rounds trimming wont matter but if I was shooting Bullseye matches trimming will make each case exactly like the next. Where winners are sometimes named by the number of Xs, details may be all that separates the winners.
    I shot a lot of Cowboy Action matches. trimming was not necessary. The targets are up close, large, and any hit that knocks them down is scored the same. But when it came to Silhouettes shot with the same guns I needed any advantage I could get. So I load for them like long distance rifle rounds. I sort brass by head stamp, trim to length, make the primer pockets uniform, and weigh each powder charge. It makes a difference. DR

  8. #8
    Member Array noylj's Avatar
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    Compressing the powder is not a problem—there are a lot of great loads that compress the powder. A very short COL (as 0.010" shorter) is a disaster waiting to happen and requires a significant drop is starting charge (see using .38 Spl cases for .357 Mag loads) and your awareness of squibs. This, though, is not your issue.
    Going below the COL (NOT OAL) means you need to be somewhat cautious, so you start at the lowest starting load (using at least two independent sources of data) or you reduce the starting load about 2%.

    DangerRanger: did you test each "case prep" step for effectiveness or did you simply do it all without determining which were really significant? I always wanted to see real data for each of these voo-doo steps to see what impact each has.

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noylj View Post
    Compressing the powder is not a problem—there are a lot of great loads that compress the powder. A very short COL (as 0.010" shorter) is a disaster waiting to happen and requires a significant drop is starting charge (see using .38 Spl cases for .357 Mag loads) and your awareness of squibs. This, though, is not your issue.
    Going below the COL (NOT OAL) means you need to be somewhat cautious, so you start at the lowest starting load (using at least two independent sources of data) or you reduce the starting load about 2%.

    DangerRanger: did you test each "case prep" step for effectiveness or did you simply do it all without determining which were really significant? I always wanted to see real data for each of these voo-doo steps to see what impact each has.
    Actually each "VooDoo step" is to make each case exactly like the next. Most of these steps taken individually do nothing. But when used together to make each case identical to the next, it cuts the average deviation. DR

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