.30-06 COAL question.

.30-06 COAL question.

This is a discussion on .30-06 COAL question. within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; OK, so... Using an unprimed, fire-formed case with the neck resized, I just started to seat a bullet. Hornady A-Max. I then chambered the dummy ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array ChrisATX's Avatar
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    .30-06 COAL question.

    OK, so...

    Using an unprimed, fire-formed case with the neck resized, I just started to seat a bullet. Hornady A-Max. I then chambered the dummy round to seat the bullet using the lands. Now, my understanding is a safe distance is 0.02-0.03" back from the lands is preferred.

    The chambered dummy cartridge: 3.413"

    minus 0.02" or 0.03" =

    3.393" or 3.383"

    However... my reloading data says max overall length is 3.340".

    Is this a case of bullet shape (ogive determining best OAL?) or is it never ever safe to exceed OAL. The trim length is correct at 2.490".
    Home cooked always tastes better.


  2. #2
    Member Array ChrisATX's Avatar
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    the plastic ballistic tip measures 0.155". If I subtract that further, you get within the max COAL.
    Home cooked always tastes better.

  3. #3
    Member Array ChrisATX's Avatar
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    I just chambered a second dummy round, which I inserted at 3.4975"

    After chambering I got the exact COAL as the first: 3.413". So the bullet length seems consistent for these...
    Home cooked always tastes better.

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    It's not necessarily a safety issue. Since you are creating your own loads you could leave the bullet touching the lands. It would alter your pressure curve (the peak would appear sooner, remain higher longer, and drop more rapidly). Therefore to keep pressure within bounds you would wind up with a lighter load and most likely reduced overall velocity. Accuracy could be either better or worse.

    Regarding COAL, it is a standard provided so rifle and barrel makers can guarantee chamber and magazine function. A handload with a longer OAL may be perfect for a particular rifle but unsafe in one with a shorter lead, and may not fit in the magazine; or, may fit but bind in the mag.

    edit: To answer your question about ogive, dIfferent ogive shapes will result in differing OAL IF the lands are used as the point of reference. To this point, all .30 cal bullets of the same weight are NOT created equal.

    It all depends on what you want out of the bullet. For benchrest or other long range target shooting having to load rounds singly is not a problem and can result in maximum accuracy. For hunting or self defense/battle magazine function is critical.

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    Member Array ChrisATX's Avatar
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    Hoganbeg, thanks!

    I had planned on setting these back 0.02" from the lands to avoid the pressure spike.
    Home cooked always tastes better.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    When in doubt, re-read the re-loading manual to be sure you fully understand the processes involved. Lacking some overriding consideration, I would stay within the standards.
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    Home cooked always tastes better.

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    I foresee a range session in your future.

    So, what wt. bullet and what rifle?

    How often has that brass been loaded? Methinks I see stretch marks (rings) toward the base of some cases. Maybe it's just the light.

  9. #9
    Member Array ChrisATX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoganbeg View Post
    I foresee a range session in your future.

    So, what wt. bullet and what rifle?

    How often has that brass been loaded? Methinks I see stretch marks (rings) toward the base of some cases. Maybe it's just the light.
    155 gr A-Max, 49 gr IMR 4064, they've only been fired once (these are from my firing of factory ammo in the rifle they will be used in), never full length resized, never reloaded.

    They'll be used in this rifle, my 95 year old mistress (although she had some work done about 70 years ago):



    (yes the sling has been redone properly since this photo was taken).
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    Home cooked always tastes better.

  10. #10
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    Just curious - have you tried different charge weights with that bullet yet? While setting the bullet just short of touching the lands is an aid to accuracy, it's kind of a secondary effect. If you haven't already played with a range of charge weights, I'd start there. One you find the charge that's the most accurate, then experiment with OAL to find the sweet spot. It may be an iterative process, as the depth of the bullet in the case obviously has an affect on the pressure developed.

    Nice rifle, by the way!
    Smitty
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  11. #11
    Member Array ChrisATX's Avatar
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    Thanks gasmitty, no, not yet! I actually decided to go the way you suggested. I started with just a handful at the starting load for the powder, and seated deep enough to work properly in the M1903 magazine...

    My real concern is how much the fire forming changed the shape of the brass near the web and above... even after just one factory shot. All of the cases do have a slight bulge (without exception, Remington and Federal). The paper clip test doesn't find any catching of a thin spot where the bulging stops. It seems like the 03 just has a loose chamber? I'll take more pics, better safe than sorry as a novice.
    Home cooked always tastes better.

  12. #12
    Member Array ChrisATX's Avatar
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    Home cooked always tastes better.

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    Looks good! are you shooting a vintage match? 200 yards? single load? should be great. you will need to seat the bullets deeper if you have a rapid fire sequence. We have had good luck with the 168 grain AMAX with Varget powder. We are shooting 600 yards. My 1903 is my favorite rifle.
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  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    Beautiful piece of history you've got there! Those can be very accurate.

    If those are only once fired and you've checked with the paper clip test I'd say you are good to go. I'd check again after several times firing though; especially if you start running hot loads. Just to keep track of things.

    You seem to be doing everything by the numbers. Carry on.
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    Yep, I wouldn't get too concerned about the small deformation at the back of the case; it's just expanding to fit your chamber and it's still supported.
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    Smitty
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