how often do you check your OAL?

This is a discussion on how often do you check your OAL? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; how often do you check your OAL when reloading. if it makes a difference as to what kind of equipment you are using, please say ...

View Poll Results: how often do you check your OAL?

Voters
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  • every round

    1 3.33%
  • every 2-3 rounds

    1 3.33%
  • every 5 rounds

    2 6.67%
  • every 10 rounds

    7 23.33%
  • ever 50+ rounds

    19 63.33%
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Thread: how often do you check your OAL?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    how often do you check your OAL?

    how often do you check your OAL when reloading.
    if it makes a difference as to what kind of equipment you are using, please say so.

    i check every 5 rounds on my lee turret

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Rarely.

    When I set my dies up, I do it for the lead I intend to use, and tend to stick with that lead manufacturer and grain, for a while. After I am satisfied with the setup, by measuring, checking the seating etc, I lock the dies down and they are set.

    Occasionally I will check the OAL, but not very often. If I switch types of lead or go from jacketed to hollow point, whatever then I will measure, but I might run 1000 or more rounds on a setup without checking the OAL.

    This is with pistols and mostly with target loads, not rifles, those will be checked more often as I will be building my first rifle rounds next week probably.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Every 100 rounds or more after i check the setup .. once its set you usually dont need to check it much

  4. #4
    Member Array Airedale's Avatar
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    I spot check when I reload primers-every 100 rds.
    Dave

  5. #5
    Member Array 1911NM's Avatar
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    actually more like every 25 or so, but this is with a press new to me, and so far, I am gaining confident in it enough to back up to every 100 rds. I find with the Hornady LNL-AP, I set my OAL, run 5, reset, check, and if satisfied just run that puppy.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    I'd honestly more like every 100, unless I'm setting up a new set of dies.
    Be Observant and Be Safe.

    Current: DW V-Bob 1911, S&W 442, Springfield XD9sc, XDm9,
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    guess i didnt make my range large enough on the poll
    o well.
    i have a new press and dies so they still wiggle loose just a little.
    just did my first 100 rounds today and i noticed towards the end that i wasnt having to adjust them near as much, if at all.

  8. #8
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    I too voted the 50+ (thinking pistol ammo I might add) .... fact is, once whole system set up - consistency is pretty well assured. Unless, there is something loose that might effect a change, most importantly in bullet seating depth.

    It could just occur that bullet lube could build to such an extent that over deep seating could happen and this matters of course with high pressure rounds like .40 and 9mm in particular. However, most of us I feel with some experience usually sense if something is wrong, or more precisely ''not right''! - subtle difference!

    I will go thru a large number with only an OAL check perhaps at the end of a 50 batch but not always.

    Now rifle - different matter ....... I want to keep tabs on too deep and not deep enough - so probably will reassure myself more often - calipers set to my then measurement and quickly slide finished round thru jaws - takes two seconds.
    Chris - P95
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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    ok then, what would you say your guys' tolerances are then?
    .01"?

  10. #10
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    Tolerances?

    Again depends somewhat on the round. 10 thou is probably close enough but again it'd be more important on small high pressure rounds like 9mm than say .38 spl's. Smaller the case volume the more critical.

    With rifle too - re the ''jump'' it would be undesirable if keeping that a short distance on critical loads to let OAL increase much at all, whereas a slight reduction on a regular load perhaps not too big a deal. On rifle I'd rather see -5 thou than plus 5 thou ...... but again if loads are hot and maxed out still best to keep to minimal tolerance IMO.

    To be honest I don't apply a tolerance per se in general ... if I check and find a discrepancy I try to remedy it and so probably am thinking more like +/- 5 thou if I can be that scrupulous.

    Certainly I am more ''forgiving'' on normal pistol loads - 'hot' .454 or 44 mag more fussy. In these instances tho I will see either a canellure or with cast, a top of grease groove perhaps - easy to spot significant discepancies by just a look.
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    My tolerance is .005" for plinkers, zero for "other ammo"-let's not get into that debate.

    For 10mm my target OAL is 1.260" If I get OALs from 1.255-1.265" I still sleep like a baby. If I get OAL variance of .01" I pull and reseat the bullet. Too long is better than too short. Too long= pressure reduction. Too short= pressure increase.

    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry
    Smaller the case volume the more critical.
    This is a true statement.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    ok good. thats what i do as well

  13. #13
    Member Array zxd9's Avatar
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    I check the first few out and then every 50 or so.

  14. #14
    Member Array N.M. Edmands's Avatar
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    Loading lubed lead I will check every 50+ rounds. I load a lot of .40 and got burned once with lube build up in my seating die. [-0.015"] On jacketed maybe every 500.
    Oh yeh? Well this was sent from the scary black electrical box under my desk, so there!
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  15. #15
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    I set up to seat bullets, verifying OAL length of the finished cartridge, then don't measure again. Instead I monitor the seating die to insure that everything is staying tight during the bullet seating stage. It always does as it's easy to screw everything down tight and there are set screws that help keep it that way. We're talking single-stage press here, an RCBS Rockchucker.

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