Bbl and COAL? How long?

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Bbl and COAL? How long?

Post by igolfat8 on Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:57 pm

When I drop an empty .45 case into my Springfield RO bbl I think the case open end bottoms out in the bbl where the ridge is where the rifling begins. When I drop in a reloaded round in it makes a different sound and I think the bullet (200g LSWC Lee) makes a different sound and I think the lead bullet wad cutter edge is coming to rest on the ridge where the rifling starts. The case head sets a tad higher out of the end of the chamber by about .030". Does that mean the round overall all length is too long? Should the brass rest against the rifling or should the bullet?


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Re: Bbl and COAL? How long?

Post by jerry lehrer on Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:29 am


It means that your loaded rounds are just about right. The "The wad cutter edge" as you call it should engage the rifling.  I set my seater
to about .o40 above the case.  Some people say it should be .020, so
you are just about right.

Overall length has nothing to do with it.

The bullet should "rest against the rifling" as you stated.


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Re: Bbl and COAL? How long?

Post by DavidR on Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:27 am

How much bullet is above the loaded rounds case? There should only be about  .032 of the bullet rim showing above the case. Some people  load long rounds  touching the rifling, and this can be ok for slow fire  but this can cause issues in competition, the least amount of crud or a long case can cause malfunctions especially in timed and rapid fire. Best way to check your rounds is with a check gauge, if the round drops in fully and without resistance it will feed in your gun.


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Re: Bbl and COAL? How long?

Post by BE Mike on Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:56 am

I don't think that engraving the rifling comes into play with a pistol. Dave Salyer, who was instrumental in developing the original "Marine Load" with the Nosler bullet, told me that after extensive testing, the seating depth didn't affect accuracy. As long as your rounds feed through the magazine and are accurate, you are good to go. The loaded round should "plunk" into an empty barrel chamber, when you have it removed from the gun. Although not carved in stone, this is about what I'm looking for in seating a SWC bullet:

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Re: Bbl and COAL? How long?

Post by Jon Eulette on Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:53 pm

The .45 caliber round is pretty forgiving. It is designed to headspace off the case mouth. If you measure your brass you will see its shorter than the chamber. Lead bullets to some degree headspace the cartridge. Something to remember is "headspace". As a gunsmith I frequently, unfortunately come across match pistols that had too much of the hood removed during fitting of the barrel. The gap between the breech face (with barrel pushed forward into the locking lugs of the slide) plus the depth of the chamber (measured from the rear of the hood to the forward egde of chamber) in many cases exceeds SAAMI specs for maximum headspace. Example: .005" gap plus .905" chamber equals .910". And most of these pistols will still shoot 2-2.5" groups if other critical areas are fit correctly.

I'm pointing this out to point out that just because your cartridge drops into the chamber and is flush with the rear of the hood doesn't mean that the headspace is correct or that your OAL is correct. I recommend duplicating factory cartridge lengths if possible or relying on the help of an experienced reloader. Also if you are trying trial and error .032" is a great place to start just like posted previously.

If you're having feeding problems, normally it's not the ammo. I see a majority of the match pistols out there with the bottom of the barrel ramp set up too close the the frame feed ramp (this is just one issue).

Also I see jamming/chambering issues on occasion from lead bullets seated out to far. They will leave a ring of residue inside the chamber then the rounds will not fully chamber.


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Re: Bbl and COAL? How long?

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