Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Ammunition-Gunsmithing > Reloading
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-06-2012, 03:43 AM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 128
Likes: 4
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
Default Bullet seating depth

This may be one of those "forest for the trees" things but it just escapes me. If pressures are determined in part by bullet seating depth, and if different brands/types of bullets have different base lengths, why don't we factor in the difference in determining the overall cartridge length? For instance, if I have a round nose lead bullet, 200 grain and a flat nose 200 grain if I seat each by the same amount of bullet in the case, the pressures, and therefore the load data, should be the same.

Is there some standardization in where manufacturers put the crimp ring? It doesn't seem to always conform to the depth requirement in the load data sheets? Nor does it seem to be a consistent distance from the bottom of the bullet.

Help me out please. What am I missing?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-06-2012, 09:02 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,383
Likes: 412
Liked 1,234 Times in 645 Posts
Default

"... if I seat each by the same amount of bullet in the case, the pressures, and therefore the load data, should be the same. "

Yep, you'd think so. There is little "standardization" in reloading data, each bullet and powder manufacturer having the own set of powder loads and COLs. Each uses different test standards, some using guns with a barrel length of "X" inches, others using test barrels of "Y" inches.

I prefer my COLs to be on the long side as long as they feed and chamber well. I haven't had any issues with them once I establish a COL that suits my firearms.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #3  
Old 11-06-2012, 09:09 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 66
Likes: 1
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Most reloading manuals show the manufacturer and part number of the bullet used when giving OAL specs. That's why I try to stick to the bullets listed and not buy any that are odd weights or sizes, just makes it easier for me.

Jim
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-06-2012, 11:10 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,555
Likes: 2
Liked 181 Times in 146 Posts
Default

I don't think I'm understanding your questions right, so this may sound a little off.

There is a lot of mis-information available on the 'net about seating depth and pressures and it's easy to get confused on the issue. There are many factors that may have an affect on pressures and seating depth is just one of them. If you plan on loading near maximum pressure levels you need to understand these factors and how they relate to each other, or just do as the reputable loading sources tell you and start low and work your way up while watching for warning signs of high pressures.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-06-2012, 12:31 PM
Nevada Ed's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Reno Nv
Posts: 3,590
Likes: 47
Liked 1,279 Times in 771 Posts
Default

Most bullet makers put the crimp on their bullets so they come close to standard OAL for that caliber.

Of course the style of nose on either lead or jacketed copper bullets will vary, as well as the amout of bullet below the crimp area, so this is a +/- of the actual measurement thing but the finished product should be very close to factory specs.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-06-2012, 01:14 PM
blujax01's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: C-Bus
Posts: 6,301
Likes: 4,232
Liked 4,709 Times in 2,027 Posts
Default

The way I see it the bullet manufacturer knows best. Of course this means that the well-armed reloader needs to have manuals for every bullet they process.
The upside is that I have a perfectly good excuse to obtain more reloading manuals!
__________________
Not my circus~Not my monkeys
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-06-2012, 04:01 PM
mikld's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: S. Orygun
Posts: 811
Likes: 413
Liked 308 Times in 202 Posts
Default

Also, that's why OAL is bullet specific...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-06-2012, 07:58 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Rocky Mtns, CO
Posts: 969
Likes: 19
Liked 177 Times in 126 Posts
Default

This is more of an issue with cartridges that have less case volume under the bullet with more variation in OAL (9mm is the most sensitive due to the low case volume and great OAL variation of 1.010" to 1.169").

You are on the correct track with bullet seating depth rather than OAL. Some earlier loading manuals listed bullet seating depth. But it is very easy to calculate. A resource that will assist you can be found here.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-06-2012, 08:24 PM
ArchAngelCD's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: PA, USA
Posts: 4,412
Likes: 193
Liked 1,049 Times in 684 Posts
Default

The slight differences in bullets is one of the reasons we have starting charge weights and max charge weights for powder. Start at the low end and your reloading will be safer. The COAL for any load is useless unless you are using the same exact bullet they use in the recipe and the brass is trimmed to the same exact length they are using.
__________________
Freedom is never free!!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-06-2012, 09:13 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: God's Country
Posts: 3,045
Likes: 556
Liked 1,731 Times in 934 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruMatt View Post

Is there some standardization in where manufacturers put the crimp ring? It doesn't seem to always conform to the depth requirement in the load data sheets? Nor does it seem to be a consistent distance from the bottom of the bullet.
Hodgdon lists 24 .30 caliber cartridges. The cannelure (proper name for crimp ring) has to be a bit of a compromise. When you consider all the manufacturers and how they may target certain different segments of the shooting community and all the different bullet weights and shapes available in each caliber, it's easy to see why standardization will never happen.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-06-2012, 10:33 PM
125JHP's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: high snor'n desert
Posts: 951
Likes: 188
Liked 167 Times in 111 Posts
Default

I think you are on the right track and should continue your quest. As mentioned, older manuals listed the seating depth instead of an oal... for a reason. I think the oal developed when there were only a few types of components available and people were trying to match standard factory loadings to save money. Since then, the garden has bloomed.

For many bullets I do exactly what you are talking about. If there is a crimp ring then I try to use that as my guide but still be aware of how much lead is in the case when looking at load data from different sources. For most semi auto bullets, I try to calculate my OAL based on a reasonable estimate (aka guess) of how much shank the selected bullet has, how much of that shank is in the case and what the 'normal' OAL of that caliber is. My OAL will fall where it may but is usually in the acceptable normal range. You will be looking at balancing pressure, mechanical functioning and velocity for charge/bullet weight when doing all this, so there are affects in multiple directions by changing it (that's why you need to understand the ramifications). Measure a few different bullet shanks to see what I mean and pull some factory ammo to see how deep they are seated (after measuring OAL). Take a look at this thread, where I did just that.

A couple of obscure 9mm loads

For 9mm, depending on the bullet, I find a seating depth between .18" (XTP) to .28" (some 147gr JHP) into the case gives me acceptable performance and OAL in the above areas. Some variance will apply to special cases such as short bullets, hollow base or longer projectiles with a long shank.. YMMMV

Last edited by 125JHP; 11-06-2012 at 10:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-07-2012, 08:02 AM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 128
Likes: 4
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
Default

Thanks guys for the great information. My question was poorly written (I shouldn't try to write something technical at 3 in the morning) but the responses were great. What triggered the question was the difference in OAL in the Hornady book for 44 spl 240 SWCs at @1.46" and the other books and lists for that round at 1.5" to 1.55". When I measure the length of the bullets from Hornady and MO Casting they are close to the same. I also wonder about what difference in pressure the seating depth makes. I have typically loaded longer than the minimums.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-07-2012, 08:47 AM
PDL's Avatar
PDL PDL is offline
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,218
Likes: 314
Liked 69 Times in 28 Posts
Default

If you had Quickload you can change whatever variable, (like seating depth) and see the differences in pressure. And you might be supprised at how little a change can make big differences in pressure.

Bullet makers as well as powder makers have online load data for their products.
__________________
Pete.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-07-2012, 08:55 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,555
Likes: 2
Liked 181 Times in 146 Posts
Default

I think you're reading too much into this. As stated the increase in pressure will depend on the case capacity, but there are many other things that have an impact on pressures that the manuals don't even list. Chamber/barrel dimensions, bullet design and construction, general differences is firearms used, differences in atmospheric pressure, temperature, differences in loading tools and techniques, lot to lot variations in components used and etc. What a manual lists as safe may not be safe at all when loaded by someone else if enough of the above meet at a "worst case scenario" circumstance.

Loading manuals are a guide to get you started, they are not a recipe book. Owning a manufacturers manual for every bullet you use is nice for anyone that actually reads the whole book because they will give you information specific to their products, but it isn't needed to work up a good load. The OAL Hornady gives is based on the design of their bullet and has no real bearing on any other brands. The difference in pressure you might get from using another bullet with a different seating depth is only a part of the difference of all the above possilbe factors. The Hornady bullet is swaged which means it is probably softer than the MO castings. Are both bullets in question the same diameter? How do their respective bearing surfaces compare? All of these need to be addressed, not just seating depth, and the best way to do this is simply to start at a reduced or "starting" load and work your way up to a safe load.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #15  
Old 11-07-2012, 09:53 AM
dickttx's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 478
Likes: 118
Liked 100 Times in 67 Posts
Default

When I started reloading in the latter part of the 60's it was mostly for rifles. You would pick a load from a manual, then acquire the bullet, primer, powder and case used and assemble the round. Even the loads for my 25-06 AI were listed in the Ackley manual.
After nearly 40 years of not, I started again a couple of years ago, handguns only.
Just about the only bullets I have used are Precision Delta jacketed, and Missouri Bullet Co. lead, with a few Berry's and Ranier's. None have any loading data so I have done a lot of searching.
I came to the same conclusion as the OP and 125JHP--the amount of the bullet in the case should be the controlling factor.
On another forum someone maintains a database or 45 ACP bullets where people have measured the length of the full diameter of the bullet. They measure by blackening the sides of a bullet, then using a razor blade to scrape the black off and measure resulting clean spot.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-07-2012, 10:52 AM
Nevada Ed's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Reno Nv
Posts: 3,590
Likes: 47
Liked 1,279 Times in 771 Posts
Default

If your loading the same weight bullet there is little reason to worry since the ammout of bullet base that goes into the brass does not change that much with the lighter bullets.

The larger bullets that take up 50% of the case may be something different but I have yet to load any of these
except the 148 HBwc in my 38 spl.

Here is a picture of a sierra JHC, and two old style,Win SJHP and a Rem SJHP, to show you the difference and why some bullets need different OAL's.

Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-07-2012, 01:13 PM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 128
Likes: 4
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
Default

Thanks Nevada Ed, for the examples. If you look at bullet #1 and bullet #3 (assuming they are the same grain weight), I would tend to use the same load data and crimp to the cannelure of each as long as I was not below the minimum OAL. Bullet #3 would fill the casing a fair amount more than bullet #1. That would change the performance relative to the load data. But the real question is, "Does the reduction in case volume for bullet #3 cause a significant increase in pressure so I am wrong in using the same laod data for both bullets?"
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-07-2012, 04:58 PM
blujax01's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: C-Bus
Posts: 6,301
Likes: 4,232
Liked 4,709 Times in 2,027 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellybean View Post
...

Loading manuals are a guide to get you started, they are not a recipe book. Owning a manufacturers manual for every bullet you use is nice for anyone that actually reads the whole book because they will give you information specific to their products, but it isn't needed to work up a good load.
Sorry J.B. I have to disagree. "Recipe books" is exactly what they are.
I agree (and the recipes state) that you don't start at the top of the prescribed amount of powder.

While one can work up a load from scratch, some of us don't have the patience to use trial and error and learn that some powders are better suited than others - and some are not suited at all - for different caliber handguns.

For the person who wants "off-the-shelf" recipes for ammunition, or want a good jumping off point for further exploration, in my opinion the bullet manufacturers manuals are the primary source.
__________________
Not my circus~Not my monkeys
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-07-2012, 09:30 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,555
Likes: 2
Liked 181 Times in 146 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruMatt View Post
...But the real question is, "Does the reduction in case volume for bullet #3 cause a significant increase in pressure so I am wrong in using the same laod data for both bullets?"
It may, and you might be.

Depending on if everything is the same but the seating depth and if you are using a maximum, or near maximum, load. And it could be even worse depending on which powder you are using as some are less tolerant to excessive heat and pressure as others.

And just for the record, if you take a loading manual printed by bullet no. 3's manufacturer, load it exactly as they say and with the same brands of powder and primers and go directly to the maximum, or near maximum load, you might still get a significant increase in pressure over what they printed.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #20  
Old 11-08-2012, 01:07 AM
Nevada Ed's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Reno Nv
Posts: 3,590
Likes: 47
Liked 1,279 Times in 771 Posts
Default

Pressure with a revolver...........

Cylinder I/D,cylinder gap, type of primers,powder burn rates,posion sensitive (?),outside temeratures,type of crimp,moisture with powder , scale correct etc. etc.............

We are lucky if they work with the correct data !!

Mercy.

Last edited by Nevada Ed; 11-08-2012 at 01:12 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 11-08-2012, 04:39 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hoosier Land!
Posts: 4,389
Likes: 587
Liked 512 Times in 280 Posts
Default

The picture Ed posts is EXACTLY the reason that I have been saying for years and years that OAL is secondary to seating depth. Look, the weight of the bullet outside the case doesn't increase pressure (unless is it hitting something in the chamber), the amount of the bullet IN the case does...


Why do you think that Elmer's bullets had more of their mass outside the case? Phil Sharpe? Seating depth is critical, period. OAL is a function of making the bullet fit in a particular chamber, seating depth is the function of reducing the amount of room in a combustion chamber.....um, DUH! Less room, higher pressure, period.


If you get Phil Sharpe's book, from the 1930s, you will see that seating depth of each bullet is listed, not OAL. Why? Because they knew that the amount of the bullet in the case was tons more important than OAL will ever be. Of course, as in a host of other things, we need to relearn what has already been known. They forgot more than we will ever know because we forget to learn what they knew!


Silly comments like: "It doesn't matter" or "A little bit won't change things much" are ignorant at best and diabolical at worst, unless you have pressure data to back up your claim, that requires equipment or paid for testing. Both of which, few handloaders have.....

FWIW
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #22  
Old 11-08-2012, 06:12 AM
blujax01's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: C-Bus
Posts: 6,301
Likes: 4,232
Liked 4,709 Times in 2,027 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Sackett View Post
...
If you get Phil Sharpe's book, from the 1930s, you will see that seating depth of each bullet is listed, not OAL. Why? Because they knew that the amount of the bullet in the case was tons more important than OAL will ever be. Of course, as in a host of other things, we need to relearn what has already been known. They forgot more than we will ever know because we forget to learn what they knew!
...
FWIW
Not the first time you have mentioned Phil Sharpe's Complete Guide To Handloading - a treatise on handloading for pleasure. Just found a copy in "Collectible Condition" from Amazon.

It should be here within the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for the tip! ~ Alan
__________________
Not my circus~Not my monkeys
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #23  
Old 11-08-2012, 08:40 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,555
Likes: 2
Liked 181 Times in 146 Posts
Default

Sharpes book is excellent, but you must still be careful with his data due to changes in primers and brass since it was written. In other words, don't use it as a recipe book. There is a book that I prefer to his though, "Principles and Practices of Loading Ammunition" by Earl Naramore. This is not a recipe book either, especially for rifle data because he doesn't tell you what to load, but how to figure it out for yourself. Don't confuse this with his earlier book, "Handloaders Manual", which is an excellent book too, but doesn't contain nearly as much information. Even with thier advanced ages, "Principles and Practices of Loading Ammunition" by Earl Naramore and "Complete Guide to Handloading" by Phillip Sharpe are numbers 1 and 2 must haves for serious handloaders.

While at first it may appear as there is no real difference between giving seating depths, as Sharpe did, or in listing OAL as some modern manuals do, there is. The information is bullet specific and if you are using the same bullet the numbers should be the same, as long as you are trimming to the same length. However, if you have the seating depth, you can make a good estimate of changes if you are using bullets of a different brand, without having to buy some just for measurement. Which may be why the bullet makers give the OAL and not the seating depth.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #24  
Old 11-10-2012, 02:10 PM
Nevada Ed's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Reno Nv
Posts: 3,590
Likes: 47
Liked 1,279 Times in 771 Posts
Default

Here is a picture of some Lead 125gr,148gr and 158gr bullets to look over,as well..............
I had to pull the Speer HP so it has a crimp mark on it that you should disregard,sorry,but I loaded those all up and had no new ones for the picture.

Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 11-11-2012, 07:34 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hoosier Land!
Posts: 4,389
Likes: 587
Liked 512 Times in 280 Posts
Default

As Jelly has mentioned, Sharpe's book is a bit outdated as far as data is concerned. But, there is other information in there that is timeless, this seating depth/OAL issue is one of them.

I don't know too much but, I have learned over the course of my 56 years to listen to those that have been where I want to go. Reloading is like that for me....Those folks are the "been there done that" crowd.

Elmer designed his bullets with seating depth in mind. More of the bullet outside the case is a good thing when wanting more from a revolver. The only limiting factor is OAL in regards to how it fits in comparison to the length of the cylinder.

FWIW
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 11-11-2012, 02:18 PM
Nevada Ed's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Reno Nv
Posts: 3,590
Likes: 47
Liked 1,279 Times in 771 Posts
Default

There is a reason for maximum seating depth measurements put down by the companys that make the bullets and that is for "Over all best fit" for calibers that it is made for.

If you look at the last picture I posted, there is a Speer 158LswcHP shown. It has a factory crimp area and just below that, you can see where I crimped this bullet. This is the MAXIMUM OAL for this bullet in my snub nose before the load will hang up in the cylinder and not allow the cylinder to close.
With all the rifle reloading that I have done the idea that closer to the "Lands" is better does not really work out best when it comes to a revolver,where just a tiny bit of bullet jump will lock up the rotation of the cylinder or cause a unload with live ammo to maybe cause a problem.
I now use the factory crimp area that is on the bullet......it is there for a reason, plus if I have to pull a bullet for some unknown reason, at least it will look "Normal" instead of having marks all over it.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 05-02-2015, 12:24 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Bullet lengths???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
Most bullet makers put the crimp on their bullets so they come close to standard OAL for that caliber.

Of course the style of nose on either lead or jacketed copper bullets will vary, as well as the amout of bullet below the crimp area, so this is a +/- of the actual measurement thing but the finished product should be very close to factory specs.
Being a beginner at reloading with all the different lengths of bullets, (9MM) how can a novice feel comfortable with reloading?
Is there any sight that publishes the brand of bullet and depth that a bullet engages into a case?
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 05-02-2015, 05:01 PM
Alk8944's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sandy Utah
Posts: 4,290
Likes: 255
Liked 1,518 Times in 793 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by flash5823 View Post
Being a beginner at reloading with all the different lengths of bullets, (9MM) how can a novice feel comfortable with reloading?
Is there any sight that publishes the brand of bullet and depth that a bullet engages into a case?
Flash,

First, don't be offended because I can be very direct (blunt). I tend to make corrections because I grew up with a teacher and was corrected continually. Words, their use and context are important. The word you wanted is site, a location, not sight, something which is seen. They are not variant spellings but entirely different words.

For this the short answer is NO. Seating depth used to be a specification in reloading manuals, but this practice ended sometime around 1950 and OAL became the standard. Unfortunately they are not interchangeable. The difference is the biggest reason why bullet manufacturer data differs so much for bullets of the same weight. The premise raised in one of the earliest posts, that bullets of the same weight seated to the same depth will give approximately the same pressure is correct.

One problem with published data is that the manual publishers are showing a result in OAL, not a specification. Contrary to Nevada Ed's remarks, the result has nothing to do with "standard length" for the cartridge. Standard length is published by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Association, abbreviated SAAMI. In reality very little ammunition OAL data is anywhere near the SAAMI maximum OAL. Take the 9mm Parabellum as an example. SAAMI Max. OAL is 1.169". This was determined by the longest cartridge that would fit in the shortest (narrowest) magazine of guns chambered for the cartridge. It gives gun manufacturers a standard for the minimum width to design magazines for new guns, so they will accept SAAMI standard ammunition. This is with round nose bullets. Changing the bullet shape can affect the maximum OAL cartridge that will function in standard magazines. Bullet length can also be a factor. Lighter bullets are usually shorter. In the 9mm a 90 grain bullet may be so short that if you tried to load it to the 1.169" length it wouldn't even enter the case!

Now, direct answer. How do you determine "seating depth"? Simple. Add bullet length and case length, subtract loaded cartridge length, and the result is the depth the bullet enters the case, hence "seating depth". To translate this to how long the OAL needs to be to achieve a specific seating depth do the same thing. Case length, plus bullet length minus seating depth = OAL. Just that simple. This way you can determine what length to load any nose shape to the same seating depth for bullets of the same weight. A semi-pointed, blunt round nose, flat point, truncated cone or hollow point 124 gr. bullet, all loaded to the same "seating depth" will all produce approximately (close enough) the same pressure and velocity. They will all be safe, which is the biggest concern! The OAL will vary by quite a bit though.

How can you feel comfortable reloading? Study! Read everything you can find (printed) and study it until you are sure you understand it. DO NOT rely to what you read on the internet, much of it will be absolute BS!!!
__________________
Gunsmithing S&W since 1961
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 05-02-2015, 05:05 PM
Twoboxer's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 559
Likes: 94
Liked 301 Times in 179 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by flash5823 View Post
Being a beginner at reloading with all the different lengths of bullets, (9MM) how can a novice feel comfortable with reloading?
Is there any sight that publishes the brand of bullet and depth that a bullet engages into a case?
You've resurrected a very old and somewhat long/confusing thread. As a new reloader, please forget "depth in case". It is difficult to measure. The more relevant thing is case volume behind that bullet - even harder to measue

If you have two cases otherwise identical but with slightly different lengths . . . and seat two identical bullets in them to the same overall length . . . the two cartridges have identical internal volume despite having different amounts of the bullet in the case! Seat them to the same depths and they will have DIFFERENT internal volumes, and different pressures.

So as a new reloader, check the maximum OAL for your caliber (for 9mm it is 1.169") and DON'T GO LONGER THAN THAT.

Then find a recipe for your powder that uses the same bullet, or one close to yours in shape and size. EG Hodgdon Reload Data for 9mm, 115gr LRN, HP38. Check the OAL listed in that recipe (1.100"), and DO NOT GO ANY SHORTER THAN THAT (for the time being).

Any OAL within those boundaries with any powder charge between the listed min and max is a safe combination.

Many folks want about a caliber's length in the case for sufficient neck tension (~.355"). But the fact of the matter for pistol is that the best OAL is chosen by your pistol.

Min and max length cartridges are least likely to feed, although my own loads are set at 1.100" for any RN bullet. Something close to factory ammo's length will likely feed well.

Last edited by Twoboxer; 05-02-2015 at 05:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #30  
Old 05-02-2015, 06:00 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: NE Florida
Posts: 723
Likes: 14
Liked 184 Times in 128 Posts
Default

Ok this scares me and I am fearless. About ready to sell my 550. Very seldom do my bullets match what the manuals use and some of the COLs don't feed in my M&Ps. I would think you could look up the bullet they used and get the length compare it to the length of your bullet then the length of the case they used. You should be able to figure their seating depth then figure what your bullet needs to be seated to and then if your gun will eat it it is probably ok, MAYBE. Am I wrong. I can't tell how far my brass flys as it bounces off the partition ever which way. I guess I never seen a flat primer and not sure what it looks like if I had one. When loading 12ga in the 60s a over load would make the case head concave. Seen that we would 10ga loads in 12ga mag cases by reducing the wad column. I was young and dumb then.
__________________
USN Retired/VN VET
M&P X3
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 05-02-2015, 06:11 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 147
Likes: 16
Liked 40 Times in 29 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by flash5823 View Post
Being a beginner at reloading with all the different lengths of bullets, (9MM) how can a novice feel comfortable with reloading?
Is there any sight that publishes the brand of bullet and depth that a bullet engages into a case?
Measure the bullet length, the case length, and then the cartridge OAL. Simple math will then tell you the depth in the case of the seated bullet.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 05-02-2015, 06:33 PM
DWalt's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 10,217
Likes: 2
Liked 2,680 Times in 1,834 Posts
Default

As some previously mentiond, the COALs given are often predicated on the maximum cartridge length which will fit in a minimum magazine, nothing else. The optimum COAL for a specific gun may well be longer than some handbook's maximum COAL.

Most really serious rifle shooters have ways of determining the best COAL. There are ways to determine the maximum COAL for a specific bullet and rifle which allows the bullet to just touch the rifling. The optimum COAL for best grouping is a little less than that. Not so easily done for handguns, However, determining the best COAL is probably the single most important factor in getting the best grouping performance.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 05-02-2015, 07:52 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: NE Florida
Posts: 723
Likes: 14
Liked 184 Times in 128 Posts
Default

IAW Hodgdon loading data my 9mm 115gr RN Berry's Plated should be using the Speer GDHP They are .544 length the berry's are .558 so with a recommend COL of 1.125 I am seating them .014 deeper in the case. The load for CFE Pistol 5.3 to 5.9. I am losding 5.5. Their Vol was measured from a 4" barrel mine from a 5" am I at 1232 avg and they are saying 1185 with 5.9 grs. I think I got a good load.
__________________
USN Retired/VN VET
M&P X3
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 05-02-2015, 08:16 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Thanks for the info and I would never be offended by your comment. I get in a hurry sometimes, please forgive the oversight.
I to am a VN veteran.

Flash
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 05-02-2015, 09:06 PM
Twoboxer's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 559
Likes: 94
Liked 301 Times in 179 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
As some previously mentiond, the COALs given are often predicated on the maximum cartridge length which will fit in a minimum magazine, nothing else. The optimum COAL for a specific gun may well be longer than some handbook's maximum COAL.. . .
Load manuals specify the COAL they tested at . . . besides it being within SAAMI specs, that's all you know.

Pistol COALs in load manuals are actually the MINIMUM COAL for the powder range suggested. You are encouraged to go longer (lower pressure) if you need it to feed. Shorter increases pressure.

Rifle is a completely different animal, where pressure rises in MOST rifles as COAL increases and the bullet gets closer to the lands.

However, in some rifles (eg an old Rem 700 30-06) the chamber is so large that for some bullets pressure will often decrease as you increase COAL just like pistols . . . up to a point where they MAY get higher pressure depending on the length of the chamber vs the bullet you chose. For some bullets you can't get close enough to those lands before the bullet falls out of the case lol.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Reloading Thread, Bullet seating depth in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; This may be one of those "forest for the trees" things but it just escapes me. If pressures are determined ...
LinkBacks (?)
LinkBack to this Thread: http://smith-wessonforum.com/reloading/276179-bullet-seating-depth.html
Posted By For Type Date
hodgdon loads 9mm - board messages report | BoardReader This thread Refback 05-20-2015 06:55 PM

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
OAL/Seating depth for SWC .41 Mag bobsdad Reloading 11 06-05-2012 09:01 PM
9mm 124 LRN seating depth? M&P9c is short! ShrinkMD Reloading 25 12-05-2010 09:08 PM
Seating depth versus OAL Skip Sackett Reloading 27 11-09-2009 02:58 PM
newbie ques. bad boy .45/185g bullet seating depth 1magi Reloading 13 03-01-2009 09:01 PM
bullet seating depth 7003006 Reloading 3 02-27-2009 05:30 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:00 AM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)