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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have any experience with the straight version of the Hornady Lock and Load OAL Gauge.

http://www.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-Load-OAL-Gauge-Straight-1Each


There are 2 versions...straight for Bolt action...curved for Levers

You also need a threaded case from Hornady for each caliber you want to measure

http://www.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-Load-308-Win-Modified-Case-1-Each/
Tool is suppose to help you measure distance to the lands of your rifle....seems pretty straight forward to use...

Only problem is that my calculations exceed the max OAL for a cartridge.

In my case 308 Winchester


I'm getting a reading 2.984 subtract .040 and you end up with 2.944 for your recommended OAL...

Trouble is max OAL on .308 is 2.820

Only thing I can figure is I may need a bullet comparator to measure from the bullet ogive instead of the bullet tip...

Has me stumped...I doubt seriously that I could chamber a 2.9 length round in my gun
 

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if your bullet is long and pointy, this could be the problem. If you have a shorter more rounded nose, like a 180 grain round nose, you could probably seat it out to the lands and be under OAL. I can't seat HPBT's out where I want due to mag restrictions. You can load them out long, you just might be single shotting it. The cartridge oal is really so it will fit in any standard action and magazine chambered in that round. Some barrel makers will custom chamber I rifle barrel for the longer slender bullets, like HPBT and VLD bullets.
 

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I use that gauge for .223. My loads ALWAYS exceeded the max OAL.

I'd be willing to bet that you CAN chamber a round that long. It may not feed well, mine would only function single shot, but it was a 1/2 MOA load.

Just load one up and see if it chambers. The bolt should close SLIGHTLY snug. Load up 5-10 and give them a whirl.
 

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I don't fool with chamber gages. I just load a bullet into an empty brass and make sure it's excessively long. Drop the dummy cartridge into the chamber and let the bolt fly home. The lands will push the bullet into the brass and now you have a bullet that shows exactly how deep you need to seat a bullet so that it rests up against the lands. You don't really want it touching the lands though, so seat it a few thousandths more and see if it will fit in your magazines. If so, then load up a few test rounds and see if they will function reliably. If so you are good to go. From my reading, most people find that loading longer reduces pressure and promotes accuracy, but you never know -- you might have to seat them deeper to get better accuracy. YMMV and every rifle is different.

One other thing to remember -- because different makes/types of bullets have different ogives, you have to measure them all separately. An acceptable length with one bullet may be jammed up in the lands with a different bullet, and that can generate unsafe pressures.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
These were Hornady A Max bullets and they seem a bit long to me anyway so that could be part of the issue.

I've always tried to stay within the guidelines in the published manuals so its good to know being a little long may not be a big deal...

even subtracting .040 as recommended leaves me at 2.944 which is quite a piece from 2.820 (max Oal in my books)

Gonna load up 4 or 5 and see how they fly
 

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onlything of mine that are to spec with the book is .223 cause they are loaded to mag length.. My .270 is loaded to 3.455" with 140gr Berger VLDs, book calls for 3.280"..
it really doesnt matter to me.. im over max powder published load and no pressure signs.. i think thats because theres extra volume in the case since the bullet is so far out??
 

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Every rifle I have that is loaded close to the lands is over OAL specs. Most have to be loaded to fit the mags though.
 

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i use a franklin arsonal AOL guage and Berger 155 vld bullets recomend the bullet touch the lands. Hornady Amax is even longer. touching will raise the case pressure somewhat.
 

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Are you loading for a factory barrel? Remington throats there chambers long so it will be safe to use the heavier round nose bullets that the olgive is close to the end of the tip. Your lock n load is reading correct for the bullet you are checking. You can load them out that far just have to single load each one ( will not fit in the magazine) just be careful because Remingtons have a long throat and make sure you have enough bullet in the case
neck. Savage rifles that I have checked do not throat them as deep and it is easier to get them to the lands. Start your loads at bottom of range and work up looking for pressure signs.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I loaded at few up at at OAL of 2.945 (way over Max OAL of 2.80 - 2.82 for 308 Win) and they shot very well out of my Remington Model 7 carbine with 43 Grains IMR 4064....1.5 inch at 100...not too bad for a hunting rifle and scope of only 10 power...Of course they would not cycle in the mag...but for bench shooting just fine....it was an interesting experiment...think I'll keep everything the same and try some benchrest primers to see if they improve anything....
 

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Just curious: Is there a possibility of throat erosion as in an older barrel or is this a fairly new bbl. ? Seems pretty long. I'm going to get my ancient Rem. .308 out and get a number.
 

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Here in lies the problem with short actions. It is very very hard to find the most accurate round for you gun that also fits in your mag. I've got one with 129SST for my 260 but it took some serious trial and error.

I always use the bullet comparator. Since the ogive is where the bullet first touches the lands, that is where you want to measure. I also find greater variability in bullet length when measured from base to tip than from base to ogive.

Throat erosion will manifest itself in a longer COAL. Also different lots of ammo may have different shank lengths and there fore different COAL. 10 thou may not seem like much but it can make a big difference.
 
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