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handgun reloading OAL tolerances

wcoxy2003wcoxy2003 Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
when a manuel gives you a specific OAL what should be the + and - tolerance?

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    Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 14,240 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Can't say. When you say "handgun" it might mean a revolver or a semi-auto. With a semi, overall cartridge length has to both fit the magazine and feed during the firing cycle. In a revolver, rounds have to be short enough that they don't extend past the cylinder mouth. In both, rounds can't be so short that case capacity is reduced enough to create massively excessive pressures.

    Since gun models vary so much, that's as close as I can pin it down.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
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    perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    Most times OAL is not set in stone but rather what will WORK in factory chambered Guns . As most hand guns are straight walled cases this Tolerance is even greater. With revolvers the cartridge must chamber without the front of the bullet sticking out the front of the cylinder. With semi autos the cartridge must fully chamber in the barrel and also be short enough to fit in the Magazine. In semi auto a round on the Short side might not feed out of the magazine and may not shoot as good groups. On any cartridge especially straight walled cases loaded to near MAX. if you seat the bullet deeper it will raise the pressure might take you over the safe limit. again if you load +P+ loads.
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    wcoxy2003wcoxy2003 Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    ok thx, just wondered so as not to create a pressure problem so i didnt know if maybe the rule of thumb could be like + or - .010 on the OVL.
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    shoff14shoff14 Member Posts: 11,994 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by wcoxy2003
    ok thx, just wondered so as not to create a pressure problem so i didnt know if maybe the rule of thumb could be like + or - .010 on the OVL.


    If you go longer, it is a feed/fit issue. If you go shorter, you will have pressure changes.
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    wcoxy2003wcoxy2003 Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    thx for the info guys.
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