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Discussion Starter #1
What is the recommended OAL for seating 200 and 230 grain HP's, such as the XTP's and Gold Dots?

Thanks
 

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I'm not big about rules of thumb. The answer you probably don't want to hear is "It depends on the bullet shape and type." In my experience, the range goes from 1.190" to 1.240". Both Speer and Hornady have great reloading manuals. Speer lists the OAL for both the 200 & 230GD at 1.200". Hornady, for their 200XTP (my reloading manual doesn't have the 230XTP), lists the OAL at 1.240".
 

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One trick that often works is to use a round nose seating stem in the seating die and adjust it to fit a standard 230 grain round nose jacketed round. Then take whatever seating depth that gives you with your bullet shape, presuming it is within reasonable OAL bounds, which I have always found it to be.

With the more truncated bullet designs, this will provide the shorter OAL necessary for reliable feeding.
 

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Why not start by loading it as long as possible while still keeping it short enough to cycle through the clips and short enough that the bullet does not touch the lands and grooves in the barrel when chambered? I would establish this as the maximum overall length for use in your gun and clips. Then you can experiment with shorter overall lengths to see if they will improve accuracy.

To work up a load, I would first determine which bullet shoots the best out of your firearm. I would then determine which powder works the best. Then move on to how much powder to use. Finally, I would tinker with the overall lengths to see which shoots the best.

You can check to see if the bullet is touching the lands and grooves by the following method. First, disassemble the pistol. Reload a round and seat the bullet to a length that you estimate is longer than the maximum overall length. Paint the bullet with a felt tip marker and insert it into the dismantled barrel. If it is too long, there should be markings on the bullet where the ink was rubbed off. Next, wipe off the ink with a rag and adjust your seating die down a little further and reseat the bullet a little deeper. Repeat the painting of the bullet with a felt tip marker and check for clearances. Continue this trial and error method until their are no markings on the bullet.

Don't forget to check and see if the bullets will cycle through your clip. With some bullet designs, the clip is the limiting factor.


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If you have had reliability with their factory loads, then I would suggest you measure the factory loads. Use the same OAL.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I do not have factory new rounds with those bullets, however a local gun shop here is not going to carry reloading components anymore, so I have gotten those bullets at about 6 dollars a box of 100, 500 starline brass at $30, and an extra set of RCBS dies for $15. So I am taking advantage of those prices and will probably clean out the rest of the store at those bullet prices!
What I have fired were Winchester's Silvertips (185) but I don't have any left over and they cycled fine, however.
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I would listen to Colt shooter on this one, he seems to have the right idea.

I load 200gr XTPs and 200gr Combat targets. The XTP's feed good at 2.25. The turnicated cone shape of the Combat Targets need to be seated out to the standard 230 ball length of 2.260. If I go any shorter than 2.260 with my CTs then they will jam.
Factory EFMJ's seat at 2.240. This is the only round that I've been able to feed at that short of an OAL.
 
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