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I have learned a lot about reloading on this forum. But I have noticed two types of replies that occur over and over.

1. The majority of reloading data is given without COL. My understanding of reloading is this piece of information is important to have. Is there a reason so many do not give the COL for thier loads?

2. I have noticed that when a member asks for help on a load, there will always be one or more responses that refer them to reloading books and manuals. For standard reloads I understand that response, but for some loads, there is no data readily available. That is probably why the member asked on this forum. Is this response made to help or to just blow the poster off?
 

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Hi jrtx,

I'll give my opinions to your two questions.

1. I think there's two answers to this question. The first, and IMO most common, is that most of the responders to that type of question are newbys themselves, and they just don't think in terms of OAL, nor realize it's importance to the equation. The second is that "most" OAL's fall in the 1.240-1.255" range and the poster "assumes" everyone knows that. If the question is about an "unusual" or "non standard" bullet then almost always the OAL is part of the reply.

2. We are most certainly not trying to "blow anyone off". But, too often it seems from the poster's wording that they are new to reloading and don't want to do any "research", they just want an answer handed to them. It's like calling a particular load a "receipe".....like you're baking a cake. While this endeavor is fun and rewarding, it can also be dangerous if approached in a careless manner. One needs to understand what they are doing. If they are not willing to "do the work", then we think it would be irresponsible to just "hand feed" them. If they seem interested in learning, then we are more than willing to help. And, go the extra mile in most cases.

Just MHO. :)
 

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I do not generally state a COL because if referring to Magnum rounds because each bullet has a cannelure for crimping, so COL is obvious. Also on this forum many people discuss 45 ACP loads... and each reloader has their own personal preference that fits their unique firearms for COL. I could take my 45 reload that I put a COL to 1.265'', and the next loader could take that same exact like and load it with a COL of 1.230''. It really comes down to preference IMO on CERTAIN loads. Obviously on some loads COL is VERY important and has to be very precise.
 

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Regarding question number one, about OAL of a particular load, my response to that is almost always, "Plunk Test". If you're going to the effort to reload I am of the opinion you should determine the correct OAL by using the pistol or pistols you intend to be shooting your reloads in, and that means Plunk Testing. While the OAL "range" 'Rod gave you is pretty spot on from my experience, no single OAL is going to be optimum, or even useable (potentially), for every pistol. Sometimes you just have to do the work and that can mean some tedious trial and error.
 

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Agree with all of the above. Additionally, it's also clear many times that a guy not only doesn't want to do the research, he just doesn't want to buy a reloading manual or two. Everyone needs a manual, not just for the data, but for the valuable "how-to" sections in the front.
 

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Agree with all above.


1. But we should always mention OAL for the loads we share.
If the user needs a different OAL to suit his bullet or chamber,
he needs to know whether to adjust the powder charge or not.
OAL is important to the data.


2. The worst instance is when they demand load data
and it turns out they DO have manuals. But instead of
moving their lazy bottoms out of the chair, they want ME
to move my lazy bottom out of my chair. A pox upon them!
 

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Agree with all above.


1. But we should always mention OAL for the loads we share.
If the user needs a different OAL to suit his bullet or chamber,
he needs to know whether to adjust the powder charge or not.
OAL is important to the data.


2. The worst instance is when they demand load data
and it turns out they DO have manuals. But instead of
moving their lazy bottoms out of the chair, they want ME
to move my lazy bottom out of my chair. A pox upon them!
And I suspect there are many to pox Brother Nick
 

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I too think there are many posts for info by new reloaders that have not bought or taken the time to read loading manuals. Reloading is a great hobby but everyone needs to learn the basics in the beginning for safety reasons. When someone states they cannot find the info in their manuals or they don't understand something, I assume they have done their reading and I am more than happy to help. This forum exists to help one another in the enjoyment and safety of a great hobby.
 

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The ones we like...

On the other hand, we welcome the beginner guy who does his homework,
but before taking the powder down from the shelf he asks for concurrence.
Just to make sure he's safe and sound. That's good!

Or the guy switching to an unfamiliar powder,
and asks if we found a sweet spot in our guns,
so he can keep his eye open when he gets near that load.

Or the guy who reads and tries to understand, but it's unfamiliar ground
and he has questions that are not in the book.

Or the daughter of a very wealthy hunter with hundreds of guns,
and she just wants to know directions to the nearest Starbucks.
No need to walk, I'll give you a ride!
 

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On the other hand, we welcome the beginner guy who does his homework,
but before taking the powder down from the shelf he asks for concurrence.
Just to make sure he's safe and sound. That's good!

Or the guy switching to an unfamiliar powder,
and asks if we found a sweet spot in our guns,
so he can keep his eye open when he gets near that load.

Or the guy who reads and tries to understand, but it's unfamiliar ground
and he has questions that are not in the book.

Or the daughter of a very wealthy hunter with hundreds of guns,
and she just wants to know directions to the nearest Starbucks.
No need to walk, I'll give you a ride!
:D:D. What he said!
 

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As far as stating the COL, I don't generally get involved with (as stated) standard loads for several reasons. 1.-manuals generally give "some" type of COL, and 2.- I load very few standard loads. Most (almost all) are of the type that many don't have the experience to try (250/255's) and loads that most say CAN'T be done....300 gr's.

These referenced loads DO NOT have many or any manual approved recipe's. Through trial and error (a lot of errors, but none catastrophic), I have developed my own way of determining a starting load for non-published bullets, and have had very good success. I don't let the general public know my determining factors unless I feel they have the knowledge to use my info responsibly. Tracy
 

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1. I always includ OAL with load data.

2. I would think only a fool would assemble a round with only data off of an internet forum. I have a shelf of reloading books and yes I still have to hunt for data from time to time but cross reference loads I can double check with my books so I can get a better "trust" of unknown loads.
 
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