Cartridge Overall Length - Shooting Sports Forum

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Old 05-24-2012, 16:26   #1
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Cartridge Overall Length

I've been a member here for a while but don't post much, too many forums not enough time I guess. But since my question is Mini-14 related I figured this would be the place to ask so here it goes:

I decided today that it was time to actually measure the Max COAL in my Mini-14 so here's what I did. I ran a ramrod down the barrel with the action closed and then marked the rod at the barrel. I then opened the action and dropped a 62gr FMJ bullet into the chamber and held it in place against the rifling with a piece of plastic I then marked the ramrod at the muzzle again when it touched the bullet. I then measured the distance between the marks and came up with a max COAL of 2.180". My question is does this seem a bit too short or is it just me? Has anyone else measured the chamber in their Mini-14 and if so how does yours compare? By the way it's a 581 series Mini that I purchased last year.

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Old 05-24-2012, 20:59   #2
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Unless the round you put in there was actually pushed to that length by the rifling, it isn't the max OAL. I use a dummy round without a primer that i seat long and push into the chamber by slowly closing the action on it until the bolt locks on it. I do it a few times and get the average measurement. the bullet is actually seated to the final depth by pushing against the rifling. Some guys make cuts in their brass neck to make a looser fit, but I have never stuck a bullet doing it this way....not saying you won't. This method is only good for that specific bullet. If you change to a 55 gr, for example, you have to make a new dummy round.

Slight imperfections in the bullet tip will throw it off too.

There are gauges to measure right to the ogive perfectly every time, but I don't have one since the magazine restricts my OAL anyway.

Lots of commercial ammo is loaded way shorter than I load mine.

Mine is also a 581 series.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:41   #3
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I had read about the method I used and figured I'd try it but I wasn't sure it was reliable. I guess I'll have to use the dummy round method and see what I end up with. I appreciate the input.

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Old 05-28-2012, 14:48   #4
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I know the max mag length is 2.270 or less, I handload and usually set up at 2.260. The manuals usually suggest between 2.20 and 2.260 for most loads with the exception of 70-90 bullets.
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