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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When the thread below started, I tried pushing back on the bullets in the 2 boxes of Remington UMC .223 55 gr. MC I had, for a rifle I don't own :cool:, to see if they'd move. I gently pushed them, by hand, bullet first, on a 2 x 4 and a very few of them felt like they may have slid back in the case a very small amount. At the time I didn't have anything to measure the cartridges. I've since picked up a digital caliper and measured every round, numbers below. I compared the lengths to a few randomly selected rounds from other makers or bullet weights and they seem to all be in the same range.

I looked around online and there seems to be several Overall Lengths for the .223 depending on who's talking, the one I saw most often was 57 mm.

So my question is - What is the 'correct' or 'normal' overall length (I know handloaders custom fit to be close to the rifling, but I'm asking about factory loads) and should I be worried that any of mine are too short? I'm not worried about maximum accuracy, I just don't want a Ka-Boom!

Thanks for your time!

Box 1
Minimum 56.34
Maximum 56.72
Average 56.56
Standard Deviation 0.11

Box 2
Minimum 56.19
Maximum 56.71
Average 56.46
Standard Deviation 0.16

http://arkansashunting.net/showthread.php?t=35595
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the efforts guys. I'm beginning to wonder about my caliper. I measured the same round 3 different times as I measured the rest to make sure I was getting the same measurement each time and I did, but I'm not sure that the actual length is right. Any ideas what to verify the caliper against? I tried a ruler and its close, but my eyes aren't good enough to know if it is exact.
 

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Max OAL for the 223 is 2.260" to fit in the AR mag. I usually load mine to 2.220 to give just a little margin of error for any discrepencies in the inside dimensions of the mag.
 

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Max OAL for the 223 is 2.260" to fit in the AR mag. I usually load mine to 2.220 to give just a little margin of error for any discrepencies in the inside dimensions of the mag.
Check (I just got back from taking kid to doctor, sorry I'm late!)

2.260 is max, the rounds I just loaded came in at 2.245-2.250 which work in the 5.56 Nato chamber of my AR fairly well (I'm still experimenting). Also, the Hornady bullets I'm using right now have a cannelure, which is the little indented ring around where the crimp goes. My overall length needed to be that long to get the crimp in the cannelure where its supposed to go.
 

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I set the case mouth right at the top side of the cannelure. I used to load at 2.250 and had a problem at a major match with a few rounds that wanted to hang up in the mag. Since I went to 2.220, I haven't had any problems.
 

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WEELLLL, I'm trying to be cute and load 'em as long as possible for accuracy sake, but If they don't feed it don't matter how good they shoot. I've been happy so far. I've got the newer M4 style feed-ramp cuts and I wonder if that's what's been making things work so well so far.

First time I have a failure to feed, I'll be adjusting the bullet seater!
 

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Been my experience that if you are measuring off the tip of the bullet(esp. H.P.'s) you can get some very different readings. Jacket length, and different pointing dies I was told. If your trying to seat a certain length off the lands, you need to take your measurement off the ogive of the bullet after it has been "soft seated" into the lands.
 
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