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Thread: What does COL mean?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    What does COL mean?

    I see many,many posts where folks struggle and anguish over COL. From the context, I gather it has something to do with bullet seating depth, but more specific notion is unknown to me. I am wondering if I have missed something doing this so long without any COL issues. What is it?
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    winelover's Avatar
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    Cartridge Overall Length

    Winelover

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    COL =Cartridge Overall Length

    That refers to the overall length of a loaded cartridge.

    OAL = Over All Length

    Sometimes the same as COL but can also refer to bullet length or case length. Also can refer to over all length of a rifle, shotgun or handgun for legality reasons or portability.

    Larry Gibson

  4. #4
    So it is more important to have the correct COL than to match the crimping ring cast into the bullet by a casting mold or by a manufacturer?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    COL=Cost of Living
    Sorry couldn't resist.
    NRA Life Member

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by UtopiaTexasG19 View Post
    So it is more important to have the correct COL than to match the crimping ring cast into the bullet by a casting mold or by a manufacturer?
    If you are talking cast bullets for a revolver and high pressure, heavy recoiling loads, you want to crimp into the crimping groove. THe bullet should be designed so that doing so does not result in a COL that is too long for the cylinder and a bullet seating that compresses the majority of charge weights.

    If you are talking about auto pistols, then you do not crimp into a crimp groove. The max COL is your guide for what will fit into the magazine. Variances in bullet design, magazine and feed ramp design may make you have to adjust the COL down to ensure proper function of the pistol.

    COL is a guideline for the most part and some adjustments are often necessary to get proper function or desired accuracy. Adjustsments on the order of a few thousandths. Sometimes, though, you do need to go with a bigger adjustment to make things work. Care is needed then if you are seating deeper, as that will increase chamber pressure. That's a good reason to start at minimum and work up.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    OK... OAL I undestand. Sometime it was changed to COL and I didn't get the memo.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master metweezer's Avatar
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    You might even run across COAL. Cartridge Over All Length.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Rocky Raab's Avatar
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    In the context of this forum - Cleaning Out Leading.

    (Kidding. Cartridge Overall Length.)
    Please visit my shooting articles at www.reloadingroom.com and my Vietnam novels at www.rockyraab.com (Do use Firefox, NOT Internet Exploder)

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
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    Or it could be "Cleaning out Liberals !" as in the context of 11/6/2012

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check