It has a lot to do with the throat of the rifle you are using. Optimally, you would want the bullet 2/1000 off of the rifling. Assuming that your reloading dies seat the bullet straight, this would give you the best accuracy because the bullet engages the rifling almost immediately after "takeoff'. The problem with the 54r is the wide variation of throat sizes. Most milsurp rifles have huge throats. (cast bullets generally require bullets that will fill the entire throat for maximum accuracy- look up the lee "cruise missile" for 6.5 swedish or the 8x56r "frankenstien" bullet if you want to see what a bullet that fills the throat on these rifles looks like) The russian rifles, from my exp. have large throats and benefit from long bullets, therefore they can be seated much farther out than say, some of the other mosin nagant models, which have been cut differently. It also depends on the "ogive" of the bullet (best described as the degree or angle that the bullet tapers towards the nose). A classic example of this is the swiss k-31. This has one of the shortest throats of any milsurp ever. Most jacketed bullets will not allow the bolt to close unless the bullet is seated deep within the case. You either have to use a bullet that has a sharp ogive right from where the brass ends, or use a cast bullet with a nose just smaller than the rifling so it doesn't get hung up. (like the rcbs 30-165-sil).
One thing that you could do is to take a fired case, resize the neck ONLY enough to hold some tension on the bullet, but loose enough so that it can still be pushed back into the case with a little pressure. Seat the bullet in your dummy cartridge so most of it hangs outside of the brass. Very slowly and carefully "load" the cartridge into your rifle allowing the rifling to push the bullet back into the case. Very slowly withdraw the case from the rifle making sure not to let the bullet move in or out. Take a OAL, subtract 2 or 3 1000's from that and that should give you an oal that seats the bullet just off of the rifling. Do a couple of these to make sure you get consistensy. You may have a throat so large it doesn't touch the bullet at all. That's ok, seat out as far as the magazine will feed and the neck of the case holds the bullet firm. Make sure you test a few of your cases, sometimes your test bullet(s) are slightly different than the rest, and if you go to long, your rounds get stuck in the rifling and the bolt will be stiff to close. In other words, the best OAL is what seats the bullet just off the rifling, filling the throat, and doesn't cause the bolt to stick.
That's my ramble.....
And don't mess with published OAL measurments in autoloading pistol cartridges, like the 9mm, as the small size of these rounds will cause pressure to rise a lot if the bullet is seated to deep. Rifle, not so much a worry.