Is it necessary to use Case Length Gauge when using Case Trimmer?


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ghh3rd
January 14, 2009, 06:11 PM
A quick question - if you use a Case Trimmer, is it necessary to use a Case Length Gauge?

Thanks,

Randy

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Walkalong
January 14, 2009, 06:40 PM
You can use dial calipers (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=47257) to check your trim length. Dial calipers are a much used tool for reloading.

What caliber? I never trim auto cases for pistol, revolver cases once, in the beginning, and rifle calibers as needed.

ghh3rd
January 14, 2009, 06:50 PM
Thanks Walkalong - I haven't reloaded anything yet, and am waiting - it will be a month :-( for my Lee reloading equipment. I figured that a case trimmer would always give you the optimum length, but I suppose if case trimmers are adjustable then you would need the caliper to set the adjustment. I did include a dial caliper in my order.

You mentioned that you never trim for pistol, and trim revolver cases once. Wouldn't length be less critical for revolver and more important for pistol, since they have to feed through a pistol?

Thanks,

Randy

rcmodel
January 14, 2009, 06:55 PM
You need the dial caliper to check the results of trimming, even with the Lee fixed-length trimmer.
They don't always do what they say they do, or even keep doing it the same way forever.

Revolver cases must be the same length because they are roll crimped.

Auto cases are taper crimped, and are much more forgiving on length.

It has nothing to do with feeding.

rc

rfwobbly
January 14, 2009, 09:49 PM
Just to make it clear for any newbies out there....

You need a set of calipers to measure. There are plain calipers, "vernier calipers", "dial calipers", and "digital calipers". Some people call every caliper a "dial caliper" becasue that's what they are used to, but it makes a difference when you go to read the instrument !!

The advent of the digital caliper has almost made all other types of caliper obsolete. Not becasue they are more accurate, but becasue they are so much easier to read that mistakes in reading are reduced substantially. In my experience, by a factor of at least 10.

Since errors in reloading are something to AVOID at all costs, I highly advise the use of DIGITAL calipers, especially for those not accustomed to using precision measuring instruments. Those of you who make your living reading such instruments know what I'm talking about.

Hope this helps.

Speedo66
January 14, 2009, 10:09 PM
Not to hijack the thread, but...

there was some talk not too long ago of a bargain in a digital caliber.

Anyone remember which one it was?

Floppy_D
January 14, 2009, 10:12 PM
Maybe the Frankford Arsenal Digital caliper? They are reasonably priced and very accurate. Anything less expensive would have to come from Harbor Freight.

You save zero dollars when you you blow up a gun, or make a batch of rounds that won't cycle. In effort to make this a cost effective journey, cut out the variables that will hurt you. I'd recommend getting the digital/dial calipers, and using them any time a measurement is involved. They're about as useful as a good scale.

Walkalong
January 14, 2009, 10:14 PM
Anyone remember which one it was?

Linky in 2nd post. ;)

Go on sale frequently.

kelbro
January 14, 2009, 11:43 PM
Reading an analog caliper is far from rocket science. Mine is over forty years old and has never needed a battery. Seems like every battery operated device that I own is dead when I need to use it :).

The Bushmaster
January 14, 2009, 11:54 PM
Dial calipers. Yup... A required tool for reloading...

ironhat
January 15, 2009, 12:20 AM
Personally, I prefer the dial over the digital ones (I have both) because you can see at a glance how far you are from your target measurement. For instance, if you are length trimming a 223 to 1.760 you are already going to have the jaws open to that neighborhood and you're only looking at the dial to see how close to the 60 you are. At a glace you will be able to tell if you are a within a couple thousandths of it so you become careful with your next cut.

OTOH, with a digital you will be doing math in your head. Yea, the above example won't exactly short your brain synapses but it gives you the idea that I'm talking about. Us old guys were brought up on analog watches and it's the same sort of thing. How many times do you see a guy look at an analog watch and ask him what time it is. Sometimes he'll have to look again because he wasn't looking for the time, per se. He was looking at the reference between where the hands were and how much time he had left before needing to go elsewhere. The number didn't matter - the reference was the only thing of concern. OK, sorry 'bout the rambling.:o

paintballdude902
January 15, 2009, 12:23 AM
i use calipers and check the book to what the length should be the go little by little for .30-06 i have my trimmer set to the precise length so i just trim all of them that need it and then check every 3-4 cases to make sure its still on

rfwobbly
January 15, 2009, 08:17 AM
Personally, I prefer the dial over the digital ones (I have both) because you can see at a glance how far you are from your target measurement. For instance, if you are length trimming a 223 to 1.760 you are already going to have the jaws open to that neighborhood and you're only looking at the dial to see how close to the 60 you are. At a glace you will be able to tell if you are a within a couple thousandths of it so you become careful with your next cut.

While I own all 4 types of calipers, and fully understand what you are talking about, I believe you are missing a trick here. What you can VERY easily do with a digital caliper that you can't with a dial type is to open the caliper to your 223 case length of 1.7600 inches and push the "Zero" button. At that point, 1.7600 becomes the reading "0.000" and with any case you measure, the difference in measurement is shown to you immediately.

For instance, measuring a case 1.761" long returns a reading of "+0.001". In that way there is no math to do, the math is all done by the instrument!! Now with a nice round number like 1.760" things are fairly easy. What about 9x19 cases. The perfect length is 0.749, a number not so easy to work with. It requires working with 3 columns of digits in your head. This is where the mistakes I was talking about enter into reloading.

I think if you gave a digital caliper a try you might like it.

Hope this helps!

USSR
January 15, 2009, 08:41 AM
IMHO, if you lack the intelligence to properly use a dial caliper, you have no business reloading.;)

Don

Walkalong
January 15, 2009, 08:46 AM
IMHO, if you lack the intelligence to properly use a dial caliper, you have no business reloading.
I gotta agree.

Reading an analog caliper is far from rocket science. Mine is over forty years old and has never needed a battery.
I have no idea how old my Brown & Sharp dial caliper is, and it too has never needed a battery, but these old eyes sure appreciate the nice big numbers on the digital.

I broke out the B&S micrometer yesterday to get a measurement down to .0001, and had no problem, with reading glasses of course, but for quick easy non critical measurements to .001, the digital is nice. :)

jmorris
January 15, 2009, 11:42 AM
While I own all 4 types of calipers, and fully understand what you are talking about, I believe you are missing a trick here. What you can VERY easily do with a digital caliper that you can't with a dial type is to open the caliper to your 223 case length of 1.7600 inches and push the "Zero" button. At that point, 1.7600 becomes the reading "0.000" and with any case you measure, the difference in measurement is shown to you immediately.


You can rotate the dial and set zero as well (assuming your trimming to within .100).

IMHO, if you lack the intelligence to properly use a dial caliper, you have no business reloading.


It's hard to dissagree with that.


I use digital at work where I use them all day every day and there is stock of batteries. I have dial’s in my auto and reloading room as they are not used as much but always work. In our tractor shed at the farm vernier is my choice as they last forever, too bad eyes don’t. I have never required (or had a reloading machine/components that would provide) the necessary accuracy for micrometers.

ranger335v
January 15, 2009, 12:58 PM
"Maybe the Frankford Arsenal Digital caliper? They are reasonably priced and very accurate. Anything less expensive would have to come from Harbor Freight."

The HF 6" calipers are made in the same Chinese shop that the Frankford/Midway calipers are. (And Lyman, RCBS, etc. too) I have both brands and they are identical. HF is less expensive. When on sale, as they very often are, as little as $14. HF also sells the digital type for about the same price, all very good tools for reloading needs.

Sadly, with today's educational system firmly in place for the last generation or more, many college grads can't make proper change from a ten dollar bill unless their McDonald's register tells them. They do need digitals. The rest of us are better served with the more reliable dial or vernier calipers.

ironhat
January 15, 2009, 02:08 PM
Good suggestions on zeroing the digital or the dial for telling you how much further you need to go... or if you already went to far. :eek:

ar10
January 15, 2009, 10:23 PM
I trim all my .308 cases to 2.005. It's just easier when I'm reloading and seating the bullets. I also use the Forstner drill setup with a little end mill. I had to make a stop on the mill because the damn thing was going down too far, but it works fine now and it's fast.

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