Which tool?


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Potatohead
May 2, 2013, 08:32 PM
Hey,
Running out to home depot. Would they have some tools/devices for measuring rounds, cartridges, etc more accurately than just tape measure/ruler and what would they be called? Thanks i know ive seen a lot of different items listed here but cant recall any specific names of the actual tools

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TurtlePhish
May 2, 2013, 08:33 PM
Calipers, micrometers, that kind of thing?

I don't know that Home Depot is going to have any. I'm pretty sure the one near me doesn't.

Potatohead
May 2, 2013, 08:44 PM
Micrometer, that's what I was trying to think of. That was my next question, does HD have this type stuff or where would I go?

dpote
May 2, 2013, 08:45 PM
I bought my calipers from Home Depot.
The micrometer I got from Sears.

Dave

gwsut
May 2, 2013, 08:47 PM
First thing I would buy. if I were you, is a good book on reloading before your inexperience hurts yourself or someone else.

ngnrd
May 2, 2013, 08:49 PM
I bought my digital calipers at either Home Depot or Lowe's. They were about $25. If they don't have any at your local hardware store, you can check your local auto parts stores. But, they will probably be a little more expensive there.

I just did a search for digital calipers at Amazon. The first page had 10 available under $25.

Potatohead
May 2, 2013, 08:50 PM
I'm just measuring for bullet setback. That's not dangerous right?

Bobson
May 2, 2013, 08:52 PM
You can also get calipers at a well stocked auto parts store like NAPA or O'Reilly.

BullfrogKen
May 2, 2013, 08:52 PM
Moved to reloading.


And yes, it is.

rcmodel
May 2, 2013, 08:52 PM
Micrometer = Not!!!

They will only measure bullet dia and such, but not cartridge case length, or over-all length of a loaded round, if it's over an inch long.
Or, you get a complete set of 1", 2", & 3" micrometers for several hundred dollars.

What you want is a Dial caliper or Digital caliper.

http://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-dial-caliper-66541.html

http://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-digital-caliper-47257.html

rc

Bobson
May 2, 2013, 08:53 PM
I'm just measuring for bullet setback. That's not dangerous right?
It can be. A bullet too deeply seated can cause pressures to increase to dangerous levels.

Larry Ashcraft
May 2, 2013, 08:54 PM
Just check the length of the cartridge against a new one. If you need a micrometer to measure it, it will be of no consequence.

I've fired rounds with minor setback with no problems, but they were light handloads. If you have hot loads with obvious setback, I would discard them, or pull the bullets and salvage the case and bullet.

Potatohead
May 2, 2013, 09:00 PM
Makes good sense. Thx Larry and everyone. (Don't tell my wife, I think I might just be wanting to by something ) ;)

Potatohead
May 2, 2013, 09:03 PM
Do u measure the caliber with calipers also?

BYJO4
May 2, 2013, 09:18 PM
A caliper is a must for reloading.

Certaindeaf
May 2, 2013, 09:59 PM
You can get a boxed set of four or five micrometers from HF for like $20 on sale.

Walkalong
May 2, 2013, 10:37 PM
Do u measure the caliber with calipers also?They make calibration blocks for checking calipers and micrometers, but the only people I know who really need them are machinists. We just need something repeatable and within .0002 or so. The vast majority of calipers are close enough.

If you need to measure to the nearest .0001, purchase a quality micrometer (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=112152&stc=1&d=1262383953), but the nearest .001 is close enough for most every standard reloading chores.

A round that is really .001 shorter than it measured is not dangerous. When you start measuring bullet diameters etc you want to be very close. Then sometimes it pays to double check with your quality micrometer, but most folks load for years with nothing but a decent caliper.

My inexpensive Harbor Freight (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=169843&d=1344896443) caliper measures pretty much dead on with my "better" ones.

kingmt
May 2, 2013, 10:41 PM
Certaindeaf
Yep. That's where mine came from. They are very accurate.

Potatohead
May 2, 2013, 10:53 PM
K so do micrometer and caliper do the same thing? Measure diameter, length etc? But a micrometer just measures in smaller increments or do they do different things?

Walkalong
May 2, 2013, 11:06 PM
Micrometers by design will measure tighter tolerances. They are expected to be accurate to the nearest .0001 vs a caliper which is generally expected to be accurate to the nearest .001, which is good enough for 99% of reloading.

Most folks never need a micrometer bigger than a one inch one, but they do make bigger ones, at a price.

You need a decent caliper.

Where in Bama are you? If I may ask. :)

gamestalker
May 2, 2013, 11:40 PM
For a reasonably priced stainless steel dial caliper, try Harbor Freight. I think I paid lke $10 for mine, and it's plenty accurate enough for reloading.

GS

cfullgraf
May 2, 2013, 11:44 PM
K so do micrometer and caliper do the same thing? Measure diameter, length etc? But a micrometer just measures in smaller increments or do they do different things?

Yes, micrometers and calipers can measure the same things. There are outside micrometers and inside micrometers that measure the outside of something or the inside of something. Calipers, generally can measure both inside and outside depending on the part of the jaws used.

To add what has already posted.

Micrometers generally measure within a range of one inch. For them to measure things greater than an inch, you have a different frame. So, micrometers will me sure 0"-1", 1"-2", 2"-3", and so forth. I have seen micrometers that measure many, many inches but their range is still only inch or so.

In crude terms, micrometers look kind of like a "C" clamp.

Calipers, on the other hand measure a larger range. The common calipers will measure 0" to 4" or 5" or so. They have two parallel jaws that slide on a bar.

You want either digital or dial calipers. The measurement provided is direct reading and you do not need to know how to read a vernier scale. Fortunately, unless you buy used, you probably will not easily find a vernier caliper these days.

As said, the economy priced digital calipers such as those sold by Harbor Freight, Midway, etc, will handle all of the common measuring chores for reloading. There are a few reloading tasks that micrometers are more appropriate but generally only advanced reloaders are concerned with them.

Hope this helps settle the silt.

noylj
May 2, 2013, 11:45 PM
Calipers you really need. Can't record the COL that works with a given bullet without one, and "we" record everything "we" do.
Micrometer? Not used very often but good to have. Certainly wouldn't rush out to buy a micrometer without a need for one.
My first need for a micrometer was when I needed to slug some barrels for cast lead bullets.

Certaindeaf
May 2, 2013, 11:47 PM
Yep, all better than a tape measure, that's for sure. As for the human eye, if I remember correctly, it can discern a 1/64" deviation over/within a span of thirty feet.. sometimes sighting against a known OAL will get you pretty darn close.. don't do that though.

1SOW
May 3, 2013, 12:00 AM
Micrometer, that's what I was trying to think of. That was my next question, does HD have this type stuff or where would I go?

A digital caliper is available (75% of time on sale) at Harbor Freight Tools that rounds to .0005" and is accurate within .001"
Get the better one with the spare battery and "zeros at any postion". On "sale" it's $11.
Otherwise around $15-$16.

maxyedor
May 3, 2013, 04:05 PM
Check out useenco.com for measuring tools. I have to buy the tip-top stuff for work, but some of their entry level stuff is very reasonably priced and a cut above Harbor Freight or anything you'll find at Home depot. If you want digital calipers, the HF ones are junk, they will not hole +/-.001, well worth it to spend another $15 and get a decent quality pair.

Fishslayer
May 4, 2013, 02:41 AM
Makes good sense. Thx Larry and everyone. (Don't tell my wife, I think I might just be wanting to by something ) ;)

The digital caliper RC referenced is $10 at Harbor Freight with a coupon. IMO it really is an essential piece of reloading gear.

farmrboy
May 4, 2013, 03:48 AM
You need to buy yourself a book called 'The ABC's of Reloading' and read it so you understand the whole process of reloading ammunition. It doesn't take much of a mistake to blow up a gun...and yourself. I recommend this book to every person that wants to get started. As far as measuring tools. The cheap calipers are junk. You get what you pay for. Dial calipers are the most accurate and reliable. You don't need to measure any closer than .001" unless you are doing some serious bench rest competing.

kingmt
May 4, 2013, 05:53 AM
Those of you saying the HF ones are junk don't know what your talking about. They measure to the .0005" & are great. I've been using them for better then 10 years. I have three in use right now. In 10 years I've had 1 pair that the pouring for the battery broke I laid a piece of metal in to make the connection it still worked when I replaced it & another one that flashed like the battery was dead from day one but still worked for years that I replaced also. If I could find them I'm sure they still work. I would make sure yours wasn't one that flashed before you got out of the parking lot.

I used to manage a Advance Auto Parts & we sold the exact same one for $60 so you don't always get what you pay for. I used them all the time at work also.

Walkalong
May 4, 2013, 09:20 AM
I have been happy with my digital HF calipers. I can see the reading easily and they are very reliable. If there is a reading I question I double check to see if they are still zeroed, and check to make sure the blades are clean. Then if I am still curious about it, I get another "better" caliper (dial) or micrometer to check behind them. Know what? They are always right, or were dirty, or the zero was off.

Potatohead
May 4, 2013, 02:41 PM
Where in Bama are you? If I may ask.

The Rocket City aka Huntsvegas aka Huntsville

markshere2
May 5, 2013, 04:37 PM
I bought a HF digital calipers and I am unimpressed.
Battery Hog and as soon as you get over 1.5" the readout goes ape.

I'd go with a dial caliper first if i was to do it all over again.

1SOW
May 6, 2013, 01:29 AM
You bought the "cheapie".

The better one's battery lasts for about a year and it comes with two.
I reload for several hours/week and the caliper is on the whole time.

Actually, it may last longer than that, but I just change it yearly. I have another dig caliper from Frankford Arsenal that I compare it with. It's right on.

Elkins45
May 6, 2013, 10:09 AM
Best I can tell, the HF calipers and the ones that Midway sells as Frankfort Arsenal are exactly the same model, just with different silkscreen on the box.

Both have been very useful for their respective tasks: the FA are in the basement with the reloading stuff and the HF are in the garage with my metal lathe.

TenDriver
May 6, 2013, 03:29 PM
The Rocket City aka Huntsvegas aka Huntsville

Same here. I just started reloading but if you need a second set of eyes to check something, holler.

Potatohead
May 6, 2013, 06:55 PM
holy cow thats awesome. thanks tendriver

Potatohead
May 6, 2013, 06:59 PM
small world...what part of town tendriver?..that is, if you dont mind writing that on the world wide web

TenDriver
May 6, 2013, 07:34 PM
I'm in south Huntsville not far from one of those Home Depots you were talking about.

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