LE Wilson 223 case gauge


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myFRAGisFUBAR
August 13, 2013, 12:26 AM
So I just got my Wilson case gauge in, but me being new to reloading and not looking into it more may have purchased the wrong tool. Just wanted some confirmation before I sell it.

I got this gauge thinking it would work like a pistol gauge. If the round falls in, its good to go. If the round doesnt go all the way in, its a no go. I read about this gauge AFTER I bought it and it is meant for just making sure an empty case is within spec. Is all of that correct? I am loading for an AR-15.

If I did get the wrong product is there one out there that does what I am wanting? Something I can drop a finished round in and make sure it will chamber? Thanks in advance for the help.:o

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ArchAngelCD
August 13, 2013, 01:55 AM
I'm not sure what you are asking but if you look at the instructions that came with the gauge you will see how it works. That Wilson gauge is meant to let you know if the brass is sized correctly and to check the shoulder position. It's a quality tool.

Walkalong
August 13, 2013, 07:40 AM
This Gauge (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/456614/le-wilson-case-length-headspace-gage-223-remington)?

thump_rrr
August 13, 2013, 08:10 AM
So I just got my Wilson case gauge in, but me being new to reloading and not looking into it more may have purchased the wrong tool. Just wanted some confirmation before I sell it.

I got this gauge thinking it would work like a pistol gauge. If the round falls in, its good to go. If the round doesnt go all the way in, its a no go. I read about this gauge AFTER I bought it and it is meant for just making sure an empty case is within spec. Is all of that correct? I am loading for an AR-15.

If I did get the wrong product is there one out there that does what I am wanting? Something I can drop a finished round in and make sure it will chamber? Thanks in advance for the help.:o
First of all rifle reloading is not as mindless as straight walled pistol reloading.
there are far more steps and die adjustments to ensure you are properly sizing your brass.

The L.E. Wilson case gauge will not tell you if the case is bulged as far as I know because that dimension is oversized.

It will however tell you if the cartridge is properly sized.

First make sure there is no burr on the rim of the cartridge that can get caught in the gauge.
Place a case in the gauge and look at the base of the cartridge.
If the base protrudes past the metal then the shoulder has not been pushed back far enough so screw in your full length sizing die a little more.
If the base of the cartridge falls below the small notch in the base of the gauge then you have pushed the shoulder down too far and you need to unscrew your full length sizing die out a little.

The next step is to check the mouth of the cartridge.
If it extends past the gauge it is time to trim your brass.
If it is below the lower notch it is shorter than the suggested trim length.

Not such a useless tool after all especially for a novice rifle reloader.

Even though I have other tools to assist me in checking case dimensions I purchase and use an L.E. Wilson case gauge for every caliber I reload.

myFRAGisFUBAR
August 13, 2013, 11:00 AM
First of all rifle reloading is not as mindless as straight walled pistol reloading.
there are far more steps and die adjustments to ensure you are properly sizing your brass.

The L.E. Wilson case gauge will not tell you if the case is bulged as far as I know because that dimension is oversized.

It will however tell you if the cartridge is properly sized.

First make sure there is no burr on the rim of the cartridge that can get caught in the gauge.
Place a case in the gauge and look at the base of the cartridge.
If the base protrudes past the metal then the shoulder has not been pushed back far enough so screw in your full length sizing die a little more.
If the base of the cartridge falls below the small notch in the base of the gauge then you have pushed the shoulder down too far and you need to unscrew your full length sizing die out a little.

The next step is to check the mouth of the cartridge.
If it extends past the gauge it is time to trim your brass.
If it is below the lower notch it is shorter than the suggested trim length.

Not such a useless tool after all especially for a novice rifle reloader.

Even though I have other tools to assist me in checking case dimensions I purchase and use an L.E. Wilson case gauge for every caliber I reload.
I know that rifle loading is a little more in depth of a process. I'm not trying to sound ungrateful in any way because I do appreciate all the help I can get. If I use calipers to make sure my brass is the right length is it the same as using this gauge? I did 100 or so rounds before I bought this.

My other question though was is there a way to make sure that a finished round will chamber in my rifle the same way I would for a pistol? I know you can buy a gauge or just use your barrel to check and make sure pistol rounds will work. Is there a way to do this with rifle.

Kingcreek
August 13, 2013, 11:17 AM
Keep the guage and learn to use it properly. It's not hard.
I find them very important for reloading a semi auto rifle.

cfullgraf
August 13, 2013, 11:46 AM
The Wilson case gauges for bottle neck rifle cartridges check only shoulder position and overall case length. They are cut generously in the body diameter and will not necessarily tell you if a round will or will not chamber.

Check Wlson's information on the gauges.

The Wilson and Dillon rifle case gauges are beneficial in telling you that your case length and should position are correct to fit the cartridge standards.

There are case gauges out there that are chamber gauges. Many precision rifle shooters will have a gauge made by the gunsmith that chambers their rifle using the same reamer that was used to chamber the rifle.

I believe JP Enterprises makes a chamber gauge for 223 Remington, but i have slept since then.

Handgun case gauges are a different story.

Hope this helps.

MtnCreek
August 13, 2013, 11:51 AM
If I use calipers to make sure my brass is the right length is it the same as using this gauge?

The gage will tell you if your case length is within min/max spec. You can do the same thing w/ calipers, but the gage is faster IMO. Just remember the gage and the min/max listed in your manual is spec and your rifle chamber should be built to it's spec. If one's cut to the short end of spec and the other to long end, you could be a little closer than you think or cutting more off the case than needed.

My other question though was is there a way to make sure that a finished round will chamber in my rifle the same way I would for a pistol?

The main issue w/ rifle cartridges not chambering is cart headspace. Set the head clearance correct and use a full length die and you shouldn't have issues with the body being too large.

Is this for an AR?

mstreddy
August 13, 2013, 11:52 AM
OP -- the Wilson rifle gauge is not for measuring finished round as the pistol ones do.
It's for measuring resized brass to ensure they are within SAMMI specs.
The caliper for length will tell you the length, but not where the shoulder is at.
Dropping a round into your AR chamber can be done, but it's hard to determine where it's sitting just by looking. Also, if you didn't resize properly, then getting a "bulging" round out is a bit of a pain. If it's bulged, the bolt won't close, the extractor will not engage properly or overcome the tension and you have to tap the round/case out with a rod. -- ask me how I know this...
so, for minimal $$ you have a tool that will help you set up your resizing die to get the brass within spec. In an AR-15 and most autoloaders this is very helpful.
So, recheck the above information and instructions for the gauge, set your sizing die and try it out.
Note -- there are other tools and methods for all of this, but since you already own this tool -- might as well use it.

gahunter12
August 13, 2013, 02:10 PM
OP- lots of good info above. I use a LE Wilson case gage on all my cases to be sure the shoulder has been set back far enough to chamber in my AR's, and to check if I need to trim. I use a caliper to check for bulges, but haven't had any problems with bulges after sizing through my LEE full length sizing die. If you are have problems with bulged cases, you may want to get a small base full length sizing die. The LE Wilson case gage is a near must to have for reloading rifle rounds.

thump_rrr
August 13, 2013, 02:48 PM
I know that rifle loading is a little more in depth of a process. I'm not trying to sound ungrateful in any way because I do appreciate all the help I can get. If I use calipers to make sure my brass is the right length is it the same as using this gauge? I did 100 or so rounds before I bought this.

My other question though was is there a way to make sure that a finished round will chamber in my rifle the same way I would for a pistol? I know you can buy a gauge or just use your barrel to check and make sure pistol rounds will work. Is there a way to do this with rifle.
Calipers are useless on bottleneck rifle cartridges without additional tools such as a headspace gauge.
The reason being is that you can push the shoulder back 0.020" too far and have a neck that is 0.020" too long and the overall length will appear correct.
Meanwhile you have a dangerous headspace situation.

By using the case gauge each end of the cartridge is in reference to the datum line which is 1/2 way up the shoulder.

myFRAGisFUBAR
August 13, 2013, 03:19 PM
Calipers are useless on bottleneck rifle cartridges without additional tools such as a headspace gauge.
The reason being is that you can push the shoulder back 0.020" too far and have a neck that is 0.020" too long and the overall length will appear correct.
Meanwhile you have a dangerous headspace situation.

By using the case gauge each end of the cartridge is in reference to the datum line which is 1/2 way up the shoulder.

Yeah I never even thought of that. I looked up the video made by the guys that make the gauge on youtube. After seeing that in action, I think I fully understand the way I am supposed to use this gauge.

I followed his instructions and measured a case that was a new factory round fired from my gun. It came out to 1.768.5. So that tells me I am .0085 over spec correct? So that tells me if I were to size a case, and it were just over the top of the max end, but still under the .0085 extra that my chamber gives, my cases are in the sweet spot correct?

Just wanted to thank everyone again for all of the help. This is one patient group of people for sure. :D

Backroad
August 13, 2013, 03:27 PM
I have one for reloading my .223 cartridges. Keep it - it works and will tell you if your loaded .223s will cycle thru your gun. If the case is bulged or if the neck/shoulder area is "squished" - it'll tell you that too.

Al

Walkalong
August 13, 2013, 03:57 PM
If I use calipers to make sure my brass is the right length is it the same as using this gauge? No, the calipers are what it is. The gauge can show a difference for the need to trim if the shoulder is in different positions. I wouldn't use the gauge for determining if to trim, use the calipers.

fguffey
August 14, 2013, 01:15 AM
If I use calipers to make sure my brass is the right length is it the same as using this gauge?

No, the calipers are what it is. The gauge can show a difference for the need to trim if the shoulder is in different positions. I wouldn't use the gauge for determining if to trim, use the calipers.


If I use calipers to make sure my brass is the right length is it the same as using this gauge?
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Yes it is, first, measure the length of the gage with a caliper, the length of the gage is the same length as a minimum length case. A case that requires trimming will have a protruding case neck. The length of the neck is measured from the datum (measured from). A case head that protrudes can be measured in thousandths, most choose to guess, I choose to measure.

The instructions that comes with the Wilson case gage has suggested the reolader use a straight edge, they suggest using pocket rules as a straight edge. I take it one step further, I use a straight edge and a feeler gage. I also use a set up table as a straight edge, I stand the case of the flat surface, I then place the gage over the case and then measure the gap between the gage and flat surface.

Then there was your question about ‘another tool’, the answer is yes, there is another tool, it is referred to as a chamber gage. Modern? chamber gages are nothing more than tight Wilson case gages. I make chamber gages that match case head protrusion in the chamber meaning my case head protrusion in my chamber matches the case head protrusion from the gage. And? there is a reason for that.

F. Guffey

fguffey
August 14, 2013, 01:24 AM
The gauge can show a difference for the need to trim if the shoulder is in different positions

The Wilson case gage does not have a shoulder, it has a datum, the datum in the Wilson case gage has a radius.

I would not suggest anyone take my word for it, I do suggest owners of the tool should know something about the tool.

Check the tool. Stand the gage on a block of lead, then drop a case into the gage and with a drift and hammer drive the case into the gage. The case will move easily at first, that is because the shoulder of the case is conforming to the datum/radius, with more effort the case head will drop below the top of the gage.

Forgot! Do not forget to lube the case.

F. Guffey

fguffey
August 14, 2013, 01:45 AM
Originally Posted by thump_rrr View Post
Calipers are useless on bottleneck rifle cartridges without additional tools such as a headspace gauge.
The reason being is that you can push the shoulder back 0.020" too far and have a neck that is 0.020" too long and the overall length will appear correct.
Meanwhile you have a dangerous headspace situation.

By using the case gauge each end of the cartridge is in reference to the datum line which is 1/2 way up the shoulder.

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"The reason being is that you can push the shoulder back"

Who is 'you'? As in ' you can, I can not push the shoulder back .020". MY full length sizer die will not allow me to reduce the length of a case below .005" shorter than a go-gage length chamber.

If the chamber is .025" longer than a minimum length go-gage length chamber I can size a case to fit the chamber by avoiding reducing the length of a case by adjusting the die off the shell holder .020".

I can form cases for short chambers by as much as .012", that is .017" shorter than a go-gage length chamber. I say it is possible, I do not say 'you can'.

F. Guffey

fguffey
August 14, 2013, 01:54 AM
By using the case gauge each end of the cartridge is in reference to the datum line which is 1/2 way up the shoulder.

1/2 or half way between the case body/shoulder juncture and the shoulder/neck juncture?

That is impossible, the 25/06, 6mm/06, 6.5/06, 270 Winchester, 30/06 and the 8mm06 all use the same datum, round hole of .375",

I can waste my time by deterring a datum that is half way between the two junctures, datums are published.

Then there is that one exception, no published data, not a problem, I make up a datum, works if I use the same datum for the chamber and case.

F. Guffey

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