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Calipers?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by skypirate7, Feb 13, 2013.

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  1. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    One never regrets buying quality, that is for sure, but for many starting out in reloading a more thrifty approach is needed. The HF calipers will serve them well and last a long time. Meanwhile they can be saving their pennies for a nice replacement if they ever need it. A machinist would be foolish to buy the HF for daily hard use, but the hobbyist will be well served by them.

    Do not buy cheap if you really need .0001 accuracy, but as I posted, the need for that kind of accuracy is rare in reloading.
     
  2. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    With this logic one only needs to look for Rolex when searching for a timepiece!

    Come on folks, we're discussing reloading here, not working in the trades.

    But I think the question has been answered for the OP, as he has a set coming from HF, a dial set, good choice.
     
  3. Searcher4851

    Searcher4851 Member

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    A $25.00 Casio watch will tell the time as well or better than a Rolex.

    The Harbor Freight calipers will serve the OP well, as they have served many others well. I have a few different sets of calipers, but seem to use the Harbor Freight ones most often.

    Buying a tool that will do the job, without paying a whole lot extra for brand name recognition, helps to allow the beginner to afford other tools for reloading, or components. (if he can find any)
     
  4. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "I have a dial caliper from RCBS that works well."

    Yeah, they do. Same calipers as sold by Lyman, Hornady and Midway, all from the same Chinese maker as Harbor Freight.

    A pro grade caliper is nice to have but hardly worth the cost to a reloader. I put my pro Swiss made caliper aside and use HFs for my reloading, fully as accurate and if I drop it it's likely runined but I can buy about 20 more for the cost of replacing my pro tool.
     
  5. tbob38

    tbob38 Member

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    After my last chinese junker caliper bit the dust I got a Starrett and I'm glad I did, every time I use it. The last cheap one failed such that the error wasn't immediately apparent but was causing oal problems with handgun loads.
     
  6. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Yes you need to measure accurately. I also set aside my high end (don't know what it is its been so long) and use a HF dial caliper and got/use a full boxed set (5?) of HF micrometers also for like $15-20 (I forget).. the box alone should cost that price in my opinion.
     
  7. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    I reloaded accurate and functional ammo for about 20 years without any "measuring" tools using a factory round to set OAL's and chamber checking rounds.

    Bought a dial caliper on sale from Midway and spent a lot of time measuring things that didn't really matter Put the thing back in the box and now only rarely take it out to check something, usually not hand loading related.

    IMO they're not really needed but can be useful at times. People will fret about small measurable differences in loads that really don't make a bit of difference in their accuracy but for the overly anal they cause lots of consternation.

    If you are loading .308 for bolt guns you really don't need one. For hunting ammo just keep a factory round to set your OAL. For target loads there's lots of ways to determine OAL for just off the lands length. You can buy a case gauge to check for max case length and conformation to other maximum dimensions that's certainly quicker and easier to use than a caliper.
     
  8. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    I like hand grenades also!
     
  9. angus6

    angus6 Member

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    Well at least he got a dial unit ,have 2 buddies that have had the HF calipers give up the goust, that being said I've got a set of no name e-bay digitals that other then the fact they auto shut have been fine.
    Now the never get used as I picked up a Brown & Sharpe unit off of e-bay for $35 much quicker to use when processing large amounts of brass
     
  10. JSmith

    JSmith Member

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    Yeah, but...

    Sometimes good tools are nice to have in and of themselves. You know you're holding a quality tool as soon as you pick it up. I expect to replace the cheap Chinese starter caliper with something better after I've reloaded for another year or so.
     
  11. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I find myself measuring diameters more often than measuring length. If you ever get into bullet casting you'll absolutely need a set of calipers or a micrometer so you can see what size your mold is dropping with your alloy.

    They are one of those tools that you will find uses for once you own them.
     
  12. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    Calipers are good to one thou; ONLY micrometers are good for less than a thou.

    Yeah, I like tools myself, high grade tools are comforting to the soul. But, at $10-12 vs. $150-200 for calipers my soul can stand a bit of discomfort. (Don't shout about what a good deal you got on eBay, they are used so the next one may be in poor shape and no one can count on getting a good deal anyway.) Ditto my watches; I'd love to have a Rolex Oyster but I don't dive anymore so my soul is quite happy with $10 Walmart Chinese watches, they're deadly accuate until the battery dies and I can replace the whole watch for a couple of bucks more than a new battery costs. That's not a hard decision to make!
     
  13. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Hard to dispute what you say there ranger335v.

    I suggest those who wish a super quality tool "any kind" at a low price to check out their local pawn shops. One can usually get very good buys that way and you can check them out right in the store not waiting till they arrive in the mail.

    Case in point, picked up a NIB w/Tags, never worn, Bulova Accutron for $180.00 yesterday, a couple of months ago got a NIB Winchester 94 30/30 for $175.00, deals are out there.
     
  14. dsm

    dsm Member

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    Precision minded reloaders will always appreciate accuracy and precision in their tooling.
     
  15. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    A set of dial or digital calibers are only accurate to within .001, some folks claim they can go to .0005, try that in the trades and see where it gets you. Calibers made from steel whether from Starrett or Mitutoyo or Harbor Freight will be more than adequate for reloading, if one wishes more accuracy they better start looking at micrometers.

    A Ford or Honda will get you there and few of us can afford a Rolls, so the Fords & Honda's are adequate.

    A Timex quartz can tell very accurate time, if a chronograph even adequate for timing laps, will be as accurate as your reflexes are at pushing the button. However I do like my Seiko, Pulsar, Citizen, and Accutron chronographs, and yes a Rolex is out of my price range.

    If a Starrett floats your boat, have at it, it is more than adequate.
    If a Harbor Freight fits in your budget, go for it, it also is more than adequate.

    As far as for the hobby of reloading both are adequate.
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    .001
    [​IMG]


    .0001
    [​IMG]

    :)
     
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