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Frankford Arsenal Case Gauges

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by DaveInFloweryBranchGA, Apr 5, 2006.

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  1. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Member

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    Has anyone tried those Frankford Arsenal case gauges that come in pistol and rifle sets of several? They seem very affordable and I wonder if they're any good. Here's a couple links to what I'm talking about:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=822284

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=150781

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=763873

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=670220

    Thanks,

    Dave
     
  2. SingleStack

    SingleStack Member

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    I've got the same question here Dave, and was looking at the set of three (.223, .306, .30-06) on Midway. Seems a better deal than other brands at $20 a pop. Hope someone here can vouch for the quality of the FA guages.

    As an aside, I was skeptical of FA products at first due to their being inexpensive, but own several products and am happy.
     
  3. wrangler5

    wrangler5 Member

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    I just got two of the loaded round gauges from Midway yesterday (9mm & 45ACP.) They are not as nicely finished as some of the other case gauges I have from other makers, but are not as expensive either. If you're using quality reloading dies you probably don't need these - I've been reloading for 20+ years and haven't had a problem with my ammunition failing to feed. Still, I'm glad I have them.

    I've had case length gauges for years, but haven't used them in a long time because I didn't find that my handgun cases ever got out of spec (most of my loads are well below max pressures.) But they, too, were a comfort when I was starting to reload.

    I'm not sure I understand how the chamber measuring gauges work, just looking at the pictures. If you only have a single rifle in a particular caliber and want to make loads with cases that are closely fitted to that chamber's length they might be useful. But my impression is that the best accuracy improver can be setting the overall cartridge length so that the bullet is within a few thousandths of the rifling, for which you need a different gauge of the sort made by Stony Point.
     
  4. Infidel

    Infidel Member

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    I have, and use, the Frankford Arsenal and L. E. Wilson gauges, and I find them useful. Mostly, they are a quick and easy way to make sure that the sized cases or loaded ammunition are within SAAMI specs. They are like a portable, cutaway chamber with tolerance marks. "Quick and easy" is the thing. They aren't indispensible, but they are useful. I bought them singly, rather than in sets, just because I can't see any reason to have gauges around for cartridges that I'll never use.
     
  5. Matt-man

    Matt-man Member

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    You take a case and cut it .10" shorter than spec, insert the gauge into the case, and chamber the whole thing. The gauge comes up against the end of the chamber and gets pushed back into the case, and when the case/gauge is extracted it gives you the overall length of the chamber.

    Most times the chamber length is not a problem, especially with a standardized cartridge. If you have some sort of wildcat where the case OAL is not set in stone a gauge can be useful. For example there are variants of the 6.5-08 that differ in case OAL - is it 2.015", 2.025", or 2.030"? The gauge will tell you what length your chamber is so you can trim to an appropriate length.
     
  6. wrangler5

    wrangler5 Member

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    Very interesting, Matt-man. I'd never seen (or never paid attention to) this kind of gauge. Thanks for the explanation.
     
  7. GunAdmirer

    GunAdmirer Member

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    I like the Frankford Arsenal Case Gages. They don't guarantee that your ammo will cycle reliably but does increase the likelihood greatly and will boost your confidence. Every round that goes through in one of my autoloaders goes through the FA case gage first. Fortunately, I haven't found any of my rounds that would not go through the gage so far, but it boosts my confidence.

    Only problem - they tend to surface rust easily. Got to keep them protected from rust.
     
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