Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

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

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ghh3rd, Jan 14, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ghh3rd

    ghh3rd Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    84
    A quick question - if you use a Case Trimmer, is it necessary to use a Case Length Gauge?

    Thanks,

    Randy
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    45,582
    Location:
    Alabama
    You can use dial calipers 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.
     
  3. ghh3rd

    ghh3rd Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    84
    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
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    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
     
  5. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,845
    Location:
    Cornelia, GA
    Just for Clarity

    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.
     
  6. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Messages:
    3,142
    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?
     
  7. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,156
    Location:
    NAS Pensacola
    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.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    45,582
    Location:
    Alabama
    Linky in 2nd post. ;)

    Go on sale frequently.
     
  9. kelbro

    kelbro Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,264
    Location:
    Desert Southwest
    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 :).
     
  10. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    7,836
    Location:
    Ava, Missouri
    Dial calipers. Yup... A required tool for reloading...
     
  11. ironhat

    ironhat Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    South-central PA
    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.:eek:
     
  12. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,872
    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
     
  13. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,845
    Location:
    Cornelia, GA
    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!
     
  14. USSR

    USSR Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    8,390
    Location:
    Finger Lakes Region of NY
    IMHO, if you lack the intelligence to properly use a dial caliper, you have no business reloading.;)

    Don
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    45,582
    Location:
    Alabama
    I gotta agree.

    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. :)
     
  16. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    9,080
    You can rotate the dial and set zero as well (assuming your trimming to within .100).

    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.
     
  17. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,797
    "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.
     
  18. ironhat

    ironhat Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    South-central PA
    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:
     
  19. ar10

    ar10 Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,356
    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.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page