Using dial calipers

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by barnfrog, Aug 6, 2022.

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  1. Mark_Mark
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    Mark_Mark Contributing Member

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    I’ve know some framer that could probably reload with a measuring tape
     
  2. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    I don't care how nice your bullets are, I don't think anyone is getting OAL to 0.0001" here in real life. Sure internet based fantasy, but not real life.
     
  3. Mark_Mark
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    Mark_Mark Contributing Member

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    learn something new! I’m going to try that with my feeler gague. get the feel right
     
  4. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    I do finish carpentry and can indeed reload by eye for 99% of normal need.
     
  5. Mark_Mark
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    Mark_Mark Contributing Member

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    I knew it! good finish guy can cut angle and measure with a pencil
     
  6. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Walkalong has tight neck chambered rifles. Reading to .0001" would be a must have, i think? Guessing would be dangerous.

    My micrometer is easier to guess at, then the RCBS dial.

    The left RCBS dial fell off the bench, on to cement. Broken after 40 years.

    20220807_071644.jpg

    My 357 mag bullets always measured .3575" out of a .357" H&I die. Till 1 day they didnt. Alloy spring back related.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
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  7. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    I have both digital and dial and prefer the dial. They are so much faster for me to use when I'm not doing critical work. I use my Mitutoyo's digitals when I need to get down to where the hair grows short.
    They are in .0001" resolution but I never really took the ten thousands seriously. I don't machine any more so I don't really need that type of accuracy and they haven't been calibrated since I left my last job.
     
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  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Very true, we rarely need true .0001 accuracy for reloading.
    Also true, when loading for my (tight necked) .262 neck 6 PPC chamber I measured neck walls and loaded round thickness at the neck to the nearest .0001 my talent allowed, then used the old fashioned...... chamber it to see if it chambered freely, then fire a couple and see if bullets would pass into the fired neck freely..... method to verify I was safe.
     

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  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    If I am interested in tenth’s of thousandths, I don’t estimate, I get the proper tool to measure them.
     
  10. Bcwitt

    Bcwitt Member

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    It might be worth your while to research the difference between Absolute measurement & Relative measurment. Absolute measurments are seldom, if ever, nessesary in reloading. It takes an awful lot of time to reset Absolute zero for each operation. You do not need to blueprint each cartridge. Unless of course you are into that, thats fine too. Im not.
     
  11. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    I agree with everyone who says .0001” accuracy is not needed for most reloading. Measuring head expansion is the only application that comes to mind. That application calls for a good micrometer and a good touch. I prefer quality dial calipers for most reloading, specifically B&S. They are smooth, well hardened, and very precise. The dial has a point between each .001” mark so they can be read to the nearest .0005”, if needed. I have bought several good used ones on eBay for around $50.00 each.
     
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  12. barnfrog

    barnfrog Member

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    Dude, you need to stop being so wishy-washy. Take a stand on the issue and tell everyone who disagrees with you they're utter morons. I mean, "Unless of course you are into that, thats fine too?" Really? Have you no spine? Next time try "Unless of course you are into that, in which case your mental capacity must be the equivalent of a small cactus." How am I supposed to make a decision if you tell me I can do whatever I want?

    Just kidding, of course. The point about relative vs. absolute measurement is well taken. It also reminds me that I may need to re-measure a lot of things with the new calipers, or at least compare the readings I get with them to the readings I got with the digital set to see if any adjustments are needed.
     
  13. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Or use a standard like a precision pin or Guage block.
     
  14. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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  15. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    If it were me and I wanted to be ultra-precise on OAL for all my reloads, I'd just make a pair of go/no-go gauges with the maximum and minimum OAL for whatever caliber I reloaded.

    If each round fits between the maximum and minimum set of gauges, it's SAT and I'm done.
     
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  16. barnfrog

    barnfrog Member

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    I guess my point is that if I have a load worked up that specifies a CBTO length of 1.234" as measured with the digital set, I need to make sure the dial calipers give me the same length on an assembled round that the digital calipers say is 1.234".
     
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  17. Soonerpesek

    Soonerpesek Member

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    The suggestion from @AJC1 will tell you if the digital and the dial are on the same page.......
     
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  18. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    If you get 2 different readings you have no idea which one is correct.

    Get yourself a Standard Calibration Block to check the calipers with. Then you will know for sure that the reading you get is accurate.
     
  19. Bcwitt

    Bcwitt Member

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    Some guys just like to do things there own way. If you want to blue print each cartridge, go for it.
     
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  20. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    This kind of thread makes me glad to be a handgunner - and a revolver man in particular. My seating depth is my crimp groove, and my bullet diameter is whatever is marked on the lubrisizer die. And case length is whatever it is because who cares. :p
     
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  21. mdi

    mdi Member

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    Life long machinist/mechanic background and while I have had a need to measure to +/- .0001", I have never needed that tight tolerance with any reloading or gun measurement. Quite often no closer than +/- .001" or even .002" is needed in gun work and very rarely in reloading. I use my "a little more than" or "a little less than" determinations when measuring with dial calipers "a little more than .355" or a little less than .430", etc., (I don't bother with digital) and my mics have .0001" hashmarks on the thimble but I can't remember any need for using except when checking mics...
     
  22. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    After years of working in calibration, I have that same gage block set and a companion weight set.

    I am of the +/- group.

    The final point being a non issue IN MOST CASES.

    Telling a machinist you want a smooth, round, 12" disc. He will ask, how smooth, how round, how close to 12?
     
  23. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Fit, Finish and Concentricity. :)

    For most of handloading, there's not much to be gained with obsessing over a single measure. The combined slop of every other variable will quickly overwhelm any gain imagined from doing so. IMO, YMMV.
     
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  24. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    In reloading I agree. In barrel chambering I disagree. But that's off topic. Knowing where it's important and where it's not is just as important. I played measuring my dad's reloads for my 223 comp gun and .007 of difference in headspace is a lot. He never has an rcbs mic or a comparator but that amount of variation has to matter.
     
  25. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    Is that one hundredth of an inch or 10 millimeters.? :D
     
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