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Which tool?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Potatohead, May 2, 2013.

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  1. Potatohead
    • Contributing Member

    Potatohead Member

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    Hey,
    Running out to home depot. Would they have some tools/devices for measuring rounds, cartridges, etc more accurately than just tape measure/ruler and what would they be called? Thanks i know ive seen a lot of different items listed here but cant recall any specific names of the actual tools
     
  2. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Member

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    Calipers, micrometers, that kind of thing?

    I don't know that Home Depot is going to have any. I'm pretty sure the one near me doesn't.
     
  3. Potatohead
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    Potatohead Member

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    Micrometer, that's what I was trying to think of. That was my next question, does HD have this type stuff or where would I go?
     
  4. dpote

    dpote Member

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    I bought my calipers from Home Depot.
    The micrometer I got from Sears.

    Dave
     
  5. gwsut

    gwsut Member

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    First thing I would buy. if I were you, is a good book on reloading before your inexperience hurts yourself or someone else.
     
  6. ngnrd

    ngnrd Member

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    I bought my digital calipers at either Home Depot or Lowe's. They were about $25. If they don't have any at your local hardware store, you can check your local auto parts stores. But, they will probably be a little more expensive there.

    I just did a search for digital calipers at Amazon. The first page had 10 available under $25.
     
  7. Potatohead
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    Potatohead Member

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    I'm just measuring for bullet setback. That's not dangerous right?
     
  8. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    You can also get calipers at a well stocked auto parts store like NAPA or O'Reilly.
     
  9. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Moved to reloading.


    And yes, it is.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  11. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    It can be. A bullet too deeply seated can cause pressures to increase to dangerous levels.
     
  12. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    Just check the length of the cartridge against a new one. If you need a micrometer to measure it, it will be of no consequence.

    I've fired rounds with minor setback with no problems, but they were light handloads. If you have hot loads with obvious setback, I would discard them, or pull the bullets and salvage the case and bullet.
     
  13. Potatohead
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    Potatohead Member

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    Makes good sense. Thx Larry and everyone. (Don't tell my wife, I think I might just be wanting to by something ) ;)
     
  14. Potatohead
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    Potatohead Member

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    Do u measure the caliber with calipers also?
     
  15. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Member

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    A caliper is a must for reloading.
     
  16. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    You can get a boxed set of four or five micrometers from HF for like $20 on sale.
     
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    They make calibration blocks for checking calipers and micrometers, but the only people I know who really need them are machinists. We just need something repeatable and within .0002 or so. The vast majority of calipers are close enough.

    If you need to measure to the nearest .0001, purchase a quality micrometer, but the nearest .001 is close enough for most every standard reloading chores.

    A round that is really .001 shorter than it measured is not dangerous. When you start measuring bullet diameters etc you want to be very close. Then sometimes it pays to double check with your quality micrometer, but most folks load for years with nothing but a decent caliper.

    My inexpensive Harbor Freight caliper measures pretty much dead on with my "better" ones.
     
  18. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    Certaindeaf
    Yep. That's where mine came from. They are very accurate.
     
  19. Potatohead
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    Potatohead Member

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    K so do micrometer and caliper do the same thing? Measure diameter, length etc? But a micrometer just measures in smaller increments or do they do different things?
     
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Micrometers by design will measure tighter tolerances. They are expected to be accurate to the nearest .0001 vs a caliper which is generally expected to be accurate to the nearest .001, which is good enough for 99% of reloading.

    Most folks never need a micrometer bigger than a one inch one, but they do make bigger ones, at a price.

    You need a decent caliper.

    Where in Bama are you? If I may ask. :)
     
  21. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    For a reasonably priced stainless steel dial caliper, try Harbor Freight. I think I paid lke $10 for mine, and it's plenty accurate enough for reloading.

    GS
     
  22. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Yes, micrometers and calipers can measure the same things. There are outside micrometers and inside micrometers that measure the outside of something or the inside of something. Calipers, generally can measure both inside and outside depending on the part of the jaws used.

    To add what has already posted.

    Micrometers generally measure within a range of one inch. For them to measure things greater than an inch, you have a different frame. So, micrometers will me sure 0"-1", 1"-2", 2"-3", and so forth. I have seen micrometers that measure many, many inches but their range is still only inch or so.

    In crude terms, micrometers look kind of like a "C" clamp.

    Calipers, on the other hand measure a larger range. The common calipers will measure 0" to 4" or 5" or so. They have two parallel jaws that slide on a bar.

    You want either digital or dial calipers. The measurement provided is direct reading and you do not need to know how to read a vernier scale. Fortunately, unless you buy used, you probably will not easily find a vernier caliper these days.

    As said, the economy priced digital calipers such as those sold by Harbor Freight, Midway, etc, will handle all of the common measuring chores for reloading. There are a few reloading tasks that micrometers are more appropriate but generally only advanced reloaders are concerned with them.

    Hope this helps settle the silt.
     
  23. noylj

    noylj Member

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    Calipers you really need. Can't record the COL that works with a given bullet without one, and "we" record everything "we" do.
    Micrometer? Not used very often but good to have. Certainly wouldn't rush out to buy a micrometer without a need for one.
    My first need for a micrometer was when I needed to slug some barrels for cast lead bullets.
     
  24. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Yep, all better than a tape measure, that's for sure. As for the human eye, if I remember correctly, it can discern a 1/64" deviation over/within a span of thirty feet.. sometimes sighting against a known OAL will get you pretty darn close.. don't do that though.
     
  25. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    A digital caliper is available (75% of time on sale) at Harbor Freight Tools that rounds to .0005" and is accurate within .001"
    Get the better one with the spare battery and "zeros at any postion". On "sale" it's $11.
    Otherwise around $15-$16.
     
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