Author Topic: cartridge headspace gauge needed?  (Read 815 times)

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Offline pcking78

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cartridge headspace gauge needed?
« on: November 15, 2010, 07:52:18 am »
  Hi all, just began reloading recently.  All set up to do 30-30, Lee hand press, case trimmer, dies, RCBS scale, Lyman manual, etc. Already loaded a few mild loads. Question is, how necessary is a case headspace gauge?  If I am full length resizing, isn't the cartridge returned back to factory specs? Now I know that some only "bump" the shoulder back the minimum amount for benchrest accuracy, etc. But, if I am only a hunter, not an accuracy freak, and I FL resize, pushing the case completely into the die and then back out, then it seems I wouldn't need a headspace gauge for the chamber or the cartridge. Am I missing something here?  Is there a reason I should be checking the headspace on my cartridges even if they chamber easily?
thanks for all replies, it was this informative forum that got me into reloading in the first place.

Graybeard Outdoors

cartridge headspace gauge needed?
« on: November 15, 2010, 07:52:18 am »
 

Offline Reverend Recoil

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Re: cartridge headspace gauge needed?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2010, 09:06:28 am »
Yes, if you full length re-size the cartridge it is returned to factory specifications.  You are not missing anything.  If you are certain that your rifle is in good contition you can do without a cartridge headspace gauge.  The 30-30 case is prone to stretching more than the 308 or 30-06 because the greater tolerance of the case head rim to breach face.  Loaded to the same pressure, rimmed cases do not last as long as rimless cases.  There are two things you can do.  First, adjust the sizing die to re-size no more than necessary for smooth feeding and extraction in your rifle.  This is done by marking the case neck with candle soot and resizing the case so as to only slightly set the shoulder back.  Be sure that the shell holder is of the same manufacturer as the sizing die.  Second, lubricate the inside of each case neck before sizing to prevent the inside neck-sizing button from stretching the neck.  Trim the cases after each second or third loading.

Offline wncchester

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Re: cartridge headspace gauge needed?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2010, 10:31:08 am »
Pc, not only is a case gage not needed by hunters and casual shooters they weren't even available at any price until just few years ago. 
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Offline sr sawyer

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Re: cartridge headspace gauge needed?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2010, 12:45:24 pm »
If you are shooting a lever action or intend to shoot the loads in different rifles I would recommend that you full length size.  Smoking the necks for bolt and single action rifles works fine but can cause problems in lever actons.

Ken 
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Offline pcking78

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Re: cartridge headspace gauge needed?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2010, 03:20:29 pm »
   Thanks guys.  That's what I thought, just wanted to make sure though.  I guess I want be buying any GO, NoGo, or cartridge drop-in thing-a-ma-dos anytime soon. My gun is a 1970's era winchester '94 but it has seen little use.  I certainly don't have any qualms about firing factory ammo in it so I won't worry about full-sized ammo either.  Not looking to squeeze every last drop of life out of the cases or anything like that. It is not my main hunting round anyway, that would be my '06; which I'm not set up to reload for.
thanks for the helpful info, pc

 

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