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Old 10-19-2014, 09:46   #1
rangerhgm
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Case Guage vs Barrel

I have an EGW case guage for checking my 9mm rounds, but sometimes I check them using my G19/G26 barrels.

Are there pros/cons to using the barrel rather than the EGW guage?
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:03   #2
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In my experience with the two EGW gauges I use is that any round that checks in the gauge will fit any barrel within spec.
Where as using your barrel assures they will fit that barrel but perhaps not other barrels,depends on what you are after. SJ 40
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:11   #3
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The EGW case gauge tolerances are tighter being minimum SAMMI spec.
However, the case gauge will not detect incorrect OAL.
I load 1000-2000 at a time and case gauge ever round with a 6 hole EGW.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:14   #4
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I find it more convenient to use the gauges since they are on my bench, and I don't have to take down a gun. Theoretically if they kerplunk in the gauge, then it should be a go in your gun. The only issue with using a barrel is, while it might fit in that barrel, it might not fit in all of your barrels.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:41   #5
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As long as your gauge is the **exact** same spec as your chamber in every way, you will be fine.

I use gauges that my gunsmith cuts using the same chamber reamer he uses to cut the chamber.

Remember, chambers have a range of specs. If your chamber is at the small side and your gauge is at the other end, it might not work out that well.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:44   #6
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rangerhgm "I have an EGW case guage for checking my 9mm rounds, but sometimes I check them using my G19/G26 barrels."

Glocks & S&W M&P's are designed to fit the widest variety of commercial ammo out there. Their barrel tolerances are not as tight (if you will) as most case gauge. If your rounds will fit comfortably in your gauge they will fit & fire in your Glock pistols.

As I run a batch of ammo I check them periodically with my case gauge. I find this to be more than sufficent for my 9mm pistol ammo as I have had no issues with rounds that pass my gauge test.

For rifle... I would do a barrel check as well but I am not running as many cartridges as I would for pistol.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:45   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taterhead View Post
I find it more convenient to use the gauges since they are on my bench, and I don't have to take down a gun. Theoretically if they kerplunk in the gauge, then it should be a go in your gun. The only issue with using a barrel is, while it might fit in that barrel, it might not fit in all of your barrels.
I agree.

Generally, if you shoot Glocks, a case gauge will work flawlessly as long as your OAL is within max spec for the caliber.

OTOH, I have a few 1911's that I check each round in the barrel it is destined to be shot. The reason is a few have very little free bore (how close the lands come to the end of the chamber). On these guns, a round that passes my Dillon case gauge may not chamber in the barrel.

The more you reload and run into "gotchas", you will get a feel for such things.
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:36   #8
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Thanks all

As I said I have a G19 and 26, my son has a G26 and my daughter has a G19. Those are the only guns I reload for and they're all 9mm. I load everything to OAL 1.15 and normally use the EGW periodically during a loading session....similar to the frequency I check powder loads.
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Old 10-20-2014, 00:47   #9
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As long as your gauge is the **exact** same spec as your chamber in every way, you will be fine.

I use gauges that my gunsmith cuts using the same chamber reamer he uses to cut the chamber.

Remember, chambers have a range of specs. If your chamber is at the small side and your gauge is at the other end, it might not work out that well.
Unless the Gauges are identical to the chamber, the bbl is the only true gauge as most gauges have no rifling. Fine for checking crimp & sizing, but nearly useless or checking oal. This is Where the bbl is superior.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:43   #10
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the bbl is the only true gauge as most gauges have no rifling.
They do when you make them from a chunk of barrel stub from your barrel.
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Old 10-20-2014, 11:02   #11
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They do when you make them from a chunk of barrel stub from your barrel.
Yes, but certainly not the off the shelf case gauge everyone buys. Many reloaders are completely mistaken thinking their case guage is giving them reliable ammo.
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Old 10-20-2014, 15:30   #12
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My center fire pistols are all Glocks. I keep a spare barrel on the bench for casing, but find it much easier/faster to use the Dillon gauge to case in volume.

I've never had problems with ammo that passed the Dillon gauge not chambering. That said, basically all my practice ammo chambers fine, and I don't case it at all.

I save up all my gauge rejects to shoot on certain practice days. When I get a particularly interestingly jacked up round, I mark it and take it along to try on the next range day.

Many of the rounds that don't pass the Dillon gauge have some sort of case problem that's rearward of the chamber, so they usually run fine. I think I had a damaged case that fired but failed to extract properly once.

Yesterday I had an extremely rare click in place of bang. Racked the round out, and the slide jammed. The live primer had fallen out of the case and become lodged in the gun somewhere. I've never had anything like that happen in a match, but guess that's what you get when primer pockets start getting played out.
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Old 10-20-2014, 16:40   #13
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Yesterday I had an extremely rare click in place of bang. Racked the round out, and the slide jammed. The live primer had fallen out of the case and become lodged in the gun somewhere. I've never had anything like that happen in a match, but guess that's what you get when primer pockets start getting played out.
A sure sign the case is done. You should feel that when priming, no effort to seat. Mark that & discard the case after or just take that round apart. Again, your case gauge will not tell you if the OAL is correct for that bullet. So for setting up dies, use the bbl. For checking ammo before a match, I use case gauges.
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Old Yesterday, 06:53   #14
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Sorry if this is hijacking the thread. I load to the book OAL and check with barrel. If I wanted a more accurate OAL, how do you best achieve that?
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Old Yesterday, 07:28   #15
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Sorry if this is hijacking the thread. I load to the book OAL and check with barrel. If I wanted a more accurate OAL, how do you best achieve that?
Do you mean accurate as in more consistent from round to round?
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Old Yesterday, 08:01   #16
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Sorry if this is hijacking the thread. I load to the book OAL and check with barrel. If I wanted a more accurate OAL, how do you best achieve that?
Do you use the exact same bullet as the book?

To achieve a more accurate OAL you have to do the shooting.
It takes a very good shooter, like NRA slowfire Expert or Master, to test ammo handheld. Do you have a Ransom Rest?
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Old Yesterday, 08:16   #17
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I have cartridge gauges on the loading bench so I don't have to disassemble a gun to check reloads. I prefer the Wilson and my .45 is very nice, but had to take a Lyman 9mm because Wilsons were out of stock when I ordered.

The Wilson is made to maximum cartridge dimensions. Since the minimum chamber must accept a maximum cartridge, this is really playing it safe.
The Lyman specs are not clear, but I have had no trouble out of ammo that passes it.

I also have an EGW 4 caliber gauge which is said to be made with chamber reamers. However, it has no throat and the truncated cone 9mms seated as I do will not pass it but are easy in the Lyman gauge and actual gun barrels. A .45 SWC seated to headspace on the shoulder in the gun will not pass, either. OK if you are loading ogival roundnose, but nothing with a shoulder or exposed bearing surface is going to fit.
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Old Yesterday, 08:46   #18
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Once I have a load that woks, clears rifling, fits in mag etc, I check all of my match ammunition using a case gauge.

A drop test will let you know if it fits the barrel but almost all casegauged ammunition fails because of an imperfection on the rim and a "plunk" test doesn't check for this at all.

The mystery malfunction happens when you checked them all in your barrel but one fails to enter the breech face.

Reloading
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Old Yesterday, 08:59   #19
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I'm hoping to achieve more consistent rounds during reloading. I have a Ruger 77/44 (44 mag rifle) and I would like to get as tight of a grouping as possible. I load according to Hornaday manual (using Hornaday bullets). Would a cartridge gauge help in figuring a better OAL? How could I figure a better OAL if not? Would it make enough of a difference to differ from the book? Thanks for the help.
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Old Yesterday, 11:03   #20
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I'm hoping to achieve more consistent rounds during reloading. I have a Ruger 77/44 (44 mag rifle) and I would like to get as tight of a grouping as possible. I load according to Hornaday manual (using Hornaday bullets). Would a cartridge gauge help in figuring a better OAL? How could I figure a better OAL if not? Would it make enough of a difference to differ from the book? Thanks for the help.
In a word no. As noted, there is no rifling in a gauge, so you can't determine correct OAL w/o your bbl/gun. Why loading for semiauto rifles like the ar is a bit tedious but you are pretty much stuck with max mag length there.
There are a couple ways to measure the lead or throat in your rifle.
Make a dummy round with a case sized just enough to hold the bullet. Load it very long & Carefully feed it into chamber, letting the rifling seat the bullet. Carefully remove the round & measure the OAL. Do this 3-4X for an avg max OAL.
The other method is to use a cleaning rod. Close the bolt, put the rod in, mark at the muzzle & measure. then put a bullet only into the chamber, hold it in place & put the rod down the muzzle again, mark & measure. The diff is the max OAL. Seat 0.10" deeper & call that you working max OAL. Make sure it feeds from the mag.
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