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Go- No Go (correction) case gauge

bigoutsidebigoutside Member Posts: 19,443
Worth the cash??


  • swearengineswearengine Member Posts: 1,329 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Depends. How many times do you plan to use them? Once or twice, maybe even 3 times, I would say no. More than that, I would buy them.
  • bigoutsidebigoutside Member Posts: 19,443
    edited November -1
    Specifically this type of deal.

  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,357 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You show case and cartridge gauges, not what is usually meant by Go-No go (headspace gauges) and not as expensive.
    The Wilson bottleneck case gauges are useful for adjusting a sizing die.
    The various pistol cartridge gauges are very useful for QC on reloads, although a "plunk test" in the barrel, clean and put of the gun, works, too.
  • geeguygeeguy Member Posts: 1,047
    edited November -1
    Buy them, period.

    Yes you can do everything by hand and fit in the firearm, but why, for a few bucks it's easy. I use mine in many various ways and it has saved me a lot of pain over the years. (they do not work well if you are neck sizing only)

    To me it's like the factory crimp dies, sure you can do without them, but they are so easy and good why not spend a few bucks. (I am as "cheap" as anyone on this board, so if I say they are worth it you can count on it)
  • cbyerlycbyerly Member Posts: 689 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Why would you waste $ on a GO gage? If the rifle chambers factory ammo, that aspect is just fine. It is the NO-GO that determines suitability for firing.
  • 243winxb243winxb Member Posts: 264 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    The cartridge gage as show in the photo is useful for checking Head to datum line sizing of bottle neck cartridges. Also checks trim length It does not check diameter. Reloads may fit the gauge but not chamber in your rifle. Best used by placing a fired brass from your rifle (bottle neck types) in the gage and adjusting your full length sizing die for the same or a tiny bit lower. A more accurate tool to measure head to datum is this. .In handguns, the chamber is a better test.
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  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    Depends on what you are asking. As to the pictured cartridge gauges, I wouldn't waste a dime on them. They are supposed to show if a loaded round will chamber in your gun; but if you neck size only once fireformed to a gun, it's a non issue; and if a handgun, lever action, or semi auto, you are going to FL size anyhow as per normal procedure. Plus the gauge has no provision for taking into account various length throats on guns. All it really shows is that your loaded round is within textbook spec. Which means nothing to me, as I prefer to tailor my loads to each gun, screw the textbook.

    For instance: Let's say you have a rifle chambered in 30-06. You fire the gun, save the brass. A common problem many reloaders make is to push the shoulders back too far, leading to shortened brass life, case head separations, and lesser accuracy. This gauge will show when you have just pushed the shoulder back far enough to reach factory spec headspace. And I suppose for semi auto rifles it might make some sense. But for a bolt action, like I say- neck size only, either with neck dies or with a FL die backed out to only work the neck, and who cares what the die says? I have a number of old military rifles with slightly excessive headspace; once the brass is fireformed (i.e., the shoulder is blown out and moved forward) I neck size only, and FL sizing of any sort would be detrimental- yet the gauge here would still say 'yup, size that down more!'

    I suppose that if you want to run one standard ammo in all guns of a same caliber, and all of those guns have chambers within SAAMI spec, it is a good check to make sure your dies in your press are set up right- but honestly, I can do that already in 30 seconds. I see case gauges as a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

    Now as to no-go headspace gauges for chambers (as opposed to cartridges), they are well worth investigating. Not that you can't shoot a gun with excessive headspace, but you should know if it does, and why; if a sloppy chamber, that can be taken care of with fireforming. If lug set back or something similar, you have an issue. So yeah, chamber gauges are worth it if you have several guns to check.
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