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Old August 18, 2000, 09:41 PM   #1
Eric of IN
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I hae been offered a used set of Starret micrometers from 0 to 3" for less than what I can buy quality (Starret, Mitutoyo, or Browne and Sharpe) calipers. I will only be reloading .45 acp for now, and eventually .223. Do I need the Internal side of the calipers? I will probably get the mics anyway, just because I am more used to using them to check OAL and OD of the parts I make at work. I just need to know if I should go ahead and order the calipers.
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Old August 18, 2000, 10:39 PM   #2
paratrooper
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Micrometers are better than calipers for repeating . The mics you mentioned are probably able to read tenths whereas calipers can't . Also calipers are subject to parallax error depending on how you hold them . This is of course the case with dial calipers . If you are considering Vernier calipers they will take time to get used to but still don't beat mics.

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Old August 18, 2000, 11:23 PM   #3
Watchman
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Eric of IN:
I hae been offered a used set of Starret micrometers from 0 to 3" for less than what I can buy quality (Starret, Mitutoyo, or Browne and Sharpe) calipers. I will only be reloading .45 acp for now, and eventually .223. Do I need the Internal side of the calipers? I will probably get the mics anyway, just because I am more used to using them to check OAL and OD of the parts I make at work. I just need to know if I should go ahead and order the calipers.
Eric
[/quote]

Something to think about...

Micrometers are definatley more accurate...but..
for reloading the 0-6" dial calipers are more versatile. You can use them to measure overall lenth of cases and overall lenth of assembled round...something that is difficult to do with a micrometer. Also, the inside measurment will come in handy.
The 0-6 calipers will cover ALL rifle and pistol rounds. you would need a complete set of outside mics and snap quages to do what you could with the calipers. That would be expensive. Being a machinist, I use Starret calipers at work. They cost about 100 bucks. For reloading ,I purchased a set from Dillion for 19.95 and to be truthful, there's not much difference. Also, you can use the end of the scale for depth measurment,and that is useful for measuring the depth of primer pockets to check uniformity.

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Old August 19, 2000, 08:27 AM   #4
slickpuppy
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I did the ebay route when I bought my Mitutoyo electronic calipers. They were still sealed and new in the factory box. Price for this model from MSC was $239 and I got them on ebay for $89.00.

There are a lot of good deals on ebay for instruments - calipers, micrometers, etc. and many are still new in the box.

This is one of the few bargains I found on ebay to be sure, but don't rule them out.
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Old August 19, 2000, 09:14 AM   #5
tonyz
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I Just bought a Dillon stainless steel caliper for 29.95 at my local gun store. I also thought midway had them for the same price.

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[This message has been edited by tonyz (edited August 19, 2000).]
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Old August 19, 2000, 10:12 AM   #6
Eric of IN
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I already have a spare set of depth mics, for measuring the depth of a pocket. (I've never liked using calipers for that.) What I was really wanting to know, was if I would need to check inside diameters or not. Since it sounds like I will, then I'll go ahead and get the calipers as well. The mics are coming from a friend at work that's retiring, and will no longer be needing his mics. He called last night, and now wants to sell the complete set. (0-6") Unfortunatley, he's already promised his calipers to someone in a different department.
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Old August 19, 2000, 11:34 AM   #7
ArmySon
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Eric,
You need the fine teeth of the dial calibers to check for not only OAL, but crimp too. A cheap set of calibers is a better solution then a fine mic due to that reason.
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Old August 19, 2000, 02:34 PM   #8
Art Eatman
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This is purely a personal opinion: In all my years of measuring "gun stuff", I don't recall where anything closer than a full 1/1000th mattered. Probably, 2/1000ths. Extreme accuracy isn't as important, then, as repeatability...

FWIW, Art
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Old August 19, 2000, 04:01 PM   #9
johnwill
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I have to agree that my plain dial calipers are more than sufficient for any reloading chores. I can't imagine a practical reason for a micrometer for the typical reloader.
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Old August 19, 2000, 10:07 PM   #10
Mal H
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One more here to agree that a good quality dial caliper is all 99% of all reloaders need to do the job. I only break out a micrometer to check for web expansion if I ever suspect an overly high pressure load snuck by, or to playfully argue with Sam over the diameter of .357 bullets ( ).
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Old August 20, 2000, 07:33 PM   #11
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A good subject but I feel the micVs caliper debate is a mismatch - are "chalk and cheese" for the normal reloader where 1/000" is usually immaterial.
I happily use an easy to read and very safe electronic digital caliper, which converts metric to imperial at a touch of a button(reads to .00'" and then 1/2"thous only and .00 metric), while I have been critisised by a fellow club member for being too crude, it works well for me. Far better than the reading errors I had on an ordinary caliper I used before.

But if the mics are the right price I would buy them, as quality tools are unlikely to plunge in value. But I can really recommend the electronic caliper described above as a practical reloader tool.

(I personally would also secretly like some mics and even a telescoping (tube) gauge for shotgun chokes etc, but they are all largely superfluous too, as the pattern depends on so many other factors. also my wife tells me I have enough toys already.....).

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Old August 21, 2000, 07:32 AM   #12
Eric of IN
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I went ahead and bought the mics. After all, a 0 to 6" set of Starret mics for $100 is pretty hard to beat. I talked to the head of our QC dept, and evidently the inspectors are changing from the Browne and Sharp dial calipers to Mitutoyo electronic ones, and I can get one of the now surplus calipers for $35.

I did have one more question that's pretty much on this subject. I know I'll need to check the primer seat depth with either the calipers, or depth mics. I'll be using depth mics, simply because I'm much more confident of getting an accurate reading, and I have a spare set at work anyway. Is there anything else I need to check the depth of? A friend at work bent his 1"-2" rod, so I am going to give him the one from my extra set to him if I won't need it for reloading.
Eric
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Old August 21, 2000, 08:42 AM   #13
Mal H
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There's nothing I can think of that needs inside depth checking very often - you'll know it when you run across it. But, please tell us you aren't going to check every single primer depth! It isn't necessary.
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Old August 21, 2000, 09:19 AM   #14
ArmySon
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Other then visually checking the depth of the primer, I never used any tools for measurement.
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Old August 21, 2000, 09:53 PM   #15
Big Bunny
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No,I agree... seat with a LEE hand-tool and then feel with tip of finger for primer to be below or flush. Amazing how sensitive our touch is...

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Old August 22, 2000, 04:59 PM   #16
labgrade
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$100 for a 1-6" Starrett (2X Ts, BTW) set's a good buy = you done good.

Dial or electronic calipers will do most anything you'll need (including primer depth) re reloading. BTW, one of the best ways for primer depth is to set a primed case on a flat surface & see if it wobbles. If it does, the primer needs to be seated deeper. & ditto as to how sensitive our feel is. Almost every high primer felt by touch will wobble after you get the hand of it.

As for micrometers,if you can lay your hands on a blade mic at a decent price, snap it up.
Blades are non-rotating spindles and are, by far, the best for measuring head expansion, etc.

A tube mic would be best for measuring case neck thickness as they've radiused "jaws" which eliminate the possible error introduced by using a flat blade against a curved surface.

& if you're going to get into mics, get one that goes to .0001"

My calipers get a work out at times & I always reach for the electronic (except when its batteries wear down) - the dial caliper shines in that aspect.
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Old August 30, 2000, 11:35 PM   #17
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A new digital is in design. The code is written, should be this fall. I am going to wait till then to buy one. For now .0002" accuracy from my dial calipers is better than any of my 3 micrometers.
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Old September 1, 2000, 03:59 PM   #18
labgrade
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.0002" from a caliper? That's pretty danged good. Ben out of "the business" for a year or so & have heard nothing about that.

I'd suggest that upon receipt, check the parallelism of the jaws by doing a series of measurements all along them while noting any differences. For .0005", a bullet should be sufficient, but for .0002" - I dunno. You can pick up a Deltronic class X gage pin
for about $10 +/- which is in the +.000040"/-.00000 range -perfectly suited to ensure you're getting same readings along the jaws.

Any questions about the measuring stuff, do drop me an e-mail.

I spent many, many years as a metrologist (using stuff down to a 1/10 of a millionth - yes, you heard right). Lotsa stuff I've never used, but lotsa stuff I have ....
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