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Old September 3, 2011, 12:14 PM   #1
William_IV
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Question on comparators and case gauges

Hello,
Can anyone explain to me the difference between a le wilson case gauge and a stoney point bullet comparator? Are these tools must haves for reloading or will one work in place of the other? or do they both serve entirely different purposes?
I'm just getting into re-loading for my new Stag model 2 AR. Mine is chambered for 5.56 and this will be the first time i've loaded for rifle. I've got redding dies for 223 and get a bit confused on the difference between the 5.56 and the 223. I'll be using a dillon 650 loading press. I appreciate the knowledge on this forum and would like to learn before hand what i might otherwise have to find out the hard way.
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Old September 3, 2011, 12:22 PM   #2
BigJimP
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I use a case gague ...but I don't know about the other tool you mention.

Yes, I think a case gague is a mandatory tool. Using a case gague - I drop every finished round in ..and tip it up and drop it out. Its a quick way to check the overall length ...and to make sure the finished round will chamber properly. If they stick going in or out of the case gague ...I reject the round. When it sticks ..it might mean you need to make an adjustment to your final crimp die ...or there is a little burr on the case base or a crack in the case that you missed - that showed up as you seated the bullet - so now the case is under pressure.

But a case gague - is the final step I use ...as I box up all my rounds. It eliminates any feeding issues.
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Old September 3, 2011, 12:30 PM   #3
armoredman
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No, it's not 100% necessary, nice to have, but not required. I haven't used one yet, and I've been loading for a wee bit. I do the barrel/chamber test and use the lee FCD, no issues, but that's just the way I do it, your results may vary.
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Old September 3, 2011, 12:38 PM   #4
TXGunNut
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Wow, if you're going to open a can of worms it might as well be a big one! The tools you mention are different; the case gauge measures the cartridge or case and the Stoney Point/Hornady comparator measures the chamber. Some loaders use both types, some use neither but most serious rifle shooters use one or both types of headspace measuring tools. There is more than one way to measure a chamber and more than one way to use the measurements you gain. I only know what works for me in my rifles, AR's are a bit different so will let folks with more knowledge of them get into the details.
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Old September 3, 2011, 01:28 PM   #5
Dave P
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As a newbie, I Suggest you load to the standard OAL; ammo will fit the magazine and the chamber. So you don't need the stoney point tool now.

When you start shooting at 600 yards, and want better accuracy, then we can talk about lands, leades, and throats.
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Old September 3, 2011, 03:40 PM   #6
jepp2
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Quote:
Can anyone explain to me the difference between a le wilson case gauge and a stoney point bullet comparator?
The L. E. Wilson case gauge is basically a SAAMI chamber that allows you to do what others have listed + it is very useful in setting your full size die to achieve proper shoulder bump during die set up. If you don't use a way to measure the amount of shoulder bump, you may set it back too far and a head space separation (a very bad thing) could occur after several loadings.

The Stoney Point bullet comparator is a way to accurately determine how far from the lands you are seating your bullets. If you are loading in a magazine your max length is going to be 2.260" and you don't need this. If you are loading rounds individually and using longer bullets with a longer OAL, it would be useful to you.
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Old September 3, 2011, 04:53 PM   #7
243winxb
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Die & shell holder set a usable safe headspace 99% of the time.

Quote:
I'll be using a dillon 650 loading press.
If you get a defective shell plate like i did, you will need a gage to check headspace (shoulder setback on sizing), not the Wilson, something more accurate like RCBS or Hornady.
Quote:
The L. E. Wilson case gauge is basically a SAAMI chamber
Wrong. L.E.Wilson instructions> http://www.lewilson.com/images/CASE_GAGE.pdf "These gages are not made with chambering reamers but with special reamers giving extra clearance both in front of and behind the shoulder so as to elimi-nate any possibility of contact except at the gaging point." It measures head to datum line for headspace. It does not check case body diameter. It may catch a burr on a rim. Your chamber is your best guide. Also measures trim length. It will not give exact measurement like a Hornady ( stoney point) unit. The Hornady http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=1...nd_Maximum_COL measures head to datum line for headspace & helps set COL, bullet seating depth. The Ar15 magazine will control your COL for the most part. Have a look at the RCBS Precision Mic http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=477756 None of these tools are needed, but can be useful if there is a problem.

Last edited by 243winxb; September 3, 2011 at 05:15 PM.
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Old September 3, 2011, 05:03 PM   #8
243winxb
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Difference between the 5.56 and the 223.

Quote:
Confused on the difference between the 5.56 and the 223.
They are reloaded the same, no difference. However, rifles are very different & there chambers. Read this> http://www.6mmbr.com/223Rem.html Basic rule, use the starting loads and work up the powder charger. Simple
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Old September 3, 2011, 05:11 PM   #9
hooligan1
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Hince you will be loading for your magazine, not necessarily your leade or "bullet jump". so if you read "carefully" the reloading manuals, they describe in detail what you need to know dude... realy it's fun to handload and get real precision results from it all.
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Old September 20, 2011, 01:30 AM   #10
William_IV
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Thanks for the great replies, I think i understand the differences between the tools now..Thanks again!
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Old September 20, 2011, 02:50 AM   #11
Jim243
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.223 to 5.56, different shoulder angle and case thickness 5.56 cases originally came with crimped primers (needs to be swedged).

Once you resize a 5.56 case in your 223 dies, the case is now a 223 case.

This is a 5.56 case that needs the shoulder bumped to eleminate excess head space, it is done by bringing your resizing die down a little bit to reshape the case to a correct size. If you find any 5.56 dies let me know, I would really like to get my hands on a set.

Thanks
Jim

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Old September 20, 2011, 10:36 PM   #12
William_IV
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Jim,

Thanks, nice image! If i ever come across the dies I will surely forward you the link.

From what i've been reading, on posts and here we go again, I understood 5.56 as being the chamber dimensions and .223 to be the cartridge dimensions. once you use that in your 5.56 chamber, like you stated earlier the cartridge is blown up (figuratively speaking) to a 5.56.

So it makes sense that someone should make a 5.56 die to keep from working the case so much.
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