The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 15, 2012, 09:14 PM   #26
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 11,180
I have a cheap dial caliper for ordinary reloading purposes like OAL and seating plug settings, but a Starrett 1" x .0001" micrometer for the fiddly bits.
Jim Watson is offline  
Old August 16, 2012, 12:28 PM   #27
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 1,108
Hmmmm. Do you buy a junker car, just in case you get in a wreck?
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
mikld is offline  
Old August 16, 2012, 02:56 PM   #28
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
Quote:
Hmmmm. Do you buy a junker car, just in case you get in a wreck?
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. No I don't, neither do I buy a RollsRoyce because I consider myself a safe driver to go to the grocery store.
jcwit is offline  
Old August 16, 2012, 03:03 PM   #29
wncchester
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2002
Posts: 2,832
"Hmmmm. Do you buy a junker car, just in case you get in a wreck? "

IF I expected to be in an accident a tuff old 50s era junker is exactly what I would buy; what would you suggest buying when preparing for an accident? Again, common sense for its purpose is the best criteria for buying anything - IMHO, YMMV.
wncchester is offline  
Old August 16, 2012, 05:35 PM   #30
Clark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 4, 1999
Location: WA, the ever blue state
Posts: 2,996
Quote:
wncchester
Clark: "I am not buying any more $20 dial calipers. I like my 505-675-51 Mitutoyo dial calipers."

We would all 'like' them; I "like" my B&S caliper but it wouldn't add a thing to my reloading so I don't use it there. The question is would the caliper costing 12-20 time more than we can buy a very good tool for actually matter to a normal reloader? Answer is "NO!" Your needs are obviously more stringent than most of us but you are doing a lot more than simple reloading. You can justify more costly tools; common sense. Ditto it would be foolish for most of us to purchase a tool a machinest would use all day, every day, for our very sporatic and very light use on a loading bench; again, common sense. ??

So far as 'how much accuracy' does anyone 'need' of a caliper, every caliper I've yet examined, costly or inexpensive, has been within a half thou according to my Jo blocks. Calipers are mostly used when trimming cases and seating; anyone thinking he needs better accuracy than .001" for that is kidding himself!
Anyone needing better accuracy than a thou had better use a micorometer because no caliper I know of is manufactor spec'd tighter than that and yeah, that's a possible 2 thou spread but it's still only a potential error of +/- 1 thou.
Item by item I have learned the hard way not to cheap out: scopes, rings, GPS, range finder, sling, stock, barrel, bullets, powder, brass, shooting rest, lathe, mill, drills, non res hunting licences, binoculars, presses, epoxy, bi-pod, flash light, knife, camera, reloading software, and the pattern just keeps going. I am still fighting to keep using a cheap torque wrench for scope mount screws.
With dial calipers I do not need accuracy, I need precision. I use pin gauges for what my wife would call "the primary standard".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_standard
I use the dial calipers to check the extractor groove before and after firing. The expansion can be asymmetrical and is a better predictor of the threshold of loose primer pockets than primer insertion force.That precision, or repeatably, of cheap calipers is often not good enough are soon will be not good enough for me to interpolate a .0002" change.
And I am only taking about $90 from one of those suppliers
__________________
The word 'forum" does not mean "not criticizing books."
"Ad hominem fallacy" is not the same as point by point criticism of books. If you bought the book, and believe it all, it may FEEL like an ad hominem attack, but you might strive to accept other points of view may exist.
Are we a nation of competing ideas, or a nation of forced conformity of thought?
Clark is offline  
Old August 16, 2012, 05:51 PM   #31
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
Quote:
I use the dial calipers to check the extractor groove before and after firing. The expansion can be asymmetrical and is a better predictor of the threshold of loose primer pockets than primer insertion force.That precision, or repeatably, of cheap calipers is often not good enough are soon will be not good enough for me to interpolate a .0002" change.
I would say that you are in the 1% of reloaders going to this extent in checking their cases. So for the rest of the 99% of reloaders it is a non-issue.

No issue with you going to this extent, just saying!
jcwit is offline  
Old August 17, 2012, 01:26 AM   #32
mohr308
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2012
Location: Western New York
Posts: 423
How about this, If you cannot afford high quality calipers then purchase the cheap ones. If you find out down the road your reloads are having an OAL problem and your accuracy is affected by it, then go buy a good set. The reason you are getting mixed input, is because everyone has their own opinion. I myself would not waste the money on a cheap set just because I have already learned that lesson, as others have also. If you do purchase a nice set of calipers, you can always resell them and make most of your money back if you ever decide to stop reloading, of course if you don't damage them.
__________________
Lock and load, the zombies (democrats) are coming (to take your guns)!
mohr308 is offline  
Old August 17, 2012, 01:59 AM   #33
joneb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2005
Location: Central , OR
Posts: 1,731
I bought two Harbor freight 6" digital calipers on sale for $10 each they are close enough +or- .00025" if I need accurate I will use my Starret micrometers.
joneb is offline  
Old August 17, 2012, 09:50 AM   #34
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
Quote:
How about this, If you cannot afford high quality calipers then purchase the cheap ones. If you find out down the road your reloads are having an OAL problem and your accuracy is affected by it, then go buy a good set. The reason you are getting mixed input, is because everyone has their own opinion. I myself would not waste the money on a cheap set just because I have already learned that lesson, as others have also. If you do purchase a nice set of calipers, you can always resell them and make most of your money back if you ever decide to stop reloading, of course if you don't damage them.
Cost or price have nothing to do with it. My Starrett dials and Brown & Sharp dials and Mitutoyo digital usually reside at my mill, lathe, and bench, there are times the H/F calipers are used here as well. My H/F both dials & digital usually go with me in my range box. All of them at times are used at the reloading bench.

Believe me, my ability to afford tooling has nothing to do with it at all.
jcwit is offline  
Old August 17, 2012, 11:34 AM   #35
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 1,108
So, if you don't buy a cheap car because you might get in a wreck, why would you buy cheap calipers 'cause you might drop them? I know there's quite a bit of difference $$ wise, but the theory is the same...

I usually get what tools I need/want, and the best I think is reasonable, because I'll use it and not what might happen... it
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
mikld is offline  
Old August 17, 2012, 02:07 PM   #36
ROGER4314
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2009
Location: East Houston
Posts: 257
I started working in industry in 1966 and still have tools that I used back then. They are all the big names with prices to match. I have the high Dollar micrometers, calipers and indicators and a lot of the HF cheapies. I have no problems with any of it regardless of brand.

A co-worker beefed about my Chinese tools and cussed them at length. He said he would only buy quality tools. When his tools came in, I pointed out the "Made in China" tags on the tools. It pains me to say that but that's exactly how it is.

Flash
ROGER4314 is offline  
Old August 17, 2012, 02:22 PM   #37
Creeper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2008
Location: Woooooshington
Posts: 1,797
Hey p5200... didja' ever think you'd see a 36 post "discussion" about dial calipers? Yeah... me neither.

Cheers,
C
__________________
Shoulder Drive Nicholson Club
Creeper is offline  
Old August 17, 2012, 02:56 PM   #38
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
Quote:
So, if you don't buy a cheap car because you might get in a wreck, why would you buy cheap calipers 'cause you might drop them?
I don't!

Quote:
I usually get what tools I need/want, and the best I think is reasonable, because I'll use it and not what might happen... it
I buy what I want when I want and for whatever reason I have. Unless items get into the 5 digits I don't worry about it.

Life is good.

All my tools for measuring fit my requirements just fine.
jcwit is offline  
Old August 17, 2012, 06:12 PM   #39
dacaur
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 16, 2010
Posts: 733
Quote:
I started working in industry in 1966 and still have tools that I used back then. They are all the big names with prices to match. I have the high Dollar micrometers, calipers and indicators and a lot of the HF cheapies. I have no problems with any of it regardless of brand.

A co-worker beefed about my Chinese tools and cussed them at length. He said he would only buy quality tools. When his tools came in, I pointed out the "Made in China" tags on the tools. It pains me to say that but that's exactly how it is.

Flash
Starret, brown & sharp, and mitutoyo, none are made in china. If his "high dollar" tools were made in china, chances are he got ripped off.

In the machine shop I work in, from time to time we get a "machinist" that comes in with a toolbox full of harbor freight tools. They never last long, because you simply CANNOT hold tight tolerances with cheap tools. As I said above, when brand new, most of them work fine. But as they are used, they will wear, and slop is introduced.

Reloading, you are unlikely to wear out a cheap caliper, and even if you did, it really wouldn't matter. +/- .005-.010 isnt really going to blow anyone up. It is going to affect accuracy, but most people wouldn't notice.

So in this particular case, a cheap tool is as good as an expensive one, but anyone that things that is ALWAYS the case is fooling themselves....
dacaur is offline  
Old August 17, 2012, 08:15 PM   #40
FiveInADime
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2012
Posts: 368
I avoided this mess altogether and found an old set of Vernier calipers in my grandfathers old workbench. After I learned to read them quickly I haven't even considered buying anything else. It's real hard to wear them things out.

Sent From My Galaxy S 4g Using Tapatalk
FiveInADime is online now  
Old August 17, 2012, 08:21 PM   #41
William T. Watts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 20, 2010
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 789
I truly believe you get what you pay for, I prefer better quality tools, Starret, Mitutoyo, Brown & Sharp are on my buy list.. If something gets screwed up I have only myself to blame.. William
William T. Watts is offline  
Old August 17, 2012, 08:44 PM   #42
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
Quote:
I truly believe you get what you pay for, I prefer better quality tools, Starret, Mitutoyo, Brown & Sharp are on my buy list.. If something gets screwed up I have only myself to blame.. William
This is true to a point, then there are times when you receive more value than you pay for. These are usually referred to as deals.

I'm sure we all known of these in all things, usually it seems to be the other person who gets the fantastic deal, however I have been the recipient of a few over the years.

I believe a Model 52B Winchester in LN condition complete with all papers and hang tags, hand stop, redfield sights, Lyman Target spot scope, etc. Year of manufacture was 1946, I purchased it in 1996. Only thing missing was the orginal box. My cost $50.00. Ya I got what I paid for.
jcwit is offline  
Old August 17, 2012, 09:07 PM   #43
ROGER4314
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2009
Location: East Houston
Posts: 257
I can't believe that you guys are getting bent out of shape over a set of dial calipers. I don't believe that a HF measuring device is equal to a B&S or Mitsutoyo. However, both brands will die when they ingest chips or particles in the gear mechanisms.

The context here was for reloading. Now we're comparing measuring equipment for the space program or use in manufacturing ball bearings.

Buy what you want to buy. Do what you want to do.

Flash

Last edited by ROGER4314; August 17, 2012 at 09:48 PM.
ROGER4314 is offline  
Old August 18, 2012, 03:48 PM   #44
Clark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 4, 1999
Location: WA, the ever blue state
Posts: 2,996
We had loosely defined requirements for the OP.
If all some guy want to measure his 30-06 is less than 3.34" so it will fit in the magazine and the brass is less than 2.494" to fit in his chamber, then that is satisfied with a lower level of calipers.
But if someone adjusts his caliper dial on a .3570+" pin gauge to read .3570", and then measures a bullet to see if it is .357" or .358", and in 10 measurements gets a spread of numbers from .355" to .340", then he may not be satisfied with the range of quality in $20 calipers.
He might be happier with the higher level $90 calipers that in 10 measurements that very likely can give a spread from .3570" to .3572".
That said, there is a real percentage of the $20 calipers that are shipped with the higher level precision, that may last years.
So with few of us posters that own more than a half dozen dial calipers, what we get are opinions based on anecdotes.

What does it all mean?
I can't tell if the OP will be happy with $20 calipers.
1) I don't know enough about his usage.
2) I don't know how lucky he will be on the quality they ship him.
__________________
The word 'forum" does not mean "not criticizing books."
"Ad hominem fallacy" is not the same as point by point criticism of books. If you bought the book, and believe it all, it may FEEL like an ad hominem attack, but you might strive to accept other points of view may exist.
Are we a nation of competing ideas, or a nation of forced conformity of thought?

Last edited by Clark; August 18, 2012 at 03:53 PM.
Clark is offline  
Old August 18, 2012, 11:17 PM   #45
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
Quote:
But if someone adjusts his caliper dial on a .3570+" pin gauge to read .3570", and then measures a bullet to see if it is .357" or .358", and in 10 measurements gets a spread of numbers from .355" to .340",
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, never had that happen, mine always measure the same every time.

Guess I'm just one lucky little critter!

I defintly see where your coming from regarding what the OP's requirements are tho.
jcwit is offline  
Old August 19, 2012, 11:12 AM   #46
Sport45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,069
Quote:
Originally Posted by Creeper
Hey p5200... didja' ever think you'd see a 36 post "discussion" about dial calipers? Yeah... me neither.

Cheers,
C
Are you kidding? We went almost 90 posts less than a month ago...

Dial Calipers
__________________
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
Sport45 is offline  
Old August 19, 2012, 02:06 PM   #47
Creeper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2008
Location: Woooooshington
Posts: 1,797
Quote:
Are you kidding? We went almost 90 posts less than a month ago...
How was I lucky enough to miss that? Clean livin' I guess.
__________________
Shoulder Drive Nicholson Club
Creeper is offline  
Old August 19, 2012, 03:31 PM   #48
wncchester
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2002
Posts: 2,832
"If you find out down the road your reloads are having an OAL problem and your accuracy is affected by it, then go buy a good set."

Interesting idea but it would be very to prove anyone is having an accuracy problem because his caliper is off perhaps .0002", or ten times that much.

Anyone getting Clark's cited variation of 15 thou in ten readings has an operator problem, not an instrument problem. Repeatabilty of a caliper or mic IS operator dependant and going to Starrett isn't going to 'fix' that!

Anyone can and should buy what he wants but it's silly to suggest to others that they too should buy your choice of Mercedes to get to work or just to have an accident because the 'quality' is higher - if the "quality" has no meaning it has no value!

I know of one pro-machine shop owner who buys ($12) HF calipers and micrometers by the dozen because they work, they are as accurate as needed and are less than one tenth the cost of others to replace when they get ruined on the job; he says none of them 'wear out' before they get dropped or otherwise damaged. He sounds sane to me!

"The context here was for reloading. Now we're comparing measuring equipment for the space program or use in manufacturing ball bearings."

Anyone automatically equating "China" with "junk" should carefully avoid looking at the 'made in' tags on their computer, modem, router, copier/printer, camera, phone, TV, CD-DVD player, portable hand and power kitchen/woodworking tools, etc.

Last edited by wncchester; August 19, 2012 at 03:49 PM.
wncchester is offline  
Old August 19, 2012, 04:54 PM   #49
dacaur
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 16, 2010
Posts: 733
Quote:
Anyone getting Clark's cited variation of 15 thou in ten readings has an operator problem, not an instrument problem. Repeatabilty of a caliper or mic IS operator dependant and going to Starrett isn't going to 'fix' that!
With a dial caliper I would agree, but I have bought 3 sets of harbor freight digitals over the years (long ago before I knew better). One set is fine with no zero drift, but the other two will NOT go more than 2-5 measurements without the zero starting to drift. .005-.01 is definitely possible within 15-20 measurements.... Zero them after each measurement and they work fine, but if not, things get wacky..... BTW, the set with no zero drift is the first set I bought, its about 5 years old now, and while its still accurate, its gotten very difficult to move back and forth...

Thats the thing about much of the cheap "made in china" electronics. When they run out of a component, they will source another similar one, and similar is not always as good. What that means is that you might buy something, then a year later buy the same product, and even though it looks identical, open it up and the electronics are completly different. The three I mentioned above all look the same, but there is obviously something different since one has no zero drift, and the ones bought later drift like crazy.

Thats why I say I would much rather have a cheap dial caliper than a cheap digital. With a dial caliper you have a physical gear connection between the dial and the beam. So, at least when they are new, a cheap one is just as good as an expensive one.

But with digitals there is no physical connection, they use capacitive sensors. and one set is NOT as good as another. In a set of high quality digitals, everything is in sync and reads properly, modern digitals are also set up so that it actualy knows where it is on the scale at all times, so even though you might have zeroed it at 1.375 inches, it still knows where its true zero is, so you can actualy switch back and forth between absolute zero and zero set if you wish. In low quality digitals, things dont always work so well. Most of the really cheap ones (and even many mid range) dont actualy know where they are on the scale, which is why the zero drifts and if you move the jaws too fast it doesnt measure right. If you turn on the calipers with the jaws open and the display reads zero, then chances are you are using low quality calipers (or very old high quality ones)..... A set of high quality digitals will actualy display the correct measurement even if the jaws are open when you turn them on.

Of course, none of this is all that important to the average reloader, so long as they understand the limitations and zero it out often.....


Something that really does amaze me though that the same person who spends three times the price so their reloading equipment is green or blue rather than red, because, they say, "you get what you pay for" will cheap out on a set of calipers because the cheap ones are "just as good".....

Can you make benchrest accuracy ammo on cheap reloading equipment? obviously, look at the lee loader. But use high quality reloading equipment with sub par calipers, and things might not turn out so well....
dacaur is offline  
Old August 19, 2012, 11:03 PM   #50
Clark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 4, 1999
Location: WA, the ever blue state
Posts: 2,996
Quote:
wncchester


Anyone getting Clark's cited variation of 15 thou in ten readings has an operator problem, not an instrument problem. Repeatabilty of a caliper or mic IS operator dependant and going to Starrett isn't going to 'fix' that!
That was 5 thou.

And I am ringer with calipers.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Mitutoyo calipers measure .251- inches 7-17-2012.jpg (127.5 KB, 6 views)
__________________
The word 'forum" does not mean "not criticizing books."
"Ad hominem fallacy" is not the same as point by point criticism of books. If you bought the book, and believe it all, it may FEEL like an ad hominem attack, but you might strive to accept other points of view may exist.
Are we a nation of competing ideas, or a nation of forced conformity of thought?
Clark is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13194 seconds with 8 queries