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Old January 19, 2014, 08:55 AM   #1
LOUD
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What to do if the no go gauge Goes?

I found a set of gauges for a rifle I just bought and tried the no go gauge. Like the title says it went. The chamber must be a little long right? I plan to reload for it so is this a problem? its a 280 Remington. your input would be appreciated ........................LOUD
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Old January 19, 2014, 10:32 AM   #2
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In between a red light,and a green light,is a yellow "caution" light.

More information is necessary.

When a barrel is chambered,the smith uses the "go" and "no go " gage to verify the chamber was cut to spec for a new gun.

There is another gage called a "field " gage that is the standard for"excessive headspace,remove from service"

So,a "field" gage test is next.If it fails that,it needs work.

However,if it passes,for myself,I would still need some questions answered.

Was it a commercial rifle with original barrel?If so,I would assume it left factory correct(probably) and would want to know what changed?40 yrs wear? a lap job? A serious overload?Mismatch bolt?

A rebarrel or sporterized milsurp is its own list of questions about workmanship,etc.

If it is about a couple thousandths of wear over time,you can reload to compensate by setting the shoulder back a known amount when you size.

But,once again,do the detective work to know what changed.
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Old January 19, 2014, 11:17 AM   #3
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.

FWIW, IMHO there's no such thing as excessive headspace, for a reloader.

New cases can be fireformed out that little bit, then the reloading dies adjusted for the new/longer length case.

In effect, although minor, you would end up with a .280 wildcat (that you can name ) - just refrain from firing commercial .280 ammo in that rifle.


.
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Old January 19, 2014, 11:24 AM   #4
Jim Watson
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Describe how it "went."
Did you load it in the assembled gun like a cartridge and close the bolt on it like you would for a charging rhino?
Or did you strip the bolt and close it on the gauge with your pinkie?
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Old January 19, 2014, 11:48 AM   #5
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You don't need to consult the gauges if you hand load. They are for guns that fire factory ammunition that comply to saami specs. You can always fire form your brass to take out the excessive headspace, or head clearance as some experts would insist calling.

As pointed out by the others, the bolt needs to be disassembled when using the gauges. No extractor, no ejector, and no firing pin. Stop when you feel resistance, instead of forcing the bolt to close.

People tends to be scared silly when they think their guns have headspace problem. But you will know better when you understand more.

-TL
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Old January 19, 2014, 12:03 PM   #6
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its a commercial action that was re barreled with a short chambered barrel and finished reamed, only when checked with the no go gauge it closes with the same amount of effort as with the go gauge. I was just wondering that if new brass were fire formed to the new chamber and kept separate could the gun be utilized ?.........................thanks LOUD
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Old January 19, 2014, 12:05 PM   #7
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As above, yes.
Just keep the brass separate and don't set the shoulder back to factory length when reloading.
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Old January 19, 2014, 12:16 PM   #8
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I agree that handloading can compensate for a chamber cut too deep.I've done my share of wildcatting,forming,blowing out to AI,etc.No problem.

And,as I said,the no-go is for making new guns.It is not the standard for used guns.So,it very well may indicate no problem.

We don't know if it was made on a 7mm pre-98 South American Mauser,or if its former owner shot a lot of 68,000 psi loads.

Could be something that was way overloaded and has a replacement bolt from e-bay.
If it is set back .010,something is going on.It is worth finding out what.

If the rifle is otherwise sound and safe,I agree,we can handload with technique and get good brass life.

It is also possible to get a bad stretch ring firing factory ammo the first time,scrapping the brass.

Yellow light.

OK,post 6 and 7 showed up while I was typing.Yes,loading technique can compensate.

For grins,look at a piece of transparent tape as about .001,measure paper,pop ccans,etc,see if a shim gives you an idea how much too deep it is.

Redding makes a "Competition" series of shellholders.If you are .003 deep,a .003 plus shellholder might help you.

Last edited by HiBC; January 19, 2014 at 12:26 PM.
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Old January 19, 2014, 02:01 PM   #9
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If the headspace is unacceptably large you have at least these choices:
1) Set the barrel back
2) Lube up the cases, put in a few gr of pistol powder, cover with cream of wheat, and fire form as PetahW suggests.
3) Expand the necks with an over size expander ball or mandrel. Partially neck size with a FL die or neck die until the tiny shoulder formed on the neck just allows the bolt to close on the brass. The late Randy Ketchum had a 243 that was headpaced a thread too long, and he lived with it by forming the brass this way.
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Old January 19, 2014, 04:33 PM   #10
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Not all headspace gauges are created equal. The manufacturers oft times warn against mixing gauges between manufacturers. At best, they are a quick spot check. I don't think I ever had a stock 8mm Mauser pass the NO GO gauge made by an American company. After investigating this I just quit checking Mausers with gauges. The Europeans did not use the same points to call their headspace from. You may have no problem at all, but saying you can solve all headspace problems with reloading is ridicules. And dangerous. It takes some looking in to first.
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Old January 20, 2014, 06:13 PM   #11
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FWIW, IMHO there's definately such thing as excessive headspace, for a reloader using rimless bottleneck cases. All it takes is for the reloader to set his die in the press according to instructions provided, full length size some cases, shoot them if a rifle with excessive headspace and the next full length sizing cycle may well have their head clearance enough to let incipient head separation start if it hasn't already. Probably guaranteed to have head separations on the next go around if chamber headspace is near the FIELD gauge limits or past it. That FEILD gauge limit is meant for new cases first time fired, not resized ones. For resized cases, the NO GO limit applies.

And using transparent tape as a head clearance or headspace gauge is akin to measuring groups for accuracy with a rubber ruler. Depending on bolt lug and receiver lug smoothness and lubricity along with the bolt's camming properties, you'll get more than a few thousandths error with that tape. To say nothing of how much a chambered case shoulder will set back by the camming forces on the bolt when closing it on the case head.

If one doesn't understand the mechanics of how this happens, maybe they should not be reloading in the first place.
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Old January 20, 2014, 07:54 PM   #12
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Assuming the headspace was set correctly at the factory, it will increase due to normal wear on the bolt and to battering from firing of the bolt lugs locking surfaces. This cannot be stopped but in normal civilian use the headspace will not become a problem in several lifetimes. Things are different in military weapons, especially machineguns, and in rifles used by target shooters.

In spite of a lot of talk about headspace (and a lot of nonsense), excess headspace is almost never a problem in modern sporting rifles (they simply are not fired enough) or even in surplus military rifles that have the original bolts and were in the service of a country that had a disciplined army.

One cause of excess headspace in rifles is an attempt to "smooth" the action by buffing, stoning or grinding on the locking lugs.

So, can careful handloading "cure" excess headspace? Yes, at least temporarily as described by others. But if the problem persists, as with a bolt that has not been properly hardened, the headspace will gradually increase to the point where the case head is unsupported, then the case will burst and high pressure gas will demolish the gun and possibly injure the shooter.

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Old January 20, 2014, 10:20 PM   #13
Bart B.
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James K., what's the problem caused by a .280 Rem. case having .015" head clearance every time its fired with maximum loads?

How much setback would a bolt face have relative to the original locking lug plane over 30 years having 5,000 rounds of ammo a year through it?
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Old January 21, 2014, 03:22 AM   #14
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Gotta go with Bart B on this one. The original poster already stated that the rifle was re-barreled. This is the main cause of headspace problems that I have seen. Next would be not understanding what is going on in there when the trigger is pulled. Last is mixing parts. There is no explaining it to some people. For years I argued about the dimensions of military headspace, foreign military headspace, and civilian specs. Absolutely not called off the same points. Headspace is not a cut and dried affair. It was a sad day when headspace gauges became known to the general public. "Closed with the same amount of effort" ? When did "effort" become part of using headspace gauges?
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Old January 21, 2014, 06:19 PM   #15
F. Guffey
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Quote:
its a commercial action that was re barreled with a short chambered barrel and finished reamed, only when checked with the no go gauge it closes with the same amount of effort as with the go gauge. I was just wondering that if new brass were fire formed to the new chamber and kept separate could the gun be utilized ?.........................thanks LOUD
Loud, what commercial action? If the no go-gage will chamber there is no way the tell if the chamber is shorter than a field reject gage. I make gages from .012" shorter than a minimum length chamber to infinity. Simply because I can and because there is nothing that is more useless than a head space gage. I like head space gages for transfers and standards, problem, transfers and standards are foreign to reloaders.

If you were a wildcat type reloader or a case former you could determine the length of the chamber from the shoulder to the bolt face basic reloader skills.

I have a 30/06 chamber that is .002" longer than a field reject gage, that makes the chamber .016: longer than a minimum length/full length size case.For me? not a problem, I form 280 Remington cases to 30/06, All I have to keep up with is the gap between the bottom of the die and bottom of die, I use a feeler gage to adjust the die off the shell holder .014". I have a 30/06 forming die if necessary, I also have a 308 W forming die, it works but, if I explained how it works I some could get dizzy and others could pass out.

Problem, you need long cases, the 280 Remington is .041" longer than the 30/06 from the datum to the case head. It gets expensive if you order 'cylinder brass' for $37.00 for 20 cases, UNLESS! you consider the purchases a tool. Cylinder brass is a straight wall 35 Whelan case that has a length of 2.650", I could say, you can't miss with a case that long but as sure as I said that someone would say "you want to bet".

If I had the rifle I would neck the 280 Remington case up to 338 or 35 Whelen. After necking the cases up I would start sizing the cases back to 280/7mm a little at a time. After necking the case down a little at a time I would attempt chambering them. Once I found a case that would allow the bolt to close, I would measure the length of the case from the shoulder/datum to the head of the case, the measurement would give me the length of the chamber. At that point I would check to see if the case was long enough to have a neck that was long enough to hold a bullet.

I have one wildcat chamber with a neck that is .217" long, I have two other chambers that allow for a neck that is .264" long, both chambers with the .264 neck are 300 Winchester Magnums.

It is possible to created a neck on a necked up 280 Remington case once and use it to determine the length of the chamber. Doing it is the easy part, trying to convince the choir it can be done is the impossible part.

F. Guffey

Last edited by F. Guffey; January 21, 2014 at 06:28 PM. Reason: add has, change of to if
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Old January 21, 2014, 08:23 PM   #16
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Here is a good description of what is involved. Go down below the illustrations and read carefully what is said about the GO and NO-GO gauges.

http://www.forsterproducts.com/store.asp?pid=24834

--------------

Bart, .015" is greater than the difference between the Go and Field gauge lengths, and it is hard to imagine any case stretching that much without some signs of a problem. If you mean that the case was neck sized and kept stretching that much each firing, something is very wrong; in ten firings, it would stretch .15" and in 100 firings 1.5", an impossibility.

As to the amount of setback in so many rounds, that would depend on the material in the bolt and receiver, the hardness of each, the size of the lugs, the bearing surface, the caliber of the rifle, the pressure, the area of the inside of the cartridge base, etc. Take a Winchester Model 70. One chambered for .22 Hornet would probably last almost forever in terms of headspace, while the same model in .375 H&H would probably not last even half of your 5000 rounds.

In target rifles that are fired a lot, headspace is rarely a problem; the barrel will be shot out and replaced long before headspace becomes excessive, and headspace (to a point) can be reset when a new barrel is installed.

Jim
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Old January 21, 2014, 09:14 PM   #17
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gunnplummer, since the bolt wont close itself id say some EFFORT is necessary. Im not saying I am taking the palm of my hand and trying to push it to hell and back , just the same easy maneuver that closes it as if nothing was in it. Im going to take a stab at saying the chamber is maybe .015 longer than the chamber in another mauser rifle I have just like this one, however the no go gauge doesn't go in that one.To say its a shame for the poor uneducated public to have tools like this made available to them is going a bit far. Why do you think Im on here asking questions?.................LOUD
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Old January 22, 2014, 12:37 AM   #18
F. Guffey
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Quote:
Bart, .015" is greater than the difference between the Go and Field gauge lengths,
James K., The difference between a minimum length/full length 30/06 case and a field reject gage is .014", except for those that get lost in variations and tolerances and SAAMI +/- minimum/maximum.

For the 30/06 the difference in length between the go-gage and the field reject gage is .009", that leaves the no go-gage and the go-gage, that would be .004".

Then there is the bolt set-back, in the old days the Springfield could not set back .015". Then there were other rifles that could not set back .004", but, even today with all information, still, we get bolt set back.

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Old January 22, 2014, 12:46 AM   #19
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and in the perfect world the difference in length between the minimum length/full length sized, new, factory, over the counter case and the go gage is .005".

I make gages, I have 26 gages that start .012" shorter than a minimum length case and increase in length by .001" until the are .002" longer than a field reject gage. It is nice to know if a gage will allow the bolt to close, then there is knowing the length of the chamber in thousandths from the shoulder to the bolt face.

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Last edited by F. Guffey; January 22, 2014 at 09:15 AM. Reason: replace , with m
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Old January 22, 2014, 11:53 AM   #20
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James K, I and others have put several (more than 4) 30 caliber belted magnum barrels in a given Win 70 receiver and each one's had 1200 to 1300 rounds through them. So each receiver withstood at least 4800 rounds of peak pressure higher than what the factory .375 H&H load produces. Bolt face setback from the receiver face plane didn't grow more than .003" or so over the numbers of barrels fitted then worn out. Mine had a bolt face setback of only .002" from the receiver face after its 4th barrel.

Note that all the peak pressure in the case does not transfer to the bolt face when a round's fired. Part of it's trapped by friction between the case and chamber walls at the back part of the case body.

I know of some Win. 70 receivers that have been rebarreled 30 to 40 times with .308 Win. chambered barrels; each one having 3000 or more rounds through it. Their bolt face setback was also minimal.

Having measured a barrel's diameter in the middle of its chamber area when new then again when 'twas time to rebarrel, no increase was noticed from new to when wore out accuracy wise. Barrel steel is softer than bolt lug and receiver steel.

I've always measured chamber headspace with GO gauges by stripping the bolt and receiver so there's no extra parts binding and interfering with absolute measurements. I'd hold the barreled action level but clocked to 3 o-clock, chamber the gauge, push the bolt forward then twist the barreled action counterclockwise to normal upright. Gravity would pull the bolt handle down as the barreled receiver twisted; only its force would position the gauge with minimal barrel steel deformation from too much force on its head from the bolt face.

In using NO-GO gauges this way but blackening either the bolt face or gauge head, any out of square condition of the bolt face is shown by clean wiped areas on surface where contact was made. Few, if any, factory bolt faces are square with the chamber axis. It's nice to see the perfectly square gauge head wiped clean all the way around of dye when a well squared up bolt face stops on it.
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Old January 22, 2014, 12:29 PM   #21
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The bolt should be stripped and the headspace should be checked with no pressure at all. Barrels are a heck of a lot softer than the gauge and it is pretty easy to scar the chamber with the what "Feels" like almost no pressure. I never received instructions with a headspace gauge, did you get any? Most people (General public) forage ahead working on guns without bothering to research anything. Sound familiar? Not just the "General public" either. If you ask ten gunsmiths how the dimensions on the gauge are measured, I doubt two would know. If you really want to study this out, start by reading the instructions in reloading manuals and then look in the SAAMI spec books. I have made numerous headspace gauges and BartB is probably as close to right as you can get. (Pretty amazing, we rarely agree on anything). There could be a lot more going on in that chamber than can be seen from casual observation. You can actually make a crooked chamber. I know it seems impossible, but a .280 is rather long and the reamer can flex. If you "waffel" the reamer the body dimensions can become oversize. Somebody brought me a rifle once that left little flats on the body area of the brass that you could feel with your fingers. The reamer may have been too sharp or the clearance on the cutting edge too great. Never figured out what did it, I just set it back and re-cut it. Things like this can affect the use of headspace gauges. Most posts seem to refer to "Wear". This situation seems like an ordinary home grown improper barrel job to me.
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Old January 22, 2014, 01:40 PM   #22
F. Guffey
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Chamber measurments with out lofty terms and big egos

Quote:
To say its a shame for the poor uneducated public to have tools like this made available to them is going a bit far. Why do you think I'm on here asking questions?.................LOUD
I make gages, being able to measure the length of a case from the shoulder to the head of the case and the length of a chamber from the shoulder to the bolt face does not inflate my ego. A reloader/shooter/ collector of 18+ Mausers was having trouble finding a smith in the area to help, he had .318" bores and .323", and unfortune he got onto a forum that had members that that talked in lofty terms, basically they said they could do 'it' but he couldn't.

He was in the Decatur/Huntsville area, I made him a set of gages that measured from minimum length/full length size to .024" longer than minimum length. the #5 gage was go-gage length, the #9 was no go-gage length, the #14 was field reject gage length. After checking his rifles he had one chamber that closed on the #18 gage and another that closed on the #24 gage. After he understood the method and or technique, he declared the two rifles with the long chambers "Wall Hangers".

To him the biggest surprise came when he found most of his rifles closed on the go-gage length gage with a few that closed on gages that were shorter than the no go-gage. The smiths in the area could not or would not make a gage, it got complicated when he wanted gages for both the .323" Mauser and the .318" Mauser.

I sent another set up to Pennsylvania to a collector/shooter/reloader of military type rifles. He was on another forum asking about the M1917 and all the horror stories about set-back and ' all those stories about how complicated life can be'. I did not say it was simple or easy, I said I could check the length of the 30/06 M1917 chamber with a 280 Remington case, or I could modify a go gage to a 'go-to-infinity' gage. I told him his problem with his M1917 was perceived, his bolt could not set back, and, I had one that was identical. He has sold his collection and or traded it for black rifles. He is in the Bedford Pennsylvania area.

Imagine, no ware on the receiver, no ware on the bolt lugs etc., with a chamber that is +.002" longer than field reject gage, and? the rifling is like new.

F. guffey

Last edited by F. Guffey; January 22, 2014 at 01:45 PM. Reason: change no go-gage to field reject gage.
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Old January 22, 2014, 01:58 PM   #23
F. Guffey
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I was looking for parts, I was not in a hurry. While waiting I observed a proud owner of an exotic rifle ask to have the length of his chamber checked from the shoulder to the bolt (head space) face, my friend, the owner, the smith informed the proud owner he could not check the length of the chamber because he did not have 'the gage'. I waited until the proud owner left then informed the owner/smith I could check the length of any chamber without a head space gage.

The modest and humble smith/owner ask "How?" He allowed me the time to explain two methods and or techniques, being a thinker that can keep up, he responded with "That works". I then explained to him I could make a go-gage if he wanted to know if the bolt would close, but he would not know the length of the chamber.

The bolt closing on a go-gage is nice, not useful, just nice.

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Old January 22, 2014, 05:29 PM   #24
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Thanks F Guffey , I really appreciate your info ,everything that you have said has made sense id love to get my hands on a field reject gauge just to see where this rifle is in the departure from standard specs. I have no lofty opinion of myself nor of my abilities . I'm just a guy with a gun collection that loves guns and has an aptitude to learn more about the mechanics of what really goes on when you pull the trigger. Thanks ,...................LOUD
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Old January 23, 2014, 12:39 PM   #25
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Some of these posts are unbelievable. Once you have to work up special brass to fire a rifle, you now have a wildcat. I have made very few. FOR OTHER PEOPLE. There is no resale value in it. If I am looking to buy a car and the owner says it is in good shape, but there is a list of "special" things to go through to start it, I am out of there. Headspace gauges that have no numerical meaning and only measure sameness to: What? We in the business used to call stuff like that 3/4 $%%ed.
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