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Old January 25, 2019, 02:59 PM   #26
Senior Member
Join Date: November 13, 2006
Posts: 7,016
The Olde Buffalo Hunter was loading up tomorrow's ammo without a dial indicator long ago.
Is a chrono necessary? Is a powder measure or a progressive press necessary?

You can make ammo,good ammo,without them.

But some Handloaders want to go farther.They have questions that an indicator can answer.Or they have theories to test.

I worked with someone who would say "Indicators don't lie,and liars don't indicate."

Dial indicators are very useful and versatile measuring and comparison tools.

By themselves,they don't do much. But a person who knows what they are doing can set them up and use them for many things.

If you wanted to measure your press flex or stretch,an indicator can be set up.

If you have a comparator stand or surface plate,a Wilson Bushing Cartridge Headspace Gauge (As the manufacturer calls them)has a square ground end,on the neck end.That can be set on the flat of a granite comparator stand.The insde of the bushing gauge has a shoulder that represents the SAAMI headspacing datum feature.A cartridge case dropped in the gauge will rest on the datum feature.

The upper surface of the bushing gauge is at a height of SAAMI max length.

The indicator can be zeroed on this surface. Cartridge cases can be dropped in the bushing and quickly sorted or checked. The handloader can shoot for a desired result,such as -.003 from SAAMI max.

The dial indicator will often be used with other tools that represent a datum,such as a surface plate,vee block,bench centers.

It can be used with a surface plate and precision gauge blocks for a qualifying measurement.

That Mahr "Swede Gauge" setup shown above will show variation in jacketed bullet diameter and roundness in terms of .xx millionths of an inch...and an operator running a centerless grinder might inspect his parts with one.

A person can use a surface plate,some 1-2-3 blocks ,a height gauge and an indicator to precisely set up a series of dies in a Dillon toolholder plate.

I'd use a multi-anvil mic with the anvil and clamp removed,myself.

Do you need indicators to reload? Not particularly. If you know what you are doing,can you use dial indicators handloading? Absolutely.
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