L.E. Wilson Case Gauge
This type of case gauge allows you to verify that the chamber clearance of your
handloads are within industry standards (somewhere in the ball park). This particular gauge is adjustable, and it allows you to see if handloads might fit.
You can compare your handloads to factory loads to see if they're within industry standards. However, this type of gauge doesn't give you the actual
measurement to accurately set the resizing die height for your particular chamber, and you'll need to have a different gauge for every single caliber that you reload.
I used to use this type of case gauge when reloading rifle calibers, because it's nice to "know" that your handloads will always chamber.
However, this information by itself is ONLY helpful if you also know the exact size of your particular chamber. That's why I designed the
Digital Headspace Gauge. It's measures YOUR handloads . . . . compared to YOUR chamber.
If you push the shoulder back too far during resizing, it creates excessive shoulder clearance. This stretches your cases when reloading
and again when they're fired. That shortens the life of your brass considerably. It's also the main cause for case head separations, and it puts
enormous pressure on the face of your bolt. On the other hand, if the shoulder of your resized case doesn't get set back at all, your handloads can cause
a jam-up tight fit in your chamber.
This particular case gauge is designed for a belted magnum cartridge. That's why it's adjustable. Factory belted ammo
is designed to headspace on the belt. However, when reloading you need to headspace on the shoulder. It's important to always
bump the shoulder of your cases back at least .001" - .002" (and no more) to ensure a reliable fit in your chamber. There is no
accuracy gained by crushing a cartridge into your chamber. This will only ruin concentric alignment and wear the lugs on your bolt.
Factory rifle chambers are all made within SAAMI dimensions. However, due to the required volume of mass production, the
acceptable "tolerances" are almost never as tight as a good custom chamber. Remember, it's important to keep in mind that this type of case gauge does
not check the width of most RIFLE handloads. If it did, you would not be able to differentiate between excessive case length and excessive
case width. Case width problems often affect handloads - especially belted magnum calibers. If your handloads are too tight in your
chamber and they fit inside this type of gauge, be sure to use calipers to also measure the diameter of your case just above the web.