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Reloading Calipers - What do you use?

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2 hours ago, Cheyenne Culpepper 32827 said:

I've got Brown & Sharpe,, 45 yrs old,,  fantastic,, paid $125 I believe back then,, maybe,,, that was a long time ago,,, 

 

Mitutoyo can't hold a candle to them,,, used them in manufacturing for years

CC...

are you saying that your OAL is more accurately measured than mine?:D 

 

When I first started reloading in the sixties, I think I used a plastic caliper from RCBS.  Served purpose for starting out, mostly 6MM at time, but when I got into more precision shooting and case length & OACL became more critical I made a step up in calipers.  I may be off a .001" now. ;)

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NSK, 6" dial caliper, worked since the middle '70s...  

DSCN1078.jpg

Edited by Griff
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20 hours ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

Sorry Ripsaw, I don't care what joe machinist on youtube said. After calibrating and repairing these for over 30 years for the military, the best and most reliable (repeatable) are Starrett, B&S and Mitutoyo. Period! Yes, there are many other brands out there that will work fine for what we do, but the best are these. And like OLG said, make sure you start your measurements with a good zero. Take care of them and they will last a very long time.

 

Howdy, Rainmaker,  It isn't what Joe Machinist (Adam Booth, Booth Machine Shop, Pensacola, FL) said on youtube, it's what he actually demonstrated live. If you had read my entire post you'd have seen that I said that Starrett was the best, and B&S and Mitutoyo were also very good, You apparently missed the point that many of the "under $25" digital calipers are nearly as accurate, even if not of the same quality of construction, smoothness in operation and durability as the "best."   

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Actually you said he noted virtually no difference. The low end calipers (re: Chinese mostly) will work but the quality is garbage; meaning the repeatability and durability is nowhere close to a Starrett. That being said, Starrett is expensive and the low end stuff will, most likely, work fine for what we do. So, if Harbor Freight's your deal... have at it.

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What I like about digital calipers there is a toggle reading between inch - meter and fraction

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Yeah, and with digitals there is no hysteresis (reading the dial at an angle) or interpolation (reading between the graduations), just numbers. And even though we will never need it for what we do, some have four digit resolution.

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2 hours ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

Yeah, and with digitals there is no hysteresis (reading the dial at an angle) or interpolation (reading between the graduations), just numbers. And even though we will never need it for what we do, some have four digit resolution.

 

That would be parallax error, no? 

 

Hysteresis is the tendency of the response of a system (as in an inductor) to delay or retard due to historical conditions. That is, an inductor tends to delay formation of a magnetic field when current is applied, or delays the collapse of a field.  A common form of hysteresis is the fact that wood does not shrink and swell due to moisture changes to the same extent after it's been kiln dried as it would if it were air dried to the same starting point. 

 

Edited by Ripsaw

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19 hours ago, Billy Boots, # 20282 LTG-Regulator said:

CC...

are you saying that your OAL is more accurately measured than mine?:D 

 

When I first started reloading in the sixties, I think I used a plastic caliper from RCBS.  Served purpose for starting out, mostly 6MM at time, but when I got into more precision shooting and case length & OACL became more critical I made a step up in calipers.  I may be off a .001" now. ;)

in the 60s?  I was still chasing girls and driving fast cars!   oh wait,, I still am,,,, sorta'

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 Retired tool and die maker here,  I have used every type and brand there is and can say, to my knowledge, every thing said in this thread is pretty much spot on. Most of my  career I used verniers, but as my eyes grew older I found I could not read them, before I retired I needed something I could read. I bought cheap ones at Harbor freight, got them calibrated in the metrology lab no problem.  I now use Starrett and Harbor freight dial because they don't need batteries

 As for length, how long do you need to measure? My favorite set was a 4" , 8" is pretty long and not handy. For real precision I only use mics, but remember a piece of paper is only .004" thick, how close do you need to get? I check bullets with mics, over all length with calipers.

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A very good point. Trying to measure finer than one thousandth of an inch requires a micrometer. Starrett makes very nice micrometers. 

At this level of precision, room temperature and how long you hold the tool with your bare hands will effect the reading.

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I use a Lyman branded 6" dial caliper available from Brownells.   Has lasted for years.   Have not needed caliper accuracy at any length past about 3" for any loading use.

 

Good luck, GJ

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1 hour ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

I use a Lyman branded 6" dial caliper available from Brownells.   Has lasted for years.   Have not needed caliper accuracy at any length past about 3" for any loading use.

 

Good luck, GJ

I use that same Lyman caliper as well. It's a tad nicer than some of the least expensive versions on ebay. 

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I don't use calipers, or own any.  When I started out Georgia Ammo ran fine in my rifle so when I started reloading I tried to get as close to the same OAL as GA (eyeballing and adjusting seating depth).  Once I had what looked like the same length I sat a reload next to a GA bullet and placed a bubble level across the top.  Once the bubble was level the bullets were close enough in length for me. Now I just keep that length by eyeballing.

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18 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

I don't use calipers -  when bubble was level the bullets were close enough in length for me.

 

Works great until you have to diagnose diameter problems - bulges in crimp or case, or a batch of fat slugs that you got sold.....   Or try to figure out what screw goes in a Lyman 55 powder measure.

 

Good luck, GJ

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15 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

I don't use calipers, or own any.  When I started out Georgia Ammo ran fine in my rifle so when I started reloading I tried to get as close to the same OAL as GA (eyeballing and adjusting seating depth).  Once I had what looked like the same length I sat a reload next to a GA bullet and placed a bubble level across the top.  Once the bubble was level the bullets were close enough in length for me. Now I just keep that length by eyeballing.

Calipers(I prefer a micrometer)should be used to confirm bullets dia is what you ordered(I've seen a few bxs mis-marked).

Also used to confirm case length when needed.

The uses are endless in reloading-

Many more reasons to have'em-We're get'n to old to 'eyeball'. :lol:

OLG

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On ‎1‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 8:05 PM, I. M. Crossdraw, SASS# 8321 said:

I have both digital and dial.  Prefer the dial one as I don't have to worry about replacing batteries.  If using for reloading, a good dial caliper will do.  If using for machining, well, get the best that money can buy.  

That's what I do too. IMO you aren't making a precision measure so you don't need to pay more for accuracy. You are just looking for a repeatable measurement that is within a wide tolerance so any decent caliper will do. I use a dial type because I rarely use it so when I do need it once in a blue moon.....it's still works. 

 

I had a cheaper digital and it ate batteries, was hard to zero and I didn't like it. The cheap dial type have a manual zero and don't have those issues. If you go cheap go dial. If you want to pay more the digital one might be better...….but my elcheapo digital was.…...well cheap...…...lol

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I was very happy with my cheap Frankfort digital and went thru several batteries UNTIL after a few years the battery got low and it began giving out incorrect readings that were close enough to the actual distance that I’d not necessarily notice. Luckily I caught on to that quickly (I actually had to break out a ruler to confirm the error) and no harm was done but it could have caused a catastrophe. So I replaced it with a dial type that I expect is more foolproof. So far so good and no more batteries for me. 

 

Seamus

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