I'm new to reloading and have what might be a stupid question. I have searched for the question but haven't seen where anyone else has ask.
Why the need for a head space gauge when the first stage on my re-loader resizes the brass back to factory standard. Is the gauge mostly for custom built rifles?
I understand if I keep the brass separate for each rifle the brass will be form fitted to the chamber and then I could just trim as needed and just neck size them.
I'm going to be reloading a lot of 223 for a factory rifle, Remington.
The major reloading outfits like Ga Arms, they don't check every piece of brass after resizing do they? I've shot a few thousand of their rounds with no problem before deciding to start doing it myself.
Headspace gages are steel cylinders to chamber in the firearm. What you're asking about is a cartridge gage that measures fired cases to the shoulder.
You are basically right, FL sizing generally insures our ammo falls within normal SAAMI standards for all rifles ever chambered in that round so we really don't "need" such a gage. But if we have one, and use it correctly, we can set bottle neck shoulders back to the fired location - or a tad less for autoloaders - so as to custom fit our ammo to actually match our specific rifle. It's a matter of craftsmanship; it's part of the difference between making 'reloads' and 'handloading'.
The steel cylinders (headspace gauges) are used for installing a rifle barrel. Look into the Digital Headspace Gauge. It's designed for the handloader to fit handloads accurately to a particular chamber.
Bumping your shellholder into the FL die is supposed to resize ammo to the dimension of factory ammo. However, factory ammo is designed SMALL enough to fit in "any" chamber of a specific caliber.
So ....... exactly what size is YOUR chamber? The Digital Headspace Gauge displays the exact shoulder clearance that your handloads have in your particular chamber. Then you can set your die height accurately to produce perfect fitting handloads.
A neck sizing die doesn't set the shoulder back. A full length die does. The full length die (when it's adjusted accurately) resizes the neck, the shoulder and the body in one operation - while the case is fully supported. Most benchrest shooters use a custom made FL die.
Their custom FL dies are made for their particular chamber. If you set the FL die height accurately (for your particular chamber) it's like having an expensive custom FL die.
Gotcha, but if I take once fired brass from my .308 and just neck size it, isnít the head space set exactly to my chamber?
What am I missing? Iím thinking that competitive shooters arenít going to use once fired brass from their rifle because of time/cost. Is that correct?
In my case, I have a pile of once fires brass because I occasionally go shoot prairie dogs. When I get back home we shoot targets and I just neck size (and all the other steps) thinking it will enhance accuracy because the headspace is set. Am I correct or missing something?
Like I said I am new to this game and appreciate your input.