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Thread: Vee block for measuring odd numberof lands and grooves

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    Vee block for measuring odd numberof lands and grooves

    One of the Gun Digests from the mid sixties had a small note about making a vee block, with the algebraic formula for measuring bore slugs from a barrel with an odd number of grooves such as a S&W revolver or an Enfield rifle.

    I thought it would be useful to make one for a few reasons:

    1. It would see occasional use.

    2. I'm frugal, (frugal sounds so much better than cheap).

    3. I have a vise, files and some scrap steel to file one out of; plus I enjoy making my own tools when possible.

    Unfortunately I cannot find the book. I have it, and I know I have it, I just can't find it.

    From what I remember, the angle of the vee is supposed to be 108 degrees, true? It shouldn't be too hard to layout with a protractor and a square.

    Does anyone know the formula, and would you mind posting it?

    Or does anyone know for sure which year it was in? I think it was somewhere around 1965 or so, give or take a few years.

    Also, is one block at 108 degrees useable for multiple numbers of grooves such as 3,5,7, or do you need a different angle for a different number of grooves?

    Thanks for the help,

    Robert

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    I think I have that article and made a little v-block based on it years ago. I'll see about scanning and posting the page later.

    As for the proper angle, the requirement is that the lands of the measured slug be tangent to both of the anvil faces. Since these lands are generally narrow, that means a unique angle is needed for each number of grooves.

    I found the little block fiddly to use and finally ponied up for a Mitutoyo v-anvil mike from ebay. Even with the mike, lead slugs are soft and easily accumulate nicks and bruises, which makes getting repeatable measurements difficult. The nicest setup would be a v block under a drop indicator.

  3. #3
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    This is what I have.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	vblock usage.jpg 
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    thought i had more literature than what is in the jpg, will have to look around my hard drive.
    Ruger RedHawk 357 Mag 44 Mag GP100 Davidson Exclusive 5" Security Six 2 3/4", Speed Six 4"
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    A simple way is with .001 or .002 metal sheet or feeler gauge strip cut so you wrap it around the slug forming a snug tube and measure the OD, then subtract 2x the thickness of the sheet used from the reading on the micrometer...
    Rich
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  5. #5
    Boolit Man Sig's Avatar
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    Here's some info I found a while back on the subject. I managed to work with a 90 degree "V" block.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	5 groove bullet.jpg 
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    Dass it, Redhawk! It's in Handloader's Digest #6.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Hey thanks for posting the .jpg Redhawk, that is the info I was looking for.

    Nueces, good to know it is also in the Handloader's Digest #6. I think I have a dial indicator and stand, if it didn't walk off before I retired.

    I read it several times and thought it would be handy before I decided to make one. Then when I went to find the book to verify everything, I couldn't find it.

    Thanks for the help guys,

    Robert

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    No problem. Thanks Sig for that link. Been looking for a math/calc program that is mentioned in the link. Have a great day everyone
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  10. #10
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    A fellow in the cba used to build 72 degree blocks for the 5 land measurement. I found by calculation that you could use a standard vee block and calibrate against a plug gage near the expected bore diameter....the amount of error from a wrong angle in the vee is trivial when you fudge your measurement from a cylinder near to expected. I don't suppose any of that made sense?

  11. #11
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    Actually it made quite a bit of sense. Fudging, estimating is fine until you run into an "engineer" or bullet caster or reloader who insists on measuring the diameter of a cinder block with a mic to the nearest .0001".

    The thin metal or shim wrap-around method is good (matter of fact very precise) if you're careful with the technique. You can also measure from top of one land to bottom of opposing groove then add the height of one land (depth of one groove). Not hard to measure the groove depth by using a depth gauge while working under a loupe or magnifier.
    Last edited by fouronesix; 04-26-2014 at 02:34 PM.

  12. #12
    Lever Action Shooting Society Site Administrator


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    Another trick...use 2 slugs butted up together with one turned so the lands line up with the other ones grooves, then mic at the joint. Quick and effective !
    Rich
    You Know You Might Be Facing your DOOM , if all you get is a click, Instead of a BOOM !

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master leftiye's Avatar
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    Push your slugs through sizing dies until you find one that drags but still goes through. I know there are varying opinions about whether a micrometer works, but I go with the method of measuring for largest result by measuring the front of one groove (land on slug) and the rear of the opposite groove. If the lands and grooves are of the same width, these two points are opposite each other.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master leftiye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OuchHot! View Post
    A fellow in the cba used to build 72 degree blocks for the 5 land measurement. I found by calculation that you could use a standard vee block and calibrate against a plug gage near the expected bore diameter....the amount of error from a wrong angle in the vee is trivial when you fudge your measurement from a cylinder near to expected. I don't suppose any of that made sense?
    Compare your measurement (height gauge the slug) to pin gauges - the pin gauge that gives the same measurement is the same size as the slug. (Then read size from the gauge) Since boolits of even .003 over bore size work fine (as long as the chamber mouths or freebore will acomodate them), .0001s probly aren't necessary. Could even say - don't matter.
    We need somebody/something to keep the government (cops and bureaucrats too) HONEST (by non government oversight).

    Every "freedom" (latitude) given to government is a loophole in the rule of law. Every loophole in the rule of law is another hole in our freedom. When they even obey the law that is. Too often government seems to feel itself above the law.

    We forgot to take out the trash in 2012, but 2016 was a charm! YESSS!

  15. #15
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    The Vee block for 5 grooves is 72 degrees included or 36 degrees off the top surface on both sides. For 3 grooves it is 120 degrees included. The entire purpose of having these Odd Vee blocks is so the bullet contacts the Vee block at such a place that a line that is drawn thru that tangent point and the center of the bullet is exactly perpendicular to the surface of the Vee.

    If you used a 90 degree Vee Block the line thru the center of the bullet and the tangent point would not be perpendicular and as a result some stupid formula would have to be used to determine the diameter of the bullet.

    What you do is make the Vee first, then you put a .500 gage pin in the block and mill the opposite side down until it measures 1.000 over the pin.

    Then any bullet you put in it with five grooves will be measured by measuring over the bullet to the bottom of the block, and subtracting .500. You can verify that this works by measuring other gage pins with known dimensions by the same method.

    Much simpler and more accurate than a bunch of formulas you don't understand.

    Randy
    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 05-01-2014 at 01:21 PM.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    What you do is make the Vee first, then you put a .500 gage pin in the block and mill the opposite side down until it measures 1.000 over the pin.
    That makes sense to this non-machinist. I'm all for doing things the easy way if I can.

    Robert

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    If you use the "incorrect angle" you will indeed have error because you are not contacting the center of the groove impression. With this I agree and understand. If you use the nearest pin gage and measure the stack height and then the stack height with a boolit and simply add or subtract the apparent difference from the nearest pin gage...the error is trivial.

  18. #18
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    Ouch: the whole point of using the .500 pin gage or whatever size is so that you can cut the Vee block down until it is a known height. A 1.000 stack height over a .500 pin would yield a block that is .500 high.

    Then by subtracting that known amount (.500) from your measurement over the boolit you get an accurate measurement of the boolit.

    Example: The boolit in the block measures .812. total .812 -.500 = .312 simple.

    Randy
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Randy: That's a very clear explanation. Is there somewhere that I can buy a 72 and 120 degree block in a size useful for measuring boolits? I looked at online sources thay are available but not in the proper size. Thanks.

  20. #20
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    Probably have to be made for you. I have never seen anything like this in machine shop land.

    There are specialty Micrometers made specifically to do this type of measurement. It is how they measure odd number fluted cutters.

    I have two 3 flute end mills, and they are supposed to be .750,,, I have no idea what size they are in reality because I have no way to accurately measure them.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

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