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Thread: Need advice on pistol case gage

  1. #1
    Boolit Master






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    Need advice on pistol case gage

    I was wandering what you guys use to check your revolver and pistol ammo to assure fit in various barrels? I load for several people to practice with here and want to ensure proper feed, Thank you for any help and recommendations in advance.

  2. #2
    I use the EGW 7 hole.Not any more $ than the other single hole ones so far so good.And I know someone will be along to tell me I'm wrong and to just use my pistol but there my shells and that's the way I like to do it.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

    mdi's Avatar
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    Revolver rounds? I have never had a chambering problem with revolver rounds chambering, my first revolver rounds were reloaded in 1969.The only reason might be for some "short cylinder" revolvers and some long OAL loads. I have never reloaded for anyone besides myself (I wouldn't), but for my various guns the plunk test works great in all of the same caliber (3, 9mm and 3, 45 ACP)...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I use the barrel or cylinder but I don't like it. I'm in the market for a chamber gage for all the calibers I load. It's so much of a pain to unload my 45 and check one, load back up, maybe or maybe not have to check another later. I've been eyeballing the Lyman multi caliber checkers, just ain't found one used or cheap yet.

  5. #5
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    I gave up on pistol case gauges due to using my reloaded ammo in various pistols that have different cylinder, chamber and forcing cone dimensions. So, I use the "plunk test" for a certain load in a certain pistol and just keep an Overall Case Length dimension for that projectile written down so I can reset my dies to match when reloading for that pistol.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy engineer401's Avatar
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    I use individual cartridge overall length gauges. They are a mix of Dillon and LE Wilson. I found the Wilson gauge for 380 was real tight. Hot that reason I go to Dillon first. If Dillon doesn’t have it then I get Wilson.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonMountain View Post
    I gave up on pistol case gauges due to using my reloaded ammo in various pistols that have different cylinder, chamber and forcing cone dimensions. So, I use the "plunk test" for a certain load in a certain pistol and just keep an Overall Case Length dimension for that projectile written down so I can reset my dies to match when reloading for that pistol.
    You are right we have to make some compromises when setting up a load for multiple guns. I have light to moderate loads that will shoot in any thing I have . And also for a few guns a load tailored to just that gun , for more accuracy and or power. I shoot way more of my bulk processed ammo than the custom tailored ammo.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
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    I use my revolver chambers/cylinder or my pistols barrel .
    Just because ammo fits some gauge ...guess what...that's no guarantee it will fit in your gun.
    If it doesn't fit your gun...then what ? You stuck with some stupid gauge that's about as useful as mammary glands on a boar hog .
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  9. #9
    Boolit Master






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    I appreciate the help guys, I am always in the learning game.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    For what I load, I use the single hole individual gauges - but I have had them a long time well before the newer multi caliber gauge blocks. If I were doing it now, i would go with a multi cal gauge block. You might have a few holes you don"t use now, but trust me - never say you will never use some of them - new calibers and new pistols/revolvers somehow have a way of being added to the herd!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    I always buy the LE Wilson gauges.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    I use my revolver chambers/cylinder or my pistols barrel .
    Just because ammo fits some gauge ...guess what...that's no guarantee it will fit in your gun.
    If it doesn't fit your gun...then what ? You stuck with some stupid gauge that's about as useful as mammary glands on a boar hog .
    Gary
    Yup I agree .

  13. #13
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    The multi hole gauges seem like a waste to me. Most have only one hole I would use. So the others are wasted.
    I only have a few guns. Only one I bought a gauge for. My 91/30 Mosin Nagant in 7.62x54R. I picked up some once fired brass. After full length sizing some of the cases wouldn't chamber easily, some not at all. I bought one of Lyman's for that cartridge.
    With it I figured out where the problem was. I picked up an old style Lyman Shell Sizer. The kind you use a mallet to drive the case into and out of. Use an arbor press instead of te mallet. They all fit fine now.
    I may buy others if and when I have issues.
    As far as getting ones for cartridges I don't own isn't worth it. I won't be getting more guns. I'm getting old and live on a limited budget.
    Leo

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    "I use my revolver chambers/cylinder or my pistols barrel."

    This what I do also.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by engineer401 View Post
    I use individual cartridge overall length gauges. They are a mix of Dillon and LE Wilson. I found the Wilson gauge for 380 was real tight. Hot that reason I go to Dillon first. If Dillon doesn’t have it then I get Wilson.
    Same here. I do have duplicates of some due to differences in barrels.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Burnt Fingers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44magLeo View Post
    The multi hole gauges seem like a waste to me. Most have only one hole I would use. So the others are wasted.
    I only have a few guns. Only one I bought a gauge for. My 91/30 Mosin Nagant in 7.62x54R. I picked up some once fired brass. After full length sizing some of the cases wouldn't chamber easily, some not at all. I bought one of Lyman's for that cartridge.
    With it I figured out where the problem was. I picked up an old style Lyman Shell Sizer. The kind you use a mallet to drive the case into and out of. Use an arbor press instead of te mallet. They all fit fine now.
    I may buy others if and when I have issues.
    As far as getting ones for cartridges I don't own isn't worth it. I won't be getting more guns. I'm getting old and live on a limited budget.
    Leo
    EGW makes multi-hole gauges where all the holes are the same cartridge. I have them in 9mm, .357, 10mm, 44 Mag, and 45 ACP. I need to get them for 223 and 300 blackout.
    NRA Benefactor.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I like Wilson and Dillon gauges for handgun an auto-loading rifle a lot more than I like to disassemble a gun to use the chamber or cylinder. Far more convenient.

    Bolt gun brass gets fitted to each chamber, so a gauge is moot in that instance.

    The caveat is that COL for an individual handgun cannot be determined by gauge. For new ammo, the chamber is used to determine COL (kerplunk). Then typically gauged thereafter.

    A few exceptions like .358" 9mm ammo won't usually pass a Wilson gauge, so the chamber is used to kerplunk.
    "There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something."
    ~Thorin Oakenshield

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    I’m a big fan of the shockbottle 100 rd case gauges once you’re done gauging your rounds you can just flip them over into a mtm box.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check