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Posted: 6/10/2001 9:07:05 PM EDT
Is it possible to check headspace without a set of guages? And if so what is the procedure? I would like to check a 308. Thanks.. Please no flames.
Link Posted: 6/10/2001 10:40:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/11/2001 3:23:47 PM EDT
Shake your head back and forth. If you hear a rattle, then you have too much headspace.
Link Posted: 6/11/2001 3:33:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/11/2001 5:41:33 PM EDT
I should have mentioned that none of the local gunsmiths are any help. I am trying to not buy a set for a one time check of headspace.
Link Posted: 6/11/2001 6:05:54 PM EDT
Take a Federal Gold Medal Match 308 round and put two pieces of masking tape on the back. This is approximately a Field reject guage. If it closes on this, it is too loose & you should have it fixed by a gunsmith. One piece of tape is a No-Go. It really shouldn't close on that either, but is not dangerous if it does.
Link Posted: 6/11/2001 6:57:22 PM EDT
Heh heh Heh. I used a peelable shim cut down to where it will fit on the bolt face. Chambered a cartridge (take the firing pin out first)and removed successive layers of the shim until the cartridge would finally chamber (use a fresh cartridge after every two attempts). Remove the shim and use dial calipers to measure it. IIRC, the gap on the FAL parts gun that I put together measured .003" which I considered good to go. Haven't had any problems. Ready for the flame war to begin...
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 3:55:29 AM EDT
The correct answer was already given. NO. There's a reason that headspace gauges are machined from steel, not hollow brass and tape. It should be obvious by how much a brass case can compress, how much tape can compress, how much variations there are in the actual thickness of tape, and how much variation in the actual size of cartride cases during manufacture. Way too much to be used as any kind of gauge. Sure, plenty of folks use this method, but it's not accurate. The only way to ACCURATELY test headspace is with a headspace guage. Waldo's idea is about the best I can think of if you're not willing to do it correctly. Or a variation of that and take a mold of the chamber and measure that. Seems to me if no gunsmith will help you, you're better off just buying the gauges. You'll use them again sooner or later. If you use the tape or shim system, it will probably get you close, but there's no way that it's accurate. Ross
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 6:04:56 AM EDT
Yes Shoot the thing, if it blows up in your face then you know the headspace was not correct.
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 6:11:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/12/2001 6:11:38 AM EDT by thebeekeeper1]
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 3:46:35 PM EDT
Guys thanks for the warnings. I already realize how dangerous headspace can be. That is why I haven't tried the cartridge and tape. I never thought of making a plug of the chamber and measuring that. I have one more possible source for a guage local and if it falls thru I will order a set from Sinclair International.
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 3:50:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 4:21:59 PM EDT
I bought my .308 set from Quality Parts (Bushmaster) when I built my first FAL. I thought I might never use tehm again, but I've built 5 FALs and a M-14 since then, and they've payed for themselves. I also automatically check the headspace on any .308 I buy, just because I can so easily. I've found a couple that were out. Ross
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 4:23:31 PM EDT
What are you checking headspace on? Specific rifle, as I know it's .308.
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