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Posted: 8/30/2015 1:56:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2015 11:36:50 PM EDT by dryflash3]
For those who use them to trim cases to proper lengths, which brand do you go with for micrometer?  I was going to my local hardware store to get one but looked online as well and saw reloading companies with their own micrometers.  Of course, I'm looking for accuracy and durability.



Edited title for proper term. dryflash3
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 2:08:27 PM EDT
IMO your better of using a vernier caliper to measure case trim length.

That said a 10USD Harbor Freight caliper has done me well for years and is repeatable and accurate enough.

You can use the same caliper to measure COAL on the ogive and as a headspace comparator with the Hornady tool.

If you want the best go Mitutoyo , but IMO it is not needed.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 2:13:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2015 2:17:16 PM EDT by RegionRat]
Just a little clarification... when you said micrometer but then also said the context was case length, I will assume you meant caliper as commonly used.

The common usage is that a caliper and micrometer are different, but in reality the terminology is bastardized.

If you are looking for a 6" caliper, you will find inexpensive versions that will work for beginning to reload.

There are ones made of steel which are both dial type or digital, as well as ones that are plastic.

The cheap steel ones will be okay for readings to within +/- 0.0015" regardless of being dial type or digital. These sell for as little as $30.

Good ones are factors higher and unless you are concerned with calibration and uncertainty, you will be okay with the cheap ones.

None of them tolerate being dropped or abused. I would say to keep your cheap ones out all the time and only take out the good ones when you know they are not going to get ruined or when the measurement is very important.

Micrometers in general usage are used for measuring to the next decimal points. Generally referring to 0.0001" increments.

Don't buy expensive calipers if you are just starting out. Get the cheap ones and run them for a time, then study where to spend money in time.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 2:21:09 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RegionRat:
Just a little clarification... when you said micrometer but then also said the context was case length, I will assume you meant caliper as commonly used.

The common usage is that a caliper and micrometer are different, but in reality the terminology is bastardized.

If you are looking for a 6" caliper, you will find inexpensive versions that will work for beginning to reload.

There are ones made of steel which are both dial type or digital, as well as ones that are plastic.

The cheap steel ones will be okay for readings to within +/- 0.0015" regardless of being dial type or digital. These sell for as little as $30.

Good ones are factors higher and unless you are concerned with calibration and uncertainty, you will be okay with the cheap ones.

None of them tolerate being dropped or abused. I would say to keep your cheap ones out all the time and only take out the good ones when you know they are not going to get ruined or when the measurement is very important.

Micrometers in general usage are used for measuring to the next decimal points. Generally referring to 0.0001" increments.

Don't buy expensive calipers if you are just starting out. Get the cheap ones and run them for a time, then study where to spend money in time.
View Quote


Sorry for the confusion.  I think I am looking for calipers then, preferably digital for easier readings.  I am beginning to reload as I am gathering my shopping list.  This is all for the .300 blackout where I need to trim the .223 cases to fit.  $30 is my budget but will spend more if its worth it.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 3:08:21 PM EDT
Frankford Arsenal makes some decent digital calipers for under 30 bucks.

clicky

Battery life is meh, but they're good enough for me.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 3:17:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 3:31:12 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Reloaders don,t need the accuracy of  machinists so a cheap set of calipers work well.

I use the FA mentioned above, they work well.

When the machinists start posting they will suggest the expensive calipers, but you don,t need them.
View Quote


I'm a machinist, and this is correct. Get metal ones as opposed to plastic, but for as economic as magnetic scales are these days (the things that make electronic calipers work), there isn't much reason to go to a really expensive pair for just measuring typical reloading stuff. Personally, I far prefer dial calipers, but I use them for a bunch of other stuff that requires me to have very good kit.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 3:31:51 PM EDT
http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=caliper
http://www.midwayusa.com/find?userSearchQuery=calipers

Here you can see the variety. Don't agonize too much. If you find a set nearby and they are not much more than $30, just grab them and go. Your time is worth more than splitting hairs over a disposable tool.
If you get electronic ones, make sure you have spare batteries at all times. Nothing worse than a work stoppage for something like a battery.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 3:43:40 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Reloaders don,t need the accuracy of  machinists so a cheap set of calipers work well.

I use the FA mentioned above, they work well.

When the machinists start posting they will suggest the expensive calipers, but you don,t need them.
View Quote

This is correct. I have been in the machining/grinding industry for many years. You absolutely don't need Mitutoyo or Starrett. Any chicom 6" dial calipers from MidwauUSA or wherever will be fine.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 3:56:16 PM EDT
I actually prefer dial calipers but the electronic calipers are handy as you can zero them at any measurement. Only thing I'd add is buy a few extra batteries for your digital electronic caliper because I haven't seen one yet that doesn't eat batteries. Nothing more aggravating than a reloading session and your digital caliper is dead. I have both digital and dial calipers and use them both. Lowes carries some decent Kobalt electronic digital calipers. Buy steel and not plastic.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 4:13:17 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Reloaders don,t need the accuracy of  machinists so a cheap set of calipers work well.

I use the FA mentioned above, they work well.

When the machinists start posting they will suggest the expensive calipers, but you don,t need them.
View Quote


Agreed.  My only suggestions are to go with a dial type and go with steel.  No digitals as they need batteries and will die when you are wanting to work on a Sunday.  HF, RCBS, Mitotoyo Brown and Sharpe, Starrett.  They will all work but all you need is the no names from harbor freight or one from a reloading company.  To 0.001"  is fine for most anything reloading.  When you get to a point where it's not good enough you buy a C type tool that goes to 0.0001".   (Tubing mic or anvil faces for stuff like neck turning or measuring cast bullet diameters)

Go steel, dial and less expensive!
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 6:13:26 PM EDT
Thanks everyone.  I wasn't sure if one brand worked better than the other.  With so many options I'll go to a hardware store to save on shipping.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:15:10 PM EDT
I prefer the digital as you can reset the zero, then measure in +/- from there.

Either will work well for you, my one other suggestion is to get the 8" rather than the 6", much easier to handle.

I've bought several for my employees from a guy on ebay...38 bucks for 8", nice calipers and the batteries last several months with daily use.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:40:43 PM EDT
Oh and by buying the no names you won't feel as bad when you knock them off your bench onto the floor and screw them up.  

RIP Mitutoyo 6"
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 8:50:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2015 8:53:24 PM EDT by brickeyee]
I have a painfully accurate (and expensive) caliper for bearing journals and other very high accuracy measurements.
It works but is a bit of a PITA to actually use.

It is sort of a cross between a micrometer and caliper.
The fixed jaw side goes better than hundred thousandths of an inch.
Think of a caliper with a super resolution dial indicator on one side.
One tool that replaces a whole large set of micrometers.

Someone else paid for it many years ago.
I have no idea if B&S even still makes them.

I have not ween one like it in any catalog for 40 years.
It was less expensive then a micrometer set that covered up to 8 inches an inch at a time and only went to 0.0001

And yes it can measure temperature movement.
It was great for checking shrink fits.

You just had to be quick to make sure IT did not change temperature.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 10:15:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2015 10:21:42 PM EDT by angus6]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RegionRat:
http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=caliper
http://www.midwayusa.com/find?userSearchQuery=calipers

Here you can see the variety. Don't agonize too much. If you find a set nearby and they are not much more than $30, just grab them and go. Your time is worth more than splitting hairs over a disposable tool.
If you get electronic ones, make sure you have spare batteries at all times. Nothing worse than a work stoppage for something like a battery.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RegionRat:
http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=caliper
http://www.midwayusa.com/find?userSearchQuery=calipers

Here you can see the variety. Don't agonize too much. If you find a set nearby and they are not much more than $30, just grab them and go. Your time is worth more than splitting hairs over a disposable tool.
If you get electronic ones, make sure you have spare batteries at all times. Nothing worse than a work stoppage for something like a battery.



I've had good luck picking up BROWN & SHARPE dail units off of ebay for $35 shipped

Either will work well for you, my one other suggestion is to get the 8" rather than the 6", much easier to handle.


I hated the 8" digitals  Mitutoyo's they bought me at work , they now reside in someone elses box and a 6" B&S's dial resides in mine
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 10:53:34 PM EDT
I've found it helpful to have several because I leave one with my Hornady case length gauge attached full time,  and then I like to have another digital and then another dial.

My three calipers are a Mitotoyu digital, a Starrett dial, and a Carrera digital.

Disregard the Mitotoyu and Starrett because their quality and accuracy are a given, but I have found the Carrera to rank right up there with the two name brands for quality and accuracy as well.

All metal, the Carrera is reasonably inexpensive and if I had to do it all over again,  I would have just bought several of them.

When I drop and break any of what I have,  I'll likely replace any of them with more Carreras.
http://www.maxtool.com/carrera-precision-0-in-to-6-in-titanium-electronic-digital-caliper-w-custom-fitted-case/
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 11:15:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2015 11:18:38 PM EDT by ProfGAB101]
I bought a cheap Harbor Freight 4" Digital caliper for work to allow me to get into tighter areas than I could with my company issued Mit 6"

Was there for 4 years, and that HF passed the ISO900,9001,9002 quarterly cert inspections every time. (I have never dropped it.)

The little bastard does like to eat up batteries as it lacks the refined power saving circuits of the quality Japanese tools. ( I could have cared less at the time because part of the Cert inspections included installing fresh batteries. ) {company provided}
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 11:39:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 8:35:02 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Flashbang1:
IMO your better of using a vernier caliper to measure case trim length.

That said a 10USD Harbor Freight caliper has done me well for years and is repeatable and accurate enough.

You can use the same caliper to measure COAL on the ogive and as a headspace comparator with the Hornady tool.

If you want the best go Mitutoyo , but IMO it is not needed.
View Quote



Agreed!  The HF calipers are GTG.
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 8:59:22 AM EDT
And keep them well away from any powder you are using. It gets into the gears inside and really messes them up.

Another RIP Mitotoyo
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