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Posted: 1/24/2006 7:38:32 PM EDT
I have been too cheap in my early days to buy headspace gauges so after I built a gun similar to a saiga I have taken it out to the back of the ranch put it in a tire attached some rope to the trigger and let 20 rounds go? If it doesn't fail do you think since if it fired relialy it is good to go?
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 2:16:17 AM EDT
How much is your life/health worth to you. Yes the weapon may fire but that doesn’t mean the head space is correct. Buy gages and do it right I would rather spend the money now and not have to worry about my builds than spend money later having peaces of my build dug out of my body parts.

Sign_Wolfman
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:29:21 AM EDT
The worst weapon I ever fired had amost 1/4" excessive headspace. It blew the back off the case and chambered the next round into the remaining piece. Never knew it until I looked to see why the second round didn't go off. Didn't hurt the weapon or me. I am not advocating trying this at home but I've never worried about getting pieces of rifle embedded in myself. Tape trick is plenty good enough for me. Remove extractor , firing pin, see how amny layers of masking tape you can oput on the back of a new round. Slowly close the bolt without the recoil spring and see if it locks up properly. 2 or 3 layers is fine.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 7:19:43 AM EDT
Ya'll can do whatever you want but when you end you injured don't say that I didn't tried to warn you...

If your going to take the time to build a rifle why no do it right???

Sign_Wolfman
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 9:15:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TerryG3:
Tape trick is plenty good enough for me. Remove extractor , firing pin, see how amny layers of masking tape you can oput on the back of a new round. Slowly close the bolt without the recoil spring and see if it locks up properly. 2 or 3 layers is fine.



The difference between a go and a no/go gauge is approximately .006
I just measured 3 layers of masking tape, I got .018 that's 3 times the limit.

Buy, borrow or rent some gauges.

I have go, no-go and field gauges in 7.62x39, 5.45x39, 7.62x51 and 5.56x45 which are the only calibers I build in.
Sure, It was a kinda expensive investment, but my safety and peace of mind are worth it.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 9:17:10 AM EDT
I’m with T on this one. The whole headspace scare is grossly overblown. And, using a round with tape on the back is actually a safer approach than using a headspace gauge. The reason is that a headspace gauge checks the chamber against “standard” dimensions whereas the taped round checks the headspace against the ammunition that will actually be used. Keep in mind that these rifles and available surplus ammunition were produced in various countries over a long period of time. So, standard may not necessarily be standard. It is actually best to check with the ammunition you will be using. This is an old and acceptable gunsmithing method. Just because your headspace gauge is new, shiny and more expensive than a cartridge with a piece of tape on the rear, doesn’t make it better.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 3:11:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By maxxx93:

Originally Posted By TerryG3:
Tape trick is plenty good enough for me. Remove extractor , firing pin, see how amny layers of masking tape you can oput on the back of a new round. Slowly close the bolt without the recoil spring and see if it locks up properly. 2 or 3 layers is fine.



The difference between a go and a no/go gauge is approximately .006
I just measured 3 layers of masking tape, I got .018 that's 3 times the limit.

Buy, borrow or rent some gauges.

I have go, no-go and field gauges in 7.62x39, 5.45x39, 7.62x51 and 5.56x45 which are the only calibers I build in.
Sure, It was a kinda expensive investment, but my safety and peace of mind are worth it.



IF you are going to ghetto gauge it with tape, best to use Post It notes...they are more consistent that masking tape, and mic out to about .002 each layer, so 3 layers is the .006 you are looking for.

I don't really advocate the tape/postit method, but it's good to know in a pinch. I borrowed gauges for a while, then finally just bought them. Peace of mind is worth it.

As for a gun not blowing even if its out of spec...this is true to a degree. If you build and test the rifle with 20 rounds of ammo and it doesn't blow up, that doesn't mean it won't blow up one day you are bumpfiring it with a different ammo...
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 7:35:30 AM EDT
When does headspacing need to be done? If I don't remove the barrel, do I need to headspace?

Link Posted: 1/26/2006 8:11:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cpt_Kirks:
When does headspacing need to be done? If I don't remove the barrel, do I need to headspace?




If the parts are matching (bolt, trunion, and barrel) and assembled from the factory, then you have a very small chance of having a problem. If the barrel gets pulled, or any of the parts are not matched, then you definitely need to check it.

In reality, any gun you buy you should probably headspace. There are many, many amateur builders out there who may cut corners to get a gun on the sale rack..and you don't want to be on the receiving end of their carelessness...
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 10:30:07 AM EDT
No Go gauge: $30
Cartridge to use for a go gauge $0.10
YOUR LIFE: PRICELESS

I'll say it again:
YOUR LIFE: PRICELESS

Don't be stupid. If you get yourself blown up, not only are you hurting yourself, you're giving fodder to anti-gun activists. Thats the last thing any gun enthusiast wants.
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