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Getting Started Reloading .223 Rifle: Headspace

Filed in Articles, Reloading .223 Rifle Ammo, Uncategorized by on April 5, 2014 0 Comments • views: 3937

headspaceIf you have meed reloading pistol calibers for a while and are about to start reloading .223 rifle ammunition then this article is for you. It is one in a series of articles on this topic.

Most pistol calibers are extremely forgiving and we never have to worry about case length.  I have some .45acp cases that I’ve been shooting for 30 years and I don’t think I’ve ever measured them.

Dillon Case GaugeSome rifles are also very forgiving.  My HK93 will shoot almost anything, including cartridges with overall length or headspace way out of spec.  That gun will eat anything and that’s why I like it. The AR rifle on the other hand is a much more high-precision rifle than the HK, and demands ammo that conforms to spec.  The best way to check the headspace of a case is by using a case gauge. I have the Dillon Case Gauge but they all work the same.

headspaceHere is a closer look at the Dillon Case Gauge. You can see the wide shallow groove milled in to the end.  Im the illustration the groove it at ‘B’.

To use the case gauge, simply drop a sized case (one that has already been through your sizing die) into the gauge. If the head protrudes above surface ‘A’ then you have too much headspace. Meaning the dimension from the rim/head to the case shoulder is too long.  If the head of your case is below surface B then you have to little headspace.

If the headspace of your cases is not right then simply adjust your sizing die up or down in your press.


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