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Thread: Headspacing revisited.....again

  1. #1
    Team Savage 223Rem's Avatar
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    Headspacing revisited.....again

    Have all ways used the proper head space gauge when rebarreling a rifle however this time I want to try the 'empty case w/ and w/o tape" method.

    The rifle is question is a Savage Axis in .223 and the new barrel is a .450 Bushmaster from Rhineland Arms.

    Plans are to sacrifice a new cartridge (do not plan to reload) by pulling the bullet and making the primer inert before depriming. Going to use one of the kinetic pullers as not to damage the case mouth.

    I was thinking about inverting the bullet and press fit it back into the case as it is a flat base bullet. Thoughts are by doing so, this would alleviate any possible neck crushing that can occur while mounting the barrel.

    Thoughts anyone?

  2. #2
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    Headspacing revisited.....again

    Itís been done that way, even though the best practice is to get a go gauge. Iíve rented them from 4D for something I didnít want to buy.

    Opinions and experience will vary but itís been mine that todayís new factory ammo is undersized, that is to say the headspace is ďshortĒ of SAAMI. Until you get one that isnít. . If I were going to headspace with a new case, Iíd try more than 1 before locking it down.

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    I donít think that crushing the neck is your biggest concern. Crushing the shoulder is more likely. You may want to fill the case with epoxy to resist shoulder deformation. But Iím just guessing.

  4. #4
    Basic Member Robinhood's Avatar
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    This method works much better if you have an action wrench and a barrel vise.
    One Cannot Be PC And Be Intellectually Honest!

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    Team Savage GaCop's Avatar
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    Years ago I converted my barrel vise to an action vise by drilling the lower oak block for a cut off action screw and slotting the upper block to fit over my EGW bases. I also added brackets to the front of the lower block to hold the recoil lug steady while tightening then barrel nut. I've built at least a dozen rifle with this vise and I've used the tape method for all but my 223 build and I've never had any issues doing it that way. I screw the barrel in until I feel it make light contact with the gauge and then tighten down the nut. The bolt handle will only move about 1/2" before it stops on the taped gauge.
    Vietnam Vet, Jun 66 - Dec 67

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    Quote Originally Posted by olddav View Post
    I don’t think that crushing the neck is your biggest concern. Crushing the shoulder is more likely. You may want to fill the case with epoxy to resist shoulder deformation. But I’m just guessing.
    There is no shoulder on a straight walled case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robinhood View Post
    This method works much better if you have an action wrench and a barrel vise.
    I have proper tools, sans the headspace gauge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 223Rem View Post
    There is no shoulder on a straight walled case.
    Yep, I miss read the original post! I guess details are important.

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    Team Savage 223Rem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 223Rem View Post
    There is no shoulder on a straight walled case.

    I have proper tools, sans the headspace gauge.
    Quote Originally Posted by olddav View Post
    Yep, I miss read the original post! I guess details are important.
    Guess we could consider it a very loonnnnggg shoulder.

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    If using that method I'd measure a batch of cartridges to see if they are all the same case length (and compare to specs). Pick one (longest?) and use it to headspace. Then stick with that brand. Be aware that another brand may give too much headspace.

  10. #10
    Team Savage ninner's Avatar
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    I use the masking tape on live ammo method, of course my nearest neighbor is 300yds away and everything is pointed in a safe direction.


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  11. #11
    Team Savage
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    Other than an element of self satisfaction, i see no merit in checking headspace in that manner.
    Ive taken used rifles I’ve bought to gunsmiths for a headspace check which i feel is important with used gun purchases, especially ones with barrel nuts.
    I’ve seen them insert a new case and feel the bolt close on it before handing me back the gun.
    But i frankly would be wary of my own skill level before attempting that.

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    For a 223 Remington the headspace no go gauge is 1.4666 the go gauge is 1.4636 That is .003 about the thickness of a red **** hair. I am not sure what the thickness of two beer cans and a peace of masking tape are but it's probably to much. When engineers make a spec on .0000 that indicates tolorance is in the ten thousands. Creating too small head space will cause a problems such as pressure and exploded cases. Too much head space will cause problems such as blown primers and ruptured cases. If you don't have headspace gauges take the gun to a good gunsmith or obtain gauges and set the headspace carefully.

  13. #13
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    headspace 223

    Quote Originally Posted by azguy View Post
    For a 223 Remington the headspace no go gauge is 1.4666 the go gauge is 1.4636 That is .003 about the thickness of a red **** hair. I am not sure what the thickness of two beer cans and a peace of masking tape are but it's probably to much. When engineers make a spec on .0000 that indicates tolorance is in the ten thousands. Creating too small head space will cause a problems such as pressure and exploded cases. Too much head space will cause problems such as blown primers and ruptured cases. If you don't have headspace gauges take the gun to a good gunsmith or obtain gauges and set the headspace carefully.
    After setting headspace measure several new unfired rounds with a comparter. after firing measure several fired rounds compair with unfired rounds this will give you your max headspace. When reloading bump the fired rounds about .002 for a bolt gun about .004 for an AR.

  14. #14
    Team Savage
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    Instead of tape I bought a cheap spark plug feeler gauge and cut pieces of the .003" strip as the no-go spacer for .223. My mic says it's dead nuts on.

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