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Discussion Starter #1
I was told by a good friend that the best case gage for a Les Baer 1911 is the one made by Dillon. The dimensions on it are somehow more useful than other case gages.

Here's a link to the one from Dillon:

http://www.dillonprecision.com/content/p/9/pid/25548/catid/3/dillon_handgun_case_gages

What I was wondering, is why should I want one of these? I've never had one since the 1990's, and never had any trouble with ammo that I reloaded using the RCBS reloading gear.

 

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Id never waste my money on any case gauge. The best case gauge is your barrel.

If you get into loading SWC for 1911's, alot of times they have to be seated longer then SAAMI specs to feed reliably. So those gauges will be useless for that.

Never bought ANY of those cases gauges for the many calibers I load.
 

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I use mine everytime I make a bullet. I only started reloading a couple of years ago and that's how I learned from the start. I have a LB also and from the beginning it has helped me identify any bulges or other issues.
 

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Case guages can be handy, but they may not match the chamber of the barrel on your handgun. I have a CZ 75 with a chamber that is tighter than my Dillon 9mm case gauge.
 

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I have a Wilson cartridge gauge which I use for match ammo.

There are differences by brand, I used to have a Dillon and a Midway which would pass or fail different rounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hmmm..... It's only $15 (plus 10 more for shipping), and it only adds one last step to the reloading process. I have no problem with spending a bit more time and money, if it will do anything useful for me.

Gator89, my friend said the Dillon was sized perfectly for the Les Baer.

'fireslayer', you write "it has helped me identify any bulges or other issues"; did you actually find any of those problems, and if so, what kind of reloading gear were you using?

MDIceMan, exactly how much longer than spec did you need to make the bullets for SWC?
 

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If you are loading for multiple guns and don't want to disassemble a gun every time you load they can be handy. I gauge almost every round I load and most of the rounds I catch are torn/bent cases, .380 cases on 9s that somehow made it through my 550, torn up rims, etc. Since I'm loading well inside the OAL range I don't recall ever having and OAL issues so it's mostly for weeding up other defects for me.

I've got a couple gauges and Î don't see much different between the Dillon and others when checking for my Baer. Mine had a rather short ejection port so I had to load shorter to make sure I could eject a love round. Most likely you'll have to find your own sweet spot.
 

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Slightly off topic but somehow relevant: Wish I'd used one in .223 Rem. about 12 years ago. I went to the range a few days ago with ammo I'd reloaded in 2003. None of it will chamber in my M15. Man I'm gonna hate pullin' about 75 bullets!

I'll be ordering one in .223 Rem to reside with my 9mm and .45ACP chamber gauges.

Cheers,
 

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If you get into loading SWC for 1911's, alot of times they have to be seated longer then SAAMI specs to feed reliably. So those gauges will be useless for that.
MDIceMan, exactly how much longer than spec did you need to make the bullets for SWC?
In 45acp I shoot 95% cast lead SWC's in 1911's. What is the SAAMI spec for SWC seating length? I seat all my SWC's to an OAL=1.250 +/-.
 

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I have the Lee clone of the H&G68 in 200 grain. I had to seat that bullet with the driving band sticking out 1.245" for it to feed in my 1911s reliably. Too short a bullet will cause it chamber at an odd angle and jam.

This load will NOT work in my Ruger Blackhawk 45ACP cylinder- too much of the back of the case would stick out & would hit the back of the revolver frame. Ive used the cylinders in my revolver as a case gauge. In a non moonclip revolver the cylinder throat is where the case headspaces. In a 1911 the rifling is taper, and often (but not always) you can seat a bullet a little longer, and not still be in the rifling. I just dont see a need for those case gauges. Buy good dies, and use your calipers is all you need.
 

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Case guages can be handy, but they may not match the chamber of the barrel on your handgun. I have a CZ 75 with a chamber that is tighter than my Dillon 9mm case gauge.
Yeah, I read this a lot. I don't see it. If I size with a Redding sizer I'll get about a 30% fail rate in a Wilson gauge. Those 30% wont drop in but they will go in with a light tap and have to be popped out with a chopstick. Yet, they will drop in my CZ 75, rotate easily and drop out, with room to spare. I'll have close to a 0% fail rate in the Wilson gauge when sizing with a Lee die but the point is, I don't appear to have a tight chambered CZ 75. Either that or my Wilson gauge is under spec by a good clip, relatively speaking.

Before the Redding sizer, every FMJ or Plated that passed my 9 or 45 gauges, passed the plunk. That being the case, the gauges were great. Sizing 9 with a Redding sizer throws that out the window. With 45, I'm still good with the gauge with all plated and FMJ. With some cast bullet loads I got the reverse, it would pass the gauge but not the plunk in one gun/barrel.

Point being, a gauge may or may not be a worthwhile tool, IMO. You'd have to verify with your barrel and then it may not be a reliable "gauge" for all of your loads.

I'd say to the OP, that if you have been getting along just fine since the 90's, you may be better off just spending the money on components.
 

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I never used one. I have considered getting and using them for match ammo. The rare FTF's suck. I thought about gauging match ammo only.

I made some ammo that ran fine in my TRP. Also fine in another 1911. First time I tried to use that ammo in a S&W 625, would not drop in without force and barely would extract. Found out my taper die just needed tweaked (OAL was fine). Maybe a case gauge would catch that.
 

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I use mine everytime I make a bullet. I only started reloading a couple of years ago and that's how I learned from the start. I have a LB also and from the beginning it has helped me identify any bulges or other issues.

When casting bullets just run them through the sizing die. You're going to have to load those bullets into cases before that gauge would work anyway.
 

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SAAMI actually (oddly) lists a minimum and maximum length for the 45 Auto Match with a semi-wadcutter bullet as 1.150" minimum and 1.255" maximum.

http://saami.org/specifications_and_information/publications/download/205.pdf
When I load SWC (berry & xtreme) I do 1.20" - would get a few 3-point jams if I went to 1.25. Berry's were even a little better at 1.18" for me.

I do have a case gauge for all my calibers - don't remember the mfr of each one- I am sure it wasn't the priciest but
*I have checked if it passes the gauge it will work in any of my guns of that caliber.
*Saves me having to open the safe,
*sometimes my guns are in a different state so the barrel plunk test is not always an option.
*smaller and takes up less room on the bench.
 

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If the loaded round fits easily in my Dillon case gauge, it will function fine in any of my guns.

I gauge all my match reloads.
 
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