Would this be less accurate measuring?

300WSM

Handloader
Dec 24, 2011
839
463
I've used this method for eons...
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Cut three slits down the case like above...

Enough tension on the neck still to keep bullet from sliding around.

Put bullet way out...
Put in chamber, Close bolt.
Bring back out and there's my distance for that particular bullet to the lands...

I've doubts an item like the Hornady OAL gauge with a case is any more accurate.

Has anyone done the above and then compared with a gauge like the Hornady version or similar.

I think my way is less cumbersome and every bit as accurate but maybe not. 🤷‍♂️
 
Great idea. Your method is more accurate, especially if that's a once fire case out of your rifle. I have compared a similar method to my Hornady OAL case and the Hornady case has been off. Also, I check depth with each new lot of bullets...they can vary significantly.
 
I still have a couple of cases I’ve split like that but I guess I prefer the Hornaday tool as I had trouble getting consistent with the split neck tool. Nothing wrong with building a tool that works, American ingenuity is a good thing.
 
I used the Hornady OAL tool for years, and your method can work as well. Some of my rifles have those fired cases that have very little clearance between a fired case inside diameter and bullet diameter that a bullet can snugly fit in, I just thought about trying that soon and compare the measurements with the Hornady OAL tool.
Only downside is if the case neck is not tight enough to hold the bullet snugly while measuring, it could give a false reading. Something I can check later to kill time.
 
That is exactly the way I have been doing it. I shoot break action single shot pistols so I have never tried the Hornady tool. I just close the action on a spit case with the bullet long, I usually measure 3 to 5 times to make sure I am getting a good reading.
 
I did it like that for a long time without issues, except that occasionally a VLD type would “stick” in the lands for a second while removing causing inconsistent measurements. I like the Hornady tool
And make my own modified cases from cases fired in my rifle.
 
The accuracy of both tools is directly proportionate to how meticulous the user is. Both will get you where you want to be.
This!
Another member and I were just talking about this.
I started doing it that way years ago, probably before Hornady made their tool. For some reason I just use the Hdy tool now.
 
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An issue I see would be on a hard jam that the bullet would stick on the lands giving a false measurement. If you have been getting repeatable measurement then it’s working for you.
I have had this happen with the bullet sticking in the lands and not getting consistent readings. But, if your readings are consistent then you are golden.
 
Here's how I've done it for a very long time. The details might sound involved, but the process is simple and gives me consistent results through multiple readings. Requires no extra work or steps or pieces from 1 cartridge to the next and can be done with everything you already have.

You could use a brass jag and do this but I just use a cheap plastic jag and sanded the tip off until it was flush with the base. Put that squared off jag in your cleaning rod and insert it into the barrel from the muzzle end with a closed bolt in the rifle. When it is against the bolt face take a piece of tape and mark the cleaning rod with the edge of the tape flush with the end of the muzzle.

Now remove the bolt and insert the bullet you're using into the chamber. I then use a short pistol cleaning rod to push through the receiver and butt up against the back of the bullet in the chamber. Push your cleaning rod back in from the muzzle until the same squared off jag hits the front of the bullet. You can move it back and forth several times to get a feel of just when the bullet is engaged in the lands. Mark your cleaning rod again with a piece of tape flush with the muzzle and the distance between the 2 leading edges of tape is your max overall loaded case length with that bullet engaged in the lands.

For levers and pumps I use the same method but I use a piece of coated 12-2 electrical wire with a rubber stopper on the end so I can curve it into the chamber to butt up against the bullet I have in there and push it back and forth to make sure I'm getting an accurate measurement of when the bullet is into the lands.
 
Here's how I've done it for a very long time. The details might sound involved, but the process is simple and gives me consistent results through multiple readings. Requires no extra work or steps or pieces from 1 cartridge to the next and can be done with everything you already have.

You could use a brass jag and do this but I just use a cheap plastic jag and sanded the tip off until it was flush with the base. Put that squared off jag in your cleaning rod and insert it into the barrel from the muzzle end with a closed bolt in the rifle. When it is against the bolt face take a piece of tape and mark the cleaning rod with the edge of the tape flush with the end of the muzzle.

Now remove the bolt and insert the bullet you're using into the chamber. I then use a short pistol cleaning rod to push through the receiver and butt up against the back of the bullet in the chamber. Push your cleaning rod back in from the muzzle until the same squared off jag hits the front of the bullet. You can move it back and forth several times to get a feel of just when the bullet is engaged in the lands.
Sounds like a an easy method, but a question. If you are measuring from the bullet tip, not the ogive and many bullets of the same brand and lot are different lengths, won't that give you inconsistent measurements? Or am I picturing this wrong? Thanks.
 
Sounds like a an easy method, but a question. If you are measuring from the bullet tip, not the ogive and many bullets of the same brand and lot are different lengths, won't that give you inconsistent measurements? Or am I picturing this wrong? Thanks.

With some bullets yes they will be different overall lengths. I measure the length of the bullet I'm going to use to measure at what length it is against the lands in that chamber. I then use that same bullet, or 1 that measures the exact same length when setting up my seating die. If I want to be say .055 off the lands, I use a bullet of that length to get my die set where I want it. After that the differences in bullet length does not matter, or not much. Your seating die is not bottoming out on the tip ( or at least it shouldn't be) so therefore all bullets in that box will be virtually identical amounts off the lands regardless if some have a degree of varying COAL.
 
I used the Hornady OAL tool for years, and your method can work as well. Some of my rifles have those fired cases that have very little clearance between a fired case inside diameter and bullet diameter that a bullet can snugly fit in, I just thought about trying that soon and compare the measurements with the Hornady OAL tool.
Only downside is if the case neck is not tight enough to hold the bullet snugly while measuring, it could give a false reading. Something I can check later to kill time.
I'm definitely intetested in your results

I've never seen inconsistent measurements from my way.
 
With some bullets yes they will be different overall lengths. I measure the length of the bullet I'm going to use to measure at what length it is against the lands in that chamber. I then use that same bullet, or 1 that measures the exact same length when setting up my seating die. If I want to be say .055 off the lands, I use a bullet of that length to get my die set where I want it. After that the differences in bullet length does not matter, or not much. Your seating die is not bottoming out on the tip ( or at least it shouldn't be) so therefore all bullets in that box will be virtually identical amounts off the lands regardless if some have a degree of varying COAL.
Okay, that makes sense. Thanks
 
That's how I have always done it.
Never had a problem.

JD338
 
I do it like that for a decade at least. Only with two slits.
I always take several measurements with two different cases.
Works for me
 
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