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headspace gauge

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grinnch View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 27 2013 at 3:44am
New to Enfield's and firearms in general.  Can someone or everybody post a list of manufacturers of the coin type headspace gauges.  I have only found the okie gauges.  Are some better/different than others?

Thanks for the help.

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Jon287 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jon287 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2014 at 6:51pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2014 at 8:05pm
There are articles by Peter Laidler regarding headspace that are essential reading for Enfield owners. You can find them on the Milsurp Forum.
The British do reload, but maybe just use the military spec of 0.074" No Go instead of the SAMMI gauges which I believe is smaller
I was told by an Enfield specialist that you can go to 0.084" but I have not seen any written info confirming that and I would not recommend it. Read the article mentioned above and I think you'll agree. If you have the largest bolt head available and headspace of over 0.074" it's the receiver thats knackered and basically the rifle is DP quality. (DP = Drill Purpose only)
What I do for a quick check is use an empty case and shim the rear of it with paper or aluminium tape and add to the thickness until the bolt resist closure (only gentle pressure) then measure the rim thickness. It's not perfect but will get you to within  1 or 2 thou of actual headspace for a safety check.
If new to shooting in general I would recommend getting the rifle checked by a professional, then shoot factory made ammo to start with and keep all the spent cases. Later on you can reload them if you start getting more involved (as we generally do!)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2014 at 9:59pm
Personally I have the Okie gauges & they work perfectly. They are also made to the original specs of

GO = 0.064"                                      NO-GO = 0.067"                                      FIELD = 0.074".

I'd have no problem with using them. Just to clarify Okie are in stock & in America, Arrowmark are the Australian co & I think always have been?

The set listed via E-bay has an FP protrusion gauge as well. Handy if you swap pins or bolt heads.

Regarding headspace, which usually starts a brawl online.
There were several Maximums during the war as standards were relaxed to get the guns out the door. However I've found reference to a special TOO LONG gauge, but exclusively for bolts with oversize locking lugs.

If there was ever an extra extra long spec I've never found any method of gauging it so I'm skeptical. As has been remarked if the headspace is too long its there for a reason. Just knowing it exists is only part of the problem you need to find out why its there, as several things like receiver stretch, worn locking lug recesses  over pressure damage & so on may have caused the problem,& those things could make a rifle unsafe.

The British "never reloading" is complete internet twaddle BTW lots of English shooters reload.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Link Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 13 2018 at 2:58am
Resurrecting this topic as I'm looking for a headspace gauge.  I had one on order from Okie but sadly received a refund explaining the owner has passed away.  I had considered a Forster but sounds like their standards aren't what I need.  (Field gauge is .070 and I need a .074?)  Any suggestions?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2018 at 10:04am

Zed had a good suggestion.  Should also work with thin brass or aluminum pealable shim stock which is easy get and usually in 0.002 in. thick layers.   Measure the rim of an empty case (should be approx. 0.064), add appropriate shim stock thickness to the case head out to 0.074; that should be your maximum.  If the bolt does not close, and your interested in finding out what the approx. headspace is, work back by removing thicknesses of shim until it does close.  Don't force the bolt down; just until you feel resistance to close.  

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2018 at 10:15am
Since posting that in 2014; I've now invested in a set of Oakie head space gauges. The shim system will work if your careful; but the gauges are better due to less compressibility. You get a better feel with the proper gauges.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2018 at 10:45am
Oh, one other suggestion perhaps, I would use an unfired empty case, or one that has been full length sized so that it doesn't headspace on the shoulder. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2018 at 11:07am
Originally posted by Zed Zed wrote:

Since posting that in 2014; I've now invested in a set of Oakie head space gauges. The shim system will work if your careful; but the gauges are better due to less compressibility. You get a better feel with the proper gauges.
 
I agree Zed; I've got a set of steel gages and they give a very positive stop feel.
 
The gages I have are 0.064 and 0.070; the bolt on my No. 4 does not close on the 0.070 gage.  And when I got the rifle, it would just close with the slightest resistance on the 0.064 gage (it had not been fired since Fulton's fitted a new barrel and lapped the bolt).    I  recently checked the headspace after realizing that for several thousand rounds, I had probably been exceeding max average pressures with 42.5 gr. Re 15 over the 174gr SMK in military cases.  I eventually chrono'ed this load at over 2550 fps.  So, now my match load is 40.0 gr Re15.       
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2018 at 5:51am
You  have SAAMI gauges.
Its not a problem as you're using the 0.064" & it passes anyway, but the "real" spec is 0.074" for a FIELD.
they should technically be

GO NO-GO FIELD

(One dimple) (Two dimples) (Three dimples)

GO = 0.064" NO-GO = 0.067" FIELD = 0.074".

Anyone with Okie gauges hold on to 'em, it was a one man band & he's now passed away so no more will be coming.

Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spentprimer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 23 2018 at 6:15am
I replaced the bolt body on my No.1 Mk.3* from Ishapore a couple of years ago and did not have the official gauges.  So, a known rim thickness on an empty case and a little PLASTIGAGE from an auto parts store did the trick.  I set mine at .064 IIRC after measuring many case heads.
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