Measuring Headspace

Q. Is it really necessary to strip the bolt when checking headspace with your gages? I have been told this by many people. However, I have been able to use your gage just fine by feeding them through the magazine on my Mauser and by slipping the gage under the extractor of my Lee Enfield. They work as they should and no damage occurs by using them in this fashion.

A. Although it is not always necessary to strip the bolt when checking headspace of your rifle, it is the safest way to know that you are getting a true headspace reading. If an extractor is left in place, there is always a chance that the gage is not being supported at only the base of the gage and at the datum point of the gage. These two surfaces of the gage must be the only points of contact with the inside of your gun’s chamber. As long as you know that these are the only two points of contact, it does not matter if you have stripped the bolt of not.

Posted in: Headspace Gages FAQs