Inspection and Measurement
Your handloaded ammunition will ideally fire the smallest groups possible, and the best way to control precision groups is to refine your processes to eliminate variability, based on accurate data. Case necks and bullet tensions are just two crucial variables to control in order to maintain consistent accuracy.
Even new cases from the same batch have slight differences. Brass actually liquefies as it fire-forms to the gun’s chamber. Inspection and measurement tools will help you eliminate variation to improve shooting safety, consistency, and repeatability.
Note that when inspecting and measuring during reloading, you may not necessarily follow all of the recommended procedures. As you become more proficient in reloading, you will fine-tune your own process based on your equipment, your rifle calibers, and personal preferences. We suggest that you continue to read, learn, and understand various methods so that you can find the system that works the best for you.
- Inspections during the Loading Process – We suggest getting all your cases fire-formed through your gun before expending much effort inspecting and measuring. Invest in a good dial caliper and learn to have a good “feel” with it. The Forster Datum Dial is great for setting up your dies to fit brass cases to your gun’s chamber.
- Measure the Loaded Ammunition – The Case and Cartridge Inspector is a great tool for checking loaded rounds as well as a variety of other important dimensions.
Safety - Please follow all pertinent safety procedures such as wearing safety glasses, being in a well-lit and well-ventilated workspace, and having all reloading tools in top working condition. Also, no flames, sparks or static electricity.
Suggested Further Reading
- Top-Grade Ammo, Glen D. Zediker
- Designing and Forming Custom Cartridges for Rifles and Handguns, Ken Howell
- NRA Firearms Sourcebook: Your Ultimate Guide to Guns, Ballistics, and Shooting, Michael E Bussard and Stanton L. Wormley Jr.
- Shooter’s Bible Guide to Handloading: a Comprehensive Reference for Responsible and Reliable Reloading, Wayne van Zwoll
- Step-by-Step Reloading: Handling Powder, Roy Hill
Datum DialRefine case sizing and bullet seating operations with the dynamic Datum Dial™ Ammunition Measurement System.
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