Calipers for reloading

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Calipers for reloading

Post by bdas on 6/2/2017, 11:50 am

I have a cheap pair of electronic calipers that I've been using for reloading, but after a year of frequent use, they have developed a noticeable looseness/wobble.  So I'm looking to replace them with something better.  But, of course, the prices on calipers are all over the place (from $12 to $1200).  I want something that will be reasonably accurate and will last a while, but I don't need to impress a machinist.

The Starrett EC799A 6" model costs $130 (https://www.amazon.com/Starrett-EC799A-6-150-Electronic-Resolution/dp/B00WSOU772) and seems to my layman's eye like a good, but pricey, choice.  But before I spend that kind of money on calipers, I figured I'd ask if you all have suggestions for good calipers that cost less or might somehow be a better choice for reloading.

Thanks,
Dave

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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by KBarth on 6/2/2017, 11:54 am

I just use the hornady digital calipers
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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by james r chapman on 6/2/2017, 12:02 pm

Any of the cheap ones will work.
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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by TomH_pa on 6/2/2017, 12:27 pm

Agreed No need to spend $100+ on any caliper. If you need to be more accurate.....don't use calipers

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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by Wobbley on 6/2/2017, 12:48 pm

This pair is made by SPI and they should last you for more than a year.  

https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tnpla/44706968?cid=ppc-google-New+-+Measuring+%26+Inspecting+-+PLA_sONSG18VW___164110844316_t_S&mkwid=sONSG18VW%7Cdt&pcrid=164110844316&rd=k&product_id=44706968&gclid=CJbSjeHbn9QCFViUfgodeXcK2w
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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by fc60 on 6/2/2017, 6:47 pm

Greetings,

It is hard to beat the price and quality of a set of Mitutoyo 0-6" digital calipers.

It is a tool you will use forever; so, buy a new set and take care of them.

Last I saw, they were still made in Japan, not China.

Cheers,

Dave
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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by Gary Wells on 6/2/2017, 6:51 pm

$ 4 $, lb. 4 lb., Mitutoyo's are the best bang out there. Not free though.

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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by fpk on 6/2/2017, 6:55 pm

fc60 wrote:Greetings,

It is hard to beat the price and quality of a set of Mitutoyo 0-6" digital calipers.

It is a tool you will use forever; so, buy a new set and take care of them.

Last I saw, they were still made in Japan, not China.

Cheers,

Dave
Completely agree with this, I love mine.  Have several other cheap ones, but these really are repeatable, which is the difference between $20 one and these.

paul

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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by Sa-tevp on 6/2/2017, 7:06 pm

When I went shopping for some quality calipers some helpful people at work sent me to the metrology shop. The shop lead was very helpful and suggested that Starrett, to him, was coasting on their name. Since his shop has to certify calipers for aerospace use and sees a lot come through his shop for re-certification, he recommended Mitutoyos like our company buys by the hundreds as his experience was they held up well, even when mechanics use them.

I purchased my Mitutoyo at MSC https://www.mscdirect.com/ as about ten years ago there were counterfeits on fleabay and MSC supplies my company. Shop around as the prices vary a lot depending on who is selling it.
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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by Tim:H11 on 6/2/2017, 7:08 pm

Since you're talking measuring tools for reloading - whats the best way to measure the crimp? I have a hard time getting a consistent measurement.
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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by james r chapman on 6/2/2017, 7:11 pm

once again, if your only measuring overall length and not going to be doing anything otherwise that requires .001 accuracy, any plastic one at harbor freight will work.

If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, and don't need more guns, than by all means buy a Nice

798BX-6/150 Electronic Caliper w/ Carbide Jaws, Stainless Steel, SPC Output, .0005" Res., 0-6" Measuring Range
798BX-6/150


$356.00 USD Ea
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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by LenV on 6/2/2017, 7:41 pm

Tim:H11 wrote:Since you're talking measuring tools for reloading - whats the best way to measure the crimp? I have a hard time getting a consistent measurement.
There is no "one" answer. I prefer my method. Smile

http://www.bullseyeforum.net/t4672-measuring-the-taper-crimp?highlight=measuring+the+crimp
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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by john bickar on 6/2/2017, 8:05 pm

.45 and .223. Used to do some .32 S&W, but it was too difficult.

Ohhhh, calipers. I misread that. Must be the fort.
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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by jmdavis on 6/2/2017, 8:35 pm

I have dillon, rcbs, Lyman and harbor freight. The only problem I had with a set was trying to use it to measure patching material thickness. I industry on dial rather than digital. And having a number means that I can keep a set at the loading bench, another at the drill press, a third in the Gunsmithing toolbox and the fourth with my mechanics tools. The most exoensivecset was $39. But that was 10 years ago.
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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by Guest on 6/2/2017, 9:26 pm

Dial calipers are cheaper and don't need batteries. We sent men to the moon with rockets built using dial calipers, is that not precise enough?

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If I want .001" precision, I want a micrometer

Post by NuJudge on 6/3/2017, 4:42 am

Give some thought to getting a micrometer also.  I have much more faith in readings I get with them, when things get really small.

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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by dsandula on 6/3/2017, 5:49 am

My advice is to go on eBay and find a deal on older 6" Brown & Sharpe dial calipers.  They're Swiss made.  You're taking a chance in buying used and I'd never buy one with a cracked dial cyrstal.  However, if you find the right one, you'll have a very high quality tool at 1/4 the price that you can pass down for generations.  I can't speak for their newer tools.

This is an example, but I notice a crack in the dial crystal.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BROWN-AND-SHARPE-6-INCH-DIAL-CALIPER-579-WITH-CASE-SHOCKPROOF-SWISS-/262991692758?hash=item3d3b86c3d6:g:amoAAOSwmCVY-Bz~

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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by Bigtrout on 6/3/2017, 8:16 am

My Frankford Arsenal digital cheapo ($26) works great after 2 1/2 years of reloading and general measurement use.  I do treat them gently.
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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by troystaten on 6/5/2017, 12:10 am

I bought my used Starrett 6" dial caliper on e-bay, there are a lot of them available and you should be able to get a nice one for around 40-60 bucks.

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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by jglenn21 on 6/5/2017, 7:22 am

Brown and Sharpe makes quality tools and can be found fairly cheap on  fleebay..  all my Mikes are B&S.  Electronic calipers are not worth the $$ until you get into the upper price range. A dial indicator is more  repeatable in the lower price ranges.
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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by bdas on 6/5/2017, 12:43 pm

Wobbley wrote:This pair is made by SPI and they should last you for more than a year.  

https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tnpla/44706968?cid=ppc-google-New+-+Measuring+%26+Inspecting+-+PLA_sONSG18VW___164110844316_t_S&mkwid=sONSG18VW%7Cdt&pcrid=164110844316&rd=k&product_id=44706968&gclid=CJbSjeHbn9QCFViUfgodeXcK2w

First, thank you to everyone who responded.  It's always great to learn from the vast experience here.

Second, does anyone else have experience with SPI brand calipers?  MSC Direct has some nice, well-reviewed 6" Mitutoyo's for $156, but if these SPI's are reasonably good for $52... well, it's hard to look past the fact that they are 1/3 the price.

Dave

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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by james r chapman on 6/5/2017, 1:13 pm

They will work for what you want.
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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by Wobbley on 6/5/2017, 3:35 pm

SPI is an import brand made worldwide.  Likely these are made somewhere in Asia based on the price.  SPI is acceptable in most Metrology departments and Machine shops that do high grade work.
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Re: Calipers for reloading

Post by Gary Wells on 6/5/2017, 5:06 pm

SPI is an acronym for Swiss Precision Industries, who, over the years has distributed precision measuring instruments & tooling such as Etalon, Tesa, Intertest, & other brands.

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