Help finding a caliper....

Help finding a caliper....

This is a discussion on Help finding a caliper.... within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Been looking around for a decent set of calipers (Dial or Digital) to measure my reloads OAL with but cant seem to find a set ...

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Thread: Help finding a caliper....

  1. #1
    Member Array *Jay*'s Avatar
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    Help finding a caliper....

    Been looking around for a decent set of calipers (Dial or Digital) to measure my reloads OAL with but cant seem to find a set that goes down to .001 inch range. My problem is that I am a guy that likes to look before buying and by that I mean place my hands on it. I have been having no luck with the retail stores in my area (including Harbor Freight, Northern Tool) and want to know if anyone here can help me with a suggestion on what works for them. Also am I gonna get what I pay for (crap) when looking at Ebay??? Any help is appreciated, thanks in advance.


  2. #2
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    I've gotten several sets from Ebay.

    They all cost around 15-20 bucks and they all measure down to .001.

    Unless you buy Mitutoyo or Starrett, all of the cheapo calipers are made by the same people. Some reloading companys sell them with their brand name on them, but they are all the same.

    Mitutoyo or Starrett will cost you over 100 bucks and they do exactly the same thing.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  3. #3
    Member Array *Jay*'s Avatar
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    You prefer dial or digital???

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    I've been a Machinist and tool maker since 1977 and I still prefer the dial caliper for several reasons.

    The digital calipers are too sensitive. The numbers bounce around too much. Any liguid that gets on them will kill them. Coolant is hard on them.

    Looking at a dial, and see where the needle is, you can automatically see how much you need to take off without having to think about it and figure it out in your brain.

    Many of the Digital calipers dont have the rack that moves that the dials have. This can be used for quick depth measurments.

    For serious measurements I dont use dial calipers anyway, I use micrometers. Calipers are great for most stuff, but not all stuff. For reloading purposes, measuring case length, bullet diameter, rim thickness and such, they are great.

    The battery on the dials always picks the worst time to go dead. When it dies, the caliper is worthless.

    Just my experiences. Others may like them, I dont.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
    Like custom guns and stuff? Check this out...
    http://bobbailey1959.wordpress.com/

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    Member Array Rick H's Avatar
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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    I got a Frankford Arsenal made in China set last year from MidwayUSA for about 20 bucks IIRC. They work great.

    Austin

  7. #7
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    I have two ordinary analogue sets for machine work - along with micrometers but - I took a chance and got one of the fair priced digital sets .. and luckily when I compared them with my good stuff they were OK to a half thou pretty much.

    Good enough for me for OAL tests on the load bench, and keep my good ones for best - plus I find the dig ones so fast to read without having to squint to read the vernier scale (Yep - age bites again).
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    I got a dandy Brown & Sharpe dial caliper in a pawn shop years ago. Proved to be a bargain.

  9. #9
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I have seen some in pawn shops as well. The company I used to work for used Mitutoyos and when they outlived their usefulness in QA, they would get turned in to the purchasing agent. He had a whole stack of them, and had to determine whether it was feasible for any of them to be sent out for rebuild. Since him and I were 'buds', I got ahold of several 'questionables' in digital and dial. These were minor deficiencies like the battery cover cracked or missing on the digitals, to the bezel being cracked or missing on the dials. With several of these in either, I refurbished one of each with my time being the only investment. I find that I use the dials more because of repeat consistency. The digital one needs to be zeroed every time as I use that thousandths value alot. The dial can be zeroed and recked every so often, but is ultimately more dependable. Only real benefit of the digital is the in/metric option in my book. You'll no doubt find a good tool at a reasonable price.

  10. #10
    Member Array Danger Mouse's Avatar
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    I am new to reloading and I use a RCBS caliper. I am sure that there are others thats better, but this one is a dial type and goes in .001 incriments.
    Think twice
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  11. #11
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    Pretty much all of the companys that make and sell reloading supplies use calpers made from China...the cheapos for around 20 bucks. I bought a pair from Dillon several years ago and they were the exact same calipers as the RCBS, exept that the Dillon caliper had the name on it. Lots of manufactureres have their logo put on them and sell them as their own.

    Those calipers will do everything that needs to be done in reloading. Unless you are a machinest or tool and die maker, there really isnt much sence in spending more that 20 bucks for a caliper.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
    Like custom guns and stuff? Check this out...
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    harbor freight has a great set of digital calipers. they have a web site if you don't have one in or near your town. they work well and never given me any problems. i live them over my dial one. easy to read.
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    I have a set of digital calipers I got for $15 at Car Quest. Measures to .0001".
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    My latest flyer from Mdway has digital units special priced at $12.95 or so.

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